Friday Five: Five Great Events at the 2009 NYC Wine & Food Festival

 

Vegas Uncork’d uncorked! Aspen Food & Wine devoured! On to the New York Wine & Food Fest! Arriving again this October, the 2009 New York Wine and Food Festival takes over New York during Columbus Day weekend. Masterminded by South Beach Wine & Food Fest producer Lee Schrager, the NYC festival, now in its second year, features a number of 2008 crowd favorites (Meatball Madness, TimesTalks) as well as a few new top-notch gatherings (Paula Deen’s Down South Up North). The kids aren’t left out either, with the festival offering even more kid-friendly demonstrations this year.

So what are we really looking forward to? Our five most anticipated events at the 2009 NYC Wine & Food Fest:

1) Dinner With Alain Ducasse. For some reason, I’m always missing the fabulous opening events at these festivals. Except this time, I’m going to be in NYC early in hopes that I can make it to Thursday’s dinner with Alain Ducasse. The French master chef will be serving a five-course dinner at the James Beard House, with wines paired by Ducasse’s Adour sommelier. Most certainly a do-not-miss.

2) Dim Sum & Disco Brunch with Ming Tsai. Ming knows how to have fun, and his Dim Sum & Disco Brunch event on Sunday morning sounds like such a blast, I’d hate to miss it. While DJ-spun music blares in the background, some of New York’s best East-West chefs, including Asia de Cuba’s Robert Tobin and Shang’s Susur Lee, will keep the crowd fed on traditional Chinese bites.

3) Frank Bruni…on Frank Bruni. When the New York Times restaurant critic announced the impending departure from his mainstay publication, foodies and writers alike were all atwitter with questions – What’s he doing? Where’s he going? Who’s going to replace him? Bruni will participate in a TimesTalk with Anthony Bourdain during the weekend, but more importantly, will also be the subject of ‘Bruni Unveiled’ with Eater co-founder Ben Leventhal. I’m just a little curious what the man has to say about his future plans, including the release of his memoir, ‘Born Round’,  and the future of NYC dining.

4) The Master Mixologists. Josh Wesson may be short, but he’s sassy. And he knows his drinks. Tony Abou-Ganim, Gary Vaynerchuk, Anthony Giglio, Andrea Robinson – all beverage masters. If you’re interested in learning when to drink, where to drink, and how to drink it, don’t miss these demos.

5) Flavors of the Farm: A Day at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. This new event offers an entire, spectacular day at the Stone Barns Center learning about the growth and harvest of some of your favorite ingredients. After a few hours on the farm, guests will enjoy a four-course tasting menu from Dan Barber’s Blue Hill chefs. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday at all!

Don’t have your tickets yet? They’re going fast – with a few events already sold out. Check out the latest information on tickets to the 2009 New York Wine & Food Fest here. You can also follow Lee’s food fest tweets as well!

~Jennifer Heigl