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Chefs, Winemakers and Wineries from Six Continents Visit MidAtlantic Region May 13-17

WILMINGTON, Del., April 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival™ presented by Bank of America will welcome chefs, winemakers and wineries from six continents for 35 food, wine, craft beer and spirits events from May 13—17, 2015. Fourteen visiting chefs will collaborate on one-of-a-kind menus with six national chefs and 56 MidAtlantic chefs, preparing brunches, lunches, dinners and tastings ranging from three to 21 courses. Winemakers will pour wines for world-class events in seven counties in four states: New Castle and Sussex Counties, Delaware, Bucks, Chester and Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania, Kent County, Maryland and Salem County, New Jersey.

Following is an overview of the intercontinental talent who will be cooking and pouring for the Festival:

  • From Africa:

Chef: Nic van Wyk, Chef/Owner, bistro 13, Stellenbosch, South Africa, received a rare 5-star rating in Cape Times.

Winemakers and wineries: Duncan Savage, Head Winemaker of Cape Point Vineyards and Owner/Winemaker of Savage Wines, South Africa; and, Stephan du Toit, Winemaker/General Manager, Dieu Donne Vineyards, Franschhoek, South Africa.

  • From Asia:

Chefs: Gyanendra Gupta, Executive Chef, Hotel Jai Mahal Palace, Jaipur, India; and, Shine Sreevisakhan, Executive Chef, Villa Maya, Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Gupta won Best Indian Cuisine at an All India Chefs Competition. Sreevisaskhan's 5-star restaurant was rated number four in India and number one in South India.

Winemakers and wineries: Kerry Damskey, Master Winemaker, Sula Vineyards, Nashik, India, and Winemaker 3 Corners, Negev Desert, Israel.

  • From Australia:

Chef: Owen Andrews, Chef/Owner, Owen Andrews Catering, Barossa Valley, Australia. Showcased in the 2014 cookbook, Savour Barossa, he is a passionate advocate for Barossa Cuisine.

Winemaker and winery: Warren Randall, Director/Co-Owner, Seppeltsfield Estate, Barossa Valley, Australia.

  • From Europe:

Chefs: Tommy den Hartog, Chef, Johannes, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Alain Ivaldi, Author/Chef, European Association of Hotel and Tourism Schools, Marseille, France; Juan Nales, Chef, Las Duelas, La Rioja, Spain; Gérard Ménétrier, Pastry Chef and Chocolatier, Des Lis Chocolat, Nemours, France; and, Fabio Raiola, Chef/Owner, Ristorante Volcano, Olevano sul Tusciano, Italy. den Hartog has cooked in multiple Michelin-star restaurants. Ivaldi authored Culinary Traditions, about Provencale and Nicoise cuisine. Nales has cooked for The United Nations and in a 3-Michelin-Star kitchen. Ménétrier was awarded a "Pastry Oscar" and is a member of the Culinary Academy of France. Raiola is a teacher and lecturer, and a graduate of the prestigious Roberto Virtuoso Culinary School.

Winemakers and wineries: Claude Boudamani, Managing Director/Winemaker, Chateau Lagrezette, Caillac, France; Teresa Maroto, Area Manager, Bodegas Franco-Españolas, Rioja, Spain, also representing Bodegas Valparaíso, Burgos, Spain; Eduardo Sáinz, General Manager Príncipe de Viana, Navarra, Spain, and Managing Director, Rioja Vega, Rioja, Spain; Richard Grosche, Managing Director, Weingut Reichsrat Von Buhl, Pfalz, Germany; Melina Tassou, Managing Director/Chief Winemaker, Domaine Kikones, Thrace, Greece; and, Maria Giulia, Winemaker, Tenuta Il Corno, Tuscany, Italy.

  • From South America:

Chef: Santiago Macias, Chef, i Latina, Buenos Aires, Argentina, ranked number one restaurant in Buenos Aires by TripAdvisor.

Winemakers and wineries: Jon Staenberg, Founder, Hand of God, Mendoza, Argentina. Lucila Pescarmona, Director/Owner, Bodega Lagarde, Mendoza, Argentina.

