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Friday, 09 September 2016 10:33
SPAC’s Wine and Food Festival is all About the Experience
SARATOGA SPRINGS — This year, call it the Grand Gold Finale. It is fitting that the SPAC Wine and Food Festival, which takes place Friday-Sunday, September 9 – 11, all over the SPAC grounds, is the final crescendo before the curtain falls on another season. For it shows off SPAC at its finest – at its “reach for excellence” core value finest. An indoor/outdoor wonder that has earned its deserved reputation as a presenter of the finest in music and dance – pivots, changes the subject matter completely, and yet does not miss one beat. It is an event that has evolved and been tweaked a bit over the year, but the core experience has always been superior and distinctive. Come for the food and beverage, of course, but stay for the experience. The fine points of the weekend are described in generous detail at spac.org – where you can also buy tickets. There are certain highlights for the first-timer that are worth noting. Star Power – If you’re a foodie, then it’s pretty safe to say that you like the Food Network. And that network’s star power is in full force with both Anne Burrell, whom aficionados will know earned her bones as a sous chef on Iron Chef America for Mario Batali back in the day, coupled with a return visit from Chopped Judge Marc Murphy – who first came in 2014. They will be hosting the Grand Tasting and Concours D’Elegance on Satuday from noon- 4 p.m. The list of restaurants participating would take up most of the listings of both the Manhattan and Capital Region phone books, if anyone remembers these. But I digress. And wait, there’s more: Friday’s Fired UP! Grill Competition (7-10 p.m.) will be hosted by Josh Capon, best known as the host of Spike TV's first cooking competition show, “Frankenfood.” Josh is the six-time winner of the People's Choice award at the New York City Wine & Food Festival and South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Burger Bash event. In the kick-off event to the Festival weekend, Saratoga Springs’ best chefs will compete with chefs from the Capital Region’s finest restaurants in a fiery grilling event. If you want to root for the home team, how about this lineup: 15 Church; Druthers Brewing Company; Fish at 30 Lake; Henry Street Taproom; Primal - Butcher and Delicatessen; Sperry’s Restaurant; and The Wishing Well. That should Fire you UP! There’s much more at spac.org, but I say: short and sweet, let’s get to the food!