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It’s All About the Chefs at the New York City Wine and Food Festival

Posted on: October 19th, 2017 by Shoshana Leon 1 Comment

I have attended many culinary events across Arizona, from wine festivals in Flagstaff and Prescott to Arizona Cooks at the Westin Kierland and the inaugural Nirvana at the breathtaking Sanctuary Resort in Paradise Valley. I try to find something unique about each event, from trying new foods to learning more about Arizona’s burgeoning wine industry, but part of me feels like I’ve seen it all.

In October my mom and I made a pilgrimage to the New York City Wine and Food Festival, a trip several months in the making. The festival, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, is sponsored by Food Network and the Cooking Channel with proceeds going to No Kid Hungry and the Food Bank for New York City. The festival has raised more than $10.5 million to combat hunger, and there are constant reminders that the event supports a worthy cause which made me feel good as I stalked my favorite Food Network personalities and sampled wine, beer, tequila, vodka and more…and of course there was food too.

More than 80 events around New York City are part of the four-day festival from hands-on cooking classes and competitions to private dinners with renowned chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. My mom and I attended a few events, including the rooftop Iron Chef Showdown where we sampled food showcasing the flavors of autumn from more than 30 chefs, including broccoli tacos, celery root soup, butternut squash pasta and carrot turnovers. My mom is a huge Broadway fan so we attended the Broadway brunch where we enjoyed food, drink and live performances from several Broadway shows.


The main event at the festival is the Grand Tasting which takes place on Saturday and Sunday in a giant hall with hundreds of exhibitors showcasing food samples, countless types of alcohol, cooking equipment and more. There are book signings and live demos with Food Network and Cooking Channel’s most popular personalities, including Michael Symon, Marcus Samuelsson, Masaharu Morimoto, Scott Conant who owns Mora Italian in Phoenix, and so many more. Seeing my favorite chefs cook live, interact with the audience and answer questions from their fans was a huge thrill for me. The highlight of the festival was meeting some of my favorite Food Network chefs including Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell and Geoffrey Zakarian.

Now that I’ve been to the New York City Wine and Food Festival, I feel like I’ve really seen it all when it comes to food and wine festivals, and I can’t wait to go back for more. My mom and I already planning our trip to next year’s festival. In the meantime I will continue to explore all of the great food and wine that Arizona has to offer.

About the Author - Shoshana Leon

Shoshana Leon is a graduate of the University of Arizona and has lived in Phoenix for more than a decade. She has worked in corporate communications for more than 15 years. Her passions are food, wine and happy hour across the state or wherever she travels for work or fun. You can follow her on twitter @shoshana823.

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One Response

  1. Grant says:

    Wow, very cool! We have lots in common. Great article.

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