Tag Archives: NYC Wine & Food Festival

Getting Tipsy with the Tippling Bros. @NYCWFF Mixology 101

The Tippling Bros. Introduce Mixology 101

What do you get when you mix a crowd full of foodies, a session focused on mixology and two non-related “brothers” stirring in some fascinating facts about the history of cocktails and tippling tips and techniques? A real good time. After attending two earlier New York City Wine & Food Festival events that day, all I expected was to sit back, take notes and learn a hint or two from Tippling Bros. Mixology 101, but what we got was an early start to a boozy Saturday night.

Tippler Paul Tanguay Settin' Up Bar

The event kicked off with a seasonal Champagne cocktail called Fireside Sparks, created by the two tippling partners Paul Tanguay and Tad Carducci. As we sipped, these “perpetuators of libational awareness and enjoyment” jumped into a lesson, fully equipped with a powerpoint. Not exactly what you would expect from typical barmasters, but these experts are two of the most well known beverage consultants, whose common mission it is to help the world drink better! Here’s some useful info to successfully get you through your next trivia bar night…

Tippling Trivia:

  • The word “punch” originated from the Hindi word for five — panch {make a fist and it will all make sense}
  • There are 5 components to the original punch recipe: spirit, citrus juice, sugar, spice {often tea} and water
  • The word “cocktail” first appeared in print in 1806. Politicians, dignitaries and wealthy businessmen drank cocktails in the morning to get over the previous night
  • The original cocktail was made up of: spirit, sugar, water and bitters
  • Jerry Thomas wrote the first cocktail book in 1862

Hardly Done with Fireside Sparks, When The Smokey Margarita Arrived

It was not soon after starting to sip down the first cocktail, that the second arrived — a Smokey Margarita. Mmmm, love ‘ritas. How generous of them to give us two cocktails while we enjoy the mixology lesson. On to bar tools…

Every Home Bar Should Have:

  • Shaker {Boston or Cobbler}
  • Mixing Glass
  • Strainer {Hawthorn or Julep}
  • Bar Spoon {You know, those spoons with a really loooong stem}
  • Muddler
  • Jigger {Don’t be afraid to measure, proper proportions are key to a quality cocktail}
  • Knives
  • Juicer

Check out Bar Products and Cocktail Kingdom to stock your bar properly.

Tippling Bros. Tips:

  • Pecking order — Always start from the cheapest ingredient when concocting your cocktail — that way if you lose count or mess up, you’re not out the good stuff!
  • Perfect “sour” proportions — 2:1:1 Strong:Sour:Sweet {e.g. Margarita}
  • Manhattan or Martini proportions — 2:1
  • Garnish — Add an aromatic garnish to change the flavor profile of your cocktail and make sure it’s sticking out of a glass such that your nose gets near it when you sip {try a rosemary sprig stuck in a cherry to anchor}
  • Batches — make 3/4 of the amount of drinks you want to serve when making batches {ice / water makes up 25% of every cocktail}. P.S. Making batches is a great way to enjoy your own party without having to play bartender. That’s one lesson I starred, highlighted and underlined.
  • Make crystal clear ice — Boil water and pour while hot into ice cube trays or muffin tins. The movement of the boiling water pushes out all the air, to create “clear” ice. Get fancy by adding citrus slices to your form after 30 minutes in the freezer.

Somewhere between learning about shaking and stirring, a Manhattan appeared in front of me and somewhere between learning about the garnish in my newly poured Autumn Manhattan and the wisdom of making batches, my pour from the Bottle of Baron also arrived. Ok, I get it. This is a drinking event. I checked my watch, it was only 6pm. The night was young, but I was well into an evening of strong cocktails thanks to my new friends. I guess this is what you get when you attend a session all about mixology, hosted by the masters of tippling themselves. Thankfully with camera in hand, I could put down the pen and still manage to snag some great cocktail recipes for you all. Cheers and Bottoms Up!

Tippling Bros. Hand Crafted Cocktails

Fireside Sparks

Hardly Done with Fireside Sparks, When Smokey Margarita Arrived

2 oz. Cranberry-Infused Whiskey
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Spiced Syrup
1/4 Tangerine
1 oz Chilled Sparkling Wine

Muddle tangerine in a mixing tin. Add remaining ingredients and shake. Float champagne over the back of a spoon. Strain into a chilled flute or sour glass. Garnish with a tangerine peel and sugared cranberry skewer. Lightly dust with nutmeg.

