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Rooftop Chopped Brought the Competition Even Closer to Fans at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

Chopped castAt Rooftop Chopped, a brand-new event for the New York City Wine & Food Festival, fans of Food Network’s long-running competition cooking show were treated to a special experience: an insider’s look at the show. Following the format of the show, participating chefs, among them former Chopped competitors, cooked their choice of either appetizer, entree or dessert, and the eventgoers had the chance to taste and vote on their favorite dishes from among 30 in total. And of course the cast of judges and host Ted Allen were on hand to try the dishes and present the awards for both their judges’ pick and the people’s choice.

“We are taking our participation in the Festival to a completely higher level,” said Ted of the highly anticipated event. “I am excited for the food, for the competition. It’s like Chopped Live,” he said of the new format. And this time Ted had the chance to taste the dishes — something he doesn’t get to do on the show. While the festivities were going on, fans could also audition. “We’ve never done an event where people could come and apply to be on the show,” Ted said of the unique opportunity. “It’s like they’re participating in a live, large-scale version of our competition.”

Get a look at some of our favorite dishes and find out which won.

Ayesha’s Street Eats Proves That the Best Food in New York City Comes from a Cart

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

Michael Mina and Ayesha CurryIf you’ve ever visited New York City and bought a hot pretzel from a cart on the corner, then you’ve experienced an important Big Apple tradition: street dining. Though the city’s traditional dining options are seemingly limitless — from hole-in-the-wall bakeries and grab-and-go delis to fast-casual diners and elegant sit-down dining rooms — it’s the food trucks, stalls, kiosks and carts that help make up the one-of-a-kind culture for which the city is loved. On night three of the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Chef Michael Mina of Mina Group fame and Ayesha Curry, whose Food Network series, Ayesha’s Homemade, is set to premiere on Oct. 22, came together to honor this Big Apple tradition by hosting Street Eats. This walk-around tasting featured some of the best bites to come from a truck, stall, stand or cart in NYC, plus a few from brick-and-mortar joints that pay homage to classic street food. We joined the crowds of hungry fans on Saturday, bellying up to the tables to experience all of it, and below are our picks for the best savory and sweet street eats that were up for grabs.

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The 10 Most-Comforting Fall Flavors We Tasted at Katie and Marcela’s Harvest Party

by in Events, October 16th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalNow that fall has officially arrived, you could celebrate the return of colorful leaves, crisp air and comfy sweaters with a trip to the orchard or perhaps an apple pie. But on Saturday during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Katie Lee and Marcela Valladolid hosted a Harvest Party that brought together all the best sights, smells and flavors of the season — including pumpkin pie, instead of apple, as it turns out.

Guests gathered inside the seasonally decorated Highline Stages in New York City not just to taste fall fixings like butternut squash soup, turkey sandwiches and that creamy pumpkin pie, but also to meet the hostesses. When we caught up with Katie and Marcela recently, they both said how eager they were to mingle with fans of The Kitchen at their event. “I’m excited because it’s the one time a year that we get to be in the presence of the fans — of the people that are being supportive and the people that watch the show and the people that take their time out of their way, of their schedules, spend money to buy a ticket to come and see us,” Marcela explained. “And that’s kind of huge. And I’m super grateful and I’m super excited to get the opportunity to actually be with people face to face.”

As for the food, Katie told us: “I just love fall harvest season in general. I love the food that comes along with it. It’s warm; it’s cozy.” She also noted that she was excited to have one vendor in particular in attendance, Carissa’s Breads, from East End, N.Y. “It’s my favorite bread,” she said. And we quickly realized why. Her offering made our list of the best fall bites of the Harvest Party. Read on to get all the details.

Sweet Potato Soup (pictured above): We’d heard positive rumblings from guests about how stellar this soup from Primal Cut was, and after trying it for ourselves, we realized just how right the others were. Luxuriously smooth and creamy but oh so light, this soup had subtle tang from mascarpone cheese. The toppings of crispy, salty pancetta and sweetened pecans were bonuses in the flavor and texture departments. Primal Cut also served a sweet side dish — Pumpkin Infused Caramel Cheesecake — which featured a similarly silky filling.

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The 7 Best Things We Ate at Anne’s Aperitivo! Event at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, October 15th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalAnne Burrell hosted a high-energy happy hour at The Standard Biergarten, kicking off the second night of the New York City Wine & Food Festival. Eventgoers sipped on sparkling wine cocktails and sampled tapas-style bites from local restaurants in the outdoor biergarten, the perfect setting for a warm fall evening. Here are some of our favorites from the dozens of options.

Cheese Spread — Murray’s Cheese

Several different types of cheese, a savory boar salami, some olives and baked cheese sticks drew long lines around the cheese empire’s stand throughout the entire event.

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Burger Bash 2016 Winners: David’s Cafe and Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer

by in Events, News, October 14th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalIf you’ve ever reveled in the smoky air of your backyard while grilling up a burger or two, you can imagine what guests of Friday night’s Burger Bash were in for when they walked into Manhattan’s Pier 92. Not one but dozens of chefs and restaurateurs came together at this rooftop party to serve up hundreds of juicy, cheesy, piled-high burgers to hordes of hungry fans, all eager to get their hands on the between-the-bun creations.

