If you’re a foodie and want to feast on the creations of top chefs — the likes of Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Schulson — head to Savor Borgata, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
Two days are planned for this festival, which will culminate in a main event in the ballroom 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Nearly 1,200 people are expected to gather for the 10th anniversary of this food spectacular, this year themed “The Ultimate Food Experience.”
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Indeed, all will be celebrating food, ingredients and creativity, says Becky Schultz, vice president of food and beverage services at Borgata.
“It’s exciting to be part of the 10th anniversary of Savor Borgata,” Schultz says. “We’ve very passionate about food, beverage and nightlife. This event gives all of us a chance to step out of our normal routines and do something really fun and creative.”
The party’s on
Borgata’s Executive Chef Tom Biglan shares this passion for Savor Borgata.
“When the ballroom doors open and customers take a look at the room and start coming in, it’s just a rush. At that point, it’s on,” he says.
Biglan describes the kitchen — a cacophony of clanking dishes and sizzling pans — as chefs and cooks feverishly work, and food runners dash back and forth into the ballroom.
“The adrenaline is really going. It’s just a buzz,” he says.
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In the ballroom, people meet, greet, nosh and nibble from station to station, as celebrity chefs serve to-die-for fare that “people normally can’t get in a restaurant,” says Schultz.
Live music, festival entertainers and wine and craft beer booths enhance the evening with spirit and conviviality.
In the beginning ...
Over the years, Savor Borgata has grown in both size and popularity. It originally started as a women and wine event to honor female sommeliers, says Schultz.
But Borgata wanted to celebrate all aspects of food and beverage, so the next year it changed into a sit-down, plated event. The atmosphere, however, was a “little stuffy and polite,” Schultz says.
Then, as food became the centerpiece of celebration, Savor Borgata morphed again and eventually took on the life it currently has today.
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Planning for this year’s event began in February, says Biglan. Creating menus, coming up with a theme, determining what worked and what didn’t from last year’s setup were routine parts of creating this year’s Savor Borgata.
“There are a lot of arms and legs and moving parts,” Chef Biglan says.
The main event has 19 different food stations, and spin-off events take place Friday night and Saturday. To prepare, Schultz and the Savor Borgata team have done non-stop tastings.
“I’ve lost track of how many we’ve done,” says Schultz, who had another tasting scheduled right after her phone call with us.
On the night of the main event, Chef Biglan says he’ll be looking for a bed at around 9:30 p.m.
“Our days are starting at 4 in the morning,” he notes. “But there’s such camaraderie. We’re all the kitchen, and we’re excited to see what the reaction is going to be.”
“Now in here in the country can you find and meet the caliber of chefs who are here for this,” says Schultz. “We take great pride in this event.
“And the fact that it’s been going for 10 years proves that our customers —many of whom are the same people year in and year out — enjoy it.”