Celebrities, Fine Fare At Greenwich Wine And Food Festival

The Greenwich Wine and Food Festival presented by Serendipity Magazine returns Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23 and 24, promising a sixth year of fine food and drink, appearances by celebrity chefs and top local culinary talent, and Grammy Award-winning musical acts at the waterfront Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.

Festivities kick off Friday night, as Adam Richman of the Travel Channel's "Man v. Food" and "Secret Eats" and NBC's "Food Fighters" hosts a Master Chef Dinner at 7 p.m. The event features a lineup of Serendipity's 2016 most innovative chefs and ambassador chefs, who will prepare their signature dishes. The Bacon Brothers — the musical duo of siblings Kevin (yes, the actor) and Michael — provide the night's entertainment with their mix of folk, rock, soul and country. Tickets are $325.

As a special guest at the festival, Richman, who will be part of a number of events and meet-and-greet opportunities, said what he likes the most is "nothing that appears on the schedule."

"That's just the opportunity to actually interact with the folks that watch your shows and buy your books, and basically allow you to have a career as a television food person," he told The Courant. "And I think that's maybe my favorite part of any given festival — to make yourself accessible and make yourself available and actually hear what the people who provide you with a career want to see, or what they respond to."

Saturday's Grand Tasting, from noon to 5 p.m., offers samplings from more than 150 food and beverage vendors. Two stages and a demo tent present several cooking demonstrations and wine, beer and cocktail seminars, featuring appearances by Richman and other celebrity guests like Marcus Samuelsson, Alex Guarnaschelli, Michel Nischan, Marc Murphy, Rafael Palomino and Christian Petroni. General admission tickets are $150.

Stop by the Celebrity Green Room from 12:30 to 6 p.m., where industry experts will interview the attending celebrities, culinary experts and musicians. The Celebrity Bookstore hosts Murphy, Samuelsson, Guarnaschelli, Richman and Nischan, who will greet guests and sign purchased books between 1 and 3 p.m.

Richman plays host to a Burger Battle at 4:45 p.m., judged by Nischan, Samuelsson, Murphy, Correia and Guarnaschelli. The Ultimate Sandwich Take-down follows at 5:45, as local restaurants, delicatessens, and cafes compete to create over-the-top concoctions. Other interactive events include a Top Bartender Showdown, a Grill Master Tent with barbecue specialties and a knife-skills workshop, and a taco party with cocktail tasting.

Samuelsson and the team from his restaurant, Red Rooster Harlem, host a VIP intimate dinner inspired by "the roots of American cuisine" at 6 p.m., featuring a private beverage tent. Access to the dinner requires a special VIP pass ($450 to $525) which includes admission to the full Saturday event schedule.

Nischan hosts a VIP sustainable dinner with special guests Guarnaschelli and Murphy and a dozen more local chefs at 6 p.m., featuring a menu where all proteins, seafood, and produce are sourced locally and sustainably. Tickets are $375 and include admission to the full Saturday schedule.

Grammy Award-winning musical acts co-headline Saturday evening's entertainment on the Pepsi Music Stage, with Ziggy Marley beginning at 6:30 p.m. and Old Crow Medicine Show following at 8:30 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $150 for general admission to $600 for an All-In VIP pass. Proceeds will benefit Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which serves children with serious illnesses and their families, and Greenwich Parks & Recreation. Information: greenwichwineandfood.com.

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