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.
Although the New York City Wine & Food Festival hosts everything from guest speakers to wine seminars, it's probably best known for its Grand Tasting, which is held at Pier 57 overlooking New York's Hudson River. At the tasting, festivalgoers find everything — from cheese and Champagne to deli pickles and Delta Airlines wines — all under one roof. It took us hours to navigate the boisterous scene, but here are some edibles that came out on top.
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts
Friday night at the New York City Wine & Food Festival saw the return of Rachael Ray's biannual Burger Bash. With 3,000 people in attendance, it was the biggest Burger Bash ever held in New York. "They worked their patties off to give you thousands of patties!" Rachael reminded the crowd.
No doubt Burger Bash was hard work all around, as partygoers sampled 28 different pieces of beef. We couldn't tackle 'em all, but did notice a wide range of beefy buns from perfectly cooked to poorly executed. See what worked (and what didn't).
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts
Talk about starting off with a bang: last night, the 2012 New York City Wine & Food Festival kicked off with a comedic roast of Anthony Bourdain by celebrity chefs and comedians, and it seemed like just about every star chef who's seen a camera was there to sling mud at the food personality who made his name slinging mud. As pal Sarah Silverman told Bourdain in a prerecorded video message: "There's gonna be a lot of great lines tonight, and you can't snort any of them."
Great lines indeed. It was a rare opportunity to see another side of the stars of Food Network, who puts on the yearly festival; everyone from the bubbly Rachael Ray to the modest Eric Ripert cracked a dirty sex joke (or 10). Although Bourdain was the subject of the roast, there were plenty of other subjects of interest, primarily Guy Fieri's douchiness, Mario Batali fat jokes, and Ray's inability to cook. Catch up with the best lines you missed from last night's shockingly irreverent, profanity-filled comedy roast of Anthony Bourdain.
Headed to the New York City Wine & Food Festival or any other major culinary event soon? If so, you'll want to watch our survival guide to braving a weekend's worth of food, wine, and spirits. At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, we asked everyone from pastry whiz Jacques Torres to Iron Chef Michael Symon to former Top Chef contestants what their insider tips are for navigating an epicurean event. Learn what their best practices are — plus our secret tip for navigating tasting tables!
You may know that the festival offers an exciting mix of wine and food demos, celebrity chef-hosted parties, and restaurant industry talks, but there's plenty more that goes on behind the scenes. We thought it'd be fun to offer a glimpse of the event by the numbers. Let's begin with the biggest two: roughly 50,000 guests will attend this year's festival, and 100 percent of the proceeds from those festival tickets will go to the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. For more astounding numbers, read ahead.
Don't forget to check back here starting Thursday night for play-by-play coverage and be sure to follow us on Twitter for live updates!
Spend a weekend in the Big Apple exploring the New York City Wine & Food Festival alongside our YumSugar editors, discovering new delicacies and learning the art of wine pairing from experts. Your favorite personalities, chefs, culinary stars, and wine connoisseurs will teach you everything you need to know about your favorites and introduce you to new discoveries.
Enter to win — and spend a weekend changing the way you think about food. To whet your palate for the New York City Wine & Food Festival, check out YumSugar's coverage of the Aspen Food & Wine Classic!