Love at first bite

By | Category: Travel news

Following in the footsteps of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival ( a four day destination event designed to raise money for Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism) comes the 2010 China Wine & Food Festival.
The festival, which takes place in Tianjin – China’s third largest city – on September 18, will bring together 20 international restaurants, award winning wineries and fantastic entertainment and promises to be a stunning celebration of the best cuisine that Tianjin and the surrounding region has to offer.

Susan Gladstone, director of the China Wine & Food Festival Tianjin, dishes the dirt on the inaugural event

susan

Why do you think the South Beach Food & Wine Festival continues to be so popular?
The event combines a number of fabulous elements: a great location (the festival takes place on the actual beach), wonderful wines, food from the best restaurants, celebrity chefs who are like rock stars in the US, and a large assortment of seminars, specialty dinners and parties…There really is something for everyone and by making slight changes each year in the line-up of chefs, seminars and parties, it always stays fresh and fun.

How did you get involved with the festival, and how many have you worked on?
I began working on the festival 11 years ago when it was still located on the campus of Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, where it originated. I have worked on every one of the festivals on the beach – renamed the South Beach Wine and Food Festival and am looking forward to working as Activation Director on the 2011 festival when we celebrate our 10th anniversary!

Tianjin map

Turning to Tianjin, what is your role in this year’s inaugural festival?
I am the director of the China Wine and Food Festival Tianjin. In this role, I have been responsible for developing and implementing the event along with the help of a great team. Special mentions must go to the dean of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in Miami, dean Joan Remington, the associate dean of the TUC_FIU program, Wenjun Wang and the Director of Wine and Spirits, Tommy Lam.

Which celebrity chef are you most excited about seeing in action?
I am very excited that we have Da Dong as our featured star chef. I’m also eager to see the chef from the US, Max Levy, but I truly believe all of the chef demonstrations will be wonderful and interesting for our guests.

What else can we look forward to?
Tommy Lam (a certified wine specialist and sommelier)and Barry Gump (from our faculty in Miami) will be conducting wine seminars designed to educate and entertain. There will also be hourly bartending seminars featuring some of the signature drinks of Tianjin’s five star hotels such as the Raffles Tianjin Sling and the Westin’s Mojito. Our second stage will feature tea etiquette demonstrations. Finally for guests who buy VIP tickets there will be a special private scotch tasting and a fabulous ‘Miami meets Tianjin after party’ on the roof of La Villa Restaurant: expect a Latin menu, salsa dancers and a DJ.

tianjin

Tianjin is known for its gastronomic delights. Have you tried any of Tianjin’s traditional street snacks?
I have enjoyed goubuli dumplings and mahua (a sweet treat) on a number of occasions!

Looking to the long term, what can we expect from the 2011 China Wine & Food Festival?
Our vision is for the festival to grow bigger and better. The aim is for the event to take over the Haihe Riverfront as well as the Italian district and to turn it into a two day culinary extravagansa. I’m also hoping to introduce new additions such as dinners, seminars and parties to the line-up (like we do in Miami) which would allow us to showcase other areas in Tianjin.

To find out more about the China Food and Wine Festival, visit www.chinawineandfoodfest.com

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