Saturday, October 9, 2010

Carvin' out pumpkin/burger time

Hey there! Well, today was a full one. It started in midtown Manhattan with Aarti Sequeira, Anne Burrell, Claire Robinson, 8 pumpkins, 2 carving kits and 1 photographer. Confused? Well, it's a bit ahead of it's time, but we all four gathered to carve pumpkins for a feature in Food Network Magazine's Halloween 2011 issue, yes next year's October issue is already in the planning stages! I can't tell you or even show you what I, or anyone else did to their pumpkin, but they were all pretty different and unique. Here's an obstructed view of my pumpkin, not even completed ...
That's Aarti in the background working on another assignment for a future Food Network Magazine issue. Often times when many of us hosts are in town for something like this festival, other people utilize the fact that we'll be together to get work done. So, once she was done with carving pumpkins, Aarti also had another feature to finish for a future Food Network Magazine. If you are wondering why we did work this year for next year's Halloween issue, well it's pretty simple. Magazines are usually produced and planned 3 months in advance and 3 months before Halloween is the worst time to look for carving pumpkins. Pretty forward thinking and I was happy to be invited. If you are looking for some ideas this year, never worry! Because this month's issue has pumpkin carving ideas from many other Food Network hosts, which makes me wonder ... did they do theirs a year in advance as well? I guess so, eh? There were pumpkins left when we were done today so I took two with me for carving at home. Can't wait! It was good quiet creative time! Can't wait for you to see all of our creations ... next year :-).

After carving the pumpkins this morning, I headed off to run some errands before the Burger Bash. I called up my girl Lisa Evers and we hit Brooklyn ready for burgers, beers and shakes. It was sooooo crowded! Here we are with Bizarre Foods' Andrew Zimmern ...
I mentioned before Andrew and I met at an industry event in Chicago and since then we've done some interview stuff for his website and each time I see him he's such a joy. Really nice guy. We said our hellos and I headed out to search for Bobby Flay's burger and found it was still "Crunchified" with blue corn tortilla chips, jalapenos and a creamy cheese sauce over a juicy slider ...That's a tequila shake in the brown hand :-). Crazy! I actually wish I had a couple of them, I'm not a real tequila-only drinker. I like to mix it, but this was a very good combination. Very good. I headed over to another section of the Burger Bash tent and immediately ran into my buddy Spike, dressed up for the occasion ...Teeheehee, he is so funny! His burger (king) was a play on a Vietnamese Banh mi. He followed up the theme with his own shake, a Vietnamese Coffee Shake, pretty smart! His shake, again maybe I have a thing for shakes like cupcakes, but they just make me happy and his, well I couldn't slurp through the custom-cut straw fast enough! My starter shake is a Shake Shot, simple and easy ... what I'm all about! Give it a try if you have a frozen hard corner of vanilla ice cream somewhere and a shot of vodka :-).

Not long after having Spike's burger everyone headed to the stage area to hear the results of the competition ...
Oh, wait ... I didn't tell you? Well, burger bash is more than just a festival of eating, it's a competition. Each chef puts out their best burger and each is evaluated by a judge. Those scores are added to the amount of chips each chef gets deposited in a bank on top of their display table and those chips come from each attendee at the party. If you have a burger and like it, it gets your chip. Can you imagine being a judge and having to eat 24 or so sliders? That's heavy duty work. I had 2 of Bobby's and one of Spike's, that was enough to call it a night for my belly! Ahem, save for a pumpkin ale beer :-). After all the dust settled, it was neither of the guys with the top braggin' rights. Bobby Flay did win the People's Choice award and for the Heinz award of the night and the big overall trophy ... seems us ladies know how to make a burger right!!!Congrats to the team at The Shake Shack! (Ahem, I'm sure there were some guys that helped out, but it's the ladies holding the trophy, quick joke, not a stab at the whole team I'm sure it took to win Burger Bash). Although I didn't have one of the @ShakeShack sliders at Burger Bash, I've had a Shake Shack experience and I know the award is very well deserved! I mean people share tables and pack it in tight for a Shake Shack burger! It's so hard to get around to all the burgers at this event. Anyone that does it deserves a button, plate or a beer stein like the Volksmarches I did growing up.

Ok, that's it. I'm heading out to Comix tomorrow for a cooking demonstration at 130PM. If you have tickets I can't wait to hang out and Cook, for real :-). I have an easy menu perfect for this weather changing that's goin' on ... Take care and a special hello to blog reader and occassional comment maker, John. It was great running into you and thanks so much for taking time to say hi! What an event, eh? Ok, I'll see you out and about if you are in town for the NYC Wine & Food Festival!

P.S. Catch a NEW episode of Cooking for Real tomorrow, Saturday at 12noon eastern/11am central, hey Texas :-). I call it "Wonton Be Startin' Something" Hope you like it!!!


Jen said...

Mmmm, burgers!!! I still haven't been to Bobby's Burger place here in Philly - I do want to check it out though. I'm sure it's delicious!

And how neat about the pumpkin carving for next year. It all makes sense! Sounds like you had a great time!

Enjoy the festival! I'm so bummed I can't be there!

Anonymous said...

Can You get on Twitter? Love the show, watchin the wonton show as we speak.

Willingboro, NJ

Rosetta said...

Hey Sunny! My name is Rosetta from the Bronx. I just got home from your food demo at Comix! I had a good time and look forward to trying the mustard green recipe. You were great!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny!! My husband and I were at your class at Comix today, and we had a blast!!! You are so "real", it is refreshing. Not many things excite me, but seeing you got my excited!! It helped that my husband thinks your pretty, so it was easy to get him to go! PS....your stovetop mac and cheese and your "tangy tater potato salad" are regular dishes in our house!!! Thanks for today!!

