Apr 23, 2014
Tina George

Food festivals galore in Southwest Florida – The News

Spending money to nosh at an unfamiliar eatery can be daunting.

But there’s a festival for that.

Over the next two weekends Southwest Florida eateries, bars, cafes and fine dining establishments from Naples to North Fort Myers will offer an outpouring of food.

Taste festivals in North Fort Myers, Naples and Fort Myers Beach will whip up nibbles to show area diners what they have to offer. And as the weather warms and high season ends, it’s also an opportunity to say farewell to visitors and part-time residents.

“It’s kind of a celebration of end of the season for everybody who lives in the area and it’s also kind of a kick off for the summer season,” said Bud Nocera, president of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce.

The annual event, which takes place on May 4, usually draws visitors and residents from as far as Port Charlotte to Naples, with anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 guests arriving for the two-block street party featuring food from more than 16 restaurants. It’s also a way to see what fresh foods the area has to offer, Nocera said.

“We’re going to let plenty of people taste the pink gold that we got here and, hopefully, they’ll like it better than the other shrimp and come to Skip One to eat it and Beach Seafood to buy it,” said Dennis Henderson, who owns Skip One Seafood restaurants and the Beach Seafood Market, where Sandy Butler formerly operated on San Carlos Boulevard just before Fort Myers Beach.

Henderson, who also owns Trico Shrimp, operates 17 shrimping boats, gathering the plump pink crustaceans from the Tortugas up to Apalachicola. So the restaurant plans to offer what it does best.

“It’s the pink shrimp from Tortuga and years ago people started calling it pink gold because, in a lot of people’s opinion, it’s the best tasting shrimp there is,” Henderson said.

The restaurant plans to keep it simple for the food fest, serving fried shrimp and grouper, freshly caught, and will likely put out as much as 500 pounds of shrimp alone, he said.

At Matanzas on the Bay, another Fort Myers Beach restaurant, it’s more about showing the range of what the eatery can do and it’s consistency in product, said Glen Petrarca, general manager at the restaurant.

“We specialize in local seafood, Gulf grouper, Gulf shrimp, Gulf oysters, Florida lobster tail, but we also carry choice Angus hamburgers, steaks, and ribs,” he said.

It will dress charbroiled shrimp in chimichurri sauce with notes of parsley, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, and crushed red pepper, and will also offer Danish baby back ribs. Petrarca and the restaurant’s executive chef, Dave Chetwin, will also be out there chatting with guests about the restaurant, menu changes and upcoming events.

“It’s an opportunity to promote ourselves and we’re hoping to make it a big deal,” he said.

At the Taste of North Fort Myers on Sunday, the North Fort Myers will host the newer taste event at The Shell Factory. A wide range of restaurants from Lenny C’s Pizzeria to Heron’s Glen and Mr. Bacon are preparing for the event in it’s second year.

Dorado’s Dockside Grill, which won in the Best All Around category at the event last year, plans to return with it’s winning dishes, said Crystal Stowell, the general manager at the restaurant in Marinatown North Fort Myers.

“We want to support the chambers, we’re members,” Stowell said. “The second thing would be to let people know we have good food and we’re right around the corner. We’re three miles from the Shell Factory.”

The restaurant will serve its chicken sausage gumbo and a seafood gumbo, shrimp and grits — its top selling dish, shrimp tacos and some Irish specialties from its sister restaurant, TP Hoolihan’s, including Irish egg rolls and shepherd’s pie.

Last year was the first year we did it and we actually got voted the Best of North Fort Myers in the Best All Around category.

Taste of Collier, now in its 31st year, is bringing some new activities and drinks to the event, adding a wine garden featuring a winery and its varietals, cooking classes, a chef’s competition as well as 18 new vendors, said Tiffany McQuaid, with McQuaid Marketing who is organizing the event.

Restaurants ranging from Aqua and Mereday’s Fine Dining and Alto Live Jazz Kitchen to Sweet Ginger’s Gelato and Beefstro’s Gourmet Beefs will represent the Collier County restaurant market on Sunday at Bayfront Naples near downtown.

