…..aka my meeting with Fabio Viviani
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:
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!
and on….. I sampled the below fromage de tete. Do you know what that is?
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?