The Affair Gourmet Food Show Offers 365˚ View of All Things Home Entertaining Nov. 7-8, 2009 at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Hotel Ivy

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Sample, shop and explore everything about home entertaining. Enjoy demo stages, luxury food, wine and chocolate. Learn the latest fashion trends for home and host along with fantastic finds for gift giving. Saturday and Sunday, November 7-8, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Hotel IVY.

The Affair gourmet food show is Nov. 7-8 at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Hotel Ivy.

The owners of The Sample Circuit and The Twin Cities Chocolate Extravaganza have joined forces to create the Twin Cities' most comprehensive expo and celebration of all things related to home entertaining - The Affair.

The Affair gourmet food show encompasses a two-day expo plus several gourmet food and wine-related events, contests, programs and demos all designed to educate and inspire anyone interested in home entertaining. The Affair takes place at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Hotel Ivy; Sat., Nov. 7 and Sun., Nov. 8, 2009. Visit: for more information or to purchase tickets. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

The centerpiece of the Affair is the Expo. The Expo takes place at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Hall E and features a wide range of exhibitors showcasing luxury foods, chocolates, gifts for the host or hostess, wine, liquor and other specialty beverages, plus a wide range of services from caterers, personal chefs and other party professionals.

On Saturday, FM107.1's "Shop Girls" and "Weekly Dish" will broadcast live from the Expo from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Fans can meet show hosts Allison Kaplan and Alexis Walsko along with Stephanie Hansen and Stephanie March as they highlight favorite finds, interview experts and discuss the joys and challenges of home entertaining.

The Affair expo offers attendees three different stages showcasing experts and an ever-changing array of hands-on and how-to programs throughout the day. Stage demonstrations will be hosted by ShopNBC host and cookbook author, Chef Daniel Green, and FOX 9's "Man About Town," Todd Walker.

  • Star Tribune Taste Kitchen - Here, private chefs and caterers will share tricks, tips and recipes to take meals and menus to the next level. Experts will share secrets on choosing the perfect chocolate truffles, creating a luscious cheese plate, ideal timing for presenting the perfect bird and much more.
  • Entertainment Stage - This stage will focus on the often over-looked elements of party planning and home entertaining that help set the mood: picking the perfect playlist, selecting a unique hostess gift, creating floral arrangements and centerpieces, and table top trends.
  • Lifestyle Stage -Fashions and accessories for the host and hostess will be showcased here. This stage also is the site for "Fashion meets Confection," a fashion show where design students from the University of Minnesota, The Art Institutes and Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts join forces to transform edible objects into some of the truly sweetest fashions ever to hit the runway.

The Expo is also home and host to the Pastry Professionals Association- Minnesota Chapter Annual Competition. Students and professional pastry chefs will compete in five areas: Chocolates, Wedding Cakes, Specialty Cakes, Breads and Showpiece Chocolates. Judging will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sat., Nov. 7, with winners being announced on the Kitchen Stage at 12:30 p.m. Throughout the two days of the Expo, a silent auction will occur, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. During the past four years The Twin Cities Chocolate Extravaganza has donated almost $20,000 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Affair has chosen to continue this tradition and is hoping to raise $10,000 at this year's auction.

In addition to the Expo, there are three further ways participants can savor the Affair and learn more about home entertaining

  • The Vault - Discriminating Palates - Along with the expo, the Affair is hosting the Vault, a series of wine tasting events that will take place throughout both days of the Affair at the nearby Hotel Ivy. Each tasting will feature wine experts and tastings to help participants learn how to select wines and pair them with foods to perfectly complement their menu, mood and price point. Tickets for the Vault are $50, which includes admittance to the wine tasting seminar and a Reidel tasting glass as well as same-day admission to the Expo.
  • The Progressive - A Delicious Adventure - The Progressive is a unique dining event created in conjunction with Hotel Ivy. Guests will spend the evening enjoying a four-course tasting experience with each course being served in a different setting of this luxury property: Porter & Frye, the hotel's signature restaurant, the IVY residences, and the hotel. Throughout the evening, guests will be able to bid on silent auction items with proceeds going to benefit People Serving People. Tickets for the Progressive are $150 and also include admission to the Expo.
  • The Style - Dress Yourself - Dress Your Home - This is a style show luncheon on Sun., Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center Ballroom. Guests will be able to view the latest table top trends and décor, created by the International Special Events Society (ISES) Minneapolis-St Paul Chapter, and vote for their favorites. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. luncheon will be followed by a style show highlighting the latest in both home and personal fashions. Tickets for the style show and luncheon are $65 and include same-day admission the Expo. Winners of this People's Choice Award will be announced later that day from the Lifestyle stage at the Expo.

Additional details on the Affair and all related events are available at

The Affair is presented by Hotel Ivy, Gaviidae Common, Sun Country Airlines, Kowalski's Markets and Panera Bread. The Affair gratefully acknowledges its media partners: FM107.1,, Twin Cities Metro magazine and Lavender magazine.

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Jacqueline Hanson
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