Sunday, October 2, 2011

Grand Tasting at the Food and Wine Festival

First there was the celebrity chefs.  This year's Food and Wine Festival in NYC had a new kind of Grand Tasting.  In the past, Saturday and Sunday each had two time slots to attend.  Also scattered around NYC were various cooking demonstrations.   This year the changed things up with a crazy 5 hour Grand Tasting event with cooking demonstrations scattered throughout each day.  Now each event last year had a certain price associated with it.  This year your ticket included everything.  However, everything came with a much bigger price tag.

I loved watching the different demonstrations though.  Alton spoke about wine.  He used a power drill to uncork the bottle.  Giada allowed audience members to do the cooking for her while she answered questions.  The demonstrations allowed for some much needed snacking breaks throughout the day.  Giving yourself 45 minutes to digest a bit makes all of the difference at a tasting event.

Lamb ribs with cilantro lime glaze was Mr. J's favorite.  They were very good and the best part was the little wet clothes to wipe down your fingers.

There was also scrambled eggs with lobster, creme fraiche and trout roe. My favorite I neglected to take a picture of...probably because I was too busy eating...was cheesy polenta with a quail egg.  I don't know how some people can make polenta so tasty.  I love it in restaurants but the few times I have tried it at home have been big FAILS.

Obviously a big highlight for me was the desserts.  Baked by Melissa had mini cupcakes.

There was a handful of chocolate tables and I kept going back for more and more.  I still wasn't able to taste all of the varieties.

My best find was a new bakery that literally opened up about two weeks ago: Salt of the Earth.  These cookies were the best thing ever. I am currently on a mission to get these babies selling up in Connecticut.  Then the mission will be to try and replicate.  They were beyond delicious!   

Of course the swag bag bounty is always a treasure chest. I kind of think that each year we participate the bag is a little less full but maybe it is just me.  We go lots of olive oil, spices, granola bars and Biscoff cookies.  And check out the cute little Nutella and Biscoff spread To-Go containers.  You have to love those.

The weather put a bit of a damper on the day but overall we had a great time.  I remember the first year we went Mr. J took a bit of convincing to go.  Now he is the one to suggest the event each year.  I think we are somewhat experts now.  We managed to leave with full bellies, not too much alcohol and were able to walk back to the metro stop without any pain.


  1. Thank you for the tour you have pushed me into adding this to my must do list for next year.

  2. Wow! That sounds like such an enlightening and fun time!

  3. SO jealous! I think I might have just stayed at the chocolate table!

  4. I AM SO JEALOUS! I would LOVE to go to the wine and food festival! Looks like you had an awesome time :)

  5. Oh, man...that's awesome! I LOVE it! I'm so excited for you that you went...and for me! Because you blogged and shared it!

  6. I went to the NYC Wine and Food Festival too. I went to "Dinner amongst the Flowers," a five-course tasting with Chef Michael White. It was awesome! I've never been to the Grand Tasting. Looks great :) Love the swag bag.


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