SARATOGA SPRINGS — A special appearance by Boston Red Sox baseball legend David Ortiz will be among the highlights of this year’s Saratoga Wine and Food Festival on Sept. 8 and 9, it was announced Wednesday.
Known affectionately to his fans as “Big Papi,” Ortiz will participate in Friday’s (Sept. 8) Fired Up! event as well as two smaller gatherings on Friday evening, spotlighting his new line of cigars and Arias wine. His appearance is one of several highlights of the festival, which also includes fine wine and gourmet food tastings, luxury car displays and VIP experiences.
“It will be tremendously exciting and an honor to welcome Red Sox legend David Ortiz to this year’s Saratoga Wine and Food
Festival. His signature Arias wine and line of cigars will be coveted additions to the premium offerings of our festival and his visit will be a major league event,” said Elizabeth Sobol, president and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
“He is not only a baseball hero, he is someone whose life and career have been an inspiration to millions of people. We are proud that such an outstanding and beloved public figure and role model will play a part in this year’s festival and gratified that a portion of the proceeds from his VIP appearances will benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, an organization that supports lifesaving pediatric care for children in need.”
Ortiz will headline the following Friday evening events: a 7 p.m.-7:45 p.m. meet/greet and photo signing for 100 Fired Up! ticketholders who donate a minimum of $50 or more per person to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund; brief remarks to all Fired Up! guests in the main tent, followed by a video presentation on the Children’s Fund; and “Big Papi’s Arias Wine & Cigar Bar” experience for 100 people that will take place in the Hall of Springs Jazz Bar from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Presented annually at the end of its classical season, the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival is an epicurean showcase featuring two days of gourmet events showcasing fine international wines, innovative chef-prepared menus, cooking demonstrations and wine seminars, expansive tastings, upscale auctions and a luxury auto show.
Held under tents on SPAC’s lawn, the weekend is anchored by three events: an Adirondack Road Tour and Luncheon; Friday’s Fired Up! Grill Competition and Saturday’s Grand Tasting and Concours D’Elegance, the festival centerpiece.
Presented in partnership with the Saratoga Automobile Museum, proceeds from the festival benefit education programming at SPAC and the Museum.
A featured event at Saturday’s Grand Tasting will be the final round of SPAC’s “Home Rangers” Amateur Chef Competition, which includes a cook-off between the competition’s amateur chef finalist and BlueStar celebrity chef Melissa Doney.
Doney was a competitor on Season 8 of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” hosted by Gordon Ramsey. She is the executive chef of Brown’s Brewing Company, adjunct culinary arts professor at Schenectady County Community College, and formerly area chef for ShopRite Supermarkets.
The Home Rangers competition is a judged cooking competition for amateur chefs taking place at SPAC over four evenings during the classical season.
Source: Daily Gazette | August 17, 2017