New National Harbor complex hosts inaugural food festival celebrating region’s culinary vibrancy
The much-anticipated National Harbor rising along the banks of the Potomac River in Maryland, just across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge from Alexandria, Virginia., opens this spring with a gustatory weekend celebration: The Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor on Saturday, May 17, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 18, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The site is accessible by I-95/I-495, I-295 and by water taxi from historic Alexandria and Washington Harbor in Georgetown.
Bringing to life its theme, “Think Global. Taste Local,” this first annual festival will present celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, culinary lectures and over 70 exhibitors offering tastings. These include a selection the Chesapeake region’s many diverse restaurants, food crafters, wineries, breweries and wine and beer retailers. There also will be informational booths and a separate emporium filled with food and wine-related accessories.
Sally Fallon will present “A Campaign for Real Milk” on Sunday May 18 at 12 noon.
The Weston A. Price Foundation will have a table at the festival on Sunday and WAPF members are encouraged to attend and talk up the chefs about using healthy cooking fats! There will be a Nourishing Traditions book signing on Sunday at 11 AM.
The $65 general admission includes 10 food and 10 alcoholic beverage vouchers, redeemable in the tasting tents, and entry to all events. Additional vouchers may be purchased for $1 each. The festival will also offer a discounted $50 designated-driver admission that includes 20 food and non-alcoholic beverage vouchers and entry to all events. A two-day general admission is $100. Trade admission, with valid business card or credentials, is $35. To buy tickets, go to
www.foodandwinenh.com. All major credit cards are accepted. A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength, working to alleviate childhood hunger in America, and The Erikka A. Hayes Foundation, offering opportunities in the hospitality and foodservice industries to economically and socially disadvantaged individuals.
Culinary luminaries will demonstrate on the KitchenAid stage throughout the weekend. Among the presenters will be:
- Michel Richard of Washington, DC’s Michel Richard Citronelle
- Suvir Saran from New York City’s D?vi
- Aulie Bunyarataphan of DC’s Bangkok Joe’s
- DC pastry chef David Guas of Damgoodsweet Consulting Group
- Wilo Benet of Puerto Rico’s Pikayo restaurant
- Matthew Weingarten of Inside Park at St. Bart’s in NYC
Each hour, the lecture tents will feature speakers as varied as:
- Chipotle Mexican Grill founder and CEO, Steve Ells: Changing Fast Food in America
- DC’s Robert Wiedmaier of Marcel’s and Brasserie Beck and Jeff Tunks of DC Coast, Acadiana, TenPenh and Ceiba, among other chefs profiled in the award-winning PBS series, Chef’s A’ Field, fielding questions from the audience about their approaches to cooking creatively and with a conscience.
- Will Cook for Sex author Rocky Fino: How to Cook Gourmet Meals That Will Win Anyone Over
- Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach: Interactive, Blind Wine Tasting
- Mary Ann Jung, actor: portraying Julia Child in a one-woman comedy-with-respect performance.
In addition, complimentary FIJI Water will be distributed from kiosks in the festival area; Stella Artois will host a beer garden, where it will present three handcrafted Belgian beers, and Barnes & Noble will sell the works of the cookbook authors and sponsor book signings. And, Redwood Creek Wines will hold its National Campfire Classic Northeast and Southeast Regional Semi-Finals Cook-Off on the grounds with the winners to be announced during the festival.