“One of the things that we wanted to make sure that we captured was really encompassing the local flair — the ability to sample things that make us unique and make us stand out,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for restaurants to have a captive audience in one place.”

If you go

19th Annual Taste of Fort Myers Beach

What: Restaurants on and around Fort Myers Beach will offer samples of their signature dishes available for purchase and compete for top Taste of the Beach Award honors in the categories of Best Appetizer, Best Dessert, Best Beef/Pork/Chicken, Best Fish, Best Shellfish, Best Non-Meat, Best Decorated Booth, and People’s Choice. Plus the Sean Chambers Band will provide live music while guests partake of food and drink.

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 4.

Where: On Old San Carlos Boulevard at the foot of the bridge on Fort Myers Beach.

Cost: $5 admission for adults; children 12 and younger are free; food tickets will be $1 each with average $5 food serving price.

Contact: Call 454-7500 or email frontdesk@fmbchamber.com.

Web: fortmyersbeach.org

2014 Taste of North Fort Myers

What: Sample food and beverages from a wide variety of North Fort Myers restaurants. There will be activities and games for children as well as a free petting zoo. Enjoy fresh-squeezed lemonade and sodas; beer, wine and mixed drinks will be available from the bar at The Shell Factory. The Huffmaster School of Music will perform throughout the day and there will be a local business expo

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27 rain or shine.

Where: The Shell Factory, 2787 N. Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers.

Cost: $3 Admission per person; children 5 and younger are free. Food tickets are $1.

Contact: Call 997-9111 or email chris@nfmchamber.org.

Web: tasteofnorthfortmyers.com

31st Annual Taste of Collier

What: A long-standing Naples tradition, the taste event is an afternoon of family fun with live performances by area musicians, savory samples from more than 30 of the best local restaurants in Collier County, enjoy the wine garden, ice-carving contest, chef’s competition and more. Taste Of Collier was developed as an avenue for area restaurants to thank year-round residents for their patronage, while also raising monies for local charitable organizations.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27.

Where: Bayfront Naples, located at Goodlette-Frank Road and Fifth Avenue South.

Cost: $5 parking, $5 admission per person, children younger than 5 are free; food tickets are $1.

Contact: Call 331-7371.

Web: tasteofcollier.com

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Apr 23, 2014
Terri Judson

Quick Bites: Bánh Mì gets burger makeover at Tin Cow

The Tin Cow, the popular custom burger joint at 102 Palafox Place, has added a Vietnamese twist to its menu with a unique take on the traditional Bánh Mì sandwich.

Tin Cow’s Bánh Mì Burger features an Asian-seasoned beef and pork patty served on a toasted French baguette topped with mayonnaise, Daikon radish, pickled carrots, fresh cucumber, cilantro and fresh jalapenos. And, of course, you can customize that however you like — say, a little Sriracha for some extra kick.

This special sandwich only will be offered for a limited time, so if this makes you feel hungry, get to the Tin Cow soon. Of course, if you prefer the real thing, there are a number of Vietnamese markets and delis in the area that will be happy to serve up the traditional sandwich, but the point of a hybrid like this is to create something new and a little fun.

(Remind me to tell you about my own attempts to create a Thai-style burger from the Tin Cow’s extensive topping menu some time. Spoiler alert: It includes peanut butter.)

The Tin Cow also is about to feature its first Pint Night to celebrate Shipyard/Sea Dog Brewing’s 20th anniversary. Starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, the brewery’s American Pale Ale will be released and will be featured on tap along with its Export Ale and Sea Dog Blueberry Wheat. Buy any Shipyard/Sea Dog item at regular price, and you’ll get a free pint glass and all your brewery refills for $1 off for the rest of the night.

For more info, call 466-2103, or visit www.thetincow.com.

Tasty fun across the state line

A pair of events in Orange Beach, Ala., will add some flavor to Mother’s Day weekend.

The Wharf, 4830 Main St., will be the headquarters for the 2014 L.A. Gumbo Festival on May 9-11.

