Madison Magazine was the longtime organizer of the annual Food & Wine Show until this year, when it instead played host to a week-long series of events called the Festival of Foods, held Oct. 8-14. Just like Hollywood rebooted Batman, Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, the Isthmus took over the renamed Food & Wine Festival, which takes place Oct. 19-20 at Exhibition Hall, and added its own spin.
“We have refocused the event stressing local products and flavors,” Chris Majchrzak, Marketing & Events Manager at Isthmus Publishing Company, Inc., said. “And (we’ve added) more food, especially local food.”
I’m especially happy with the latter statement, as over the years I’ve noticed fewer and fewer food stands. But more on that in a moment.
Apparently, folks at the Alliant Energy Center didn’t want to see the show go away, so they contacted the Isthmus about taking over. The Isthmus also runs the Beer & Cheese Fest each January at Exhibition Hall, so it was a natural fit.
Majchrzak went on to explain that they hope to “slow down the pace of the event and emphasize the informational and education aspect as well.” That’s good for the exhibitors, because as with any food/wine-type show, there’s always a lot of drive-by eating that occurs.
But back to the food. I looked at the list of exhibitors, and it does appear to sport more food vendors than previous year. Examples include Osteria Papavero, Roman Candle Pizzeria, Old Feed Mill, AJ Bombers and Sprecher’s Restaurant.
And of course, I look forward to sampling endless wine and finding out what’s currently “in”–last year, Moscato was all the rage. Here’s a list of items I bought last year.
One-day passes cost $40, or you can get a two-day pass for $65. I’ve been given a discount code to save $10 on tickets, so please feel free to use it: foodwineblog