Here are some of the highlights, according to a press release from the festival:
Hands-on grilling demonstrations, hosted by Tim Love, on April 29 and April 30.
Interactive fire pits helmed by an all-star lineup of chefs on April 29 and April 30. Participants include chefs Sonya Coté (Eden East, Hillside Farmacy); Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie); Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine, Odd Duck); Kent Rathbun (Shinsei); Blaine Staniford (Grace, Little Red Wasp); and Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo, Contigo Catering, Chicon).
Live musical performances
Lone Star Nights on April 28 at Fair Market (1100 East Fifth Street), with music by DJ DM. The event will also have dishes from Matt Balke (Bolsa); Julian Barsotti (Nonna); Junior Borges & Coner Sergeant (CBD Provisions); Thai Changthong (Thai-Kun); Luis Colon (Folc); Andrew Curren (ELM Restaurant Group); Kevin Fink (Emmer & Rye); Ford Fry; Diego Galicia & Rico Torres (Restaurant Mixtli); Steve McHugh (Cured); Wayne Mueller (Louie Mueller Barbecue); Paul Qui (Kuneho); Ryan Shields (Bullfight); and Danny Trace (Brennan’s of Houston).
Rock Your Taco competition on April 29. Chefs will square off against one another to create the ultimate taco, with winners chosen by an esteemed panel of judges, including Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro) and FOOD & WINE’s Editor, Nilou Motamed. Chefs include Hugh Acheson (Empire State South, Five & Ten, The Florence, The National, Spiller Park); Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven); Jimmy Bannos, Jr. (The Purple Pig); Matt Bolus (The 404 Kitchen); Tyson Cole (Uchi/Uchiko); Jason Dady (Jason Dady Restaurants); Jodi Elliott (Bribery Bakery); Amanda Freitag (Chopped); Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petit Trois, Trois Familia, LudoBird); reigning Rock Your Taco champion Tim Love; Aarón Sánchez (Johnny Sánchez Restaurants); Alon Shaya (Shaya, Domenica, Pizza Domenica); Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar); Ming Tsai (Blue Dragon, Blue Ginger); and Jonathan Waxman (Adele’s, Bajo Sexto Taco, Barbuto, Brezza Cucina, Jams, Waxman’s San Francisco).
Sunday Gospel Brunch with the Warrior Gospel Band on April 30.
Food, wine and cocktail tastings in the Grand Taste Pavilion on April 29 and April 30. Participants include Joe Anguiano (VOX Table); Jeff Balfour (Southerleigh Fine Food & Brewery); John Bates & Brandon Martinez (Noble Sandwich Co.); Stephen Bonin (Geraldine’s); John Brand (Supper at Hotel Emma); Taylor Chambers (Justine’s Brasserie); Tyson Cole (Uchiko); Austin Ewald (Grizzelda’s); Kazu Fukumoto (Fukumoto: Sushi and Yakitori Izakaya); Albert Gonzalez (Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile); Daniela Herrera (Counter 3. FIVE. VII); James Holmes (Lucy’s Fried Chicken); Zach Hunter (The Brewer’s Table); Clinton Kendall (East Side King); Lance Kirkpatrick (Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew); Nathan Lemley (Parkside); Mia Li (Kuneho); Geronimo Lopez (Botika); Rick Lopez (La Condesa); Harold Marmulstein (Salty Sow); Brian Moses (Olive & June); Josh Neises (Lonesome Dove); David Norman (Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden); Michael Paley (Central Standard); Ji Peng Chen (Wu Chow); James Robert (Fixe); Amanda Rockman (South Congress Hotel); Eric Silverstein (The Peached Tortilla); Marco Silverstrini (Dolce Neve); Anthony Sobotik (Lick Honest Ice Cream); Eddie Solis (Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ); Philip Speer (Bonhomie); George Thomas (Unit-D Pizzeria); Jim Tripi (Eberly); Carmen Valera (Tamale House East); Abby Yates (NO VA); Jacob Weaver (Juliet Ristorante); Martin Wilda (Sway); and Kevin Williamson (Ranch 616).