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. May 9 with a Gumbo on the Gulf VIP Reception at Heron Pointe, featuring celebrity chefs dishing out their best gumbos.

At 10 a.m. May 10, the main event takes over The Wharf’s Main Street as Alabama and Louisiana chefs vie for the Best Gumbo award, and an attempt will be made at creating the world’s largest bowl of gumbo, measuring taller than six feet. The festival also will feature live music, an art show and demonstrations.

May 11 is Mother’s Day and will feature free gumbo and tea for mothers, as well as the Mama’s Cookin’ Contest winner. To enter your mama, or for more information on the festival, find the L.A. Gumbo Festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LAGumboFestival.

Also on May 10, the Orange Beach Wine Festival, Waves of Wine, will take place from noon to 4 p.m. next to Caribe Resort, 28103 Perdido Beach Blvd.

More than 100 wines and craft beers will be featured. Each attendee will receive a custom wine glass and bag and will have the opportunity to a cruise around the back bay. The festival also will feature live music and appetizers from local restaurants.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.wavesofwine.com.

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Apr 23, 2014
Terri Judson

It’s Festival Season in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State

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The Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival will occur June 4 – 8, 2014, drawing more than 45 talented artists from across the nation.

We’re very proud of where we live and we love to share the amazing features of our region with visitors by showing off everything we have at our festivals.

Canandaigua, NY (PRWEB) April 23, 2014

It’s festival season in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Just about every weekend from spring through fall there is a great time to be had for visitors and locals alike. Whether it be beer, wine, food or the outdoors, it’s here to explore.

“We like to consider the Finger Lakes to be the festival capital of the world,” said AJ Shear, Communications Manager for Finger Lakes Visitors Connection. “We’re very proud of where we live and we love to share the amazing features of our region with visitors by showing off everything we have at our festivals. Grape and wine festivals, Native American festivals and art festivals are all a part of cultural abundance that exists in the Finger Lakes.”

Here is a sampling of upcoming events in the Finger Lakes:

Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival

June 4 – 8, 2014

Canandaigua, NY


The Plein Air Festival is the first of its kind in New York State. The event will feature as many as forty-five talented artists from across the country to paint the beauty of Canandaigua and the Finger Lakes, and will bring in art lovers and collectors.

Artists will work in various painting media on location in and around Canandaigua throughout the weekend painting scenes and vistas, city streets, historic structures, farm and vineyard vistas. While the artists are busy painting there will be family events, live music, food, art exhibits and educational programs on Saturday. Young and old alike can transform the downtown sidewalks into works of art using colored chalks in the Chalk It Up…Downtown Event. Judging, exhibition, awards and sale of artists’ work will take place on Sunday.

Sonnenberg Gardens Roses and Rosés

June 9, 2014

Canandaigua, NY


This elegant wine and food pairing event showcases over thirty wineries and restaurants of the Finger Lakes Region and kicks off Rose Week at the historic Sonnenberg Gardens. Guests are invited to stroll through the historic Mansion, Belvedere, and Rose Garden where over 2,500 roses are in bloom during the garden’s peak.

Finger Lakes Brew Festival

June 21, 2014

Geneva, NY


There are few things better than a summer evening by a beautiful lake. Add to that, the opportunity to taste beer and mingling with other beer lovers, and you have a great way to celebrate the summer solstice. Held alongside Seneca Lake on the first day of summer, the Finger Lakes Brew Festival will feature local music, breweries, tastings and vendors. The festival is hosted by the Geneva Y and will take place in the new Geneva Lakefront Events Center at the Lakefront Park along the northern shore of Seneca Lake.

Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials

July 11 – 13, 2014

Victor, NY


Agility, endurance, and bravery are on display in three disciplines (dressage, cross country, and show jumping, known collectively as “eventing”) with the added excitement of an often-unpredictable relationship between horse and rider. The “extreme triathlon of equestrian sports” moniker is no understatement. More than 250 riders from across the United States and overseas will compete at this family-friendly event.

