by Katie Schlientz

Stewart and Eight Chefs from Connecticut and New York to be Honored at Opening Night Master Chef Wine Gala on September 20; Festival Ambassador Chefs Return to Join in the Celebration Friday and Saturday

The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by PepsiCo today announced the Serendipity 2019 Most Innovative Chefs – eight Connecticut and New York chefs recognized for their creativity, passion and expertise in culinary arts, as well as their local community efforts. This year’s class includes:

  • Pasquale Abbatiello (Southern Table, Pleasantville, NY)
  • Matt Aita (Little Beet, Greenwich, CT and New York, NY)
  • Aaron Bautista (F.I.S.H Restaurant, Stamford, CT)
  • Evans Corrales (Restaurant at Rowayton Seafood, Rowayton, CT)
  • David Guimaraes (Milestone Restaurant, Redding, CT)
  • Emily Migrone (Tavern on State, New Haven, CT)
  • Brian Sernatinger (Único, Hartsdale, NY)
  • Jeff Taibe (Taproot, Bethel, CT)

In addition to this local talent, Martha Stewart will be honored at the festival’s opening night event.

“In an area filled with some of the very best food and beverage options around the country, I am thrilled to be honoring the leading culinary talents in Connecticut and New York,” said Suni Unger, founder and CEO of Unger Media, the parent company behind Greenwich Wine + Food and Serendipity magazine.  “Not only does this talented list of individuals show off the very best of their cooking skills in their restaurants, but they are also active in our communities participating in charitable functions, shopping at local farmers markets and further putting the foodie scene of our area on the map!”


“The addition of Martha Stewart, a name synonymous with cooking, entertaining and all things lifestyle-related, truly rounds out our list of honorees this year,” added Unger.  “We are honored to be able to recognize her contributions to not only the culinary industry, but also her philanthropic work over her career.”


This year’s Most Innovative Chefs, as well as Stewart, will be honored at the festival’s opening event, the Opening Night Gala presents “The Big Easy” honoring Martha Stewart, on Friday, September 20.  The evening, hosted by Gary Dell’Abate (Executive Producer of The Howard Stern Show, “Baba Booey”) and Rob Burnett (five-time Emmy Award-Winning Writer- Director), will showcase the culinary and music scene of New Orleans, featuring the cuisine of this year’s talented chefs, as well as a number of Festival Ambassador Chefs.  The evening will include performances from GRAMMY award-winning Rebirth Brass Band and Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers.

Festival Ambassador Chefs participating in Friday evening’s intimate event include:

  • Zac Campion (Bailey’s Backyard, Ridgefield, CT)
  • Rui Correia (Douro, Greenwich, CT)
  • Lisa Maronian (Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes, Cos Cob, CT)
  • Nick Martschenko (South End, New Canaan, CT)
  • Deb Ponzek (Aux Delices, Darien, Greenwich and Riverside, CT)
  • Robin Selden (Marcia Selden Catering, Stamford, CT)
  • Matt Storch (Match, Norwalk, CT and Match Burger Lobster, Westport, CT)
  • Bill Taibe (Jesup Hall, Kawa-Ni and The Whelk, Westport, CT)

“After this amazing celebration that officially marks the start of our ninth annual event, we’re looking forward to a fantastic Saturday full of festivities, including tastings and demonstrations from more than 150 of the area’s finest food, wine and spirits experts, and areas devoted to the best in burgers, BBQ, tacos and more,” added Unger.  “In addition to our celebrity chef participants, we are looking forward to welcoming back additional Festival Ambassador Chefs, who will be preparing an exceptional dinner for our VIP ticket holders in a special waterside tented area.  At the heart of our entire Festival is our charitable component, raising money for such hard-working and relevant organizations as Food Rescue US, looking to reduce food waste and hunger around the country. ”

Ambassador Chefs participating in Saturday evening’s VIP Dinner include:

