Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NYC Wine & Food Fest: Good Reasons to Eat, Drink

Joe Namath and Mario Batali like football and food. Photo from Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Web site.

CHEW on this: On Saturday afternoon (19 Oct.), a body can chow down USA-style on steak, dogs, burgers and mo' with Joe and Mario at Jets + Chefs Ultimate Tailgate hosted by Joe Namath and Mario Batali.

Toward evening, with a powerful thirst, said body can make its way to The Art of Crafting Bubbly- How the World's Greatest Wine Is Made and How to Drink It to learn a thing or two about making Champagne from such an august person as Laurent Fresnet, cellar master at Champagne Henriot. Here’s an opportunity to sip - with fingers holding the stem of glass - Brut Souverain, Brut Rose, Blanc de Blancs and other elixirs.

With nightfall comes Global Night Market at The Plaza Food Hall hosted by Todd English and an opportunity to partake of Three Tarts’ biscotti and other European fare in the hallowed food hall of the hallowed restaurant.

Full yet? Should be, because nobody should leave the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival without having been more than amply watered and fed. Many of the feeding, drinking emporiums are already at capacity!

Three Tarts has the sweet treats, Eurostyle. Photo from Three Tarts Web site.

The 2013 edition opens for business tomorrow with a dinner featuring ingredients from farms across New York. Does that mean some sort of apple dessert will be on the menu? It is hosted by Eleven Madison Park chefs Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. The two are using the occasion to bring attention to the birth of their months-old cookbook, “I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes" (Ten Speed Press)

Bobby Flay and friends turn out tacos that wash down with a special beverage. Photo from Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Web site.

Before NYCWFF winds down Sunday evening, with several dinners and perennial, Grand Tasting presented by Shoprite, more than 100 eating and drinking salons will have hosted thousands in the Meatpacking District and other venues. New northern west side venues figure in the mix this year, including Piers 92 and 94.

Always attracting large crowds are Blue Moon Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray and Olmeca Altos (Friday night), Bobby Flay’s Tequila & Tacos (Saturday night), and "Chicken Coupe" hosted by Whoopi Goldberg (Friday night). The three showcases also attract top specialists, and the former and latter have a competitive component.

Dr. Mark Hyman and Chef David Bouley know well the connection between food and medicine. Photo from Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Web site.

Those who favor sitdown meals will have their fill with the Bank of America Dinner Series. Others aside from the aforementioned “I Love NY” are Friday-night specials, a “Cross-Country Dinner" hosted by Sean Brock, George Mendes and Daniel Patterson, and “The Chef and the Doctor” with David Bouley and Dr. Mark Hyman. Think of that old adage, “Food is your medicine and medicine is your food.”

Yet another in the Bank of America series is a farm-to-table spread hosted by Bill Telepan and Andrea Reusing (Thursday night). The “Rockin’ Cuisine” experience promises such moutherwatering offerings as Cape May salt oysters, Striped bass sashimi with marinated beet and horseradish, Crispy okra, Grass-fed ribeye with oxtail broth, charred onion, cabbages & egg linguini, as well as Pumpkin cheesecake sundae with glazed pecans & cinnamon caramel sauce, and assorted Domori chocolates.

Joseph Schwartz specializes in the art and science of the cocktail. Photo from Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Web site.

To wash it all down, Champagne GH Mumm Cordon Rouge, ABSOLUT ELYX, unspecified beverages, Nestle water and coffee.

Speaking of washing it down, so it goes at “Patron XO Café Late Night” (Thursday), and Justin Warner’s “Mixology Masters,” where big dogs, including Joseph Schwartz, are expected to turn out their versions of the perfect cocktail (Sunday night).

Free stuff? Yeah, but it’s mainly in the form of three panel discussions from late Friday morning to early Friday afternoon at Bullfrog & Baum. To that end, attendees should plan to eat before or after “Got Soul,” “Will Travel for Food” and “Click. Click. Boom!”

Art Smith, Whoopi Goldberg&Friends will be holding it down in the "Chicken Coupe." Photo from Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Web site.

Among fee-based panels and seminars is “Food & Wine: Fond Memories” (Saturday morning). Food & Wine Editor-in-chief Dana Cowin moderates as Marcus Samuelsson, Andy Ricker and other star chefs riff on their favorite dishes and their earliest food memories. Sounds yummy.

Doubtless, yummy will be the “Le Pain Quotidien Tartine-Making Master Class” hosted by Alain Coumont (Saturday afternoon). Pupils will gain entry into the hallowed space of the International Culinary Center to learn from a master and to learn about the accidental birth of a delectable dish.

One of the hottest tickets Friday night is likely to be “25th Anniversary of FOOD & WINE’s Best New Chefs. Expected at this special soiree, where Perrier-Jouët will be flowing freely, are alums such as Dan Barber, Daniel Boulud and Rich Torrisi.

Perhaps a bit of liquid gold from Champagne Henriot??? Photo from Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Web site.

Lest one forget, NYCWFF is more than simply eating, drinking, merrymaking and stargazing. It is also a fundraiser from which 100 percent of proceeds go to Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

Indeed, Eat. Drink. End Hunger.

Visit to learn more about the Food Network Wine & Food Festival 2013, including schedule, tickets and venue. Visit to learn more about Food Bank For New York City and to learn more about Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign.

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