Smokey Margarita

1.5 oz Tequila Blanco
0.5 oz Mezcal Joven
0.5 oz White Grapefruit Juice
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Agave Nectar
Grilled Lime Slices for Garnish

Spicing the Glass Rim:
2 parts Kosher Salt
1 part Cinnamon
1 Part Cumin
1 Part Chili Powder

Shake all ingredients together. Strain over ice in an old fashioned glass rimmed with Mexican-spiced salt. Garnish with grilled lime wheel.

Autumn Manhattan

Autumn Manhattan

2 oz Sazerac Rye Whiskey
1 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
0.25 oz Oloroso Sherry
2 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
Rosemary Sprig stuck in a cherry for garnish

Stir all ingredients together until well chilled. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with Luxardo cherry and rosemary sprig.

Bottle of Baron {think sweet island cocktail}

8 oz Aged Rum
2 oz Grand Marnier
2 oz Simple Syrup
4 oz Orgeat Syrup
4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 tsp Hibiscus Concentrate {Jamaica Concentrate at your local bodega is the same thing}
6 oz Cold Water

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl or plastic container. Funnel into a clean wine bottle. Cork and refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve over one cube of ice in a small punch glass. Garnish with an orange slice or vanda orchid.

It's Closing Time


Bartender, I’ll Have Another:
Hands On with Giada De Laurentiis at Food Network’s NYCWFF Demo
recipe goodness :: Alton Brown Does Bourbon in the Morning

New York City Wine & Food Festival Kicked Off With Good Eats
Kickin’ Ancho Chili Fresh Citrus Margarita

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Hands On With Giada De Laurentiis at the Food Network NYCWFF Demo

Giada de Laurentiis Greets the Audience with a Big Smile

Following Alton Brown’s “opening act” for the New York City Wine & Food Festival demos, Giada De Laurentiis was warmly welcomed by longtime friend and Food & Wine Editor, Dana Cowin. With her husband and a houseful of fans in the audience, she greeted the crowd with her big…smile. People actually asked me if her head was in fact as big as it seems on TV, so let me answer that question. It’s not so much that she has a big head, but that she has a teeny tiny body. How a woman who makes a living cooking and eating — mostly Italian food — can stay so skinny is beyond me! But I digress.

Giada couldn’t have been more charming or likeable and took a totally hands-on, participatory approach to her demo. Enter the lucky husband and wife team selected from halfway back in the seats to come on stage and help Giada cook Smashed Potatoes. I think the wife actually claimed her husband was the cook in the family, just so he could come up and meet her in person. Giada left them to follow a few simple steps {start with some fingerlings, boil ’til tender, smash with your hand, brown in a pan with a little olive oil & garlic and then toss in a lemon-parsley vinaigrette. Easy!} while she took questions from the audience.

Giada De Laurentiis Knows Her Audience

Husband and Wife Team Make Smashed Potatoes for Giada

The Infamous Tasting Bite from Giada

With her 2 1/2 year old daughter, Jade, to look after, Giada’s new cookbook is inspired by making good food, faster — relying a little more on good pantry items that are always on hand to cook a meal. So it was only appropriate that for her second dish, she invited two pint-sized friends on stage to help prepare her sweet & sour pork chops.

 

Giada's Little Helpers

Tiny fingers sure can be generous with the salt! It’s a good thing this was all for show and no one was actually eating these chops!

The Kids Were Very Generous with the Seasoning

Giada’s Sweet & Sour Pork Chops

Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves 4

4 Boneless Pork Chops
Salt and Pepper to Taste

1/2 cup Honey
1/2 cup Balsamic Vineagar
3 sprigs of Rosemary
1 bunch Scallions, diced

Add the honey, balsamic, rosemary and scallions to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick pan to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook pork chops 4 minutes on one side and 3-5 minutes on the other side, or until slightly pink in the center. Remove from heat, add to a plate and pour sweet & sour sauce over top.

With mere seconds left on the clock for her demo, Giada still made time to call up another set of eager helpers to whip up the world’s fastest batch of double chocolate cookies. It was all for show, but the benefit of being on set is the {voila} already made finished product. And the benefit of sitting in the front row, is snagging one as the helpers return to their seats with a full plate of chocolate-y goodness. For all you chocolate bakers out there, I asked Giada what her preferred  chocolate to bake with is and she said Ghirardelli is the best {but Giada, you have to get the pronunciation correct, it’s Gear-ar-delly with a hard G like SpaGHetti!}

Giada's Helpers Whipping Up Double Chocolate Cookies

The Benefits of the Front Row

Another tasty New York City Wine & Food Festival event. Everyone benefits from the up-close access to some of Food Network’s biggest stars. Food Bank for New York City, Share Our Strength, the fans and my readers!

