Tuesday, August 19, 2014

GreenwichWine+Food Festival Culinary Village Ticket Giveaway 2014

We're having a Greenwich Wine+Food Festival Culinary Village Ticket Giveaway!

Contest starts 8-20-14!

If you don't already know about this amazing festival - here's information on the ENTIRE WEEKEND OF EVENTS!

This fabulous three-day event presented by Serendipity Magazine benefits The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, and will take place September 25th - 27th, at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, CT.

In addition to the Culinary Village on Saturday, the festival will feature:

  • An Oyster and Wine Tasting capped off by the MARSHALL TUCKER BAND on Thursday, September 25th 
  • A Gala honoring 14 Innovative Chefs - Cocktail and Tasting Event on Friday, September 26th
  • The Culinary Village, Cooking Demos, Bartender's Showdown and MORE on Saturday, September 27th
  • Music by ALABAMA on Saturday night, 9-27-14
For the ENTIRE schedule of the Greenwich Wine+Food Festival Events: click HERE

Tickets are available for purchase online at: http://greenwichwineandfood.com/tickets/

Here's your chance to win tickets to to all the fab events on SATURDAY AFTERNOON! Just use the rafflecopter gadget below to enter, and there are also ways to earn bonus entries!

Start off by entering the mandatory rafflecopter entry and then do the optional bonus entries via twitter and facebook, and answer the following question in the comments below...

"What are you looking forward to most at the Greenwich Wine+Food Festival?  

The Wine? - The Food? - The Music? - OR -- The Celebrity Chefs?"

Hope to see you there!

Contest is open to those 21 years of age or older.
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Besides the mandatory rafflecopter email entry, all other entries are optional. Giveaway ends 09/06/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DISCLAIMER:  This contest is sponsored by Unger Publishing. Home Place is not liable for the awarding of any prizes.

Greenwich Wine+Food Honors 14 Most Innovative Chefs for 2014


Special Guest Geoffrey Zakarian and Jean-Georges to be
Honored at the Event

The GREENWICH 2014 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL presented by Serendipity, a three-day event that benefits The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, has announced the local chefs that will be honored at the fourth annual event, taking place September 25-27 at the Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, CT.  The twelve chefs, two pastry chefs and chef restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten will be honored at the event’s Most Innovative Chefs Gala on Friday evening, as they create and serve up dishes of their ingenious foods.  In addition, chef restaurateur, author and television personality Geoffrey Zakarian (“Chopped,” “The Kitchen”) will be honored at the event.

In addition to Vongerichten and Zakarian, this year’s list of honorees includes:

  • Devin Bozkaya, The Bedford Post Inn, Bedford, New York 
  • Gustave Christman, Harvest Wine Bar and Restaurant, Greenwich, Conn. 
  • Samantha Eichenberg, The Dessertist, Westchester, New York 
  • Blake Farrar, The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges, Pound Ridge, New York
  • Giorgio Giacinto, Da Giorgio, New Rochelle, New York
  • Anthony Goncalves, 42, White Plains, New York
  • Nicholas Martschenko, South End, New Canaan, Conn.
  • Chaz Mazas, Mama’s Boy Southern Table and Refuge, South Norwalk, Conn.
  • Forrest Pasternack, Bailey’s Backyard, Ridgefield, Conn.
  • Reuben Palma, Gabriele’s Italian Steakhouse, Greenwich, Conn.
  • Christian Petroni, Fortina, Armonk, New York
  • Nancy Roper, TRUCK restaurant, Bedford, New York
  • David Synder, Char, Greenwich, Conn.
  • Adam Truelove, Napa & Co., Stamford, Conn.

Suni Unger, Founder and CEO of Unger Publishing, the publisher of Festival sponsor Serendipity Magazine says, “Our Friday night celebration honors the truly innovative chefs from both Fairfield and Westchester Counties. These fourteen local talents have created a buzz in our community by offering something unique that stands out from terrific talent in our area.  We couldn’t be more excited to also honor Geoffrey and Jean-Georges this year, as both of these culinary successes embody the meaning of innovative cuisine and presentation.”

The evening will also include a performance by Southern Country rock group The Marshall Tucker Band.

Tickets are now on sale for events throughout the entire weekend, including the Kick-Off Oysters & Wine Tasting on Thursday, the Most Innovative Chefs Gala on Friday, and the Saturday Festival including the Culinary Village and the Taste of the South on Saturday. 

