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.
Tickets are on sale for the 2014 New York City Wine & Food Festival, an annual celebration of all things dining in New York City. For four days exclusively in October, (Oct. 16-19) food fans will get a chance to mingle with their favorite television stars, like Bobby Flay, Rachael Ray, the casts from The Kitchen and Chopped, and many more. The best part? Several events cost less than $100 this year. Get your tickets now.
Here are the events our editors will be covering throughout the festival — join us.
Thursday, Oct. 16
Cooking Channel presents Chicken Coupe hosted by Whoopi Goldberg
Ronzoni’s La Sagra Slices Read more
She’s given fans 30-minute meals, killer sammies and, of course, “EVOO.” Now the queen of weeknight cooking is dishing up a few more kitchen essentials. Read on for her best shortcuts.
1. Adding fresh lemon juice to a recipe? Squeeze the lemon cut-side up so the seeds don’t fall into your food.
2. Measure spices into your hand, instead of over your mixing bowl or pan. That way, you’ll never have to fish anything out if you make a mistake.
3. After cooking fish, get that stinky smell out with a bit of booze: While the pan is still hot, douse it with a splash of dry vermouth and swirl it around. (Caution: It may flame.)
4. Cut down soaking time for dry beans by pouring boiling water over them first. Let stand for 1 hour, rinse, then proceed with your recipe.
She dishes up great gossip on her daytime talk show, and even better food on TV and in her new cookbook, Week in a Day, but there’s still lots you don’t know about this Food Network megastar. Get the inside scoop on fun facts she shared during her Grand Tasting demo at the New York City Wine & Food Festival.
1. She’s a burger fanatic. “Meat for dinner is my favorite. I’m a burger-obsessed person. I love burger night — I love ground meat of any kind!” she says.
2. She loves a man who cleans. The way to her heart isn’t through food — it’s through washing dishes. “A man in the kitchen is very sexy,” she says. “Gentlemen: Get your butt behind the sink and you will be dessert!”
Just in time for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, Food Network Star winner Damaris Phillips, a lifelong southerner with a knack for baking and the host of Southern at Heart, is demystifying biscuit making so that you can skip the store-bought tubes of dough and make your own buttery beauties at home. This Kentucky native is known for enjoying her biscuits with gravy for breakfast, and just last month she took the stage with fellow Food Network Star alum Justin Warner at the New York City Wine & Food Festival to fuse her classic recipe with another morning favorite: bagels and lox. She walked fans through the step-by-step of creating this hybrid breakfast while chatting about basic biscuit-and-gravy how-tos, like simple tricks for cutting biscuits and the importance of cooking the flour in the gravy roux. Read on below to get Damaris’ top-six tips, then try her recipe for Sweet Potato Biscuits with Peppered Pork Loin, Apple Mustard Butter and Salad.
1. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy biscuit cutter at home; a round glass will do the trick.
2. There are two kinds of biscuits: flaky and cakey. Damaris prefers the cakey variety, as they’re better suited for sopping up gravy, so consider this if you plan on serving your biscuits with gravy as well.
3. When making the roux for the gravy — the mixture of fat (here, butter) and flour — it’s important to let the flour cook for a bit so it loses its raw flavor. The more you cook it, the darker the roux will be.
For a self-professed “chick singer who cooks,” Trisha Yearwood has been more than successful — much more. She’s on her fourth season of hosting Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, and, after two best-selling cookbooks, she’s back in the kitchen working on another. Yet despite her double dose of fame (and high-profile marriage to Garth Brooks), the Georgia native is as grounded as ever, evinced by her answer-any-question demo at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival. Here, our top takeaways from her event:
1. The slow cooker is her secret weapon. “I’m all about easy. If it’s hard to do, I pretty much won’t do it,” she says. “I grew up making stuff in the Crock-Pot. Things like chili, stews or soups — anything that could cook all day long.” Lately, one of her favorite ways to use it is for turtle candy. “Making dessert in the slow cooker is the coolest thing ever and it’s super, super simple,” she says.
2. She’s a huge Kelly Clarkson fan. It’s all about the big voice for Trisha. Growing up, her music hero was Linda Ronstadt; these days, it’s Clarkson. “Her voice is so powerful, amazing and emotional,” she says. She’s such a fan, in fact, that she worked with Clarkson (and country legend Reba McEntire) on a special Christmas album, which debuted in October.
You know him for his trademark bleached hair, for flame-covered cooking gear, and, of course, his monster hit shows Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Big Bite and now Guy’s Grocery Games. But there’s plenty more that you don’t know about his royal dudeness, Guy Fieri. Read on to discover a few surprising insights the Food Network star shared during his cooking demo at this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival.
1. He doesn’t believe in kid-friendly recipes. “What do your kids like to eat? That’s a good kid-friendly recipe,” he says. Even better: Ask them to help in the kitchen. “Get them involved with whatever you cook. Let them feel something!” It’ll turn picky eaters into enthusiastic ones, Guy says.
2. He’d take a wok over the grill any day. “The wok is one of my favorite things to work with when I’m camping,” he says. “Outdoor cooking is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers. There are so many styles of food you can make.”
Alex Guarnaschelli puts her culinary chops on display daily at her New York City restaurants Butter and The Darby, but she also knows a thing or two about entertaining a crowd (especially during the holidays). When FN Dish caught up with her at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, she was throwing a jazz brunch in the newly renovated Butter, featuring dishes from her debut cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food. Though the event was small and intimate, her entertaining ideas work for any occasion — big or small:
Mix up the menu. You don’t have to serve an entire buffet of right-out-of-the-oven hot dishes. A mix of both hot and cold bites not only keeps the menu interesting, but it also gives you more time to mingle with guests. Try putting out an assorted meat plate with some dried fruits, toasted nuts or a mix of cheeses. It’s an elevated way to serve a wider variety of food without making more work for yourself. Alex recommends pancetta, culatello ham, mustela loin and capocollo Calabrese. Don’t forget to set out grilled bread or pita too.