Monday, September 29, 2008

I survived my 1st Food & Wine Fest!

So, this weekend I had my first Food & Wine Festival experience. About 2 months or so ago Foxwoods asked if I'd join in and of course I said yesssss! After saying yes, omg, the emails, the recipe submittals, the conference calls, press photo emails and the like went down at a fast pace. At the time, I was still on the road taping How'd That Get On My Plate?, I had just been offered to join in on Dear Food Network, and I was in the process of finding a new place so I could get a better kitchen. I didn't even know if I was going to get picked up for more episodes, but I knew I needed to first invest in myself, before I expected anyone else to. So plenty was going on when I got the request to participate in my first Food & Wine festival. I have only my good friend Natina, to thank for helping me through all the scheduling mess. I talked about her on one of the Cooking for Real episodes, if ya caught that one. One night we were chatting on the phone, I was in some city after a long day on the farm taping and got back to the hotel room with a ton of emails and plenty of requests for time. I think she heard the panic in my voice and offered to help get my schedule in order. What a life-saver. No way I could've even gotten the paperwork done for the festival and everything else that hosting a cooking demo involved. Alright, so kudos to my girrrrrrl.

Me and my dude got to Foxwoods tired and exhausted, but still made it out to a party that night for the event. It was open bar with free hors d'oeuvres . . . uh, sign me up! We left early and then the next day found out it got crazy after we left! Dunno if I was happy or mad about that lol. Saturday morning we woke up to a neat lil fog blanket ... check it out ...

Enough of the scenery, I had to head to the kitchens there to chat with the head chef Vincent and go over the mise en place for my demo. Uhhhh, you know I'm not one for fancy food words, but just in case you don't know . . .

Mise en place: (MEEZ in PLAHZ) "Put in place." The preparation and assembly of ingredients, pans, utensils, and plates or serving pieces needed for a particular dish or service period.

Alright, so the mise en place was good to go, then I sat and got nervous about my first ever cooking demo! Oh, yeah . . . didn't tell ya? Neva done it before and here I am at a Food & Wine fest about to pop my grape ;-), not cherry. Only real hitch was the induction cook top took forever to heat up my oil, so I had to fill time like crazy waiting to fry up some oysters. Gas cookin' is where it's at!! It was funny internally, but I kept saying to myself, don't laugh . . . just fill with a story. Which I did . . . foreverrrrrrrrr. Only one oyster came outta that oil done lol. I give myself a 5 outta 10 on that demo :-(. Here I am filling time ...


That's ok though, cuz the next day I'd have another chance. So, I made sure the oil was preheated and then got to work ... turned out way better and I had more fun. Not a 10, but I can see improvement before next year's Food and Wine festival in South Beach. Werrrrd ... they asked me to participate, so I'm getting all my kinks out for that. Can't wait to go in an official capacity. Just earlier this year I thought, how am I gonna get there? I really wanna go ... then, I got a call from the head organizer. Pretty neat. Wanna know something else pretty neat? As we were leaving that party Friday night at the casino, we were walking and out of nowhere I see 3 familiar faces. Turns out my former 3 bosses from my gig right before I started taping Cooking for Real, were at the casino just to chill. Here I am, leaving a party early because I'm tired from a long week of taping and I'm all woe is me-like. You know? Good problems, but I was still internally griping about the long week and the "work" that weekend. Really wack when many people are out pounding the pavement looking for a job. No sooner I think the thought and SMACK! Right in my face were the people I used to work for when all this was a dream. I quickly took the hint from the coincidence and decided being tired was okay. What a chance run-in.

Another neat run-in was with Ingrid Hoffman! She is such a cutie pie! And teeny too! She was heading in to her cooking demo, when I was outside signing cards and stuff and she came by to say hi. It is such a good family and friendly feeling with everyone. Anne Burrell and I were watching Guy do his demo and he brought us up to say hi to the crowd, just a total all inclusive feeling. Here's me and Miss Simply Delicioso ...


Can't forget the Grand Tasting. This is like an eat/drink fest. You walk through and the various vendors have a table set up and you get free samples until your heart desires. Check the scene...


I must've sipped about 20 wines, and just scratched the surface there. Not to mention the food on display as well. I think my fave was a fizzy wine and this lil bite ...


Pretty neat weekend. Ok, not to complain :-) ... but I'm tired. Hope you had a great Monday! Only 2 more days left to shoot the new Cooking for Real episodes, stick around for some flicks n stuff.

24 comments:

Vstoklosa said...

Hope you don't mind if i mention a small mistake made on the "Corn" show from How'd That Get on My Plate. You say when they boil the corn to make masa, they mix it with "lime juice". That is not correct. They mix it with a form of the mineral lime, called pPowdered slaked lime (calcium hydroxide). which is totally different from 'lime juice', which seems to imply you meant juice from the citrus fruit known as the lime. Please check this fact. Thanks.

goooooood girl said...

Good good good......

L said...

I enjoyed your blog. I hope you get a chance to check mine out!

