Beloved New Jersey Wine & Food Festival Is Finally Coming Back

After a four-year hiatus, the event will unite oenophiles, gourmets and top chefs at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg.

Guests at the New Jersey Wine & Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort
Guests at the New Jersey Wine & Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort Photo: Courtesy of Geoff Mottram

One of the Garden State’s swankiest, tastiest festivals is finally back in action.

The New Jersey Wine & Food Festival (NJWFF) invites devotees of toasting, tasting and dressing up to mingle with crème-de-la-creme chefs and winemakers from all over the world, May 3-5.

Held at Sussex County’s regal Crystal Springs Resort—home to one of the world’s great wine cellars–this exhilarating event has been on hiatus since 2019.

“We are honored and elated to host our beloved festival once again,” says Robby Younes, festival founder and Crystal Springs COO. “We extend a passionate welcome back to our past guests and to new ones.”

Younes says there’s a lot to look forward to this year, including the impending announcement of this year’s guest chef. “This festival is super-charged with temptations,” he says. “It’s a foodie fantasy and a wine lover’s dream. We’ve planned dazzling dinners, incredibly high-end wine and spirits tastings, elegant cocktail soirées, two blowout parties, and a merry lunch and brunch,” he says.

Top Jersey chefs—like David Viana of Aberdeen’s buzzy Lita, and chef Aishling Stevens of Crystal Springs’s Restaurant Latour, will be in attendance, as will Crystal Springs’s wine-cellar master Susanne Wagner and Ben Del Coro, one of Jersey’s “pirate” chefs who runs an open-fire dinner series in Boonton.

“I founded the festival in 2009 with the idea of bringing New Jersey’s explosive restaurant scene under the metro New York umbrella,” says Younes. “New Jersey’s ties to NYC are deep, especially in dining. So many of our chefs studied and cooked in the city and were mentored by NYC chefs. Now New Jersey and New York are one big pool of talent.”

Fifteen years on, NJWFF is a major festival bringing national attention to New Jersey’s brilliant food professionals. It’s also become known for hosting international culinary icons like Thomas Keller, David Bouley and Daniel Boulud.

Younes shared a heartwarming memory of Boulud: “For a festival dinner in Crystal Springs’s wine cellar, Daniel had cooked a fabled, historic French poultry dish,” he recalls. “He served it from a giant ceramic tureen on a trolley table. He went from guest to guest, ladling this masterpiece with almost prayerful humility, joy and pride,” Younes says. “This world-renowned chef’s modesty and reverence for service became, for me, the embodiment of hospitality.”

“The festival is a master class in the art of dining,” Younes continues. “But it’s also a thrilling, weekend-long social event that gathers people who share a taste for the good life. There’s electricity in the air at our elegant cocktail parties and spectacular dinners. Our guests are simply elated to be here.”

The event benefits the Kinnelon-based Blind Ambition Coalition, which leads experiential adventures for people with visual and other challenges.

Tickets for the 2024 New Jersey Wine & Food Festival can be purchased here, or by calling 855-977-6473.

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