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10 great reasons to attend Tysons inaugural wine and food festival

Chef Todd Gray, of Washington, D.C., restaurant Equinox, will be one of many top chef leading cooking demonstrations at the Great Tastes of Tysons Wine and Food Festival.
Chef Todd Gray, of Washington, D.C., restaurant Equinox, will be one of many top chef leading cooking demonstrations at the Great Tastes of Tysons Wine and Food Festival. Courtesy of Equinox

Metro's Silver Line is not the only thing new coming to Virginia's Tysons Corner neighborhood. The Great Taste of Tysons Wine and Food Festival will be held on Sat., May 31 and Sun., June, 1, 2014.

Here are ten good reasons to attend this inaugural event:

1) Cooking Stage Chef Demonstrations: Bart Vandaele of Belga Café, Todd Gray of Equinox and Salamander Resort and Spa, Joe Yonan of the Washington Post, Johah Kim of Pabu, Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck and Michael Friedman of The Ren Hen will be leading cooking demonstrations. Also, if you don't get enough food at the cooking demos, there will be an array of food trucks at the festival.

2) Whole Hog Butchering: Representatives from Sausage Craft will butcher a whole hog. You will learn where all of your favorite meats come from and get some great ideas on how to cook these parts and make a great meal from the hog.

3) Wine: There will be a Founders Wine tasting seminar with festival founder Greg Nivens as well as a Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon Vertical Tasting including 8 different bottles from 1996-2009 ($29 per person).

4) Beer: A live and interactive taping of radio show Foodie and Beast with hosts Nycci and David Nellis will be on Sat., May 31 at 3:00 p.m. During the taping, guests will be included in a blind beer tasting with several of the area’s beer experts. The show will air on Sun., June 1 at 11:00 a.m. on Federal News Network. There will also be a Craft Beer Tasting Village at the festival.

5) Mixology: The spirits will be flowing at a Gin Tasting Table, at the Scotch lounge, and at the Rum Shack. Also special sessions with mixologists Jon Arroyo of Founding Farmers and Taha Ismail of Graffiato.

6) Music: Live musical entertainment will be bountiful throughout the weekend and feature Looking for Lester, Sean Grace, David Bach and the Texas Chainsaw Horns.

7) VIP Experience: A VIP area will offer additional, higher-end tastings, a lounge atmosphere and special seating. It is designed to offer new surprises every hour, starting on the hour. Guests will enjoy different tastes throughout the day and will be able to leave the space and enjoy the rest of the event without missing out. VIP guests are very limited and admission includes a goodie bag

8) Grilling: Chef Victor Albisu, owner of Del Campo (named a Best New Restaurant of 2013 by Esquire magazine), an upscale South American grill in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C., will be hosting the South American grilling demonstrations.

9) Tickets: There a number of options for tickets: the Grand Cru Two-Day All Access Pass at $269 per person; VIP passes for Saturday at $149 or Sunday at $129; and a general admission one-day pass for $59. There are also $39 designated driver tickets available in advance.

10) After Party: The general admission ticket includes one entry to the Great Tastes of Tysons Official After Party at O’Malley’s Pub Tysons Corner. The after-party includes three hours (5 to 8 PM) of food and beverage tastings, live music, and transportation to/from Great Tastes of Tysons event to/from Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner hotel.

To purchase tickets and learn more about the complete schedule of events, visit www.tastetysons.com or call (800) 830-3976.