There's hardly a better place than the New York City Wine & Food Festival for eating, drinking, partying, and, of course, trend-spotting. It was inevitable that amid eating hundreds of bites of different foods, we'd spot at least a few trends. Here are some of our takeaways.
During the Pickles and Marinades: The Korean Way seminar at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, chef Roy Choi of A-Frame restaurant and famed food truck Kogi BBQ presented the crowd with four different Korean-style pickles. The selection included Persian cucumber, heirloom carrot, jalapeño, and Asian pear (pictured from left to right).
Unlike American pickles, which tend to be really vinegary, these Korean pickles are mild, tender, and slightly sweet. While the chef says his pickling method is less about hard-set measurements and more about the flavor combinations, he did offer the basic ratios and ingredients used in his pickles so you can start pickling the Korean way at home.
Despite his interest in wine, Tyler had no prior experience with blending, so he partnered with the Mondavi family, who helped create his signature wines. The chef also used his perceptive palate to guide him: "After years of experience [working with food], I know what tastes good," he declared. This led to the creation of two wine lines: Tyler Florence Wines, a casual, everyday line, as well as TF, a limited-production line.
Tyler worked with a "less is more" philosophy when designing the wine labels, because he claims winemakers put too much on the label, and then "the essence of the wine becomes lost." For the limited-production line, everything is abbreviated; Tyler kept it bare bones to evoke a sense of nonfussy sophistication. A 1930s library card inspired his Tyler Florence wines, as a reminder that these were handcrafted, and features the chef's own handwritten wine notes. Learn more about the wines.
At last weekend's New York City Wine & Food Festival, The New York Times hosted a TimesTalk with Nathan Myhrvold, author of the groundbreaking Modernist Cuisine and a new book, Modernist Cuisine at Home ($130).
In Myhrvold's original Modernist Cuisine, his high-tech methods involve centrifuges, sous-vide baths, and other seemingly space-age kitchen equipment, but this weekend, the kitchen scientist spent a great deal of time convincing the audience that his new cookbook is indeed intended for at-home cooking, using easily-attainable kitchen tools.
His concept? Using everyday appliances in newfangled ideas, like hyper-decanting wine with an immersion blender. Whether you love the modernist concepts or are a complete skeptic, Myhrvold mentioned 10 modernist techniques that seem counterintuitive but are tried and tested to achieve perfection in the kitchen. "The laws of physics and chemistry are involved in cooking, and so shouldn't we know what they are?" he reminds us.
From the Burger Bash to the Grand Tasting to The Next Iron Chef party, there wasn't much to do at the NYC Wine & Food Festival other than eat, drink, and then eat some more. The festival may be over, but keep reading to see the provisions we'll be fantasizing about in the months to come.
The music was pumping. Justin Warner was chillin'. "The secret ingredient is . . . gastronomy!" the party pamphlet declared. Where else could we be but The Next Iron Chef party at the New York City Wine & Food Festival? It was Saturday night at the jam-packed Highline Stages in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, and everyone from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to The Next Iron Chef: Redemption hopeful Alex Guarnaschelli was rocking the party, talking to guests and serving their most worthy dishes.
Curious to know what foods make the cut in Kitchen Stadium? Get a preview when you see the provisions plated by stars of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and Iron Chef America.
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts
You'd be hard-pressed to find pair of busier chefs than Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone: in the past few years, they've opened two of New York's most sought-after restaurants, Torrisi Italian Specialties and Parm, and racked up countless nods, including the Food & Wine best new chefs award this Summer. At their flagship restaurant, Torrisi, they became known for innovative twists on American classics, from potato gnocchi with pastrami ragù (inspired by deli meat) to Champagne-foam-topped oysters Rocafella (inspired by Jay-Z).Mario Carbone, Ray Isle, and Rich Torrisi at the NYC Wine & Food Festival
As the hosts of a New York City Wine & Food Festival seminar, Torrisi Family Dinner, the two showcased reinvented dishes like "fresh" polenta (polenta made with sweet, peak-season pure-corn cornmeal, milk, butter, local cheese, and fresh thyme) and French country-style pâté made with Italian beef sausage and burnt onions in lieu of pork. Over wine pairings from Ray Isle of Food & Wine, the culinary tour de force had an opportunity to talk about the inspiration behind their restaurants, what keeps them going, and what's next.
In January, Southern cooking queen Paula Deen — who's known for recipes like deep-fried butter and burgers with doughnuts as buns — revealed that she'd been living with type 2 diabetes for years. Public outrage ensued. Since then, she's stayed busy trying to help confused fans reconcile her famous lowcountry cooking with a healthier way of living.
She addressed this at a recent New York City Wine & Food Festival event, a TimesTalk hosted by The New York Times and moderated by Kim Severson. During the forthright (and at times bizarre) conversation, I was surprised to learn a number of surprising facts about Paula.