NYC Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting

Events / Giveaways / Partnerships

…..aka my meeting with Fabio Viviani

Heehee haha.  But wait, it gets even MORE delicious! 😉

This past weekend I attended the New York City Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting.  Presented by Shop Rite, this all-day festival featured scrumptious culinary delights from 50+ restaurants, chefs and exhibitors.  Additionally, the event featured cooking demonstrations and book signings from my favorite chef-lebrities (check out my totally sneaky shot of the back of Paula Deen’s head later in this post – what, she was getting out of the car).  I ate, I drank, and chatted with chefs (including Fabio – guess what his favorite surprise ingredient is!) – want to know the details? Keep reading!

There were a TON of different counters to visit at this event, which was held at Pier 57 – a awesome industrial space.  After checking in (and picking up my requisite goody bag and wine glass), I checked out the book signing and demonstration schedule – is that Anthony Bourdain I see there? 😉

It was time to dig in hardcore to the samples – unfortunately, there wasn’t a booklet of descriptions (OR I was too busy stuffing my face to pick one up, hmmm) but I’ll add in my caption flavor when I can.  Anyway, the pictures kinda speak for themselves, don’t they?

Wine (and sake and other goodies) was free-flowing and generous:

I stopped by the tables for the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength – 100% of net proceeds from the whole festival went to these organizations!

Campbell’s and Ferrero / nutella also had large displays – look at that ginormous goblet of chocolates!

Campbell’s had several samples of its soup varieties – I especially enjoyed the tomato soup and grilled cheese displays:

Capped off with a banana spring roll, yum – superb!

I’m a sucker for sliders, so of course when I saw this one I had to gobble it down:

Spice Market was one of the restaurants at the tasting – I love that place!

This “one bite salad” was true to its name and simultaneously sweet and savory – just wrap up the leaf and pop the morsel in your mouth:

The chilled potato leek soup with chive oil was both refreshing and luxurious:

These mini boudin blanc dogs were freshly made and gone way too soon (two bites tops!):

This was one of my favorite morsels – crispy pork belly with…wait for it…a pork rind garnish.  Ummmm yes please! I’ll take 10.

My feelings were likewise affectionate towards this chilled crab and avocado salad – the crab portion was extremely generous, which can’t be said for all crab salads!

The food just went on and on….

and on…..  I sampled the below fromage de tete. Do you know what that is?

Yep – head cheese.  Any of you ever try head cheese before?  It was delicious!

The ruby shrimp in coconut broth was full of tropical flavor and warmth:

And I found this company had an interesting proposition – a cookie with your glass of wine! Would you be open to it?

I was starting to get a bit full, but I then rounded the corner and saw these oyster ceviche shells – and I just had to try it.  Wouldn’t you agree?

And there was cheese, cheese, cheese, galore! You know what a sucker I am for all things dairy!

And finally, I had to take a photo of this apple pyramid – you know, being called Big Apple Nosh and all 😉

It was also so great to chat with Fabio Viviani.  If you’ve seen him on Top Chef and Top Chef: All-Stars, you’ll know Fabio is quite the talented chef (and quite the charmer!).  We talked about what he considers the earmarks of a good meal  – keeping it simple, no more than 5 ingredients, and always eating with family.  Love the simplicity of it!  I especially appreciated Fabio divulging his new favorite secret ingredient – the chipotle pepper.  Fabio’s best way to incorporate the chipotle is including in a fresh pasta dough – I’m pretty sure I need to try this!  I wonder if it would be similar to the wasabi pasta I made earlier this year?  Fabio was so gracious and humble – it was a pleasure talking to him! Thank you, Fabio!

Fully stuffed and happy, I wrapped up my tour of the Grand Tasting.  Of course, while I’m leaving who pulls up but Paula Deen herself!   I resisted my urge to shout out “I love you Paula!! Almost as much as I love butter!” and instead took a picture of the back of her head.  Alas.

