RED BANK – The Count Basie Theatre is now serving its delicious four-day festival of gastronomic greatness.
“Appetite: A Gastronomic Experience” is being held Thursday through Sunday.
The event kicks off 8 p.m. Thursday with an onstage interview and a question-and-answer session with Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, moderated by Teresa Politano.
Friday chef Anne Burrell takes to the main stage at 8 p.m. and Saturday night chef Joe Bastianich will be appearing with special guest Victor Rallo. Both the Burrell and Bastianich appearances will involve cooking. Bastianich is expected to hold a penna pasta “throw down” challenge between Rallo and Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna with the celebrity chef deciding whose plates win.
During the day on Saturday, a variety of food purveyors, including Carton Brewing, Sugarush, Destination Dogs, Eat Coat Oyster Farm, Seven Arrows Farm and mixologist Lauren Davis, will hold “taste and talk” events at a variety of locations within the Count Basie Theatre complex, plus food trucks, craft beers and live music will be located on the theater patio and adjacent lot.
Sunday afternoon will feature the food trucks, beer tastings and live music plus additional taste and talk events, a bourbon tasting and a tasting and showcasing of some exquisite Italian wines.
Four food-featuring films will be shown on the main stage with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the 1971 version) and Sideway on Saturday afternoon and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Big Night on Sunday afternoon.
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