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Eat, Drink & End Hunger at NYCWFF 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 09:10 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

New York’s most mouthwatering weekend is almost upon us. From October 16-19, the 2014 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival will be taking the Big Apple by storm and tickets are still available for some of the most anticipated events and food-fueled festivities. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience world-class cuisine, wine and spirits, while mingling with culinary legends, superstar chefs and your favorite TV personalities.

trisha yearwood
Presented by Food & Wine, this four-day epicurean extravaganza is the only place where you can take down tacos and tequila with Bobby Flay, party in a pastry wonderland with Dominique Ansel, belly up to brunch and Bloodys with the Chopped judges, tailgate with Joe Namath, Mario Batali and the NY Jets, and rock ‘n’ roll with Morimoto and friends at a late-night karaoke and sushi soirée.

nycwffSnag still-available tickets to savor Southern-style brunch with Trisha Yearwood, crush pizza with (my Jersey girl crush) Jon Bon Jovi at La Sagra Slices, and curb every craving imaginable at the Saturday and Sunday Grand Tastings.

There are events to please every palate and at every price point—with locations from Manhattan’s West Side to Queens. And the best part is: proceeds from the festival benefit the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength‘s No Kid Hungry campaign. Tickets are going fast—grab yours today and get ready to wine and dine to help end hunger.

Check out my coverage from previous NYCWFFs here, and let me know which events you’ll be attending. Hope to see you there!

Image courtesy of NYCWFF

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Going Mad for Meatballs at NYCWFF 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012 at 10:10 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Thursday night, the 5th annual New York City Wine and Food Festival kicked off with two of the weekend’s most anticipated events. And though I would’ve loved to witness food royalty roast Anthony Bourdain, the Italian in me couldn’t bear the thought of missing one of my favorites—Meatball Madness hosted by the lovely Giada De Laurentiis. “This is the best Meatball Madness ever,” Giada exclaimed about the ‘always sold out’ event, which is in its fourth consecutive year.

  1. People\'s Choice winner Donatella Arpaia with host Giada De Laurentiis (pic: Neil Rasmus/
  2. Casa Nonna\'s classic veal porcini meatball came with a dollop of creamy burrata cheese
  3. Neapolitan veal and pork meatballs with lemon, capers & brown butter from Atlantic City\'s Fornelletto
  4. Meatball lovers packed into SoHo\'s 82 Mercer to chow down on 36 different varieties
  5. High Heat Pizza Burgers & Tap topped a thin crust pizza with their \"broken balls\"
  6. The ultimate ballers and last year\'s People\'s Choice winners, The Meatball Shop\'s Daniel Holzman & Michael Chernow served pork balls with spicy meat sauce (pic: SeriousEats)
  7. Alison Eighteen created a homestyle meatball with pomodoro, parmigiana and fresh basil
  8. Hearth and Terrior chef-owner Marco Canora served his parm balls between bread
  9. Loved Gramercy Tavern chef Michael Anthony\'s spicy lamb spheres with yogurt sauce
  10. One of the night\'s most unique—Edi & The Wolf\'s Austrian-style pretzel-stuffed balls
  11. Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini sweetened things up with cake pops and an edible paint graffiti wall
  12. My favorite cocktail! Palm Bay offered Aperol Spritzes for guests to sip as they sampled
  13. City Grit\'s Sarah Simmons served a Southern slider with onions on a cracker crisp
  14. The night\'s big winner, chef Gabe Thompson of L\'apicio, celebrates with his sous chef
  15. Event judges Anne Burrell and Geoffrey Zakarian put on their best taste tester faces (pic: Neil Rasmus/

The large-scale tasting showcased dozens of the city’s best chefs, who rolled out their version of the perfect bite. Hundreds of meatball maniacs packed into SoHo’s 82 Mercer to sample 36 different types of saucy spheres—in styles ranging from traditional Italian polpette with tomato gravy to pretzel-stuffed Austrian balls and Spanish oxtail albondigas.

Judges Alex GuarnaschelliGeoffrey Zakarian and Anne Burrell, along with Pat LaFrieda and Mark Pastore of sponsor La Frieda Meats, crowned Gabe Thompson of the soon-to-open L’Apicio the night’s big winner for his Amatriciana version. The carnivorous crowd also casted their votes and Donatella Arpaia snagged the coveted People’s Choice Award for her mother’s classic recipe of melt-in-your-mouth tomato braised veal meatballs.

Aperol Spritz cocktails, a selection of vino and sparkling San Pellegrino refreshed partygoers, while a display of cake pops from pastry hotshot Johnny Iuzzini provided some sweet relief. Meatball Madness started off the NYCWFF in delicious fashion and everyone seemed to have a ball—while devouring dozens!

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Fieri-Style Fun in Guy’s Garage | NYCWFF 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 09:10 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Nobody can throw down quite like Guy Fieri can. After four mind-blowing days of food and drink-filled events, the culinary rockstar helped worn-out partygoers power through one more crazy night of debauchery at his closing bash, Party in Guy’s Garage.

  1. Guy Fieri fired up the crowd and brought electric energy to the NYCWFF closing party
  2. Highline Stages went back to the future for a rockin\' 80\'s themed closing party
  3. Clips from Top Gun, Sixteen Candles & The Lost Boys brought on a nostalgic 80\'s trip
  4. Guests sipped beer & cocktails in Guy\'s Knuckle Sandwich tumblers (photo: Metromix)
  5. Artichoke Basille\'s decadent pie with artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce & cheeses
  6. The Ronald Reagans tribute band rocked out a mix-tape worthy hit list
  7. The crowd danced All Night Long to hits from Lionel, Guns N\' Roses, Bon Jovi & Journey
  8. Levain Bakery sampled spoonfuls of their righteous chunky cookies (photo: Metromix)
  9. Guy and Lee Schrager thanked everyone for helping raise $1.5 million for charity!

During the wild 80’s themed blowout at the Highline Stages, guests were greeted at the door with neon shades, tumblers for booze and were bombarded by sights and sounds of the totally awesome era. There was big hair everywhere, throwback movie clips projected on the walls, vintage video games, the decade’s best hits blasting from The Ronald Reagans tribute band, and even an Axl Rose lookalike. This party was as hot as Jake Ryan on prom night.

Savory eats included roast beef sliders from This Little Piggy, creamy artichoke pizza slices from Artichoke Basille, and a spread of smoky BBQ grub from the Triple-D host himself, along with sweet treats from Led Zeppole, chunky chocolate cookies from Levain Bakery, and plenty of sugary cocktails to wash it all down with from party sponsor Pucker Flavored Vodka.

Best part of the entire night? When Festival founder, Lee Schrager, announced that this year’s NYC Wine & Food Festival raised $1.5 million for charity! Talk about a rad way to end Sunday Funday.

Congrats to everyone on another amazingly successful NYCWFF!

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