Tickets are available through www.greenwichwineandfood.com or by calling 203.588.1363.  

The event’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GreenwichFoodWineFestival, will be announcing restaurant participants, as they become available.

Visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com for more information and updates about the event schedule, participating celebrity and local chefs, musical talent and more.

The GREENWICH 2014 WINE+FOOD FESTIVAL is a three-day event that benefits The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, founded in 1988 by Paul Newman, Camp is a community dedicated to providing “a different kind of healing” to children and their families coping with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other serious illnesses.  The festival is hosted by Serendipity magazine in conjunction with other event sponsors.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Parallel Post Farm to Trumbull Dinner Series at Gilbertie's Herb Farm

Last week I attended my second Farm to Table experience hosted by Parallel Post on site at Gilbertie's Herb Garden in Easton Connecticut.

Parallel Post has dubbed their Farm to Table series "Farm to Trumbull" as they always feature local members of the farming community and engage local purveyors for a majority of their ingredients – purchasing seafood from Norm Bloom & Sons in Norwalk, Conn. and Foley Fish in Boston, Mass.; meats and proteins from Ox Hollow Farm in Roxbury, Conn.; organic cheeses, milk and ice cream from The Farmer’s Cow in Lebanon, Conn.; and, of course, greens and fresh herbs, from Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens Westport, Conn. outlet.

Gilbertie's was the perfect location for this magnificent Farm to Trumbull Feast!

Gilbertie's Herb Farm, Easton CT
As soon as we arrived I knew I was in for a treat. The setting was absolutely beautiful!

We started by sampling the cheese platter and chutney platter.

And then moved on to some amazing chilled lobster salad rolls chock full with chunks of fresh lobster.

And then we moved on to the Raw Bar. That's right! The raw bar complete with cherrystones, oysters, and a cerviche (not pictured). I really tried to watch Chef Dean James Max's  trick to oyster shucking.

But, okay, I admit it. It's just plain easier to eat them after someone else has opened them!

Resident mixologist, Greg Gerias, AKA Bootleg Greg mixed up some wonderful specialty cocktails using Tito's Handmade Vodka. I sampled Greg's Pineapple Blueberry Ginger Concoction! So good with the ginger adding just a bit of spiced "heat" to the drink.

And, yes, there was wine to be had! My choice, the Tangent Sauvignon Blanc with citrusy notes.

Before moving on to dinner preparations, Chef Dean introduced Gilbertie's third generation owner and operator, Sal Gilbertie who entertained us with the history of his farm and invited attendees on a tour of his facility that has been in the family since 1901. Before we moved on to our tour, Chef Dean thanked members of his staff for their hard work in bringing this event and his vision to fruition.

The tour was amazing! We learned a bit about the current crops, and explored the hot house. WOW! This was my first time in a hot house, and the temperatures were incredibly warm and perfect for seed germination. The concentrated heat actually allows some seeds to sprout in 24 hours, and we also learned about seed conception vibration ( it's just what it sounds like) and the wholesale distribution and operations and scheduling on the farm.

When we arrived back from our tour a chilled gazpacho with a dumpling-like crabcake awaited us. So good and light and refreshing. The perfect start to our meal!

Next, a light heirloom tomato salad with m√Ęche. Oh, how I will miss garden tomatoes when the season ends.

A yellow and red watermelon salad with feta and walnuts. A winning combination with the nutty flavors combined with the sweet watermelon and salty feta cheese.

Next we moved on to some dinner sides.

A fresh grilled peaches and organic faro. I love how the grilling brings out the flavors of fruits and have to remember to grill more fruits and vegetable at home!

A creamy chilled pasta salad. Made. With. HOMEMADE PASTA! Absolutely incredible!

Some delicious red peas mixed with sweet white corn.

Purple potato salad with beets. Tangy and delicious!

And a delicious eggplant puree.

What better entree to have at an outdoor setting then some buttermilk fried chicken. So, so good, with a light flaky, slightly salty coating. Oh how I wanted to pick that cast iron pan up and sneak all that chicken home with me!

And of course, when grilling outside, what better to have then some swordfish. Tender. Flaky. So, so good!

After dinner we were treated to a creamy coffee ice cream.

And then some wonderful fresh berry desserts, a berry compote, a berry crumble, and a berry jello.