Native American Dance Music Festival

July 26 – 27, 2014

Victor, NY


The Native American Dance Music Festival is Ganondagan’s annual summer event that features a wide range of Native American traditional dancers, musicians, storytellers, and artists sharing their cultural heritage, crafts and arts with festival goers.

This event also features the ever popular children and adult workshops such as cornhusk doll making, native foods such as fry-bread, interpreted programs in the Visitor’s Center and Bark Longhouse, guided trail walks, and the family drum jam.

Finger Lakes Riesling Festival

Aug. 9 – 10, 2014

Canandaigua, NY


Beautiful lakes. Nature’s bounty. The friendliest people. In one weekend, we celebrate it all. Join us as wineries, breweries, restaurants, cheese makers, artists, craftsmen and musicians gather to bring everything that makes our region special together in one place. It’s a festival to celebrate summer, families, fun … and the good times when it all comes together.

Finger Lakes HopFest

Aug. 9 – 10, 2014

Bloomfield, NY


Nedloh Brewing Co. is proud to host the first ever Finger Lakes HopFest, a new festival that will bring together brewers and enthusiasts to celebrate, sample and learn about hops and craft beer. Hopsfest will feature educational seminars with tips on crafting great beers, growing hops, home brewing and pairing beer with foods. Beer lovers will be able sample craft brews from Nedloh Brewing Co. and different breweries from across Upstate New York. In addition to a food truck rodeo, there will be a Big Green Egg Grill chef cook-off.

Naples Grape Festival

Sept. 27 – 28, 2014

Naples, NY


Since 1961, the grape festival has been held every September to celebrate the area’s grape harvest, talented artisans, wine makers, local and regional music and cuisine in the Naples valley. Bake a pie for the World’s Greatest Grape Pie Contest and sample everything “grape” that the Finger Lakes has to offer. Taste Finger Lakes wines in the wine tent and explore arts and crafts for every taste and budget. Throughout the 2-day festival you can enjoy area musicians performing rock, blues, jazz and original music to get your feet tapping and your heart singing.

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Apr 23, 2014
Terri Judson

Okanagan Spring Wine Festival kicks off

What started two decades ago as a one-day event with 16 wineries has grown to an Okanagan-wide 10-day celebration with 119 wineries.

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is kick-starting the wine season with the best in food and wine from May 1 to 11 with over 70 culinary and wine events, a Best of Varietal competition and uniquely Okanagan experiences.

“The wine culture of the Okanagan offers something for everyone from the foodie to the oenophile to the budding enthusiast,” said Lori-Pike Raffan, public relations director for the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. “From farm to table winery dinners, barbecues and picnics in stunning settings, the Spring Okanagan Wine Festival brings visitors face to face with the chefs, winemakers and growers that have not only built our wine and culinary industry but those poised on the leading edge of change. With the Okanagan Valley really coming of age on the world stage it’s time to visit and see how we’ve hit our stride.”

Over 7,500 people are expected to participate in the 10 days of activities that include ticketed soirees to complimentary events.

Celebrate a tasting of the best of varietal wines in B.C. for 2014 on May 1 at the Penticton Ramada Inn from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Awards will be presented in over 20 different varietal categories. Be the first to taste the Best of Varietal winning wines and sample fresh tapas from the Kettle Valley Station Pub as you mingle with the winemakers and winery owners. A record 32 wine varietal categories will be judged by 15 B.C. sommeliers and wine experts. Tickets are $50.

Follow that up with the Bacchanalia Food and Wine Festival at the Penticton Lakeside Resort on May 3. Experience over 200 wines from 50 different winners and executive Chef Chris Remington’s culinary masterpieces. Tickets are on sale now for $75 at the Penticton Lakeside resort front desk, or by phone at 250-493-8221. Black tie and cocktail attire is strongly encouraged.

