In its sixth year, the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival has some exciting events slated on the four-day lineup. Kicking off on October 17, the food and wine extravaganza has moved its central hub to Midtown West with its Culinary Campus situated at Piers 92 and 94. Through approximately 100 events, the popular festival brings together chefs (including Forbes Travel Guide Tastemaker Ming Tsai and Jean-Georges Vongerichten), wine experts (Tastemakers John Ragan and Jancis Robinson), mixologists (Eric Lincoln of Employees Only and Joseph Schwartz of Silver Lining Bar) and personalities (Martha Stewart and Ted Allen).
The Culinary Campus is the nucleus of the NYCWFF, but there are events all over the city. Luckily, our Forbes Travel Guide editors have relieved your scheduling stresses by narrowing the itinerary down to highlight some of the best events.
Additionally, in the weeks leading up to the festival, we’ll feature interviews with several of the event’s featured personalities, including the man behind the famous Cronut, Dominique Ansel.
Best Events for Celebrity Chef Spotting
One of the festival favorites, the Blue Moon Burger Bash is hosted by Rachael Ray and features around 30 chefs crafting burgers and innovative side dishes. It’s hard to think of a better way to spend a Friday night than sampling dozens of patties and unique side dishes, washing it down with an ice-cold Blue Moon and then judging who has the best creation. The celebrity chefs, ranging from Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri to Michael Lomonaco and Melissa and Emily Elsen, are battling to be crowned the next Burger Bash King or Queen, which is decided by festivalgoers like you. October 18; 7-10 p.m.; Pier 92; $225.
Making its New York debut, this year’s Jets + Chefs: The Ultimate Tailgate is a must-go. Hosted by Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer Joe Namath as well as New York Jets fan and celebrity chef Mario Batali, this walk-around tasting is fun for the whole family — and it’s the festival’s only kid-friendly event. In true tailgating style, Jets + Chefs will up the ante on football grub with cuisine by more than 20 chefs (including Mark Rosati of Shake Shack, Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery and Kenny Callaghan of Blue Smoke) and culinary demonstrations by Batali, Rocco DiSpirito and Andrew Zimmern. October 19; 2-5 p.m.; Pier 92; $125 (adults), $50 (21 and under).
Most Exclusive Events
Any time you get to dine with a well-known gourmand, it’s going to be an exclusive affair, which is why you shouldn’t pass up the Bank of America Dinner Series. A handful of sessions are already sold out (such as I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes hosted by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park), but there are plenty of great dinner seats still up for grabs. David Bouley is teaming up with Dr. Mark Hyman for The Chef and The Doctor dinner at Bouley Test Kitchen. Keeping in line with the chef’s mantra of creating food that is as “nutritious as it is delicious,” the duo will showcase a combination of Bouley’s dishes and Hyman’s recipes from his latest book, The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook: More than 175 Ultra-Tasty Recipes for Total Health and Weight Loss. Not only is it a dinner that will have your mouth watering, but you’ll step away feeling a bit healthier. October 18; 7-10 p.m.; Bouley Test Kitchen; $400.
Seminars are also a great way to get up close and personal with top names in the industry. The hands-on forums are often intimate groups of people. While the Martha Stewart Cake-Decorating Master Class is sold out, another culinary door remains open. Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will lend his talents in his Master Sushi Rolling Class at the sushi chef’s flagship restaurant, Morimoto. His executive and sous chefs will pitch in, as well. October 20; 1:30-3 p.m.; Morimoto; $200.
In honor of its monumental year, don’t miss the FOOD & WINE Best New Chefs 25th Anniversary Party. During this Friday evening event, you’ll walk around tasting delicious bites from top toques who have been named a “Best New Chef” over the past 25 years. You may recognize a few (Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, Barbara Lynch), while others may just be popping up on your radar (Mark Carbone, Rich Torrisi). There will also be plenty of wineries participating in the party; wash the delightful fare down with sips from top vineyards, such as Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Château d’Esclans and Robert Mondavi Winery. October 18; 7:30-11 p.m.; Mandarin Oriental, New York; $300.
Perhaps you can’t make it to Munich this year, but NYCWFF’s Oktoberfest is the next best thing. Hosted by Andrew Zimmern (of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods America), the first-time event brings a taste of Germany to the Big Apple. Stroll around The Garden @ Studio Square NYC — in addition to your appetite, bring your camera to capture the unbeatable skyline views — and fill up on a variety of sausages and cold brews. Restaurants such as DBGB Kitchen and Bar and Edi & the Wolf will be there, and Zimmern will showcase his newly released line of sausages that he created in conjunction with Pat LaFrieda Meats. October 20; 2-5 p.m.; The Garden @ Studio Square NYC; $95.
Photos Courtesy of Carly Otness, Charlie Perry, Joe Schildhorn and BFAnyc.com