Best of the Fest: More From the New York City Wine & Food Festival
To compliment our slideshow reports from SWEET and yesterday’s Grand Tasting, here’s still more coverage of the NYCWFF — from chef chats to panel-discussion recaps to, well, a rather frank assessment of Bobby Flay’s dancing skills. Yes folks, it was a very special time.
• Eater chats up some chefs, including a very busy and 40-pounds-lighter Morimoto; Scott Conant, who’s opening a Scarpetta in Miami but doesn’t yet have plans for another New York project; Marco Maccioni, who with his dad is doing a concept in the Beekman Hotel and ain't lowering prices at Le Cirque (”Ferrari doesn't cut their prices”); Seamus Mullen and Yann de Rochefort, who say that Boqueria Soho will have a burger (!) when it opens at the end of November, and that a wine bar may ultimately follow; and finally, a festival-wary Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter.
• Metromix hit up SWEET on Saturday night and gets two pastry chefs — Dominique Ansel of Daniel and Richard Leach of Park Avenue Autumn — to admit they don’t really like sweets. Then on Sunday, after dropping in on the Grand Tasting where the Setai’s Jonathan Wright was packing $1,500 in truffles, they visited a few panels: Bobby Flay says he plans to open another Spanish restaurant, while the always-quotable Alan Richman mourns the loss of the “middle-class” restaurant (“I can't afford most of the wines on the list at most restaurants. It's like the restaurant is telling me: I don't want you here”); and another quote machine, Gordon Ramsay, tells Thomas Keller (jokingly) to “get a dick” with regard to his quiet, focused kitchen.
• Josh Stein caught Ferran Adrià’s talk with Anthony Bourdain, in which Bourdain called the meal he enjoyed at el Bulli “the most important meal on the planet” (it was like “Eric Clapton seeing Jimi Hendrix play”). By the way, el Bulli, according to Serious Eats, is now taking reservations for 2009.
• The Feedbag hits the Burger Bash with cameras rolling, and catches Michael White staining himself with a Shack Burger.
• Jordana Rothman of the Feed visits Morimoto’s demo (“Mmm, I’m a genius,” he jokes), gets a “VIP” lollipop from Johnny Iuzzini at SWEET, and hits the Macy’s Culinary Council (“the food world equivalent of a high-rolling bat mitzvah”).
• Possibly our favorite dispatch, though who knows if it’s a reliable one: After attending Adrià’s and Bourdain’s talk, Jazz in Strange Places gets a peek at chefs behaving badly: “Every time I see Todd English, he tries to stare me down. It would be creepy if he weren't good looking. Regardless, it has nothing to do with my boobs and everything to do with my half-Asian side … Bobby Flay was talking up a different lady every five minutes and at one point had some crazy blond[e] chasing him around (said blond[e] later grabbed me and tried to make me slow dance with her … WTF?). Though generally, he looked a bit lost and wandered around quite a bit by himself looking for people to talk to. I felt less bad for him when he started rocking out on the dance floor. He definitely dances like a white guy.” Some choice words about Johnny Iuzzini, too.