The last two days of every New York City Wine & Food Festival features 130,000 square feet of good taste called The ShopRite Grand Tasting and is worth the $185 per ticket because it allows guests to:
1)Taste delicious bites from the best restaurants in NYC and beyond
2) Sample the best of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits’ portfolio
3) Learn new recipes and techniques from your favorite Food Network and Cooking Channel stars on our Samsung Culinary Demonstrations presented by Mastercard stage
4) Attend book signings with award-winning cookbook authors
5) Purchase great festival gear and merchandise from Flavour Gallery
All net proceeds go to NO KID HUNGRY and FOOD BANK FOR NEW YORK CITY so it is a win-win proposition. This year the gift bags were filled with delicious goodies including Swanson soup mixes, Skor chocolate bars, Kind bars, Coke products and more. Along the way, as guests visit each participating wine and spirit vendor, they sample drinks and food, and get great handouts.
The ShopRite booth is always the biggest and always in the center of the 130,000 square foot Pier 84. Guests get to mix and mingle with Cooking Channel and Food Network stars and I was thrilled to be able to hang out in the Food Network and American Airlines Flagship First Class Lounge where great hors d’oeuvres were served. The AA Flagship First Class Lounge burgers topped with all sorts of exotic greens and artisanal cheddar cheese might just have been my favorite “bite” in the entire room!
My favorite “fun” moment at the event was the giant plastic sandwich that guests got to do selfies on at the DiLusso Italian charcuterie booth! A lot of Valerie Bertinelli fans were thrilled to meet her at the Sunday ShopRite event and get their cookbooks signed! Fans of Jagermeister and Four Roses got to taste these vintage brands’ new and classic products plus get stories from descendents of the pioneers who created them!
To learn more about the New York City Wine & Food Festival (which features tons of great classes and events including two different burger bashes hosted by Rachael Ray and LaFrieda Meat) and the two days of the ShopRite Grand Tasting, go to www.nycff.org/. Remember that they are always looking for volunteers, and not only is volunteering a “good deed,” but it will get you into a lot of the exclusive NYCWFF events free.