It seems autumn has snuck up on us once again. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the rain set in over the weekend and remains lingering, burrowing itself into our days and nights. Though offset by a few moments of sun, it has become clear that summer is over.
Every fall, one of my favorite food and wine excursions is my travel to the East coast for the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival. The festival, which was started in 2008 by founder Lee Schrager, always includes a roster of favorite culinary television personalities and award-winning kitchen leaders, with a full calendar of activities at some of the best restaurants and hot spots in the Big Apple.
As usual, I get all reminiscent about the festival, the first food & wine event I had the opportunity to attend. In 2008, I naively dove head first into the inaugural sea of food notables and foodies alike, taking notes at discussion panels with Nigella Lawson, Ferran Adria, and Anthony Bourdain, pausing briefly to introduce myself to piano man Billy Joel as he exited the sticky-fingered Sweet event, and imbibing my way through the epic Macy’s Culinary Council Star Party. Last year, I learned how to roll sushi with Japanese great Masaharu Morimoto, heard favorite food nerd Alton Brown extol the benefits of eating healthy, and tasted my way through the fantastic Grand Tasting along one of the city’s perfect piers.
So what to expect this year?
Taking place October 7th-10th, crowd favorites like Blue Moon Burger Bash, Meatball Madness, and the seriously awesome Sweet will be back for the event weekend, along with headliners Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Guy Fieri. International renowned chefs Heston Blumenthal and Noma’s Rene Redzepi will join the lineup this year, saddling alongside a string of usual suspects, including Ming Tsai, Martha Stewart, Andrew Zimmern, Tom Colicchio, Michael White, Dan Barber, Tyler Florence, Nate Appleman, Susur Lee, Seamus Mullen, and many, many others. (Click here for the full roll call.)
A handful of the incredible events this year:
- Sustainable Sustenance with Dan Barber and Gaston Acurio
- New York’s Star-Studded Chefs TimesTalk w/ Daniel Boulud, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Michael White, interviewed by New York Times writer Frank Bruni
- Prohibition Cocktails at 5 Ninth
- Whiskey Rebellion at Abe & Arthur’s
- Tacos and Tequila with Bobby Flay
- A Symphony of Spice with Floyd Cardoz, Madhur Jaffrey, and Suvir Suran
- TimesTalk with Heston Blumenthal : The Fat Duck
- Sweet! Duff Goldman and Sandra Lee
- Master Pastry Class with Chef Brooks Hadley at Del Posto
- Dim Sum and Disco Brunch with chefs Ming Tsai and Joe Ng
- Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Brunch at Norwood hosted by Camana Bay
- Master Cooking Class with Chef Alex Guarnaschelli
- Laurent-Perrier, A Wide Range of Unique Wines hosted by Bertrand de Fleurian
- Carts in the Parc with Andrew Zimmern (at the new Eventi Hotel)
- Sunset Stone Crab at Hotel Gansevoort
And that’s barely scratching the surface of the number of events planned for the weekend! Trust me. Fret not, there are still a few tickets left. With all ticket sales benefiting the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength, there’s also an extensive online auction that happens in conjunction with the weekend. Can’t make it to NYC? Feel free to enjoy the fall from your comfy couch, however, and read up on my coverage of the weekend, post-event, right here on Daily Blender.
Stay tuned this week for my interview with Chef Scott Conant, who’ll also be hosting an event during the New York City Wine & Food Festival weekend – a sure-to-be-delicious Harvest Lunch at Scarpetta. Chef Conant sat down with me at the recent Taste of Beverly Hills to talk about his recent Scarpetta opening in Toronto, how he balances his business, and where you’ll see him next.