Wednesday, October 12, 2016

At Ninth New York City Wine and Food Festival, It's All Good Because It's for a Good Cause: Ending Hunger


have made a list and checked it thrice. And what I am most looking forward to is Foie Gras Fete, followed closely by Aperitivo!.

You don't know where this is going do you? Perhaps not. OK, dialing back.

One is ecstatic about the ninth coming of the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival. The "Eat. Drink. End Hunger." festival opens tomorrow and goes through Sunday (13-16 Oct.).

Indeed, NYCWFF is a gourmand's delight. Those attending the Foie Gras Fete, if they have the stomach for it, can witness D'Artagnan CEO Arian Daguin demonstrate how to butcher a moulard foie gras duck!

Are those the groans of animal rights activists? If you're also vegan or vegetarian, stop reading now and pick up toward the end of the article. At that juncture, under discussion will be something you can savor with a straight face. Thankfully, foodies won't have to wait until after the butchering ceremony for their foie gras, as canapes containing the delicacy will be served up during the event.

Alas, the v's won't find much to munch on at any of the NYCWFF most popular events: Chicken Coupe hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and Andrew Carmellini; Giada De Laurentiis’ Italian Feast; Blue Moon Burger Bash hosted byRachael Ray, and Tacos & Tequila now hosted by Aarón Sánchez. Another favorite, however, will offer some sustenance: Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite.

Elsewhere, Aperitivo! among the newbies this year - just sounds enticing. Says the pr: "Tantalize your taste buds with host and Food Network star Anne Burrell and enjoy cocktails and wines served alongside elevated hors d’oeuvres from your favorite local restaurants. Not just hors d’oeuvres, but ones that are elevated. It promises charcuterie, cheese, tapas and "a bevy of deliciously composed bites."

Speaking of elevated, hotdogs come up higher when they are paired with Champagne (or is it merely sparkling wine?). Robert Irvine hosts the new Haute Dogs & Champagne. It's billed as a twist on the all-American staple. Essentially, some of RI's chef friends will present gussied-up iterations of boudins, brats, dogs and sausages.

No doubt, some Grey Poupon-type mustard will be in play instead of French's. To wash it down "champagnes" (note, no capital C; could be a typo, though) from the portfolio of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of New York.

Without a doubt, sparkling wine will be poured at the Wine Spectator wine seminar, Sparkling Wine From Around the World. The title is self-explanatory, no?

At NYCWWF, regardless of one's favorites, everything is good, if for no other reason than it is all for a good cause: ending hunger. Net proceeds go to No Kid Hungry and Food Bank for New York City.

That's another reason there won't be much scolding for the enormous number of late-night events. If it is just once or twice a year, for instance, one doesn't want to miss the Midnight Jazz Breakfast hosted by Carla Hall and Patti LaBelle. On the menu are chicken and waffles as well as D’USSÉ cocktails. This one goes down at Harlem's The Cecil, and chef Joseph"JJ" Johnson is promising decadence.

Thankfully, some of that decadence can be danced off, as the party continues at Minton's where live jazz is to be performed.

Another new edition that is also quite timely is a Kosher dinner with Elior Bilbul, Eden Grinshpan, Amitzur Mor and Yehuda Sichel. It is part of the Bank of America Dinner Series.

Another time-themed treat is Sinful Sweets and Spellbinding Spirits: A Halloween Dessert Party hosted by Duff Goldman. Here, DG and pastry chef friends dish out Halloween-inspired desserts and drinks.

Vegans and vegetarians can tune back in now for the V is for Vegetables masterclass. Essentially, Gramercy Tavern chef Michael Anthony will add vavoom to the likes of carrots and other edibles not thought to be vegetables. It sounds enticing enough to turn a carnivore.

Class-conscious types may also want to sit in on A Guide to the World of Spices. Under the tutelage of chef and spice blender, Lior Lev Sercarz, pupils will learn how to use spices to enhance the flavors of food. They will also create their own spices.

Good stuff all, so dig in, no?

Visit the following websites to learn more:

The ninth annual Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival

No Kid Hungry

Food Bank for New York City

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