  • Susanne Berne (Bianco Rosso, Trumbull and Wilton, CT)
  • Jes Bengtson (Terrain, Westport, CT)
  • Arturo Franco-Camacho (Shell & Bones Oyster Bar and Grill, New Haven, CT)
  • Julio Genero (Prime, Stamford, CT)
  • Joseph Giordarno (Gabriele’s, Greenwich, CT)
  • Stavros Karipides (Famous Greek Kitchen, Greenwich, CT)
  • Geoff Lazlo (Geoff Lazlo Food, CT)
  • Stephen Lewandowski (Harlan Social, Stamford, CT, Harlan Publick, Norwalk, CT and Harlan Haus, Bridgeport, CT)
  • Brian Lewis (OKO, Westport, CT and Rye, NY, The Cottage, Westport, CT)
  • Nadia Ramsey (Meli-Melo Catering, Greenwich, CT)
  • Armando Sanchez (Washington Prime, Norwalk, CT)
  • Brad Stewart (Flinder’s Lane, Stamford, CT)
  • Ian Vest (Back 40 Kitchen, Greenwich, CT)
  • David White (Bianco Rosso, Trumbull and Wilton, CT)

In addition to the Grand Tasting Tent, guests will experience sommelier, mixologist and brew master presentations, celebrity book signings, cooking demos with Special Guest Chefs, a celebrity green room with live interviews, an exclusive Meet the Masters panel discussion, The Tailgate Party with The Ultimate Taco, Burgers & Beers, and Grill Masters & BBQ.  The 8th Annual Burger Battle and 6th Annual Top Bartender Showdown will also return, providing friendly competition between area restaurants and bars.

Confirmed celebrity talent includes Emmy Award-winner Valerie Bertinelli (Food Network’s Valerie’s Home Cooking), Geoffrey Zakarian (Chef/Partner The Lambs Club at The Chatwal and Point Royal at The Diplomat Beach Resort, Co-Host of Food Network’s The Kitchen and Judge on Chopped), Margaret Zakarian (President of Zakarian Hospitality), Marc Murphy (Food Network’sChopped), David Burtka (Life is a Party cookbook), Jessica Tom (Food Network Star season 14 winner), David Rose (Food Network Star season 13 finalist) and caterer to the stars Mary Giuliani (Mary Giuliani Catering & Events).  Michael Franti & Spearhead and Little Big Town will close out the 2019 event with live musical performances on the Pepsi stage.

Tickets for the event are available via www.greenwichwineandfood.com or by calling 203.588.1363.  Ticket options include the All Weekend Pass ($700), Friday’s Opening Night Gala ($275), Saturday All Day Pass ($200) and Saturday VIP Pass ($500).  On-Stage and Lawn Dinner Tables are sold out, but to be added to the waitlist, please call 203-588-1363.

The Festival weekend will be held rain or shine, and anyone under 21, including infants or children in strollers, will not be admitted. Pets are also not permitted.



Greenwich Wine + Food celebrates community, charity, food, beverage and more in the Connecticut and New York area with multiple events throughout the year, including the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by PepsiCo, the GWF Golf Classic presented by Pure Leaf, and the GWF Fun Run presented by Aquafina. 2019 beneficiaries include Food Rescue US and the Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation.  Greenwich Wine + Food is a part of Unger Media. For more information, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com.



The Greenwich Wine + Food Festival presented by PepsiCo is a multi-day event celebrating the area’s rich culinary landscape and showcasing innovation in the food and beverage industries. Previous participants include chefs Daniel Boulud, Scott Conant, Mary Giuliani, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Murphy, Adam Richman, Marcus Samuelson and Geoffrey Zakarian, as well as musical artists Tim McGraw, Train and Ziggy Marley. This year’s festival will benefit Food Rescue US and the Town of Greenwich Parks & Recreation Foundation; previous beneficiaries include Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Ment’or. Sponsors to date include Pepsico, LifeWTR, Pure Leaf, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Jeep, Compass, Monogram, Aitoro Appliances, Westy Self Storage, Yale New Haven Health Greenwich Hospital, NuKitchen, Rudy’s Limousine Service Inc., Barbara Zaccagnini, Whistle Pig Whiskey, 90+ Cellars, Valerie Wilson Travel, Don Julio, Ketel One Botanical, Tanquerary, The Capitol Theater, Rhone, WhiteHaven, Talbott Vineyards, Sam Bridge Nursery, Delamar and Stamford Marriott.*  The Festival was created by Suni Unger, founder and CEO of Unger Media, the parent company behind Greenwich Wine + Food and Serendipity magazine. For more information, visit www.greenwichwineandfood.com, or the event’s social media channels:  Facebook (@Greenwichwineandfoodfestival) and Instagram (@greenwichwineandfood).


This press release was supplied to IntoxiKate.com.

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