Sunny Anderson said...

vstoklosa, thanks for the catch, i think the unfortunate thing is we didn't catch that. lime juice is really an over simplification and although we knew it was mineral, i don't know why we didn't catch that the use of "lime" may confuse viewers. thanks for that and glad you watch the show!! feel free to contact the production company with your concerns, i just host ... i can't affect change. :-)

goooooood girl, thanks thanks thanks

l, yaaay ... i will. now ....

Sunny Anderson said...

l, tried ... to no avail, you have aprivate profile n stuff ... such is life. lemme know when u r ready to share :-)

Eric said...

That seemed like a alot of fun. Did you cook your oyster po'boys there?? Although I'm not much of a cook, I'm always down for those kind of events because i always get great ideas and introduced to new food there. If you're ever in Orlando the food and wine festival at Disney is pretty good. When I used live in Orlando, I used to plan my days off around that time of year lol

Darius T. Williams said...

This is really great news! Like, for real. I'm sooo happy you're sharing this stuff with us. I made it a point to share all my mistakes and funny crazy things on my blog too - like when I made shrimp and grits. Why did I put them on a plate and not a bowl? I mean, who does that - oh well, it's a lesson learned.

really good weekend for you. AND, that dream you had about all 'this' it is inspiring the masses Sunny!

Sunny Anderson said...

eric, it was really fun. i did fry the oysters, but no bread in the mise en place ... so i went ahead and just made them to dunk in the remoulade sauce, eaqually yummy, less carbs :-) ...

dtdub, yeah, i think making mistakes is part of life, so it's cool to be ok with them. looks like things are going well over at inchicity!

jacob said...

Yay! So glad you'll be at South Beach. You'll be great.

Sunny Anderson said...

jacob, i hope so, i'm gonna do a coupla fake demos to get it together, but it was fun. we gotta make plans to hang. btw, omg, i can't waaaaaait to see you on Dear FN with Ina!!!!! Lucky you, great pics! is that her pantry???? jealous is my first name now :-). still working on mine. and you know, oprah is gonna be callin you soon to attest to "the secret" teeheehee ...

Nik Snacks said...

I'm officially jealous of Jacob, too. But that's OK. Living vicariously through another is just as good sometimes.

Your festival adventure sounds like so much fun! I've been traveling to different food and wine festivals around NC for my newspaper (or anyone el$e who will $end me). I went to the South Beach Food & Wine festival when i was in culinary school, 'cause I was down there. Knowing that you'll be there, I'll totally go down and see what's up.

Scrapper1 said...

love ya shows Sunny.u are the absolute best,hope u become the Oprah of culinary.u deserve all the great blessings that you have earned homie.take care.

Sunny Anderson said...

nik snacks, yeah jealousy is cool lol ... shows ya what you really want in life. u must come down to sobe, i'm thinkin i'll do 1 night where anyone that is a blog commenter can meet each other. like an internet dinner. i wanna meet ya and a few other of the people here. details on the way, if i can get my act together :-)

scrapper1, thanks so much and welcome to the blog!!!

Darius T. Williams said...

Hey you - I did the cucumber drink. You're a bona fide goddess! WHY haven't I heard of this drink before? I'm fat - and I should know of these types of things. The drink was ON POINT! It's my new drink - for real!

I also did a sweet potato risotto and jerk chicken - check out the pics when you get a chance! They're up on the food blog.

Sunny Anderson said...

dtdub, yaaaaaaaaay!!! glad you like it! lemme tell ya, i woulda paid a jillion for the recipe at the bar, when they didn't give it up, i said to myself, fine ... i'll figure it out lol!!! about to check the pics now ...

Jill said...

Sunny, you totally ROCK!!!
I love watching all your shows!! I have tried quite a few of the recipes and loved them all!!
I would love to see you live--maybe next year, hey???
Stay cool!!

Sunny Anderson said...

jill, thanks for watching and cooking, for real :-). welcome to the blog! i should be in sobe for the food & wine fest next year, come on down and hang!

Scrapper1 said...

Sunny,where can i get your fried chicken recipe from?i remember when u brought Wendy Williams some on her show.they were goin nuts over it!!i gotta have that recipe.take care gorgeous.

Sunny Anderson said...

scrapper1, glad you caught the interview!!! here's the link. Get yourself a thermometer for the oil and fry away!

Eric said...

I cooked that chicken before a while back... and I went to the Waffle House and bought a waffle to go with it.. LOL
LawdHavMercyJesus,Is all i can say... Your recipes make me look like a real cook, Sunny lol

Scrapper1 said...

thanks sunny!!!in my DJ Khalid voice:YOU DA BEST!!!

Sunny Anderson said...

eric, teeheehee ... i just told someone the other day that food is even hip hop, citing chicken and waffles! too funny, neva a better team up on a plate! glad you like the recipes!

scrapper1, i'm honored, i got the khalid voice!! shout out to miami!!!

Lys said...

You met Ingrid?!?!? Love her show! I'm so sad I won't be going to SOBE F&W Fest this year :( Sadly it hits during the move... just when a gal is leaving Florida, y'all are coming down here.

That's great your demo went good. Only good things are headed your way Sunny!

Sunny Anderson said...

lys, nooooooooo ... well, you should just wait until the fest os over to move teeheehee ... well, least you can do is talk to some older people down there and get them to vote :-)