An Insider Guide to the Catskills Wine and Food Festival
The celebrity-studded schedule spotlights acclaimed chefs, foodies, and musicians.
The Revivalists take the festival stage on Saturday.
Photo by Brantley Gutierrez
Do you love food? Are you addicted to the Food Network? Is indie music your jam? Then you may want to very seriously consider grabbing a ticket to the Catskills Wine and Food Festival.
On October 6 and 7, celebrity chefs, nationally acclaimed musicians, and the general food-loving public will crowd the Echo campground in Bloomingburg for a two-day event that packs demonstrations, tastings, performances, and more into a tight 48-hour schedule. More than just a food or wine event, the festival, which celebrates its inaugural year this fall, can best be compared to a cross between Coachella and the New York City Wine and Food Festival. With an abundance of food and an all-star lineup of musicians, you won’t want to miss a minute of it.
Left to right: Josh Capon and Marcus Samuelsson / Photos courtesy of Catskills Wine & Food Festival
Michael Chernow / Photo courtesy of Catskills Wine & Food Festival
From the moment the festival commences, foodies can jump from cooking competitions to celebrity demonstrations to meet and greets with top chefs. During the grand opening on Saturday, the fest heats up quickly with the Catskill Cook Off, a chef battle hosted by Jeremy Jacobowitz of @BrunchBoys fame. In the afternoon, Food Network darling Alex Guarnaschelli, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, New York City Wine and Food Festival champion Josh Capon, and The Meatball Shop co-owner Daniel Holzman lead cooking demonstrations.
On Sunday, the tasty events continue with demos by Late Night Eats host Jordan Andino, The Meatball Shop co-owner Michael Chernow, Flour Shop genius Amirah Kassem, wandering chef Sarah Blair, and James Beard winner Marcus Samuelsson.
Left to right: Drake White, photo by Shearer / Dwayne Gretzky, photo courtesy of Catskills Wine & Food Festival
Left to right: Lord Huron, Moon Taxi / Photos courtesy of Catskills Wine & Food Festival
While you might not expect concert-worthy music at a food festival, you’ll be in for quite the (pleasant) surprise if you go. The two-day shindig ropes together some of the nation’s leading musicians for dance-friendly concerts that are interspersed between cooking demos.
On Saturday, singer-songwriter Rebecca Perl kicks things off at noon, followed by dance band Ripe, folk rock group Chris Robinson Brotherhood, alt-pop headliner The Revivalists, nu-disco group Escort, and dance-pop band The Dip throughout the day and into the wee hours of the night.
The following day, nostalgia-loving collective Dwayne Gretzky, pop-rock band Moon Taxi, guitarist Drake White & The Big Fire, and experimental group Lord Huron bring the party to a sweet, melodic close.
Photo courtesy of Catskills Wine & Food Festival
In the spirit of the upstate festival scene, Catskills Wine & Food Festival has a limited number of cabins onsite for rentals, although nearby Airbnb, camping, and hotel options abound as well. If you plan to swing by the fest both days, consider an overnight for easy access to the grounds.
As for transportation, limited parking onsite means you’ll want to take a look at shuttle transportation between the venue and the hotels and casinos in the region. Additional parking is available at the Galleria Mall in Middletown, and shuttles bring festival-goers to and from the Mall.
Are you going to the Catskills Wine & Food Festival? If you go, tag us in your festive photos on Instagram!