If ever there was a win, win situation for lovers of upscale food, wine, beer and spirits, and to benefit our military heroes, it’s the annual Savor celebration in Hartford, Connecticut April 7 – April 9.
The three-day Savor culinary extravaganza is presented by Foxwoods, in nearby Mashantucket, Connecticut, one of the premier hotel, gaming, shopping and entertainment destinations in the Northeast and largest resort casino in North America. www.foxwoods.com. And for the second year, Savor will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center, in the emerging downtown renewal district of Adriaen’s Landing, a $775 million mixed-use complex that includes a pedestrian Riverwalk with stunning views along and across the Connecticut River. www.ctconventions.com
Savor is hosted by Chef Robert Irvine of Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible.” His career also includes being chef on the luxury MS Crystal Harmony and head chef for the 2006 Academy Awards, among other prestigious gigs. He is also the founder of the not-for-profit Robert Irvine Foundation that supports individuals and organizations committed to active, retired and veteran military personnel and their families. Last year, Savor donated $60,000 to help our military personnel. As with all donations to this cause, no money is spent on the foundation’s operating expenses; they are all personally paid for by Robert Irvine. The TV star recently said, “Television is a medium to do good for others.” You can learn more about this remarkable foundation at www.robertirvinefoundation.org.
Robert Irvine told the media that “This couldn’t have been done without the hardest working woman on the planet, Vicky Cirilli.” When asked about Chef Irvine’s compliment, Ms. Cirilli, celebrating her second year as Savor Event Director, told The Examiner that after producing food and wine events for 11 years, “I wanted to create a wine and food event that was different. My vision was to do a show that was more upscale <than has been done before> to attract an audience that was interested in the relationship between wine and food, as well food pairings with spirits and beers. By limiting the number of attendees it ensures a pleasant experience for everyone. I was fortunate enough to be presented with the opportunity and also to have Robert Irvine <agree to be Savor’s celebrity host.>” Vicky Cirilli specializes in event management, sponsorship sales and public relations. firstname.lastname@example.org
With a plethora of top chefs, TV personalities, fine restaurants and beverage makers and distributors serving up their upscale goodies, ticket holders to the Grand Tasting Events can leisurely stroll around the vast ballroom nibbling samples of some of the finest food creations ever assembled in one spot. The excitement generated by the rapture of the appreciative crowd, as it was during the first Savor celebration, is always palpable.
Here are details of each daily event. Based on last year’s success, we recommend that you buy tickets in advance to get your choice of the below ticket options, and to avoid long lines and sellouts. (Here’s a head-up alert: once a session begins, online sales end.) Go to www.savorct.com and click on Ticket Info.
The good times begin with “Savor the Legends” 7:00 p. m. – 9:30 p. m., Thursday, April 7. presented by the popular Plan b Burger bar. A Bourbon Passport ticket includes a taste of all five limited and rare batches of legendary Pappy Van Winkle bourbons – 10-, 12-, 15-, 20- & 23-year-old from Plan b’s exclusive collection. The passport includes a special hand-made, crystal Johnson’s Whiskey Tot. Plan b’s award-winning bourbon cocktails will be available for sipping, Plan b Burger bar’s scrumptious Kentucky inspired menu with Kentucky ham, hot browns, fried green tomatoes, BBQ pork, mini burgers and pecan pie are all waiting for your tasting. Music will be by DJ Darth Fader and a chance to mingle with TV star. Chef Robert Irvine. Tickets are $125.00 ($150.00 at the door, unless sold out in advance)
“Sip, Savor & Stroll – The Grand Tasting.’ Session 1: Friday, April 8th 7:00 p. m. – 10:30 p. m. Session 2: Saturday, April 9th 12:00 p. m. – 4:00 p. m. Both tasting events are spread throughout the Connecticut Convention Center Ballroom. Tickets are $110.00 in advance. ($125.00 at the door)
Wend your way through the many food tasting tables of chef-prepared foods from top Northeast restaurants, as well as a taste of an exceptional selection of domestic and international wine and the world’s finest craft beers. And don’t miss sampling a cocktail in one of the sponsored spirit lounges. Be entertained and educated as you watch Robert Irvine and other celebrity chefs on the Savor Culinary Demonstration Stage. Purchase one of their inspiring cookbooks, have it personally autographed and take advantage of a great up-close photo. It’s a selfie-lovers dream.
Saturday, April 9th “Savor in Style Charity Gala” Korbel Champagne Reception: 7:30 p. m. – 8:00 p. m. Dining and Dessert: 8:00 p. m. – 11:00 p. m. $160.00 ($175.00 at the door)
The gala, hosted by Robert Irvine offers flavorful, vibrant dishes by an impressive line-up of culinary talent. Following the Champagne Reception, Robert and his guest chefs will lavish guests with their sumptuous creations, where every dish will be paired with an outstanding wine or other luscious libation. This extraordinary evening promises a thoroughly enjoyable grand walk-around affair, where luxurious style meets substance. From bubbles to dinner to dessert, where your glass will be decadently decanted and your plate is full of first-rate cuisine. The attire is dressy casual. And the gala is for those 21 years of age or older.
Special price options: A Sip, Savor & Stroll – The Grand Tasting: A two-day package includes one ticket to each: the Grand Tasting Friday, April 8th from 7:00pm – 10:30pm and the Grand Tasting Saturday, April 9th from 12:00pm – 4:00pm. $200.00 (Based on availability; Online only; Sales end April 7, 2016)
Grand Tasting Session 1 and the Savor in Style Charity Gala Includes one ticket to the Grand Tasting Session 1 on Friday, April 8 from 7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. and one ticket to the Savor in Style Charity Gala on Saturday, April 9 from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. $240.00 (Based on availability; Online only; Sales end April 7, 2016)
Grand Tasting Session 2 and the Savor in Style Charity Gala includes one ticket to the Grand Tasting Session 2 on Saturday, April 9 from 12:00 p. m. – 4:00 p.m. and one ticket to the Savor in Style Charity Gala on Saturday, April 9 from 7:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. $240.00 (Based on availability; online sales only end April 7, 2016)
Based on last year’s experience, no discerning foodie or imbiber of premier beverages should miss this gala three-day celebration in the architecturally stunning convention center in Hartford, Connecticut. The organizers assure us that “It’s sure to be the Northeast’s foodie event of the year.”