The Sugar Land Wine & Food Affair is taking a big step forward in 2017. Now operated by IWSC, the UK-based company that organizes the acclaimed Atlanta Food & Wine Festival and the traveling pork festival Cochon555, the Sugar Land festival has attracted a lineup of celebrity chefs designed to draw attendees from across the Houston area to a series of events being held April 6 through 9.
The four-day bash kicks off with two dinners on Thursday April 6. The first, dubbed The Boiling Point, features Houston's own Bryan Caswell (Reef, El Real, etc) with David Bancroft (Acre Restaurant in Auburn, AL) and Top Chef: Texas veteran Edward Lee who will join forces to put their own spin on a classic Southern seafood boil, including Caswell's signature Texas BBQ crabs. Fluff Bake Bar chef-owner Rebecca Masson will provide desserts. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Caswell's Southern Salt Foundation.
Thursday night's other dinner, The Italian Invasion: Italy and the Rest of the World, should appeal to wine lovers. Hosted by Master Sommeliers Craig Collins and Drew Hendricks, each course will feature one Italian wine and one wine from somewhere else in the world, but diners won't know which is which. Attendees will vote for their favorites. With chef Andrew Curren of Austin's acclaimed Italic restaurant preparing the food, it should be a thoroughly memorable experience.
Fridays festivities kick off with a lunch at the soon-to-open Bacon Bros. Public House that explores preservation techniques like fermentation and curing, as prepared by chefs Kevin Ouzts (GA) and host chef Joseph Zerwas. Friday night's Grand Tasting at the Sugar Land Marriott Town Square has a wine focus (everything from Bourdeaux to bubbles) and will feature bites from an eclectic mix of chefs including Richard Knight (Hunky Dory), Antoine Ware (Harold's in the Heights), and Shanna and Brian O’Hea (Academe at Kennebunk Inn, Maine).
The popular Sip & Stroll has been expanded to both Saturday and Sunday. In addition to food prepared by local restaurants like Marini’s Empanada House and Café Piquet, attendees can enjoy wine, cocktails, and a beer garden.
Tickets for all the events are on sale now. Prices for individual events range from $65 for the Sip & Stroll to $200 for The Italian Invasion. Weekend packages that include access to classes on various culinary culinary topic and attendance at both the Grand Tasting and the Sip & Stroll are priced at $150 and $325. Hotel packages are also available.