If it’s spring, there must be a food festival nearby

Pam GeorgeCulture, Headlines


food festival

With spring comes a variety of fundraisers — upstate and down — featuring food.

Spring is packed with beloved First State traditions, particularly events involving food.

Upscale brunch dishes, lavish tailgates and chef throw downs are some of the tasty treats that will tickle Delawareans’ palates this season.

So, grab your calendar and start making plans.

Saturday, April 15

Backstage Pass Party: Hyatt Place Dewey Beach.

Nosh like a rock star at this themed fundraiser for the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, which manages the Freeman Arts Pavilion.

The “behind-the-scenes” experience features live music courtesy of Love Seed Mama Jump, food and beverages, including The Starboard orange crush bar.

Tickets are $199 for VIP passes and $99 for general admission. They will be available at the door.

Monday, April 17

Chefs Unite to Stave Mickey: Deerfield Country Club, Newark

Chef Donny Merrill of Skipjack in Newark organizes this annual event to benefit research on Sanfilippo syndrome. Both his daughter and son have the rare disorder.

His pals are some of the best in the local biz, including Netflix culinary sensation Robbie Jester, who is bringing “Pressure Cooker” costar Brian Nadeau.

Tickets are $150 per person.

food festival

The Delaware Restaurant Association’s annual ProStart Fundraising Dinner features fare from high school teams paired with chefs.

Wednesday, April 19

8th Annual ProStart Fundraising Dinner: Riverfront Events at the Hyatt Wilmington

Enjoy a four-course wine dinner and help culinary students at the same time.

The event, which includes a live auction, benefits the Delaware Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart program.

Each participating high school will work with chefs to prepare a course, such as smoky strip loin steak and mushroom goat-cheese gnocchi.

Individual tickets are $199.

April 23

Sunday Supper: The Chancery Market Food Hall & Bar, Wilmington

Wilmington’s celebrated chefs are collaborating to create the multicourse dinner, which benefits the Friends of James Beard Foundation.

Participants include vendors in the new Chancery Market Food Hall and celebrated Wilmington restaurants.

There are three entrees. Antimo DiMeo of Bardea Food & Drink will make braised Iberico pork, and Michael DiBianca of Ciro Food & Drink will make pistachio-braised Icelandic cod. For the third, Tyler Akin of Le Cavalier will make veal rougette Mourvedre.

Wines include selections from Paul Cullen Wines, and beer is from Wilmington Brew Works.

Tickets are $200 each, and sales end April 21.

April 29

Taste for Art: Riverfront Events at the Hyatt Wilmington

The Children & Families First benefit sports a fiesta theme that includes artisans, a silent auction, live entertainment and Spanish cuisine prepared by student chefs.

Chefs Robbie Jester of Pizzeria Mariana and Juan Manuel Aguiñaga of Ole Tapas Lounge & Restaurant will duke it out during the tapas throwdown.

Tickets range from $75 for young professionals to $750 for two art muse sponsors.

General admission is $125 per person.

April 30

Meals on Wheels Celebrity Brunch: DuPont Country Club, Wilmington

The social event of the season is also the tastiest.

Sample delicacies from local chefs and visiting guests, including Michael Blackle of NeXT in Ontario, Amber Croon of And 4 Dessert in Baltimore, Don Drake of Magnolias in Charleston and “Top Chef” alum John Tesar of Knife in Dallas.

Tickets are $75-$175.

May 7

Winterthur Point to Point Steeplechase: Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Food Network star and local pastry chef Dru Tevis will be the guest judge for the tailgate competition this year, but you don’t need a car to enjoy the feast-ivities.

Bluecoast Seafood Grill & Raw Bar has a tent again this year with all the goodies — and more — that you’d find in Rehoboth Beach and Bethany.

Priced at $175, tickets for the tent include parking and the event entrance fee.

Regular wristbands range from $30 for guests under 21 to $80 for guests and $100 for patrons.

MORE FOR SPRING: Longwood’s tulips should be at peak bloom this week and next

May 11-13

Wilmington Flower MarketRockford Park

Flowers, vegetable plants and herbs are a draw, but it’s hard to leave this much-loved festival without a bite — or the event’s famed mustard.

This year’s vendors include Ole Tapas’s food truck, All Hands BBQ, Koi on the Go, Nellie’s Waffles, Hy-Point Dairy, Café Riveria, Wildwich, Bricker’s French Fries, Delaware Provisions, Fusco’s Water Ice, DonutNV, Masala Kitchen, Red Bandana Kettle Corn, Ennis’ BBQ and Chick-fil-A.

Admission is free. Parking is $10 a day.

May 17

Top Chef of the Culinary Coast: Ivy in Dewey Beach

Meals on Wheels Lewes-Rehoboth delivers up to 110,000 meals to residents, and funds from this event benefit the local organization — not Meals on Wheels Delaware, which is a separate organization.

The event includes live music from 2nd Time Around and features live and silent auctions.

The food is the star, and up to 20 restaurants have participated in the past.

Tickets are $80 in advance and $90 at the door.

Pam George is a Delaware freelance writer. Contact her at [email protected]


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