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Summit Still Tops in Food & Wine Festivals

The three-day festival kicks off Friday and promises to be filled with the latest and greatest wines, gourmet foods and top chefs and sommeliers from around the country.

Summit Wine and Food Festival (photo taken in 2012). Credit: Rosa Wippich
Summit Wine and Food Festival (photo taken in 2012). Credit: Rosa Wippich
Written by John De Bellis

The Summit Wine and Food Festival has always been a labor of love for Ivan Ruiz - the expression of the event a direct reflection of his extensive background as a restauranteur and a sommelier.

As the executive director of the The Summit Wine and Food Festival kicks off his 5th year of the event at the Grand Summit Hotel on September 20, he is surrounded by newly sprouted wine and food festivals in New Jersey, most of which would not exist if it were not for the influence of Ruiz and his elaborate network of industry contacts.


"When we started five years ago, it was just Atlantic City and us," Ruiz said. Now there are several others. Madison, for example, and just this year Montclair started its own Wine and Food Festival. It’s vital, Ruiz says, to keep it fresh and interesting.

"We've got a great lineup once again," Ruiz said.

Indeed. The 5th annual Summit Wine and Food Festival will be held over three days Friday through Sunday at the Grand Summit Hotel and at Twin Maples mansion in Summit.

The event will feature gourmet foods, delectable desserts, and specialty wine and spirit tastings in the Summit community, over 30 top celebrity chefs and 20 wine sommeliers from New Jersey and all over the country.

Top chefs from many of the highest rated restaurants in the metropolitan region will be presenting dishes from their renowned restaurants such as Maricel Presilla from Cucharamama in Hoboken, Jehanhir Mehta of Graffiti in NYC, David Drake of Alice's in Lake Hopatcong, Joseph Gabriel from Oceana in NYC, Anthony Bucco from the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, James Laird from Serenade in Chatham and Kara Decker from the incredibly popular A Toute Heure in Cranford.

Some of the hottest features of the event include educational cooking demonstrations, live mixology for the wine & spirit enthusiasts, wine and food gala tastings and a VIP gala dinner on the first night of the event. And once again, the incredibly popular Sommelier Showdown competitive luncheon where dueling sommeliers sample wines and are challenged to name the wine by its taste.

Sponsors of the Summit Food and Wine Festival include Overlook Hospital, Coldwell Banker, Equinox Fitness, Investors Bank, The Sign Center, Twill printing, Sommelier Imports, DCH Millburn Audi, Laura Clare, Vivino, Yellow Design, Summit Medical Group, B&K Champagne, and D'Artagnan. Additional sponsors include Milk Sugar Love, Your Delicious Balance, Massage Envy, Bobolink Dairy, T-Fal, AVE and The Manhattan Club.

For sponsorship or media inquiries, contact the festival directly at 908 277-6565 or info@summitwineandfood.com Tickets are on sale now.

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