Want Another Bite?
recipe goodness :: Alton Brown Does Bourbon in the Morning
New York City Wine & Food Festival Kicked Off With Good Eats

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recipe goodness :: Alton Brown Does Bourbon in the Morning

Yes Alton, I'm Still Saving You A Seat at 8.ate@eight

Alton Brown considers himself a Southern cook and lives by the motto that everything that happens in the kitchen is about science. And what is the defining flavor of the South, you ask? Bourbon, of course. Bringing those two perspectives together during his New York City Wine & Food Festival demo, Alton concocted three classic Bourbon recipes shared in the post below:

Bourbon Mint Julep
Bourbon Ice Cream
Bourbon Banana’s Foster

It’s 11am and Time for a Mint Julep

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Mint Julep
Prep Time: 3-5 mins
Serves 1

10 mint leaves
1 tsp sugar
1 jigger Bourbon
Ice
Seltzer or Club Soda

Add the mint leaves and sugar to your glass and gently muddle to bruise the leaves, but careful not to tear {about 3-5 turns of a muddler}. Add a full jigger of Bourbon, fill the cup with ice and top off with seltzer water or club soda. Alton recommends not stirring for a stronger surprise near the bottom of your swig.

Gentle Muddling is Key

Getting into the science behind cooking with Bourbon, Alton pulled out the periodic table and his chemistry notes to explain that ethyl {found in alcohol} doesn’t freeze — in fact it acts as an antifreeze. So when making something scrumptious like Bourbon ice cream, it’s important to mimic the flavors you would find in Bourbon, with non-alcoholic ingredients. Pulling out a glass pickle jar for easy ingredient shaking and a large canister of liquid nitrogen {clearly not in most home kitchens}, Alton revealed a few on-stage tricks for instant ‘scream.

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Ice Cream

1/4 cup Bourbon
2 cups Half & Half
1/2 cup Agave
1/4 cup Molasses
1/4 cup Buttermilk
1/2 tsp Nutmeg, grated
Handful Chopped Pecans
1/3 cup Bacon, Cooked Extra Crispy

Add the Bourbon, Half & Half, Agave and Molasses to a microwave safe container and microwave until the Molasses dissolves. Allow to cool. Add cooled liquid and rest of ingredients to a tight sealing container {Alton recommends a bulk glass pickle jar} and shake vigorously.  Add to home ice cream maker, or if you’re like Alton, add to a Kitchenaid mixer and starting pouring in liquid nitrogen for great effect and a quick freeze {not sure I would actually recommend this}.

It's All About Science in the Kitchen

Adding a Touch of Bourbon for Authenticity

Shake Shake Shake

Everything Into the Mixer (Including the Liquid Nitrogen)

Wrapping up the 45-minute demo, Alton pulled out a few more tricks, this time involving flames, to make a Banana’s Foster dessert to pair with the Bourbon Ice Cream. An important ingredient to making this dessert successfully is heat from the caramelized sugar. Without it, the Bourbon would not burn on its own. And note to the parents out there, it’s impossible to boil out all the alcohol because steam from the cooking process puts the flame out first….so if you want little Johnny to fall asleep early, this might be the dessert for him.

Alton Brown’s Bourbon Banana’s Foster

Cook Time: 7 mins
Serves 2

2 TBS unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 under ripe bananas, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Melt butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over low heat. Add brown sugar and nutmeg and stir until sugar dissolves. Add bananas and cook for 1 minute on each side, carefully spooning sauce over bananas as they are cooking. Bring sauce to a simmer and carefully add the bourbon. If the sauce is very hot, the alcohol will flame on its own. If not, using stick flame, carefully ignite and continue cooking until flame dies out, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. If sauce is too thin, cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it is syrupy in consistency. Add orange zest and stir to combine. Immediately spoon the sauce over ice cream and serve.

Alton Melting the Sugar and Butter with the Bananas

Opa!

Great Bourbon Demo

Great demo and early morning learnings for us science geeks who like to know why something works or doesn’t work in the kitchen! If you liked Alton Brown’s Bourbon in the morning approach, then check out his new book that just came out called Good Eats 2: The Middle Years.

More NYC Wine & Food Festival Fun:
New York City Wine & Food Festival Kicked Off With Good Eats
Hands On with Giada De Laurentiis at Food Network’s NYCWFF Demo

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New York City Wine & Food Festival Kicked Off With Good Eats

Chelsea Market After Dark

New York City Wine & Food Festival kicked off Thursday night with several star-studded events attracting celebrity chefs, industry big-wigs and foodies for a weekend long line-up of good food for a good cause. The weekend is jam packed with 120 day and nighttime events, seminars, demos, book signings and dinners with up close access and to some of the biggest culinary names and their tasty creations. The best part about it all {besides this being foodie heaven} is that 100% of net proceeds go directly to Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength, two community-based organizations focused on helping to fight hunger — allowing us to literally put our money where our mouth is.

