One of Southern California’s most exclusive and acclaimed wine and food events, the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, presented by Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin of Newport Beach, wrapped up its fourth annual event at the contemporary Newport Beach Civic Center on Oct. 1, 2017 with over 4,000 guests in attendance throughout the weekend’s festivities. The sold-out event featured tastings from 40 top Southern California restaurants and their executive chefs, 250 varieties of world-class wine, spirits, and brews, celebrity chef cooking demos and dinners, Master Sommelier tasting panels, VIP events, live music, and a new “Havana Nights” after party. Chefs from around the nation converged in Newport Beach to impress and delight guests.
Highlights from the Weekend Include:
Friday, Sept. 29
● Bravo’s Top Chef Women All-Stars dinner at Waterline Newport Beach, Balboa Bay Resort on Friday, Sept. 29 featured Winner, Brooke Williamson with All Stars, Shirley Chung, Casey Thomson and Rachel Haggstrom. Star dishes included Dungeness Crab and Cared Avocado, Chorizo Stuffed Soppresine Pasta, Bone Marrow with Cast Iron Leeks and Seared Duck Breast. Dishes paired with wines by Nellcote, J. Wilkes and Terrazas.
● The Taste of Provence dinner, hosted by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan, took place on Friday, Sept. 29 at The Winery, Newport Beach with Master Chef Hubert Keller, Yvon Goetz, Jean-Pierre Dubray and Rainer Schwartz. Stand out dishes include Grilled Spanish Octopus Salad, Veal Sweetbread & Organic Leeks Ravioli, Chilean Seabass a la Plancha and New Zealand Rack of Lamb. Dishes paired with wines by Jackson Family Fine Wines, Williams Selem and Adelaida.
Saturday, Sept. 30
● VIP Moet-Hennessy’s Champagne and Petrossian Caviar Tasting with Master Sommeliers Reggie Narito, Nick Hetzel and Thomas Price, with OC Top Chef Alan Greeley and Petrossian master, Christopher Klapp.
● On Saturday, Sept. 30, guests enjoyed cooking demos from the following chefs: Brooke Williamson, Shirley Chung, Casey Thompson, Lorena Garcia, Art Smith and Brian Malarkey. James Beard Award winner and culinary icon Chef Hubert Keller was the official host of the day.
● Top bites from the Grand Tasting were from Nobu Newport Beach (Tasmanian Ocean Trout with jalapeno and yuzu soy sauce and Black Cod wrapped in Butter Lettuce and topped with crispy filo), The Winery (Kurobata Pork Belly Lollipops with a carrot ginger-infused risotto and baby kale), Broadway by Amar Santana (Spiced Confit Leg of Lamb with watercress puree, candied citrus and crispy shallots) and The RANCH Restaurant (Country Fried Petaluma Quail – Made with Weiser Farms Potato Salad, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Brentwood Corn and Apricot BBQ Sauce) to name a few.
● Saturday evening concluded with a “Havana Nights” themed after party benefitting Project Hope Alliance with cuisine from the new restaurant CHICA at The Venetian in Las Vegas by Latin America’s most popular celebrity chef, Lorena Garcia and Top Chef Masters, Art Smith and Rick Moonen, along with festival guest chefs Hubert Keller, Richard Blais, Shirley Chung, Amar Santana and Katsuji Tanabe.
Sunday, Oct. 1
● VIP Riedel Glass education & tasting with Hundred Acre wine lead by International VP of Reidel, Anne Koziara, Master Sommelier Peter Neptune and VP of Hundred Acre Landon Patterson, with host Daniella Malfitano.
● Sunday’s cooking demos included a lineup of chefs including: VIP Chef Bravo’s Top Chef All-Stars winner, award winning cookbook author and TV personality Richard Blais, Bravo’s Top Chef Fan Favorite Fabio Viviani and Bravo’s Top Chef All Star Amar Santana and Katsuji Tanabe, hosted by Jamie Gwen. James Beard Award winner Nancy Silverton came to support her restaurant, Pizzeria Mozza, for the day as well.
● Standout dishes from the Grand Tasting event were from Marché Moderne Restaurant (Hamachi Crudo with citronette, smoked sea salt, piment vert and mango sorbet), LSXO (Grilled Prawns with Malaysian cashew curry, butter fried shallots, crushed peanuts, pickled papaya & mixed Viet herbs), Pizzeria Mozza (Meatballs Al Forni and Butterscotch Budino and Amarena Cherry ice creams) and Watertable (Slow Roasted Lamb Belly with apple relish, fennel forno, chimichurri and piquillo pepper glaze), among others.
● Sunday’s festivities concluded with one of the most anticipated events from the festival. James Beard Award winner and international Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa hosted a five course tasting menu at Nobu Newport Beach with each course paired by Moët Hennessy. Duke Spirits created a signature cocktail for the reception. Dish highlights featured Chilean Seabass with dry miso, paired with MCII, Angus Short Ribs with Antichucho paired with Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008
For guests that missed out on this year’s Festival, Celebrity Chef Richard Blais will be returning to Newport Beach for a one-night-only Autumn Wine dinner at the Balboa Bay Resort on Oct. 27. This event is part of a dinner series occurring periodically throughout the year leading up to the fifth annual festival in 2018. To learn more, and to purchase tickets, please visit the website.
For a complete current list of participating restaurants, click here. For a complete list of participating wineries, click here. To sign up for the e-newsletter to be notified about next year’s events, visit www.NewportWineandFood.com. Check back for new information or call 888.511.FEST. For ongoing updates, follow festival on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.