NYC Wine & Food Festival to Descend Upon the Big Apple
By Kristen Oliveri

The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival (, now in its fifth year, kicks off October 11th and might quite possibly be one of the most enticing large scale food-filled events the city that never sleeps has to offer its residents and guests alike.

Running for four informative, delicious and fun packed days this massive food event is lasting presented by the South Beach Wine & Food festival founder, Lee Brian Schrager.

Culinary insiders will enjoy the festival’s 5th anniversary program that features trade-only seminars and the city’s beloved sugar shock indulgence, SWEET – a party hosted by Godiva Chocolatier and Sandra Lee, Friday, October 12 at 82 Mercer in Soho (

Special events will be ongoing throughout the weekend; most notably one presented by Bank of America, on the Thursday, October 11, On the Chopping Block: A Roast of Anthony Bourdain, hosted by Mario Batali. While guests may be drawn to the sheer opportunity to watch Bourdain get his time to shine in the hot seat, they will also be rewarded with dishes from renowned chef, Michael White.

One of the festival’s more popular events, the Blue Moon Burger Bash hosted by Pat LaFrieda Meats and Rachael Ray, has a new home this year at Manhattan’s Basketball City (Pier 36) on Friday, October 12. Additional celebrity chefs making the rounds at events include Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Alton Brown, and Anne Burrell, among others.

While the event is great for consumers and food lovers alike, it’s a not-to-be-missed event for professionals and insiders. It showcases renowned chefs, winemakers, spirit makers and culinary talent, with an exclusive set of events to be held at the International Culinary Center in Soho, featuring master cooking classes, a celebrity chef dinner and tasting/cocktail events.

Hospitality industry PR powerhouse Bullfrog & Baum introduces an industry-only series called Trade Talks. Seats are available (through for those industry folks who want to hear what some colleagues/mentors, and professional crushes like Pat LaFrieda, David Rockwell, Melanie Dunea, Michael Chernow, Justin Warner, Eric Ripert, Amy Rossetti, and Michael Stillman have to say. Bullfrog and Baum founder, Jennifer Baum, will be moderating these panels that peel the curtain back on topics you rarely hear discussed anywhere other than over a post-shift beer. Baum comments, ““With these candid talks we hope to cover issues that might otherwise have been thought about but never openly discussed. We hope to open up dialogue that encourages potentially opposing opinions to be presented in a forum where every point of view is presented and respected. We created Trade Talks to bring together great minds within the hospitality industry and encourage them to share their insights and experiences with members of the hospitality trade. We choose our topics to be of current interest and timely but also to be additional thought-starters for ongoing conversations.”

The conversations may actually start the night before at this event that offers a peek into a revitalized space and celebrates the cocktail – Astor Hours Cocktails hosted by Andrew Carmellini & Friends. Carmellini says, “This year, we teamed up with Will Shine and our new partners at The Public to put together an event with the New York Food & Wine Festival, Astor Hours. We pulled our favorite things under one roof for this party: stiff drinks, a little cooking, live music and hopefully some crazy times.”

Shine echoes the sentiment and adds, “This is the ultimate cocktail party with a foundation of incredible local bar talent, a long pour of fine spirits, a pairing of delicious cuisine and topped with some amazing live music and DJ’s chosen to elevate and enhance the vibe in each of the three rooms.”

A good time with good food, drink and friends old and new isn’t all there is for ticket purchasers. Feeling good about what they’ve spent on tickets is a nice byproduct of attending. The money goes to a good cause as NYC W&FF is also a charitable endeavor with 100% of the festival’s proceeds going towards helping organizations fight hunger. This year’s beneficiaries, Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Program ( and the Food Bank for New York City ( will hopefully see even more than the $1.2 million raised on their behalf during last year’s festival.

To be a part of this you’ll want to explore the entire NYC Wine & Food Festival Program and purchase tickets. To do so please visit Follow the festival at or Lee Brian Schrager on Twitter at

FOR THE WIN…the first two people to tweet the correct answer to this question each wins a pair of tickets to Astor Hours Cocktails: What are the last names of at least three chefs mentioned in the story “You’re So Popular”? Tweet your answer to