Back for its 7th year, the New York City Wine and Food Festival (a collaboration between the Food Network and Food & Wine magazine) pays homage to one of the greatest dining cities in the world, all while fighting to end hunger. That means, 100% of proceeds from a weekends worth of panel discussions, workshops, tastings, intimate dinners and more will go towards Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry” campaign, as well as the Food Bank for New York City. But with multiple, star-studded events happening each day, and ticket prices averaging well over $100 a pop, we thought we’d whittle down the festivals offerings by highlighting these six don’t-miss events.
Evolution of Mexican Cuisine with Enrique Olvera (Oct. 17th at 7pm): One of the most eagerly anticipated NYC openings of the season is undoubtedly Enrique Olvera’s Cosme, so score a sneak peak of his inventive, Mexican offerings at this small, sit-down dinner. Held in the Park Room Restaurant at the Park Lane Hotel, the innovative chef will demonstrate why his Mexico City establishment, Pujol, is frequently ranked amongst the 50 Best Restaurants in the World.
Blue Moon Burger Bash (Oct. 17th at 6:30pm): One of the NYCWFF’s regular, marquee events, Rachael Ray hosts this expansive, rooftop hamburger cook-off and competition, with over 30 heavyweight chefs battling for the title of best burger. Everyone from Food Network celebs Marc Murphy, Robert Irvine and Alex Guarnaschelli, to local favorites PJ Calapa (Costata), Josh Capon (B&B Winepub), Larissa Raphael (Telepan Local), and Mark Rosati (Shake Shack) have thrown their toques into the ring — so you definitely won’t want to miss this beefy brawl!
Grand Tasting (Oct. 18th at 12pm): The festival’s biggest walk-around tasting event, 12 culinary superstars will stage demonstrations at Pier 94, overlooking the West Side Highway (think Martha Stewart, Emeril Legasse, Michael Symon and Andrew Zimmern), while over 50 great, local restaurants share bites of their global cuisine, including Cedric Tovar from Tessa, Todd Mitgang from Crave Fishbar, Hugo Orozco from La Slowteria, and Aaron Sanchez from the upcoming Alegre.
Times Talk with Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud & Eric Ripert (Oct. 18th at 2pm): Talk about French royalty! Three of the most venerated names in the culinary world — Daniel’s Daniel Boulud, Benoit’s Alain Ducasse, and Le Bernadin’s Eric Ripert — will join New York Times food editor Sam Sifton for a discussion of their favorite French recipes of all time, and reveal the stories behind them. Bonus: this up-close-and-personal chat is only $35; chump change compared to the unquestionably pricey dinners!
A Perfect Pairing: Nancy Silverton & April Bloomfield (Oct. 18th at 7pm): The restaurant industry’s apathy towards women (and the media’s often lackluster coverage of them) is an ongoing hot topic in the culinary world. But these two fierce females certainly haven’t let their sex stand in the way of their success. Both James Beard Award winners in 2014, April Bloomfield (Best Chef: NYC) will join Nancy Silverton (Outstanding Chef) at Ibis on E. 50th Street, for a glamorous, sophisticated, and undoubtedly delicious collaborative dinner.
Meatopia X: The Carnivores Ball (Oct. 19th at 4pm): After years of holding his infamous, all-meat festival at out-of-the-way locations such as Governor’s Island, food writer Josh Ozersky is bringing the gleefully carnivorous cook-off to the heart of Manhattan. Joining him will be 35 of the country’s greatest meat chefs, grilling whole animals over open flame, such as Jamie Bissonnette of Toro, Hugh Magnum of Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Seamus Mullen of Tertulia, Matt Lightner of Atera and the Altamarea Group’s own Michael White.