Greenwich stepped out on a sunny Saturday with an appetite for some of the best food and fun Fairfield County has to offer. The Greenwich Wine and Food Festival presented by Serendipity Magazine, on the water at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, drew smartly dressed crowds from our town and beyond. Local chefs, restaurants and other food purveyors sampled some of their favorites for the throngs of eager eaters.
And while some came for the food, some came with another agenda. Celebrity chef, Rocco Dispirito of ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss, drew dozens of doe-eyed fans to his demo tent.
“Who is here to eat?” he queried the crowd. “And who is here to swoon?” Judging by the enthusiastic giggling that followed, it’s safe to assume many were there to swoon. And Dispirito didn’t disappoint. He flirted, he fawned, and he posed for selfies. Oh, and he showed off his culinary prowess, too.
Click any image below for a larger view (photos by Meaghan Morelli of Living Greenwich):
While making gnudi di ricotta – an authentic Italian dish featuring balls of ricotta and herbs – he managed to entertain the wine-sipping audience with plenty of flirtatious innuendo and some self-deprecating humor.
“Men are the worst,” he joked. “We all know it’s true. That I like to cook is one of my only redeeming qualities. I hate cleaning, I hate prepping, I just like the cooking part. So let’s do that.”
Click any image below for a larger view (photos by John McShea of Living Greenwich):
And due to an audio hiccup, he made it all look even easier. Dispirito whipped up his recipe one-handed so his other hand could hold the mic. And he didn’t miss a beat.
Swirling scents of grilled meats, breads and seafood drew people into the main tasting tent for more samples than most could make their way through.
Port Chester’s Rye House sampled an impeccable Cuban sandwich.
Rye’s Blue Tulip Chocolates showed off their artistry with an enviable array of chocolate stilettos.
And Fleisher's Craft Butchery made mouths water while hyping their imminent Greenwich grand opening.
The Master Griller Party was just heating up when Henry LeRose, of Bobby Q’s Pit Stop in Old Greenwich, weighed in on some favorites he was serving. “We’re making a pulled pork grilled cheese we call the Porker and a brisket Reuben. That one’s my favorite, definitely.”
There were also a couple fun-filled food and drink contests taking place at the festival -- including a fierce Burger Battle where Plan B won the Judges Choice and Westchester Burger won the People’s Choice.
There was also a Top Bartender Showdown where Sasha Jarufe from Harvest Wine Bar in Greenwich won the Judges choice and Dimitrios Zahariadis of Highland Brass Co. in Waterbury, CT won the People’s Choice.
Over the entire four days of the festival, there were more than 5500 attendees - the final amount of money the event raised for charities is still being calculated (at the time of this publication).
One thing is certain - with more than 200 food, wine and spirit vendors on hand at the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival, it’s safe to say many new favorites were discovered, and no one went home hungry.
See if you can spot some of the (many) celebrities in these images (Courtesy of Serendipity Magazine):