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 JerseyBites.com, a collaborative website focused on food news in New Jersey.

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