David “Big Papi” Ortiz, Top Chef David Burke & Chef Todd English To Headline Saratoga Wine And Food Festival

As part of its redesigned Saratoga Wine and Food Festival, Saratoga Performing Arts Center announced that Boston Red Sox baseball legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz, and renowned celebrity chefs David Burke and Todd English will headline this year’s international destination event September 7-9 in Saratoga Springs, New York.

ToddImagePhoto Credit: Lawrence White

The beloved sports star will return by popular demand to participate in Friday’s Fired Up! event as well as a “meet and greet” and VIP nightclub appearance on Friday evening, spotlighting his Arias wines collection. The James Beard Award-winning chef, David Burke, and celebrity chef and Emmy-nominated TV star Todd English, will also make special appearances to showcase their favorite dishes and participate in special events throughout the weekend.

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“Following the response that we received from Big Papi’s appearance at our festival last year, we were eager to bring him back to participate in our redesigned weekend events, including a new ‘VIP Party’ and an opportunity to mingle with the baseball legend,” said Elizabeth Sobol, president & CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center. “With the added presence of heralded celebrity chefs David Burke and Todd English, the festival will be a feast for the senses with curated gourmet food and wine tastings and entertainment from our charismatic hosts.”

spac-wine-food-explore-saratoga-20170909-wm-0064Photo Credit: Explore Saratoga

This year’s festival, expanded with the recently announced partnership with Colin Cowie Lifestyle and the Saratoga Automobile Museum, is an annual tradition drawing in food and wine enthusiasts from across the region. In addition to incredible automobile displays coming in from around the globe, the 2018 festival will feature fine wine and gourmet food tastings, luxury car displays, VIP experiences and a lively Sunday “Brunch with Colin Cowie.”

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The festival will be highlighted by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the International Bugatti Tour in partnership with the Saratoga Automobile Museum. A convergence of 160 drivers and 80 luxury Bugatti automobiles, the rally comes to the United States only once every ten years and will make its first visit to New York State this September. Descending on the Saratoga Spa State Park’s reflecting pool for a “Bugatti Ballet” auto display, the tour will showcase one of only two Atlantic 57SC’s in existence, valued at over $42 million.

BUG.057374.DIG.PHO.01.007Photo Credit: Lawrence White Held in the beautiful Saratoga Spa State Park, the weekend is anchored by four events: an Adirondack Road Tour and Luncheon, Friday’s Fired Up! Grill Competition, Saturday’s Grand Tasting and—for the first time— brunch with Colin Cowie and Todd English on Sunday. Presented in partnership with the Saratoga Automobile Museum, proceeds from the festival benefit education programming at SPAC and the Museum.

The schedule of festival events is as follows:

Friday, September 7

Adirondack Road Tour & Gourmet Luncheon | 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m

This spirited road rally is a professionally led tour winding through the beautiful Adirondack Mountain roads to finish at the historic Lake George Club. Named “The Queen of American Lakes” by none other than Ben Franklin, the surrounding area is stunning with twisty roads, full of elevation changes and scenic views. Gourmet lunch includes quality wines, imported fine foods and good company with fellow automotive enthusiasts.

Fired Up! Grill Competition featuring Special Guests David Burke & David Ortiz | 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m.

At Fired Up! Grill Competition, the kick-off event to the weekend’s events at SPAC, chefs from the Capital Region’s finest restaurants will battle it out for the Fired Up! title as guests enjoy great music, gourmet food, BBQ, a cold refreshing Stella Artois, wines and spirits.

Guests will help celebrity judge David Burke, along with 3 more celebrity judges (to be named at a later date), to name the 2018 Saratoga Grill Master by sampling inventive grill-off creations. Boston Red Sox legend David Ortiz will also make a special guest appearance at the event.

David Ortiz Meet and Greet | 7 p.m. – 7:50 p.m.

During the Friday night event, David Ortiz will host a meet and greet for 100 people who will have their pictures taken individually with the baseball hero and receive a signed promotional photograph. This opportunity will be available to the first 100 people who purchase a specially priced Fired Up! ticket at $150. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the David Ortiz Children’s Fund, a charity which funds pediatric services for children in New England and the Dominican Republic.

spac-wine-food-explore-saratoga-20170909-wm-0065Photo Credit: Explore Saratoga

Saturday, September 8

Grand Tasting | 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday will showcase the festival’s elegance through an exclusive Bugatti auto display, curated food, wine, events and activities. Guests will have the chance to taste New York’s finest creations and VIP guests can enhance their sommelier skills in the VIP lounge.

The main stage will host speeches, special guest appearances, live music and an “Iron Chef”-styled competition featuring James Beard Award-winning chef, David Burke. Burke will have a presence with a taste of dishes from Tavern62, David Burke Kitchen, and Woodpecker by David Burke.

Sunday, September 9

Brunch with Colin Cowie & Celebrity Chef Todd English | 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Colin Cowie and celebrity chef and reality TV star Todd English will co-host a lively, upbeat brunch showcasing Colin’s “five-senses” approach to events including: custom scent consultations, floral and table design examples, lively music by On The Move, and a phenomenal menu with delectable bites and cocktails. A never ending supply of Whispering Angel Rose with specialty cocktails by the Cocktail Architect, Yusef Austin, will be featured for this daytime party with a nighttime vibe.

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Click here for more information about the festival and to purchase tickets spac.org.