The 2011 New York City Wine and Food Festival was a weekend-long celebration of, well… wine and food. It featured bites from top TV chefs and the city’s best restaurants, plus cocktails and wine in all varieties. It was also a chance to meet and mingle with all the big stars from Cooking Channel and Food Network. But the annual festival is more than just a big party — 100 % of the proceeds from the festival go directly to the Food Bank For New York City and the Share Our Strength foundation.
Check out the Cooking Channel stars who made an appearance:Ben Sargent may spend most of his time on a boat, reeling in the the catch of the day for Cooking Channel’s Hook, Line & Dinner, but Saturday’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate Between Bread sandwich cook-off brought him onto dry land, where he served his famous lobster rolls. With many of the country’s top sandwiches all squished into one room, the pressure was on Ben and his team to perform, but they made sure to bring the goods. “It was tough serving so many people,” Ben explained, “but we found a rhythm and assembly line that worked and it was all good.” That it was, Ben. Downright delicious, actually.
Supercouple Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos hosted their own party on the rooftop of the sleek new Meatpacking District spot Dream Downtown with the alliterative and apt title: Cocktails and Caviar. Guests dressed in their swankiest black attire sipped on cocktails and nibbled on appetizers dotted with caviar along with truffles and other chocolatey sweets from Godiva, as they mingled with the very gracious hosts of the event and the show Extra Virgin.
Later that evening, Debi and Gabriele showed up at Bobby Flay’s The Art of the Taco party, where they joined Kelsey’s Essentials’ Kelsey Nixon, who was dishing out Chile-Braised Lamb Tacos to the sold-out, tequila-sipping crowd. Also at the taco bash was Bobby himself, representing his restaurant Mesa Grill and serving Smoked Salmon Tacos.
Fans could do more than eat and drink with stars, they could also act like one. At a stage in the middle of the Meatpacking District, Iron Chef-enthusiasts had a chance to unveil the secret ingredient and shout their best “Allez Cuisine!” plus meet stars the likes of Alton Brown, host of Food Network’s Iron Chef America and of Good Eats, which has a new home on Cooking Channel.
If you couldn’t make the festival, you can still summon your inner chef at home and cook like a star: