As a foodie and wine lover, the New York City Wine and Food Festival has been on my list to visit for some time. This year, it happened! Not only did it happen but I was invited by Extended Stay America to come out and try out their in-suite kitchens and talk with one of my favorite foodie stars, Sunny Anderson!
First, I have never been to NYC so this in itself makes it an amazing experience. I couldn’t have arrived at a better time, Friday night at 6pm straight to Times Square. It was everything I imagined it would be and more. I’m no stranger to the city life growing up near Seattle but NYC has a whole different feel… So alive and energetic! The perfect place to experience some of the best food and wine in the world all in one place.
After a fantastic dinner at Guy’s American Kitchen and a great night sleep at ESA, we headed out for breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen (KTCHN) followed by the Grand Tasting at Pier 92.
I have been the Pebble Beach Wine and Food Festival in the past but the scale of NYC was so much larger. The food, wine, liquors and brands seemed endless! It’s a good thing I walked up an appetite so I could fit the tastings but I’m pretty sure I only maybe got to 1/8 of what was available.
My new favorite find turned out to not be food or wine at all but a Caribbean Rum. This “Stolen Rum” is a unique coffee and tobacco infused rum with aromas of creamy vanilla and spices. I promise you I could sip it over ice all day long but would be just as amazing in mixed drinks. Now to find it somewhere near me!
We wrapped up at the tasting and then headed out to dine with the fabulous Sunny Anderson at one of her BFF’s restaurants, Jeffery Zacharians, The Lamb Club. It’s here when I had the chance to sit with Sunny at our table and talk a bit about food and a lot about life. We played a fun game and we all shared what we love about ourselves and our bodies and she called me “volumptious”. Who’d thought THAT would be the conversation we had over dinner! For that, I love her even more because at the end of the day, she’s an honest and down to earth person who truly loves to meet and reach people that could just as easy be one of your longest known friends.
From there I spent my last night with ESA and woke up to try out one of Sunnys Recipes from her ESA cookbook, Banana Pancakes with Strawberry Chocolate Whipped Cream. They were A-MAZE-ZING!
As I fly back home after a cross country whirl wind trip, I still sit here pinching myself that this all just happend. How lucky I am that my hobby and love of food and wine has brought me where I am today. Another “bucket list” item checked off the list!