Do you like Italian food?
How about Italian wines?
Got a thing for Italian luxury cars?
If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you’ll want to head to Saratoga this weekend, as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center hosts its annual Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival. Featuring superstar chef and Bravo TV Top Chef Master Suvir Saran, the festival celebrates its 12th year with a series of events over three days celebrating Italy’s excellence in wine, food and automobiles. Proceeds from the event will benefit Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s educational programs.
Here are some of the highlights of this weekend’s fest, which runs from Friday-Sunday (September 7-9):
* The final match-up of the Cast Iron Chef Invitational, a summer-long cooking challenge, in which top chefs Jaime Ortiz of Mazzone Hospitality and Patrick Longton of The Wishing Well face off, each creating a unique dish using a mystery basket of ingredients.
* Master wine connoisseur Kevin Zraly, winner of the 2011 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award, shares wine knowledge and advice at events throughout the weekend and leads a Grand Tasting seminar on Cantina di Canelli wines.
* The Italian Trade Commission hosts the Italian Pavilion featuring Cantina di Canelli wines, cheeses and specialty foods.
* Italian Road Tour and Men’s Made-to-Measure Luncheon features a scenic tour through Saratoga County and gourmet luncheon at Saratoga Polo with library quality wines from Cantina di Canelli, specialty cocktails by Solerno, cigar tasting and a presentation by legendary men’s clothiers Martin Greenfield and Ike Behar.
* A re-styled Live on Stage Gala brings an urban chic sensibility to an extravagant innovative menu of nouvelle cuisine paired with premium Cantina di Canelli wines and an opulent Willy Wonka Dessert Room that will include a Moscato Bar.
* Italian Auto Concours featuring invited classes of Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Fiat-Abarth judged by marquee specialists.
* A new Steak & Wine Seminar sponsored by Certified Angus Beef features experts exploring the finer points of pairing red wine varietals with various cuts of steak.
* A Haute Style Fashion Tent & Lounge debuts at the Grand Tasting, housing a dazzling collection of couture designs and accessories by Georg Jensen, Max Mara, Ike Behar, Badgley Mischka, Salvatore Ferragamo, Donna Karan, Tory Burch and more.
* The festival culminates with a Sunday Sparkle For SPAC Brunch at Saratoga Polo with live jazz, wines, pop-up fashion boutique and gourmet food shops and an exhibition polo match organized by the U.S. Polo Association.
Ticket prices for the various events vary. Here’s the complete schedule…
BUT WAIT… We’re giving away FREE TIX. Yes, TWO lucky Nippertown readers will each win a PAIR OF FREE TIX to the festival’s Grand Tasting from 1-5pm on Saturday. How can you win? Simple. Just leave a comment below telling us about the highlight of your summer. Please be sure to leave your email address, too. (We won’t publish it, but we’ll use it to contact you if you win.) The winners will be selected at random and notified on Friday. Good luck! (Please note: ticket holders must be over 21 to gain entrance.) Congratulations to the winners, who have been notified by email.