Monday, October 12
As I typically do at both the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and its sister version in New York, I make my way to the big event--the Grand Tasting--first thing.
Although not quite as warm as last year, the weather this weekend still ending up being beautiful down on Pier 54 in the Chelsea area of New York City, where the Grand Tasting tents were set up.
I had heard that The Chairman/Dancing with the Stars contestant Mark Dacascos was hanging out at the Next Iron Chef booth, located in the very back of the tent, on Saturday... but before I could even get close I ran right into The Next Food Network Star winner Melissa d'Arabian!
I had chatted with Melissa once on the phone briefly after she won, but this was my first time meeting her in-person. It's always crazy for me to hear that people on Food Network read this blog (Melissa said she's been reading since before she even applied for the show), and Melissa had nothing but nice things to say. She's looking forward to season 2 of her show Ten Dollar Dinners, set to premiere in January, and seemed to be having fun at her first big food festival.
The food and drink was plentiful and intoxicatingly good at times--the short ribs with bone marrow (above) being one of the biggest draws.
Sunny Anderson was at the Viva towels booth giving out samples of her ribs (which were messy and yummy) on Sunday. Always so great to see her.
By the time I made it to the very back of the tent, Mark Dacascos was already gone (I'd run into him later), so I just took one more trip back through the tents and took a little digestion-time break in one of the chairs set up at the front of the Grand Testing tents. Such a lovely, sunny weekend in October.
If you get a chance to come next year (maybe NYC is closer or South Beach isn't your thing), definitely try to make it to at least one #NYCWFF event.
Now, off to the treadmill for me. Calories eaten out of state don't count, do they?