Local Talent (And Topics) At The Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival

This is not a cheesesteak.

Earlier today, we did our part for promoting the big-deal celebrity chefs that are in town for the Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival. But we also have some local talent in the mix as well. So if rubbing shoulders with the national foodie idols doesn’t really boil your hot dog water but you’d still like to accrue some cred with the Philly/Jersey set, here are some events that will have you hanging with your friendly food and beer neighbors in no time…

Gary Monterosso, the South Jersey beer author who’s appeared on the History Channel, is leading a tutored tapas and Jersey beer pairing (you want gravy wit’ that?) tonight from 10 to midnight at Bally’s Spa Deck. Southern breweries like Flying Fish, Turtle Stone and Tuckahoe (plus several from the north) will be pouring while Monterosso–who, by the way, is hilarious in a “did he really just say that?” kind of way–narrates the night.

“Bizarre Foods” host and certified Famous Person Andrew Zimmern is making his debut at the festival this year and, as we mentioned, is hosting a “Define Cheese-steak” competition between chefs who’ll be preparing the sandwiches in various ways. Dedicated to your whiz-wit’? Then show some Philly pride by showing those pansies from Staten Island, Long Island and the Shore how it’s done. That’s tonight from 8 to 11 at Showboat.

South Philly native Steve Martorano’s uncle was a mobster. Not wanting to to go into the life himself, he chose the only other career that made sense: He became a chef who calls himself the (somewhat overplayed) “”Godfather of Italian- American cooking.” See and hear for yourself if he deserves that title as the cooking DJ who’s appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and one of the Real Housewives shows cooks and spins beats simultaneously tonight at 10pm at the Viking Cooking School.

Cape May’s Copper Fish Restaurant chef Geoff Johnson will be popping into many of the group-led events, as will North Jerseyian (Jerseyoid?) Luke Palladino,who owns several AC casino restaurants, and Nicole Gaffney, host of Philly’s “The Best of the Best” TV show.

Atlantic City Food And Wine Festival [Official website]