Chef Marc Murphy, a judge on The Food Network’s “Chopped” show, will headline the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival from Sept. 5 to 7 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Murphy, who also is owner and executive chef of Landmarc, Ditch Plains and Kingside restaurants, will host the inaugural “BBQ, Brews & Blues” on Friday, Sept. 5 on SPAC’s grounds.
“Marc Murphy’s eclectic background in a dizzying list of cosmopolitan destinations have made him a force to be reckoned with in the industry. His work as a judge on the Food Network’s hit show ‘Chopped,’ has earned him even wider acclaim, affirming his status as ‘celebrity chef,’” said Marcia J. White, SPAC’s president and executive director, in a press release.
Murphy is the president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association and a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp.
The debut kick-off event is part of the revamped three-day festival weekend. In lieu of the Live on Stage Gala, which has been a featured part of the lineup, the Friday night event will feature an upscale, barbeque-styled competition with outdoor fire pits, live music and a lounge environment.
Kevin Zraly, a wine expert, educator and best-selling author, will play a prominent role in Saturday’s Grand Tasting teaching — a wine tasting seminar of exclusive tastings and upscale wines, and he will lead the live auction of luxury goods and experiences. Hundreds of international wines will be featured at the Grand Tasting under large tents on the SPAC grounds.
Zraly, winner of the 2011 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award, is the author of “Windows on the World Complete Wine Course,” the best-selling wine book in U.S. history. He also leads the Windows on the World Wine School, which has been recognized as one of the top wine schools in the country by Food and Wine magazine.
Among other festival events will be a Adirondack road tour and gourmet luncheon on Friday, a 11⁄2-hour road rally for auto collectors winding through the Adirondacks, finishing at the Lake George Club. The gourmet lunch will include wines, imported foods and tours on wooden and Italian Comitti speed boats.
On Sunday, Sept. 7, a jazz brunch is planned at Saratoga National golf course, with offerings from six of Angelo Mazzone’s fine-dining restaurants.
Tickets to the Wine and Food Festival are available at spac.org, by calling 584-9330 or at the Route 50 Box Office.