New York is full of gastrokids who love sushi and Murray’s Cheese, so the first-ever Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival is serving up a long menu of family-friendly events. Founder-director Lee Brian Schrager started letting kids attend the network’s South Beach Festival when he received letters from parents saying “I know it says NO UNDER 21, but my child is going to kill me if I don’t get a ticket.” Plus the station knew its mini audience members were on the rise. Schrager says, “I have nieces and nephews who are addicts of the network and love to cook and grill. Alton is like their chemistry professor. So we decided it was important and that the emphasis should be on healthy eating because of diabetes and obesity.” Kid-friendly events will happen at Chelsea Market and in the meatpacking district. A sampling of the free events: baking at Amy’s Bread; learning about the life of a lobster at the Lobster Place; decorating cookies at Eleni’s; story time with author Ariane Smith and chef Michael Wilson; a Mexican spice primer with chef Sue Torres at Los Dados; a mini-chef class at Paradou restaurant; a honey and jam tasting with “bee man” David Graves from Berkshire Berries; painting with artist Romero Britto; a kitchen playdate with Lauren Deen; heirloom plant planting with reps from Silver Heights Farm in upstate New York. Or, drop $35 to witness a fascinatingly mismatched panel. Slow-food goddess Alice Waters, vegetable hider Jessica Seinfeld, and Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman Rachael Ray will discuss “Beyond Chicken Nuggets: How to Raise a Healthy Eater.” Even Schrager is dazzled by those boldface names, saying, “That’s some group of women!”
10/9–10/12. Times, locations, and prices vary. Go to nycwineandfoodfestival.com.