“That is one of the neat things about this event. It is an opportunity for people to get dressed up to the nines either with their significant other or a group of friends,” said Brannigan Boyd, director of regional sales and marketing at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. “We still have tickets left, but they do go very quickly at this time of year and it is always a sell out event”

Some delectable new festivities this year include the Comforts of Grilled Cheese and Wine presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada, apprentice chefs competing in the cheesiest sweet and savoury competition, a Bubbly Bootcamp and grand openings of the newest architecturally distinctive tasting rooms.

Celebrate food and wine at Covert Farms Pig Out with 29 wineries from the Oliver/Osoyoos Wine Country. This is a outdoor, tented affair set at Covert Farms with the latest releases and fan favourites from the area. Interact with local chefs who will impress with their pig roasting skills while local musicians entertain throughout the afternoon. Tickets are $55 and include admission, entertainment, souvenir wine glass, food and wine. They can be purchased at www.oliverosoyoos.com/Tickets/Pig-Out.

The Blind Wine and Cheese Soiree By Valley First on May 10 at the Ramada Inn in Penticton is one of the unique signature events testing your pallet. Conspire and connive your way to guessing which wine is in the bag and try your hand at identifying some of the best cheeses from Dairy Farmers of Canada. This is a Get Home Safe event, sponsored by B.C. Liquor Stores and Valley First Insurance.

Tickets for all events are available at valleyfirsttix.com or by phone at 1-877-763-2849. For a list of all events visit www.thewinefestivals.com.

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Apr 23, 2014
Terri Judson

Dalmacija Wine Expo 2014: Interview with organiser Zoran Paunovic Special

Enough already! Insects found in Brazil have sex up to 70 hours

Dalmacija Wine Expo 2014: Interview with organiser Zoran Paunovic Special

Split -
As Croatian wine continues to make impressive strides on the international scene, so too are its winemakers getting more organised, with this year’s Dalmacija Wine Expo moving to a more central stage. Digital Journal went to meet Zoran Paunovic, one of the event organisers, on April 22, 2014.

The main part of Dalmacija Wine Expo will this year take part in Split on April 24-26, before reconvening at its original home in Makarska on May 1.

The new organic Plavac Mali vineyards of Andro Tomic on Hvar  voted the best in Central Dalmatia for...

1. Dalmacija Wine Expo is coming to Split for the first time, an exciting development. Tell us more.

After a very successful start in Makarska, we decided to split the festival this year, in order to enhance business engagement. As the capital of Dalmatia, Split is a bigger destination, and there is bigger demand foe wine here. Unlike most other wine festivals, we have divided the business time from the general public, and the expo will be open only to business contacts from 11:00 – 15:00, with the doors opening for the general public from 15:00.

We will continue our excellent relationship with Makarska by hosting a more fun event on May 1, where there will be 22-25 winemakers present, selling their wines directly on an evening of fun, which will include concerts and an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records by organising the longest line of people clinking glasses and saying ‘Cheers’ – the current record is about 1300 people.

Steep terraced vineyards are typical in Dalmatia.

2. The expo is now regarded as one of the most important in the region. How did it come about?

Dalmatia is a region with a fine wine tradition and rich potential, but when we started in 2010, there was no serious wine festival in the region, and so we decided to start on a road to develop Dalmatia’s wine potential, to realise our vision and to develop and evolve the wine industry. There is much to do, but we have made a solid start.

3. Croatian wines are attracting increasing attention on the international scene. What makes Croatian wine stand out from the rest in your opinion?

Croatia is a small territory with huge variation in terms of its vineyards and terroir. It also has an astonishing number of indigenous grape varieties, many of which are not known outside the country. Strong reds from Dalmatia are contrasted with more acidic wines in continental Croatia.

In addition to this, many international varieties are now being planted in Croatia, whose combination with the terroir is producing great results. The potential for Croatian wines is huge, but we need more marketing.

The sandy vineyards of Lumbarda on Korcula  where Grk is produced.

4. EU entry supposedly brought new opportunities and markets to Croatia’s winemakers. What is the situation now?

EU entry has brought opportunities and threats. Many winemakers were not ready for the changes and enjoyed previous state protection, whereas now there is competition from cheap New World wines. Winemakers in Croatia tend to have smaller plots, and so competitiveness is a problem. High quality producers will survive, which is why it is essential to invest in quality.

