Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Food Network Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival 2011, Part 3 of 3

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Sunday, July 31, 2011
The Grand Market
Allen posing outside the ballroom with the wine display

Allen enjoying an octopus dish sample from Chelsea Prime right when we walked in
I bought tickets for this event when they went on sale months ago. In part two, I mentioned we breezed through The Grand Market and Italian Village Saturday since we had a VIP pass but only stayed for about a half hour due to the immense crowd and lines. Today was the final day of The Grand Market from 12:00PM-3:00PM, at Bally's Grand Ballroom and it was crowded but not the madhouse it was yesterday.
One view of The Grand Market
We did not receive Go Green bags as we entered since they ran out and were filling up Total Rewards bags with some promotional items but did not give them out. We were told a bag would be given to each person as they left the event. As we were leaving, I asked for a bag and an employee said they were all gone. For $45 to attend, we should get our bags.

Here are the booths we visited that we enjoyed. Links are at the end of this post should you want to contact these companies. If you do, please let them know you read about them on Two Fry's.

Many aprons to choose from Two Lumps of Sugar

Cupcake Timer Allen bought me from Two Lumps of Sugar
Cupcake Timer, Bag, Wally Washers from Two Lumps of Sugar
Two Lumps of Sugar
The first booth I visited was the Two Lumps of Sugar booth, and they gave me a bag since I didn't get one on my way in. I loved the cooking timers, and Allen bought me a cupcake timer. Two Lumps of Sugar were selling totes, and lovely adjustable aprons that come in many styles, oven mitt and potholder sets, chef hats, lip-gloss shaped cupcakes, and fashionable chillers. They gave me a pair of pink Wally Washers, and I look forward to cleaning with them. Allen thought they were very nice people and a great first transaction for the event.
Chef Amanda Nahas, Whip It Out
Whip It Out, Chef Amanda Nahas
The booth directly across from Two Lumps of Sugar was Chef Amanda Nahas from Whip It Out. Chef Nahas gave out Gazpacho samples and it was delicious and refreshing. The Gazpacho had a very balanced blend of spices and great taste. Chef Nahas provides in-home meal service featuring personalized menus, home entertaining and cooking classes. Allen thought the Gazpacho was great and Chef Nahas mentioned she only uses British cucumbers, which we use as well and were great in her dish, A+.

Daisy Cakes
Daisy Cakes
I spoke to owner Kim Daisy about her cakes and they deliver in the U.S. for $44 per cake. I loved all the samples I tried: carrot cake, lemon cake, coconut cake, and red velvet cake. This was the only cake booth outside Sand Dollar Crumb Cake.

Allen trying some Picky Vicki BBQ Sauce

Allen with Vicki and Allen got about 30 compliments on his Big Dogs shirt
Picky Vicki Gourmet BBQ Sauce
Allen and I sampled the Picky Vicki Gourmet BBQ Sauce and we loved it. They also sell Brazenly Bold, Hot Stuff and Shamelessly Sassy BBQ Sauce. If you need some rub for your meats, Vicki sells her signature What's Shakin’ BBQ Rub. All the Picky Vicki products are available on their website. We spoke to Vicki and she was so pleasant and gracious to take a photo with Allen for the blog. Allen bought Nice 'N Sweet Mild BBQ Sauce and I cannot wait to cook with it.

One of the 2 Chicks

2 Chicks With Chocolate

2 Chicks With Chocolate Allen bought me. Yum. I enjoyed every one of them
2 Chicks With Chocolate
I really enjoyed the 2 Chicks With Chocolate booth. Allen and I tried many samples and Allen bought us a sampler box with four chocolates I picked out, which I devoured last night. I loved the chocolate taste, richness, texture, and the beautiful presentation of each design. 2 Chicks With Chocolate operate a shop in South River, NJ and they offer chocolate and wine pairing classes. They also sell chocolates online.

Laconiko 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The Perrakos family produces Laconiko 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil from their private olive oil estate in Greece. The two individuals we spoke to were very nice, insightful, and happy to discuss this olive oil. Allen bought Laconiko 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the sample was superb as was the Laconiko Lemon Olive Oil and the Laconiko Garlic Olive Oil. I really enjoyed the robust and well-rounded taste of the olive oil. I cannot wait to start cooking with it. Allen feels this olive oil is an excellent addition for our cooking and the information they gave us about other so-called pure virgin olive oils was priceless. We learned that sometimes when a label that says it is 100% extra virgin olive oil it actually has a large percent of canola oil added (so check your labels chefs).

Sand Dollar Crumb Cake
Sand Dollar Crumb Cake
I tried a sample of Sand Dollar Crumb Cake and I wanted more and coffee to accompany it. It was yummy and Sand Dollar Crumb Cake sells it online.

