New food festival in California wine country features chefs from Texas

“Everybody’s talking about Napa,” says the Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience organizer.

Steve Dveris wants more people to talk about Sonoma County, which neighbors Napa County and is the site of dozens of family wineries producing some of the best pinot noir, zinfandel and chardonnay in the state.

Dveris is hosting a new festival on May 20, 21 and 22, 2022 to showcase Northern California food and wine alongside wines from Washington, Oregon, Italy, France and Spain, and with chefs from around the world.

“Texans love California wine,” says Dveris. “It will be a cross section of some of the best chefs in the country, with some of the best wines in the world.”

Texas chefs appearing at this festival for the first time are Kent Rathbun (Dallas chef behind Republic Texas Tavern, Imoto, Shinsei and Lovers Seafood & Market); Tim Love (Fort Worth chef who created the Lonesome Dove Bistro, The Woodshed, Gemelle and more); and Casey Thompson (former D-FW Chief and Excellent chef competitor who moved to Sonoma County and operates Folktable).

Other celebrity chefs appearing at the event include Chopped Judge Maneet Chauhan; James Beard Award winner Traci Des Jardins; Matt Horn, California barbecue master; iron boss winner and Excellent chef candidate Stephanie Izard; and Food & Wine best new chef Viet Pham. In addition to food and drink, events will also include sustainability seminars, a mountaintop picnic and wine tours.

General admission tickets, for May 21, 2022 only, are $200 per person. A same-day outdoor concert by The Band Perry is $95 per ticket.

The festival is open to 2,000 people.

Deep-pocketed attendees pay $2,500 to $3,700 per person for three days of events.

Organizers have agreed to raise at least $25,000 for scholarships for Future Farmers of America (Healdsburg, Calif., Chapter) and $100,000 for the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation. Because Healdsburg is a small town in the middle of wine country, Dveris says part of its mission is to celebrate farmers and farm workers.

Dveris has been hosting events at food festivals since 1999. He’s been to all the big ones — Aspen, Charleston and more — and says Sonoma County has never held a full-scale food and wine festival, despite its proximity with some of the state’s festivals. best wines and Michelin starred restaurants.

Its creation – which occurred during the worst surges of the coronavirus pandemic – is a signal that food and wine festivals across the country are likely to return this year.

The Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience is taking place May 20-22, 2022 at various locations in Healdsburg, CA. General admission tickets are for May 21, 2022 only.

For more food news, follow Sarah Blaskovich on Twitter at @sblaskovich.

About Roy B. Westling

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