Croatian wines are increasingly finding their way to top international destinations  such as New Yor...

5. Croatia has an astonishing array of indigenous grape varieties, which are unfamiliar to many wine connoisseurs. Tell us about 3-4 varieties to look out for and why.

It is indeed a country rich in indigenous varieties, many of exceptional quality. Not so many people know that the origins of Zinfandel, for example, are in Dalmatia.

Varieties to look out for include the pride of Dalmatian reds and a Zinfandel relative, Plavac Mali; Posip, a white wine whose most famous vineyards are on the island of Korcula, as is Grk, whose small quantities are grown on sandy soil. Other interesting varieties include Kujundjusa from the Imotski region and Dobricic from Solta. A very large mix.

Steep terraced vineyards are typical in Dalmatia.

6. Dalmatia has huge potential as a gastro destination to rival Italy and Spain, and yet there is currently no Wine Road of Dalmatia. Are there any plans for this?

It is true that things go slower here in Dalmatia. It is due to the mentality of the people, who can be very stubborn. I can say this because I am Dalmatian. Being stubborn is good and bad. Everything will come in time, slowly (or ‘polako’ as we say here), and I would expect the emergence of wine roads in the near future – perhaps one to three years – certainly on Peljesac, but also maybe on islands such as Hvar and Brac.

Dalmacija Wine Expo opens on April 24 at Hotel Radisson Blu in Split. To see the full programme, click here.

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Apr 23, 2014
Terri Judson

Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair Kicks Off this Week


155071949(SUGAR LAND, TX) — What’s being called the largest wine and food festival in Texas kicks off this week in Sugar Land.

With more than 8,000 visitors each year, the Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair continues to be a hit. It’s one of the few wine festivals that start before the weekend. The party begins Wednesday and goes through Sunday.

It’s not your typical wine event.

“There’s everything from wine and food, but we also have specialty beers and cocktails,” Krystal Peay, director of the Sugar Land Wine and Food Affair, said.

The event provides opportunity for hands-on learning experiences for college students.

“We also have a hands-on experiential course where 15 select students can help prepare and plan the event,” Peay told us.

For those who have never been to the festival, it might be best for Mom and Dad to leave the kiddos at home.

“It is more a couple’s night out event. You can go out with your girlfriends, leave the kids at home and get away for a fun event,” Peay said.

For more information, you can visit www.sugarlandwineandfoodaffair.com.

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Apr 23, 2014
Terri Judson

Garagiste Festival: Sell-Out in Solvang – LA, Paso Dates Announced

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Paso Robles, CA (PRWEB) April 23, 2014

Garagiste Events, producers of The Garagiste Festivals, today announced the dates for the first-ever Los Angeles Garagiste Festival on July 12th, 2014 and the fourth annual Paso Robles Garagiste Festival November 6th – 9th, 2014. The announcements come on the heels of another sell-out in Solvang, where the second annual Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure hosted hundreds of passionate wine consumers and over 60 SYV/SB artisan winemakers — and was dubbed “a wildly exuberant and fun wine event” by the LA Times[1].

“Following a big success in Solvang for these remarkable garagiste winemakers, who continue to find an audience of passionate new fans through our events, we could not be more excited to announce the date of our first Los Angeles festival this summer (with more details to come soon), and for our fourth annual festival this fall in Paso Robles,” said Garagiste Festival Co-founder Doug Minnick. “Consumers flock to our festivals because there is nowhere else where they can taste so many ‘garagiste’ wines under the same roof – and these are the real deal: true garagistes who pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make.”

The non-profit Garagiste Festivals are the only events that exclusively showcase high-quality, cutting-edge, small-production commercial wineries that produce fewer than 1,500 cases a year, and have emerged as among the most unique and influential wine events in the US. Named one of the ‘Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations’ in the world by ABC News and a ‘not to miss’ event by the LA Times, the festivals have introduced hundreds of outstanding artisan winemakers to thousands of passionate wine consumers, members of the trade and media, elevating the profiles of many of the winemakers nationally for the first time, and raising thousands of dollars for the education of future winemakers.

