Starting Thursday, the fourth annual New York City Wine and Food Festival will bring Food Network and Cooking Channel stars, culinary demos, grub-centric parties and tastings to the city through the weekend — with almost 140 events in all.
We caught up with the festival’s founder and director, Lee Schrager, for the inside scoop on some of the top events. While many are sold out, there are still plenty left. (Check nycwineandfoodfestival.com for event locations and availablity.)
(Thurs., 7 p.m., $200)
Hosted by Food Network’s Giada de Laurentiis, this event is always one of the first to sell out. Attendees get to sample meatballs from 25 chefs. And yes, last year’s winner, Donatella Arpaia, will be back to defend her title.
Rock & Bowl
(Thurs., 9:30 p.m., $150)
Hosted by the Food Network’s Anne Burell at Lucky Strike; expect food from her new cookbook, “Cook Like a Rock Star.”
(Fri., 7 p.m., $225)
Another hot ticket, Burger Bash will feature patties from 20 restaurants, all competing for the best burger award. Whoopi Goldberg will stand in for usual host Rachael Ray, but the venue — Dumbo’s Tobacco Warehouse — will be the same. “Whoopi likes her meat well done, so I think it’s going to be different right there,” joked Schrager. “Ace of Cakes” star Duff Goldman will also run a milkshake and pie bar.
(Sat., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
Sun., 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., $195)
“We’re going for the format that’s worked so well with us in South Beach,” Schrager said. “For the price of admission, you get a full day and can go to as many demos as you want — eat as much food and drink as much wine as you want, too.”
(Friday, 9 p.m., $175)
This sugarfest will be hosted by Sandra Lee and is geared toward anyone with a serious sweet tooth. Treats will include doughnuts, cupcakes and cookies. Godiva senior chef chocolatier David Funaro will showcase a new dessert inspired by the company’s latest truffle.
Carts in the Parc
(Sunday, 3 p.m., $125)
For the second year, Andrew Zimmern will host this celebration of mobile food. The Eventi Hotel’s outdoor FoodParc will be the setting, with trucks including the Biryani Cart, Korilla BBQ, Mexicue and Melt Bakery. FoodParc’s regular stands —including Edi & the Wolf and Red Farm — will be serving food, too.