2016 San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival: Grand Tasting

Snapshots of the Grand Tasting, the main event of the 2016 San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival.

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Kropczynski won the competition with this dish: Grilled Lamb Loin with Pumpkin Seed Oil and Fig Vincotto.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
The Grand Tasting was held at Embarcadero Marina Park North, right behind Seaport Village on a beautiful San Diego Saturday.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
The tasting event is known as the grand finale of the week-long San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, an ode to all things in the culinary and wine world.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
The Grand Tasting draws a healthy crowd to the waterfront, year after year.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
Now in its 11th year, the Grand Tasting boasts 150 wine, spirit and beer purveyors pouring hundreds of sips from around the globe.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
In addition, 60 of San Diego’s top chefs take the spotlight at the Grand Tasting, whipping up their finest fare.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
Grand Tasting attendees also enjoyed samples from more than 30 gourmet food companies, plus live entertainment.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
The “Chef of the Fest” competition is held each year at the Grand Tasting, which crowns the best of the best in the culinary world.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
The winning chef walks away with up to $50,000 in cash and prizes and, of course, serious bragging rights.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
This year, the Chef of the Fest title went to Chef Mark Kropczynski of The US GRANT Hotel’s Grant Grill.
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Kropczynski won the competition with this dish: Grilled Lamb Loin with Pumpkin Seed Oil and Fig Vincotto.
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The second place winner of “Chef of the Fest” was Chef Accursio Lota, of Solare Ristorante, with this dish: Californian Pistachio Mousse, with Chocolate Crumb and Hazelnut Infusion.
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The winner of the “Chef of the Fest’s” Seafood Category was this dish created by Aaron Thomas, of AVANT Restaurant. It’s Crispy Nori with Cured Hamachi, Salted Plum, Pickled Cucumber and Yuzu.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
Between sips and samples, attendees are treated to live entertainment.
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Courtesy of the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
Friends catching up at the Grand Tasting -- over good food, of course.
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