New York City Wine & Food Festival Preview: What to Expect From 8 Buzzy New Events

New, noteworthy events happening at the 11th annual festival include a kickoff event celebrating women in the restaurant industry and a drag brunch hosted by a Real Housewives of New York City star.

By Ian Zelaya October 10, 2018, 7:46 AM EDT

Rachael Ray will be one of the featured chefs at Supper is Served, an event celebrating women in the restaurant industry that will kick off this year's festival. 

Photo: Courtesy of New York City Wine & Food Festival 

The 11th annual Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One will be the first since the #MeToo movement helped reshape the restaurant industry starting at the end of last year. The movement's effect on the massive food event hasn’t gone unnoticed. Disgraced restaurateurs Mario Batali and Ken Friedman, both festival mainstays in the past, will not be a part of this year’s lineup. Both men are currently under investigation for allegations of sexual assault and workplace discrimination.

To recognize the restaurant industry's #MeToo reckoning in the past year, the festival will kick off with an event honoring and celebrating women in the industry, featuring more than 25 female chefs and mixologists and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke. 

“It’s part of why we felt that kicking off the festival weekend with a celebration of women in the industry is so important,” said festival founder and creator Lee Brian Schrager. “These women are carving a path for future generations, and we want to draw attention to their contributions to the industry.”

The festival, which runs October 11 to 14 at venues throughout the city, has raised more than $11 million for No Kid Hungry and the Food Bank For New York City. Here’s what to expect from eight new festival events. 

Supper is Served: A Tasting Featuring Tarana Burke, Giada De Laurentiis, Alex Guarnaschelli, Katie Lee, Rachael Ray and Friends
The festival kicks off Thursday with an event honoring women in the restaurant industry at Pier 92. Hosted by #MeToo creator Tarana Burke, the event will feature more than 25 female chefs and female mixologists from across the city, including Alex Guarnaschelli, Carla Hall, and Simone Tong. The event will also have performances by Martina McBride and Natasha Bedingfield.

‘90s Flashback Friday
Run DMC’s Rev Run will host a ’90s-theme bash at Industria West Village on Friday. Along with ’90s music from DJ Ruckus, the event will offer cocktails inspired by the decade from Grey Goose, Bombay, and Cazadores, and late-night eats from restaurants including Meatball Shop and Xi’an Famous Foods. 

Breakfast Pajama Party
Today’s Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones will host a breakfast pajama party at Kellogg’s NYC on Saturday. The event will feature dishes such as Special K-crusted chicken & waffles and Froot Loops French toast from chefs including Gerron Douglas, Heather Fuller, Adam Elzer, and Nick Testa. 

On The Rocks: Cocktails and Cool Bites
Ted Allen, the host of Food Network’s Chopped, will host a cocktail party highlighting trendy cocktails from local mixologists, along with late-night bites from local chefs. Participating chefs and mixologists will include PJ Calapa, Jose Luis Chavez, Natasha David, and Sarah Nelson. The event takes place Saturday at Industria West Village.

Food Network’s Rooftop Birthday Party
Food Network will celebrate its 25th birthday at Pier 92 with a party hosted by Alton Brown, Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, and Ina Garten. The event will have dishes and desserts from more than 25 New York chefs and restaurants, including Dough, Gaurav Anand, Samantha Benjamin, and Peter Botros. 

All About Cake: A Late-Night Dessert Soirée
Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi will host a late-night dessert party on Saturday at Union West. The event will offer Milk Bar desserts as well as other treats from New York pastry chefs like Samantha Cade, Helen Jo, and Annie Leonard. Guests will be able to purchase Tosi’s new cookbook All About Cake. 

Drag Brunch
The Real Housewives of New York City star Countess Luann de Lesseps will host possibly the festival's most vivacious brunch on Saturday at Industria West Village. The event will feature performances by local drag queens Marti Gould Cummings, FiFi DuBois, Brita Filter, and Jan Sport. Brunch fare will be prepared by chefs including Anita Jaisinghani, Arnold Myint, Brittany Darty, and Adrian De Berardinis—also known as the Bear-Naked Chef. 

Hair of the Dog Brunch
Attendees looking for a hangover cure might consider a new brunch event sponsored by Grey Goose on Sunday at Industria West Village. Hosted by Food Network personality and restaurateur Anne Burrell, the event will have customized Bloody Marys, beer, and comfort food such as ramen and pizza. Glenroy Brown, Daniel Holzman, and Adam Lathan are among the chefs preparing brunch fare.

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