If, as said by so many, chefs are the new rock stars, it seems local music festivals have definitely gotten the memo. Hot on the heels of Outside Lands' debut of its GastroMagic stage last year, Napa's BottleRock festival is upping the ante by adding its own stage dedicated to all things culinary. The festival's fifth stage will host a cadre of celebrity chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, winemakers and craft brewers, offering up demos and other TBD performances.
The stage, which will be sponsored by Williams-Sonoma, has signed on "Foodie Chap" Liam Mayclem to host the parade of high-profile food and wine players, with a healthy dose of professional athletes and actors thrown in for good measure. Notable Bay Area chefs in the lineup include Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michael Mina, Dominique Crenn, and Tony Gemignani of Tony's Pizza Napoletana; Michael Voltaggio, recent Top Chef champ Mei Lin, and Rick Moonen will be part of the national contingent. Williams-Sonoma is pulling in some of their "chef collective" as well, which includes SF's The Bon Vivants (Trick Dog), Sarah McSimmons of NYC's Birds and Bubbles, and Jason French of Portland's Ned Ludd. And most intriguing of all, festival-goers can also expect some culinary "mashups," involving musicians like Snoop Dogg, Public Enemy's Flava Flav, and Scott Weiland. No word on exactly how these musical legends will be incorporated, but these guys surely have some creative late-night snack ideas to share with the crowd. (Snoop can maybe bring along some Philz Coffee?)
The addition of the culinary stage is interesting because BottleRock famously burned some bridges in the restaurant community in years past, paying too much up front for music talent and leaving vendors like Cindy Pawlcyn's catering company and Morimoto on the hook for thousands. However, the festival has since been purchased by new organizers Latitude 38 (saving it from bankruptcy), which promises compensation issues have all been ironed out.
Offstage, the festival fare will include wood-fired pizzas, Morimoto's sticky ribs, and La Condesa tacos, alongside a cluster of food trucks including Bacon Bacon, Curry Up Now and Kara's Cupcakes. There'll also be copious amounts of Napa wines and beers from Lagunitas, 21st Amendment, Green Flash, Ninkasi and more. The three-day festival goes from May 29-31 with headliners Imagine Dragons, Robert Plant, and No Doubt; check out the whole lineup of food, music and wine on BottleRock's official website.