“The Garagiste Festivals continue to grow because they are completely unique among wine events – always held in interesting venues, with a relaxed, intimate, fun and ‘no- snobs-allowed’ atmosphere,” said Garagiste Festival co-founder Stewart McLennan “Starting with our first festival in 2011, we have always sold out — evidence that there is a hunger in the wine world for innovative wine making by artisans crafting with passion, a healthy respect for tradition, and an even healthier respect for breaking the rules – and that the Garagiste Festivals are the best way to discover them.”

This March’s Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, which doubled in size from the previous year, included two days of tasting and a kick off pizza pairing event. The festival has already set the dates for the 2015 Southern Exposure festival, March 28th 29th, again at Veteran’s Hall in Solvang.

The Los Angeles Garagiste Festival event will be held on July 12th, 2014 and the fourth annual Paso Robles Garagiste Festival will be held on November 6th – 9th, 2014 in Paso Robles.

To preserve an intimate experience for consumers with one-on-one interaction with winemakers, tickets are always very limited for the Garagiste Festivals. To be alerted when tickets go on sale for Los Angeles and Paso Robles, for special discounts and for breaking news about all Garagiste events, sign up for The Dirt at http://garagistefestival.com/sign-up/, or follow us on Twitter (@GaragisteFest) or Facebook (http://on.fb.me/1rgBC80).

The non-profit Garagiste Festivals benefit the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture program.

For sponsorship info, email info(at)garagistefestival(dot)com.

**Garagistes (gar-uh-zhē-stuh) is a term originally used in the Bordeaux region of France to denigrate renegade small-lot wine makers, sometimes working in their “garages” (anything considered not a chateau), who refused to follow the “rules,” and is now a full-fledged movement responsible for making some of the best wine in the world. The Garagiste Festivals were the first to shine a light on the American garagiste winemaker in 2011. Since then, the festival has helped consumers discover the remarkable wines of hundreds of true garagistes, who handcraft under 1,500 cases a year and pay close, hands-on attention to every wine they make.

About The Garagiste Festivals

The Garagiste Festivals (http://www.garagistefestival.com) are the first and only wine festivals dedicated to the undiscovered and under-recognized artisan ‘garagiste’ producers who are making some of the best, most exciting, handcrafted small-lot production wines in the world. Founded by fellow garagistes Stewart McLennan and Douglas Minnick, the Garagiste Festivals are committed to discovering the best and most innovative limited-production winemakers and promoting and showcasing them to a broad audience of discerning wine consumers. In addition to its flagship annual festival in Paso Robles, CA, the Garagiste Festival line-up includes Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure, featuring Santa Ynez Valley garagistes; garagiste mini-tastings presented from So Cal to Tahoe; winemaker dinners, a newsletter, garagiste profiles and more. Named one of the “Top Nine Incredible Epicurean Vacations” by ABC News, Garagiste Festivals are produced by Garagiste Events, a non-profit dedicated to furthering the education of future winemakers and those training for employment within the wine industry. Proceeds from the festivals are donated to the Cal Poly Wine and Viticulture Program.

Media Contacts:

mWEBB Communications for The Garagiste Festivals

Melanie Webber, melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 424-603-4340

Crystal Hartwell, crystal(at)mwebbcom(dot)com, 714-987-1016

(1) http://articles.latimes.com/2014/feb/12/news/la-dd-santa-barbara-garagiste-festival-southern-exposure-20140211

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Apr 23, 2014
Kim Rivers

Food Truck Guide for April 23 at Trabuco Hills High

Food trucks are coming to Trabuco Hills High, 27501 Cordova Road, from 5:30 to 8:30 Wednesday evening. Here are the trucks this week:

Doschinos: Latin-Asian grub, of course. They’ve got a Bolsa roast pork (Vietnamese roast pork belly, cabbage and salsa verde), “Garden Grove BBQ” (Korean-Mexican barbecue beef, cabbage and crema), “Dos Chinos asada” (Vietnamese chimichurri beef, salsa verde) and … you get the point.

