When it comes to food, Mo Rocca knows when to defer to others’ expertise: As host of “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” on the Cooking Channel, he learns the recipes of families across the country in their own kitchens.
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But this weekend at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, he’s keeping to simpler fare at Hot Dog Happy Hour. The city’s unofficial street food has been enjoying a renaissance, moving into restaurants and gaining some gourmet — and offbeat — toppings.
We caught up with the former “Daily Show” correspondent for a taste of the tasting event. (Hot tip: Take a trip to Mexico to find truly “extravagant” hot dogs.)
First of all, why hot dogs?
I like a meal you can eat on the run, though I’m aware that walking while eating puts undue strain on the heart. I believe that LBJ’s first heart attack (in 1955) was caused by both his 60-cigarettes-per-day habit — and his habit of eating hamburgers while walking. (Actually, I might be imagining the latter.)
What do you like on your hot dog?
I love a chili dog with onions and relish and sauerkraut. (And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to make out with me right afterward.)
What’s harder, being funny or cooking a good meal?
Cooking a good meal requires the right ingredients, a decent recipe, steady hands and practice. It’s not rocket science (unless it’s baking, which is more of a science). So I’d say being funny is much harder, as evidenced by this answer.
Hot Dog Happy Hour
Oct. 17, 5 p.m.
The Standard,High Line
$99, must be 21+