New York City Food and Wine
In our whites to volunteer at the NYC Food and Wine Festival
Since I moved to New York last month I’ve been eager to get to the city. Most chefs at our school claim it is the only place to be if you are serious about food. They encourage us to work and eat there as often as we can. About two weeks ago I signed up online to volunteer at the New York Food and Wine Festival with the hopes of doing a little more than just picking herbs. Regardless, even if I was only allowed to pick parsley I still probably would have volunteered!
Before we got to the Food and Wine festival I wanted to make a stop at Forager’s City Table. I am interested in possibly externing at a specialty food and catering company so I knew this had to be a destination on my next trip into the city. The Forager’s City Table location in Chelsea ended up being the perfect spot to grab breakfast before our shift volunteering.
Breakfast at Forager’s City Table
The train ride into the city is about an hour and a half from the CIA.
Forager’s City Grocer in Chelsea
I was interested in going to this place because they specialize in farm to table. It is owned and operated by CIA alumni.
The majority of their products comes from their own farm in upstate NY.
We were there early in the morning so only part of the store was open, but they have a beautiful restaurant, wine shop, and deli counter.
I don’t usually go for breakfast pastries, but I needed a little coffee and sugar after waking up at 4 am! Not to mention they have a flawless looking counter of beautiful pastries.
I told one of the head chefs at Forager’s City Table that I was interested in specialty foods and she gave me some of their menus to take back with me and a tour behind the store and restaurant.
Strong coffee and a cranberry orange muffin
After breakfast it was time to head to Chelsea pier to the Grand Tasting Event. The Food and Wine Festival was surprisingly short on volunteers this year, so they were grateful for the help. They especially put the culinary student volunteers to work! I was stationed at the Colavita Olive Oil booth making savory polenta waffles with an olive tapenade for thousands of ravenous guests. It was a good learning experience and a unique way to experience the Food and Wine Festival as a student. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in experiencing the Food and Wine Festival without paying the hefty ticket prices!
Here are some pictures from the day. I did not bring my camera for risk of losing it at the event so all the pictures were taken on my phone – it was killing me to not have my camera! There were so many things I was dying to take pictures of throughout the day but I was either too far away or had olive oil drenched hands from working!
The Food and Wine Grand Tasting was held at Chelsea Pier.
Calm before the storm – when we first arrived it seemed like a huge empty space but only one, short hour later thousands of people began to pour through the doors.
There were lots of give aways for the guests. At the end of the event some of the companies were eager to give leftover food and products to the culinary student volunteers. I received some food magazines, giant Toblerone chocolates, a T-shirt, bagged gourmet snack products and a Robert Irvine food container.
It was very easy to get lost at this event – there were countless booths of food and drink purveyors.
Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke restaurant had a station. Along with food product companies there were also many restauranteurs with booths. Some small independent restaurants like Bread Alone right here near the CIA and some international restaurant chains like Chipotle.
So many kitchen products!
Although we were not allowed to sample the food or drinks as volunteers (another reason for the lack of photos!), many of the chefs were excited to see culinary kids so they snuck us a few samples of their food to try. This was an interesting dish that I was able to sample and snag a quick picture of. It was a savory dessert. A butternut squash veloute with a root bear cream and espresso marshmallow. Seasonal and inventive – i’ve never tasted anything like it!
Lots of demos happening throughout the day. I was able to catch a few of them later on in the day when my shift ended. This is Nate Appleman who is a CIA graduate, restauranteur and Next Iron Chef competitor.
Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine and Chuck Hughes
Most recent Iron Chef, Alex Guarnaschelli
Truer words have never been spoken! After a long day I was hungry and ready for a good dinner! I met up with my cousin at Eataly for a yummy Italian fix.
Dinner with my cousin before catching the last train back to school.
We couldn’t have picked a busier time for dinner on a Saturday in New York….however, it was delicious and well worth the wait!
I got penne rigate with lots of delicious San Marzano tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and basil.
Cafe espresso gelato…I still somehow fell asleep on the train ride back to school!
Saturday was a food-filled exciting day and I am looking forward to the next time I can get into the city!