The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is an international showcase of the world’s premier wine and spirits, chefs and culinary personalities, and gourmet foods. Held November 18-22, 2009, the event auctions benefit the American Institute of Wine & Food culinary arts scholarship program. Over 800 wines and spirits, 70 of San Diego’s top fine dining restaurants and 30 gourmet food companies will participate in the 2009 Festival. Now in its sixth year, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival has quickly grown into a world-class wine and culinary extravaganza. The five-day festival features wine tasting seminars, cooking classes by award-winning chefs, and an elegant Reserve Tasting. The festival culminates on Saturday at the star-studded Grand Tasting Event complete with the “Chef of the Fest Competition,” celebrity cookbook signing tents, a special VIP tent, live entertainment, and more.

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is the largest wine and culinary event in Southern California and is nationally recognized by wine and food enthusiasts, media, chefs and winemakers alike.

Festival Highlights:

WineRave 2009: A wine tasting event like no other the WineRave 2009 kicks off the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival by hosting 25 of the edgiest wine and spirits on the market today. Dance the night away at one of San Diego’s top nightclubs, sip on exceptional vino, and chow down on some of the most “make- your-mouth-drool” food you can find. Tickets are $45 in advance and $60 at the door. Held Wednesday, November 18.

Cooking Demonstrations: Held at the Macy’s School of Cooking, and the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center on November 19 & 20, nationally recognized celebrity chefs and local culinary stars strut their stuff in these interactive and engaging classes.  Each chef prepares a series of mouth-watering dishes with instruction and recipes provided so that attendees can make the dishes at home. All cooking classes are tasting events and are paired with one of the wineries featured at this year’s Festival. Ticket prices range from $45 to $85.

Wine Tasting Classes: Held at the San Diego Wine & Culinary Center on November 19 & 20, tasting classes feature discussions led by award-winning winemakers, sommeliers and master sommeliers from around the world. All classes are tasting events and guests will sample between five and seven wines per class. Class topics range from a Master Sommelier Blind Tasting, AVA and single varietal tastings, among several others. Ticket prices range from $45 to $85.

Grand Tasting Event & “Chef of the Fest” Competition: The Grand Finale to the sizzling five-day festival is the star-studded Grand Tasting Event held November 21 on the Embarcadero Park North behind Seaport Village. Seventy San Diego Star chefs show off their culinary artistry, 30 gourmet food companies wow you with their scrumptious fare, and 160 international winemakers and spirit producers pour some of the most renowned wines and spirits on the market today. Ticket price is $125 per person in advance for general admission. Also featured at this year’s Grand Tasting:

o Cookbook Author Signing: Celebrity chefs will be on hand in the Border’s Bookstore book tent to autograph copies of their best selling cookbooks.

o Live Entertainment: Live musical performances will take place on both ends of the Festival.

o Chef of the Fest: The “Chef of the Fest” competition is an action-packed culinary showdown involving all chefs during the Grand Tasting event on November 21. Chefs compete in one of five categories and are judged by a panel of local and national celebrity chefs, authors and members of the food and wine media. Through a tiered judging process, one chef is selected as the best representation of innovative, fresh, and flavorful cuisine and crowned “Chef of the Fest” walking away with up to $50,000 in cash & prizes and some serious bragging rights.

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