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It’s a busy time for food-festival groupies. South Beach Wine & Food Festival is coming soon (February 23–26!), then you've got to get to California for Pebble Beach Food & Wine (April 12–15) and before you know it, it’s the 30th anniversary of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen (June 15–17).
© Vila Joya
© Vila Joya
Adrian Grenier, Peter Glatzer and I are psyched about SHFT house wines.
Now I’m obsessed with the just-wrapped International Gourmet Festival. The 10-day festival, at Vila Joya in Portugal’s beachy Algarve region, featured dinners with a million Michelin starred chefs. Well, 33 of them, and they came from all over Europe and the US (The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield, SHO’s Shaun Hergatt and Laurent Gras all represented for USA). Also running around were awesome food-loving celebs like Adrian Grenier, who, with filmmaker Peter Glatzer brought his new eco-friendly SHFT house wine (you’ll hear more about it the April issue of F&W), Sheryl Crow and Michael Imperioli. Plus a Russian billionaire who flew his plane to Paris to pick up some vodka and caviar for a party. Here are a few highlights from this year’s International Gourmet Festival.
Epic Dinner: In my idea of the ultimate potluck, a dozen elite chefs worth 20 Michelin stars combined to cook a 10-course dinner. That meal ran the gamut from a gorgeous foie gras starter topped with shredded crab and fermented cabbage sauce, from the three-starred Dutch chef Jonnie Boer, to a hearty main-course goulash from the Frankfurt chef Mario Lohninger (whom I still miss from his time at NYC’s Danube).
Epic After-Party: Adrian Grenier’s late-night DJ gig at Le Club, one of those awesome, cheesy Euro discos that becomes a lot better when someone’s playing decent music. Extra credit to Grenier—he’d spent the afternoon pouring his SHFT wine, and then woke up early the next day (well, at 1 p.m., which is early in the Algarve) to race go-karts.
Epic Day Trip: An expedition to Lisbon (it’s two hours away, when a German guy is driving a BMW). There we got to have the insane, custardy de Belem pastries for breakfast, a killer lunch at chef Jose Avillez’s 10-day-old Belcanto and a ride around the city in one of those adorable 1920s cable cars.