Saratoga Springs, N.Y. - A superstar chef challenge juried by celebrity chef Suvir Saran and the award-winning wines of Italy's famed Piedmont Region will be among the highlights of the 2012 Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival, September 7 - 9. Presented by Cantina Sociale di Canelli in collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission, this year's festival expands its lifestyle focus with new couture fashion elements, including a Haute Style Fashion Tent and Lounge at the Grand Tasting, and an exhibition polo match and tasting events at Saratoga Polo. Tickets and more information are available at spac.org. The festival, a fundraiser for Saratoga Performing Arts Center, features a first-ever partnership with Saratoga Polo Association. Proceeds from the three-day festival benefit SPAC's classical season and its performing arts education programs. "In the past 11 years, this festival has grown beyond our grandest dreams. While world-class wines and fabulous food are the signature attractions of the weekend, guests can now enjoy a multitude of lifestyle elements, from Italian autos and couture fashions, to polo matches and celebrity chef competitions. Our festival is an epicurean adventure in the very best sense," said Marcia J. White, SPAC's President & Executive Director. "At the heart of the festival's ever-growing scope and success are rich partnerships at every level. We are especially proud to welcome for the first time, new sponsor Cantina di Canelli whose award winning wines have given Italy's Piedmont region its reputation as the country's ‘culinary star'. Together with the wonderful ‘Made in Italy' products and presence of the Italian Trade Commission, Italy's legendary commitment to quality and vibrant spirit will be celebrated," said White. Cantina Sociale Di Canelli Cantina Sociale di Canelli joins the festival for the first time as the official wine sponsor in collaboration with Italian Trade Commission. The Canelli cooperative, established in 1933, is comprised of over 200 quality vine-growers from Italy's famed Piedmont Region, the geographic area that is Italy's top producer of fine and award winning wines. The superior wines of Cantina di Canelli will be featured at festival events throughout the weekend. Spanning a 230,000-acre area in Italy's northwest between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, this region is home to the barbera, dolcetto, muscat and nebbiolo grapes, among others. Nebbiolo is the grape of Barolo, one of the great wines of the world. Italian Trade Commission A presenting sponsor of the Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival since 2009, the Italian Trade Commission has been instrumental in expanding the scope of the festival to include upscale Italian wines, cheeses, specialty foods and couture fashions as well as raising its global profile. In 2012, the partnership with ITC marks an unprecedented fourth year. Aniello Musella, Trade Commissioner and Executive Director for the USA commented: "As part of our mission to promote Italian made food and wine products in the United States and all over the world, we can unequivocally state that the Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival is one of our greatest successes. An elegant and welcoming event featuring authentic Italian foods and the exquisite wines of Cantina di Canelli from Italy's Piedmont region, we're thrilled to be back for this year's festival, which promises to be the perfect way to toast summer's end." The ITC will host an Italian Pavilion at the Grand Tasting featuring exquisite Italian wines and spirits, authentic Italian gourmet items as well as delicacies prepared by the region's top chefs. Many of these signature products will be featured on the menus of events taking place throughout the weekend, including the Live on Stage Gala, seminars and Sunday brunch. Chef Suvir Saran and The Cast Iron Invitational New York superstar chef Suvir Saran, a featured chef on the Bravo TV series Top Chef Masters and founding chef of famed New York restaurant Dévi, headlines the 2012 festival, appearing at events throughout the weekend, including a cooking demonstration, book signings and serving as the judge for the final round of the CDPHP "Cast Iron Chef Invitational," a summer cooking tournament hosted by Adirondack Appliance and Blue Star. As Executive Chef of Dévi in New York City, Saran earned critical acclaim with regionally inspired Indian cuisine earning three stars from New York magazine, two stars from The New York Times, and a Michelin star - the only U.S. Indian restaurant to earn this prestigious distinction. Now Saran is working to open his next restaurant concept around Indian dining in Chicago. It is slated to open in winter of 