The New York City Wine & Food Festival kicks off

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This year’s Wine and Food Festival will convince you that you can, in
fact, whip up restaurant-style food at home — even if it’s just a fancy
burger.

This weekend’s annual festival — where all ticket proceeds benefit the
Food Bank For New York City —boasts amped-up burgers, tacos, sandwiches
and chefs aiming to persuade you, takeout-addicted New Yorker, that
gourmet is possible in an impossibly tiny city kitchen.

 “Iron Chef” winner and chef Marc Forgione, from his namesake downtown
restaurant, will be on hand for Friday night’s “Blue Moon Burger Bash,”
where Whoopi Goldberg will try more than 21 bunned specialties.

Forgione’s “hangover burger” brings “punch, something to make you feel
better after partying all night,” he says.

Food Network chef Marcela Valladolid also wants you to mix up your
meals. She, with kitchen commanders like Bobby Flay, show off 30
different taco inspirations at Saturday night’s “The Art of the Taco.”

Valladolid counsels buying tortillas with less than three ingredients —
and keeping them dry by wrapping them in a napkin.

“There’s nothing worse than a soggy taco,” she says.

 And don’t be ashamed if you’d rather chat than chomp. Sit in at a
Saturday panel to hear Mario Batali’s take on what makes a great
restaurant experience or listen to experts talking about sustainable
dining.

Like every year, the festival also aims to make you yearn to spend more
hours in the kitchen.
 
Get inspired as Tribeca great David Bouley produces his latest
inventions in the Bouley Test Kitchen at the Whole Foods-sponsored “New
Culinary Discoveries” on Friday. And in Sunday’s “Meatball Shop,” allow
Lower East Side Meatball Shop chef Daniel Holzman introduce you to
flavors you never thought possible, like crab meatballs or lamb
meatballs with black trumpet mushrooms.

Fill your glass

With all this eating, don’t forget the “wine” aspect of the Wine and
Food Festival. Some highlights??Friday night’s  “Meatpacking Uncorked,”
where Mo Rocca and Debi Mazar will be on hand to discuss wines while
Meatpacking District restaurants will serve snacks. After a glass or
two, head to Villa Pacri, where your ticket gets you a dance party. If
that doesn’t strike your fancy, $110 will get you into The Standard
Saturday for a noon tasting of cabernets hosted by master sommelier
Laura DePasquale. Pair this with a Saturday session on American cheese
hosted by cheese-expert Laura Werlin, who promises to “make cheese
simple,” adding: “I think cheese for a lot of people is as intimidating
as wine.” If wine’s not your thing, go to Saturday’s “Cocktails and
Caviar” at the Dream Downtown.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.


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