A star-studded collection of sommeliers, wine, beer and spirits experts rounds out the Austin Food + Wine Festival line-up, including Master Sommelier Devon Broglie; Master Sommelier Craig Collins; FOOD & WINE’s executive wine editor Ray Isle; and author Mark Oldman.
The pre-Festival Feast Under the Stars, on April 27, is an intimate outdoor celebration, at Austin’s Auditorium Shores, offering a five-course, family-style menu with wine pairings from Jackson Family Wines. Chefs David Bull (Second Bar + Kitchen, La Corsha Hospitality Group); Tyson Cole (Uchi); Omar Flores (Casa Rubia); Ford Fry (State of the Grace); and pastry chef Janina O’Leary will prepare a collaborative, al fresco meal. Feast Under the Stars tickets are $250 per person (inclusive of wine pairings and parking) and must be purchased separately from any festival tickets.
McCormick Grill Mates: With Hawaiian cuisine taking over the mainland, and churrascarias and Korean BBQ in towns across the country, these new Grill Mates liquid marinades, mixes and seasonings allow grillers to add flavors they enjoy at restaurants to cook-out staples this spring and summer.
Zatarain’s: Hot sauce and biscuits are staples of the Southern food scene. Zatarain’s first-ever hot sauce is made with aged red peppers, Cajun spices and big chunks of flavorful garlic. And, new mixes for flaky biscuits and crumbly cornbread are made with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss has launched four new plant-based creamers: Vanilla Almond Milk, Caramel Almond Milk, Hazelnut Almond Milk and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk. The flavors are available at retailers nationwide except the Hazelnut flavored Almond Milk creamer, which is sold exclusively at Target retail stores.
According to Coffee Mate, the new coffee creamers are made with simple ingredients, such as real almonds, coconuts from Sumatra, vanilla from Madagascar and pure cane sugar to offer consumers an all-natural alternative to traditional dairy creamers. Made with no GMO ingredients, Natural Bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk creamers are deliciously smooth and creamy and offer a new way to add a hint of flavor and touch of sweetness.
The fourth annual All-Star Chef Classic takes place March 8 to 11, 2017, at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles’ Sports and Entertainment District. Here are some of the highlights, according to a press release from the festival.
New in 2017: a strolling event called the Italian Masters Dinner presented by Melissa’s Produce and Southern Eats.
Returning to L.A. LIVE’s custom-built Event Deck, which includes Restaurant Stadium and the Chefs’ Tasting Arena, will be the Masters Dinner series dedicated to French, Italian, American, and Asian talent and preparations
Little Masters presented by Le Creuset and Grill & Chill presented by DCS and Stella Artois.
Restaurant Stadium’s 300-plus seats bring fans “kitchen-side,” allowing them an intimate and memorable culinary venture.
The 2017 edition of All-Star Chef Classic is partnering with L.A. Kitchen benefit the local non-profit that combines the potential and power of food and people, ensuring that neither goes to waste.
The 2017 All-Star Chef Classic will include more than 55 internationally-renowned chefs and personalities including:
Hugh Acheson (The National, Georgia)
Govind Armstrong (Post & Beam, Los Angeles)
Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Boston, New York)
Ashley Christensen (Poole’s, North Carolina)
Adam Cole (Maple Block Meat Co., Los Angeles)
Chris Cosentino (Cockscomb, San Francisco; Acacia House, St. Helena)
Francis Derby (The Cannibal, Los Angeles), Chris Oh (Hanjip, Los Angeles)
Brian Dunsmoor (Hatchet Hall, Los Angeles)
Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station, Los Angeles)
Neal Fraser (Redbird, Fritzi, Los Angeles)
Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish, Los Angeles)
Della Gossett (Spago, Los Angeles)
Duff Goldman (Cake Mix, Los Angeles)
Scott Howard (Citizen, Los Angeles)
Ravi Kapur (Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco
Joe Kindred (Kindred, North Carolina)
Mike Lata (Fig, Charleston)
Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petit Trois, Los Angeles)
David Lefevre (MB Post, Fishing With Dynamite, Manhattan Beach)
Antonia Lofaso (Scopa Italian Roots, Los Angeles)
Samuel Monsour (Preux & Proper, Los Angeles)
Dahlia Narvaez (Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles)
Jason Neroni (Rose Café, Los Angeles)
Mirko Paderno (Culina, Los Angeles)
Greg Schroeppel (Nighthawk Breakfast Bar, Los Angeles)
Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo (Son of a Gun, Los Angeles)
Art Smith (Reunion Florida Garden and Kitchen School, Florida)
Curtis Stone (Maude, Gwen, Los Angeles)
Jet Tila (Los Angeles)
Kris Tominaga (The Hart & The Hunter, Los Angeles), Brandon Boudet (Little Dom’s, Los Angeles)
