New York is one of the premier travel destinations for gourmands around the world, and with good reason—with nearly 25,000 restaurants serving meals around the clock, there’s something to please even the pickiest palate.
And for those of us who like doing a little good while we chow down, there’s only one event that fits the bill:The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival.
What began in 2007 as a one-night food fest dubbed “SWEET,” soon transformed into the multi-part event it is today. In its current incarnation, the festival, which takes place in locations across the city from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, is presented by Food & Wine magazine as a celebration of the glory of food and drink in its many forms. From morning blogger meet-ups to tacos and tequila with Bobby Flay at night, the festival combines print, TV, and social media for a unique event that will have even the epicurially obtuse tweeting with delight.
There are more than enough events designed to please your palate. A handful include: Gilt City’s Fried, which celebrates the South at Hill Country BBQ with a fried chicken tasting hosted by Paula Deen progeny the Deen Bros., as well as master griller Elizabeth Karmel; The Best Thing I Ever Ate Between Bread, a sandwich showdown hosted by Duff Goldman in which over 15 of New York’s must-try, mouthwatering creations between bread are on the menu; and a game of “21 Questions” with Eric Ripert at The Standard Hotel, where the award-winning chef will take and answer questions as small bites are served.
Workshops and presentations span from Midtown to Dumbo, including a pop-up Iron Chef demonstration in the Meatpacking district, cooking lessons at Whole Foods’ Chelsea location, and a birthday party for some bubbly at the Perrier-Jouët 200th anniversary party. Not to mention, Martha Stewart, Giada De Laurentiis, Rocco DiSpirito, Jacques Pépin, Emeril Lagasse, and Whoopi Goldberg are just a few of the 100+ famous faces participating in the events.
While such an event could quickly become little more than a celebration of gluttony, the festival has a philanthropic edge. All of the event’s net proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank For New York City, which helps feed the city’s hungry, and Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit that seeks to end hunger across the U.S.
Gilt City Lifestyle Adviser, Lee Brian Schrager, who serves as founder and director of the festival, says that the event is special because, “It brings together a variety of unique wine and culinary experiences in one weekend, highlighting the best of the New York dining scene. It takes place in one of the greatest dining destinations in the world and helps raise funds to fight hunger with Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength—and that makes it a truly special experience.”