The Fifth Annual Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival turned the beachfront at Caesar’s Resort into the ultimate Beach Soiree this year. At the most anticipated party of the annual four-day festival, hosted by chefs and food TV personalities Rocco DiSpirito, Robert Irvine and Pat and Gina Neely, revelers dug their toes into the sand while enjoying luscious libations, gourmet appetizers and DJ music underneath the stars on the Jersey Shore.

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Gina Neely, one of the stars of The Food Network’s Down Home With The Neely’s, proudly showed off her new beach body during the festival, which ran this year from July 25 to 28.  The TV restaurateur recently dropped a whopping 25 lbs with a lower fat, calorie-conscious diet and moderate exercise. “I just wanted to look better and feel better, inside out,” says Gina, 48.

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Her svelte figure didn’t stop Gina from joining the other celebrity chefs and festival attendees in some indulgence during the annual Atlantic City blowout. Highlights of the 2013 fest included Blues, Brews and BBQ at The House of Blues at Showboat, The Island Luau at Harrah’s Resort (where Gina and Pat got up on stage with Polynesian dancers to hula!), and the Grand Market at Bally’s where participants sampled fine wines and gourmet goodies while marveling over live cooking demonstrations. Best of all, Caesar’s Entertainment donated $1 from every ticket purchased at the sold out festival to help fund projects being managed by Architecture for Humanity, which is helping rebuild homes damaged by October’s Superstorm Sandy. It was a win/win for everyone.

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Did you attend the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival this year? Who’s your favorite celebrity chef? Tweet us @OKMagazine!

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