Sunday, October 14, 2012

2012 Food Network New York CIty Wine and Food Festival

I am thrilled to have Anthony Losanno guest post for me about the NYC Wine and Food Festival this past weekend. I was unable to attend, and Anthony is a true foodie, so I asked if he would like to show you some of the events he attended. Please be sure to follow Anthony’s travels and dining adventures on twitter @losanno.

Eating Through the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Part I

Now in its fifth year, the New York City Wine & Food Festival brings together the personalities of Food Network with some of the best chefs in NYC for four days of gluttonous binging on everything from meatballs to burgers to chocolate and more. Think Paula Deen, Sandra Lee, and Bobby Flay mixed with some of NYC’s hottest chefs like Marcus Samuelsson and Jacques Torres, all putting out delicious dishes for the throngs of fans and foodies. The best part: 100% of the net proceeds benefit the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength (a charity that is on a mission to wipe out childhood hunger).

I’ve wanted to go for the past four years but never made it. This year, I had the opportunity to attend five events and will be bringing you my take right here. Keep reading for Meatball Madness, Burger Bash, Sweet!, Sandwich Showdown, and Spice! (details on the last three events coming on future posts). I think I’ve gained five pounds along the way but the chance to see some of my culinary favorites while gorging on the best food and having the money go to charity makes it all worthwhile.

Meatball Madness

San Pellegrino sponsored the second annual Meatball Madness at the massive 82 Mercer on Thursday night. Hosted by the ever-smiling Giada De Laurentiis, this event brings together 35 NYC chefs to present their take on the classic dish of Italian grandmas everywhere. I made my way through 19 of the balls before going into meat sweats.

The 2011 winner Meatball Shop tried to defend its title, but they fell to the-soon-to-open L’Apicio and the crowd chose Donatella as its favorite. I agreed with the crowd and Donatella got my vote. 

        Judges Anne Burrell, Geoffrey Zakarian, and Alex Guarnaschelli hard at work to pick a winner.

Meatballs with Amatriciana from L’Apicio were just the right size and balance of flavors.

Donatella’s Tomato Braised Veal Meatball was velvety soft and had me looking for some bread to finish the sauce.
Casa Pomona almost got my vote for the Oxtail Stuffed Albondigas. Can’t wait to try the restaurant when it opens.

A delicious entry of Alison Eighteen Home-Style Meatballs from the namesake restaurant.   
A Southern twist on an Italian classic – Southern Sliders from City Grit  
Pork Belly and Pesto Modenese from Corsino Cantina. These little potatoes were amazing. 

Burger Bash

Blue Moon sponsored Burger Bash, which attracted over 2,500 people for one of the largest outdoor cookouts at Pier 36.  

With 28 chefs firing up their grills and desserts from Jacques Torres and Doughnut Plant , no one walked or waddled away with an empty stomach. 
Doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant  
Jacques Torres Sweet Burgers and awesome chocolate chunk cookies

The 2011 judge’s pick: Abe & Arthur’s weren’t here but the people’s choice Burger & Barrel  also won for 2012 (their third straight win). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to taste this one.  I did put away 14 burgers including the judge’s pick from Ai Fiori but I didn’t get a picture.
 The Gotham Burger from Gotham Bar and Grill.

The lines at the Shack Shack booth were almost as long as the Madison Square Park location for the Smoke Shack.
Kathy Griffin, Rachael Ray, and Bobby Flay tasting some burgers.
Kathy Griffin, Rachael Ray, and Pat and Gina Neely.

Stay tuned for the next post covering the event Sweet at the 2012 New York City Wine and Food Festival. A BIG thank you to Anthony for these great photos of all the wonderful food he was able to sample. Be sure to follow Anthony on his twitter @losanno .

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