There are few annual events that get me as excited as the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival—a week-long extravaganza showcasing the best of San Diego’s flourishing food scene and the talented chefs (and other skilled food and beverage purveyors) that make it all happen.
As one of the largest wine and food events of its kind in the United States and the largest in all of Southern California, the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival (now in its 13th year) is an action-packed week brimming with cooking classes, tasting panels, celebrity chef dinners and multiple tasting events—the most notable of which in my opinion is the Lexus Grand Tasting event, this year on Saturday, November 19, which tops off what’s always a truly exceptional epicurean experience.
Indeed, the magnitude of culinary prowess and F&B ingenuity displayed at the Lexus Grand Tasting, which includes an international showcase of the world’s premiere wines and spirits, makes attendance an absolute must for hardcore foodies and more tentative dish dabblers, alike.
The following are some tasty details on the upcoming event gleaned from a news bulletin I received, beckoning you to come and enjoy some of the finest fare that “America’s Finest City” has to offer in fortuitous uber-concentrated form:
San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival –13th annual culinary classic held November 14-20, 2016 will feature over 40 citywide tasting experiences, including excursions, cooking classes, chef dinners, and multiple tasting events. There will be over 200 wineries, breweries, and spirits, and over 60 of San Diego’s top chefs, sommeliers, brewmasters and tastemakers participating in the epic event.
Celebrity chefs slated to headline events throughout the week:
Rick Moonen of rm Seafood and Rx Boiler Room; Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill; Michelle Bernstein of Cena by Michy; Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, and Streetbird Rotisserie; Cosmo Goss of The Publican Restaurant; Erling Wu-Bower of Nico Osteria; Suzette Gresham of Acquerello; Gale Gand, acclaimed pastry chef; television personalities, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, the Hearty Boys; Stephanie Prida of Manresa; Renee Erickson of The Whale Wins, Boat Street Café, The Walrus and the Carpenter, and Barnacle; Steve Santana of Taquiza; Justin Woodward of Castagna; Dean James Max of DJM Restaurants, and Chef Jason French of Ned Ludd.
Local chef standouts slated for attendance:
Chef Javier Plascencia of Bracero; Chef Jason McLeod of Ironside Fish & Oyster; Chef Giselle Wellman of Pacific Standard Coastal Kitchen; Chef Drew Deckman of Deckman’s En El Mogor; Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef Ron Oliver of The Marine Room; Chef Rob Ruiz of Land & Water Co; Chef Trey Foshee of California Modern; Chef Tim Kolanko of Mess Hall; Chef Andrew Bachelier of Campfire; Chef Christine Rivera of Galaxy Taco; Chef Aron Schwartz of Marina Kitchen; Chef Amy DiBiase of Tidal; Chef Andrew Spurgin of Bespoke Event Styling, and Chef Evan Cruz of Arterra, to name a few.
My personal two favorite events among the many proffered:
• SommCon: A leading conference and exposition for wine, beer and spirit industry professionals and serious enthusiasts. SommCon features over 40 educational sessions led by Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine and an all-star collection of the industry’s finest pros. Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina | Wednesday, November 16 – Saturday, November 19 | Prices vary per person
• Lexus Grand Tasting Featuring the NEW Culinary Theater and VIP Experience: As returning platinum sponsor of the largest wine and food festival in Southern California, the San Diego County Lexus Dealers will take center stage with the Lexus Grand Tasting on the scenic San Diego Bay, featuring over 700 wines, 60 of San Diego’s top chefs, and over 30 gourmet food companies. The VIP Tent has never tasted so good as celebrity chefs Cosmo Gross and Erling Wu-Bower team up with local superstar Jason McLeod, Giselle Wellman, and Tim Kolanko to host this year’s NEW VIP Tent experience. Also NEW this year, join today’s hottest chefs for demonstrations at the Culinary Theater, including: the Hearty Boys, Javier Plascencia, Cosmo Gross, Erling Wu-Bower, and Rick Bayless. San Diego County Lexus Dealers consists of four dealerships providing word-class service to all of San Diego County, including Lexus El Cajon, Lexus Carlsbad, Lexus Escondido and Lexus San Diego. Embarcadero Marina Park North | Saturday, November 19 | $135 General Admission, $175 Early Entry | $225 VIP
The San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival offers several ways for epicurean enthusiasts to indulge in the most decadent culinary experience of the year, including all-inclusive ticket packages that offer overall savings, and feature hotel accommodations as well as admission to a selection of the food and wine festival’s premier events. To preview the schedule of events and featured celebrities, visit the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival online at www.sandiegowineclassic.com. Events, personalities, and participating wineries and restaurants are updated daily.