The Food & Wine Scene of Massachusetts

2021 Worcester Wine Festival Grand Tasting

We are pleased to announce that we’ve secured a date and location for the return of the Worcester Wine Festival’s Grand Tasting! This year, the event will take place Saturday, August 28th at the home of the Worcester Red Sox – Polar Park!

Since its inception in 2017, the Worcester Wine Festival has brought together thousands of food and wine enthusiasts to New England’s second largest city to celebrate wine. Consumers, both casual and professionals, have been able to enjoy over 600 quality wines during the tasting and because of the incredible representation of vineyards, wineries, distributors, and more, the demand has been steady even though we had to take a break in 2020 because of COVID.

This year, after meeting with several venues, we’ve decided to bring the Worcester Wine Festival’s Grand Tasting to Polar Park as the first public event hosted at the Worcester Red Sox’s new home in downtown Worcester. The event will look very similar past festivals – we’ll have a VIP hour for VIP ticket holders to enjoy the tasting tables, and a General Admission ticket open once the VIP hour ends. The Grand Tasting will take place “on the field” at Polar Park, giving it a new and exciting feel. Excitement has already begun to build for an event that certainly be the talk of the region.

There will be a limited VIP session that allows ticket holders preview access to all of the Grand Tasting Wines starting at 12-noon. At 1pm, VIP ticket holders will enjoy a curated multi-course wine pairing and access to a private tasting of highly coveted wines. General Admission ticket holders may enjoy the Grand Tasting Wines from 1:00pm until 3pm.

Tickets will be on sale here soon!

Additionally, we’re pleased to announce that our retail partner, Julio’s Liquors, will be providing the ability to purchase each wine that is tried—directly from their Julio’s Liquors App (from the App Store and Google Play)! Be certain to create your account ahead of time to browse the curated list of wines ahead of time and during the Grand Tasting purchase the wines that you love right from the table for pick-up or MA delivery!

 

The venue for the 2021 Worcester Wine Festival will be Polar Park in Worcester, MA.

 

El Morocco was known as the hot spot in Worcester (From the collections of the Worcester Historical Museum – Worcester, MA) Food Feed

A Note about “A Taste Of Worcester History”

Attention ticket holders for the 2020 “A Taste Of Worcester History!” Obviously, COVID has thrown a wrench into our plans to host the event to celebrate Worcester’s food culture from a historical standpoint. It was our intention to do a social wine tasting that pairs food and wine within the Worcester Historical Museum—the event would celebrate the founding cultures of the city while promoting today’s great chefs. We fully expect to host this event in the near future, however, we aren’t certain how it will look given the impact the pandemic has had on many of the restaurants in the region.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience and are hopeful that you join us for the “A Taste of Worcester History” once we can safely do so.

Food News

As the Country opens, so will the wine bottles.

Like every other organization, business, and person, last year was fairly quiet on the Mass Food & Wine front. Our events, A Taste of Worcester History, Willy Wonka Wine Dinners, Santa’s Sleigh, and more, were all postponed as we planned for the best interests to allow our chefs, wine experts, and industry partners to focus on preserving their restaurants and businesses and consumers and guests stay safe.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be announcing our 2021 Worcester Wine Festival dates in the coming months and will be selling tickets shortly!

For those who purchased tickets to A Taste of Worcester History, we will be planning that event—albeit looking a little differently. We will offer ticket holders to hold onto those tickets for the future event or complimentary upgrade their tickets for the 2021 Worcester Wine Festival.

Although this year may not be full throttle, we’re looking forward to the Worcester Wine Festival to start the celebration of food and wine in Central Massachusetts and lead a year of events to satisfy your palate!

Stay hungry,

Luke, Ed, & Joe

A Taste of Worcester History *** Postponed ***

Because of concerns of the COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, this event has been further postponed until we receive guidance from the state. The event will happen in 2020, and all ticket holders will be admitted with the originally issued tickets. Once we have the finalized date, we will announce it here!

