Bigger Food Fest

The Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival was such an enormous hit last year, that it was guaranteed renewed billing this year.

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Good news for foodies. After serving up a successful event for gourmet food fans last summer, Harrah’s Entertainment is expanding the bill of fare this summer in partnership with the Food Network and Condé Nast Traveler.

The second Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, to be held Thursday, July 29, to Sunday, August 1, will dish out 40 events (doubling last year’s number) including cooking demonstrations, wine and spirits seminars, and tasting parties at Harrah’s, Caesars, Showboat, and Bally’s. For those craving culinary superstars, the festival will deliver national and regional chefs and restaurateurs, including celebrity chefs from the Food Network, including Guy Fieri, Sandra Lee, Ted Allen, and Pat and Gina Neely.

Highlights of the festival will include a Cheesesteak Battle from 7 to 10 pm Friday at Caesars’ beach, where participants will help decide whose cheesesteak reigns supreme. On Saturday from 11 am to 1 pm, bring the kids to Bally’s for Play With Your Food, an interactive event with Food Network personalities. Or if you’re looking to master the art of the mixed drink, head to Harrah’s from 4 to 5 pm for Raising the Bar: An Afternoon of Mixology Magic.

The Jersey Tomato Brunch, a five-course meal paired with Jersey tomato-inspired cocktails, is on the menu from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Sunday at Caesars. During the Sommelier Showdown from 2 to 3 pm Sunday at Harrah’s, sip along as top sommeliers go head-to-head in a blind tasting.

The signature event of the festival is the Grand Market, starting at noon on Saturday and Sunday at Bally’s. The three-hour tasting will showcase more than 200 stations featuring food, wines, ales, and liquors, along with culinary demonstrations.

Tickets range from $30 to $150 (and a $1,000 wine tasting with Don Marrandino, president of Harrah’s Entertainment) and are available at A portion of the proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

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