Milestone Anniversary For New Jersey Wine & Food Festival

Celebrating its 10th year, a popular culinary event returns to Crystal Springs Resort on May 4.

Luminaries in the culinary world will gather at Crystal Springs Resort in Sussex County for the 10th edition of the New Jersey Wine & Food Festival. This year’s event will take place from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6.

Chefs of honor for 2018 include Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud. They will be joined by Michael White, Gavin Kaysen, Bryan Voltaggio, Justin Cogley and James Kent at the event that benefits and showcases Ment’or, an organization founded by Boulud, Keller and Jerome Bocuse to support and fund chefs competing in the biannual culinary competition known as Bocuse d’Or.

The festival was created 10 years ago by Robby Younes, the resort’s COO and wine director, and has grown steadily in breadth and stature. Younes brings in the celebrity chefs each year and manages every aspect of the festival. Anthony Bucco, who came to Crystal Springs in early 2015 as chef of Restaurant Latour and rose to director of culinary operations at Crystal Springs, has coordinated logistics for the festival and will host a festival dinner with chef Michael White on Friday May 4. Bucco this winter left Crystal Springs to work on his new restaurant, Felina, opening this summer in Ridgewood.

The festival kicks off May 4 with three celebratory dinners:

* the Wine Cellar Dinner, with Keller and winemaker Marc Perrin of Chateau de Beaucastel;

* a five-chef Ment’or anniversary dinner; and

* the opening night of the Chef’s Garden season, featuring White and Bucco.

On May 5, seminars will feature wine and spirits tastings as well as chef demonstrations. At night, the annual Grand Tasting showcses 50 restaurants and more than 200 wines; it takes place on at the Crystal Springs Clubhouse and includes two VIP areas.

Tickets for these dinners and other events planned for the festival are available at njwinefoodfest.com. For additional information, call 855-503-0968.

Meanwhile, here are some details:

* Friday, May 4 at 7 pm. Champagne Reception: Guests meet the chefs while Krug Champagne is poured and hors d’oeuvres served at Restaurant Latour; 7:30 pm is when the Wine Cellar Dinner with Keller and Marc Perrin of Chateau de Beaucastel starts.

* Friday, May 4 at 8 pm. Ment’or Anniversary Dinner with Kaysen, Voltaggio, Robert Sulatycky, Justin Cogley and Martyna Krowicka.

* Friday, May 4, also at 8pm. Chef’s Garden Dinner with Bucco and White.

* Saturday, May 5 at 8 am. Chef & Winemaker Golf Tournament.

* Saturday, May 5 from noon to 3 pm. Marketplace Lunch with local New Jersey wines and products served.

* Saturday, May 5 at 2 pm. The Art of Charcuterie, a look inside Crystal Springs’ charcuterie program.

* Saturday, May 5 at 4 pm. Raising the Bar, a cocktail seminar.

* Saturday, May 5 at 6:30 or 7 pm: Grand Tasting. At this signature event, chefs from New Jersey will be featured.

* Sunday, May 6 from 10 am to 1 pm. Champagne Brunch.

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