IntoxiKate Tips to Enjoy the Westchester Magazine Wine and Food Festival

by Katie Schlientz

Westchester Magazine‘s Wine and Food Festival kicked off last night with the Bloomingdale’s Fashion, Food, and Wine event. If you missed the event, no worries—you can find pictures of Kathie Lee Gifford singing Happy Birthday to Chef Peter Kelly on the mag’s Instagram account.

Tickets are still available to the festivals two major events—the Burger and Beer Blast and Grand Tasting Village, both hosted at the Kensico Dam Plaza. The Burger and Beer Blast features over 30 local restaurants and food trucks and kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. The Grand Tasting Village, a culinary expo with food from over 40 local restaurants, also focuses on the area’s top vendors from the area’s farmers markets on Saturday, June 6th at 12 p.m. (Oh, and did I mention the chef cooking demos?)

The events are both a food-lover’s dream, but can also be a bit overwhelming to tackle all of that eating in one event. Here’s a few IntoxiKate tips that’ll not only help you eat your way through the festival, but enjoy yourself as well:

1. Purchase your tickets ahead of time.
To attend both events, you’ll need to purchase tickets ahead of time. Visit to grab yours ($65 per person for the Burger and Beer Blast; $75 per person for the Grand Tasting Village).

2. Arrive early…
Or at least on time. That way, you’ll secure a great parking spot and enjoy the food before the crowd rolls in. Trust me, it gets busy!

3. Designate a driver.
No doubt about it—these events are a good time. The beer and wine will be flowing, so it’s important to designate a driver so everyone gets home safe and sound.

4. Go with a group and share with your foodie friends.
Sure the sliders are small at the Burger and Beer Blast—but there’s THIRTY to try. Bring a plastic fork to cut those babies in half or quarters, and share those bites with friends.


5. Pace yourself.
Thursday and Saturday’s events have a lot to offer. Take a quick survey around to see what you don’t want to miss. Hit those options first, and then make your way to other tables.

6. Stay hydrated.
Drink the H2O. Yes, there’s beer. And wine. And Slovenia vodka! But make sure you’re taking sips of water to wash everything down.

7. TALK to the chefs.
Ok, here’s where I hop up on my soapbox. I’ve had the opportunity to be on both sides of the table at food events—I’ve been a guest and handed out plates. It’s so frustrating when people don’t even make eye contact, snap up a plate, and walk off. The participating chefs and staff work hard to create dishes for the event (on top of their regular daily restaurant tasks) and are shelling out time and money to be there. Take a second to talk to them, learn about the restaurant and ask questions about the food you’re eating. Trust me, once you hob nob with the best of them, you’ll have much more fun, and have a better appreciation for the food you’re eating.

SOWE Festival

8. Collect business cards.
Between the two events, there are over 70 restaurants and vendors involved. It’s easy to lose track of the dishes you love, so make sure to pick up a business card at the table and write down the name of the dish you loved as a friendly reminder. That way, you can visit the eateries you’re dying to try or revisit post-festival.

9. Be social.
Share your favorite dishes with Westchester Magazine and IntoxiKate on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter.


10. Say hello.
I’ll be on the scene at both events, so if you see me, make sure to say hi! I can introduce you to some of my favorites. (Hey, it’s what I do!)

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