From October 11th through the 14th, WGBH’s huge studio back lot will host one of New England’s biggest and best culinary celebrations - the WGBH Food & Wine Festival. Dozens of restaurants, wineries, and craft beer breweries will be serving up amazing food and drink. Live bands will entertain. Cooking demonstrations and seminars will enrich and inform. The list of things to do and try is almost limitless.
With so much going on, it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are five festival highlights to help you plan your gastronomical attack.
Thursday, October 11th from 7:30pm - 10pm, $125 - $150
Let’s get this party started! Experience the most opulent event of the festival. The Chef’s Gala sets the tone for the whole weekend. Revel in the cuisine of 21 award-winning chefs serving up amazing bites alongside offerings from wineries and exclusive breweries. We’re talking plates from Boston Chops, Deadhorse Hill, Il Casale, and more with sips from Tree House Brewing Co., W. & J. Graham’s Port, Twelfth Night Wines, and so much more. Add in the dazzling lights, beautiful décor, live music, and hosting by WGBH’s own Jim & Margery and you have a spectacular start to an amazing festival.
Saturday, October 13th from 2pm - 9pm, $50 - $125
With over 27,000 square feet of food and drink to sample, the Artisan Taste experience has something for everyone. Take your time exploring table after table of delicious creations from some of New England’s top chefs and restaurants and libations from special guest vintners and breweries. Think Legal’s Harborside, Moldova Restaurant, Stormalong Cider, Vermont Creamery, and about a million more amazing participants.
When you need a break from all that eating and drinking enjoy the live music, visit one of the panel discussions, or sit in on one or two of the culinary seminars. (Total self-promotion here - I’m presenting a wine & chocolate pairing seminar with the inimitable Victoria Kichuk of Cocoa Beantown on Saturday night. Stop by and say hello!)
Tickets are available in half-day (5pm - 9pm) and full-day (3pm - 9pm) options. The VIP experience runs from 2pm - 9pm and includes access to the Grand Tasting Tent, Pig Roast, and everything in between.
Sunday, October 14th from 11am - 2pm, $50
Any brunch that involves cocktails from Bully Boy Distillers and Privateer Distillers, goodies from Magic Bites Bakery & Cafe, and mugs of joe from Muddy Water Coffee Roasters has my undivided attention. Add in tasty morsels from The Farmer’s Daugher, sips from Cider Creek Hard Cider, literally anything Island Creek Oyster Bar decides to serve with loads of other great local purveyors, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning.
“East Meets West” Pig Roast
Saturday, October 13th from 5pm - 9pm, $50
Roasted pig is one of life’s culinary treasures. Join master roasters Chef Jason Tom of Night Market and Chef Tim Laursen of Smoak for an evening of porcine fun. Your ticket includes wine and beer sampling, access to the culinary tent, and of course lots of juicy, deliciously roasted pork. Tickets can be purchased here.
Sunday, October 14th from 5pm - 7:30pm, $60
The always-popular Food Fight lets you taste delectable bites from 20 of Boston’s best chefs competing in 10 different culinary categories. With sponsors like Watertown’s Cha Yen Thai Cookery, Juliet Cafe in Somerville, Hermit Thrush Brewery, and Lowell’s Coffee & Cotton Co., you never know what you might munch on next. Tacos? Asian Fusion? Burgers? Who knows.
Here’s the best part - you pick the competitors. The public can nominate a chef to compete here. A panel of pros will determine the winner of each category. It’s the tastiest combat possible!