We had a wonderful relaxing afternoon enjoying Chef Dean, Chef Ali, Chef Chris, and all of the creative staff's hard work and hospitality. Everyone we chatted with enjoyed the food, beverages, atmosphere, but most importantly, the the sense of warm community that enveloped us all.

Our table conversation with our dining companions compared the feeling to nostalgic Sunday dinners and picnics shared with family.

What wonderful memories food can evoke. -- And isn't that what good dining is all about?

The date for the next, and last of this year's Parallel Post Farm-to-Trumbull 30-person 2014 dinner series will be in October featuring seasonal fall items.  Tickets to the Farm-to-Trumbull dinners are available for advance purchase at $75++ per person. To RSVP for the October dinner, please e-mail farmtotrumbull@gmail.com.

Make your reservations now for the final Parallel Post Farm to Trumbull 2014 series in October.

And don't forget Parallel Post for Sunday Brunch (recap HERE) or their final weeks of Thursday "All you can eat" Mussell Madness (ends September 4th)

180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull CT 06611
Phone/Reservations  203-380-6380
Located in the Trumbull Marriott - Merritt Parkway

Follow them on twitter: https://twitter.com/ParallelPostCT

For more pictures visit the Home Place facebook page HERE.

Have you been to a farm to table event?
Did you enjoy the comradarie of communal dining?
What seasonal items were featured during your farm to table experience?

I'd love to hear about it in the comments below

Disclaimer: I was invited to the Farm to Trumbull event by members of  the Parallel Post's Management and Marketing Team, however, the views and opinions expressed herein are my own..

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

NIXS Hartford VIP Red Carpet Cocktail Party

What an amazing time was had by all at the Pre-Opening NIXS Hartford VIP Red Carpet Cocktail Party!

All of Hartford turned out for this fun event where we learned all about the #PlayNice philosophy, with emphasis on teamwork, community, fun, and Hartford love!

Did you know that as part of the hiring process NIXS management sent the prospective employees on a scavenger hunt in Hartford as a way of gauging their ability to work as team, demonstrate leadership skills, and work together for a common goal. What the participants or future employee "contestants" didn't know, was that a 'mole' was planted in each group who watched how the team pulled together to #PlayNice, demonstrate critical thinking, get to know one another's strengths quickly, and learn all about Hartford!

What a great employment tactic!

What a great way to learn about Hartford and the Hartford Community! And even though all the staff was on their first day the night of this event - it was evident that they had all bonded during the scavenger hunt and worked well together as a team.

I tell you... I love this place and the way they think, work, and play! And you will TOO!

RUN --  don''t walk to this fabulous addition to the Front Street District when it opens the weekend of August 16th 2014!

Here are some photos from the Red Carpet Event!

The party-goers got to get in on the #PlayNice fun too! Each attendee was given two tokens to vote for their favorite cocktail samples. The winners will go on the NIXS Hartford Specialy Cocktail menu!

I told you you'd love this place!!!

NIXS Hartford
40 Front Street, Hartford, CT
| 860-373-9400

Like them on facebook ==> https://www.facebook.com/nixshartford
Follow them on twitter ==> https://twitter.com/NIXSHartford
Follow them on instagram ==> http://instagram.com/NIXSHartford

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Food For All 2014 to benefit Community Plates in Fairfield County CT

Get your tickets now for FOOD FOR ALL 2014 to Showcase  Fairfield County’s Newest Restaurants and Top Bartenders in a Benefit to Support the Fight to End Hunger on Thursday, October 2, 2014

Community Plates, the technology-fueled, direct-transfer food rescue organization dedicated to ending food insecurity in America, prepares for their signature fundraising event, “Food for All”. The event highlights the organization’s goals for the coming year and celebrates its accomplishments; and there is much to celebrate.

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Community Plates explains, “Community Plates is already responsible for picking up and delivering almost 4 million meals at a value of over $6 Million to food insecure people in Fairfield County.  We’re focused on meeting the need of 110,000 people right here who struggle to know where their next meal is coming from. He notes,  “The Food for All 2014 fundraiser is our kick-off for our next food rescue season. It’s a lot of fun, the food is amazing, and we do a lot of good in the process.”

