Last month we once again were invited to attend the New York City Wine and Food Festival courtesy of the ShopRite Potluck Blog. We were so excited to be going again and had looked forward to it since last years event. John also loves the NYCWFF weekend so we decided to bring Owen into the city to join us. All 3 of us attended the Jets + Chefs: The Ultimate Tailgate event on the Pier on Saturday which is the only event that welcomes children before mom and I started our ShopRite events. We had so much fun walking around and tasting all the different chili, short ribs, sliders and sausages we could handle. My favorite thing of the day was Chef Marc Forgione's Grilled Shrimp with Wasabi Cocktail sauce, Owen's was the Jets colored cake pops and I think John's was probably the Korean Kimchi Hot Dog!!
This year the night before we went to The Grand Tasting, ShopRite hosted us at The Paint Place to unwind and socialize with the other Potluck Bloggers and ShopRite Potluck employees. Neither my mom or I had ever been to a Paint & Sip event or really been very creative or artistic but I think both of our apples came out fantastic and we were very proud of them!! Afterwards we felt so relaxed we were ready to have a great weekend and enjoy as much delicious food at The Grand Tasting as humanly possible!!
As one of the main sponsors of the entire NCYWFF it's only fitting that ShopRite had the largest booth and was giving out the most food in the whole Grand Tasting. They had tall shot glasses of tomato soup with tiny grilled cheese sandwiches on top, Nutella french toast, a fall inspired yogurt parfait with pumpkin, pecan, brown sugar and craisins but of my favorite offering of all was their Mac' n Cheese Bar. You could top a cup of their creamy elbow mac n' cheese with buttery poached lobster, wild mushroom ragout, or black bear hot dogs with apple-wood smoked bacon and onion frizzles. I of course picked the lobster and it didn't disappoint at all.
These three offerings just show you how diverse the food is at the Grand Tasting. All different cultures, flavors and styles coming together in one big room for everyone to enjoy. You could be at a booth that has tequila from mexico made from 100% agave then right next to it could be Kobe Beef Steaks with Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce and across the way a freshly baked gluten free chocolate chip cookie. From left to right these three foods are: Iberico Pork Tostada with grilled guacamole, pineapple slaw and pickled chilis from Taco Bamba by Chef Victor Albiou in Virginia, Falafel & Tahini from Pitopia by chef Haim Abutbul here in NYC which is a Kosher Greek Restaurant and Mini Lobster Rolls with Light Japanese Mayo on a Buttered Potato Brioche Roll from Burger & Lobster by Chef Danny Lee also located in NYC.
When we had our fill of lunchtime savory dishes we couldn't pass up an opportunity for some dessert. Hands down this was one of my favorite things of the entire day, I should've gone back and gotten a 2nd one to be honest but I restrained myself. These creamy confections are Coconut Rum Flans with candied pineapple and Toasted Coconut Whipped Cream from chef Felix Castro who opened a new bakery called Delicias Urbanas in Brooklyn which features all different kinds of Latin American pastries.
These beautifully displayed desserts are Macaroons and Artistry Chocolates from Norman Love Confections which is based out of Florida. I love how soft and delicate macaroons are, they come in so many colors and flavors it's wonderful. I would love to try to make them at home but I've heard the horror stories of people who've tried so I concede that this is one cookie I will buy from the professionals instead. We sampled the Pistachio, Raspberry and Pumpkin macaroons which were all melt in your mouth delicious.
Chef Michael Symon is one of my favorite Food Network personalities. I remember watching him win his season of The Next Iron Chef years ago and now not only does he have a BBQ show on the Food Network but he hosts The Chew on ABC every afternoon. He's so funny and down to earth I loved watching him demo his Brick Chicken with Drunken Onions and Cleveland BBQ Sauce. It looked and smelled delicious too bad we couldn't try any of it in the audience.
Chef Eric LeVine who is a Chopped Champion from the Food Network show Chopped offered two types of his famous Ravioli Revolution products that can be shipped frozen around the country. I tried the lobster ravioli with the spicy shrimp cream sauce but he also offered a porcini mushroom ravioli with a mushroom ragu for those that are vegetarian.
We hope you enjoyed hearing about our weekend in the city and it makes you want to take part in at least one event of the NYCWFF next year!! It's such an awesome thing to take part of especially since 100% the proceeds go to help feed hungry people!!