Before this weekend’s New York City Wine & Food Festival came to a close, fans flocked to Midtown Manhattan on Sunday afternoon for one final indulgent feast, this time a hearty Southern-style meal that only country superstar Trisha Yearwood could offer. Set in an elegantly adorned hotel ballroom, Trisha’s Down-Home Country Brunch offered classic Southern fixings, like grits, greens and fried catfish, a Bloody Mary bar complete with traditional toppings, and a musical surprise from the host that brought the sold-out crowd to its feet. FN Dish was on hand to take in the sights, sounds and tastes, and we caught up with Trisha to find out what the weekend brunch scene looks like at her house.
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In the city that never sleeps, tacos make the ultimate late-night snack. They’re small, quick to eat and packed with flavor. So it’s only fitting that this year’s annual Tacos & Tequila party turned into a late-night fiesta. From 10pm until 1am, taco enthusiasts united and wandered the rooftop of Pier 92 with a margarita in one hand and a taco in the other. Bobby Flay returned as host of the popular Food Network City Wine & Food Festival event and was just as excited as his guests about the delicious fare created by his “brothers and sisters” in white chef jackets.
From Cuban-inspired meatballs to IPA-braised pork belly, the New York City Wine & Food Festival’s fifth annual Stacked event featured some serious gourmet fare served between two pieces of bread. During this walk-around lunchtime soiree, guests sipped on moonshine-spiked cocktails while contemplating their most-recent bite and strategizing which dish to try next. And while some of the lines were long, taste testers didn’t seem to mind. Participating in the competition were more than a dozen of today’s top chefs who take the concept of a sandwich very seriously. Restaurant: Impossible’s Robert Irvine was both the host of the tasting as well as a contender in the sandwich showdown.
Brunch, that between-breakfast-and-lunch mealtime, is the perfect opportunity to enjoy both sweet and savory dishes, sometimes all in one dish. And when it comes to the perfect accompanying drink, Bloody Marys are a popular choice. At this Saturday’s Chopped Best Bloody Mary Brunch at the New York City Wine and Food Festival, the judges from Chopped gathered to taste offerings from 12 finalists in Absolut’s nationwide search for the best Bloody Mary. Also on hand were former competitors from the show, who presented food pairings that ran the gamut from tried-and-true brunch classics to fusion dishes.
The award of the day, chosen by the Chopped judges, went to David Wakefield of TenOak in Texas.
When it comes to great barbecue, our thoughts usually travel south – to Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, the Carolinas. But last night at the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s Barbecue and the Blues, New York made a strong case for itself as a barbecue powerhouse. More than a dozen spots from around the Big Apple served up their best smoked meat and sides to hungry ‘cue fans, including the cast of The Kitchen: Sunny Anderson, Jeff Mauro, Marcela Valladolid, Geoffrey Zakarian and Katie Lee.
With views of the Hudson River to the west and the bright lights of the Big Apple to the east, dozens of A-list Food Network stars on hand, and the sweet summertime smell of grilled burgers wafting through the autumn air, the scene was set to kick off the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s much-anticipated Burger Bash atop Pier 92 in Midtown Manhattan. This marks the seventh-annual celebration of all things between the bun, and in true Festival fashion, there was no shortage of eats, drinks or chefs as the walk-around tasting unfolded. Once again, Rachael Ray hosted the sold-out event as fellow Food Network favorites like Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli and Robert Irvine joined her to show off their signature offerings, and Anne Burrell and Andrew Zimmern, among others, judged the 30 burger offerings enticing the hundreds of fans.
After hours of deliciously meaty indulgence, guests’ votes were tallied and Marc earned the judges’ pick of the night with his Lamb-Marc burger (pictured above). The first-time winner wowed the panel with a tender lamb patty and a fresh mint chimichurri on top.
