Not everyone is behind the New York version of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, occurring October 9–12 (you’ll recall local restaurateurs had mixed reactions), but Eater brings news of events that may get more people behind it.
New York Wine and Food Festival founder and directing intelligence Lee Schrager writes us, outling his developing vision for the festival. Why paraphrase? What follows are Schrager's words, whispered into the collective ear of his mailing list: “Imagine if you can…walking around an event on a beautiful Friday night in the fall that is held in the historic and scenic Meatpacking District, that features wonderful sponsor buildouts throughout the area, special promotions going on in the many great clubs and restaurants in the area featuring guest chefs and winemakers, and wine and food samplings in the numerous upscale boutiques. Got the picture?” Schrager, having no doubt experienced blowback from telling the Times that he was planning on closing down Ninth Avenue, also asks us to pass along this very unequivocal fact: “We are not closing off any streets.”
Related: Meyer, McNally, Nieporent Respond to New NYC Food Festival
The Times may have jumped the gun in pronouncing the New York Wine & Food Festival a done deal in the meatpacking district. Caryl Chinn, of event organizer Karlitz & Co., tells us that, Lee Schraeger’s statement in the Times notwithstanding, the festival has not gotten permission to close down Ninth Avenue, nor has it tried to: “It never was our intention to close down Ninth Avenue.” There’s still a good chance that the event will take place in the meatpacking district, but ideally along four contiguous blocks, much like at South Beach. “We’re also looking at different parks,” says Chinn. So there is a festival, and it is on Columbus Day weekend. But where should it be? Make your suggestions in the comments.
Calling All Rock Stars in Aprons [NYT]
Related: Meyer, McNally, Nieporent Respond to New NYC Food FestivalAll South Beach Wine & Food Festival coverage
The Times reported last week that New York will get its own Lee Schrager food festival this fall (as we predicted last year), but does the city’s food community really want one? We rang up a few people who we’d expect to be involved with such an event and got a mixed reaction.
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival was such a big hit that a New York spinoff was probably inevitable — and it will be thus! The local incarnation will begin with Sweet on November 16. And what's Sweet, you may ask? Oh, just a "late-night dessert party" for 1,500 guests on the waterfront, featuring all the city’s top pastry chefs: Grub Street buddy Johnny Zs of Jean Georges, Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernardin, Karen DeMasco of Craft, and Nicole Kaplan of Del Posto. More pastry gods and goddesses will be added to the list in coming months.
But there's more, as Sweet is just a warm-up for the New York City Wine & Food Festival (their site just went live). It’ll be held next fall, and we’re predicting that it will be huge, even more of a hedonistic binge and bacchanal than the Miami original. In the meantime, Sweet should be a pretty good dry run.
New York City Wine and Food Festival [Official Site]
“I have a personal interest in this dish,” he says, “and I wouldn’t let it go.” That’s Picholine chef Terrance Brennan on his sea-urchin panna cotta, one of only two items from the restaurant’s previous incarnation that he continues to serve today. The dish, which the chef describes as “all about the taste of the ocean, and nothing else” is the first course of an $80 three-course prix fixe menu, and one of his signatures. As always, simply scroll over the arrows on the large image to see quotes from the chef.
During the year and a half Simon Hammerstein spent converting a former abattoir (and later, sign factory) into his dinner theater the Box, he hauled in an imposing set of doors from an insane asylum using his pimpmobile. We suspected the restroom décor would be similarly eccentric, and sure enough, the door to the wheelchair-accessible ground-floor WC comes from an old public schoolhouse. Then again, we’ve seen that before. The real action lay on the other side of the portals found down a narrow staircase, and at the end of the same sconce-lit hallway that leads to dressing rooms intended for circus freaks, S&M performers, and acrobats whenever the place finally opens, that is.
Fugu, or the flesh of the blowfish, can be deadly if prepared the wrong way, as anyone who has seen the Simpsons episode where Homer is given 24 hours to live after having it served to him by an inexperienced chef can attest. (Actually, he’s given 22 — says Dr. Hibbert: “I’m sorry I kept you waiting so long.”)
Lyn Devon designed for Ralph Lauren and Zac Posen before starting her own house out of the basement of her Broome Street apartment in 2005, dressing Sarah Jessica Parker and Julia Stiles. Normally she’d be dining out with friends (her fridge holds little more than hummus, ice cream, and beer), but during Fashion Week, twelve-hour workdays rule out anything beyond the occasional late-night decompression session at the local dive bar. Besides “constant coffee and water,” we wondered what else fueled her as she prepared for her show yesterday morning.
• Museum of Television and Radio gala. Waldorf-Astoria, 301 Park Ave., nr. 49th St., 6 p.m. Hosted by Tom Brokaw in honor of Sir Howard Stringer; guests include Helen Gurley Brown, Dominick Dunne, Angela Lansbury, Morley Safer, and Andy Rooney. Wow. That's a lot of people who are really, really … uh … experienced in the breadth and totality of television and radio history.
• "Lovestruck" party presented by Lincoln Center Chamber Music patrons' society. Marlborough Gallery, 40 W. 57th St., nr. Fifth Ave., 7 p.m. Hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow, this event is allegedly a celebration of sensuality and indulgence. We're not saying it isn't, but all the people who got their pictures taken at the event last year must be really good at keeping a poker face on their sensual indulgence.
Or check out our Agenda listings for tonight, selected by New York's culture editors.