ALBANY — Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts, the three-day festival featuring the Mayor’s Reception and Kickoff, followed by the Grand Tastings and Slider Slam, and the much anticipated Grand Gala dinner, begins on Thursday, Jan. 26.
“The effects of the pandemic took a significant toll on our local restaurants and arts organizations. As they continue to recover and engage with the community, we need to come out in force to show our support,” said Marcus Q. Pryor, board president of Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts. “That is why we are so excited to have the events of the festival back in person, allowing community members to interact, indulge and enjoy all of the culture and artistic contributions the city has to offer.”
The festival starts with the Mayor’s Reception and Kickoff on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 5:30 p.m. This elegant cocktail reception features hors d’oeuvres, and wine donated by Sonoma-Cutrer and champagne donated by Korbel. Attendees will be able to mingle with the directors of Albany’s Arts Organizations, chefs, Legacy Award winners, and Festival Sponsors at this fantastic networking event.
Two days of seminars and samplings begin at noon on Friday, Jan. 27. The Grand Tasting and Seminars will take place at the Albany Capital Center. Sample culinary delights from the area’s top chefs and restaurants. Experience educational seminars, including the Highland Park Whiskey Tour. VIP tickets will include access to the Stoli Elite VIP Lounge presented by Total Events, where Hors D’oeuvres and specialty cocktails will be served.
Cast a vote in Slider Slam, the people’s choice slider competition, starting at 8 p.m. Music by DJ Reel, Dance Floor, VIP Lounge, Stoli Vodka and Tequilas, E&J Gallo Winery, and Jack Daniels, and slider tastings from the area’s best chefs and restaurants.
The 14th Anniversary Albany Chefs Food & Wine Festival Grand Gala will culminate with a reception followed by a five-course culinary masterpiece prepared by prominent regional culinary powerhouses by chefs Ric Orlando, Yono Purnomo, AJ Richard, Elliot Vogel, Ian O’Leary, David Zuckerman, Jaime Ortiz, Courtney Withey, Dan Gordon and Brian Molino.
The 2023 Grand Gala will be limited to 400 guests and will feature a one-of-a-kind culinary experience accompanied by popular wines provided by longtime festival partner, Empire Merchants North.
For the past 13 years, the Albany Chefs’ Food and Wine Festival has provided nearly $1.5 million in sustainable funding for the support and preservation of the not-for-profit arts community in Albany.
Seven beneficiaries were selected this year between two award levels, Premier and Spotlight. The four Premier Beneficiaries are Albany Barn, Capital Repertory Theatre, Capitaland Chorus and Park Playhouse. Spotlight Beneficiaries include Albany Center Gallery, Capital Cinema Culture Exchange, and Electronic Body Arts.
“I am thrilled that Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival Wine and Dine for the Arts will be back in person in 2023 complete with all the signature events that patrons have come to know and love such as the reception and kickoff event that I host, seminars, the Slider Slammer and the Grand Gala Dinner,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “This event and the mission to provide sustainable funding for the nonprofit arts community in Albany are very important to me and I am looking forward to celebrating throughout the event.”