There’s a groundswell happening in California’s southernmost city, where everyone from Michelin star chefs and James Beard standouts to professional athletes and Hollywood celebs are rallying around one of the nation’s most exciting food landscapes for the inaugural Del Mar Wine & Food Festival (September 6–11). Founded in partnership with sports icons Alex Morgan, Drew Brees, and Rob Machado, DMWFF has released its highly anticipated lineup of 20 action-packed experiences, including a two-day Grand Tasting, led by culinary greats from San Diego and Baja to SoCal and beyond, with all tickets now on sale at DelMar.Wine .
The six-day festival celebrates the soul of SoCal lifestyle within one of the Golden State’s most beautiful, unspoiled beach towns of Del Mar and benefits Feeding San Diego, the county’s leading hunger-relief and food rescue organization.
With something for everyone, attendees can kick things off at the opening night party hosted by San Diego Wave FC and its soccer icons, or hit the beach for a beach clean-up with Machado and BYOB (bring your own board) at his favorite surf break. Grab your paddle for a Whispering Angel celebrity pickleball tournament and event hosted by Brees, and namaste your way through an upbeat yoga and brunch with celebrity chef Catherine McCord. Embark on a culinary journey with Dos Hombres Mezcal founders
and former co-stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, or revel in the official afterparty at the Pendry hotel with many of Food Network’s brightest stars.
“San Diego has it all; amazing weather, miles of beaches, and incredible food. Enjoying the outdoors is all part of the fun, and it’s refreshing to be a part of a wine & food festival that breaks the mold and fully embraces the city’s active way of life to offer something that’s new and exciting for locals and visitors alike,” says NFL Legend and future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees. “Del Mar Wine & Food Festival will become an annual pilgrimage for anyone looking for the most unique, culinary-fueled lifestyle event for years to come. We’re only getting started.”
DMWFF partner Alex Morgan (captain for USA’s Women’s World Cup National Team and San Diego’s Wave FC) adds, “Soccer has taken me around world and has introduced me to some of the most unforgettable wine and food cultures. The energy and passion coming out of San Diego’s food scene is incredible, and the Del Mar Wine & Food Festival brings that all together. For my husband and I (Servando Carrasco, a San Diego native) it’s sentimental to be raising our daughter with the same beautiful memories of San Diego’s local food culture that we’ve shared together.”
Headlining chefs descending upon Del Mar for the year’s breakout wine and food event are Antonia Lofaso, Catherine McCord, Claudette Zepeda, Claudia Sandoval, Aaron May, Beau MacMillan, Brian Malarkey, Benito Molina, Drew Deckman, Eric Greenspan, Jackson Kalb, Roberto Alcocer, and Silvio Salmoiraghi to name a few. Festival cofounder Troy Johnson (Food Network TV host and San Diego native) says, “San Diego has always been California’s perfect-weather beach getaway. Now it’s getting national headlines for food, drink, sports, and culture. The region’s food scene is hotter than ever fueled by an abundance of local farms, our proximity to Mexico, and not to mention the most sustainable fishery in the nation in our own oceanfront backyard.
There’s a new generation of trailblazing chefs here harnessing that momentum, and the Del Mar Wine & Food Festival is the week-long celebration that brings it all together.”
Alongside the marquee events linked above, a sampling of can’t-miss festivities include an Icons of Baja pairing dinner at Michelin-starred Valle with chef/owner Roberto Alcocer and Eduardo Morali of Top 50 Best Latin America/Top Chef Mexico fame. Star chefs Claudette Zepeda and Antonia Lofaso will offer a blended culinary journey through Mexican and Italian cuisine at VAGA. Rancho Valencia will host Napa Valley’s most respected winemakers for an unforgettable walkaround pairing and tasting experience. Ranch 45 will celebrate a century of Grgich. Top Chef Alum Jackson Kalb and Michelin-starred Silvio Salmoiraghi will join CUCINA enoteca for a fine wines of Tuscany dinner, and Food Network star Aaron May will cook a decadent six course WhistlePig whiskey paired dinner at Monarch Ocean Pub.
THE GRAND TASTING | SEPT 9 + 10
The week culminates in a two-day, all-inclusive Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10. The sprawling eight acres of grassy field at Surf Sports Park (the former Polo Fields) will be transformed into a coastal gastronomic wonderland. An esteemed lineup including 80 of San Diego’s top chefs/restaurants will showcase their creativity alongside 200+ international wine/spirits producers—curated by festival beverage director Ted Glennon, a world-renowned winemaker named to Food & Wine’s “Top Sommeliers in America,” who has helped to produce Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Aspen Food & Wine Classic, and Los Angeles Food & Wine, among countless reigning wine programs across the U.S.
The Grand Tasting offers one or two-day passes with options for VIP, early entry, or general admission. Attendees may enjoy live music and entertainment, immersive art, experiential activations to include an 80-foot-long putting green competition, and tastings areas such as a “Baja Vida” exploration of flavors south of the border, a “Plant- Curious” gathering of brands, the “Brandt Beef Experience Tour,” and more. On Saturday, an afterhours concert will keep attendees rockin’ to one of country music’s most exciting emerging artists, Pillbox Patti.
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