The Albany Chef’s Food & Wine Festival is a three-day festival that showcases the city’s chefs and restaurants by providing the community with innovative cuisine and exceptional wines. Its mission is to educate consumers on sustainable agriculture while providing funds to support Albany’s non-profit arts community.

The Albany Chef’s Food & Wine Festival will be held January 12th, 13th and 14th (Thursday through Saturday) at the Crowne Plaza – Albany City Center (unless otherwise noted). Participating chefs and restaurants include AJ Jayapal from the Mallozzi Family, Brian Molino from Prime Business Dining, Dale Miller from Sperry’s, Jaime Ortiz from Angelo’s 677 Prime, Jim Rua from Café Capriccio, Jonathan Crean from Kelsey’s Crowne Plaza, Luc Pasquier from Attache Culinaire, Mark D. Graham from Mezza Notte Ristorante, Ric Orlando from New World Bistro Bar, and Yono Purnomo from Yono’s and db, An American Brasserie.

The festival kicks off with a Mayor’s VIP Reception, which will be held at City Hall from 5 pm-7pm on Thursday, January 12th. The reception is presented by Angelo’s 677 Prime and The Business Review, and wines are courtesy of Korbel & Sonama-Cutrer. Limited tickets are available for $125.

On Friday, January 13th, 4pm-8pm and Saturday, January 14th, 12pm-4pm there will be a Grand Tasting at Rising Star Chef Pavilion. There will be more than 250 wines, spirits, and beer and 40 participating chefs and restaurants over two days of tastings. The wines are courtesy of Empire Merchants North, and Beer by DeCresente. Three Rising Star Chefs will be featured in the Grand Pavilion at the ballroom entrance. Tickets are $50.

A Slider Slam will be held 8pm-11pm on Friday, January 13th, featuring 10 participating chefs and restaurants. Craft Beer pairings are presented by Brewery Ommegang, and Wine & Spirits by Empire Merchants North. There will be live music and dancing, a Judge’s Choice, and a People’s Choice for best and most creative sliders. The Slider Slam is $25.

On Saturday, January 14th, the Signature Chef Invitational will be held between 1pm-3:30pm, where chefs will compete for a spot on the 2013 Signature Chef Team in a mystery live competition during the Saturday Grand Tasting in the Pearl St. Room. The 2012 competitors are Jason Baker from Wine Bar & Bistro on Lark, Dominique Brialy from The Epicurean, Ryan Huneau from The Mallozzi Group, Rachel Mabb from the Renesselaer at The Hilton Garden Inn, and Giovanni S. Morina from the Gio Culinary Studio. Tickets are included in Saturday’s Grand Tasting.

There will be a Grand Gala Reception and 6-Course Dinner on Saturday, January 14th. The Reception will begin at 6pm and the dinner at 7pm. The 2012 Signature Chef team will present “Food as Art” at live action stations, inspired by Capital Repertory Theatre’s 31st Season. Wine is presented by Empire Merchants North, paired by Sommelier Dominick Purnomo. There will be a live and silent auction, and music and dancing. Tickets are $150.