Thursday, February 3, 2011

NOWFE News Release

Kindred local ingredients and chefs top the program; champagne makes a huge splash

New Orleans, Louisiana – Grab your fork and your corkscrew, the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, which ranks in the Top 10 Food & Wine Destinations in the U.S. and fourth in the World according to the TripAdvisor Annual Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards, has announced plans are underway for the upcoming 2011 event. The five-day bacchanalia, which will take place May 24 – 28, features dozens of local chefs, many of whom are nationally known, and aims to place a spotlight on the region’s many indigenous ingredients. Thousands of wines and champagnes from over 175 wineries will be paired with food from more than 75 restaurants at various events throughout the extravaganza.

“The culinary power of our region is so outstanding that we want to showcase our chefs and our food for the world to see,” states incoming NOWFE President Kevin Kimball. “The Wine & Food Experience gives us the opportunity to do just that, while sharing a love of wine in our beloved city.” Each year NOWFE, a “perennial ‘Top Ten’ Wine and Food festival,” as noted in Wine Enthusiast, offers a wide variety of seminars and demonstrations hosted by local and visiting chefs, as well as world-renowned winemakers, allowing guests a rare opportunity to meet some of these industry insiders.

The 2011 event will kick off on Tuesday with the Ella Brennan Award Dinner & Live Auction, followed by wine dinners in some of New Orleans’ most notable restaurants on Wednesday, the traditional Royal Street Stroll and Vinola Tasting on Thursday, and culminating with Grand Tastings on Friday and Saturday. “NOWFE is a major tourism attraction for our city and as such we have a responsibility to host a wine and culinary experience like no other,” remarks Jamie Peckenpaugh, NOWFE’s new Executive Director. “I am excited about the programs we have planned; I believe everyone will find something to satisfy their tastes.”

Highlights of this year’s event include Chef John Folse, with renowned Chef Rick Tramonto, who will present a revolutionary take on Creole cuisine inspired by their new local venture; and special tastings from the Chianti Region presented by the Culinary School at Badia a Coltibuono.

Other featured seminars and events of the 2011 schedule include:

Bubbly Personalities: Compare the personal style of Champagne Houses: Taittinger, Nicolas Feuillatte, and Henriot while they present some of the Vintages they have created. Chef Anthony Spizale, of the Rib Room and New Orleans epicurean lady, Lorin Gaudin will be on hand to accessorize.

Everyday Effervescence: Guided by Master Sommelier Laura DePasquale, we invite you to discover world-class sparkling wines made in the Champagne method and see how they match up. Chef Glen Hogue of Vega Tapas & Chef Joshua Smith of A MANO will provide the pairings.

Honing your Craft: Forever change the way you think about serving and enjoying craft beer. Learn firsthand how color, clarity, aroma, temperature and effervescence are all dramatically enhanced with Spiegelau glass versus the standard type of beer glasses we have all become accustomed too. Come enjoy Craft Beer the way it was intended to be and go home with a beautiful 4-piece set to keep!

Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Retrospective: Every bottle of Jordan since the inaugural 1976 vintage has been crafted by Winemaker Rob Davis, who joins the festival to host a rare retrospective tasting of Jordan’s heralded Cabernet Sauvignons. Rob will discuss the evolution of both his winemaking and the Northern California wine industry over 35 years and the exciting enhancements to Jordan wines. This is a rare showcase of one of California’s most iconic wineries.

Mangia e Impara: (Eat and Learn) For more than 1000 years, her family has maintained the rich farming tradition begun by the Vallombrosian monks. Join Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti, proprietor of renowned Chianti Classico estate, Badia a Coltibuono, and daughter of famed ambassador of Italian culinary culture, Lorenza de’ Medici, as she presents the wine and olive oils from the estate.

Kindred Ingredients: Louisiana Crawfish and Rice Seminar – Join native son and Chef Donald Link (Cochon, Butcher and Herbsaint), whose was family produces Louisiana Rice to learn about these Kindred South Louisiana Ingredients and their symbiotic cultivation and cookery. Sample Crawfish and Rice Dishes paired with wine, learn about and receive samples Louisiana Rice varietals.

Mountain High, Valley Low: Taste matters! Napa Valley is home to some of the most varying terroir of any of the great wine regions, producing some of the world’s most exciting Cabernets and Cab blends. Take your palate on a field trip as we compare and contrast the tasting profiles of noted wines made from both mountain and valley floor fruit.

Eat, Stay, Love: Join local food critic Tom Fitzmorris and Chef’s Michael Farrell (Le Meritage), Drew Dzejak (The Grill Room), Slade Rushing and Allison Vines-Rushing (MILA) as they prepare culinary delights from their unique restaurants that just happen to be situated in the city’s top hotels. The lovin’ is up to you.

Distinctly Different: Discover the difference a glass makes in this special tasting showcasing the “Riedel Vinum XL” line of crystal stemware. Join Doug Reed of Riedel Crystal of America, as he demonstrates how glassware affects the flavors and aromas of wine. You’ll also receive a set of 4 Riedel Vinum XL glasses to keep!

R’evolutionary Thinking - Journey through the minds of world renowned Chef’s John Folse and Rick Tramonto, of the upcoming Restaurant R’evolution, as they transform traditional creole cuisine paired with selected wines from their Sommelier, Molly Wismeier.

The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience is a non-profit organization. Proceeds from the 2010 event benefited the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, The University of New Orleans, School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Program, The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation's ProStart Program, The John Folse Culinary Institute, Delgado Culinary Arts School, Cancer Crusaders, Girls First, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA), Southern Animal Foundation (SAF), Coach Sean Payton's Play It Forward Foundation, and Fore!Kids Foundation. NOWFE 2011 will be held May 24 – 28, 2011.

For additional press information, including downloadable images, contact Liz Bodet 504.583.5550, or visit the media center at

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