Kristen's New York City Wine and Food Experience
Last year, I attended the New York Wine & Food Festival as a media guest, soaking up everything the events had to offer – from the walk-around smorgaboard of the Grand Tasting, to the hip-hip nightclub-influenced party Street Eats with Ghetto Gastro, I absorbed all the energy both by those putting the events on and those enjoying them. This year was a bit different, as I was seeing the festival from another perspective as a worker. From Friday to Sunday, I hung out in the official Hospitality Lounge, located in the Hudson Hotel, working for the New York based food delivery company, Epicured. Epicured makes gluten-free, healthy, low-FODMAP foods aimed at helping those with GI issues live easier and more tasty lives. Throughout the weekend, I was able to chat with the NYCWFF employees about their PR and marketing initiatives as they nibbled Epicured snacks and talked strategy for pulling off the day’s big events. I listened as media people discussed the events they were attending with each other and what they were really enjoying about the festival. Most of all, I was able to serve some delicious food with integrity to these people, ensuring they at least had a solid breakfast (and some cayenne or turmeric vitality shots) before embarking on their long days. It was certainly rewarding to feel like I had a hand, however small, in helping NYCWFF 2018 run smoothly.
Luckily, my weekend wasn’t all work – I meandered around the city in my free time, trying to check off as many restaurants on my list as possible. Notable mentions are Ladybird (the buffalo maitake buns were incredible) and Ivan Ramen (best ramen I’ve ever had), but all of the food I tried was delicious and inspirational. In addition, I was able to attend one NYCWFF event as a guest – All About Cake: A Late-Night Dessert Soiree with Christina Tosi of Milk Bar. Of course, eating many delicious desserts was a sweet experience all in itself, but my favorite part was getting to meet Tosi, whom I look up to as an amateur baker, and telling her how inspirational she is to me. In a close second was trying her Popcorn Cake, which was corn cake layered with salted caramel, popcorn crumbs, popcorn pudding, and corn fudge. It’s a stroke of genius and I can’t wait to eat it again.
Much like any other food festival, NYCWFF is a magical time because there is inspiration and invigoration everywhere you look - from the amazing food and drink to sample to the driven and skilled chefs and creators to meet. However, this specific festival has a leg up on others because it’s located in the inimitable New York City, boasting beautiful, crisp October weather and limitless lights and sky-scraping buildings all around. It’s always a creative wonderland and an immense pleasure to attend, whether it’s for work or play.