(left to right) Donna Covrett and Courtney Tsitouris, founders of the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic
Food, wine and fun. If those sound like the ingredients for a great weekend to you, you’ll want to know about the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic coming to Washington Park September 12 and 13.
Modeled after national events such as the Food + Wine Festivals in Charleston and Atlanta, this year’s inaugural event will be a celebration of the Midwest, according to event producers Donna Covrett and Courtney Tsitouris of City Stories. The vision to nationalize the region’s culinary talents has been an ongoing dream for supporters of the event, Tsitouris adds.
As a tribute to local cuisine experts and the city’s evolution into a culinary front-runner, the festival will showcase top local, regional, and national culinary talent. “The event will boast more than 65 chefs and food personalities combined competing in a variety of signature events,” Tsitouris says. “Spectators will be pleased to discover that many chefs performing at the event have roots right here in Cincinnati.”
Expo festivities include demonstrations, chef competitions, grand tastings, and an array of discussions and educational information. A main event on Friday evening will be a “Pork Chopped” competition featuring all pork inspired dishes and a grand tasting. “Audiences will be able to enjoy the celebration of Cincinnati’s fascinating heritage with a pig roast and the best craft beer and fine wine the city has to offer,” Tsitouris explains.
The second day of the expo will spotlight the area of fine dining and will feature dishes inspired by local and national chefs. Throughout the two-day event, spectators will have the opportunity to meet and greet with national chefs and a range of local talent (click here for a current roster of 2014 talent). In addition, local restaurants will be hosting a multitude of after parties and VIP events. “Our city has a long-standing legacy of fine dining but with the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic it’ll be the moment for Cincinnati to shine,” Tsitouris adds.
While this may be one of the biggest new events to come to Cincinnati this year, perhaps the best part is the mission behind the event. Covrett and Tsitouris partnered the expo with the local Freestore Foodbank and the Cincinnati Cooks program to donate a portion of event proceeds to both programs. The Freestore Foodbank distributes more than 19 million meals annually in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. The Cincinnati Cooks program is a free 10-week program for students who want to prepare for and pursue a successful career in the food service industry.
Ticket prices, as well as the full festival line-up and the schedule of events will be posted in July. Individuals may also sign up to volunteer and help with event activities. Visit www.cincinnatifoodandwineclassic.com for more information.