Sussex County to host 10 events May 14-18 at MidAtlantic Wine+Food Fest

February 14, 2014

The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival presented by Bank of America will return Wednesday-Sunday, May 14-18, with events in more than 40 venues stretching from the Main Line of Philadelphia to the Delaware beaches. Details surrounding 10 food, wine, beer and spirits events in Sussex County were shared at the kickoff meeting of The Wine Guild of Sussex County held Feb. 12.

The Wine Guild is a group of wine aficionados who gather monthly to taste interesting wines and share fellowship, and whose activities support the festival. Anyone interested in membership is welcome, and should contact

The festival’s 46 events feature the cuisine of more than 90 chefs hailing from six continents, and 18 winemakers. May 15 events in Sussex County include the following: Festival Brew Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton; The Art of Food Winemakers Dinner, 6:30-10:30, private home, Lewes; The Farmer Meets the Fisherman: A Pop-Up Dinner, 6:30-10:30, Magee Farms, Lewes.

May 16 events include Tapas and Rioja Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Ivy Restaurant, Dewey Beach; I’ll Have What She’s Having Lunch Adventure, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., a(MUSE.), Rehoboth Beach; Winemakers Dinner: Barefoot Black Tie, 7-11 p.m., home of Alex Pires, Dewey Beach.

Scheduled for May 17 is Winemakers Lunch in Rehoboth, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Eden Restaurant, Rehoboth Beach; American Express 1,000-Point Wine Tasting: South, 3-5 p.m., Eden Restaurant, Rehoboth Beach; Winemakers Dinner at the Beach, 6:30-10:30 p.m., private home, Rehoboth Beach. Sunday, May 18 features the Sunday Jazz Brunch, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Nassau Valley Vineyards, Lewes.

A designated portion of the net 2014 festival proceeds will benefit five community organizations in Delaware. The beneficiaries in Sussex County are CAMP Rehoboth and the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation.

Restaurateur Matt Haley knows a little something about community-mindedness, having recently learned he’s being honored with the 2014 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year Award. One of the first events Haley will be hosting after the May awards ceremony is The Farmer and The Fisherman: a Pop-Up Dinner.

Eighteen Sussex County chefs have signed on to cook alongside 72-plus other international, national and regional chefs. Chef Peter McMahon is the executive chef of all 10 events in Sussex County.

Scott Thomas, executive director of Southern Delaware Tourism, said, “An event with such a draw as the MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival, with its expanding series of events taking place in Sussex County, is a great attraction for reinforcing our reputation as the Culinary Coast.”

Longtime Sussex foodies are in for a special treat. The former chef of Rehoboth Beach’s Back Porch Café, known locally as Siri McDang, returns to Delaware from his home country of Thailand to cook for the festival. His celebrity chef dossier is impressive and fascinating: as a member of the Thai royal family, he is known as ML Sirichalerm Svasti. He is an author and the expert on Thai cooking for Le Cordon Bleu.

One of the festival’s most popular marquee events, the American Express 1,000-Point Wine Tasting, will take place concurrently in two counties with Eden Restaurant serving as the Sussex County host venue. For 2014, the festival established four new lunches and a first-ever Sunday event in southern Delaware: a jazz brunch at Nassau Valley Vineyards.

Several prominent Sussex Countians, including Alex Pires and Magee Farms, have opened their homes and properties for winemakers' dinners. A ubiquitous sampling of Dogfish Head brews is complemented by a lunch at the brewery.

Tickets are available at, where guests can also purchase gift certificates. For more information about the festival, call Laura Stimson at 302-660-2200, Ext. 105.

The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival began as an independent festival in 2013. The festival’s purpose is to be the premier food and wine event of the MidAtlantic featuring international vintners and chefs in collaboration with local talent, to bring tourism to Delaware and to increase awareness of Sussex County's cultural assets.

The festival is the beneficiary of a generous two-year capacity-building grant from the Longwood Foundation. MidAtlantic Wine and Food Festival Limited is a Delaware nonprofit managed by Strongpoint Events Marketing LLC.