I’m happy to announce that I will be attending the inaugural Montclair Food & Wine Festival this coming Saturday and Sunday, June 1st and 2nd, being held at the Women’s Club of Upper Montclair. Unfortunately for readers though, tickets are sold out!
Don’t worry, I will be sure to indulge on your behalf. And stay posted for my event recap next week.
In the meantime, read on to learn more about what’s in store for ticket holders, how this event will benefit the community, and how it all started.
Melody Kettle, a Montclair resident and founder of the popular food blog, Hot From the Kettle, conceptualized the event back in 2011. “Montclair has long been considered the ‘unofficial’ food capital of New Jersey, so we’re thrilled that lovers of food, wine and spirits will be able to gather here for two days of exceptional food and wine-tasting experiences. After working on this project for nearly two years, it’s gratifying to see it become a reality,” says Kettle.
So what’s in store for my fellow foodies and I?
Saturday evening, June 1st, guests will gather for the Grand Tasting (tickets, $95), where they will sample culinary offerings from many of the state’s finest establishments, including local favorites like Samba Montclair, The Pie Store, Brick Lane, Next Door and Le Salbuen. Additionally, an eight-foot raw bar will be provided by Fin. Gary’s Wine & Marketplace (Bernardsville, Madison, Wayne) will be pouring wines from around the world.
Before the Grand Tasting, the exclusive VIP/Prelude Hour (6 pm – 7 pm) will feature the Jazz House Kids Quartet, followed by an evening of music by 3rdValve Jazz. At the Gala Dinner on Sunday evening, June 2, an intimate Jazz House Kids ensemble will play from 6 pm – 7 pm, followed by a performance of the Jazz House Kids Big Band.
On day two — Sunday, June 2nd — guests will experience a tour-de-force of collaborative culinary wizardry at a Wine Pairing Gala Dinner (tickets, $165). Chef Mitchell Altholz of Highlawn Pavilion; Chef Zod Arifai of Blu, Next Door and daryl; Chef Michael Carrino of Pig & Prince; Chef Ryan DePersio of Fascino, Bar Cara and NICO Kitchen + Bar; Chef Ariane Duarte of CulinAriane; and Chef Francesco Palmieri of The Orange Squirrel will all join forces on an extraordinary dinner.
Also at that event, Whole Foods Montclair will provide a fresh and fruity Mocktail Bar, and Montclair’s Amanti Vino will be pairing/coordinating the wines. Proprietor Sharon Sevrens will be on hand to offer insight into the wines that were selected.
The Gala Dinner will end on a fabulous final note known as “Bean to Bean,” when Jodie Dawson from Java Love Coffee Roasters and The Chocolate Path’s Susan Fine pair a trio of origin coffees and chocolates for guests. Bread for the evening will be donated by Rachel Crampsey of Montclair Bread Company and dipping olive oils will be provided by Olive That! And More.
The MFWF believes in giving back to the community. A scholarship program has been set up for a local Montclair High School student who exhibits merit and financial need to further their culinary education. In addition, the MFWF will also be donating a portion of proceeds from the event to the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Center for Feeding and Swallowing, and to the Partners for Health Foundation to develop an initiative where chefs will visit local food pantries and soup kitchens to demonstrate healthy and economical cooking to volunteers and attendees.
I’m sure Kettle was very excited to announce a sold out event this morning! To put yourself on the wait list, head to EventBrite and chose which day you’d like to attend. Also be sure to follow on Twitter and Facebook.
Can’t attend? Consider donating to Montclair Food & Wine Festival on EventBrite.
Enjoy a fabulous culinary spread while also giving back to the community. Yea, I’d say MFWF is a big deal.