If you are a self-proclaimed foodie like myself, and you were not in New York City for the Wine and Food Festival, you missed out. I had the absolute best time in my life and I wanted to share my trip with you.
I know it can be hard to keep up with all of the food and wine festivals throughout your state or country, but this is the Beyoncé of all food and wine festivals. Hosted by Food Network and the Cooking Channel, this 4-day festival allows foodies to immerse themselves in a myriad of food events throughout the city. From cooking classes to rooftop parties to intimate group dinners with celebrity chefs, this festival has it all. Even more, 100% of the net proceeds from this festival go towards the No Kid Hungry campaign and the Food Bank for New York City. So even though the tickets can be a little pricey, just know it goes to a good cause.
I arrived in New York and the first place that I went to was Pies ‘N Thighs in Brooklyn. I had been wanting to go to this restaurant since I saw it on DDD (Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives), two years ago. It’s a small restaurant, but it delivers some big flavors within their dishes. I tried their fried chicken sandwich and their pumpkin pie with candied pepitas.
Once I was finished eating lunch, I went to my AirBnB to rest before my first event that night. My first event was a celebration of women in and out of the kitchen on the roof of Pier 92. I was not prepared for what I had gotten myself into. There were so many tables of food and wine everywhere…at one point I had to take a break because I was eating everything so fast. My favorite bites of the night were a panna cotta dessert and Giada’s fried risotto balls. However, my favorite part of the night was definitely meeting and taking a picture with THE GIADA DE LAURENTIIS, and having her sign my cookbook. My dream of meeting her became a reality that night.
I had a situation with my Airbnb (which I will write about in another post), so I ended up staying in a Hotel in TRIBECA. It actually worked out better because all of my events were closer to the hotel than the Airbnb.
Anyways, during the day I rode a citibike from TRIBECA to Chelsea to visit the famous Chelsea Market and High Line. I ended up biking over 13.1 miles and burning 564 calories, which was great because I needed to burn a bunch of calories that I was going to consume that day. For lunch, I went to Momofuku in the Lower East side of Manhattan to try ramen created by Chef David Chang. Every since learning about him on Chef’s Table and Ugly Delicious on Netflix, I knew I had to try his ramen. Let me tell you, Momofuku in NYC has THE BEST ramen and bao buns I have ever tasted, hands down.
In the evening, I went to an event celebrating the different types of sandwiches around New York City. The event was hosted by Adam Richman, known from his television show ‘Man v. Food.’ There were four floors of sandwiches ranging from a pulled pork sandwich to a Vietnamese sandwich to the classic sliders, and the NYC original chopped cheese sandwich. I had never tried so many diverse types of sandwiches in my life, and I loved it.
My first event of the day was a cake decorating class taught by Flour Shop‘s Amirah Kassem. I really wanted to attend a hands-on class during the festival, but I had already spent enough money. So God through Capital One blessed me with two free tickets to attend her class.
quick side note: the entire festival was sponsored by Capital One. Cardholders were able to purchase tickets to the festival one week prior to it being released to everyone else. I got a Capital One card for this festival and they gave me these tickets (no strings attached) for using my card for this festival.
I don’t know if you have ever made a 6-layer surprise cake, but it was so much fun. I learned the importance of a crumb layer of icing on a cake before decorating it. And her staff and mother were so nice and helpful during the whole process. At the end of the class, I received a free I-pad mini 4 and a copper whisk and measuring cups. My mind was blown!!!
After the class, I sped walked (cake in tote) to my last event of the weekend…the Grand Tasting. And yes, it is exactly what you think it is. It was basically a warehouse with hundreds of vendors giving you samples of wine/alcohol and food. Additionally, there were cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs (like Chef Morimoto and new Iron Chef Stephanie Izard) and book signings. I learned from my mistakes on Thursday night to take my time when going through all of the food vendors. My favorite bites were a braised short rib with butternut squash and a chicken and sweet potato waffle. I stayed there for 5 hours just relishing everything.
I didn’t attend any events on Sunday due to the time of my plane departure. However, I made it a point to visit Hillsong NYC before I left the city. If you’re in Manhattan and want to go to church, you should go there. Just make sure that you check their website before you go because they change locations every so often.
After church, I started my long journey back to JFK filled with great memories and great food.
I want to thank Capital One, Food Network, Cooking Channel, my family, and everyone else who helped to put on this great festival. Telling you about my journey has reminded me how blessed I am to be able to do things like this. I truly enjoyed meeting new people, meeting chefs I’ve been watching on television for years, eating amazing food, and going on another adventure. If you missed out on the New York City Wine and Food Festival this year, don’t fret, because next year the festival will be held October 10-13th, 2019. Start saving now, because it is sooooo worth it!
Thanks so much for reading this post. If you enjoyed reading this post, please hit “like” below and share with all of your foodie friends and family members. I want to hear from you. Comment below with any questions you may have about the festival or if you want to hear more about my trip. Also comment below with your favorite celebrity chef and/or your favorite restaurant.