Allen with Glenn Cunningham, Kim Crawford Wines

New Zealand Wine Ambassador Glenn Cunningham
Kim Crawford Wine
Kim Crawford Wine comes from New Zealand's South Island, Marlborough region. Glenn Cunningham came out before Guy Fieri's performance last night and promoted his wine for a few minutes. This was good marketing, because I remembered him and made sure I tried a sample of the wine as soon as I saw the booth. The wine was delicious and I hope to own a bottle or two in the future. I photographed Allen with Glenn Cunnigham, Ambassador of New Zealand Wine after they spoke about pairing Kim Crawford with oysters, clams and seafood as the perfect compliment to a meal.

Steve from Crazy Steve's Pickles And Salsa and his Dad, Steve on the right
Allen with Steve of Crazy Steve's Pickles And Salsa
Crazy Steve’s Pickles And Salsa
Allen is a big fan of Crazy Steve's Pickles And Salsa. Allen had a great time hanging with Steve but it was brief since it the event was almost over. Allen purchased several items and spoke to Steve about the Pickles for World Hunger link we placed on our Two Fry's blog to help support Steve. Allen says Steve is the best locally based pickle maker and has been running Crazy Steve's Pickles And Salsa for a few years. The company is growing and we are very happy for Steve.

Cape Seasonings
Cape Seasonings Gourmet Seasoned Sourdough Pretzels Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt
Cape Seasonings
Cape Seasonings have a nice selection of spices and pretzels. Allen bought Gourmet Seasoned Sourdough Pretzels Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Sea Salt. We spoke to the owner and he said Cape Seasonings' products might be sold at bigger outlets soon. Allen will review the pretzels soon, and plans to order one of the Cape Seasonings spices too.

Chefs from Fin preparing Lobster Bisque samples

Allen with his Lobster Bisque shooter

Mermaid model from Fin and Allen
Fin restaurant is located within Tropicana Casino and they gave out Lobster Bisque shooters. I asked the lovely mermaid model if she would take a picture with Allen and she was really cool about it. Allen was very happy too... See that smile on his face.
Phillips Corp. Executive Chef Todd Weisz
Phillips Seafood
Phillips Seafood is a great restaurant here in Atlantic City. Phillips Corp. Executive Chef Todd Weisz was serving and making samples of their delicious Crab Cake and he is a cutie too. Seafood lovers should definitely check Phillips Seafood out.

Caesars Executive Chef Keith Mitchell
Caesars were serving samples of Jersey crab with asparagus and zucchini crudi and it was delicious. Pictured is Caesars Executive Chef Keith Mitchell, another cute chef.

Bally's Chefs making Scallops
Bally's Chefs were making more Scallops when I got to their booth and when they were ready we both got a sample. The scallop was perfectly cooked and seasoned.

Harrah's Chefs making Bruschetta
Harrah's Chefs were hard at work making Bruschetta. It was delicious and the bread had the perfect crunch. They tried to give me more than one but I wanted to keep my appetite to try different things. I think this one Chef is sticking out his tongue at me.

Snack Chicks
Snack Chicks
Snack Chicks sell crunchy chickpea snacks, which are the "ultimate low-fat chickpea crunch." They come in different flavors and are a healthy alternative when you have the munchies. Allen thinks they are amazing will not buy Corn Nuts again since Snack Chicks are healthier and taste much better.

Bakers’ Southern Tradition Peanuts
Bakers' Southern Tradition Peanuts
We were happy to see Bakers' Southern Tradition Peanuts since we bought their peanuts last year and loved them. These peanuts are so delicious. Allen bought 2 jars of the Lightly Salted Blister Fried Peanuts and a jar of White Chocolate Covered Peanuts for me. Allen thinks these blister peanuts are the best he has ever tasted, and better than the Trader Joe’s brand!

Harvest Fresh Farms
Harvest Fresh Farm
Harvest Fresh Farms were selling and had samples of Herbs in Olive Oil, Pesto & Fresh Herbal Blends, and Herbal Vinegars. Allen bought a jar of Old World Basil Pesto Sauce and I look forward to cooking a nice pesto dish soon. The samples Allen had were one the best he tasted all day. The owners were personable and took time out to speak to us about their products.

Carriage House serving up Corn Bread
Carriage House
Carriage House were giving samples of corn bread with BBQ sauce drizzled on top. It was really good and moist.

Roasted Garlic maker
Roasted Garlic
I thought this was a cool kitchen gadget but I did not get to try the roasted garlic since it was roasting and I forgot to go back and get a sample. The product comes in different colors and cuts the cooking time of roasting garlic in the oven by half.

Pecan Jacks World Famous Sweets
Pecan Jacks World Famous Sweets
Pecan Jacks World Famous Sweets sells southern pralines with a subtle twist of Caribbean Rum, Amaretto or Bourbon. I thought they were expensive but they do have alcohol in them so that may be why. Their products were selling from the looks of it.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Francis Ford Coppola Winery had samples of their Director’s Sonoma County Chardonnay but I did not try it.