2012/2013. His cookbooks include Indian Home Cooking and American Masala:125 New Classics from My Home Kitchen, which has been featured on the annual top ten lists for many publications including The New York Times and Bon Appetit and his most recent, Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country with Charlie Burd and Raquel Pelzel. Masala Farm was a James Beard Award finalist for Best American Cookbook for 2011. "I am thrilled to be part of The Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival, one of the premier tasting events in the Northeast," said Chef Saran. "As a chef dedicated to expanding the culinary landscape and educator who understands that enjoyment of our food begins and ends with quality ingredients, I believe this festival truly stands apart. I am looking forward to a spectacular weekend." Chef Saran will serve as the judge for the final competition of the "Cast Iron Chef Invitational" a summer long cooking challenge sponsored by Adirondack Appliance and Blue Star. Beginning with 13 restaurants, the invitational has progressed down to two finalists: Jaime Ortiz, the Corporate Executive Chef of Mazzone Hospitality against Patrick Longton, Executive Chef of The Wishing Well. Stocked with Agriform SGA cheeses from the Veneto region and wine from Official Wine Title Sponsor Cantina di Canelli, Chefs Ortiz and Longton will be given a mystery basket and asked to create a signature dish that defines their unique style and cuisine. They will be judged on creativity, use of ingredients, appearance and taste. The winner of the contest will receive an EVO Affinity Grill valued at $3500 courtesy of Adirondack Appliance as well as the title "Capital Region Cast Iron Chef." Kevin Zraly, Master Wine Connoisseur Famed wine connoisseur, educator and best-selling author Kevin Zraly who has been described as "America's most famous and entertaining wine teacher," will be highlighted at events throughout the festival weekend. He'll also lead a seminar on Cantina di Canelli wines at the Saturday Grand Tasting. Zraly, winner of the 2011 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award, is the author of Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, the best-selling wine book in US history. He also leads the Windows on the World Wine Class, which has been recognized as one of the top wine schools in the country, by Food and Wine magazine. Kevin Zraly's wine seminar is presented by Cantina di Canelli in collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission and is one of several free seminars that will be offered at the Grand Tasting. Saratoga Polo Association Marking its first year as a festival partner is Saratoga Polo Association which will participate throughout the weekend as well as host both the first and the final events of the festival at its Clubhouse overlooking the polo fields. On Friday, September 7 the Italian Road Tour ends at Saratoga Polo, which will host the Men's Made-to-Measure Gourmet Luncheon. With celebrated men's clothiers Martin Greenfield and Ike Behar in attendance to greet guests, the luncheon will feature library quality wines from Cantina di Canelli, specialty cocktails by Solerno, a cigar tasting and a gourmet luncheon catered by the Hall of Springs/Mazzone Management. Master wine connoisseur Kevin Zraly will share insights on the wine and food pairings for the luncheon. Saratoga Polo will also host the Sunday, September 9 "Sparkle for SPAC" Brunch. Highlights include live jazz music, wines by Cantina di Canelli, pop-up gourmet food shop by I-Gourmet and Agriform, and a showcase of couture fashions and accessories. The brunch will culminate with an Exhibition Polo Match sponsored by the U.S. Polo Association. Grand Tasting, Concours d'Italia & Luxury Auction The centerpiece of the festival is the Grand Tasting on Saturday, September 8. Under large, elegant tents, guests can sample exquisite international wines, savor delicacies prepared by the region's top chefs, participate in seminars and bid on rare wines, couture fashion, exotic travel and other luxuries at an extensive silent auction. The day also features a Concours d'Italia of collector Ferraris and other Italian automobiles and concludes with a Live Auction where high-value items such as couture fashions and jewelry, exotic travel and rare wines are put up for bid. Master wine connoisseur Kevin Zraly serves as auctioneer. New features of this year's Grand Tasting include:
- The Haute Style Fashion Tent & Lounge featuring apparel and accessories from top designers including Max Mara, Ike Behar, Badgley Mischka, Salvatore Ferragamo, John Varvatos, Georg Jensen, Tory Burch and Donna Karan. Guests will be able to stroll these dazzling displays and bid on items as part of the Auction of Luxuries.
