The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival this past weekend was truly THE top food event in CT.
First of all, it was a picture perfect day and felt like summer. The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze from the water & no humidity. About 100 vendors participated in this outdoor culinary event (held at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, CT). Not only were the top restaurants in Fairfield County showcasing their food, a handful of TV food personalities were on hand to give talks and cooking demos.
I was kindly gifted a press badge & couldn’t wait to eat and drink the day away. Upon entering the venue, you were handed a wine glass to sip & taste all the different wines from the various vendors. Now that’s a fun way to be greeted! AND there were snack stations set-up throughout the whole area with endless amounts of bagged chips, popcorn & healthy snacks. I’m not ashamed to say I left with a purse full of snack bags!
I started my journey in the main tasting tent. Tables from various restaurants lined the walls of this tent with various wine & CT retailers mixed throughout. Each restaurant was sharing a small tasting to sample. There was food from every type of cuisine you could imagine. And in between tastings, you could walk up to one of the wine vendors with your complimentary wine glass to get a small sampling.
In addition to the tasting tent, there was a Beer & Burger tent, an Ultimate Taco tent, a section of BBQ/Tailgating food and two stages for kitchen demos. You know my love for tacos runs deep, so I stalked the shit outta that tent! I even got an awesome margarita while waiting around for the food.
And waiting around for food is just what you will do at this festival.
The lines were INSANELY long. I highly suggest going with a group of people so you can all divide & conquer. I was on my own so sadly I just didn’t get around to tasting everything. Also, get there right when the festival opens. I noticed a couple of restaurants ran out of food early which was a bummer. PS didn’t take too many pictures of the food I ate because 1) it was so crowded and 2) it was kind of hard to juggle the food, my drink & my phone. So I apologize in advance!
If you can swing it, getting a VIP pass is the way to go. You get access to ALL the food tents plus a tent specifically just for VIP guests. There was also a Gold VIP pass which got a lawn dinner prepared by a top chef. But honestly, ticket prices are super expensive to this event. If you have money to burn, then go for it- but get ready to spend a pretty penny. BUT all proceeds go to charity. One of the charities benefiting from this event is Food Rescue US. Food Rescue US aims to end local hunger & reduce food waste by delivering unused food from groceries & restaurants to families in need. So at least you know your money is going towards a good cause!
The main draw besides the excellent food are the chefs giving cooking demos & talks and also the concert at the end of the night. Sadly, I was unable to stay for the concert but Little Big Town performed (love them!) as well as Michael Franti & Spearhead. I was also super excited to see David Burtka (who is even cuter in person) & Geoffrey Zakarian (I’m sure you’ve seen him on Chopped or Iron Chef America) with his wife Margaret. Both gave cooking demos as well as told little anecdotes of how they cook at home for their families. The pot roast and mac & cheese that Geoffrey and his wife made looked out of this world plus very easy to make.
My take away on this event- if you are a true foodie, you will love it.
If you are willing to spend the money on the ticket & wait in lines, then this event is for you. I would probably not go again, only because I wouldn’t spend that kind of money on a ticket & I would only go if there was a large group of us going. This event is an experience for sure & it’s totally an all day commitment. Dress comfortably. I know tons of women were dressed to the nines, but seriously you are walking around a park all day & eating/drinking your face off. Comfort over cuteness please!
All in all, I’m glad I went and tried foods that I would never normally eat. It definitely opened my eyes up to the world of fine dining & reinforced the the thought that cooking should be fun. Food should be fun & it got me excited to get back in the kitchen!