Photo Credit: Charlie McLaughlin
Superior Food and Wine, world-renowned winemakers and wine experts, 50 Participating Restaurants and Westchester’s Best Chefs Join for a Weekend of Eating and Drinking
ELMSFORD, NY – Nearly 3,000 guests expe rienced Westchester Magazine’s Inaugural Wine and Food Weekend, June 18-19 at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester in White Plains, NY. This year’s event featured an incredible lineup of Westchester’s best restaurants along with an exquisite list of wine samplings for the Grand Tastings. World-renowned wine experts taught seminars and talented chefs hosted live cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend. The Winemakers Dinner served as a perfect end to Saturday, with a six-course sit-down dinner created by five of Westchester’s highly-rated chefs and served with hand-picked wine pairings.
Those who value fine food and superb wine found unmatched satisfaction at the Grand Tastings, where samplings from 50 of Westchester’s best restaurants filled the ballroom. Each restaurant’s best dishes were complemented by more than 120 wines from around the globe. One bite and sip at a time, attendees sampled and savored the delicious foods and wines the event offered. The Grand Tastings were held both Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 from noon to 4 pm.
“We were thrilled to present Westchester Magazine’s first ever Wine & Food Weekend in 2011,” said Ralph A. Martinelli, Publisher of Westchester Magazine. “This event celebrated many of the fabulous chefs and restaurants in our region and also brought new and interesting wines to our audience.”
On Saturday, world-renowned wine expert Kevin Zraly hosted his “One-Hour Wine Expert” Seminar at 12:00pm. Zraly is the author of Windows on the World Complete Wine Course and founder of the Windows on the World Wine School. He was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the James Beard Foundation Award for his unmatched contributions and accomplishments in the world of wine. At 1:00pm, Riedel Crystal held its “Shape Matters When It Comes to Wine Enjoyment!” seminar. Attendees gained a better understanding of various wine glasses along with receiving a boxed set of four Riedel glasses. Mark Fine hosted the informative and engaging, “The Magic of Wines from Southern France,” seminar at 2:00pm, which focused on the grapes of the South of France and the wines they produce.
The Wine Seminars on Sunday only added to the opportunities attendees had to learn more about the world of wine. Zraly hosted a second “One-Hour Wine Expert” at 12:00pm. Ned Towle, Director at the Westchester Wine School, explored the world of pinot noir, the silky and feminine counterpart to bordeaux’s masculine wines during his “Seductive Pinot Noir: A One-Hour Fling” seminar at 1:00pm. Linda Noel Kawabata, Brand Manager at ASPEC held, “The Sensational World of Sake,” at 2:00pm and shared the tradition, history, flavors and textures of sake.
Highly esteemed chefs including Alex Grunert of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Peter X. Kelly of X2O (Xaviars on the Hudson) and Phil McGrath of the Iron Horse Grill hosted live cooking demonstrations during Saturday’s Grand Tasting. On Sunday, Eric Gabrynowicz of Restaurant North and David DiBari of The Cookery manned the Thermador Demo Kitchen, and the weekend came to a close with a Live Chef Cook-Off featuring Ash Fulk and Dale Talde from Bravo’s popular television show, Top Chef, going head-to-head to create the winning meal for a panel of judges. Ash prevailed but both contestants cooked beautifully.
Elegance, perfection and luxury came together as one during the Winemakers Dinner on Saturday night from 7:00pm to 10:00pm in the Grand Ballroom. The six-course formal dinner was prepared by five of Westchester’s celebrated chefs: James Dangler of The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester; Peter X. Kelly of X2O; Ethan Kostbar of Moderne Barn; Marc Lippman of Crabtree’s Kittle House and Anthony Goncalves of 42 The Restaurant.
Kevin Zraly and Westchester restaurateur John Crabtree of Kittle House received Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Awards at the Winemaker’ Dinner. A portion of the proceeds from the event went to ArtsWestchester and the Food Bank for Westchester. ArtsWestchester is the largest, private, not-for-profit arts council in New York State and Food Bank for Westchester is the supply and support center for over 200 frontline hunger relief programs throughout Westchester County.
For more information, visit www.westchestermagazine.com.