Thursday, June 18, 2009



Don’t have the time or money to take a food or wine vacation this year? No worries. The East Coast Food & Wine Festival, held on June 27 & 28 at Hopewell Valley Vineyards in Pennington, New Jersey allows you to take a one day vacation on a plate/vacation in a glass!
In one day, and close to home, you can sample award winning wines, enjoy dishes prepared with the season’s locally grown vegetables, fruits, seafood, chicken, meats and more dished up by some of the most exciting chefs in the State; attend seminars and cooking demos with nationally known chefs and wine experts; purchase locally made cheeses, organic produce, honey, meats, seafood, gelato, flowers and much more at the Farmer’s Market to enjoy at the festival or to take home with you; take a winery tour led by a third generation winemaker from Tuscany and much more.
They have an amazing line up of restaurants this year which allows you to taste meals from some of the most exciting restaurants across the state – all in one place. Participating restaurants include Brother’s Moon, Hopewell; Catherine Lombardi, New Brunswick; High Street Grill, Mt Holly; Nomad Pizza, Hopewell; Stage Left, New Brunswick; and Tre Piani, Forrestal Village, Princeton. Food is available at a nominal fee and will include smaller sample sizes so you can sample for more than one (or all) of the restaurants; as well as a full meal size portion.
Professional wineries from the State will also be offering samples of close to 100 wines grown and produced near by. Attendees can sample wines from award-winning New Jersey wineries including host Hopewell Valley Vineyards (Pennington), Alba Vineyard (Finesville), Unionville Vineyards (Ringoes), Cape May Winery (Cape May), and Laurita Vineyards (New Egypt).
One of the elements that sets The East Coast Food and Wine Festival apart from other wine and food events is the high quality cooking demos and food and wine seminars offered. This year's event has attracted an all-star list of celebrity chefs and wine experts.
Topping this list is chef Michael Colameco, host of Colameco's Food Show on PBS and Food Talk on WOR radio, author of the soon-to-be-released Food Lovers Guide to New York City; and teacher of Cooking 101 at the International Culinary Center in New York City. Michael will be speaking on Saturday as well as serving as Master of Ceremonies for the Cooking Demo & Seminar Tent that day.
Also on Saturday, Maureen Petrosky, wine expert on NBC's TODAY Show, wine writer for New Jersey Life and author of the Wine Club will be speaking in the Wine Seminar tent. Attendees can also purchase her book at the event and have it signed.
On Sunday, George Taber, author of Judgment of Paris, will be on hand to discuss his book. George, who was a Paris-based reporter for Time magazine for many years, was the only reporter present in 1976 at the blind wine tasting that set the wine world on its heels. In this Paris-based tasting, California wines beat the French wines, putting California wines on the map and changing the wine world forever. His book is now being made into a movie. Copies of his book will also be available at the festival.
Cooking demos will also be offered on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Kerry Dunnington, author of This Book Cooks and Baltimore Slow Food chapter member, will be hosting a cooking demo as well as making copies of her book available for purchase. Wegman's chefs will be doing a Catch of the Day seafood cooking demo on both days.
These are just a few of the many chefs, cook book authors, wine experts, organic farmers, cheese makers, honey producers and more who will be speaking at the festival. A complete list of speakers, presentation times and bios can be found on
The East Coast Food & Wine Festival will be held June 27 & 28 from Noon to 5:00 p.m. at Hopewell Valley Vineyards in Pennington, NJ. More information on this fun and informative weekend can be found at Here you can purchase advance discount tickets (tickets are also sold at the door), find information on lodging, participating wineries and restaurants, seminar schedules and more. You can also call the Festival hotline at 609-890-7103 for more information.
Ticket price covers parking, entrance into the festival, entrance into all of the cooking demos, wine presentations and winery tours, all the wine sampling, and an etched wine glass to take home with you.
You won't want to miss this one day vacation on a plate/vacation in a glass.