Cooking Channel’s Uncorked at the New York City Wine & Food Festival

A night of mingling and cocktails with some of the Cooking Channel’s favorite personalities
Anne Dolce

A beautiful sunset serves as the backdrop to Cooking Channel's Uncorked Event in New York City's Meatpacking District.

Ever imagine attending a cocktail party with some of your favorite food personalities?

This past Friday night, at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, attendees of Cooking Channel’s Uncorked event in the Meatpacking District did just that, traveling from designer store to designer store and socializing with show hosts from the Food Network sibling channel. At the event, which was hosted by both Food Network and Cooking Channel, each guest received a "passport" at the beginning of the night, which consisted of a map that showed them where to find the cooking personalities and where to snack along the way.

At Diane Von Furstenberg, husband and wife time Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos chatted and posed for photos with fans among brightly colored displays of clothing. When asked what they were most excited for at the Wine & Food Festival, Mazar explained that she was eager to tell people about the premiere of the new season of their hit show Extra Virgin, which blends her Queens, N.Y., upbringing with her husband’s authentic Tuscan cooking. What’s the number one piece of advice for cooking authentic Tuscan food? "Spend your money on the ingredients," says Corcos, "not the appliances."

Across the street at Scoop, Chuck Hughes hung out with fans as they sipped on champagne and doled out advice for exploring new cities, which he covers on his show Chuck’s Eat the Street. Hughes was able to narrow it down to a solid three pieces of advice for exploring a city’s culinary landscape:

  1. Plan and walk. Find a couple of places in the city that you know you want to visit and walk to each one, allowing you to explore the city and visit a lot of

    unplanned venues.

  2. Eat less but more often. When you’re exploring a city’s food scene, visit more restaurants but only nibble at each so that you don’t become overwhelmed and are able to try more things.
  3. Trust your instincts. As with everything in life, your instincts are your number one tool for exploring different food spots in a city, so if you’re being swayed in one direction over another, follow your taste buds.

Around the corner at Levi’s, Ben Sargent of Hook, Line & Dinner discussed fishing and the "Montauk blitz," with attendees. For Sargent, having his own show on the Cooking Channel was a lifelong dream, and he was excited to be able to tell people his success story at this year’s event.

"It’s an opportunity for us to speak our mind," he explained, "[So many people] ask how did this all happen to you, and [I can tell them about how] I’ve been working at this since I was 15 years old, and that it wasn’t something that happened overnight."

The evening tour finished up at Bistrot Bagatelle, where guests sipped on wine and beer and enjoyed nibbles such as ahi tuna tartare with avocado salad, lamb kebabs in a tamarind sauce, and homemade gnocchi with a black truffle pesto filling. If anyone missed a stop along their journey at the evening’s event, they also had a chance to catch up to mingle and chat with the whole crew from the Cooking Channel at this last stop.

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Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce