AC Food & Wine Festival Preview & Giveaway

mini meatballs with homemade tomato sauce and micro basil from Sammy D's inside of Harrah'sI had the pleasure of attending a sneak peak of the 2013 Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival just a short time ago.  The Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival will take place July 25-28 2013 at Ceasars Atlantic City.  (Psst, We’re giving away tickets, details at the end.) This 4 day event, is filled with a star-studded roster of the world’s most renowned culinary experts and TV personalities, including Robert Irvine, Rocco DiSpirito and The Neelys.  The event, which sells-out annually and is the largest food and wine festival in the market, takes place across all four Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City casinos and resorts – Caesars, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat & Bally’s.

Since I am a local to the area, you would think that my husband and I are always in Atlantic City taking advantage of the amazing restaurants the city has to offer, right?  I mean literally we are 15 minutes outside of Atlantic City.   In reality, it’s quite the opposite!  We hardly ever make it into Atlantic City, so this was certainly an eye opening experience and boy have we been missing out!

On this particular evening, there were just too many tasting options to list them all, so I am going to tell you about my personal favorites.

First up, the mini meatballs with homemade tomato sauce and micro basil from Sammy D’s inside of Harrah’s. (pictured above)  These meatballs may have been mini but they were packed with flavor, and oh so filling!   Pleasing to the eyes with a great pairing of bright red sauce and just the right amount of green basil and oh, so pleasing to my stomach! I only wish I had room for more.

roasted plantain empanadas from Dos CaminosAs far as appetizers go, the roasted plantain empanadas from Dos Caminos were my personal favorites. The contrasting colors of brown empenada with bright orange aoli on top caught my attention immediately.  I immediately was able to taste and feel the heat of the spice and as I kept tasting and chewing, the flavor changed to just the right amount of sweetness.  I’m still not sure how they created this amazing combination of sweet and spice, and quite frankly I don’t care.  It was out of this world amazing!

sea salt fudge AC Food and Wine FestivalLast but definitely not least, were the amazing desserts that Head Pastry Chef, Deb Pelligrino, created for us.  Deb is a local from Ocean City and has worked at Harrah’s for 13 years.  She has also been featured twice on The Food Network’s cake challenges, one of which she brought home the Grand Prize!

Now, let me start by saying that sweets are the way to my heart and, Oh was I in heaven when I saw the table Deb had set up for us!   The list of goodies included:  S ‘mores Cheesecake Bites, Hypnotic cake pops (red velvet & chocolate Grand Marnier), Pistachio Chocolate Clouds, Popcorn Cream Shooters (with Canadian Bacon Bites), Sea Salt Fudge, and Double Chocolate Fudge Cubes (with passion gelee).  They all sound so amazing, right?!  RIGHT!!  By far my favorite was the sea salt fudge.  In my opinion you can never go wrong with sweet & salty and Deb Pelligrino definitely hit the nail on the head when she created this delectable dessert!

I was so thankful to have been able to preview a sampling of the foods that will be served during the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival this year.  Also a big thank you to Ceasar’s Entertainment for hosting our group.  I know you will enjoy these delicious foods just as much as I did and that is why we are giving way 2 pairs of tickets to the Grand Market on Sunday, July 28th between 12:00pm – 4:00pm.

ENTER TO WIN: We are giving away 2 pairs of tickets ( 4 total) to The Grand Market! July 27th, between 12:00pm and 4:00pm at Bally’s Grand Ballroom.

The Grand Market is a huge “tasting village” featuring a wide selection of foods, wines, craft brews and liquors from world-renowned culinary masters, you will experience a true flavor adventure during your three-hour gourmet journey. And when you find something you love, take it home with you! Purchase your favorite flavors while culinary demos by celebrity chefs provide you with tips to enhance your home dining experiences.

Just leave a comment below this post. We will randomly select 2 winners on Monday July 22nd, 2013. Deadline for entry is Sunday, 7.21.13 at 11:59pm. 
Good luck and Happy Tasting!

Erica Acosta head shotErica Acosta is a full-time working mom to 3 handsome boys and 1 amazing husband.  In her downtime she enjoys reading, sewing, and taking her boys to the beach!  Her passion for writing began in High School, and one day she hopes to add “Book Author” to her list of accomplishments.

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Author:Deborah Smith, Executive Editor

Deborah Smith is the Founder and Publisher of, a collaborative website focused on food news in New Jersey.

22 Responses to “AC Food & Wine Festival Preview & Giveaway”

  1. Frank Mazzarella
    July 18, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    Love trying new food, always wanted to go with my wife but could never get off of work as a first responder hoping I would get lucky this year.

  2. Lesa Skodi
    July 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    I think AC is making a come back and I believe this is one of its main catalysts!

  3. July 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    Love the food options, great info, I will be sharing it!

  4. Christine L
    July 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Great article, Erica! I wouldn’t have known about this otherwise; hope to attend!

  5. July 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    I saw the billboard for this! It looks absolutely amazing! As a foodie, just looking at the pictures is making me hungry, I would love to go

  6. July 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Pop Pop has a birthday soon, it would be nice for him to go. He has taken over the cooking day to day ever since our four children were born. He also cares for our two grand kids when there here from school and when there both parents are working during the day. He would be very suprized for a early birthday gift. Thank you, Linda Zombek

  7. Bonnie Lee
    July 18, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    first time going, excited to check it out

  8. July 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I have never been, what a great opportunity to check it out for the first time! It would also make a great date day with the hubby.

  9. Barbara Hannigan
    July 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    I’m such a foodie! Paired with a nice Malbec and I am in heaven!

  10. Leroy
    July 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    I’ve been to other wine tasting events but this looks like a winner!

  11. Al melnick
    July 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Sounds great , I have never even but would love an excuse to visit ac and sample all the goodies!

  12. Barbara Ann Voetsch
    July 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Would love to attend with my cook/husband for his birthday! We’d both be thrilled! Thank you

  13. Henry
    July 19, 2013 at 3:24 am #

    Leaving a comment to win. Good luck all!

  14. Tami
    July 19, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Can you please randomly pic me:) I have never been. Would love to go. Thanks regardless….

  15. Jenneh Sheetz
    July 20, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    Oh my gosh everything looks so good. I hope I get randomly chosen! This would be the tasting of a lifetime!

  16. Kathy
    July 20, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Would love the chance to attend this year! Have always wanted to go but never had the money to get there! *Fingers crossed for a win*

  17. Cindy Paterson
    July 21, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Sounds Awesome!!! Would love to win so that my sister & brother-in-law could enjoy a weekend away with other wine & foodies. They are so deserving of time away together. Jersey born & raised.

  18. Carrie Thompson
    July 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Winning 2 tickets to this event would definitely be the highlight of my summer! :)

  19. July 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    We just spent a weekend in AC doing an “APP” crawl at the Bogota. .
    To followup with this event would be AWESOME

  20. Robbie
    July 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    Cousin from Oregon studying at Cornell over the summer, visiting us jerzy-ians, would be an amazing experience for her to see some of her tv idols! Nice way to congratulate a hard worker eh? Love ya cuz xoxo nice to be able to see you again hope to get u these tickets

  21. Maria Maggiulli
    July 22, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Would love to attend with family from Oregon. We want them to experience the great food options New Jersey has to offer. Also would be a memorable birthday celebration since my favorite past time is cooking while watching the great chefs that will be there!

  22. nicole
    July 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I would love to go to this!!!!!!!! Food looks absolutely amazing!!!

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