  • From North America, outside of the United States:

Chefs: Caswell Pondt, Junior Sous Chef, Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda: Jermaine "Monk" George, Chef, Tree House Restaurant, Virgin Gorda; Jenese Adams, Chef/Owner, K-Jnyce Catering, Tortola, and a Junior Chef from Virgin Gorda, all provided by the British Virgin Islands, the Official Island Sponsor of the Festival. Adams is a past winner of the Caribbean Food and Nutrition competition. Pondt and George have been members of the BVI Culinary Team, with Pondt coaching the team to Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. Pondt won The Iron Chef Challenge in St. Thomas.

American chefs Ryan Clark (Executive Chef/Owner/Author, Agustin Kitchen, Tucson, Arizona), ChefFed (Founder/Chef, SX Culinary, Aphrodisiac Cooking Classes, New York City), Asha Gomez (Chef/Owner, Spice to Table, Atlanta, Georgia), Darryl Harmon (Owner, Harmon Live – The Culinary Experience, Jersey City, New Jersey), Ashbell McElveen (Chef/Owner, Ashbell's Smokehouse Deli, New Orleans, Louisiana) and Ranney Moran (Private Chef, Napa, California) join the international and MidAtlantic chefs in kitchens at 40+ venues in 4 states.

Additional wineries from the United States will also be represented: Eagle Eye Winery, [Ee'z], Galvan Wine and Palmeri Wines from Napa, California, Hook & Ladder Winery and Kieran Robinson Wines from Sonoma, California, Chapter 24 Vineyards, Willamette Valley, Oregon.

Festival founder Ajit George said, "As if securing winemakers and chefs from six continents — again — isn't enough of a thrill, we've also got some special treats in store for guests. Two wineries will premiere new products at the Festival: Weingut Reichsrat von Buhl's new sparkling wine, and the first vintage from brand new winery [Ee'Z], a 2013 Zinfandel. And winemaker Maria Giulia is also cooking at the Cal-Ital Winemakers Dinner. I've been to a lot of food and wine festivals, and it's hard to top what we're doing in 2015."

Executive producer Laura Stimson said, "We're connecting the MidAtlantic to the world in a way we think has never been done before. Chefs, and their VIP delegations, will fly in from two of Wilmington, Delaware's Sister Cities – Fabio Raiola from Olevano sul Tusciano, Italy, and Gérard Ménétrier from Nemours, France. We're sharing stories about our region: one dinner focuses on 18th-century chef James Hemings; once a slave of Thomas Jefferson, he studied in France, and later took his skills and freedom to Philadelphia, making significant contributions to American culinary history. This Festival is increasing the profile of the MidAtlantic as a culinary treasure to people all over the globe."

Expanded chef and winemaker bios as well as Festival event descriptions can be found on www.mawff.org. For additional information about the Festival, call JulieAnne Cross at 302.660.2200 extension 110 or 302.332.3788.

About the MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival

The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival™ presented by Bank of America brings the world the MidAtlantic, and the MidAtlantic to the world each spring. The purpose of the MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival, Limited, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is to be the premier food and wine event of the MidAtlantic featuring international vintners and chefs in collaboration with our local talent; promoting cultural and economic development; creating opportunities for young people to pursue culinary careers; and partnering with designated beneficiaries to raise funds. Over the past two years, the Festival has engaged 126 chefs, 28 winemakers and 53 experts from 6 continents, has issued 6,500 tickets, and has sold out 46 events. The Festival has drawn attendees from more than 15 countries, 17 states and 173 zip codes. Students from three high school culinary programs have gained hands-on work experience in Festival kitchens. 2014 events took place in two states (Delaware and Pennsylvania), four counties and 14 cities and towns

IF YOU GO
WHAT: MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival
WHERE: 40+ venues in 4 states, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey
WHEN: Wednesday, May 13 through Sunday, May 17, 2015
INFO: www.mawff.org

Interviews with international chefs can be arranged, including limited pre-Festival personal appearances.

CONTACT: Sue St Laurent 302-981-5849Source: MidAtlantic Wine & Food Festival