Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival

034-001

I attended the Atlantic City Food and Wine festival this past weekend where wine enthusiasts and foodies met to slosh around wine and nibble on delicious food! I went to the Grand Market food and wine tasting event expecting mostly  food and wine and to search for wines that go well with spicy foods but surprisingly found much more! Here are a few photos from the event.

acfw-13

There were mini crab cakes from Phillips, curry chicken and tuna spring rolls with a spicy sauce…

food-samples2

Tuna tartare, pasta, seafood ceviche and a delicious chocolate fondue from Melting Pot…

food-samples1

There was plenty of food, wine and booze

absolute-vodka

This Faustini Carbernet was one of the smoothest Cabs at the event and not as full bodied as expected.

faustini-wine

But look what I found! Who knew spicy products would make an appearance at a food and wine event! Here are a few of my favorites! These seasonings from Todd’s Dirt are a must have. These spices come in three blends, Crabby Dirt, Original Dirt and Bayou Dirt. I sampled them on chicken but can see them being used on just about anything.

dirt-hot-spices

This spicy ginger juice had a nice bite and would be perfect if mixed into cocktails or over ice. The juice for Jin+Ja is made with fresh ginger and cayenne pepper.

ginger-juice

If you’re a fan of cilantro like I am you will love this hot sauce from Hank’s Sauce. It’s mildly spicy but has a full robust flavor that will go well on tacos.

hot-sauce

Stop by this guy’s booth if you ever see him at an event, Crazy Steve is awesome and well a little crazy…in a good way! I’m not a fan of  Bloody Marys’ cocktail but with a little persuasion I tried Crazy Steve’s  Ghost pepper bloody mary mix and now I’m hooked!

crazy-steve-2

This spicy GhostShip Bloody Mary mix is simply amazing. All the ingredients are well balanced and has a nice roasted flavor with bold heat from the ghost peppers. I don’t currently see this product being sold on their site but you should contact them on where you can get it, definitely worth it!

crazy-steves

This event was definitely worth the $65. Great food, good wine, lots of liquor and beer samples, desserts and all Atlantic City has to offer! I’m definitely checking it out again next year.

A Stroll Through The Feast Of San Gennaro

Italian sausage buns

Today is the last day of the San Gennaro Feast in Little Italy and here are a few photos to entice you to visit. I went in the early evening so it wasn’t too crowded which was perfect for getting through to see all the vendors.

Entrance to Feast of San Gennaro

First my favorites…I purchased a Thrillist deal for a food tasting passport to the Torrisi and Parm stands set up in front of their restaurants. I thought these were “tastings” but very surprised and happy to see they were huge servings. Great for sharing if you want to get through the rest of the festival. They have these Chinese Ribs that reminded me of the ribs tips I used to get at Chinese takeout but 10 times better! They’re juicy, tender and grilled not fried!! Also on the menu were pork sausage buns with a spicy mayo, a true food mash-up, spicy tater tots, a Caprese salad grilled cheese and Parm’s incredible deli-dog wrapped in soppresata and topped with spicy peppers! Delicious!

Spicy Deli Hot Dog

Mozzarella grilled cheese

Italian sausage buns

The Chinese ribs before…

Torrisi's Chinese Ribs

And after…

Chinese Ribs

Spicy pickles, YUM!!

Spicy pickles

If you’ve visited the San Gennaro Feast in the past you’ll notice that over the years the food served at the feast has changed significantly. You go to the festival for Italian street food but there is so much more to have here. The food is more representative of all the Ethnicities in the area so it’s a celebration of what this neighborhood has become over the years which is pretty awesome. The Italian sausage and peppers sandwiches, zeppoles, cannolis, lasagnas, pastas, seafood, and every possible Italian dish you can think of can still be found here but you’ll also find a few others. Take a look…

Cooking sausages

Mozza-repas! The traditional Latin American griddle corn cakes, Arepas, stuffed instead with mozzarella, usually its Latin white cheese, “queso blanco“! Love it!

Mozza-Arepas

Now look at these massive sausage stuffed artichokes! I was tempted but that’s a meal in itself and had already stuffed my face.

Huge Stuffed Artichokes

ooh pretty peppers!

