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San diego bay wine & food festival 3

Southwest Airlines continues its support for the San Diego Wine & Food Festival and supports the country’s most talented tastemakers coming together for a week of wine and food celebrating the awe-inspired moments that please our taste buds. Over the years, Southwest Airlines has found a special place at the festival in helping aspiring professionals achieve their dreams. This year, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival partners with Fast Forward Futures to raise scholarship funds for continuing education in the culinary, enology, viticulture and hospitality industries. Supporting each other is more important now than ever and the festival connects local restaurants, wineries, breweries, and more with its network of thousands of food and wine enthusiasts.

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Since 2004, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival has stood as one of the largest luxury wine and culinary events in the country, racking up numerous accolades from prestigious entities like USA Today and Biz Bash Magazine. But according to founders Michelle Metter and Ken Loyst, no recognition is as significant as the impact this iconic event has had on the futures of aspiring professionals who wish to pursue a career in hospitality.

Each year, the organization raises funds to enrich the development of the hospitality workforce in the city of San Diego. Line cooks, servers, culinary students, hotel staff and food and beverage professionals who are representative of San Diego’s tourism sector apply for the annual scholarship which has funded hundreds of applicants in their pursuits. For small business owners and restaurateurs in San Diego, access to funding that allows their young staff to improve their skill has a ripple effect. Receiving these scholarships can be a pivotal milestone that touches more than just the individual’s life. Often, these scholarships mean that as the individual gains more skill, the generational wealth of their families grows as well. It means that the businesses where the scholarship recipients work get a more skilled labor force that helps everyone thrive.

During the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival’s weeklong experience, that message may be more subtle than the decadent bites and hundreds of wineries, chefs and gourmet brands that show up to “wow” guests who come from across the country to attend, but the results are profound nonetheless.

The Festival’s partnership with Southwest Airlines has meant that talented chefs and culinary influencers from across the country are able to take part in a way that maximizes the organization’s ability to fund and award the annual scholarships which have touched individuals like Chef Gavin Kaysen, Master Sommelier Josh Orr, Advanced Sommelier Lisa Redwine, groups like Kitchens for Good, and this year, The Ecology Center.

Festival events not to be missed:

Grand Decant, November 10th
Kick off an awesome weekend at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival at the Grand Decant wine tasting! Join top sommeliers, wineries and winemakers, and distillers for a walk-around tasting to expand your palate and taste from domestic and international wine and spirits.

Grand Tasting, November 11th
The awe-inspiring San Diego Bay plays host to the Grand Tasting at the Port of San Diego, a picture-perfect celebration of everything delicious. The Grand Tasting is the city’s biggest foodie party of the year, featuring celebrated chefs and restaurants, domestic and international wine, beer and spirit purveyors, and gourmet food companies amidst a stunning coastal backdrop.

Grand Fiesta, November 12th
Explore some of Southern California and Mexico’s best wines, spirits, and cuisine at the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival finale, Gran Fiesta. Celebrating the cross-border culinary influence of Latin America on Southern California, Gran Fiesta showcases the vibrant culture of Mexico through cuisine, wine, beer, spirits, art, live music and more.



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Esteban Villanueva