Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival 2015
The Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival took place on September 25-27, 2015 at several historic mansions in Newport, RI. In its tenth year, the two-day festival features the grand tasting, celebrity chef appearances and cooking demonstrations, seminars led by industry experts and several dinner party celebrations
The festival featured two sessions of the Grand Tasting, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, on the back lawn of the Marble House mansion. I attended the Sunday Grand Tasting. While there were so many amazing aspects of the festival, I’ve highlighted below my four top favorite items from the event.
First, the festival features hundreds of wines from around the world. Everyone grabs a glass before heading into the Grand Tasting Tent.
The glasses are printed with the festival logo and yours to keep filling as you move throughout the tent.
We were immediately greeted with a pour of Ruffino Prosecco sparkling wine. What better way to toast the start of festival than in front of one of the Porsche cars?!?
Second, there are amazing food samplings from a large variety of caterers, chefs representing “top shelf” restaurants from the northeast (e.g., Boston, Newport and Providence), and artisan food purveyors. Here’s just a few of them that were featured:
Jamestown Fish restaurant featured Alaskan sockeye salmon with seaweed salad.
Vanderbilt Grace hotel showcased their slow cooked short rib over Asiago mashed potato. That was one of my favorites.
Puritan & company offered a sample of duck pastrami on rye gourges with mustard cream and pickled cabbage.
I just love the way Earth @ Hidden Pond restaurant creatively displayed their food!
In the artisanal candy category, Laurie’s chocolate was one of our favorites.
This is their Hawaiian chocolate – heavenly!
We also enjoyed McCrea’s caramels
I love all the extraordinary flavors!
One of the best parts of the food samplings is that you are able to try some things you may not normally try and see if you like them.
And try some of your old heritage favorites made by local vendors offering many varieties.
My third favorite thing at the festival is all the amazing happenings in the cooking pavilion.
Kitchen Aid hosts free cooking demonstrations and book signings by celebrity chefs throughout the day. It was intentional that we attended the festival on Sunday. I had previewed the cooking demonstration schedule and knew Jacques and Claudine Pepin were the headliners.
Jacques Pepin is a world-renowned French chef, television personality and best selling author.
Many of you have watched Claudine Pepin in partnership with her father preparing delicious meals and sharing cooking techniques on several public television shows. It was quite the treat to see the duo in person reenacting the same!
They were preparing a recipe from Jacques’ new cookbook, “Heart and Soul in the Kitchen.” He and Claudine have new cookbooks recently published.
Jacques’ techniques were amazing to watch. And I especially loved the chemistry between the two working together.
The final product was a beautiful plate of shrimp cake with sautéed zucchini. It looked and smelled amazing!
The icing on the cake for the Newport Mansions Food & Wine festival is the location.
You can’t beat Newport for the mansions, cliff walk, wharf area and stunning views! It’s one of my favorite places in the northeast and we try to visit here several times throughout the year.
All around, the Newport Mansions Food & Wine festival was a top-notch representation of New England’s best culinary all on display in an awesome setting. It was one of the best food and wine festivals I’ve visited thus far!
Already, the Newport Preservation Society has announced the dates for next year’s event. It will take place at the same location on September 23-25, 2016. Be sure to mark your calendars, as it’s an event you will not want to miss!
Have you ever been to the Newport food and wine festival?
Is Newport, RI one of your favorite places to visit in New England?
Disclaimer: While I was provided with complimentary tickets to the Newport Mansions Food & Wine festival, the opinions and views expressed above are my own and describe my personal experience at the event.