Sausage and peppers

pizza outside

There are turrones (nougats) and cannolis everywhere! Huge chunks of turron…saw a table with like cinder blocks of turron on the table…

Ferrara Desserts

cannolis and desserts

Zeppoles frying…these are the Jersey and NY beignets but better! :-)

Frying Zeppoles

Zeppoles

And the reason why we feast…to renew and celebrate faith, celebrate culture and to salute the Patron Saint of Naples, San Gennaro. Here’s a shrine dedicated to San Gennaro next to the Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry.

San Gennaro Shrine

Chili Festivals and Cookoffs Near You

It was an unseasonably warm winter here in the Northeast and Spring has gotten off to a nice start.  However, every once in a while the temp takes a plunge unexpectedly, like a 20-30 degree plunge and that coat you thought you had put away for good is out again. When ever  that happens all I want is some spicy soup or chili. So before Summer gets here and it shoots up to 110 degrees outside like it did last summer, I’m going to check out a few chili festivals in the area.

So here are a few festivals coming up in the next couple of months.

 

 

 

 

International Chili Society Cook-off
April 21st in Staten Island, NY
This is their main site. Search for a location near you.

 

Lone Star Chili Cook-off
May 12th, New York City
Yes the Lone Star cook-off is in NYC and one of the most popular in the area.

 

NJ State Chili and Salsa Cook-off
May 19th in Toms River, NJ
This is one of the most popular cook offs in New Jersey!

 

Mark Your Calendars: Spicy Food Festivals

Who doesn’t love a great food festival? I’ll admit, I prefer them during the summer but nothing will get me out of the house quicker than a chance to sample various spicy foods in one spot this winter. Here are a few to check out that are taking place in the next few months.

1. Zest Fest 2012
Jan 27 – 29, Irving, TX

If you like it scorching hot, this is the place to be. The only other festival that draws a larger crowd of Chileheads is the Fiery Food Fest held in New Mexico in March. You’ll samples salsas, hot sauces, and foods from retailers and exhibitors from all over the world. Great way to warm up this winter!

2. Beer, Bourbon and BBQ
Jan 28, New York City, NY

This is a BBQ event but we all know some BBQ comes with a kick of heat and how can you resist sampling over 60 beers, 40 bourbons and whole hog pulled pork, brisket, ribs, sausages with all the fixings! This event is almost sold out in NYC so get your tickets. This is also a traveling festival so check their website for locations near you. Oh and loosen up your belts…

3. Food Network’s SOBE Food & Wine Fest
Feb 23-26, Miami FL

This is part of the Food Network’s traveling celebrity chef food event to be held in South Beach, Miami; the NYC fest is being held in mid October. This isn’t a spicy food festival but I’m almost certain you’ll find some spicy dishes in Miami. A little weekend getaway to Miami should be a nice retreat and a great cure for the Winter blues.

4. Fiery Food and BBQ Festival
Mar 2 – 4, Albuquerque, NM

This is the mack daddy of them all for Chileheads. This events pulls in over 10,000 chile aficionados and hundreds of hot sauce and spicy BBQ sauce retailers from all over the world and is held twice a year in Albuquerque. Here you can sample spicy dishes and hot sauces over the three day weekend event. I’m hoping to make it this year, just wish there were direct flights from the NYC area…uggh.

5. Varli Food Festival
April 5, New York City, NY

This is a food, wine and desserts festival showcasing Indian dining. Guests will be able to sample foods from about 30 Indian restaurants and caterers around the NYC area, view cooking demos, and will receive gift bags with Indian goodies and spices. The event will also host various master chefs such as Sanjeev Kapoor, Jehangir Mehta, Maneet Chauhan, Vikas Khanna and many more. Also, all proceeds of the event will go to various charities. This is definitely an event that can’t be missed and I can’t wait, Indian food is one of my favorites!! I got my ticket so get yours now before they sell out!!

Will you be attending any of these events? Also, do you know of any other upcoming spicy food festivals you’d like me to list? I’d love to hear about them!!

Stay tuned for more events during Spring and Summer and don’t forget to like our Facebook page or subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss a thing!!

Thanks
Maria