Meyer, McNally, Nieporent Respond to New NYC Food Festival

SOBE crowd

The parties up here won't look like this.Photo courtesy Profile Public Relations

The Times reported last week that New York will get its own Lee Schrager food festival this fall (as we predicted last year), but does the city’s food community really want one? We rang up a few people who we’d expect to be involved with such an event and got a mixed reaction.

“Anything that raises interest in our business is bound to have a residual effect. And if AmEx is behind this, they can get a lot of attention.” —Drew Nieporent, restaurateur behind Nobu, Tribeca Grill, Mai House, etc.

“Although I (clearly) don't know much about this event I have to say that in general I don't care one iota for these things. ‘Mega-Event’! Is there anything worse? Yes, when an avenue's closed down to accommodate it.” —Keith McNally, restaurateur behind Balthazar, Pastis, Morandi, etc.

“It will be interesting to see how it turns out. You go to Aspen, you party, you hang out, you take a walk in the woods. In Miami you party, put on white pants, you take a walk on the beach. At both events you see everyone you see in New York.” —Andrew Carmellini, chef-partner, A Voce

“Why would you do it in New York? They don't have what we do in South Beach. They don't have what we do in Aspen. We’ve already got it here in New York. I don’t see it.” —Laurence Kretchmer, co-owner with Bobby Flay of Mesa Grill and Bar Americain

“Anything that brings more food-loving tourists to NYC has to be a good thing. Columbus Day weekend is a smart time, too, as it can otherwise be a quiet weekend with lots of New Yorkers going out of town.” —Danny Meyer, owner, Gramercy Tavern, Union Square Cafe, Shake Shack, etc.

Earlier: Giant Dessert Spectacular Ushers in New York Wine & Food Festival