This past weekend marked the third annual Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, featuring numerous events that showcased the talents of Food Network and Cooking Channel personalities like Sunny Anderson, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine and The Neelys. With over 30 events, cooking demos and seminars to choose from, I certainly had my hands full. However, over the course of four days, these five moments struck a chord and were most memorable:
1. Watching Guy crown the first-ever female winner, Nicole DiZio, during his popular Cheesesteak Battle on Friday night.
2. Guy’s Big Bite Brunch: Fans of this Food Network star definitely got their money’s worth with these tickets — a seven-course menu included Steak and Eggs, French Toast and Pretzel Crusted Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Along with unlimited Bloody Marys and Mimosas, the crowd left happy as they laughed at Guy’s jokes and anecdotes.
3. Listening to Gary Clark, Jr. sing and play the guitar while eating The Neelys’ Fried Chicken served at Blues, Brews and BBQ.
4. Before listening to Sunny Anderson serenade Pat Neely with “Happy Birthday” at Sweet & Stylish on Saturday night (Happy Belated, Pat), I was relaxing with her and several of the Food Network Star contestants on the roof-top of Caesar’s while eating some of the best sliders I’ve ever had.
5. Meeting the Tough Cookies crew and trying Crazy Susan’s classic turtle cookie for the first time (pictured above). Can you say addictive?