Food. Beer. Wine. What else is left to say? In Cape May, plenty. This year's 16th annual Cape May Food & Wine Celebration, taking place Saturday, Sept. 15, through Sunday, Sept. 23, promises to offer a spectacle for foodies, winos and anyone looking to enjoy a week-long excuse to celebrate with great meals.
The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) sponsors the annual celebration, which gives locals and visitors a chance taste the area's award-winning wines, meet master chefs and learn from beer, scotch and wine experts.
"The Cape May Food & Wine Celebration is a beautiful time of year to visit Cape May," says Susan Krysiak, communications coordinator for MAC. "We're excited about our new events, including a fall afternoon Cape May Clambake at Hawk Haven Vineyard."
Also new this year will be a live demonstration from popular Philadelphia chef Joseph Poon, who will demonstrate his high-energy and creative food carving, as well as provide healthy eating tips, Krysiak says.
"We also have some interesting events to expand the palette, including a Scotch tasting dinner, a beer and cheese tasting and lectures on how to use herbs in your cooking," Krysiak says.
The Harvest Food & Wine Dinner kicks off this year's celebration and features wines from Cape May Winery, cheeses from Seaside Cheese Company and menu selections from Chef Rob Guldin.
Below is a schedule of events for the nine-day celebration. Space is limited at most events. For more information or to make reservations, call 609-884-5404, 800-275-4278 or go to www.capemaymac.org.
Harvest Food & Wine Dinner
The Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom at the Emlen Physick Estate will host a "sampling dinner" 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, co-sponsored by the Seaside Cheese Company and Cape May Winery. The evening includes butlered hors d'oeuvres, cheese sampling, salad and a sampling of three dinner entrees and two desserts. Each course is paired with wine from Cape May Winery. The Carriage House Cafe is located at 1048 Washington Street in Cape May. Admission is $85. Parking is free.
Cape May Clambake
A traditional clambake of steamed clams, lobster tail, corn on the cob, shrimp and mussels will take place 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Hawk Haven Vineyard. Tour the vineyard, enjoy live entertainment and sample wines. Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery is located at 600 S. Railroad Ave. in Rio Grande. Admission is $45.
Cape May's finest restaurants will offer three-course gourmet lunches served at a different restaurant each day from Sunday, Sept. 16, through Tuesday, Sept. 18. Admission is $24. Alcoholic beverages not included.
Board MAC's trolley for a five-course gourmet feast and a chance to taste the best of the best in Cape May. Five different premier restaurants will each serve a course, which will be paired with wine from the sponsoring winery. Trolley tours take place Sunday, Sept. 16, Monday, Sept. 17 and Wednesday, Sept. 19, all beginning at 6 p.m. A winery representative will explain pairings. A trolley shuttle between restaurants is provided. Admission is $125 (gratuity included).
Food & Wine Lecture with Chef Joseph Poon
Food can be fun, and Chef Joseph Poon of Philadelphia is the proof. Get tips and techniques from Poon during two lectures, including a carving and sculpture demonstration and a lecture on healthy eating, both taking place at the Inn of Cape May, located at 7 Ocean St. Lectures take place 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17. Admission is $25.
Cooking with Fresh Herbs
Lorraine Keifer, gardening writer and owner of Triple Oaks Nursery in Franklinville, Gloucester County, will lead a series of programs from Monday, Sept. 17, through Thursday, Sept. 20, on cultivating and cooking with herbs. All lectures are at 9:45 a.m. at the Inn of Cape May. Admission is $25.
Beer Tasting Dinner
Learn how to pair beer with food in this four-course dinner at Aleathea's Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18. America's Beer authority Gary Monterosso has matched each course to a different style beer and will discuss the pairings. Admission is $65 (gratuity included).
Fisherman's Wharf Tour
Learn how seafood gets from the sea to your table and discover how Cape May became the third largest commercial fishing port on the East Coast during two tours at the Lobster House Restaurant 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, and Thursday, Sept. 20. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children ages 3-12.
Gourmet Brunch Walk
Stroll through a portion of Cape May's Historic District on this guided walking tour ending with a gourmet brunch at the Mad Batter restaurant 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19. Admission is $20 adults, $15 for children ages 3 to 12.
Chefs' Dine-Around with Cape May Brewing
Enjoy this new twist on the popular Chefs' Dine-Around, as a brewmaster from the new Cape May Brewing Company explains the pairing of unique beers with the five-course meal 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20. Enjoy some of Cape May's premier restaurants as the MAC trolley takes you around town for a different course at each. Admission $100 (gratuity included).
Cape May Wine Trail
Spend the day visiting Cape May County's wineries on Friday, Sept. 21. Begin with lunch at the Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom at the Emlen Physick Estate, located at 1048 Washington St. Then, board the MAC trolley, which will take you to Natali Vineyards and Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery to visit the tasting rooms. Wine trail runs from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $60 and includes lunch, wine tastings at each vineyard and a wine tasting glass.
Scotch Tasting Dinner
Learn about the nuances of Compass Box Single Malt Scotch during a four-course meal and scotch tasting 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Aleathea's Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May. A representative of the Glenmorangie USA educational program will be on hand to discuss the pairings. Admission is $75.
Beer & Cheese Tasting
Visit the new Cape May Brewing Company - where brewmasters will explain the brewing processes - and then enjoy the delicious pairings of new brews with fine international cheeses from Seaside Cheese Company. Tasting takes place 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 at Cape May Brewing Company, 1288 Hornet Road, Rio Grande. Admission is $25.