Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival

Driftwood Kitchen’s Chef Rainer Schwarz, publicist Mona Shah-Anderson and GM John Nye

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival, and the event has just been expanding since then. The bulk of this “first annual” event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20th and 21st at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

This is quite a culinary kick-up from the usual food festival type of event. Many of the most touted OC restaurant chefs will be showing off their wares and participating in cooking demonstrations.

All net proceeds from the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival, along with donations from live and silent auctions, will benefit Project Hope Alliance and HOAG Hospital’s Circle 1000.  

Culinary Extravaganza

Termed a “culinary Extravaganza,” the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival now boasts 32 chefs, including Bravo’s Rick Bayless and Richard Blais; Las Vegas top Chef Rick Moonen; and six of our leading chefs here in Laguna Beach from Driftwood/The Deck (Chef Rainer Schwarz), The Montage (chefs Casey Overton, Craig Strong and Lee Smith), Selanne (Chef Josh Severson), and even newest Chef Chris Tzorin from Tortilla Republic.

At this writing, there are at least 10 chef cooking demonstrations scheduled each day (Sat and Sun), with book signings and the jazz stage filled with notable names.

And, if two days of culinary craftery isn’t enough for you, there are VIP foodie parties bookending the weekend that are offered as separate ticketed events, too.

On Friday, a kickoff party at RED O in Newport will be hosted by Chef Rick Bayless.

On Sunday evening, the festival adjourns at Café Jardin at the Sherman Library & Gardens with a hosted party by Chef Pascal.

Ticket sales are ripping right along and there is a cutoff at a certain number to ensure that guests receive plenty of VIP love all weekend long. Go to: to purchase online.

Catch more details on the chefs and the wine program/tasting panel at the NBWFF in my original story here.

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