We arrived in New York last Thursday for the New York City Wine & Food Festival as a part of the Culinary Demo Production Staff. What is a culinary demo production staff…? Have you ever watched a cooking show where the host goes to the fridge/cabinets for ingredients, pops something into the oven, starts chopping on the cutting board and like magic everything is there where it needs to be? That magic is produced by the Culinary Demo Production Staff.
The words “no detail is too small” was written on top of every recipe we prepped for each of the twenty personalities including Rachel Ray, Giada, Paula Deen, Adam Richman, Andrew Zimmern, Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri, Morimoto, The Neely’s…and many many more.
With about twenty minutes turn times between each demo and up to four recipes per demo, the stage needed to be perfect...and quickly! I was able to sneak in a picture after the last demo on Saturday. =)
I snagged a picture of Andrew Zimmern in his pre-demo interview.
After Saturday night demo, we went to the festival’s Godiva SWEET event hosted by Sandra Lee and Duff Goldman. The event was featured desserts from top restaurants and chefs from the New York area including Le Bernadin, Jean Georges, Clinton St. Baking Company & Restaurant, Fat Witch Bakery, and ‘wichcraft. It was sensory overload-- I think we consumed enough sugar for the entire year. Below is just a picture of the outside patio. This event had over three rooms of desserts!!!
One of the many dessert participants:
We also met Johnny Iuzzini, the head judge of Top Chef: Just Desserts. He was absolutely awesome and wonderful to talk to and his dessert was of course delicious! He even taught me how to use my iPhone camera so I now know how to turn the flash on my iPhone. No more dark pictures! yey! (I just got the iPhone, so I'm still learning - this is why all the photos above are dark, sorry!).
After Johnny's iPhone tutorial:
Johnny's incredible chocolate dessert display:
This is Eunice on stage with Rocco DiSpirito. He demo'ed some low cal recipes for chocolate chip cookies and fried chicken, yeap its possible. Rocco was very kind and sweet. The best part of the whole demo though was when he told Eunice not to talk back (of course, all in good fun)! =)
Adam Richman of Man vs. Food closed out the festival's demos on Sunday, and we were happy to report that all the demos went off without a hitch. We were even able to squeeze in a picture...but literally five minutes later, we hear that Morimoto cracked the induction stove top with his Iron Chef hot stone demo and we had to improvise a cooking demo...well without the cooking. We rushed to triage the whole snafu and all was well. Adam was absolutely so gracious and flexible about the whole thing. He was just plain awesome.