cape may events

7th Annual Cape May Food and Wine Festival 2003

September 20-25

Cape May—The seventh annual Cape May Food and Wine Festival, presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC), features five days of activities, tours and events for everyone from the novice chef to food connoisseurs. The Cape May Food and Wine Festival takes place throughout Cape May from Saturday, Sept. 20 through Thursday, Sept. 25.

The Cape May Food and Wine Festival features the Restaurant Relay Race, the Gourmet Tasting and Restaurant Tour, the Gourmet Marketplace and People’s Choice Chowder Contest, the Festival Lobster Bake, five Chefs’ Dine-Arounds, Gourmet Luncheons as well as tastings, seminars and classes.

Festival Lobsterbake

The Food and Wine Festival kicks off 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 in the Savannah Key Ballroom at the Marquis de Lafayette Hotel, 501 Beach Drive, with the Festival Lobsterbake. The Craig Bros. Lobsterbake Co. presents a seashore tradition—lobsters, clams, mussels, corn on the cob, Cape May barbeque beans, watermelon and more. The cost is $45 per person, with a cash bar available. This event is limited, so reserve early.

Restaurant Relay Race

The festival continues Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on the Promenade in front of Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Drive at Stockton Place. Teams from Cape May’s restaurants will race against the clock and each other in a relay race of restaurant games—Who can set the fastest table, fold the fanciest napkin or race through an obstacle course and deliver a cocktail without spilling a drop? The competition ends with a head-to-head match of Cape May chefs in a timed cook-off.

Gourmet Tasting and Restaurant Tour

Learn the ins and outs of fine dining Cape May-style on the Gourmet Tasting and Restaurant Tour, a three-hour self-guided tour, on Sunday, Sept. 21 from noon to 3 p.m., as more than 12 restaurants serve samples of their house specials. Admission to the tour is $20 or included in the Full Festival Package.

Gourmet Marketplace

Eat, drink, learn and be merry from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21 in the Gourmet Marketplace at Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Drive at Stockton Place. The Gourmet Marketplace will include food and beverages, samples, product information, items for purchase and the People’s Choice Chowder Contest during which local chefs compete for the prize of best chowder. The Gourmet Marketplace will also feature Cape May Salt Oysters —sample these specialty oysters grown off the coast of Cape May by Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Inc. Cape May Salts boast a taste and quality like no other—succulent, firm, salty and clean. Admission to the Marketplace is $7 in advance and $10 at the door. A Gourmet Tasting and Restaurant Tour and Marketplace combination ticket is available for $25.

Chefs’ Dine-Arounds

The festivities continue Sunday with a Food and Wine favorite—the Chefs’ Dine-Around—a five-course gourmet feast, with each course served in a different Cape May restaurant. Each night features a different theme and combination of restaurants. Wine is served with each course. A free trolley shuttle between restaurants is provided. All Chefs’ Dine-Arounds begin and end at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St.; parking is free and on site. Chefs’ Dine-Arounds are $100 per person. Space is very limited; reserve early.

Wine Tasting

On Monday, Sept. 22, Cape May’s restaurant professionals will be at the Isaac Smith Grove of the Cape May Winery for an evening of wonderful wines from a selection of distributors and delicious hors d’oeurvres catered by the Washington Inn. The Professionals’ Wine Tasting is a new event for the 7th annual Cape May Food and Wine Festival and is from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $30 per person.

Gourmet Lunches

Food and Wine Festival Gourmet Lunches are offered Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 22-24. Lunch-goers have their choice of two restaurants on each day. Lunches will feature signature dishes and are at noon. The cost is $20 per person.

Cooking Classes

Cape May’s Food and Wine Festival is more than eating and drinking—it also features the following tastings, seminars and cooking classes:

  • 9:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 22
    Chaddsford American Wines: Tasting
    Union Park Restaurant: Signature Dish
    Herbs and Edible Flowers with Lorraine Kiefer
    The Blue Pig at Congress Hall: Signature Dishes
  • 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 22
    The Merion Inn and iGourmet: Cheese and Wine Pairings
    The Mad Batter: Lobster Pasta
  • 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23
    The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel: Fish
    Godmothers Restaurant: Totally Infused: Oils and Vinegars
    The Washington Inn: Just Desserts
    Growing and Using Herbs, Part 1 with Lorraine Kiefer
    Gecko’s: Southwest Dishes
  • 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23
    Chalfonte Hotel: Soul Food Cooking with a Southern Accent
    Winery Tour and Tasting
    The Mad Batter: Flambe with JT
  • 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24
    The Ebbitt Room: Meat and Fowl
    The Pelican Club: What’s New in American Cuisine
    The Washington Inn: Signature Dish
    “Growing and Using Herbs, Part 2” with Lorraine Kiefer
    The Blue Pig at Congress Hall: Chocolate Creations
    Black Duck at Sunset: Duck Many Ways
  • 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24
    Merion Inn: Cocktails and Hors D’Oeuvres
    The Mad Batter: Paella
    Henry’s on the Beach: Special but Easy, Can It Be Done?

Individual tastings, seminars and cooking classes are $25. A full package for the Food and Wine Festival, which includes admission to the Gourmet Tasting and Restaurant Tour, The Gourmet Marketplace, three days of intimate classes, tastings and seminars and a limited edition cookbook containing recipes featured in this year’s classes, is $150.

The 7th annual Cape May Food and Wine Festival is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) (609) 884-5404.

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