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    Global Wine & Food Festival Returns to Healdsburg May 16–19

    Located in the heart of the California wine country, the Healdsburg Wine & Food Experience (HWFE) will be a festival celebration featuring the best of Sonoma County and world-renowned food and wines. The San Francisco Bay Times is a Local Media Partner of the festival.

    HWFE will showcase the region’s makers—farmers, growers, winemakers, and chefs—alongside globally recognized wines from other great wine regions of the world, as it seeks to highlight the vibrant culinary diversity, sustainable farming practices, and deep connection to agriculture that Sonoma County offers.

    The four day-long HWFE, which kicks off with an evening celebration on May 16 at Montage Healdsburg, will include special wine tastings and seminar discussions, exceptional lunches, dinners, celebrity chef demonstrations, cocktail experiences, and an expansive Grand Tasting. As featured in this issue of the Bay Times, there will also be a live outdoor concert featuring Christone “Kingfish” Ingram at Rodney Strong on Friday, May 17.

    New highlights this year include J Vineyards’ “Shifting the Lens” exclusive experience with Tu David Phu, who is a James Beard Award nominee, Top Chef contestant, and a San Francisco Chronicle “Rising Star Chef”; a Bollywood Culinary Dance Celebration at La Crema Winery; and a Wine-Down Pool Party at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. This year’s event will also feature a Culinary Demonstration at Little Saint Healdsburg with celebrity chef and cookbook author Amanda Freitag and a special Hawaiʻi themed dinner party at The Matheson with local star Dustin Valette and Hawaiʻi Chef Lee Anne Wong raising awareness that Maui is open for business and welcomes mindful travelers back to the island.

    “We’re thrilled for our third annual event in May,” exclaimed Steve Dveris, founder and CEO of the festival. “In just a short time, we’ve made a national impact as the first international wine and food festival in Sonoma County and Napa Valley, showcasing wines from around the globe. Our event pillars remain celebrating the talented makers, honoring our agricultural roots, culinary diversity, and sustainability, while pairing local talent with top chefs nationwide. Get ready for an incredible weekend packed with fun, surprises, music, and, of course, the finest wine and food!”

    Chefs who are participating in the event include some returning favorites and new faces. Joining HWFE for the first time will be Kelsey Barnard Clark, season 16 Bravo’s Top Chef winner; Freitag of Food Network’s Chopped and an Iron Chef America regular; Jeffrey Lunak, Chef/Owner of Sumo Dog; Michael Reed, who is a James Beard Best Chef: California semi-finalist; and Lee Anne Wong, who is an author and the Chef/Owner of Koko Head Cafe in Honolulu as well as a contestant and Culinary Consultant on Top Chef.

    Back this year will be local chef Dustin Valette, Chef/Owner of The Matheson; and 2021 Food & Wine’s Best New Chef Matt Horn. Also back will be Food Network star Maneet Chauhan; Top Chef season four winner Stephanie Izard; Food Network’s Chopped star and 2011 Food & Wine’s Best New Chef and Iron Chef America winner Viet Pham; and Food & Wine’s Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle. Local participating chefs will include Domenica Catelli, Duskie Estes, Crista Leudtke, Tracey Shepos Cenami, Leah Scurto, and Ari Weiswasser.

    Events will be held around Healdsburg, including at The Matheson, Sushi by Scratch: Healdsburg, Montage Healdsburg, Lo & Behold Bar + Kitchen, and Little Saint, along with wineries including Bacchus Landing, Bricoleur Vineyards, Chalk Hill Estate, J Vineyards & Winery, Kendall-Jackson Estate and Gardens, Marine Layer, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Dutton Ranch, and more.

    The event strives to give back to the local community. The outdoor concert at Rodney Strong Vineyards on Friday evening with Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will benefit Farm to Pantry, whose goal is to bring together communities to end food injustice and reverse global warming by rescuing and sharing locally grown food with those who have been marginalized. HWFE will contribute to the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation. The organization’s mission is to raise funds that support the Leadership Academy, workforce development, and other resources that elevate local vineyard employees and their families. This year’s event will also support Healdsburg Future Farmers of America (FFA). Sponsored by Foley Family Foundation, a significant donation will go towards the HWFE Future Farmers Scholarship, created by HWFE for students from the local Healdsburg High School FFA chapter.

    “As co-founders and partners in this remarkable endeavor, we are deeply committed to our dual mission: showcasing Sonoma County’s extraordinary wine, agriculture, and commitment to sustainability on a global platform, while simultaneously raising vital funds to uplift and honor our local vineyard workforce. This mission permeates every aspect of our events and messaging throughout the entire weekend. What could be more fulfilling than enjoying oneself while also making a positive impact?” remarked Karissa Kruse, CEO & President of Sonoma County Winegrowers and Executive Director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation.

    Partners of the HWFE include Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, Stonestreet Estate Vineyards, Foley Food & Wine Society, FOOD & WINE, The Hawaiian Islands, and the Sonoma County Winegrowers.

    For more information and tickets:

    Arts & Entertainment
    Published on April 4, 2024