With the trail of Halloween candy beyond the horizon, the Thanksgiving season begins in earnest. This month, harvest festivals begin to peter out and what other fairs are scheduled (many of them seafood related) are front-loaded to leave us as much time as possible to prepare for, then recover from, Thanksgiving.
Denver International Wine Festival, Denver, Colo., Nov. 2-6: Beer may be Colorado’s unofficial beverage of choice, but it certainly isn’t the only option. This seventh annual wine fete proves it by expanding to accommodate attendees. This year’s celebration of the grape will be held at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum and will include a vertical tasting (the sampling of consecutive vintages for the detailing of a drink’s evolution), a cheese-pairing workshop and seminars like “Moscato, Surrender to the Sweet,” led by Andrew Quady. Chefs will tussle during the food and wine pairing competition and you’ll win — because if wine is involved, there are no losers.
More November food festivals around the country »
Mark your calendars: The first annual Food Day is almost here. From this year forward, every October 24 you’ll find schools, communities, health professionals and local officials pushing for sustainable food that’s healthy, affordable and produced in a humane way.
How you celebrate the big day is entirely up to you. Plan an event, work with your local city council or even just spread the word. Food Day is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit watchdog group that’s fought for big strides in food since 1971. The day is backed by an extensive advisory board of politicians, leaders and advocates, plus honorary co-chairs Senator Tom Harkin and Representative Rosa DeLauro.
The 6 goals Food Day aims to achieve »
When it comes to eating out, Mario Batali, Marcus Samuelsson and Andrew Zimmern are pros. After spending years immersed in the culinary world and perfecting their own food and cultures as chefs, these three have traversed the globe, eating at some of the best restaurants in the world. Last Saturday in the heart of the Meatpacking District, they spoke about how and what they like to eat at a restaurant and about the experiences they offer at their own restaurants.
A frequent traveler to the most exotic and seemingly otherworldly locales, Chef Zimmern noted simply, “When I’m in a culture and place, I want to experience that culture and place through food.” As intimate an experience as eating is, seeing a city and people through their food allows out-of-towners the opportunity to better understand the society and its traditions. Mario agreed and noted that in order to serve the best possible version of a dish, restaurants ought to use place-specific ingredients, those that are true to their origin and production.
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Anne Burrell and Alton Brown share something in common: During the month of October, both of their schedules will be filled with book signings across the country. Check out their individual book tour schedules below to see if they’ll be in a city near you.
Click here for tour dates & locations »
At an NYC Wine and Food Fest event at the TimesCenter, top-tier chefs discussed with Melissa Clark of The New York Times some of their greatest challenges in achieving what they have today, the moment they realized they had made it and the potential pros and cons of celebrity chefs and television cooks.
Several of the chefs admitted to being their own biggest obstacle in some way. Chef Anne Burrell was quick to name her “sparkly” personality as her greatest challenge, noting that some have not known how to approach such a confident, self-assured chef. Even fellow panelist Chef Alex Guarnaschelli confessed to being skeptical of the young Burrell many years ago. Still, Anne maintained, “The opposite of a sparkly person is mediocrity,” and with that mantra, she has worked alongside some of the most premier chefs in the industry, including Lidia Bastianich and Iron Chef Mario Batali. The latter she credits with offering her most significant opportunity: to serve as his sous chef in Food Network’s Iron Chef America battles.
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The crowd hissed, hollered and applauded as he walked on stage. Rock star? Icon? Celebrity? Pretty much. Clad in his signature spiked wristband and sporting his classic bleached-blonde ‘do, Food Network host and chef Guy Fieri spoke to a sold-out crowd on Saturday during a New York City Wine and Food Festival event at the Times Center. Interviewed by Julia Moskin of The New York Times, Fieri explained that he did not grow up with the traditional makings of a chef but instead a “funky food style” defined by “floor-of-the-earth bread” and school lunches that looked more akin to science projects than grade-school fare.
Guy recalls fondly the one dinner in particular that solidified his passion for food and set him on the road to culinary stardom. After he questioned his mother about why she was making eggplant parmesan instead of chicken like “the normal families,” she charged the young Fieri with the task of cooking dinner for the family. A few perfectly grilled rib eyes and a botched batch of pasta later, Guy realized three things about his place in the kitchen: “I cook, we can eat meat. I cook, [it] makes people happy. I cook, I don’t have to do the dishes.”
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On a sometimes wet but beautiful fall weekend in New York City, for four days Food Network personalities traveled from far and wide for a cause: to end hunger. Now in its fourth year, this has been the focus of the New York City Wine and Food Festival, which brings together the best of the best and celebrates food in its finest forms: meatballs, burgers, fried chicken, sandwiches, tacos, desserts and more.
We caught up with Giada, Bobby, Paula, Duff, Anne, the Neelys, Marcela, Sunny, Jeff, Marc and Claire to talk about what this festival means to them, share some of their secrets and find out what they are excited about.
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It was a brunch buffet fit for an army and an army of Paula Deen fans did indeed turn out for her Sunday Jazz Brunch at Gotham Hall in New York City. From her own Eggs Benedict to delicious dishes from guest chefs, there wasn’t an empty plate in the place. Paula, her sons and her husband addressed the large crowd and thanked them numerous times for their support of the Food Bank of New York City and Share Our Strength: “I appreciate so much y’alls support and helping solve this big problem we have in America…you’ll never realize what it means to me.”
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For those who love tacos, tequila and mingling with the most famous chefs of the food world, then The Art of the Taco party was the place to be on Saturday night. The event, part of the New York City Wine and Food Festival, was hosted by Bobby Flay, who is famous for the catchphrase, “Tacos, Yo.” Flay manned his Mesa Grill taco station, serving guests mini smoked salmon tacos. But Bobby wasn’t the only star around, all the chefs were out that night — Alex Guarnaschelli, Andrew Zimmern, Geoffrey Zakarian, Scott Conant, Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, Marc Forgione, Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson, Aaron Sanchez and Anne Burrell were at the party too, and I even heard there was a Guy Fieri sighting.
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The FN Dish’s own wine expert, Mark Oldman, teamed up with grilling expert and Hill Country Barbecue executive chef and partner Elizabeth Karmel to host the event Bubbles and Q at the New York City Wine and Food Festival this weekend – guiding lucky festival-goers through a flight of sparkling wines paired perfectly with juicy morsels of barbecue.
Why pour bubbly with your brisket (it seems like an unlikely combo)? Mark says the main reason is that the bubbles add lift and cleanliness to rich barbecue foods – it’s one of his favorite food and wine pairings. Both Mark and Elizabeth think it’s time to stop saving the sparklers for special occasions, since they pair so well with all foods – we should start drinking them like 7-Up or sparkling water!
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