Every October, the New York City Wine and Food Festival (NYCWFF) descends upon the city, drawing in hundreds of people to each of their many events. [You can read about the events BELLA was most looking forward to this year here.] The purpose of this food and drink extravaganza is to raise funds for the Food Bank For New York City and No Kid Hungry — all of the proceeds from tickets purchased go to charity, making it well worth the sometimes hefty prices. Top names in the food industry come out to support the cause, including Daniel Boulud, Action Bronson, Giada de Laurentiis, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, just to name a few. From intimate dinners with famous chefs to grand tasting events with top restaurants and food products, there’s always plenty to see and taste over the weekend. Since its inception, the NYCWFF has raised over $12 million for its cause.
BELLA attended two of the most talked about events at this year’s iteration of the binge-worthy event. Since the festival’s inception, Blue Moon Burger Bash, presented by Pat LaFrieda, has been an event staple and this year brought with it an expert panel of judges: Anne Burrell (Worst Cooks in America), Willie Colon (former NFL player & co-host on Barstool Breakfast), Amy Freeze (meteorologist), and Mike Puma (Gotham Burger Social Club) [read more on page 100 of our 2019 Influencer Issue]. Hosted by Rachael Ray, the event welcomed countless restaurants all competing to win the coveted best burger title at the event. Attendees sampled extravagant renditions of the classic grilling staple, including burgers from Shake Shack, Le Rivage, The Stone House at Clove Lakes and many more. The judges announced San Matteo Cucina as the winner this year, while the fan favorite of the night went to Pig Beach.
Next on the agenda was one of BELLA’s all time favorite events, Titans of BBQ, hosted by National Beef and Pat LaFrieda Meats. The evening party was hosted by Pat LaFrieda, Dario Cecchini and Michael Symon, with restaurants all over the country smoking up tasty brisket, sirloins and more. It was the stuff of a carnivore’s dreams, along with strong drinks by Knob Creek, Tito’s Vodka, Blue Moon, and Peroni, to name a few. While everything throughout the evening was outstanding, our favorite bites of the night came from Kimchi Smoke and Truth BBQ (a road trip may be in order).
While there were a plethora of events spanning from Thursday to Sunday, including cake making, cocktail tasting and even food & fitness classes, it was the meat that took center stage this year.
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