- La Cucina Italiana Wine & Cheese Seminar led by Lou Di Palo and La Cucina's Editor Ian Wolff. A seminar on Wine Metodo Classico a vibrant sparkling Italian wine made using the same technique as champagne.
- Steak & Wine Seminar sponsored by Certified Angus Beef offers guests insights on the finer points of pairing red wine varietals and various cuts of steak. Cantina di Canelli wines and Certified Angus Beef will be featured.
- Superstar chef and Bravo TV Top Chef Master Suvir Saran, founder of acclaimed NYC restaurant Dévi and bestselling cookbook author, headlines the festival and serves as judge for the "Cast Iron Chef Invitational."
- Cantina Sociale Di Canelli, a cooperative of more than 200 vinegrowers from Italy's famed Piedmont region - an area prized for its high quality wines -- joins the festival for the first time as Official Wine Sponsor in collaboration with the Italian Trade Commission.
- Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), longtime presenter of the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival, joins with Saratoga Polo to present this year's event, hosting kick-off and finale events of the weekend including a "Sparkle for SPAC" Sunday Brunch and exhibition Polo match.
- The final matchup of the Cast Iron Chef Invitational, a summer-long cooking challenge hosted by Blue Star and Adirondack Appliance, is among the new features of this year's festival. Top chefs Jaime Ortiz of Mazzone Hospitality and Patrick Longton of The Wishing Well each create a unique dish using a mystery basket of ingredients.
- Master Wine Connoisseur Kevin Zraly, winner of the 2011 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award, shares wine knowledge and advice at events throughout the weekend and leads a Grand Tasting seminar on Cantina di Canelli wines.
- The Italian Trade Commission (ITC) returns as a festival partner for an unprecedented fourth year. The ITC, which has been instrumental in expanding the scope and global profile of the festival, hosts an Italian Pavilion featuring Cantina di Canelli wines, cheeses and specialty foods.
- Italian Road Tour and Men's Made-to-Measure Luncheon features scenic tour through Saratoga County and gourmet luncheon at Saratoga Polo with library quality wines from Cantina di Canelli, specialty cocktails by Solerno, cigar tasting and a presentation by legendary men's clothiers Martin Greenfield and Ike Behar.
- A restyled Live on Stage Gala brings an urban chic sensibility to an extravagant innovative menu of nouvelle cuisine paired with premium Cantina di Canelli wines and an opulent Willy Wonka Dessert Room that will include a Moscato Bar.
- Italian Auto Concours featuring invited classes of Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Fiat-Abarth judged by marquee specialists.
- A new Steak & Wine Seminar Sponsored by Certified Angus Beef features experts exploring the finer points of pairing red wine varietals with various cuts of steak. Cantina di Canelli wines and Certified Angus Beef will be featured.
- A Haute Style Fashion Tent & Lounge debuts at the Grand Tasting housing a dazzling collection of couture designs and accessories by Georg Jensen, Max Mara, Ike Behar, Badgley Mischka, Salvatore Ferragamo, Donna Karan, Tory Burch and more. Guests will be able to bid on these items.
- The festival culminates with a Sunday Sparkle For SPAC Brunch at Saratoga Polo with live jazz, wines by Cantina di Canelli, pop-up fashion boutique and gourmet food shops by I-Gourmet and Agriform cheese and an exhibition polo match organized by the U.S. Polo Association.
###Contact: Shane Williams-Ness 518.584.9330 x 116 M:518.378.0295 email@example.com Lisa Hill 518.584.9330 x 119 M:518.496.2882 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.spac.org/