Savor – CT Food & Wine show
The “Savor” celebration of wine, food and spirits took place on April 10-11, 2015 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. It was an amazing celebration spotlighting top talent across the culinary industry.
The two-day celebration featured two sessions of the Grand Tasting, both Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Also, the event included a “Savor in Style” Charity gala on Saturday evening.
As you entered the conference center for the Grand Tasting, there were hundreds of wine glasses ready for you to use in sampling the wines and spirits from CT distributors.
Many of the exhibitors focused on quality, bringing some of their “top-shelf” bottles for guests to try.
There was an array of wine, spirits, beers, craft beers and hard cider distributors. It was a great opportunity to expand your palate and try something you wouldn’t normally try (e.g., oxtail croquettes, cauliflower taco, foie gras bratwurst, calamari ceviche).
You were sure not to leave thirsty…or hungry!
The event also featured a tremendous assortment of culinary eats from top chefs and restaurants around the state! It was the best I’ve seen so far this year!
I was able to catch up with two of my favorite chefs – Tyler Anderson from Millwrights and Jaime McDonald from Bear’s Smokehouse, along with The Bear’s Smokehouse bear.
Bears featured their smoked brisket sliders and Millwrights featured their faro risotto.
A few of the other restaurants featured included: Barcelona
Octagon Restaurant at the Mystic Marriott
Max Restaurants had a main booth with Chef Scott Miller. And many of the Max Restaurants also were present.
NIXS restaurant was serving up their lobster and crab stuffed tater tots
And ON20’s chef Lizotte was offering samples of turducken pate – hence my opportunity to try something I wouldn’t normally try. It was interesting.
Plan B restaurants was showcasing their award-winning burger sliders and bourbons. I love their burger tower!
There were many other CT-based restaurants represented at the event – all showcasing their chefs and specialty dishes.
In addition, you could also find other food & beverage-related exhibitors like our friends from Shearwater Coffee
Whole Foods markets had a dessert sampling
And Carol’s Eggs were having folks guess how many eggs were in the glass cylinder. Carol’s offers pasture-raised organic eggs from small flocks on small family farms.
Another highlight to the grand tasting was the celebrity chef demonstrations. First on stage was Mary Ann Esposito. She’s the creator and host of the PBS series Ciao Italia.
Marking its 25th anniversary, it’s the longest cooking series in television history.
Next up was the headlining celebrity chef for the event, Robert Irvine. He is the host of Food Network’s Dinner Impossible and Restaurant Impossible.
Marc Summers, who’s a television producer, personality and host, joined him. Currently Summers is the executive producer of Restaurant Impossible.
Chef Irvine cooked with some audience members to create a simple and flavorful chicken thighs dish in minutes.
Chef Irvine did an exemplary job at recognizing the men and women in the armed forces. In addition, a portion of Savor’s proceeds was donated to the Robert Irvine Foundation, a not-for-profit that honors men and women defending our country.
Finally, Chef Ming Tsai took the stage. Ming hosts the public television show called Simply Ming, which is in its 12th season. He’s also chef and owner of Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon restaurants in the Boston area.
The chefs were wonderful at interacting with each other.
I loved the banter between Ming, Esposito and Irvine!
The entire Savor event was fabulous and extremely well planned. Already, Savor announced the dates for next year’s event. It will take place at the same location on April 8-9, 2016. Mark your calendars, as it’s an event you will not want to miss!
Have you ever been to a food and wine festival?
Disclaimer: While I was provided with complimentary tickets the SavorCT event, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience at the event.