Ergo Chef Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich Series
Ergo Chef
Ergo Chef is the company that developed the Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich Series Knives. I have two and use them daily. Ergo Chef has an extensive series of knives they sell. I use mine every day.
Kitchen Magic
Kitchen Magic
Kitchen Magic offer custom refacing, new cabinetry and luxury counter tops. The person we spoke to at this booth was very nice and helpful. The company offers a lifetime of home ownership warranty and design, manufacture and install. If I owned a house, I would consider hiring them but since we rent an apartment, we cannot change anything.

My Power Clock Booth
My Power Clock
My Power Clock has developed The Reminder Timer which comes in a selection of design styles. They even offer a pocket size version, which is great to make sure you do not overcook something. 

Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Non-Stick
Tony Baloney's Cheese Steak
After Baloney's Atlantic City Cheese Steak cooking demonstration samples were quickly eaten up. The line was too long so I never tried it. Thanks to Allen being assertive, he got a roll of Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Non-Stick then I went to the booth as they were closing and asked for one too. I grabbed the flyer since Tony Baloney's Atlantic City Smoked Cheese Steak recipe was on it.

Links to check out:
Bakers' Southern Tradition Peanuts
Bally's Atlantic City Dining
Caesars Atlantic City Dining
Cape Seasonings
Carriage House
Chelsea Prime
Daisy Cakes
Francis Coppola Winery
Harrah's Resort Atlantic City
Harvest Fresh Farm
I Love Roasted Garlic
Kim Crawford Wine
Kitchen Magic
My Power Clock
Pecan Jack's World Famous Sweets
Phillips Seafood
Picky Vicki
Sand Dollar Crumb Cake
Snack Chicks
2 Chicks With Chocolate
Two Lumps of Sugar
Whip It Out Chef Amanda Nahas

Wine glasses we got at The Grand Market Saturday and Sunday

Closing Comments about The Grand Market
Allen and I think there needs to be more food booths in The Grand Market so it is not just a booze fest. We both agreed The Italian Village needs to be CLOSER to the rest of the ballrooms. We missed it completely Sunday and spent little time in there Saturday because the lines were so long. Next year please have more food and dessert booths.
Go Green bag we got at The Grand Market Saturday and cool glass Allen bought at Caesars gift shop
Food Network Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival General Comments
First off, I want to thank all the chefs that worked so hard behind the scenes, and are responsible for all the food at the events and restaurants during the festival. I also want to thank all the chefs that work at the restaurants in Atlantic City. We appreciate and love you. Without chefs, events like this would not be possible.

VIP folder with festival booklet and schedule of events
I was disappointed that there were only two Chefs On Stage events, Guy Fieri and Pat and Gina Neely at Circus Maximus in Caesars. 
Cool t-shirt Allen bought at Caesars Gift Shop
Food Network should consider booking a full schedule of celebrity chefs at the Viking Cooking School at Harrah's or perhaps find another location that seats lots of people sized in between the Viking Cooking School and Circus Maximus.

Cool mugs, wine opener at bag Allen bought at Caesars Gift Shop
We missed the Viking Cooking School events completely and wanted to see Cooking Channel Chef Kelsey Nixon but could not go because her demo was right before Guy Fieri's Chefs On Stage extravaganza and she was all the way at Harrah's. We also missed Sunset Sliders at Caesars Rooftop Pool since we had tickets to see Pat and Gina Neely at the same time. We missed this same event last year as well since we had a schedule conflict.

It would be great to see cooking demonstrations from Aaron McCargo, Jr., Aarti Sequeira, Melissa D'Arabian (she was so awesome last year), Sunny Anderson (we were lucky to get Sunny at an invite-only Harrah's dinner), Claire Robinson, Anne Thornton, Duff Goldman, Aaron Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli and Anne Burrell as well.

The problem with Guy's Big Bite Brunch was the set up of the Atlantic Grill at Caesars. Attendees sat in three separate rooms so even though you could hear Guy talk, you could only see him when he was in your room. There were no autographs or photos with Guy this year. Last year, Guy's brunch was awesome at Phillips. You could see Guy from wherever he was and we got our menu autographed and a killer photo with him.

We attended this festival three years in a row and there were only five Food Network celebrity chefs this year: Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, Pat and Gina Neely and Sunny Anderson. We missed Robert Irvine's dinner Restaurant Invasion at Casa Di Napoli at Showboat to attend the Harrah's dinner. We were very sorry to miss Robert Irvine since we did not get to see him anywhere else. I cannot wait for the next fest in 2012 and hope it is even bigger than this one!

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys

1 comment:

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