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2012 GIG HARBOR WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL WILL FEATURE THE CULINARY TALENTS OF IRON CHEF CHALLENGER HOLLY SMITH

GIG HARBOR, WA- The 2012 Gig Harbor Wine & Food Festival, presented by the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association, will take place Saturday, July 14, 2012. The 3rd Annual Wine and Food Festival will take place on the grounds of the Harbor History Museum on the historic waterfront in this beautiful maritime community.

This year’s celebrity chef Holly Smith has received the 2008 Best Chef Northwest award from the James Beard Foundation, and in 2011 Holly and Café Juanita were nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant awards. Chef Smith’s “cuisine reigned supreme” in a battle against Iron Chef America Chef Cat Cora in Season 10/episode 11 of Iron Chef featured on the Food Channel. “It’s a great honor to have Holly at our festival this year,” stated Victoria Trimmer, Event Director of Gig Harbor’s Wine and Food Festival.

Chef Smith’s Café Juanita has received numerous awards and recognition locally and nationally throughout its first eight years. Having received 3.5 stars from the Seattle Times and 4 stars from the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Holly and her restaurant have also earned recognition in Esquire, Wine Spectator, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Seattle Magazine, The Robb Report, Travel and Leisure and Sunset. Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association President, Gary Glein, commented: “This promises to be our best festival yet! I’m so looking forward to tasting what Holly prepares and sampling some of the fabulous wines from the exhibiting wineries.”

Holly Smith grew up in Monkton, Maryland in a food loving family. Holly studied political science at both Colby College and Washington College, later attending the Baltimore International Culinary College. She completed an externship in Ireland with Master Chef Peter Timmins while attending the Culinary College.

In 1993 Holly moved to Seattle and accepted a position with Tom Douglas at the Dahlia Lounge, where she served as sous chef for 4 years. In 1999, Chef Tamara Murphy encouraged Holly to become a part of the opening of Brasa. She spent that year as sous chef, leaving to open Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, WA, in April 2000.

Cafe Juanita has been a labor of love, allowing Holly to express her passion for Northern Italian food and wine. Offering a commitment to organics and sustainability and a holistic approach to the dining experience, she showcases local products while serving modern Northern Italian inspired cuisine. For more information about Chef Holly Smith and Café Juanita visit www.cafejuanita.com

Additional 2012 Festival Highlights include:

• Grand Tasting tent with 25+ wineries, breweries and select fine restaurants and food purveyors

• A wide selection of educational offerings including wine seminars, and cooking demonstrations

• Book signings by well-known chefs and authors

• Celebrity chef appearances and cook-off challenge

• Opportunities to bid on amazing dining and winemaker dinner packages and luxury experiences

In 2011, the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association received the Excellence on Main Award for outstanding achievement for promotion for the inaugural 2010 Wine and Food Festival, given by the Washington State Main Street™ Organization.

The Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival was established in 2010, featuring Top Chef Season 5 fan favorite Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani. 2011 Celebrity Chef was Chef Kevin Gillespie, Executive Chef and Co-Owner of the Woodfire Grill in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about ticket sales and the 2012 Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival visit www.harborwineandfoodfest.com or contact Victoria Trimmer – Event Director, GHW&FF Victoria@harborwineandfoodfest.com - 206.399.5815 phone

The Mission of the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association is to bring together community and waterfront district stakeholders in order to encourage economic vitality and to preserve the historic character and quality of the area. Working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Washington State Main Street Program, the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association (GHHWA) is committed to implementing the Main Street Approach™ in our waterfront district. The Main Street Approach™ is a community driven program used to encourage historic preservation and economic development in traditional small downtowns. It is a common-sense way to address the variety of issues and problems that face traditional business districts. It advocates a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment, and the rebuilding of traditional commercial districts. For more information about the Gig Harbor Historic Waterfront Association, visit their website at www.gigharborhistoricwaterfront.org or contact Mary DesMarais – Executive Director, executivedirector@ghhwa.org 253.514.0071