October 8, 2013

Local Travel: The Greenwich Food + Wine Festival 2013

Greenwich Food and Wine

Last weekend I took a little time off from unpacking to attend the Greenwich Food + Wine Festival. Part of my role as a Sargento flavor correspondent this year is to investigate popular new flavor trends that are changing the food scene. Specifically, I am documenting two topics: the current explosion of food trucks, and popularity of cooking with mushrooms. I’ve been having a blast diving into both subjects, sampling food trucks all over the area, and cooking with mushrooms any chance I get. At the Greenwich Food + Wine Festival I was particularly interested in attending the crispy taco demonstration by Richard Blais, and the Weeknights Meals with Sara Moulton.

Greenwich Food & Wine

The festival was set in a large grassy tent right on Greenwich Harbor. There was a large central tent for the food expo where regional restaurants, food brands, and wine shops set out product to samples and discuss with attendees. I was blown away by all the shops and restaurants there were! Naturally I sampled nearly everything and found it all delicious. I was particularly taken with the white truffle arrancini by Bar Rosso, the treats from Sweet & Simple Bake Shop, and this amazing liquor called Adult S’mores.

Richard Blais

Both the demonstrations I attended were in a smaller demonstration tent. First up was Richard Blais and his crispy fish tacos. Turns out Richard recently moved to the San Diego area and this dish was inspired by the local street food: fish tacos! I have never been to San Diego, but based on what I’ve heard I think it is safe to say that this is a great example of how street food has now elevated into the mainstream cuisine. Unlike the fish tacos I usually find at local restaurants or food trucks, Richards was fried a thick spicy batter he had specially aerated. Then it was finished with notes of Asian sauces, kale, and, for the grand finale, smoked! We didn’t get to sample the dish, sadly, but I can guarantee you that is not how fish tacos are typically prepared on the streets of San Diego. Richard has taken them to a whole new level and they looked spectacular.

Food & Wine

Between Richard’s and Sara’s demonstration I checked out the Southern BBQ pit. I don’t really consider myself a barbecue fanatic, but the lure of the spicy sauce immediately drew me in. I was in awe of the restaurants handing out sliders, fresh cheeseburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and a whole host of barbecued goodness. They even thoughtfully set up a bar with beer samples in the corner! I tried a few things, including Plan B Burger’s Maple Bacon popcorn, and concluded that barbecue is indeed a widely varied cuisine. I haven’t encountered a barbecue truck yet, but can see how popular it would be. The tent was packed!

Sara Moulton

After a few more sips of wine I returned to the tent for Sara’s demonstration. She prepared Buffalo Chicken Rice and a duck recipe for her two easy weeknight meal recipes. I always love watching her cook because she is so practical and easy to identify with. She knows what it is like to be a busy mom feeding her family. The two dishes she presented sounded complicated but, in true Moulton style, were quite simple. It was fun, and almost a relief, to be reminded even the experts appreciate an easy and fun home cooked meal.

Greenwich Food & Wine

This was my first time attended the Greenwich Food + Wine festival presented by Serendipity and I definitely plan on returning next year. I look forward to discovering new area restaurants and food products, as well as being reminded of old favorites.

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sargento. The opinions express and photographs are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Naptime Chef possible.)