Alton Brown Sock Puppet Blue Print

What better way to launch into a series of eating and drinking events, than by attending the Chelsea Market After Dark event hosted by Food Network great and host of Good Eats, Alton Brown. Every single business operating out of Chelsea Market also showed up with some of their tastiest creations to design an evening centered around an assortment of flavors and bites for foodies to sample as they socialized through the halls of the former Nabisco factory, which is now home to some of NY’s best specialty food shops.

Alton Brown, looking awfully fit and sharp in his corduroy jacket, hosted his own mini-bash amongst some of his set props and scientific paraphernalia, generously mingling and taking photos with the crowd. As fans inched in around him, I jumped in for an intro and took the opportunity to learn a few things worth sharing:

Favorite Kitchen Utensil: His Brain
Most Important Dish to Learn for New Cooks: Eggs {I agree!}
Favorite Spice: Cumin {have you tried my cumin egg salad recipe Alton? We might be new friends}
Favorite Recipe: Whatever his wife makes {always a good answer}

Alton Assuring Me He'll Attend My Next 8.ate@eight Supper Club

Know Your Beef

A True Chemist

Taste Buds Dissected

Chelsea Market is one of my favorite places to shop, with everything from bakeries and farmstand meats to an olive oil filling station and kitchen supply store, there is no shortage of places you can stop in to pick up the makings for a weekday dinner or artisanal products for a unique gift. After hangin’ with Alton’s whimsical puppets and props we explored the rest of the market for other worthy discoveries. Lots to taste, but here are some highlights:

The Lobster Place: Fresh shucked oysters
One of my favorite places to pick up fresh fish or seafood — they have a huge selection of whole, filleted and pre-seasoned fiddies, the prices are reasonable and there is a chowder and sushi bar for a quicker bite when cooking is not an option.

The Lobster Place Shuckin' Oysters

Pure Food and Wine: Pinot Noir Pepper Tarts with Cashew Cheese, Caramelized Shallot and Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Don’t run away when I tell you Pure prepares only raw-vegan and organic food. They are doing things with fresh ingredients that would make you believe magical cooking techniques were involved, but in fact everything they serve you has not been cooked. The flavors are extraordinary, the presentation beautiful and you don’t leave feeling in need of undoing a button or two.  I love meat just as much as the next carnivore, but this was MY FAVORITE bite I sampled the entire evening. There’s something to say for not messing with nature.

Pure Food and Wine Pinot Noir Pepper Tarts

Jacques Torres: Chocolate Chip and Mudslide Cookies
Everyone who knows me knows I’m not big on sweets, but after taking a bite of these I would recommend to all you chocolate lovers to run and get one for yourself. The Jacque Torres chocolate chip cookie was top notch, but the mudslide cookie was a chocolate champion, replacing the butter in the recipe with more chocolate and creating a richness that will make your head spin.

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip and Mudslide Cookies

Dickson’s Farmstand Meats: Pulled Pork Sliders
After too much chocolate on the tongue, I had to wash it down with something savory again. One of the most popular tables of the evening {as evidenced by the line} was Dickson’s Farmstand Meats pulled pork sliders. And I can understand why — using all locally sourced, artisanal pork, they topped this guy off with a creamy, pickley slaw/spread/relish — whatever you want to call it, it was good. Full of flavor and texture it was MY FAVORITE CARNIVOROUS bite of the night.

Dickensons Farmstand Meats Line Awaiting Pulled Pork Sliders

DFM Pulled Pork Sliders

Yum! ‘nough said.

More to come on other NYC Wine & Food Festival events. In the meantime, stop by Chelsea Market if you haven’t already discovered this mecca of artisanal and good food goodness. Its factory feel is cool enough to check out on its own, but I could get lost for hours among the ever increasing number of shops and stands bringing some of the freshest and best food products to New Yorkers.

Map: 75 9th Avenue @ Chelsea Market

Other Chelsea Market Favs:
recipe goodness :: Alton Brown Does Bourbon in the Morning
Hands On with Giada De Laurentiis at Food Network’s NYCWFF Demo
NYC Best: Falafel @ Ruthy’s, Chelsea Market
Why Buy the Cow, When You Can Get the Milkshake for Free?
NYC Best: Take the Dull Out Of Cooking {Knives} with Samurai Sharpening @ Chelsea Market

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