Got plans this weekend, if not the Albany Chef’s’ Food & Wine Festival is taking place at the Crown Plaza – Albany City Center and Happy Bitch Wines will be there.

This is a 3 day Food & Wine themed festival that highlights the chefs and restaurant in the Capital Region (Albany, NY) and educates consumers on healthy, sustainable agriculture.  All net profits from this event are donated to a deserving non-profit arts organization.  The beneficiaries are listed on their website.

The festival begins Thursday evening at City Hall with the Mayor’s VIP Reception from 5pm – 7pm.  On Friday evening from 4pm – 8pm the first Grand Tasting of over 250 global wines, spirits and beer.  There will be food tastings available as well as educational food, wine and spirits seminars.  Friday evening at the tasting you can meet the up and coming chefs of the region at the Rising Star Chef Pavilion, taste their creative dishes that will be paired with boutique wines.

After the Grand Tasting there will be 10 Chefs participating in the Slider Slam where you will be able to vote for the “Best of” & “Most Creative” sliders.  Beer pairing will be presented by Ommegang Brewery.

Saturday the Grand Tasting begins at 12pm and runs until 4pm. Once again there will the Rising Star Chef Pavilion and from 1pm – 3:30pm there is a Signature Chef Invitational.  This is a competition between 5 chefs for a spot on the 2013 Signature Chef Team.  Saturday evening concludes the festival with the Grand Gala Reception and 6 Course Dinner.

Tickets for the events can be purchased on their website.  Prices vary for each event.  The Grand Tastings are priced at $50, Slider Slam $25 and the dinners range from $125 – $150.

Note:  The hotel was the Crown Plaza until December 31.  It’s now called Hotel Albany and will be a part of Hilton