NEW YORK In two days the first New York City Wine & Food Festival will begin a four-day series of gastronomic events, demonstrations, and discussions. Lee Schrager, director of special events at Southern Wine & Spirits and founder of the festival in South Beach, considers the meatpacking district the nexus of this fair, and while some of the locations are fitting choices, others are a little more surprising.
Many events will be taking place inside the Chelsea Market a few blocks north of the meatpacking district, including Thursday's Chelsea Market After Dark, a food and wine sampling party hosted by chef Bobby Flay. Also nearby will be the Grand Tasting on Pier 54, the closing party on the rooftop of the Hotel Gansevoort, and various classes and seminars at restaurants in the area.
Plenty of public events, ticketed and free, will take over less obvious sites. Designer Diane von Furstenberg's Washington Street studio will play host to a panel discussion about Le Cirque and its history, and over at Bumble and Bumble's corporate headquarters on West 13th Street will be a book reading and three talks. Comedy club Comix will host interactive cooking classes for kids, taught by Alton Brown and Rachael Ray, as well as Macy's-sponsored food demos on Saturday and Sunday. And further from the fray is the late-night dessert party Sweet, which will take place inside trade show space La.venue at 28th Street and 11th Avenue.