Paula Deen's Party was SRO at Bally's Dennis Courtyard
Paula Deen’s big event at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, a party under a tent outdoors at Bally’s Dennis Courtyard, delivered a great combination of terrific food and delightful stories from the “Queen of Southern Cuisine.”
The event was already SRO when the noon starting time arrived. As boardwalk strollers walked by wondering what the fuss was all about, patrons were in line to grab a feast worthy of the Food Network star, restaurant owner and cookbook author.
My plate was filled with delicious sautéed grouper, jumbo lump crab and shrimp au gratin, barbecued meat loaf, pork ribs, marinated green beans and a grilled piece of cob wrapped with bacon.
This was my first time eating grouper; I’m now officially a fan. The green beans were terrific and the lump crab and shrimp combo was beautifully rich. As a fan of Jersey corn, I thought the bacon was a bit much but I guess it is a southern thing.
The desserts were a highpoint as well. I enjoyed a mini lemon meringue pie and a pineapple upside down cake. My friend Sally enjoyed her slice of carrot cake.
After Paula’s Party, it was a quick trip up to the Grand Market on Bally’s sixth floor. If you’ve ever been to an Ocean City Block Party, imagine it with plenty of beer, wine and liquor companies giving out free samples, as well as Harrah’s property restaurants and other local eateries giving away food tastings. The event took place in multiple ballrooms and was packed. Overheard was one woman saying she had been to other food and wine events, “But I’ve never seen so much free booze.”
I tried Cruzan pineapple rum with cranberry juice and now have a new favorite combination. When you walked into the market you were given a canvas bag and a wine glass to try the numerous wines available for tasting. Pistol Pete’s Restaurant, a local favorite in Pleasantville, was giving away samples of his fine chili, and the Cape May Fish Market presented a tasting of their lump crab cake.
As the festival was winding down Sunday, it was obvious that Harrah’s Entertainment and the Food Network had presented an amazing three-day culinary adventure.
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Culinary superstars are all aboard for annual Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival July 26-29
Here is a comprehensive guide for parking and transportation for the thousands upon thousands of visitors to this weekend's Food Network extravaganza, including a detailed listing of each event.
Atlantic City will be the center of the culinary world when the Food Network Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, hosted by Harrah’s Entertainment, begins with the official kick-off party at the Chelsea Hotel Thursday, July 29. Not only is this an amazing event for people who love to eat great food and mingle with culinary superstars, it also raises money for the charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure Central & South Jersey.
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