festivals and events
raves and reviews
the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
The street cart craze continues to sweep the nation and on Sunday afternoon, over a dozen of the city’s top vendors parked their notorious trucks at Jeffrey Chodorow’s modern food marketplace, FoodParc. Hosted by bizarre-food guru, Andrew Zimmern, Carts in the Parc is the ultimate celebration of the best fare served on four wheels.
During the casual three-hour event, live bluegrass beats played as guests walked around the spacious outdoor courtyard to sample an assortment of street eats—including spicy beef and pork tacos from El Rey del Sabor, melted gruyere, cheddar, blue cheese and mushroom grilled sandwiches from The Milk Truck, and market fresh squash soup with apple and pumpkin from Rouge Tomate Cart. Attendees got sweet on the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck’s ginger curry shakes, Melt Bakery’s red velvet ice cream whoopie pies, and an incredible array of luscious treats and confections from Sweet Street Desserts.
Everyone voted for their fave and in the end, Biryani Cart was crowned People’s Choice winner (and scored an awesome hula girl tiki trophy) for their famous kati roll with grilled chicken tikka and caramelized onions on Indian Chapati. For the second year in a row, Carts in the Parc was one of the best events at the NYC Wine & Food Festival and I definitely recommend parking your appetite here in 2012.
“Tacos, Yo!” exclaimed host Bobby Flay as he manned the mic at his Saturday night soiree, Patron Tequila’s The Art of the Taco. Presented by Creekstone Farms, the event featured nearly 30 of the country’s hottest chefs who put their own unique spin on the South of the Border staple—with styles ranging from traditional, Mexican-inspired to elevated with French flair.
This time at 82 Mercer, Patron and Corona flowed as taco-lovers bounced from station to station sampling tortillas stuffed with creative combos of steak, lamb, shrimp, tuna, beef tongue, duck, pastrami, lobster, bone marrow, oysters and foie gras.
Tender braised pork carnitas from Mercadito, a Cretan spiced lamb pocket from Kefi’s Michael Psilakis, and Scarpetta chef Scott Conant’s spice crusted lamb neck tacos all made me swoon, while versions with oysters from Riverpark and foie gras from Recette palatably expanded my taco horizons.
Dozens of celebrated chefs and TV personalities (including Aaron Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Forgione, Claire Robinson, Marcela Valladolid, Debi Mazar, Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian) were seen doling out their taco creations, mingling with the crowd and even belting out Bon Jovi. Awesome.
After taking in tons of savory tacos, sweet relief was welcomed by ice cream chilaquiles drizzled with Mexican chocolate chili sauce and Gramercy Tavern’s salted chocolate hazelnut tacos. And after many of Bobby’s margaritas were had by all (hello, Sunday hangover!), the event turned into a late night dance party and guests and chefs alike let loose and had a grand ol’ time.
It’s down to the home stretch of my marathon New York City Wine & Food Festival weekend. Sunday morning, I hurried down to the early session of the Grand Tasting, and grand it certainly was. It was an eating extravaganza in the tasting pavilion, which was packed with people eagerly sampling plates from dozens of NYC establishments, along with wines, spirits and creative cocktails to wash down every decadent bite. I bellied up to the vendor tables, one by one, and sipped and munched my way through like a true champ.
Standout bites of the tasting included: Landmarc’s Orecchiette alla Norcina, Ed’s Lobster Bar’s Lobster Roll Canapé, The Neely’s Pig Parlor BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich, PEI’s Butter Poached Lobster & Short Ribs over Mashed Potatoes and Salmon Ceviche from Nuela. During and after the Grand Tasting, more Food Network stars autographed cookbooks and chitchatted with guests at the Welcome Center—Bobby, Rocco, Sandra Lee, Morimoto, and Miss Thang Paula Deen (she was just as adorable as you would imagine, ya’ll).
That afternoon, as if I hadn’t eaten enough already, I decided that I couldn’t miss out on sampling the best fare on four wheels at Carts in the Parc, hosted by bizarre-food guru, Andrew Zimmern. The street cart food craze is definitely taking NYC by storm and the city’s best vendors parked their infamous trucks at FoodParc—Jeffrey Chodorow’s new 20,000-sq. ft. indoor/outdoor modern food marketplace. The sleek, futuristic-looking hall on the ground floor of the Eventi hotel houses permanent food stands, such as 3Bs, Red Farm and Fornetti, and has a spacious outdoor courtyard which was lined with the boroughs’ most acclaimed carts for this highly anticipated event.
Check out pics below from my Day 3 festivities:
It was the perfect early autumn New York morning— the sun was blazing, there wasn’t a single cloud in the bright blue sky and a brisk chill swirled through the crisp October air—as I hungrily headed down to Pier 54 to start Day 2 of my NYCWFF adventure. Saturday kicked off with book signings and tastings at the Welcome Center. A few of the Food Network Chef-lebrities were there—Alton, Rachel, Giada, Tyler—promoting their latest cookbooks and chatting with crowds of swarming fans.
My afternoon brought an adrenaline-fueled cooking demo with my favorite Guy (Fieri, of course) at the Tishman Auditorium at The New School. I figured he’d be one of the hottest demos of the weekend, and man did he turn up the heat! With as much animated enthusiasm as he brings during every greasy bite on Triple D, Guy pumped up the crowd with a serious dose of non-stop energy and laugh-out-loud jokes, all while making duck fried rice and a heavy-handed strawberry-rhubarb vodka concoction. Everyone had a killer time—it was totally off the hook, as only Guy knows how to bring it.
As night fell on the Big Apple, I basically skipped like a schoolgirl down to the weekend event that I was most thrilled about (surprise, surprise)–SWEET. This treats-celebrating evening blowout was hosted by Sandra Lee and Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes. The sprawling event space at la.venue was filled with tables upon tables of the most decadent desserts and confections from renowned NY restaurants and celebrated pastry chefs.
The third annual New York City Wine & Food Festival took over Manhattan’s West Side this past weekend. Culinary legends, local chefs and everybody’s favorite Food Network personalities came together to celebrate their love of food, while lending support to the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength charities. The weather couldn’t have been more gorgeous—70′s and sun-drenched—as thousands of food-lovers flooded Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District for 4 fun-filled days of tastings, events, book signings, seminars and cooking demos.
My body is still in recovery mode after the ridiculously amazing, yet exhausting, weekend-long gorgefest. Friday through Sunday, I went straight through sipping, sampling, hopping around events and meeting all my fave chefs—and had a complete ball during every savory second of it. It would take me weeks to recap everything I ate, experienced and fell in love with this weekend, so I offer a taste of my favorite NYCWFF highlights and events in the following posts.