NYCWFF: Tasty Adventures – Kids Welcome!
Back home from New York City, rested up and ready for action (sort of). I’ve been trying to re-count my trip, but it was so jam-packed I don’t even know where to begin! So I’ll start from the beginning.
My flight left late Thursday night from here in California. I booked a redeye thinking I would have plenty of time after I landed to make it to Friday’s events with no problems. I was wrong about that! Just a little travelers tip from me to you, if you’ve never been to New York City, it really does take an hour and a half to go 12 miles my car. So let that be a lesson to me, next time leave a day early!
Either way my flight was fine, and even though I didn’t sleep a wink I was too excited to care when I finally arrived at the Double Tree on Lexington Ave to meet Jasmine of Simply Real Moms. She lives close to me, and we’ve been friends for some time now, so it’s funny that we unwittingly both got scheduled for nearly all the same events at the Food Network New York City Wine And Food Festival!
I was really happy about that though, since that meant I didn’t have to travel alone in NYC. We made it to our first event, the Welcome Brunch at the Dream Downtown, on the rooftop! Talk about a luxurious brunch. We met some amazing people there, including a new friend Ben Hewitt of Corkcicle (more on that later!). Brunch was great and we enjoyed the view of New York City from the rooftop. My first time in NYC and it was my first chance to take a minute to actually look at my surroundings.
After the brunch I was feeling incredibly tired, thanks to my brilliant plan for an overnight flight and my mistaken belief that I would have enough time to nap before events. So, we found our way back to the hotel where I chose to rest rather than attend my next event. Probably a wise move because I couldn’t have kept my eyes open for another minute. After sleeping what was probably too long, I felt refreshed and a bunch of us headed over to eat some delicious dinner. First night in NYC success. And I knew the best was yet to come Saturday.
And I was right, Saturday was every bit as amazing as I hoped it would be. We started out refreshed and ready for yet another jam-packed day, headed straight for Fun and Fit in the City. This was an absolutely amazing event. If you had considered attending any of the events at the NYCWFF, but passed because you thought you couldn’t bring kids, don’t make that mistake next year. Go! Fun and Fit in the City is a family friendly event, and it was a lot of fun. Food Network celebrity chefs were there to host and sign books, including Guy Fieri, Andrew Zimmern and Rachael Ray among many others. Andrew cooked up a dish that smelled so delicious and his chats with the kids at the event were adorable. I’ll be sharing his event recipe later, so stay tuned for that. It’s an easy week night meal that even the youngest kids in the audience gobbled up! Guy Fieri was also cooking up a storm in the demo kitchen, with a showdown against Rachael Ray. This a was a fun demo that featured hand selected kids as judges straight from the audience. There were also food sampling and books for sale at this event, along with fun activity courses to emphasis the getting fit part. All in all I really think this was my favorite event. I uses it’s just the mom in me, it was really inspiring to see the celebrity chefs take the time to connect with the children and try to teach them about better eating. I feel like Food Network is working hard to champion for better school lunches for these kids. Did you know that for some kids across the country, school lunch might be the only meal they get that day? This was an important event. We need to raise more awareness and pressure those in charge to get our kids better nutrition in schools.
After that we were off to the Grand Tasting. It was booth after booth of amazing treats, tastes, beverages, and more. I couldn’t even begin to tell you all the things we tasted while we were there (there were hundreds of food booths), but there was nothing bad in the lot. We took home some fun souvenirs and ran into our friend Ben Hewitt again at the Grand Tasting. It was wall to wall people with no room to turn around, but we made it through in one piece (sort of), tired and ready for rest.
And that’s exactly what we did until it was time to hit up Tacos and Tequila, or most anticipated event with Bobby Flay. This tasting featured Avion Tequila and Tacos from dozens of local restaurants. I think I managed to try nearly all of them, and every one was delicious. I’m trying to track down some of the recipes for the tacos so I can share them with you all. You’ll love throwing together your own taco tasting! And of course, the highlight of my night, meeting Bobby Flay!
We trucked back downstairs to the basement of 82 Mercer to check out the sweet table, and found an assortment of cake pops. The best was the s’more pops. Though none of them were bad!
That was the last event of the night for us, so it was off to rest and start early Sunday at the Sandwich Showdown with Jeff Mauro. Another great tasting featuring more local restaurants, all hosted by Whole Foods Market and Jeff Mauro. Beef brisket sandwiches, pulled pork, clubs and pretty much any type of sandwich you can think of. Amazing. Unfortunately, I had to cut that event short so I could head back to the airport for my return flight. There’s that pesky planning thing again. I thought I was close enough to the airport that it wouldn’t take long to get there, yet I was almost late for my shuttle!
All in all, the New York City Wine and Food Festival was absolutely perfect. I’m glad I could do my part to Eat. Drink. End Hunger. SOBEWFF anyone? Maybe I’ll see you there!
***Don’t forget to come back for recipes from the event, more wine, and whatever fun kitchen products I can find in the bottom of my Food Network bag!***