Star Chefs Come to NoVA for Vintage Virginia Festival This Weekend

Star Chefs come to NoVA for the 33rd Annual Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival.

Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival
Photo Courtesy of Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival

By Allison Michelli

Everyone is familiar with the classic southern dish of shrimp and grits, but have you every tried it in a cake form? 

Chef Tia McDonald is taking this well-known dish and pairing it with cucumber radish salad to create a Virginia-inspired recipe. “By turning the grits into a seared cake it adds a new dimension of  crunchy texture to the dish,” says MacDonald. “The crisp, clean flavor [of the cucumbers] adds a great balance to the creamy, crunchy, shrimp and grit cakes.”

You can find this dish, and more like it, at the 33rd Annual Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival, where chefs Emily Ellyn, Barbie Marshall, and Tia McDonald will be serving up their versions of Virginia-inspired dishes like chicken and waffles and peanut butter and wine jelly “snow cone” at the Star Chef Seminars. Ellyn’s quirky snow cone was inspired by Virginia’s bold and spicy-sweet red wines.

The festival will play host to over 20 of the area’s food trucks including Feelin’ Crabby and Goodies Frozen Custard and Treats. Browse Virginia artisan vendors like Lisa’s Wine Charms, Soywick Candles, and Eastham Farms Organics while enjoying a variety of food samples and over 250 Virginia wines. Wines for the Star Chef Seminars will be paired by wine presenter James F. Koennicke, who says to keep in mind that wine does not change the flavor of food, instead food changes the flavor of wine. 

He said he paired the dishes after tasting several wines from Democracy and Shenandoah Vineyards. Koennicke said the chicken and waffles combination was the most challenging to pair because “the sweet flavor components of the dish, for example in the maple syrup, distracts from the fruit flavor of the wine.” / The 33rd Annual Vintage Virginia Wine and Food Festival; May 31—June 1; Centreville’s Bull Run Special Events Center, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville. The chef seminars are able to seat 150 people per session. There will be two sessions each day, at noon and 2 p.m. Tickets for the Chef Seminars can be bought online in advance ($30) or at the door ($35).