Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Year in Review: NYC Wine & Food Festival

Here's my New Year's Resolution:  I'm going to stay up do date with my blog posts.  I think I'm pretty good about posting semi-regularly, but I seem to have a hard time doing write-ups of major events like vacations and festivals.  Maybe I just have too much to say?  Maybe it's the large volume of photos?  Either way, I'm going to try to be more timely in 2012.  With that said...

A few weeks ago I migrated from my (inexpensive) Dell PC laptop to a new MacBook Pro.  At first I was so frustrated with the differences between a PC and a Mac (despite the fact that I've had an iPhone for over 6 months) that I was ready to throw the new computer out the window.  Then I took my time and actually started to learn my new computer (with the help of some nice people at my local Apple store) and I'm really happy with my purchase.  One of the biggest things I've learned so far is how to use iPhoto to organize and edit my pictures.  It's a revelation.  And with that revelation I've realized that I somehow forgot about lots of my culinary adventures in 2011 and I still have some photos (and video) to share!

I know it may seem irrelevant to post photos from food escapades from the summer and fall in the dead of winter, but I'm just going to call it a year-in-review and go for it.  And I'm starting with the New York City Wine and Food Festival back in October 2011.

If you've been reading for a while you may remember that I attended the NYCWFF for the first time in 2010.  Both of my trips were sponsored by ShopRite as a perk of writing for their blog, Potluck.  (You can read some of my Potluck posts here.)

This year we stayed in the uber-cool, uber-contemporary Dream Downtown Hotel in Manhattan.  It was just a hop, skip and a jump from the festival.  The rooms were small in size, but big on style.

The bathroom was unlike anything I'd ever seen.  All glass walls (frosted), speakers that play ambient music when you close the (glass) door, and stainless steel everything...

Yes, my friends... that photo above is the toilet.  It looked like an airplane toilet to us.  We got a lot of laughs out of that one.

The lobby was also amazing.  From the main lobby you can look up and see guests swimming in the glass-bottom pool on the next level.  In October.  In New York.  Good thing it was warm on October 1st!  (The glass circles in the photo below are "windows" to the pool above.)

So yeah, we were feeling all Kardashian-esque in this cool NYC hotel.  But that's not even the main part of our trip.  I attended two events:  The Grand Tasting and Bobby Flay's Burger Bash (in nearby Brooklyn).  Both events were great!

At the Grand Tasting we had the opportunity to sample food and drink from what seemed like hundreds of vendors and I spent some time promoting the Potluck blog with ShopRite...

Tomato soup shooters with grilled cheese... cute!

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After spending an incredible afternoon eating way too much food and sampling way too much alcohol, we took a short break and then headed out to the Blue Moon Burger Bash in Brooklyn.  It was a beef-filled, star-studded extravaganza.  It was a warm October night and the rain held off until the end of the event.  I'm not a big beef-eater, but I had my favorite burger taster with me!

The competitors prepared their burgers fresh on-site for us to taste and vote.

Way too much beef and Blue Moon for one night.  If you like beer and burgers, you'd love this!

And as I learned in 2010, no NYC Wine and Food Festival event is complete without a sprinkling of food celebrities!

Jeff Mauro, recent winner of Food Network Star.  Have you seen the promo commercial where he's at the Burger Bash? 

Bobby Flay and Sunny Andersen!  O-M-to the Gee!

Anne Burrell

Adam Richman from Man vs. Food

And the views were beautiful that evening... You can see the smoke from the grills in the air.  The smell was intoxicating (in a good way)!

Brooklyn Bridge
 Here's my favorite photo from the entire weekend.  Bing set up a photo booth at the festival as a promotion, so I took the opportunity to take silly photos with my food blogging friends and of course, my husband, who is always down for a culinary adventure!

October 2011
A much belated thank you to ShopRite who sponsored our trip (and the festival!).  I am one of the writers for their blog, Potluck, so please check me out sometime.  

Happy New Year!  Stay tuned for a few more travel posts and some new recipes!


  1. How could you forget to share these?! Just kidding!! I have pictures and posts from last year that I'm still trying to catch up on! This looks like quite the event! I was actually in the area during the Food & Wine Festival doing a photo shoot. I kept curiously peaking over and wishing I was enjoying some of the delicious food too :) Oh well. I'll just live vicariously through you!

    Enjoy the Macbook! I love mine, but now I'm eyeing the iMac desktop for our new "office" space in the house :)

  2. OM TO THE G, I cannot believe you are just posting these pictures either. I freakin' love Adam Richman, and Anne Burrell, she rocks! I am super jealous, I need me some corporate sponsorship I want in on this food festival! Welcome to the world of Mac. Granted I never did go to my apple store to learn how to optimize my macbook (non pro). I wonder if it's too late?? I think I'll give my local apple store a call tomorrow. yes!

  3. Love the pics! Seems like a great event. LOL @ the hotel toilet. I love Jeff M and was happy that he won the Next FNS. I'm looking forward to his sandwich show.

  4. OM TO THE GEE indeed! I can't believe you rubbed shoulders with Bobby Flay and Anne Burrell, they're two of my favorite Food Network stars. I'm extremely envious right now. But, I'm glad you had fun, it looks like an awesome event. Last but not the least, I know what you mean about wanting to throw the mac out the window. I had the same feelings when I moved from my Dell to a Mac too. But, I'm over it now :)


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