2016 marks the ninth year of this beloved New York City Wine & Food Festival event, and like in festivals past, the burger offerings put forth ranged from the classic (hello, American cheese) to the downright creative — think lamb-beef-combo patties and lobster toppings, which kept partygoers coming back for more. With so many burgers on display, it was up to both guests and judges — such famous, food-loving figures as Chopped judge Marc Murphy, Josh Capon, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka — to decide which was worthy of the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice awards, respectively. We caught up with judge Josh, who knows what it takes to make a winning burger — he’s won a whopping six Burger Bash competitions — and he told us that the perfect burger would have “perfect meat, perfect bun, perfect toppings and perfect execution.” Simply put, he said he’d be looking for “balance.”

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Tacos & Tequila: “The People’s Food”

by in Events, Food Network Chef, October 14th, 2016

Chefs and diners alike had their late-night nosh dreams come true at the New York City Wine & Food Festival’s Tacos & Tequila event, hosted by tatted taco-guru and epic party-thrower Aarón Sánchez. Fourteen all-star chefs, including Amanda Freitag and Laurent Tourondel, showcased all the creative culinary goodness they could fit inside a tortilla at the party, held at the Eventi hotel in Midtown Manhattan.

Aarón (pictured above with Miles Landrem, the executive chef of his restaurant Johnny Sánchez, and three partygoers) called the ever-popular combo of tacos and tequila “the people’s food.”

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Everything We Couldn’t Get Enough of at Chelsea Market Live

by in Events, October 14th, 2016

Chelsea MarketOn the first night of the ninth-annual New York City Wine & Food Festival, it seemed only fitting to ring in the festivities just below Food Network’s home base at Chelsea Market, one of the premier indoor food halls in the world. The sprawling food mecca went all-out for Chelsea Market Live, an after-hours feast celebrating the best walk-around bites the culinary destination has to offer, hosted by Cooking Channel stars Haylie Duff, Tia Mowry and Tiffani Thiessen. Food Network’s offices are located just a few floors above, so it’s safe to say we know our way around the place like the back of our hands (which we use to carry lunch from Chelsea Market daily). That said, these were the bites we couldn’t get enough of.

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The 9 Best Bites from Giada’s Ultimate Italian Dinner at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

by in Events, Food Network Chef, October 14th, 2016

New York City Wine & Food FestivalIf the Italian feasts you know and love are reminiscent of lively parties full of friends, a bounty of pasta and pizza, and a seemingly never-ending flow of wine, you’ll be happy to know that the Italian Table that Giada De Laurentiis hosted on Thursday night was just like that — only her bash featured hundreds of guests and dozens of dishes. (They needed more than one table.)

Giada kicked off the ninth-annual New York City Wine & Food Festival in true big-city fashion, bringing together chefs and restaurateurs for the ultimate rooftop soiree at Pier 92, located high atop Manhattan’s Midtown. While guests enjoyed such savory and sweet bites as squid-laced pasta, chicken Parm-meatball combos and creamy panna cotta, Giada mingled with fans and took pictures with partygoers while wood-burning ovens blazed in the background.

Instead of delivering the usual red-sauce staples, chefs dished out inventive, surprising dishes, including a muffuletta sandwich, a super-spicy pizza and a seasonal panna cotta dessert. Check out 10 top bites of the night.

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The 7 Best Bites We Took at Feast Portland

by in Events, September 19th, 2016

Chicken Biscuit at FeastThis year marks the fifth anniversary of Feast Portland in Oregon, the annual celebration of America’s vibrant food culture, with a special emphasis on Portland and the Pacific Northwest’s culinary footprint. If you’ve ever been to a food festival, you know that saving room in your stomach for bite after bite is tricky business. But there are some morsels that we couldn’t help but go back for more of. As the weekend wraps up, these are the best bites we ate at Feast this year.

One of our favorite meals of the entire week is brunch, and Sunday’s Brunch Village event lineup was jam-packed with early morning favorites. The Fried Chicken Biscuit with Pimento Cheese (pictured above) from John Gorham’s team at Toro Bravo was one worth braving a snaking line. The chicken was juicy, spiced and perfectly crispy, the biscuit was uber-buttery, and the pimento cheese slathered on top provided a creamy bite.

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Maneet Chauhan and Elizabeth Falkner Preview the 2016 Roots Conference

by in Events, Food Network Chef, News, August 10th, 2016

Chefs Maneet Chauhan and Elizabeth FalknerHosted by Farmer Lee Jones of The Chef’s Garden — a Huron, Ohio, vegetable farm run by Farmer Lee and his family — the annual Roots conference brings together chefs, food writers and culinary industry professionals for two days of conversation and critical thinking about the state of the food we grow, buy, cook and eat. This year’s conference, the fourth consecutive one since Roots launched in 2013, will take place Monday, Sept. 19 and Tuesday, Sept. 20 at The Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio. The events will focus on the theme of empowerment, both in the kitchen and out.

Food Network’s own Maneet Chauhan, a longtime Chopped judge, and Elizabeth Falkner, a two-time competitor on The Next Iron Chef, are on the roster of esteemed chefs projected to attend the conference. Maneet is set to join a panel in a discussion on Cooking Authentically as it relates to evolving cuisines, while Elizabeth plans to address attendees as a keynote speaker.

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