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On a cool, crisp Thursday night in New York City, there was no better place to be than tucked inside Chef Marc Murphy’s swanky Midtown Manhattan restaurant, Landmarc, surrounded by the entire judges’ panel of Food Network’s Chopped. Yesterday together with Chef Murphy, Chefs Ted Allen, Amanda Freitag, Geoffrey Zakarian, Aarón Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli, Maneet Chauhan, Scott Conant, Marcus Samuelsson and Chris Santos kicked off the first night of the New York City Wine & Food Festival with a late-night party to celebrate the show with more than 100 hungry guests.
Each chef cooked up a signature creation, and while their plates ranged from savory snacks and beefy main dishes to sweet dessert treats, they were all reinvented, dressed-up versions of classic comfort food, like pasta, sliders, ice cream sandwiches and more.
Chef Freitag, pictured above, was dishing out an oversized batch of Truffled Orzo With Broccolini and Parmigianino Reggiano. This creamy, cheesy risotto-like pasta was pure comfort in a bowl.
Known for his tried-and-true takes on Mexican cuisine, Chef Sanchez brought warm sopes to the bash and finished them with a light topping of black bean spread, Cotija cheese and tomatillo salsa.
Chris Santos, too, embraced the flavors of Mexico with his Crispy Barrio-Style Chicken Taquitos. Each of these beauties was served with a guajillo sauce, creamy avocado and a drizzle of crema.
Pork was the name of the game for Chef Murphy, who was cooking up two skillets’ worth of succulent orange- and ginger-braised pork belly. He nestled the pork inside a soft roll and topped it with crunchy pickled vegetables to create next-level sliders.
Chef Samuelsson built Ethiopian-inspired Doro Wat Tacos, made with warm spices and topped with cool cheese.
Chef Guarnaschelli took a walk on the sweet side last night, serving up two kinds of freshly made two-bite ice cream sandwiches, Dark Chocolate and Vanilla and Toasted Almond and Raspberry. But that wasn’t all — her table was blanketed in colorful candy just waiting to be swiped.