The New York City Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting  was truly a delicious and excellent event, and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to cover it!  If you’re in town for the NYC Wine & Food Festival next year, I would highly recommend you check it out!

PS Fellow bloggers, you may have noticed that I’ve been lagging on commenting on your posts lately – my apologies! I’ve been traveling and my non-blogging life suddenly became quite busy. I’ll be back on the bandwagon soon, I promise. 🙂 We cool?

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Geek in Heels
    October 4, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Serena this looks like it was such an amazing event! I’m so happy for you that you were able to attend and enjoy yourself, and happy for me and your other readers for the photos you’ve shared. 🙂

    • Reply
      Serena
      October 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      Thank you for your kind words! I feel very fortunate to have been able to attend the event!

  • Reply
    Annie
    October 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

    The food looks amazing!!!! Is that a shiso leaf? I buy those at the Japanese market and eat it rolled up with some rice and meat at home 🙂

    • Reply
      Serena
      October 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      Yes it was shiso leaf!!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    October 4, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Oh wow, that food looks so delicious!! Fabio is one of my favorites from Top Chef!

  • Reply
    Allie
    October 4, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I spy a Nutella wall! Hee hee. Everything looks so good, and I’m jealous you got to meet Fabio!

  • Reply
    Kim
    October 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Wow, everything looks amazing! I love Fabio and watch Paula Deen on the Food Network everyday during my workout. It seems wong, but it’s so right! Safe travels to you !

  • Reply
    Ngoc
    October 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    oh wow the ceviche shells and one bite salad really caught my interest. I love tastings!

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Awesome! My sister-in-law was there this year, and I’d love to go sometime, too. Maybe next year!

  • Reply
    Jessica T
    October 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Totally head over heels in love with Fabio and I cannot contain my jealousy! Also, I would not have judged you if you had hollered at Paula. When I went to her book signing, I had a few glasses of wine with lunch and as I went up to get my book signed, I told her she was beautiful. Random? Yes.

  • Reply
    kelsey
    October 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Serena, I want to live your life for a day. How exciting!! And the FOOD. OMG, I’m dying! It looks so yummy! I wouldn’t have been able to control myself.

  • Reply
    penga
    October 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Mmmm…looks so amazing! What could be better than cute mini food….than LOTS of cute mini food! Officially hungry now!

  • Reply
    Amy
    October 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Looks like an amazing experience! Food looks great and so much fun to see celebrity chefs!!

  • Reply
    Jesica
    October 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    How fun! Jealous!

  • Reply
    Mina
    October 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    looks incredibly delicious and fun! thanks for sharing all these great pics!

  • Reply
    Ghenet
    October 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Everything looked incredible! So cool that you got to chat with Fabio and see Paula Deen. 🙂

  • Reply
    Alice
    October 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Freaking jealous you got to meet Fabio! And all that food is making me drool!

  • Reply
    Cathleya
    October 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    I LOVE Fabio! What a fab event, and DROOLLLLL!!! I wish every meal was just a series of small bites. 🙂 Mmm…

  • Reply
    Diana
    October 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    YOU MET FABIO!!! I love him…didnt at first because he was kind of all about himself, but in the All-Star show he was a new man and nicer! Thats so great that he gave you some cooking tips..how cool is that. Wow look at all this great food. What an amazing event to experience. Sorry I havent been around either, my sister got married in the Outer Banks, NC over the weekend…6 hour drive…but it was beautiful! <3

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    honeymyheart
    October 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    oh my… fabio plus all that great food. wow! i need to go to one of these food festivals.

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Ohhh my gosh, this event looks AMAZING! Color me green with envy.

    I love the idea of the cookie pairing with wine! Sign me up, dude! And gosh, the presentations for all the small bites that you tasted were so pretty! Thanks for sharing with us! I’m so hungry right now…

  • Reply
    kimberly michelle
    October 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    that looks amazing!!! 🙂 and so much fun!!!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    I am beyond jealous. Take me as your plus one next time!!

  • Reply
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