2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the New Jersey Wine & Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort. The event takes place from May 4 through May 6, 2018. Crystal Springs Resort has joined forces with Ment’or to jointly celebrate the tenth anniversaries of both organizations. Ment’or was founded by Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse to support the next generation of chefs and to fund a team to compete in the biannual Bocuse d’Or competition, which the U.S. team won for the first time in 2017.
This year’s event will be the largest gathering of chefs and winemakers yet, featuring acclaimed chefs Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud, as well as the complete Bocuse d’Or USA teams from 2007 to 2017, which include famed chefs like Michael White, Gavin Kaysen (a James Beard award nominee) and Bryan Voltaggio (Top Chef).
One of the most popular events of the event is Saturday night’s Grand Tasting, where some of the top chefs in the area will showcase their very best dishes. Craig Polignano, executive chef at Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, said, “I am excited and honored to be a part of the NJ Food and Wine Festival at Crystal Springs this year. It is a great privilege to participate in an event with so many great local chefs, as well as some of the most renowned chefs in the world, aiding young aspiring chefs through the Ment’or organization.”
Bryan Gregg, executive chef at Orama, concurs with Chef Polignano. “It’s such a great event and it gives us chefs a chance to get together in one place and interact with our patrons—a definite highlight of the year.”
2018 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival Schedule
Friday May 4
7 p.m.: Champagne Reception Guests meet the chefs while enjoying Krug Champagne and hors d’oeuvres from Restaurant Latour ($50, included in Wine Cellar dinner).
7:30 p.m.: Wine Cellar Dinner with Chef Thomas Keller and Marc Perrin of Chateau de Beaucastel
($1,000 inclusive of accommodations, tax, and gratuity).
8 p.m.: Ment’or Anniversary Dinner with Gavin Kaysen (Spoon and Stable, MN; James Beard Award nominee), Bryan Voltaggio, (VOLT, MD; Top Chef & Top Chef Masters), Matthew Kirkley (Team USA 2019), Justin Cogley (Aubergine, Carmel, CA), and Martyna Krowicka ($295 plus tax and gratuity).
8 p.m.: Chef’s Garden Dinner with Chef Anthony Bucco and Chef Michael White ($295 plus tax and gratuity).
Saturday May 5
8 a.m.: Chef & Winemaker Golf Tournament Play 18 holes with chefs and winemakers ($149, includes lunch)
8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.: Sip, Stretch & Sparkle Start the day with a yoga session and a glass of sparkling wine ($30)
10 a.m.: Doughnuts & Coffee Doughnuts from Montclair Bread Company paired with coffee from NJ’s own Coffee Afficionado ($25)
11 a.m.: Spring Foraging with local forager Heather Housemaker ($25)
12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Marketplace Lunch with local New Jersey wines and products served ($45)
12 p.m.: Perfect Pizza Pairings Build your own pizza! ($35)
12 p.m.: Pasture to Table with Fossil Farms and Trinchero wines ($40)
1 p.m.: Sake and Ramen featuring New Jersey’s own Ani Ramen ($40)
1 p.m.: Rosé All Day Kick off rosé season with selections from around the world ($45)
2 p.m.: 97 & Above Taste highly rated wines—all 97 points or above in Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate ($75)
2 p.m.: The Art of Charcuterie Take a peek inside Crystal Springs’ charcuterie program and enjoy wines from The Hess Collection ($45)
3 p.m.: Krug Vertical Tasting This unique tasting will highlight three recent vintages: 2002, 2003, 2004, as well as the current release of Krug Grande Cuvee ($95)
3 p.m.: Uruguay Wines & American Beef Tastings of farm raised beef paired with the wines of Uruguay’s Bodega Garzon ($45)
3 p.m. and 4p.m.: Garden State Culinary Throwdown (Two sessions) In each throwdown, three NJ chefs compete by cooking a dish from a basket of secret ingredients with the audience choosing the winner ($35)
4 p.m.: Raising the Bar Cocktail seminar with cocktail enthusiast and author Beth Ritter Nydick of Blue Barn Kitchen ($45)
6:30 / 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.: The Grand Tasting This is the festival’s signature event featuring more than 200 wines from over 50 wineries and bites from 50 top restaurants ($150; VIP $250; VIP admission 6:30 p.m., General Admission 7 p.m.).
Highlights of The Grand Tasting
- The VIP Experience: Two floors of outstanding wines and spirits with tastings from Michelin-starred restaurants including Per Se, Daniel, Restaurant Latour, the upcoming Felina and more
- Restaurant participants highlight New Jersey’s best, including the following: Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, Fascino, Mistral, Ani Ramen, Agricola, Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas, Crystal Tavern, Heirloom Kitchen, Blue Morel, Osteria Morini, Common Lot, Viaggio, Halifax, Montclair Bread Co, Pig & Prince, 17 Summer Restaurant, Bell Market, Andre’s, Saly G’s, Orama, Piattino, Cardinal Provisions, and more
- A wide range of wineries and Champagne houses from around the world
- Live entertainment by the thirty-two piece David Aaron Orchestra
10 p.m. to 1 a.m.: Meet the Chefs and Winemakers After Party with open bars, DJ, buffets, and more ($150).
Sunday May 6
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Champagne Brunch A lavish, decadent brunch buffet, with Champagne ($50).
Tickets for the 2018 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival are available at www.njwinefoodfest.com. Resort reservations are also available at (855) 977-6473.
About Crystal Springs Resort
Located in Hamburg, Hardyston and Vernon, NJ, Crystal Springs Resort is the only four-season resort of its kind in the Tri-State Area. The complex includes two luxury hotels: Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals Resort & Spa; six renowned public golf courses; four-star Restaurant Latour; a Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning wine cellar since 2006; two full-service spas ranked #19 in Spas of America’s Top 100 Spas; the state-of-the-art Minerals Sports Club; and multiple indoor and outdoor pools, including the distinctive Biosphere Pool Complex with an underground aquarium, tropical foliage, and freeform nature pools.
The Ment’or BKB Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to educate and inspire excellence in young culinary professionals and also preserve the traditions and quality of cuisine in America. Ment’or is led by Founders Chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse, as well as an esteemed Culinary Council of over 40 renowned chefs. Educational grants and internships are offered to culinary professionals through the organization’s continuing education program. The Young Chef and Commis Competitions offer additional opportunities for them to further their careers. Ment’or is also responsible for recruiting, training, and financially supporting the promising young American talents who represent Team USA in the prestigious biennial Bocuse d’Or competition, held in Lyon, France. For the first time, Team USA 2017 won the coveted Gold Medal at the Bocuse d’Or.
Photo at top by Rob Yaskovic, courtesy of Crystal Springs Resort.