Pinehurst Wine & Food Festival celebrates 21 years
by Danielle Jackson
For the past two decades, Pinehurst Resort has played host to a popular culinary event that draws a crowd for its celebration of international wine and cuisine. Its 21st year is no exception.
The Pinehurst Wine & Food Festival kicks off Labor Day weekend with an expanded list of featured chefs, wine experts, seminars and demonstrations. Labels from state wineries Biltmore Estate and Shelton Vineyards — as well as international varieties from wineries Terra Andina in Chile, Moet & Chandon in France, and Zeepaard Wines in Australia — will be on hand to taste during the festival.
“It’s a weekend specifically designed around Labor Day to celebrate the harvest, which normally occurs around this time,” says Janeen Driscoll, communications manager for Pinehurst Resort.
Tempted taste buds
Ten chefs will be featured during this year’s event, including Jeff Mosher of Robert Mondavi Winery, David Nolan of the Ritz-Carlton at Tysons Corner in Virginia, Jonathan Luft of the InterContinental Tampa, Brett McKee of Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, John Tharp of Bleu Restaurant & Bar in Winston-Salem, and Mike Lee of Mura Japanese steakhouse in Raleigh. Local favorites Mark Elliott of Elliott’s on Linden and Warren Lewis of Chef Warren’s also will participate.
“We typically have one executive and one pastry chef,” Driscoll notes. “This year, we’re elevating the dining experience.”
Anywhere from 500 to 700 attendees are expected at the festival, which also features a series of dining events and galas, as well as a silent auction to benefit state culinary education programs. Throughout the event, wines also will be available for purchase at a discount.
The ceremony kicks off Thursday with an interactive wine competition judged by both experts and guests, followed by a wine reception.
Thirteen seminars — which include everything from food and wine pairing to cellaring wines to the latest trends in the international wine market — run Friday through Sunday, as well as culinary demonstrations and grand tastings.
A food and wine reception featuring live music and Champagne will be held Friday evening, while Saturday’s festivities include a wine luncheon and five-course dinner with wine pairing and live entertainment. Sunday includes what Driscoll describes as the “ultimate Champagne brunch,” followed by additional seminars and a pastry demonstration with Nolan.
Each day has a theme: Friday focuses on Europe and North America; Saturday delves into South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand; and Sunday brings everything together with the Feast from the Four Corners.
“It’s a little bit of education, a little bit of dining, and a little bit of tasting and fun,” Driscoll says.
“It’s a food and wine extravaganza.”
Danielle Jackson is editor of Fifteen501, Wake Living and Triad Living magazines.
Moore on the Menu
To coincide with the upcoming Pinehurst Wine & Food Festival, held Sept. 3-7 at Pinehurst Resort, locally owned restaurants throughout Moore County are offering $35 prix-fixe course menus and wine specials Aug. 31-Sept. 3. Participating restaurants include the 1895 Grille, Chef Warren’s and Elliotts on Linden.
For more information on these upcoming events – including ticket prices for individual seminars, discounts at Pinehurst Resort and group rates — call (910) 235-8708 or visit www.pinehurstwinefest.com.