Autumn may bring with it an excuse to indulge in pumpkin spice and the opportunity to dig into the occasional Halloween candy bowl, but in New York City specifically, fall means it’s time for one of the culinary industry’s most-anticipated events: the annual New York City Wine & Food Festival. 2014 marks the seventh year of the annual festival, and when it kicks off tomorrow night, your favorite Food Network stars, plus culinary and beverage experts and fans from across the country, will take over the Big Apple for four days of celebrations of all things food and drink.
FN Dish will be at the festival all weekend long with Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Alex Guarnaschelli, Sunny Anderson, Robert Irvine, Michael Symon, Geoffrey Zakarian and more famous faces as they host elegant dinners, walk-around tastings and late-night bashes alike. If you can’t make it to the festival this year, stay tuned to FN Dish for our editors’ insider coverage of the events, or search the hashtag #NYCWFF on Twitter.
If coffee a morning must for you, it’s time to shake up your everyday routine. Indulge in a fancy coffee drink — homemade pumpkin spice latte, anyone? Or perhaps your coffeemaker has seen better days. Find out which machines Food Network stars love and cross one off your wish list. If you’re only into the java flavor, not the beverage, bake something delicious that features coffee as an ingredient. This mocha quick bread calls for instant espresso powder in both the batter and the glaze. Finally, take the coffee quiz from the most recent issue of Food Network Magazine. It’s a fun way to start the day while sipping your morning joe. Plus, you just might learn a thing or two about how to make better coffee.
From morning until night, your favorite Food Network chefs and musical all-stars came together at Food Network in Concert on Saturday for a celebration of three things that are just better together: eats, drinks and tunes. Together with Chicago’s most-acclaimed chefs, the stars took over Ravinia — an outdoor festival space near the Windy City — for a jam-packed schedule of walk-around tastings, hands-on culinary demonstrations and sit-down meals alike, and it culminated in roof-raising concerts by Phillip Phillips and John Mayer. FN Dish experienced the sights, sounds and tastes firsthand as Chicago local Jeff Mauro, plus Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jose Garces, Marc Murphy and Sunny Anderson, welcomed the crowd to lunches and dinners, posed for pictures with fans and dished on the soaring culinary scene in Chicago. Read on below to count down 10 of the day’s best moments, hear from some of the chefs and see photos of what went down on stage.
10. Blues, Brew and BBQ: With good music in the background and ice-cold beer in hand, diners could choose from some serious finger-lickin’ fare. The longest line was at the spare ribs station, but the host of the event, Marc, particularly enjoyed the pickle bar with flavors like Key lime chipotle, lemon ginger, and hot and sassy.
9. Birthday Shoutout: Phillips turned 24 on Saturday and in a total moment of spontaneity, concertgoers sang “Happy Birthday” in the middle of his set. The song (sang surprisingly in unison) was started by just a couple of fans but was quickly picked up by everyone in the pavilion and beyond into the lawn seats.
It was 1994 when fans first met Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachael and Ross, the six now-beloved friends who made up the heart of the cast on NBC’s Friends. Over the course of a decade, fans watched as this tight-knit group took their places on a cozy orange couch in the coffee shop downstairs to navigate their 20s before ultimately saying goodbye to them as 30-year-olds settled into their careers and relationships in the Big Apple. Although the show took place in New York City, James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, the wonderfully awkward barista at the Central Perk coffee shop, revealed that the set was located in sunny Los Angeles. Now, however, 10 years since Friends’ finale, Central Perk is finally getting its chance to shine on the streets of Manhattan as Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Eight O’Clock Coffee team up to launch a Central Perk pop-up shop in the SoHo neighborhood.
Beginning today through October 18, fans of Friends in New York City can visit Central Perk and take in the sights and sounds of the cast’s cherished hangout spot for themselves. Complete with the same orange couch and gilded espresso machine that were featured on the Central Perk set, plus more original memorabilia from the show, like Monica and Chandler’s wedding invitation and Phoebe’s guitar, the pop-up Central Perk is located at 199 Lafayette Street and will be serving free cups of Eight O’Clock Coffee daily. Not located in New York? Look out for Eight O’Clock Coffee’s limited-edition Central Perk roast at grocery stores near you or online.