Food and wine fest this weekend

| 28 Mar 2012 | 03:14

    Hardyston — A celebration of the world’s best wines and top chefs from around the nation, the fourth annual New Jersey Wine and Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort, will be held Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1. This year, the Festival welcomes multiple James Beard Award-winning Chef Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se, Ad Hoc) as its guest of honor. The Festival also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the James Beard Foundation and benefits that organization’s mission and programs as well as those of Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation. The weekend’s events are designed to allow food and wine lovers to meet and mingle with chefs, winemakers and fellow wine aficionados. Events include the Grand Tasting featuring 30 restaurants and over 100 wines, an opening night gala with five top chefs, a wine cellar dinner honoring Thomas Keller, as well as winemaker tastings and seminars. Opening Night Festivities are Friday March 30, and include a dinner with five courses prepared by Restaurant Latour chef John Benjamin. Other dinners and wine pairings will be held, at various prices. On Saturday, March 31, a daylong series of events kicks off with Chef Thomas Keller speaking and signing copies of his books, at 11 a.m. At noon, New Jersey’s Best Burger Chef will be determined from a statewide contest. A Marketplace Lunch with local New Jersey wines and products will be served from noon to 3 p.m. at a cost of $30 per person. More food and wine events will run throughout the weekend. Live entertainment by the 32-piece David Aaron Orchestra and a silent auction benefiting the James Beard Foundation and Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation are other highlights. More information, a full schedule of events, tickets and packages are available at Resort reservations can be made by calling 973-827-5996 ext 3.