Get excited: at long last, Top Chef: New Orleans premieres on Bravo tonight. As you count down the hours, get in the season 11 spirit by finding out what advice your favorite Top Chef contestants have for the incoming class. See what projects are keeping the likes of Fabio Viviani, Kristen Kish, and Richard Blais busy — and their tips for those cheftestants competing in New Orleans.
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!
Named after William "Cocktail Bill" Boothby, a turn-of-the-century SF barman, author, philanthropist, and leader, the hub will serve as home base for the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail, the nonprofit that's behind San Francisco's weeklong drink event. The conservancy's founders — Elixir's H. Joseph Ehrmann, Cantina's Duggan McDonnell, and Comstock Saloon's Jeff Hollinger — explained that the civic center, which was still in the hard hat phase, will include event space, a cocktail lab, and meeting rooms.
For a glimpse of the star-studded event, check out the gallery below.
What do you think of the concept? Should other cities follow suit?
Through a simple exercise, Handelman — who is the director of wine education for Kendall-Jackson — demonstrated how produce and wines with similar pigmentation make ideal partners for one another. To see what that exercise was — you can recreate it at home as a learning tool yourself! — read more.
If I had a list of everything I tried at this weekend's SF Chefs, you'd be in for a long ride. I paid multiple visits to the tents over the course of three days, and consumed everything from white gazpacho to beef carpaccio. For a glimpse of what San Francisco's top talent was serving, here are highlights from the event.
There were so many highlights during our weekend in the Rockies, but one of my true favorites was a five-course dinner sponsored by Fiji Water. The occasion, held at local haunt The Wild Fig, featured a special guest in the kitchen: Rob Wilson, the executive chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, and a roaring afterparty, where the wine, cocktails, and, of course, Fiji Water, were flowing.
Steve Mundinger for Fiji Water
The Food & Wine Classic is known for its demos, parties, and Best New Chefs dinner. But perhaps most of all, it's famous for the Grand Tasting, a food and wine free-for-all that takes place twice a day under an expansive tent in downtown Aspen. It's in the midst of this bacchanal that one discovers new restaurants, food trends, and wine labels, both good and bad. Here are a few of my favorite selections from this year's event.
Check it out after the break.
Over the long weekend, while many of you were hosting barbecues of your own, I headed over to Sparks, NV, for the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, one of the country's largest outdoor barbecue events. I was more than stoked to chomp down on award-winning ribs all day long, but — given the scope of the festival and its four-hour driving distance from my house — I wanted to maximize my first experience there by being as prepared for the event as Michael Phelps was for the Summer Olympics. If you're planning on heading to a major barbecue festival (or any food extravaganza, for that matter), I've got some tips to share with you.