Countdown to the Montclair Food & Wine Festival

MFWF LogoWe’re gearing up for the 2014 Montclair Food & Wine Festival, which kicks off this weekend. New to the itinerary for 2014 is a series of four gastronomic-focused seminars set to take place on Sunday, June 1. Melody Kettle, president and founder of the festival, explained the thinking behind the seminars. “The selection of seminars we arrived at serves a dual purpose: demonstrating micro and macro gastronomy,” she explained. “We showcase the enormous talent and passion in our immediate community with people like Lou Palma, Laura Schenone, and Sally Owens, but we also want to broaden the scope of seminars—in both geography and doctrine.”

The schedule is set up in such a way that foodies can register for multiple sessions, as there is very little overlap. “As a leading food town of New Jersey, I felt it our responsibility to address topics beyond what’s currently trending in the food world,” Kettle said. “We want to explore larger ethical issues like foie gras and sustainable practices in NJ aquaculture—which will affect not only what we eat now, but what—and how—our children will eat as well.”

Seminars will be held at the Commonwealth Club, 26 Northview Ave, Montclair, unless otherwise noted.

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Pasta Show with Lou and Laura 

Lou Parma Photo Credit: LifeMosaic Photography: Christina Nuzzo
Lou Parma
Photo Credit: LifeMosaic Photography: Christina Nuzzo

Laura Schenone, the James Beard-Award-winning author of The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken, and A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove, will partner with “The Gastro-Mechanic” culinary guru, Lou Palma, for The Pasta Show with Lou & Laura. The duo will show attendees how to make and roll out basic pasta dough that can be used for many different shapes and types of pasta, and they’ll demonstrate ravioli and tagliatelle while discussing different varieties of flour, fillings and sauces. Guests will receive a tasting portion of freshly prepared pasta topped with Lou and Laura’s own tomato sauce, paired with wine. Enter code “sauced” to receive 25% off admission.

1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
New Jersey Aquaculture: Consider the Oyster + The Clam 

Attendees of the NJ aquaculture presentation will enjoy four varieties of oysters and New Jersey hard clams. Oysters are donated by Chris Cannon of the soon-to-open Jockey Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Morristown.

Gef Flimlin, a professor and marine extension agent with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, who has been working with commercial fisheries and aquaculture for over 35 years will be a panelist. Flimlin runs the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program and has recently formed a hard clam growers cooperative, Heritage Shellfish Coop.

Matt Gregg, Edible Jersey local hero and grower at Forty North Oyster Farms, will also be on the panel. Gregg will provide a crash course on oyster tasting and discuss the fundamentals of becoming a connoisseur.

Oysters will be custom paired with a wine by Chris Cannon. Enter code “NJshell” for 25% off admission.

3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Debunking Myths of Foie Gras with Ariane Daguin + Ariane Duarte 

Chef Ariane Duarte
Chef Ariane Duarte

The vibrant Ariane Daguin, owner of D’Artagnan, will discuss the controversial topic of foie gras, including policy and D’Artagan’s role in the market. Celebrity chef Ariane Duarte, chef/owner of one of New Jersey’s most popular restaurants, CulinAriane, will create a custom D’Artagnan foie gras dish for guests to savor, while they sip a custom paired wine. Enter code “foie” to receive 25% off admission.

4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Latin Vegan Tapas with Sally Owens of SO Tasty Vegan and LEAF Vodka
NOTE: This seminar will be held at Designer Appliances, 208 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair

From vegan ceviche, to masa cakes with jalapeño crimini hash, to cabbage slaw and cilantro lime sour cream, guests will learn about—and enjoy—custom, Latin vegan tapas. LEAF Organic Vodka will be the exclusive beverage sponsor for the event, serving up custom paired signature cocktails.
Enter “VeganVodka” to receive 25% off admission.

Seminar costs vary and can be found on the event website along with additional details on the panelists: Also, promo code JerseyBites (case sensitive) will get you 10% off entry to the Grand Tasting on Saturday, May 31, and the Gala Dinner on Monday, June 2.

The Montclair Food & Wine Festival also serves as a fundraiser for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and the Montclair Food & Wine Festival Culinary Scholarship.


Veronique DebloisFood & Wine Chickie: Veronique is a food and wine writer based in Morris County. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews and insight into the travel industry of which she’s a 15-year veteran. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.