The NYC Wine And Food Festival: The Only Place For Foodies This Weekend (10/16 and 10/17)!

If you must invest in one foodie event for the year, I strongly recommend going to at least one of the two days of the annual Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine And Food Festival Presented By Capital One on Saturday (10/16) and Sunday (10/17). No where else can you try such a diversity of cuisines and wines as the spaces used for this famous event are massive (they are former cruise line terminals). I will be going for my fifth time and cannot wait. Tickets might be pricey at $165.75-$195 but when you will see on the NYCWFF site that there is a 15 per cent discount being offered for Capital One Cardholders. (BTW, I just discovered there are discounted tickets for the last three hours of the Sunday Grand Tasting on Groupon at only $80.)

When you get to the Grand Tasting, you will know immediately that you are in for the time of your life! There are dozens of food and wine vendors on the main floor as well as demonstrations featuring renowned chefs and cookbook authors in a comfortable seated area at the front of Pier 76). Many of the celeb chefs and cookbook authors roam around the event before and after their presentations and are very approachable. I am a Marcus Samuelsson follower and he is at the Grand Tasting every year.

I want to mention some of the most notable features of this year’s Grand Tasting. Both days are identical in terms of vendors but the talent doing the aforementioned celebrity chef and author appearances are different (I suggest looking on the NYCFF site for the lineup). The following are all unforgettable opportunities at the 2021 Grand Tasting:
*Sampling wines and spirits from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits portfolio
*Tasting dishes from select NYC restaurants
*Access to join the live audience at Culinary *Demonstrations with various culinary personalities and celebrity chefs, including Food Network and Cooking Channel stars
*Ability to meet the chefs and obtain signed copies of their latest cookbooks
*Possibility of participating in interactive experiences from different foodie brands
*Option to purchase exclusive festival gear and merchandise from Flavour Gallery
*The aforementioned swag bag that is filled with giveaways from the participating food brands

The above reminds me that if you or a friend are a signed cookbook collector, the Grand Tasting is the ultimate place to get signed books as gifts. There is nowhere else on earth–not even the annual Book Show at the Javits Center–that has so many foodie world notables signing their books for purchase! A best kept secret is that in the batch of products at the cookbook tables are out of print signed books that are nearly impossible to find. This is not an advertised “feature” of the Grand Tasting but I have seen it with my own eyes in past years! I love the swag bag for all attendees that includes samples of hot new food items and brand name promotional merch–and let me add here that a commemorative wine glass is handed to you on a lariat on the way in for the wine tastings and you get to keep it. (Here is the direct link for both days of Grand Tasting tickets: https://nycwff.org/grandtastingsat/ and https://nycwff.org/grandtastingsun/.)

While going on the NYCWFF site to buy your Grand Tasting tickets, stop for a second and check out some of the other fan favorite events that are part of the festival. I highly recommend the following:
*Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray (Thursday, October 14)
*Fratelli Beretta’s Taste of Italy hosted by Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show (Friday, October 15)
*Goldbelly’s Best of New York presented by *Bucket Listers hosted by Joe Ariel and Rev Run (Saturday, October 16)
*Backyard BBQ presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and National Beef hosted by Andrew Zimmern (Sunday, October 17)

Let me add that every year this festival brings in big bucks for various charities that focus on stopping hunger. The Festival’s newest beneficiary, God’s Love We Deliver, is the New York City metropolitan area’s leading provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition counseling for individuals living with severe illness. Together with Food Bank For New York City, the Festival’s long-time beneficiary and the city’s largest hunger-relief organization, NYCWFF will now support New Yorkers in their greatest time of need by raising awareness and critical funds for those facing severe illness and food poverty. To date, the Festival has raised more than $13.8 million for its charitable causes with one hundred percent of net proceeds supporting its mission to EAT, DRINK AND FEED NYC. For general info including how to purchase tickets for any of the events and demonstrations, go to www.NYCWFF.org.

(All photos courtesy of NYCWFF.)

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