Fabio Viviani (Siena Tavern, Chicago)
Fabian von Hauske & Jeremiah Stone (Wildair, Contra, New York)
Sherry Yard (Helms Bakery, The Tuck Room, Los Angeles)
Jim Beam Bourbon and the Chicago Cubs have signed a multi-year legacy partnership beginning in 2017. Under the deal, the Cubs have named Chicago-based Beam Suntory, the world’s third-largest premium spirits company, as the official spirits partner of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. According to a press release from the Chicago Cubs, the exclusive distilled spirits sponsorship will feature multiple brands from Beam Suntory including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Effen Vodka and Hornitos Premium Tequila. Maker’s Mark has launched a Chicago Cubs-themed, limited-edition bottle offered in stores throughout the Chicagoland area. Jim Beam will release a Chicago Cubs co-branded offering by springtime.
As part of the partnership, Jim Beam will have long-term naming rights to the new first base club at Wrigley Field, as well as a new left field bar concept at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. The upper deck patio at Wrigley Field will feature a Jim Beam theme for two seasons leading up to the space’s transition to an upper level club. The existing Hornitos Hacienda, which was named in 2015, will remain in the left field bleachers. The deal also includes in-game signage behind home plate and on the Wrigley Field video board; fixed signage along the third base wall; presenting sponsorship of several promotional giveaways throughout the season; and other digital and hospitality activations at Wrigley Field and Sloan Park.
According to a press release, KFWE Los Angeles brings kosher wine and spirits to Southern California from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and the United States. The evening also spotlights fine kosher cuisine from restaurants such Tierra Sur, La Gondola, and Meshuga 4 Sushi.
Herzog Wine Cellars, a California-based operation, has developed a partnership with the Petersen Automotive Museum to house the Los Angeles event for the next three years. The KFWE venue is estimated to host more than 1,500 attendees at the 2017 event, including celebrities, winemakers, culinary chefs and retailers.
Before the event opens to the public, there is an exclusive, invitation-only trade portion of KFWE Los Angeles that is extended to guests of Herzog Wine Cellars and its parent company, Royal Wine Corporation. The trade portion includes a media lounge for interviews with winemakers from around the globe, such as Herzog’s head winemaker Joe Hurliman; celebrated chefs; the organizers of KFWE, including the Herzog family; and industry experts such Joshua Greenstein, an authority on Israeli wines, and Ira Norof, a certified wine educator and director of education for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.
As of December 15, 2016, Umami Burger has introduced Cameron’s Dallas BBQ Burger by Cameron Dallas. A portion of the burger sales will be donated to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dallas first rose to fame as star on Twitter’s Vine platform. Cameron’s Dallas BBQ Burger by Cameron Dallas is part of Umami Burger’s Artist Series, which features celebrities creating their own burgers.
Cameron’s Dallas BBQ Burger, which sells for $14 at participating Umami Burger locations, has Umami Burger’s signature beef patty, with sharp cheddar cheese, miso-maple bacon, tempura serrano peppers and barbecue sauce.
In a statement, Dallas commented: “My friends and I have been eating at Umami Burger since I first moved to Los Angeles. The first time I tried one of their burgers, my mind was blown and I’ve always wanted to create my own.”
As part of the promotion for Cameron’s Dallas BBQ Burger, guests will have an opportunity to get a free order of Truffle Fries with their purchase of Cameron’s Dallas BBQ Burger, by following @umamiburger on Instagram and posting a photo of the burger with #camxumami, and then showing the post to their server to get a free order of Truffle Fries. One dollar from each Cameron’s Dallas BBQ Burger until January 31, 2017, will be donated to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, held its grand opening on December 8, 2016. The event included appearances by Sarah Jessica Parker, who greeted fans and signed autographs at her shoe store SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker, her first permanent retail outlet. Celebrity chefs José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson and brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, who all have restaurants at the resort, also attended. Performances at the grand opening included those from Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil artists and dance group Jabbawockeez. Here’s an overview of the $1.4 billion property from MGM Resorts International.
