While at the New York City Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash and Jets + Chefs events, we couldn't help but notice the ingenious and unusual tailgating ideas. Surf and turf burgers, beer keg bowls, and buffalo-sauced shrimp are a few items that will guarantee a touchdown of a game day feast.
Despite being the Top Chef host for a decade now, there's no sign of wear and tear on Padma Lakshmi. Up close, she's stunning and looks well rested, her youthful skin practically glows, and she exhibits a calm demeanor. She was at the New York City Wine & Food Festival's Grand Tasting Tent to promote two new products: I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Deliciously Simple and Country Crock Simply Delicious. After smearing spread on a few bites of toast, we sat down and talked about Top Chef and her experience in New Orleans.
POPSUGAR: How does it feel to have just completed another season of Top Chef?
Padma Lakshmi: It’s my 10th season. I’m really proud of the show. We are 45 percent up in ratings from last season. I think it’s a testament to my producers and Tom and Gail. There’s nothing like Top Chef. With all humility, we are a really big team that works as a well-oiled machine together. We all know our roles and we all do them well. We genuinely like working with each other. I think it’s particularly true of New Orleans. Usually no matter how much you love your job or love your colleagues, after six weeks being away from home, you want to sleep in your own bed. This time we were a little sad.
PS: Do you have any favorite chefs from this season?
PL: I can’t. But sometimes you’re not even rooting for the front-runners. Sometimes you wind up rooting for the screwups. You’re like, “Come on! You know this!” You root for the problem children. It’s never easy to tell someone to go home. I’m with these chefs more than anybody else, and each group of chefs is like a class, like a fourth-grade class. You see them working so hard, and they are so passionate about what they do. It’s hard to say, "Please go home." It just happened that someone else’s dish was better than theirs that day.
PS: Do you have some memorable moments from New Orleans?
PL: I did another series on Bravotv.com called Padma’s Picks, and it’s actually a prequel to Top Chef. It’s a love letter to New Orleans. [The episodes] show parts of the city that we typically don’t have time to show on Top Chef. It gives you a little idea about the casting process. It’s more a travelogue. At the end of it, there is a little competition to see who moves forward.
Thousands flocked to Rachael Ray's Burger Bash at the New York City Wine & Food Festival tonight to try 27 of the best burgers New York City has to offer. With all those flipping patties, there were bound to be some repetitive features. From bacon condiments (yes, you heard right!) to Eastern-influenced burgers, one thing's for certain: burger makers are thinking outside the bun.
This coming weekend marks the sixth annual New York City Wine & Food Festival, where foodies flock to New York to eat like royalty and rub shoulders with chefs and food personalities. Dinners, demos, and grand tastings takes place Oct. 17-20. Each year, our editors attend the festival to catch up with chefs, spot new food trends, and declare our new favorite food products. Still scratching your head? These six reasons should convince you that the event needs to be on your radar this year.
The Tickets Raise Money For a Good Cause
All the festival proceeds go to the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. With its more than 50,000 attendees, you can imagine a lot of food and millions of dollars are raised for the cause. See the entire festival breakdown, by the numbers.
Discover Top Food Trends
We spotted pickles, Jewish deli foods, and Korean as just a few major new food trends during last year's festival.
This question was the subject of a panel at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, where chefs Art Smith and Sue Torres, and Marc Murphy, culinary personality Katie Lee, and author Allison Adato talked about staying healthy in the food industry. While the easiest food to grab on the go — french fries, anyone? — isn't often the best choice, chefs recognize the importance of eating for health. Just ask Art Smith, who lost 95 pounds after a diabetes diagnosis. "There was no way I could run restaurants," he said of his prior health condition.
Now chefs like Smith are much more mindful about the impact their cooking has on clientele. "I'd rather have customers for a long time and not contribute to their demise," Smith says. "We are what we eat, and chefs are facilitators of food." Keep reading for a few healthy eating tips from chefs.
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.