5 Dinners At New York City Wine & Food Festival Worth Checking Out

Versie Dortch

Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One (NYCWFF) is back for its 14th year next week. Taking place from October 14th to 17th, NYCWFF will safely bring food and drink aficionados over 65+ events taking place at locations across the city. This charitable festival has raised more than $13.8 million to date with one hundred percent of net proceeds supporting its mission to EAT. DRINK. FEED NYC.

This year the festival welcomes a new beneficiary, God’s Love We Deliver, who is New York City metropolitan area’s leading provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition counseling for individuals living with severe illness. Together with Food Bank For New York City, the Festival’s long-time beneficiary and the city’s largest hunger-relief organization, NYCWFF will now support New Yorkers in their greatest time of need by raising awareness and critical funds for those facing severe illness and food poverty. 

When deciding what events to attend, there’s an array of signature events taking place at Pier 86, home of the Intrepid Museum including Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats hosted by Rachael Ray (Thursday, October 14), Fratelli Beretta’s Taste of Italy hosted by Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show (Friday, October 15), Goldbelly’s Best of New York presented by Bucket Listers hosted by Joe Ariel and Rev Run (Saturday, October 16), and Backyard BBQ presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and National Beef hosted by Andrew Zimmern (Sunday, October 17).

But food lovers who are looking for something a bit more intimate should check out this year’s Air France Dinner Series. The series features 20 limited-seating dinners in New York’s most acclaimed restaurants where guests will enjoy a premium tasting menu highlighting the chefs’ signature cuisines paired with a variety of high-end wines and spirits.

When asked what’s most exciting about this year’s festival and its dinner series, founder of the festival, Lee Schrager says, “The fact that we get to celebrate together once again! We haven’t had a live event since 2019 and we worked hard to make this a stellar dinner series. I think I speak for everyone involved when I say we’re just grateful to be able to come together one again to celebrate food, wine, each other’s company.”

Long time festival veteran Marcus Samuelsson says he loves that NYCWFF gives its participants the creative freedom to showcase whatever it is that excites them at the moment. “It enables us to create a menu without boundaries, serve food that we are eager to share and curate a space that reflects who I am,” Samuelsson says. “The environment that NYCWFF helps to create is unique and fosters unforgettable experiences that guests will likely never forget.” 

Here are five dinners you should seriously consider checking out at this year’s NYCWFF:

Dinner with Laëtitia Rouabah and Michel Marini on Thursday, October 14 at 7 p.m.

Enjoy an evening of impeccable French classics at the iconic New York restaurant Benoit. Modeled after world-renowned Chef Alain Ducasse’s original Paris location, this upscale French bistro opened its doors in 2008 and has since become synonymous with superb French fare. Join Executive Chef Laetitia Rouabah, one of New York’s most prominent rising culinary stars, and Michel Marini, Michelin star French chef, for a very special evening that will make guests feel as though they’ve been transported to Paris.

Dinner with Chung Chow and Corey Chow on Thursday, October 14 at 7 p.m.

An exciting dining experience at the Michelin-recognized modern Hawaiian restaurant, noreetuh, with Chefs Chung Chow and Corey Chow, formerly of renowned Per Se. noreetuh meaning ‘playground,’ offers elevated Hawaiian cuisine in a casual, yet intimate and sleek environment. Treat yourself to a beautiful evening with this remarkable pair inspired by their native Hawaiian upbringing. You’ll experience a special, colorful menu focused on the layered influences that make up Hawaiian cuisine, from Filipino to Japanese and Korean.

Dinner with Melba Wilson and Michael Lomonaco on Friday, October 15 at 7 p.m.

This dinner is your chance to see why NYC is called one the greatest food cities in the world. Chef Michael Lomonaco, owner of acclaimed Porter House Bar and Grill and best known from his days at famed, Windows of the World, will join none other than Melba Wilson – his great friend and owner of renowned Harlem restaurant, Melba’s. Overlooking Central Park, expect the unexpected at this exclusive dining experience combining Melba’s soul flare and Michael’s steakhouse classics. While you are enjoying the impeccable tasting menu, you’ll be treated to fantastic Motown tunes – Melba’s favorites.

Dinner with Marcus Samuelsson part of the LIVEHAPPilly series presented by illy caffé on Friday, October 15 at 7 p.m.

Join James Beard Award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson for an exclusive dinner at his infamous restaurant, Ginny’s Supper Club. Located in the heart of Harlem, Ginny’s brings together Southern soul food, live music and diverse culinary traditions in a classic Harlem speakeasy vibe. You’ll savor Chef Samuelsson’s new seafood dishes that are available at Red Rooster, as well as a collaboration where he will bring in locals from Harlem to help curate the menu and present the dessert course, which ties in community and truly gives an immersive Harlem experience.

Dinner with Chintan Pandya, Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske on Sunday, October 17 at 7 p.m.

Welcome Chintan Pandya, one of the most celebrated Indian chefs in the U.S. This is an opportunity to experience Chef Pandya at the Essex Crossing kitchen, home to hotspot Dhamaka as he’s joined by trendsetters, Jeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, the acclaimed chefs behind the Michelin-rated Contra and Wildair. This dinner will showcase how Indian flavors and contemporary American influences work together during a one-night only collaboration.

It’s rare to have Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael White in the kitchen collaborating on a unique menu for you or Laëtitia Rouabah and Michel Marini (who the festival flew in from France) working together just for this moment. “It really is magical, and I think we’ve become known for curating these intimate experiences,” beams Schrager about the dinner series. 

Those who have never attended a NYCWFF should note that the headlining chefs really are in the kitchen cooking for you. “They’ll always come out and greet the room. It’s truly a once in a lifetime experience.” says Schrager. “Plus, all dinners are carefully paired with a wine or spirit from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits portfolio.”

When it comes to safety concerns, all attendees must complete a health screening survey and provide proof of full vaccination status. NYCWFF has partnered with Health Pass by CLEAR, which provides a secure, digital proof of COVID-related health insights via the free mobile app. For full details on the Festival’s Health & Safety Protocols, please visit nycwff.org/healthandsafety.

There’s still time to grab your tickets to NYCWFF. Find the complete line-up of events for the 14th annual NYCWFF here. Follow along on social media to be up to date on all the festival fun via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using @NYCWFF/#NYCWFF.


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