Architecture. Inspired by the site’s high-profile hilltop and waterfront location where Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia come together, architect HKS Hospitality Group sought to design a monumental landmark that embodies the strength and timeless qualities of the Capital’s architectural legacy. Rising 24 stories, the hotel tower’s angled and knife-like edge recalls the strong vertical form of the Washington Monument. The tower is rotated 33 degrees from the project’s axis to be parallel with the National Mall, deepening the relationship between the site and the heart of the District.
Accommodations. Designed by Studio Gaia, MGM National Harbor’s 308 rooms, including 74 suites, are a well-appointed getaway with floor-to-ceiling windows, rich wood and earth tones. For a special occasion, guests can indulge in one of the property’s 10 luxury suites, including the 3,210-square-foot Chairman Suite, which features panoramic views; up to three bedrooms; kitchen, wet bar and dining room table for eight; a secluded library and optional butler service.
In-Room Dining. Hotel guests can feast on the cuisine of James Beard Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson as he presents his first in-room dining experience. The Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised celebrated chef revives American comfort classics with gourmet cuisine worthy of a heralded restaurant, yet specially crafted to be enjoyed in the serenity of guests’ private retreats.
Entertainment. The Theater at MGM National Harbor is an entertainment venue designed by Scéno Plus showcasing a caliber of artists normally reserved for large-scale arenas in an intimate setting. The Theater’s initial lineup of A-list performers includes Bruno Mars, Cher, Sting, Ricky Martin, Duran Duran and Boyz II Men.
Marcus by Marcus Samuelsson. Samuelsson debuted his first restaurant in the Capital Region–Marcus–designed by Parts and Labor. Offering all-day dining selections, the restaurant celebrates classic American dishes with the chef’s signature twist, inspired by local Maryland ingredients and traditions. The beverage program also highlights local craft breweries and an extensive bourbon selection. The back of the restaurant features a French-colonial sliding door that opens up to Sammy’s, a prohibition-style supper club offering live musical acts reminiscent of Harlem’s blues clubs.
Voltaggio Brothers Steak House. Voltaggio Brothers Steak House marks the first joint restaurant venture for brothers and proud Maryland locals chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, known for their shared successes on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Reflective of its namesakes, the Voltaggio Brothers Steak House concept by Design Bureaux mirrors the rooms in a home, with each reflecting a different personality. The menu features both familiar and nuanced offerings, including playful riffs on classic steakhouse fare.
Fish by José Andrés. Featuring indoor/outdoor seating overlooking the Potomac, Fish by chef José Andrés is a unique seafood-focused concept. The menu at Fish encompasses local favorites like Maryland blue crab and Rappahannock oysters, while incorporating time-honored cooking techniques from around the world through the preparations of dishes such as Tuna Tartare and Lobster Jambalaya. Guests also can choose from an array of innovative, hand-crafted cocktails and wines produced in regions known for the world’s best seafood. The restaurant was designed by Avenue Interiors and Capella Garcia.
National Market. Inspired by outdoor urban markets where a variety of tastes, spices and culinary experiences can be found, the Marshall Moya-designed National Market is an authentic, intimate and casual setting that transports guests to an epicenter of good eats. For the Market, MGM National Harbor’s Executive Chef Jason Johnston created original dining concepts inspired by his global travels and family recipes including Amos Los Tacos, Bánh Mì Vietnamese Kitchen, District Deli, Bento, GWBW George Washington Beer & Wine, Honey’s Fried Chicken & Doughnuts, S’Cream and ZiZi’s Pizza, joined by Maryland staple Pappa’s Crabcakes and national favorite Shake Shack.
