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NYWFF Update: New Events, Tastings, Panels Announced

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Today the organizers of the New York Wine and Food Festival have announced a new series of events in the Meatpacking District forming what they're calling a "festival within a festival" in MePa this fall. In addition to the already announced Meatpacking Uncorked (where the streets will be turned into a food and shopping center) and Meatpacking Eats (where the area's restaurants will serve special menus), they will now hold Meatpacking Local. This group of events will include a heirloom tomato tasting by Scott Conant, a tour of the Debragga and Spitler facility, and events with the Maccioni family, Alice Waters, Terrance Brennan, Geoffrey Zakarian, Sam Mason, and Michael Lomonaco. Check out the full release for all the info (with vital events in bold):

(New York, NY - August, 2008) - The producers of the 2008 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival Presented by Food & Wine and Travel+Leisure Magazines in partnership with the Meatpacking District Initiative (MPDI) are pleased to announce an unprecedented series of events and activities to be held in conjunction with this year’s festival (October 9th – 12th). Drawing upon the unique mix of cutting edge fashion and design, dining and the hospitality industry that makes this area of New York City unlike any other, the Meatpacking District will entice and excite visitors from all over the world with Meatpacking Uncorked, Meatpacking Local and Meatpacking Eats, offering a whole new level of dynamic programming.

“It’s amazing in the festival’s kick-off year we are launching a festival within a festival,” explains Lee Brian Schrager, Director of Media Relations for Southern Wines & Spirits of America and founder of New York City Wine & Food Festival. “The Meatpacking District is the nucleus of the weekend. Not only is it home to some of the greatest chefs, but will also be the hub of all festival activity for three straight days. We are very proud of the home grown and grassroots activities taking place from panels such as “Beyond Chicken Nuggets” narrated by New York Times’ health columnist Tara Parker Pope with panelists to include Rachael Ray and Alice Waters to tastings and discussions led by top chefs such as Scott Conant and Sam Mason.”

“As the neighborhood host to the first annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, our district will roll out the red carpet for thousands of guests who seek the best in food and wine,” says Annie Washburn, Executive Director of the MPDI. “More than 100 shops and restaurants in our area are so pleased to be part of this great event. It’s a natural for us. This neighborhood has always been a food lifeline for New York City.”

"Meatpacking Uncorked” gets it all started on Friday evening at 6:00 pm. For the following three hours the Meatpacking District will be a dream destination for all who crave the finest shopping and wine. Forty three of the city’s chicest boutiques – stores like Diane von Furstenberg, Stella McCartney and Calypso to name a few - will play host to the premier wine tasting in New York City. More than 1,500 attendees, with specially created event maps in hand, will wander the Meatpacking District savoring a stunning array of activities.

The finest vintages from the Southern Wine & Spirits of New York portfolio will be featured throughout the neighborhood, offering visitors a chance to fully experience the depth and scope of this prestigious purveyor of the finest wines. Mohegan Sun and The Illy Caffe Push Button House will host revelers in on-street installations. Meanwhile the streets will be overflowing with opulent street side dance performances, lush live music and surrealistic performance art by SOTU Productions.

And that’s just the beginning. Following Friday evening is a weekend of non-stop entertainment and education when “Meatpacking Local”; kicks off. There’s so much to choose from -- food and culture walking tours, wine tastings, hors d’oeuvre demonstrations and samplings, panel discussions and even New York’s own Greenmarket boasting the freshest local produce direct from the farm!

Stop by ONO Restaurant for an in-depth sampling of high-end sakes; relive the glory days of “The Line at Le Cirque” with the Maccioni family and such luminary chef alumni as Terrance Brennan, Geoffrey Zakarian and Michael Lomonaco; step inside the meat packing lockers of legendary butchers DeBragga and Spitler to decode the secrets of premium beef aging or learn to love “heirlooms” – tomatoes that is with Scott Conant and Tim Stark and their robust discussion and tomato tasting followed by cocktails at Conant’s three-star Scarpetta restaurant. And that’s just a taste of what’s being served up.

Children and families get into the action too with the “Kids Get Cooking!” program sponsored by Chelsea Market. They can “Buzz with The Bee Man” and learn all about honey bees, decorate Eleni’s Bakery cookies in a rainbow of mouthwatering colored icings, take a “Mini Chef”Cooking Class at Paradou or sit back and watch the “Pumpkin Man” carve a mind boggling sculpture out of a 600 pound pumpkin!

If you just want to get a taste of the action, make reservations at more than 25 area restaurants already renown for their innovative fare that will entice guests with specially crafted menus exclusively for “Meatpacking Eats”. Served alongside regular menus, Meatpacking Eats menus are designed to highlight the best seasonal ingredients alongside premium wine and cocktail pairings from Southern Wine & Spirits of New York portfolio. Book directly with the restaurants to enjoy their festival menus: 5 Ninth, Buddakan, El Faro, Fatty Crab, Fig & Olive, Frederick’s Downtown, Jarnac, Los Dados, Macelleria, Merkato 55, Morimoto, Nero, Old Homestead Steakhouse, One, ONO, Paradou, Pasita, Pop Burger, Scarpetta, Son Cubano, Spice Market, STK, The Green Table, Valbella, Vento and Zampa.

It’s all happening this October 9th - 12th when the 2008 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival comes to New York’s preeminent neighborhood, the Meatpacking District! So come pop a cork, enjoy a delicious meal or stroll the streets savoring this effervescent weekend of events and activities.

To reserve tickets for the above listed 2008 Food Network New York City Wine & Food
Festival event please visit www.nycwineandfoodfestival.com or call 1-866-969-2933

· All NYWFF Coverage [~E~]

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