The Michael Franti & Spearhead to the musical line-up for this year’s festival.
Known for his efforts to spread positivity through music, Franti will open for GRAMMY award-winning band Little Big Town, closing out the festivities for the ninth annual event.
“We could not think of a better act to kick off our musical performances that close out an amazing few days celebrating the best of food, drink and community,” said Suni Unger, founder and CEO of Unger Media, the parent company behind Greenwich Wine + Food and Serendipity magazine. “The combination of Michael’s inspirational and upbeat lyrics, coupled with the gorgeous stage set on the shore of the Long Island Sound with a glass of wine in hand, sounds like the perfect Saturday night in September to me!”
The main beneficiary of this year’s festival is Food Rescue US, a non-profit organization based in Connecticut, that is a leader in reducing both hunger and food waste in America. Through its proprietary mobile app, Food Rescue US connects volunteers with companies that have excess food and organizations feeding the food insecure. Now available in 12 states and the District of Columbia, this celebrated organization completed more than 25,000 rescues in 2018, equaling over 6.8 million meals delivered. The Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation is also a beneficiary for this year’s event.
“Food Rescue US is honored to be the beneficiary of the 2019 Greenwich Wine & Food Festival to further our mission of reducing food waste and hunger,” said Carol Shattuck, CEO of Food Rescue US. “There are important synergies between our organizations, and we look forward to working with the GWFF to showcase excellent food prepared by premier chefs while focusing on the importance of sustainability by reducing food waste.”
“After the GWFF, our team of volunteer food rescuers will ensure the unconsumed food will be delivered to Fairfield County social service agencies feeding the food insecure throughout the community. Also, we will also be on-site during the Festival to share how anyone can easily be part of our smart solution to reducing hunger and food waste using our proprietary app,” Shattuck added.
This year’s festival kicks off with an intimate Opening Night Master Chef Wine Gala on Friday, September 20, showcasing the culinary and music scene of New Orleans.
The evening, hosted by Gary Dell’Abate (Executive Producer of The Howard Stern Show “Baba Booey”) and Rob Burnett (Five-time Emmy Award-Winning Writer- Director), will honor this year’s class of Serendipity Most Innovative Chefs and feature their cuisine, as well as select Ambassador Chefs (names TBA).
The evening will include performances from GRAMMY award-winning Rebirth Brass Band and Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers.
The Culinary Village, the heart of the annual event, takes place on Saturday, September 21, and features the Grand Tasting Tent, where guests can enjoy tastings and demonstrations from more than 150 of the area’s finest food, wine and spirits experts, as well as areas devoted to the best in burgers, BBQ, tacos and more. The 8th Annual Burger Battle and 6th Annual Top Bartender Showdown will also return, providing friendly competition between area restaurants and bars. Guests will experience sommelier, mixologist and brew master presentations, celebrity book signings, cooking demos with Special Guest Chefs, a celebrity green room with live interviews, an exclusive Meet the Masters panel discussion, The Tailgate Party with The Ultimate Taco, Burgers & Beers, and Grill Masters & BBQ. VIP ticket holders will also be treated to an exceptional dinner, prepared by Festival Ambassador Chefs in a special waterside tented area. Confirmed celebrity talent includes Emmy Award-winner Valerie Bertinelli (Food Network’s Valerie’s Home Cooking), Geoffrey Zakarian (Chef/Partner The Lambs Club at The Chatwal and Point Royal at The Diplomat Beach Resort, Co-Host of Food Network’s The Kitchen and Judge on Chopped), Margaret Zakarian (President of Zakarian Hospitality), Marc Murphy (Food Network’s Chopped), Jessica Tom (Food Network Star season 14 winner), David Rose (Food Network Star season 13 finalist) and caterer to the stars Mary Giuliani (Mary Giuliani Catering & Events). Michael Franti & Spearhead and Little Big Town will close out the 2019 event with live musical performances on the Pepsi stage.
Tickets for the event are available via www.greenwichwineandfood.com or by calling 203.588.1363. Ticket options include the All Weekend Pass ($700), Friday’s Opening Night Master Chef Wine Gala ($275), Saturday All Day Pass ($200) and Saturday VIP Pass ($500). On-Stage and Lawn Dinner Tables are sold out, but to be added to the waitlist, please call 203-588-1363.
The Festival weekend will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or children in strollers, will not be admitted. Pets are also not permitted.