A Taste of Worcester History is created to pay homage to Worcester’s past restaurants and chefs through an interactive festival-style tasting with today’s chefs interpreting dishes of Worcester’s cultures hosted at the Worcester Historical Museum. Six chefs, known for their extraordinary culinary skills, will be highlighting a dish based on Worcester’s cultural heritage. Chef Tim Russo of Lock 50/Russo will focus on Syrian; Mark Hawley of Worcester Restaurant Group on Italian; Robert Fecteau, executive chef, baker and co-owner of BirchTree Bread Company will present Polish; Director of Operations Chef Bill Nemeroff of BT’s Smokehouse on Jewish; Executive Chef Chris Smigel of MGM Springfield preparing American; and Chef Jared Forman of deadhorse hill will prepare a dish inspired by the French immigrants. Each food tasted will be paired with a tasting of wine.

The tasting will conclude with a special award presentation of the first Mass Food & Wine Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, created to recognize a prominent figure or restaurant in the Commonwealth’s food history, will be presented to Naphie Samara on behalf of Worcester’s most iconic restaurant, the El Morocco. Naphie is one of the Aboody’s nine children and an integral part of the restaurant’s growth from its opening in 1943, its expansion in 1977, through its sale in the early 1990s. As the last surviving member of the Aboody family, it’s with great honor to be able to recognize the El Morocco, for being such an important part of Worcester’s cultural, and culinary, history, through her lifetime of work.

A portion of ticket sales will directly benefit the Worcester Historical Museum.

Please note that this is not a seated dinner with timed courses, but instead a walk-about event for each chef and pairing. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

Fine Print: Last call 30-minutes prior to end of the event. No re-admission. Must bring printed or digital ticket for entry. Tickets are non-transferable and not refundable. 21+ event, with valid ID required for admission.

Food News

A Year of Food & Wine

Two local organizations – MassFoodies™ and the Worcester Wine Festival™ – have merged to create a new brand – Mass Food & Wine™. The new organization began operation on January 1, 2020 with a mission of coordinating, promoting and executing world-class food and wine events throughout Massachusetts. The events are designed to entertain and inspire consumers, recognize culinary leaders and support the community.

Mass Food & Wine will combine the efforts of both previous organizations and continue to execute the many successful events they have become known for in the past. Their 2020 schedule will kick-off on April 4th, 2020 with a brand new event: “A Taste of Worcester History”. This festival-style, walk-around food and wine tasting will be held in conjunction with the Worcester Historical Museum and will feature regional chefs paying homage to Worcester’s wide-ranging ethnic food background. In addition, they will present their first annual Mass Food & Wine Lifetime Achievement Award to a prominent figure in Worcester’s culinary history.

The Mass Food & Wine 2020 schedule of events includes neighborhood Wine Walks, the Worcester Wine Festival, a Willy Wonka-themed dinner and the ever popular Santa’s Sleigh Trolley Ride. Other more intimate dinners and events will be scheduled throughout the year.

All Mass Food & Wine events are open to the public, but an Annual Membership can be purchased. The Annual Membership allows a member access to all event tickets before the general public, a discount price on many event tickets, exclusive offers from Mass Food & Wine sponsors, complimentary general admission tickets to the Worcester Wine Festival Grand Tasting and other benefits. 

Mass Food & Wine will also continue to publish original written and video content on their website curated around unique food and wine offerings in Massachusetts. For more information about events, memberships and to read and view new content, visit MassFoodAndWine.com.

Santa’s Sleigh: Worcester’s Restaurant Trolley Tour #2 2019

Sometimes, we all need a little holiday spirit as we enter into the Christmas season. Join Mass Foodies on Wednesday, December 4th as we board Santa’s Sleigh, a festive snow-white trolley, to explore some of Worcester’s best-decorated restaurants! Not unlike Santa’s journey from house to house delivery presents, the Mass Foodies Christmas Tour will travel from restaurant to restaurant to enjoy food, drink, and merriment! Looking to really enjoy the evening? Thanks to our friends at the AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester, they will be validating parking and offering a discounted room rate for the evening ($139 — call Robin by 11/22 to book at 774-420-7555 153)!

  • AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester — Registration begins at 6:00pm with cash bar before loading onto Santa’s Sleigh promptly at 6:30pm.
  • Greater Good Brewing — After enjoying a festival libation on board, we’ll start at Greater Good’s TOAST Kitchen paired with a special brew from Greater Good’s tap room.
  • Russo Italian RestaurantIn the Canal District, we will be taking over the wine room at Russo with some Christmas cheer as we enjoy Italian food and a glass of wine from Worcester’s newest Italian restaurant.
  • Still & Stir  — Celebrate the re-opening of Niche Hospitality’s Still & Stir with a palate cleansing gourmet cheese board and vegetable hummus platter while enjoying their Christmas pop-up, Miracle. (Cash bar available)
  • 110 Grill  — A quick ride downtown, we’ll stop into 110 Grill for more food and cash bar before we say good-night and write letters to Santa. 
  • AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester  —  A quick walk from 110 Grill, we’ll conclude the evening with a small bite and hot cocao-styled drink in the AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester’s lounge before going to bed wondering if Santa will receive our letters in time for Christmas. 

The fine print: this event is strictly limited to 35 participants and sold in a first-come, first served basis. As with all Mass Foodies events, all sales are final—refunds and exchanges will not be available unless the event is fully canceled. Due to the complexity of the event, dietary adjustments cannot be made. Attendees must be 21+ with proper identification. Each stop will enjoy cash bar in addition to scheduled food and drink. 

 

 

90+ Cellars will be providing complimentary pairings with each seated course.

Santa’s Sleigh: Worcester’s Restaurant Trolley Tour 2019

Sorry, this trolley is sold out. Please consider tickets for the Wednesday, December 4th trolley.

Sometimes, we all need a little holiday spirit as we enter into the Christmas season. Join Mass Foodies on Tuesday, December 3rd as we board Santa’s Sleigh, a festive snow-white trolley, to explore some of Worcester’s best-decorated restaurants! Not unlike Santa’s journey from house to house delivery presents, the Mass Foodies Christmas Tour will travel from restaurant to restaurant to enjoy food, drink, and merriment! Looking to really enjoy the evening? Thanks to our friends at the AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester, they will be validating parking and offering a discounted room rate for the evening ($139 — call Robin by 11/22 to book at 774-420-7555 153)!

  • AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester — Registration begins at 6:00pm with cash bar before loading onto Santa’s Sleigh promptly at 6:30pm.
  • Greater Good Brewing — After enjoying a festival libation on board, we’ll start at Greater Good’s TOAST Kitchen paired with a special brew from Greater Good’s tap room.
  • Russo Italian RestaurantIn the Canal District, we will be taking over the wine room at Russo with some Christmas cheer as we enjoy Italian food and a glass of wine from Worcester’s newest Italian restaurant.
  • Still & Stir  — Celebrate the re-opening of Niche Hospitality’s Still & Stir with a palate cleansing gourmet cheese board and vegetable hummus platter while enjoying their Christmas pop-up, Miracle. (Cash bar available)
  • 110 Grill  — A quick ride downtown, we’ll stop into 110 Grill for more food and cash bar before we say good-night and write letters to Santa. 
  • AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester  —  A quick walk from 110 Grill, we’ll conclude the evening with a small bite and hot cocao-styled drink in the AC Hotel by Marriott Worcester’s lounge before going to bed wondering if Santa will receive our letters in time for Christmas. 

The fine print: this event is strictly limited to 35 participants and sold in a first-come, first served basis. As with all Mass Foodies events, all sales are final—refunds and exchanges will not be available unless the event is fully canceled. Due to the complexity of the event, dietary adjustments cannot be made. Attendees must be 21+ with proper identification. Each stop will enjoy cash bar in addition to scheduled food and drink. 

 

Sorry, this trolley is sold out. Please consider tickets for the Wednesday, December 4th trolley.

 

90+ Cellars will be providing complimentary pairings with each seated course.

Vaillancourt Christkindlesmarkt & Artisan Show

Promoted Event: Click for tickets.

Celebrate the season with a traditional German Christmas Market in the quintessential New England town of Sutton!

As Vaillancourt Folk Art celebrates 35 years of traditions, we’re pleased to present our first retail show that will feature the industries most respected and detailed artists. When Vaillancourt Folk Art first began their business, it was through exhibiting at Artisan shows around the country. This Christkindlesmarkt & Artisan Showis a tip of the hat to our formidable years, while being able to offer some of the highest quality American Artists within a space decorated to resemble the German Christmas markets. While the Vaillancourt Retail Gallery will import exceptionally high quality German products, the main event is the Mass Live sponsored Artisan Retail Stalls,built to house some of America’s finest craftspeople.

