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Celebrity Chefs Rock Atlantic City's "Toast to the Coast"

By June 30, 2008

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PhotoOne day soon, screaming fans will mob a celebrity in a hotel lobby, and someone will be heard to say, "Gee, you'd think they were some kind of TV chef or something!" This premonition was brought after watching the Food Network's Guy Fieri, Ingrid Hoffmann, and headliner, Giada De Laurentiis, get the full rock star treatment by a large gathering of foodies at the recently held "Toast to the Coast" Food and Wine Spectacular, in Atlantic City.

As I observed these young, effervescent chefs mingling with the crowd at various venues during the three-day event, one thing was clear; America loves its TV chefs in a deeper, more meaningful way, than any other types of pop celebrities. We love that they cook for us, entertain us, keep us company when we're home sick, and most importantly, teach us new things. When was the last time Paris Hilton taught you something new?

PhotoBy combining these adoring fans, an interesting array of food and wine events, and genuinely enthusiastic chefs, Harrah's may have found the right recipe for what could be an annual Atlantic City culinary tradition. It was also a perfect opportunity for lesser known regional chefs to show off some of the best local ingredients, wines, and recipes. These events are becoming increasingly popular, and provide a great way to experience American regional cuisine.

Over the next few days I look forward to posting recipes and photos from the event, as well as recounting some of the highlights, including:
  • The Food and Wine Tasting Exposition in Bally's Grand Ballroom
  • Lunch at Georges Pierrer's restaurant Mia in Caesars (the scallop dish pictured here was the first course)
  • An evening Poolside "Dine-Around" at Harrah's Resort, featuring a dizzying display of food and drink pairings done by many of the top chefs in Atlantic City
  • The Vine & Dine Gala Dinner prepared by Guy Fieri, Ingrid Hoffmann, Giada De Laurentiis, and Roland Mesnier, who was the pastry chef at the White House for 25 years
  • A Gospel Brunch at the Showboat's House of Blues
Photos © John Mitzewich

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