Saturday, June 1, 2013

Re-cap: National Harbor's 6th Annual Wine and Food Festival

National Harbor, Md.
National Harbor recently hosted their 6th Annual Wine and Food Festival.  More than just your average run-of-the-mill foodie festival, this event had it all!  

Indaba Wines

Shine Riesling 2012
Wine and champagne tastings.

The craft beer oriented Bier Garten, exhibiting both national distributors and local microbreweries.

A whiskey and bourbon tasting lounge, featuring hand rolled cigar demonstrations.

Knob Creek Bourbon

Markers Mark
There was even a vendor who gave festival-goers the option to brew their own beer, whiskey, scotch and/or tequila and age it in their custom-made barrels at home.

Barrel and Cigar Exhibitor

St. Germain and Bacardi
Mixed spirits and tequila tastings were also available and were very popular due to the Cinqo de Mayo celebrations.

Food trucks preparing for the lunch rush.

Food vendors were on hand to provide French pastries, German specialties, and lobster rolls to name a few. 

Educational Wine Aroma Center

Chefs prepping the cooking stage for Captain Thom's,
"Cooking with Salt and Pepper" demonstration.
Six chefs presided over the Viking Cooking Stage throughout Sunday’s activities. Exhibiting and sharing their culinary tips, chefs prepared BBQ, worked with spices, and provided prep techniques to audience members.  The best part was, each chef brought enough samples for the audience members.

Chef Victor Albisu, Del Campo
Chef Victor Albisu of Del Campo prepared a traditional chorizo with a juicy shoulder cut steak atop guacamole.  The steak was topped with the Argentinean-style chimichurri, made with 1 cup of blackened and crisped onions which were chopped and blended with Balsamic vinegar (chop the onions as you slowly add the vineagar), fresh cilantro, parsley, red hot peppers, a pinch of dried oregano, garlic, and olive oil.  

The chimichurri was finished off with a squeeze of grilled citrus.  The meat was then dry marinated with smoking herbs in an enclosed metal container.

 Saving the best for last, the VIP Pier offered San Miniato Sausage with Truffles by Richmond, Va’s Sausage Craft...

I do not state this lightly having once lived near Buffalo, NY’s, Anchor Bar (home of the Buffalo Chicken Wing); Baltimore, Md’s KS Catering has perfected chicken wings by creating the absolute-best, amazingly tasty, and crunchy Maple Bacon BBQ Wings.  If only they had a delivery service for “individual catering” needs.  I truly wish you could taste and smell this…

KS Catering's Maple Bacon BBQ Wings

Proving that bacon and potato is the perfect pairing, the Gaylord National’s Old Hickory Steakhouse served a refreshingly chilled cream of potato soup garnished with bacon.

Gaylord National's Old Hickory Steakhouse
Chilled Cream of Potato Soup

As a coconut lover, my favorite drink of the event was the Ty.Ku Coconut Sake.

Ty.Ku Coconut Sake and Lady-Lola Sake

The VIP Pier also held its own Bier Garten featuring Belgian beers: Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, and Leffe.  The pier also provided a relaxing seating area at the edge of the dock, complete with live bands on the jazz stage (one of the three jazz stages).

VIP Pier - Bier Garten

The expanse of the event and number of exhibitors made me sad that I wasn’t able to spend more time pursuing the many booths and tasting options, making this a not-to-miss weekend festival.

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