Day two of The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival’s Grand Tasting rivaled day one's event, with guests swarming around stand after stand, sampling innumerable meatballs, spicy foods, sweet treats, and tastes from a variety of animals.
Some highlights: Casa Nonna’s Sicilian eggplant caponata, spooned on toasted bread (so good they brought me back to my own Nonna’s Calabrian rendition); Lugo Caffe’s meatball, which combined pork and beef and was cooked in chicken broth, finished with a spooning of pomodoro sauce; Chipotle’s new barbacoa chili paired with sampling cups of Negro Modelo; Bagatelle’s spoons of ahi tuna tartare with avocado salad, lime soy vinaigrette and taro chips; Nios Restaurant’s scallop escabeche with pickled pumpkin, jalapeño and almonds; and Alobar’s duck confit sloppy joe, which topped pulled duck with a quail eqq and was served on a toasted bun.
Stay tuned for recipes from our favorite bites of the day.
Over at the chef demos, personality and competition were definitely not lacking.
Refusing to let Bobby Flay upstage him, Marcus Samuelsson didn’t hesitate to heed a fan’s request to show off his dancing skills. With the help of a fellow Ethiopian from the crowd, he showed two tribal dances from his "motherland." His coffee-crusted duck breast was the highlight of the food part of his demo, not to mention his admissions of a few favorite New York spots: Gramercy Tavern and Roberta’s.
Paula Deen, who stole the show from her two sons Jamie and Bobby, perused the crowd talking about fart sounds, finger foods, and Honey Boo Boo. "That’s why my grandson loves me," she said, "because I like fart sounds and things like that." The conversation stemmed from a viewer’s question on how to get her children to be more adventurous with food. Jamie suggested having them cook with you, adding that anything they touch, they are likely to eat. Another fan asked how to get her college kid to stop eating "like crap." Although not met with a definitive answer, Deen got a good laugh recalling the recipe for "sketti" from reality TV series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, where the stars mix ketchup and butter together to make pasta sauce.
Adam Richman, the Man v. Food legend, got down to business cooking beef, chicken, fish, and vegetables, and not without some comedic relief. "I’m literally thinking of coming as Sriracha for Halloween," he said while talking about his Mochiko-crusted Asian-style wings. Sriracha clearly isn't his only love, as he also crafted a salmon BLT that he topped with his beloved "meat candy," bacon. Richman demonstrated his “food porn" skills, fashioning an open cut and leaving the sandwich "to disappear" without his knowing. Another wing recipe, this time for his "Texas-by-way-of-India wings," took on a "shake and bake" theme, combining the wings and a dry rub in a large mason jar for maximum surface area exposure. There was no frying involved in this recipe — these wings were baked. Another interesting riff was his recipe for skirt steak, which he marinated in red wine, soy sauce, and coffee.
To sum it up, day two of the Grand Tasting was an exhausting day for the overzealous eater. Is it next year yet?