By Christopher Trela & Catherine Del Casale
It was a weekend of glorious gluttony when we attended the Third Annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, held last Saturday and Sunday at the Civic Center. The epicurean adventure included live cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, book signings, master sommelier panels, two Grand Tasting Pavilions featuring samplings from more than 40 Orange County restaurants (including many from Newport Beach), tastings of more than 250 wines, spirits and beer, and live jazz. A capacity crowd of 1,500 people attended on Saturday, with another 1,400 people on Sunday. Proceeds benefitted the Festival’s long-standing charity partner, Project Hope Alliance. Third time was indeed the charm, as we agreed this was the best festival yet! Kudos to Founder and CEO Stefanie Salem, Co-Founder and VP Kelly Jawor, Co-Founder and Director of PR & Marketing Lindsey Henn, and the many volunteers and staff members that helped make this event a wonderful success. We’re looking forward to seeing what culinary adventures are in store for next year’s festival. / Photos by Christopher Trela.