On a beautiful fall day in 2011, a crowd of foodies and culinary icons alike came together for the inaugural event of Greenwich Wine + Food, the GWF Festival weekend. Experts like Jacques Pépin delighted fans with incredible cooking demonstrations while area chefs prepared countless tastings. International brands from Anheuser-Busch to Diageo (both with great connections in the area) brought in unique experiences for the attendees. At the heart of the weekend was the core mission of GWF: to continue to shine a light on the incredibly rich culinary landscape in our area, the people that are innovating the way we think about wine, food, and drinks all while raising important funds for causes that lift-up those in need. “Greenwich Wine + Food (a women-owned, women run brand) is built on the foundation of the incredibly rich culinary talents in this area, who have met the challenges of the last 16 months with determination, creativity and hard work. This year, more than ever, our mission to shine a light on and lift up these incredible members of our communities could not be more important,” says Founder and CEO Suni Unger, “Partnering with our good friends Jacques and Michel could not make more sense as we look back at the incredible history we’ve celebrated in the last decade and ahead to the ever-evolving trends in the culinary landscape.”
This fall, Greenwich Wine + Food will present a special 10th Anniversary Celebration from September 28-October 3. With elevated programming, the week-long celebration will recreate some of the most memorable experiences from the past decade of GWF events and look ahead to trends that are changing the landscape of the culinary world as we know it. It’s co-beneficiaries Wholesome Wave and the Jacques Pépin Foundation will recieve 100% of the net proceeds from the celebration, both organizations with deep roots in the CT area.
“While many of our flagship annual events that guests have come to know and love will be celebrated this year, we are also planning several new experiences including a Sunset & Oysters Cruise, Ultimate Donut Competition, Sunday Brunch and exclusive wine tasting experiences,” added Unger. “Our three biggest pieces of news to share for 2021 – the expansion to a weeklong celebration, including a return of Sunday programming, two new charity partners and a re-imagined Master Chef Gala. For this monumental anniversary, we also decided it was a crucial year to expand the geographic footprint of the event to multiple locations to help bring new patrons to restaurants in the area and reach new towns through exclusive wine tasting experiences at private homes. Our desire to offer both this classic programming year in addition to exclusive, never-before-experiences meant looking at our weekend programming with a new lens, and we’re excited to be hosting these core events at a new waterfront venue, The Village in Stamford. This new campus, built by ardent community cheerleaders and local couple Brent and Courtney Montgomery, is fast becoming a favorite for its water views, state of the art facilities and incredible events. 2021 is going to be a year like we’ve never had before!”
Exclusive Wine Experiences, kicking off the week, will invite vintners, winemakers and sommeliers to lead entertaining discussions of wine history and production practices with guests in exclusive homes and restaurants throughout Fairfield County surrounding areas. These intimate affairs will pair rare, world-class wine tastings with multi-course menus prepared by notable, local chefs.
The 10th Anniversary Master Chef Gala, honoring Jacques Pépin for his lifetime of achievement, will take place on Friday, October 1 at The Village. New for 2021, award-winning chefs will prepare multi-course dinners showcasing curated menus created just for the evening serving the Chef’s table of 10 guests. The evening will also include mingling with celebrity chefs, tastings of elite liquors, wines and beers, a charity auction and musical performances. A limited ticketed event will provide access to an intimate cocktail party before dinner with Jacques Pépin, Michel Nischan and other celebrities.
“Greenwich Wine + Food has an impressive history of public and community support; few organizations are able to attract this level of culinary, hospitality and performing arts talent to inspire the public to make the world a better place,” said Rollie Wesen, EdD, CEC, co-founder and executive director of the Jacques Pépin Foundation. “The Jacques Pépin Foundation is honored and grateful to be named, along with our sister organization Wholesome Wave, as a charity beneficiary of this great event. Together our organizations advance the power of Food Equals Change, addressing food system issues including sustainable production, food insecurity, access to fresh foods, food driven health outcomes and food service job training for marginalized and under-served populations. Greenwich Wine + Food’s multi-year commitment to our organizations demonstrates the public appetite to enact change, and ensures that our access and education programs will continue to broaden our reach. We hope you will join us this fall!”
“I am humbled and honored to be re-engaging with Greenwich Wine + Food during this monumental year for the festival, and deeply grateful for their support of Wholesome Wave and the Jacques Pepin Foundation, our beloved ‘partner in the crime’ of good food for all!,” said Michel Nischan, co-founder and chairman, Wholesome Wave. “The festival’s offer of multi-year support to Wholesome Wave and the Jacques Pepin Foundation underscores their long-standing commitment to ensure that everyone has equal and equitable access to truly good food and meaningful opportunity. Their long history of supporting and celebrating food businesses and community causes makes GWF the perfect venue for a long-term partnership aligned on changing the world through food. All three organizations represent the nexus of everything good our industry represents — a core belief that everyone should be able to share the joy, camaraderie and security that good food provides to us all, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or income.”
Greenwich Wine + Food and Serendipity brands are both part of parent company, Unger Publishing.