I am still tired.

I had a whirlwind weekend attending the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival (ACFW) this past Friday and Saturday. Maybe I’m getting too old or maybe I’m still in a food coma high? Whatever the reason it’s weekends like this where sleep is completely overrated. 

Today I am recapping some of my favorite moments and highlights from the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival. Giddy yup – we’re about to go on one heck of a ride.

FRIDAY – Media Dinner at the {NEW} Martorano’s in Harrah’s, Atlantic City


I have been stalking this chef and his restaurants for quite some time so I was absolutely thrilled to hear 1).  Steve Martorano was opening a restaurant in AC and 2). I received an invitation to check out his new restaurant during the ACFW fest weekend.

Chef Martorano absolutely spoiled us during this dinner. Course after course we were treated to classic, Italian fare. Martorano, a Philadelphia native, has created a lively restaurant featuring popular dishes, a nightclub-like atmosphere complete with a dance floor and live DJs, a wine room to die for and sinfully good desserts. We will definitely be going back there soon!


The restaurant was dark but here is a picture of me and Chef Martorano. Yo Cuz!


SATURDAY AFTERNOON – Media Roundtables & Lunch by the Sea

Saturday began early with media roundtables with Marcus Samuelsson, Martha Stewart and Robert Irvine.


Marcus Samulesson is the Co-Creator and Excecutive Chef of the acclaimed Red Rooster restaurant in New York City. Chef Samuelsson was hands down my favorite Chef of the weekend. He was approachable, relatable and clearly happy to be one of the hosts for this year’s festival. Samuelsson spoke about his monthly free cooking classes for kids in his restaurant’s basement, the scholarships he offers to aspiring chefs and how he came to the States with only $300 in his wallet and worked tirelessly to get to where he is today – gotta love that.


Martha Stewart, home-entertaining maven, media mogul and James Beard award-winning chef and TV personality, spoke about her Jersey roots, her love of Jersey Fresh produce (even boasting about her Jersey blueberry bushes on her farm), Jersey beaches and many of her upcoming projects. Martha is quite beautiful in person and so refined. She is very much like she is portrayed in the media (I’ll leave you to decide what I mean in that very vague statement). I wanted her to be my new best friend. I had of visions of she and I cocktailing it up on her farm but, sadly, she was having none of that.


Robert Irvine, acclaimed Chef, television personality and fan favorite, was one of the festival’s hosts. This was my second year meeting Chef Irvine and he was just as nice as last year. Irvine spoke about his television shows, his nutrition bars, healthy cooking for kids and his admiration, respect and commitment to the United States military. Irvine is amazing and you can tell he enjoys being at the festival and interacting with his fans.


Following the media roundtables I was invited to a Dining by the Sea Lunch with Marcus Samuelsson. Talk about some amazing chicken and collards! Marcus’ hint: cook your collards early and let them sit; they get better as they sit.

SATURDAY EVENING – Clambake, Dinner by the Sea, Grand Market & Beach Soiree  

My night at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival continued with a clambake hosted by Chef Marcus Samuelsson. In a true celebration of the Jersey Shore the ACFW was transformed into a festive New England Clambake with traditional menu items and delicious summer favorites.


After the Clambake we headed over to a Dining by the Sea Dinner with Martha Stewart.

Martha prepared some of her classic dishes and interacted with the fans. Martha’s meal was delicious and was prepared in true Martha Stewart style. It seriously looked like it belonged in one of her magazines.


One moment that was absolutely hilarious is when Martha mentioned how she has never had a drink alone. The story began as she talked about her friend and how her friend couldn’t wait to get home and open a bottle of wine and drink a glass while she soaking in the tub. She then said “I’ve never had a drink alone. If you drink alone you are an idiot and just asking for a problem.” We all looked at each other like, “Did she just call us idiots?” Clearly there were a few of us in the audience who have enjoyed in a solo cocktail or glass of wine every now and then. 

Quick poll to my GGG crew: Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a drink alone? 

Once dinner was finished we had some time to a popular attraction of the festival, the signature Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival Grand Market. 


The Grand Market was held outdoors this year under the Grand Market Tasting Tents to take on a Miami-esque feel. We were able to indulge in a little bit of everything as we ate and drank our way through the eclectic tasting village. 

Finally, it was time for some fun. The weekend ended for me with The Barefoot Beach Soiree.


We had a blast dancing away at this beachside party while savoring refreshing cocktails and a bounty of appetizers and just look at those desserts. Oh my word!


This year’s Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival was one of the best. I got to interview well-known Chefs, try new foods, eat amazing meals, interact with some of my favorite media and PR folks and have a great evening with my friends and husband. 

Remember to raise your hand if you drink alone. Isn’t that a song? 

Cheers all!

I received complimentary tickets to the ACFW as a member of the media for me and a guest. I also received special invitations to certain events from my peers in the industry.

This article was written by food blogger Linda Arceo and Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps


  1. Man, you are right! I would still be in a food coma! Looks and sounds like you had an amazing time. I have enjoyed drinks alone but it really is not fun. I rather share it with friends but I would not go out and tell people they are idiots. Martha! What are you thinking about? Oh wait, you can get away with that crap. LOL

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