Festival Spotlights Fresh Local Produce

From rockfish to Dogfish, the First State yields top-notch goods.

Some of the world’s top chefs, including a few of Delaware’s own culinary stars, will serve many colorful, creative dishes during the event. Photo by Joel Plotkin

The MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival is a chance to showcase some of Delaware’s coolest people and places. But it is also the season for fresh local produce, and festival chefs can’t wait to showcase the fruit (and veg) of our native soil. 

Softshell crabs
Delaware softshell season officially begins during the first full moon in May, which just so happens to coincide with Soft Shell Crab Nouveau on May 15.

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Asparagus, mushrooms, strawberries, and more
Superstar localvores like Dan Butler (Toscana), Patrick D’Amico (Harry’s Savoy Grill), Eric Aber (Home Grown Café), Ryan Cunningham (Abbott’s Grill), William Hoffman (House of William & Merry) and more cook up a Delaware-centric meal at the David Finney Inn in New Castle on May 16. Regional goodies will run rampant. 

Count on Harry’s Seafood Grill chef Kate Applebaum to represent thoroughly during the Women, Wine + Song dinner on May 15. “Definitely something local, maybe rockfish,” she says, “to try to bring a little bit of Delaware to the table.”

No Delaware festival would be complete without Dogfish Head beers (Festival Brew Lunch, May 15), Nassau Valley Vineyards wine (Sunday Jazz Brunch, May 18) and Smyrna newbies Painted Stave Distillery (A Spirited Lunch, May 17). 

Magee Farms in Lewes hosts restaurateur and humanitarian extraordinaire Matt Haley for The Farmer Meets the Fisherman on May 15, and Siena Gold Farm in Kemblesville, Pa., hosts Mystery Wine Tasting on the Farm on May 17. Historic Penn Farm near New Castle hosts on May 15.

OK, so it’s not your typical porky, don’t-tell-me-how-it’s-made scrapple that put Bridgeville on the map, but the festival’s two Scrapplegasm events, held at Michele’s at Dover Downs and the Green Room at Hotel du Pont, pay homage to a Delaware tradition in the classiest way possible. Expect souped-up twists like rabbit scrapple, duck scrapple, and more.