Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival’s 10th Anniversary Features Mardi Gras Theme

Northampton Community College News
submitted by Katherine Noll

Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival’s 10th Anniversary Features Mardi Gras Theme

How do you celebrate the 10th anniversary of the biggest and best Food & Wine Festival in the Lehigh Valley? By bringing the most exciting party in the nation to Bethlehem! This year’s Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival, May 31 – June 2, will bring Mardi Gras flair and New Orleans fun to the festivities at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center. Festival goers will enjoy New Orleans inspired dishes, second line parades, a themed selfie station, festive beads and even a signature Food & Wine event cocktail.

In addition, celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse is returning to this year’s Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival. His popular cooking demonstration will take place the morning of the event’s Grand Tasting, Saturday, June 1. The timing allows guests to arrive in the morning for all the fun of Emeril live, followed by the greatest food in the valley and fabulous wines from around the world in the afternoon.

Also joining the festival this year is acclaimed actor and Bethlehem native Daniel Roebuck. He is best known for his role in “The Fugitive” and its spinoff film “U.S. Marshals”. He also portrayed Jay Leno in “Late Shift” and had roles in “Lost” and “The Man in the High Castle.” Most recently he was the co-writer, director and star of “Getting Grace,” a movie filmed in the Lehigh Valley. Roebuck will be the master of ceremonies for the May 31 opening night premiere party, which features an extravagant four-course dinner prepared under the direction of Chef Lagasse. The night also includes a live auction to raise funds for NCC student scholarships, featuring a one-of-a-kind Emeril themed guitar, custom crafted by C.F. Martin & Company, and a Napa Valley getaway with transportation to and from the airport provided by Anthony Limousine, among many other items.

A new addition to the festival is a Designated Driver ticket, available at a reduced rate of $50 for guests who choose to remain alcohol free, but still want to come and enjoy all the delicious foods offered.

Clemens Food Group returns this year with their much heralded Pork Tasting Adventure room which debuted last year as part of the festival. The room will feature delectable recipes made from their premium pork.

Hosted by Sands Bethlehem in partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the festival features the region’s top restaurants, vineyards and distilleries that offer up tasty and generous samples of their wares throughout the Sands Event Center. Sponsorship proceeds from the event go to a good cause – they benefit the Northampton Community College Foundation which provides scholarships to students throughout the region. To date, $1.5 million has been raised.

At the festival, Chef Lagasse, who has been a part of Food & Wine since the beginning, will also announce the Northampton Community College students who have won highly-competitive externships to work in his New Orleans restaurants. Each year, students from the college’s acclaimed culinary and hospitality programs receive all-expenses-paid externships to gain invaluable experience honing their skills in the celebrated chef’s New Orleans kitchens.

The event’s Grand Tasting will run Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, from 1 to 4 p.m. VIP ticket holders will enjoy noon entry to the festival. All guests will enjoy plates from Chef Emeril’s most popular eateries as well as the region’s most prestigious restaurants along with an impressive array of fine wines from around the world. A special tasting room will offer a wide variety of champagnes and spirits to sample for VIP guests while a cigar bar will feature premium cigars available for purchase.

Each day of the festival will also feature the area’s top chefs leading cooking demonstrations and wine seminars highlighting notable experts. Popular blues/rock touring artist Craig Thatcher Band will perform June 1-2 during festival hours.

Participating restaurants to date include: Aman’s Artisan Indian Cuisine, Amy’s Creative Cakes, Aunt Wendy’s Kiffles, The Bayou, The Beam Yard, The Bookstore Speakeasy, Buddy V’s Ristorante, Burgers and More by Emeril, Chocolate Works, Clusters Handcrafted Popcorn, Emeril’s Chop House, The Dime, Emeril’s Fish House, Hampton Winds, Hellertown Bakery, Jacquie’s Pastry Café, Maxim’s 22, Molinari’s, Paxos Restaurants: Blue, Torre, Melt and Top Cut; Queen City BBQ, Sette Luna, Sodexo, Two Rivers Brewing Company, Zest and Zime.

Tickets for each day of the Grand Tasting are $85 for general admission, $100 for VIP noon access pass that includes the champagne and spirits room, and $50 for a designated driver ticket (food only). Advance purchase is recommended at lehighvalleyfoodandwine.com or at the Sands Event Center box office. Each attendee will receive a souvenir wine glass. All attendees must be 21 years of age or older (including designated driver ticket holders). Proceeds benefit scholarships for Northampton Community College students. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and can be found at lehighvalleyfoodandwine.com.

Buy tickets and stay up-to-date on new restaurant and wine list additions at www.lehighvalleyfoodandwine.com.

About the Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival
The Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival is the area’s most celebrated cuisine and beverage festival, taking place over three days at Sands Bethlehem Event Center. The festival’s growing roster of top restaurants and chefs, as well as wine from around the world, bring a range of tastes and styles to please everyone’s palate. Cooking demos, wine seminars and the ever popular Champagne & Spirits Room are also featured. But it’s more than good food and good fun – it’s a good cause. That’s because sponsorship proceeds from the festival go to the Northampton Community College Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raises funds for scholarships and academic programs at Northampton Community College. To date, the festival has raised more than $1.5M. With your continued support, we can keep this program going strong in 2019 and the years to come. For more information, visit lehighvalleyfoodandwine.com.

About Northampton Community College
With an enduring commitment to the regional community it serves and a focus on student success, Northampton Community College has developed a reputation as an institution of extraordinary distinction, earning accolades at the state and national levels for innovative programs, outstanding faculty and impressive student achievements. It counts among its successful alumni a 4-time Pulitzer Prize winner and an Academy Award winning director as well as a host of CEOs, presidents, and leaders of business and industry. Today, Northampton Community College has locations in Bethlehem, Southside Bethlehem, Easton and Monroe County, serving more than 30,000 students each year from 53 counties, 48 countries and 25 states. For more information, or to apply, please visit www.northampton.edu.

About Sands Bethlehem
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened May of 2009 in Eastern Pennsylvania. It is situated on the site of the historic Bethlehem Steel plant and located approximately 60 minutes from Philadelphia and the northern New Jersey suburbs and 90 minutes from New York City. Sands Bethlehem offers over 3,000 state-of the-art slot machines and over 200 table games including a 30 table poker room, as well as a 282-room hotel and over 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Culinary offerings include Buddy V’s Ristorante, of TLC’s Cake Boss, and three signature restaurants from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse – Emeril’s Chop House, Burgers and More by Emeril and Emeril’s Fish House. The casino also features Chopstick Asian Cuisine, Steelworks Buffet & Grill, Croissanterie and the varied offerings and cuisines of The Market Gourmet Express. It is also home to the Coil Bar and Molten Lounge, which features live entertainment 7 nights a week. The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem launched at the property in November 2011. The Sands Bethlehem Event Center, which opened at the property in May 2012 and includes over 14,000 sq. ft. of flexible multipurpose space, accommodates meetings, conventions and a variety of entertainment events.

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