A cornucopia of events at the NYC Wine & Food Festival

Four days. More than 85 events. Over 400 restaurants, bars and celebrity chefs in New York. Charitable organisation. This year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival has it all, says festival founder and director Lee Schrager.

“There’s something for everyone,” Schrager told the Daily News ahead of the festival, which begins Thursday, October 13, returning in full force for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic. Typically, the festival attracts over 45,000 participants on average each year, supported by around 3,000 volunteers. Events are organized throughout the city.

Prices range from around $100 to $350 or more. Here are some highlights:

Grand Tasting, with cooking demonstrations

The festival’s signature event takes place on Saturday and Sunday and offers samples of all aspects of the festival. Billing itself as “the ultimate food and drink extravaganza in New York City”, the Grand Tasting lives up to its name by bringing together the best restaurateurs, chefs, mixologists and the best wines and spirits “for a straight out afternoon dreams of every food and wine lover,” promises the festival site. Watch the Food Network stars showcase their cooking mojo and sign their cookbooks. Pick up the spoils.

Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. both days. There is also a mini version for two hours Sunday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/grandtasting_saturday/ and https://nycwff.org/grandtasting_sunday/

Mohegan Sun’s Aperitivo, hosted by Anne Burrell

Kicking off the proceedings on Thursday is an extravagant happy hour hosted by Anne Burrell of Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America” ​​fame. This Italian-inspired cocktail party in Industry City along Brooklyn’s waterfront will focus on small plates and canapes and will have revelers feeling like they’re strolling down the Italian Riviera. The purchase of two or more tickets entitles you to a 20% discount.

Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Cité de l’Industrie

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/aperitif/

Anne Burell

Disco and drinks: an evening of classic cocktails

You won’t have to worry about the calories consumed on this party because you’ll be dancing them right away. The NYCWFF calls it the “ultimate late-night cocktail party, disco party.” Over 25 top liquor brands will showcase their concoctions and latest products as people dance to retro disco tunes spun by DJ band Disco Sauce. Somewhere in there, you might find time to sample some “mouth-watering food and premium bar food” created especially for the festival. Host and Spritz Society cocktail designer Ben Soffer, aka Boy With No Job, will chair. One of the most economical offers, at $99.

Friday, Oct. 14, 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (Saturday)

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/cocktailparty/

A haven in Harlem: Ginny’s Supper Club

Meet James Beard Award winner, cookbook author, philanthropist and celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson at Ginny’s Supper Club, his Harlem speakeasy. Here you’ll enjoy soulful southern cuisine created by Samuelsson and chef Lexis Gonzalez for “an evening celebrating the spirit and liveliness of Harlem’s vibrant culture.”

Friday, Oct. 14, 7-10 p.m., Ginny’s Supper Club, 310 Malcolm X Blvd.

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/samuelsson/

Blue Moon Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray

Billed as the battle of the burgers, this burger-palooza pits chef against chef in competitions for the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice awards, which festival-goers will vote on once they’ve finished devouring the delicious creations, which will all be paired with various Blue Moon brews.

The icing on this beef cake is host Rachael Ray, the famous TV host and author, who will be hosting the festivities. All this to the rhythm of live music. “You’ll spend the evening under the stars, eating through over 25 of New York’s best burger deals.” There are also desserts.

Thursday, October 13, 7 p.m. (6:30 p.m. with a Capital One card), Pier 86, Intrepid Museum Headquarters

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/burger/

Burgers

Dinner and visit to Shake Shack HQ

It might seem counterintuitive to spend $195 at Shake Shack, but it’s not just any burger. This is your chance to see how sausage, or in this case beef, is made. Take an exclusive tour with Shake Shack Culinary Director Mark Rosati and his team at The Source, the fast-food chain’s West Village headquarters, which is normally closed to the public. After the tour, sample Shack’s dishes and sample new experimental flavors from the team, all accompanied by a drink provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

Saturday, October 15, 6-8 p.m., Shake Shack HQ & Innovation Kitchen, 225 Varick St.

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/shakeshack/

Shake Shack

Farmer’s Market Brunch hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian

Geoffrey Zakarian of Food Network and brunch fame will educate diners on seasonal ingredients sourced from Heermance Farm in Tivoli, Hudson Valley, NY. Sweet and savory dishes will abound, courtesy of the city’s trendiest restaurants, all accompanied of course by “quintessential brunch cocktails” as well as beers, wines and spirits suitable for a fall harvest. Two or more tickets get you a 20% discount.

Saturday, October 15, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., The Standard High Line, Biergarten & Garden Rooms, 848 Washington St.

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/farmersbrunch/

Chef Geoffrey Zakarian hosts a cooking demo during Grand Tasting with cooking demonstrations presented by Liebherr Appliances during the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One at Pier 76 on October 16, 2021 in New York City.

Cooking demonstrations

This family-friendly event gives under-21s access to the festival, in a special area away from adult booze, and lets parents and kids watch the stars of the culinary world in action as they whip up their recipes favourites, give technical cooking demonstrations and sign books. “Small bites” also available.

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Saturday, Oct. 15, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Pier 76

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/culinarydemos_sat/

Battle of the Boroughs: A Cocktail Showdown, hosted by The Try Guys

This event pits bartenders from the five boroughs against each other and challenges them to “create sublime cocktails” using ingredients provided by Bacardi. “They will test flavor profiles, versatility and innovation and compete to see who reigns supreme.”

Lucky partygoers will witness the action up close and personal, and get to taste the results. And then, of course, vote for the favorites. Hot dogs, barbecue and empanadas will fuel a dance party. The Try Guys, hosts of “No Recipe Road Trip” on the Food Network, will be there.

Saturday, October 15, 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. (Sunday), Center 415, 415 Fifth Ave. (between 37th and 38th streets)

Tickets: https://nycwff.org/cocktailshowdown/

Elisha A. Tilghman