Louks Greek: Gyros, lamb burgers, honey feta fries and dessert (loukoumades).

MexiCalbi: Only in California, right? This truck combines the traditional tastes of Mexican with Korean BBQ. So don’t be surprised if a citrus ginger sauce shows up on your tacos or cabbage and noodles show up on your tostada.

Stuff It Burgers: Here’s how they explain their concept: “We decided to infuse the burger and stuff it with various ingredients, from spinach, to cheese, to pastrami, to chili.”

Waff-n-Roll: Sandwich classics (and new classics) such as pulled pork, braised short rib and Tandoori chicken … wrapped up in waffles.

Peter Schelden contributed to this report.

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Apr 23, 2014
Kim Rivers

Mexico Blvd. Food Truck Owners to Open Restaurant in Astoria

Openings and Closings in Queens

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ASTORIA — The owners behind a popular food truck that serves tacos, tortas and other Mexican eats at locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens are planning to open a restaurant in Astoria soon.

Jordi Loaeza, who runs the Mexico Blvd. truck along with his parents, says they are planning to open an eatery under a different name on 36th Avenue and 33rd Street by the end of April or beginning of May.

The news was first reported by the neighborhood blog We Heart Astoria. Loaeza, who did not reveal the name of the new space, said they will serve authentic Mexican food, including an expanded menu of tacos and bite-sized Mexican appetizers.

“It’s just straight up Mexico City-style,” he said. “The food that we love to eat in Mexico City, without Americanizing it.”

“This is a little bit more like a very relaxing sort of comfortable, cozy place, where you can just go with friends, have a beer and eat tacos and have a good time,” he said.

The Mexico Blvd. truck, which serves tacos, tortas and flautas, will continue to operate, he said. The truck currently parks at locations in Manhattan, DUMBO and on Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Street in Astoria.

Other recent comings and goings on the neighborhood restaurant and retail scene include the following:

Caffe Bene, a South Korean coffee brand that operates cafes across Asia as well as more than 80 in the U.S., will open a new location in Sunnyside at the beginning of May, as the website Sunnyside Post first reported.

The coffee shop will be located at 41 -31 Queens Blvd., according to a rep for the company. Caffe Bene is modeled after a “traditional European coffeehouse,” and serves coffee drinks, baked goods and desserts like waffles and gelato, according to its website.

► The owner behind the former Bistro 33, at 19-33 Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria, has renovated the space and re-opened it as a new restaurant and bar called Bowery Bay. Chef and executive owner Gary Anza closed Bistro 33 in February and wanted to revamp the space to make it more of a bar destination, according to manager Sal Milazzo.

At Bowery Bay, which opened April 12, Anza and fellow chef Evan Orlic are now serving a French-Canadian inspired menu that includes dishes like lobster poutine, Arctic char and a sloppy goat sandwich.

Bowery Bay is partnering with Astoria brewery SingleCut Beersmiths on a small plates and beer pairing on Wednesday, April 23 in celebration of Queens Beer Week. More details can be found on Bowery Bay’s Facebook page.

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Greensboro food truck businesses double in time for summer

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Registered food trucks in Greensboro have more than doubled following the city’s decision to relax regulations and expand where the mobile restaurants can set up around town.

Permits have climbed from 14 to 39 following changes to Greensboro’s food truck ordinance in 2012, when city council approved allowing trucks to roll into new areas like downtown.

City of Greensboro Small Business Coordinator Reggie Delahanty says the growth is not only a positive from an economic development and quality of life standpoint but also reflects growing public acceptance in the Triad of the non-traditional business model.

Prior to the ordinance changes, Greensboro tested a controversial food truck pilot program downtown that raised concern amongst “brick and mortar” business owners about the impact on sales.

FOX8’s Michael Spears spoke with a Greensboro company that recently rolled out its own unique truck and a local business that’s responsible for the outfitting the new mobile restaurants

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