 Food for All features the area’s newest restaurants showcasing their signature dishes.  An added highlight this year is a series of Craft Cocktail Bars presented by Fairfield County’s most innovative bartenders. The celebratory evening begins with a VIP cocktail reception (6-7 PM) featuring Marcia Seldon Catering, followed by the main event (6:30-8:30 PM) which will include featured restaurants, libations, music, dancing and more.  Tickets are can be purchased: www.communityplates.org/FFA14

 Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about Community Plates and their newly developed GoRescue application, the organization’s award-winning web and smartphone enabled interactive food rescue scheduling tool which connects food-service organizations that gather and donate food that would otherwise be wasted; to food runners, who give of their time to pick-up and deliver food donations; to the receiving agencies that ensure donated food gets to those in need throughout the community.

Event Details:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Darien Community Association

274 Middlesex Rd, Darien, CT 06820

VIP Reception: 6-7 PM, $100

Main Event: 6:30-8:30 PM, $50

More Info: www.communityplates.org/FFA14

Featured Restaurants (as of 8/11/14):

Azuca Bistro Latino – Stamford

Back40 Kitchen - Greenwich

Bravo – Stamford

Brick + Wood – Fairfield

Craft 260 – Fairfield

Gastro Bar – Stamford

Hana Tokyo – Fairfield

Johnny Utah's – Norwalk

Little Barn – Westport

Little Pub - Greenwich

Local Kitchen + Beer Bar – Norwalk, Fairfield

Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters – Trumbull

Sign of the Whale – Stamford

The Granola Bar – Westport

Walrus & Carpenter – Bridgeport

Washington Prime – Norwalk

Craft Cocktail Bars / Featured Bartenders:

Bailey’s Backyard

Cask Republic / Post 154


Mama’s Boy

About Community Plates

Community Plates is committed to ending food insecurity in America.  Recognizing the problem as a matter of logistics, not a lack of food, the organization established a volunteer-driven, technology fueled method for transferring surplus food to those in need.  The simple process includes food donors (e.g., grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries and other food-service establishments), food runners (individuals who pick-up and deliver donated food) and receiving agencies (e.g., soup kitchens, pantries, etc.).  Scheduling is made easy with the web and smartphone enabled Community Plates’ GoRescue technology powered by WhenToManage, which received the 2013 Computerworld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Award for human services.  Since Community Plates was founded in 2011, more than 700 volunteers have rescued food that equates to 4.9 million meals to date.  Launched and headquartered in Fairfield County, CT, Community Plates also operates in New Haven, CT, Albuquerque, NM and Columbus, OH with plans to expand to four more markets in 2014.  For more information or to get involved visit:  http://communityplates.org.

Big Book Club Luncheon with Jane Green and Dorie Greenspan at the Bee and Thistle Inn

Join the wonderful folks from the Big Book Club for a lunch and learn at the Bee and Thistle Inn in Old Lyme CT! Sponsored by The Day - Connecticut.

Meet two amazing authors, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan, and inspirational writer Jane Green.

When: Saturday, August 23 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Where: The Bee and Thistle Inn, 100 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371

Information: $45 ticket price includes lunch and dessert at the beautiful Bee and Thistle Inn. Books will be available for sale by Bank Square Books of Mystic, CT.

Tickets available HERE

Welcome and book signing by award-winning cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan

Dorie is the author of Baking: From My Home to Yours,  Paris Sweets: Great Desserts From the City's Best Pastry Shops, and Around My French Table, and MORE!

Keynote Speaker: Jane Green

Jane Green is the author of fifteen bestselling novels which are mature stories of real women dealing with obstacles that forever change our lives, from the blissful to the tragic, and all told with her trademark wit, wisdom, and compassion. Her newest is no exception. Tempting Fate is her riveting, heartrending, and ultimately hopeful new novel, praised by Kirkus as “a Scarlet Letter for the 21st Century.”

Jane wrote Family Pictures while sitting by the fireplace at the Bee & Thistle Inn. “I booked myself into the Bee & Thistle for a self-imposed writing retreat,” Green says. “They were actually closed, but the owners opened it up for me, and I spent every day sitting in a large wing chair by the fire writing. It was peaceful, beautiful, and the perfect environment to allow me to lose myself in my characters for five days. I actually managed to finish my book in that wing chair, and hugely look forward to doing it again soon.”

Don't miss this wonderful event on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at the Bee and Thistle Inn, and experience the special place where Jane found her inspiration for Family Pictures.
For more information visit the Big Book Club at http://www.thebigbookclub.org/lunch-jane-green-bee-thistle-inn/
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