In addition to the Mass Live sponsored Artisan Retail Stalls, Vaillancourt’s production studio will be transformed to an intimate indoor marketplace with The Queen’s Cupsselling gingerbread and Christmas cookies and sponsored vendors showing their Christmas spirit. Outdoors, under an open sided tent, the Food & Beverage Pavilion will be decorated with live Christmas trees while the smells of Stillman Quality Meats‘ German Sausages mingles through the air with traditional German pastries—Apfelstrudel, Peffernuesse, Baumkuchen, Spekulatius, Hazelnut Corners, and Schupfnudeln—sold by Fraulein’s Bakery. In addition to food available for sale, there will be a selection of fine Christmas beers, the 2019 limited edition Vaillancourt Christmas Wine, and a German imported glühwein for sale—limited quantities of the glühwein collector’s mug will be available to Friday’s VIP admission!

Promoted Event: Click for tickets.

Food News

Publisher’s Letter: “Check Please! Goodbye, Mass Foodies… Hello, Mass…

Mass Foodies and the Worcester Wine Festival will be merging into Mass Food & Wine in an effort to focus on coordinating, promoting, and executing world class food and wine events in Massachusetts with exclusive dinners and grand tastings effective January 2020.

When I started Mass Foodies in 2007 (then called WorcesterScene.com), the goal was to have one website that aggregated—and provided a free digital footprint for—the restaurants in Worcester. What began as a passion project quickly turned into a business after a year when I was joined by a business partner, talented contributors, photographers, and many friends who shared an affinity for the region’s culinary palates. Like all businesses, Mass Foodies has seen years of flourishing as well as weathering through the quieter news cycles. Today, the region continues to be infatuated with Worcester’s evolving food scene and, in stride, Mass Foodies has helped lead with events and content that offered insights for restaurant guests, advice and promotions for restaurant owners, and, above all, unique experiences for everyone. The products Mass Foodies curated were always aligned with its mission: to support and promote the independently owned businesses.

A few short years ago, I partnered with a few individuals to create the region’s first wine festival. The Worcester Wine Festival proved to be a tremendous success in every way we measured it. Even more so, it was fun.

In an effort to be more efficient in life and business, my partners from both Mass Foodies and Worcester Wine Festival made a strategic decision to merge both companies—bringing together the best of both, aligned with a leadership team, which includes Ed Russo and Joseph Giacobbe, that will focus on continuing the growth of the existing reputations of both organizations through the company, Mass Food & Wine.

Effective January 2020, you’ll notice that the branding will be switched and events that were formerly managed by Mass Foodies and the Worcester Wine Festival will be managed by Mass Food & Wine. Even more exciting, with a larger bandwidth, we’ll be introducing several other small events and new original content, all curated around food and wine—including, but not limited to, a food event focused on Worcester’s history; Worcester Wine Walks to bridge the gap of Worcester’s neighborhoods; and wine dinners that will promote the region’s most respected chefs and celebrate some of the world’s greatest wines.

Although Mass Foodies will cease to exist, I can promise that Mass Food & Wine will be better positioned to execute world class food and wine events, right here in the heart of New England.

Stay hungry,

Luke M. Vaillancourt
Publisher

Second Willy Wonka Experience: Hebert Candy Mansion 2019

Couldn’t get tickets for Tuesday’s event? We’ve added a second dinner on Wednesday, October 2nd at 6:00pm as we enter the wonky mind of Willy during a themed dinner prepared by Chef Alina Eisenhauer at the region’s most recognized chocolate factory, Hebert Candy Mansion in Shrewsbury, MA. The Candy Mansion will be transformed into a dining destination from start to finish. The evening will begin with a Fizzy Lifting Cocktail and sweet Hebert Candy treats. After posing with our own green-haired Willy, attendees will be ushered into the picturesque stone halls of the Mansion where they will be able to watch Chef Alina Eisenhauer, prepare and serve three courses that are inspired by the popular Dahl story.

For those who are looking to step outside the box for a dinner, this is your opportunity. Blending the iconology of Hebert Candy Mansion with the culinary expertise of Chef Alina Eisenhauer will usher an experience unlike any other.

Tickets must be purchased online, and attendees are required to be 21+ with proper identification. Due to the complexity of the event, dietary adjustments—such as gluten or casein—cannot be made. Ticket price is inclusive of tax, gratuity, and wine pairing.

 

Our Partners

90+ Cellars will be providing complimentary pairings with each seated course.