Cook with Kelsey, Ben, Roger and More in Atlantic City

By: Lindsay Damast
How would you describe your ultimate summer weekend getaway? Spending some time on the beach, browsing a charming boardwalk and indulging in plenty of delicious seaside food? How about spotting celeb chefs and attending over 30 parties, food and beverage seminars, cooking demonstrations and tastings?

The Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival -- sponsored by the Food Network since 2010 -- offers all these enticing escapes during three days of sweet, savory and booze-filled fun. From July 28 to July 31 (starting with back-to-back parties on the evening of the 28th) you'll have the opportunity to mingle, drink and dine with over 20,000 food people.

Spanning the kitchens and event spaces at Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah's Resort, Showboat and Bally's, the ACFWF enables you to get up close and personal with lots of familiar faces, such as Guy Fieri, Sunny Anderson and Pat and Gina Neely. And this year, for the first time, some of your favorite Cooking Channel stars will be front and center in the Viking Cooking School kitchen sharing their cooking techniques and meeting hungry fans.

Are you crazy for crustaceans? Join Ben Sargent -- seafood enthusiast and star of Hook, Line & Dinner -- on Friday, July 29 at 8:00pm for a hands-on, intimate demonstration of his sea-to-table techniques. You'll learn how to prepare several dishes including New Orleans-style Crawfish Sausage, Shrimp and Corn Empanadas with a Creole Aioli (wow) and Ben's famous lobster rolls.

On Saturday the 30th at 11:00am, Everyday Exotic star Roger Mooking will help fans inject a little international flair into everyday recipes. Why offer a regular chip & dip platter when you can prepare Edamame Puree on a Wonton Chip? And his Chicken with Papaya BBQ Sauce will turn your weeknight chicken on its head, with spicy, Latin flair.

At 2:00pm, meet the charming Kelsey Nixon, who helps viewers around their kitchens one dish at a time on Kelsey's Essentials. You'll walk away from this event with Sweet Pea and Mint Soup Shooter with Spicy Crabmeat and  Pan-Seared Pacific Cod recipes in your back pocket.

As if all this wasn't enticing enough, Cooking Channel's Frozen Treat Truck will be making its second annual appearance at the festival, offering its free, icy treats to help you cool down on the boardwalk. Ben, Roger and Kelsey will be stopping by too, so if you can't attend their classes, you'll still have a chance to meet your favorite Cooking Channel friends!

To view the full list of events, purchase tickets and find out more about the 2011 Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, head to the official event site.

Are you planning to attend the Festival? We want to hear all about it when you return! Share your stories and upload photos to our Facebook page.

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