Updated: Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

On the Cover: Reflecting Pool and Tent. Photo: Bigler Productions

{Editor’s Note: This is an Update of a previous post, reflecting lineup changes – AG}

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Saratoga Performing Arts Center announced that Graffiti Earth Chef Jehangir Mehta and NYC mixologists Dave Arnold and Don Lee of Existing Conditions, one of the most highly anticipated cocktail bar openings in NYC in the past year, have joined the line-up for Saturday’s VIP Grand Tasting as part of its reimagined Saratoga Wine and Food Festival on October 4-5.

Adding to the ambiance of the festival will be a line-up of musical performances selected by Caffé Lena including Kolonien, on the frontier of the new Scandinavian folk scene; the Jamcrackers featuring Adirondack folk musicians Dan Berggren and Dan Duggan, and Massachusetts-based, newgrass band, Mamma’s Marmalade, known for its fresh take on traditional American music that transforms the conventional bluegrass experience into an exuberant party, all slated for performances on Saturday afternoon. Harpist Martha Gallagher with guitarist Dennis Gallagher will bring their unique interweaving of strings to Friday’s VIP Farm-to-Table Harvest Dinner.  

“The addition of Chef Mehta, progressive mixologists Dave Arnold and Don Lee, and our new incredible line-up of folk bands curated by Caffé Lena will make for an afternoon that is both experiential and delicious, marrying culture with culinary excellence,” said Elizabeth Sobol, SPAC’s President & CEO.

Chef Jehangir Mehta

At his popular plant-based restaurant Graffiti Earth in NYC, Chef Jehangir Mehta is known for juxtaposing ingredients, textures and tastes from his native India with flavors from all around the globe. Focused on vegetable-based dishes that are environmentally conscious, Chef Mehta, along with Tim Spedding and Louise Rødkjær Jørgensen, will be the featured chef at the VIP Grand Tasting.  

Mixologists Don Lee and Dave Arnold

Considered two of the cocktail world’s most progressive thinkers, Dave Arnold and Don Lee will join the VIP Grand Tasting as the festival mixologists. Known for their highly scientific yet accessible and delicious approach to cocktails, the drink innovators are the owners of the cocktail bar Existing Conditions in Greenwich Village, which opened in 2018. Dave Arnold is also the Dean of Culinary Technology at the International Culinary Center and James Beard Award winning author of Liquid Intelligence. The former “Cocktail Sherpa” for the Momofuku group, Don Lee is also the Director of Product Development at Cocktail Kingdom.

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Presented at the end of SPAC’s classical season, and for the first time during the fall harvest season, The Saratoga Wine and Food Festival will celebrate the bounty and talent of the region from the Hudson Valley to the Adirondacks. Featuring a new farm-to-table inspired dinner on Friday night and Saturday’s signature Grand Tasting, the festival will feature fine wines, tastings from regional and international chefs, a sculpture garden presented by The Hyde Collection featuring works by artist John Van Alstine, and photographic works of art created from compostables by Terri-Lynn Pellegri.

Participating restaurants at the Grand Tasting include: 9 Miles East Farm, Brown’s Brewing Company, Dakine Cusine, LLC, Doc’s Restaurant, Druthers Brewing Company, Field Notes NY, Hamlet & Ghost, Harvey’s Restaurant and Bar, Hatch Test Kitchen, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Park 26 Restaurant, Prime at Saratoga National, Ravenous, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, Saratoga Tea & Honey, Seneca Restaurant, Siro’s Restaurant, Suburban Kitchen, Sweeney’s, Sweet Beet Bistro, We Do Fondue, Whitman Brewing Co, Whole Harvest and more.

The festival is SPAC’s largest fundraiser to support educational programming in the community, which has gone from serving 5,000 students to more than 49,000 students in four years. Tickets to the festival are available online at spac.org, at the box office or by calling 518-584-9330.

Photo: Bigler Productions



NEW! Cultivate SeriesAll FREE events. See this post for details.


NEW! Farm-to-Table Harvest Dinner | 6:00 p.m. –10:00 p.m.

An intimate farm-to-table inspired dinner in an enchanting “Forest Magic” setting, the evening will feature live music by harp and guitar duo Martha and Dennis Gallagher, and exceptional locally sourced ingredients. Renowned regional chefs Dan Spitz, Michael Blake, and Kevin London, will be joined by national culinary talent including Ayurvedic cooking expert Austin Peltier to present unique and collaborative courses.

The VIP Farm-to-Table Harvest Dinner includes an exclusive pre-dinner event with high-end wines and canapés prepared by the UK’s most exciting and influential young chefs Tim Spedding and Louise Rødkjær Jørgensen. 

6 pm: VIP Farm-to-Table Dinner: $225

7 pm: Farm-to-Table Harvest Dinner: $175


Grand Tasting | 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The weekend’s signature event will celebrate the bounty of the region from the Hudson Valley to the Adirondacks with gourmet tastings, fine wines and local distillery and brewery tastingsasculpture garden curated by The Hyde Collection featuring works by John Van Alstine, photographic works of art created from compostables by Terri-Lynn Pellegri and musical performances by folk and bluegrass groups Kolonien, the Jamcrackers and Mamma’s Marmalade, all curated by Caffè Lena.

The VIP Grand Tasting grants guests early access and features high-end wines and dishes prepared by NYC’s Graffiti Earth ChefJehangir Mehta, and the UK’s most exciting and influential young chefs, Tim Spedding and Louise Rødkjær Jørgensen, in an exclusive VIP Clubhouse tent.
11 am: VIP Grand Tasting, $175

noon: Grand Tasting, $100

Photo: Bigler Productions

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