Tap Sports Bar. When dining at this high-energy restaurant and sports bar designed by Studio McCormack, guests can enjoy the latest sporting events on more than 90 TVs while surrounded by memorabilia from beloved local sports teams including the Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins and Washington Nationals. The menu features American sports bar favorites with a local touch, such as lobster beignets, Maryland crab soup, burnt ends BBQ pork baguette and Maryland crab cakes.
Ginger. A Pan Asian restaurant, Ginger offers authentic cuisine from regions throughout the continent including Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean. The concept was developed by a team of expert chefs from MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas properties and named for a common ingredient found in all Asian cuisine. Warm organic wood interiors by Studio McCormack create an inviting space to enjoy traditional dishes including dim sum, congee, curry, fried noodles and kimchi among many other offerings.
Bellagio Pâtisserie. Paying homage to the iconic European-inspired pastry shop at Bellagio in Las Vegas, this wonderland of sweets created by world-champion pastry chef Sylvain Bortolini features pastries, danishes, gelato, coffee drinks and retail items. Guests also can enjoy an array of savory delights, from Caprese Paninis to Quiche Lorraine, in this whimsical spot created by Design Bureaux.
Conservatory. The centerpiece of MGM National Harbor is a floral wonderland that spans 15,000 square feet and features flowers grown by beloved local nonprofit Melwood. The property has partnered with famed designer Ed Libby to conceive the seasonal exhibits for The Conservatory, including one specially designed for Lunar New Year. The current display, “Holiday Reflections,” features more than 150,000 flowers in a contemporary holiday scene.
Art. MGM National Harbor’s Heritage Collection of art showcases commissioned and procured works by visionary local and international sculptors, photographers and mixed-media artists including Alice Aycock, Bob Dylan, Terry O’Neill, Margaret Boozer, Sam Gilliam and Ron Beverly among many others. The thoughtfully curated collection creates a bridge between art and entertainment integrating remarkable works throughout the resort’s public spaces.
Spa & Salon. MGM National Harbor sets a new standard for the luxury spa experience in the Capital Region. Spanning two floors and 27,000 square feet, the Spa & Salon is an oasis with an expansive menu of treatments and products designed by renowned spa and skincare brand Clarins. Guests can indulge in 11 treatment rooms; separate men’s and women’s spas, steam rooms and saunas; a full-service salon; deluxe fitness center; barber shop; and retail space all created by Daroff Design. The Spa also features couples’ suites, hydrotherapy and a Vichy room for the ultimate weekend getaway.
Nightlife. Boutique nightlife operator Clique Hospitality has brought the Las Vegas nightlife scene to the East Coast with two distinct venues by KNA Design: Felt Bar & Lounge, which offers the region’s first tableside mixology program; and Blossom Cocktail Lounge, a 24-hour gaming lounge that pays homage to Washington, D.C.’s iconic cherry blossoms.
Casino. MGM National Harbor’s 125,000-square-foot casino floor by KNA Design houses 124 table games, 39 poker tables, 10 craps tables, 12 roulette, 25 variations of carnival games, 58 blackjack tables, 25 baccarat tables and 3,300 slot machines. Guests can play first-to-market games, including a baccarat progressive, and enjoy a designated Asian gaming pit decorated with red lanterns symbolizing fortune and joy.
Retail. The District is MGM National Harbor’s luxury retail corridor, spanning 18,000 square feet and offering first-to-market shops from celebrated brands and personalities, including Sarah Jessica Parker’s first standalone boutique, SJP, showcasing her coveted line of shoes and SJPLBD collection of little black dresses. Additional retailers include Las Vegas-born Stitched, local women’s boutique Ella Rue, designer sunglasses store Specs and world-renowned watch brand Rolex.
Meetings & Event Space. MGM National Harbor features more than 50,000 square feet of meeting and convention space by Studio Gaia designed to host events of all sizes, including small gatherings, business meetings, wedding receptions and galas. The 16,200-square-foot MGM Grand Ballroom houses a stunning vantage point of the Potomac River and a 6,000-square-foot terrace overlooking the surrounding landscape.
Sustainability. MGM National Harbor has achieved LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, making it one of only six casinos worldwide and the second building in Prince George’s County to achieve this status. Key sustainability initiatives include an underground cistern to collect rain water for landscaping and a co-generation system to help channel waste heat through a chiller, cooling the resort.