I absolutely love this time of the year for more than just the beautiful change in foliage and the weather. I love it for—what else?—the food! Yes, cooking with gourds and slow roasting, but also for the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF), presented by Food & Wine magazine. Everyone seems to come out of the woodwork and celebrate food and drink from the casual to fine dining.
This year marked the sixth year of the festival, and it was headquartered in Midtown with hospitality partners Morgans Hotel Group at the Hudson Hotel (356 W. 58th St., 212-554-6000). From this point all things emanated, which for me started with the Founder’s Brunch on the roof.
As I walked up to the hotel, the first person I saw was Chef Robert Irvine of Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible.” I had to steal a moment, say hello and take a photo with him if nothing else than to make a super-fan friend really jealous! Thank you, chef!
I made my way up to the roof on a really stunningly sunny day to see a great crowd of folks enjoying a tasty meal of, amongst other items, eggs and northern New Jersey bacon from Mosefund Farm (@mosefundmanga). The festival knows how to keep it local!
Sponosor Godiva (@godiva) was also on the loose, bestowing chocolate gems in the form of truffles—dark chocolate, butterscotch, chocolate lava. Chef shared the proper way to eat a truffle too: bite, lay the bitten side on your palate for five seconds, exhale through your nose and then eat. I was surprised at what a difference it made.
After we all had our fill, festival director Lee Schrager got on the mic promising a brief message. Brief it was, but oh so poignant! He reminded us that one out of six kids don’t know where their next meal will come from. He continued, “I don’t think hunger in this country should be acceptable, and that is why I think we do this.” The Food Bank for New York City (www.foodbanknyc.org) and Share Our Strengths’ No Kid Hungry program (www.nokidhungry.org) continue to be the beneficiaries of the festival’s good works.
As expected, I spent the rest of my time at the festival eating and drinking at sponsor Southern Wine & Spirits of New York’s Trade Tasting, presented by Beverage Media Group, and the infamous Grand Tasting, presented by Shoprite. Numerous foods, products, restaurants, wines, beers and spirits were had at its new location at Pier 94. I also popped into a couple of KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations presented by Mastercard, where chefs like Michael Symon extended his convivial approach to cooking with anecdotal tales of the kitchen.
Great fun again! Thank you! Hopefully I will see you at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival early next year.
Happy eating and thanks for reading!
Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations? Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc or chat with her on Instant Messenger at AskSCHOP, Monday-Friday, 6-8 p.m. For even more recipes, tips and food musings, subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.