Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting

17 Jan

Every year, the Food Network Wine & Food Festival in NY occurs right around Mike’s birthday.  So for the past 2 years, I have treated him to passes to the Grand Tasting event.  Last year it was a lot of food and wine.  We were expecting to be equally overwhelmed, but then we realized that this year things were changing.

This year, they were having chefs speak on various topics throughout the day.  When we looked at the schedule and realized that Chef Alton Brown (my favorite) was up first, I was very pleased we got there at opening.

He was introduced by Alex Guarnaschelli.

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He talked to us about how much fun it is to combine science and food and I started to TOTALLY nerd out.

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And then… he brought out the sword.

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And set up his helper with goggles and a catcher’s mitt…

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And then pulled out a chilled bottle of champagne…

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Explained to us about how there is a seam in the bottle…

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And proceeded to lop off the top of the champagne bottle WITH THE SWORD and send it flying across the stage.

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We then had a liquid nitrogen demo followed by an awesome demo on how to make wine beads.  He was taking questions from the audience and I raised my hand (nerd… remember?).  I stood up and Alton squinted into the stage lights and said “Yes ma’am? At least I think you’re a ma’am… I can’t see in these lights.  I then turned to grab the microphone and then… it happened…

“Oh yes! Definitely ma’am… I can see now that you’re… chesty.”

Yes… Alton Brown called me chesty.

I didn’t stop laughing all day.

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The next few hours were a blur of food and wine and food and wine.

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Some of the best restaurants in NYC have bites out for tasting.

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As well as some products (like these homemade awesome salted brownies and cookies)

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And some brand names for tasting.

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But it is HUGE. So huge that it’s actually overwhelming.  I know I enjoyed some items… but it was just SO MUCH that I can’t remember what it was!

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Though someone thinks like me and looked at which cookies pair best with which wines.  And made a chart.

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Chick peas as snacks? Don’t mind if I do.

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And some just had damn good displays… mmmm… pig…

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That’s like… a million dollars in black gold….

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Ok… THIS one was VERY memorable. It was lobster in a pumpkin bisque.  Two of my favorite things. And it was delicious.  And I even took a picture of the sign… so now I must be sure to visit Millesime.

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And after we were completely filled and mostly drunk… we went to the final talk of the day… “From Bad Boy to Family Man: A talk with Anthony Bourdain narrated by Joshua David Stein”

Why I swoon for Bourdain when I know he hates everything about food bloggers, I have no idea. I have fantasies that I could win him over… tell him how much I love food and love writing about it… but I know he would curse me off and wouldn’t give me the time of day.  Perhaps he is my bad boy fantasies from youth.  But I have read his books and I hang on his words and I go where he recommends… it’s a sick fascination that I cannot explain… but I am not ashamed to admit it.  I really love Anthony Bourdain.  (In fact, his show “The Layover” is currently on in the background as I write this… what can I say?)

This was quite the talk!  I have seen many things he said (mostly about other chefs) during this chat quoted in other places.  But what I got out of it is that Anthony Bourdain just wants everything (food, restaurants, chefs, diners) to be better.

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Tickets go on sale in JUNE for this October event, and they usually sell out quickly for the best events.

3 Responses to “Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting”

  1. Vicki January 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Dude, that wine/cookie pairing chart has Espresso Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies on it. Where can I get THOSE?? They have all of my favorite things in one bite.

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