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Food and Wine Festival At National Harbor

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor. It was a lot of fun. There was wine tasting, beer tasting, liquor tasting and food. Lots and lots of food.  Plus, I got to hang out with Carla and Ariane from Top Chef Season 5.

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The National Harbor was the perfect back drop for this event.  It also didn’t hurt that the event was located on the pier.  The location was awesome. 

 

With your entrance fee, you get a souvenir wine glass for sampling and two glasses of Stella Artois.

Stella

They had thousands of glasses which you also were able to take with you.  Not sure if you were supposed to, but everyone had their two glasses when they left.

Scraping the Stella

But this wasn’t a beer event it was wine.  I visited all of the booths but one that really stuck was a local winery.  Tarara Winery in Leesburg, Virginia.  They explained the wines and gave me plenty of free samples. 

Tarara

The Charval was my favorite wine of the day.  It was wonderful.  The Charval is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.  It had light fruity notes with a well balanced hit of acidity throughout.  I am going to head over to their winery this summer.  Plus, they said that their winery is dog friendly.  Tucker is excited.

This is out on the pier by the Stella booth.  Facing back at the Gaylord National Hotel.

This is out on the pier by the Stella booth. Facing back at the Gaylord National Hotel.

Along with the wine vendors there was a huge assortment of food and kitchen vendors at the festival.  One group that I ran into was a group of guys from Pork Barrel BBQ.  They are a bunch of guys that worked on the hill in DC and decided to give barbecue a chance.  They have come up with a unique rub that is well balanced with just a kick of spice.  They are going to be competing in the National Capital Barbecue Battle.  Stop by their site and wish them luck.  I think that they have a great rub and wish them the best.  It is always good to meet other people passionate about barbecue.

pork barrel

The other vendor that was awesome was the Pepper Schlepper.  He offered every single type of hot sauce that you could imagine.  I love spicy stuff so this was right up my alley.  You can order any hot sauce that you can think of from their website http://www.pepperschlepper.com.

Pepper Schlepper

The food was a plenty this year at the festival.  I stopped by the Hard Times Cafe stand to taste all of the varieties of chili.  My favorite is the Terlingua Red.  It is their competition chili.  I can see why it wins awards.  It is awesome.

Hardtimes Chili

Along with the wine and food tasting there were cooking demonstrations and a the country fair cooking competition.  After watching the Top Chef cooking demonstration, I ran into Carla Hall and Ariane Duarte at the county fair tent.  They were the judges for Saturday’s competition.

I asked Carla to really concentrate on who the winner should be.

I asked Carla to really concentrate on who the winner should be.

It was really cool.  Ariane and Carla were sneaking me samples of the goods.  I must say, the competition was quite fierce.  I got to try a couple bites of some extremely decadent cupcakes.  I didn’t stay for the winner but I was hoping for the strawberry banana cupcakes.  Delicious. 

Carla and Ariane were the nicest people in the world.  Heck, they shared their cupcakes with me.  You don’t see that too often.  I am going to have to take a road trip to Montclair, N.J. to try eat at Ariane’s restaurant CulinAriane.

The Party

Overall the Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor was a blast.  It is open today Sunday, June 7 from Noon-6PM.  If you don’t have plans for today, I recommend that you hop in your car and head on over to the National Harbor.  Click here for more information http://www.foodandwinenh.com.


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  • comment avatar katherine newell smi June 8, 2009

    GRAND PRIZE

    for best baked item at The Country Fair Baking Contest at the Food & Wine Festival at National Harbor June 6 & 7

    Rosemary Shortbread

    Lynnette Jackson

    PRIZE Donated by the Cayman Island Department of Tourism-

    A trip giveaway (valued at $2500+). Trip includes airfare for 2 from a Cayman Airways gateway ( DULLES,JFK, MIA, ORD), 4 nights at the Westin Resort and Spa, 1 island excursion for 2 people and RT airport transfers in Grand Cayman.

    SUNDAY

    First Place – Rosemary Shortbread

    Lynnette Jackson

    Donated by the Dupont Hotel in Washington, D.C.- A suite for two for two nights at the newly renovated Dupont Hotel (they just spent 50 million in renovations) and one dinner for two in their restaurant, Café Dupont, which highlights French-influenced dishes with fresh, organic produce from their local neighborhood American market.

    Second Place – Apple Pie Cupcakes

    Lindsey Seelhorst

    Public House Dinner for Two, Six Pack of El Fogon Aconcagua Wines, and Soiree wine decanter. (If not 21, then Kazuri handmade jewelry from Kenya necklace and earrings to replace wines and decanter)

    Third Place – Rustic Chardonnay Apple Pie

    Anne Marie Dinardo

    Donated by the Cayman Island Dept. of Tourism-

    Tortuga Cayman Island Treat Basket- Includes a Tortuga Rum Cake along with a few other Tortuga goodies such as their Tortuga Hot Pepper Jelly, Tortuga Fudge, Tortuga Hot Sauce, etc.

    Fourth place – Chocolate Chip Cookie: Death by Chocolate Chip

    Jamie Samilio

    Soiree Wine Decanter

    SATURDAY

    First Place – Double Chocolate Cupcake

    Lillian Hill

    Donated by the Dupont Hotel in Washington, D.C.-

    A suite for two for two nights at the newly renovated Dupont Hotel (they just spent 50 million in renovations) and one dinner for two in their restaurant, Café Dupont, which highlights French-influenced dishes with fresh, organic produce from their local neighborhood American market.

    Second Place – Strawberry Banana Rum Cupcakes

    Zondra Morris

    Rosa Mexicano Gift Basket with $50 Gift Card, Kazuri handmade jewelry from Kenya necklace and earrings, and Soiree wine decanter

    Third Place – Lemon Crunch Cupcake

    Dana Erin

    Donated by the Cayman Island Dept. of Tourism-

    Tortuga Cayman Island Treat Basket- Includes a Tortuga Rum Cake along with a few other Tortuga goodies such as their Tortuga Hot Pepper Jelly, Tortuga Fudge, Tortuga Hot Sauce, etc.

    Fourth Place – Chocolate Cherry Tartlets

    Donna Terrell

    Soiree Wine Decanter

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