Sunny Anderson said...

jen, are you CRAZY??? you better get on down to bobby's spot! his burgers are truly something special. i also vote for you to take a train trip to d.c. so you can have one of spike's at his place. two of the best burgers i've ever had. and can't WAIT for you to see my pumpkin! i really worked hard on it and i'm surprised it turned out so "real".

cassandra, i'm @sunnyanderson and i'm not tweeting yet, i'm waiting to get my website relaunched in a month's time and then i'll do a few tweets when i get the time. i spend so much time here, i don't know if i'll be able to squeeze it in, but i'll try!

rosetta, HEYYY!!! "comment" :-), thanks so much for coming out today!! i had a blast telling all my business and cooking along the way! hope you like the mustard greens recipe, even if there's no pork in there :-).

kristen, yaaaaaay!!! wooohoooo! thanks for coming! i love doing those because i can just talk and talk and somewhere in there get some cookin' done! glad you like my stove top mac! i just feel like those blue boxes are teasing me! i can eat a whole one by myself, so why not a make a big ole pot of mac n cheese myself? it doesn't always have to be baked! glad you like it and the tangy tater salad. it's my nod to german potato salad. that dressing is crazy right? do you guys do the jalapenos?! well, i'm so glad you came out today! perfect weather and food people all around! not bad.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sunny! We do use the jalapenos in the potato salad...we like a little heat! And the heat kind of hits you after a few seconds, not right away. I made for a bunch of girls when we went wine tasting last weekend, and they all loved it. It is different, which is what I love about it. Mac and cheese is my hubbies fav, and he loved yours! I like it better was super creamy. Thanks rock!

Poppin' Fresh said...

Hey Sunny, you did a great job today at the Demo, I was the guy who "kills" his food. So far that was the most enjoyable demo I've seen in the 2 years I've been going. Keep doing a great job!!

Dolphinfanhg said...

Well, I haven't had either Spike's or Bobby's burgers, but I have both of their cookbooks, does that count?! I have had the shake shack, so I get that they won though. What burger did they submit?? Reading all about the NYWFF is getting me psyched for the SBWFF again! :)
PS just finished watching yesterday's CFR, and think I might make those potstickers today!
PPS I am totally with you on insisting on using chopsticks at a chinese restaurant (or eating it at home) It is totally a badge of honor! I literally had Panda Express for lunch yesterday and had to ask for chopsticks...and I was the only one in the whole place using them, thank you very much! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Sunny!

I saw demonstration at Comix yesterday.

Could you post your recipe? You made cornish hen with butter and sage sauce, mustard greens, and parsnips.

Jeffrey said...

Hey Sunny,

My wife and I attended your show at Comix yesterday. We had a great time and look forward to making cornish hens this winter. You definitely know how to keep the show going, even if the oven isn't working!!

Jeff & Pam Egnatovich
Howell, NJ

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny!

it's such a thrill to see a shout out to me on your blog...I have the biggest smile right now. Getting to say "hello" to you at the Burger Bash was definitely a big highlight of the NYC Wine and Food Festival. I really loved all the burgers that I tried at the event. I think my personal favorite was Minetta Tavern although I agree Bobby and Spike's burgers were great. If your ever in the Asbury Park NJ area, stop over at Bobby's Burger Palace's Eatontown location. It's right near my house. It's fantastic...I'll meet you there ;0)

-- John

Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

I had no idea that they did the shoots so far ahead of time for the magazine. That's a looong time! Haha.

Melissa d'Arabian said...

Hi Sunny! just wanted to say that yep...we did the pumpkins last year during the food festival for this year's october issue. :) can't wait to see what you did next october. see you soon sweet friend! Melissa

Anonymous said...

I caught the show and as always I really enjoyed it. I heard you mention Ft. Benning and had to let you know that my favorite Uncle (Solomon) was a Gunnery Sergeant--I think that's right, and he was stationed there for the last few years of his enlistment. I'd like to think that your paths crossed at one point or another. :) Even after he retired he lived in Columbus...what a quaint little town with all the neat older homes. When I find a pic of him, I'll email it to ya!! Small world, eh? Remember when I told you that I see a book in your future? You should so think about it because you've got a gift. Love you much and keep reaching for the sky!!!

Linda (B'Ham)

Charles said...

Hey Jen, your in Philly? I'm right down the road in Chadds Ford! PA up in the blog woot woot! Anyways, I been to the "BBP" in Philly and had the Cali Turkey Burger and I went right home and re-created it the next day and I found he had this crust of like pepper and salt around the circumference of the burger, so I rolled the edges of my burgers in fleur de sel and seared that bad boy and it was a close re-creation of Bobby's. So good! I was so excited I did it. (Is that sad?) LOL

Sunny, I have got to get to that Burger Bash and the whole NYWFF!! Your demo sounds like it was a blast and the cornish hens sound divine! Browning butter and sage leaves on the stovetop is the most wonderful smell after onions and garlic. In the words of my fav comedian, Lavelle Crawford: "I'm about to finish this up and get the (bleep)out of here; I'm starving!" Hehe

Jen said...

Hi Charles! Yes, I'm in Philly! I grew up in Downingtown though so I'm familiar with the Chaddds Ford area. Back in high school we went up and down 202 like it was no one's business, lol!

We're going to check out BBP this week - I promise! I can't wait to try the sweet potato fries! And I'm excited to check out the burgers as well. And who doesn't like a spiked milkshake?!

P.S. Hi Sunny! :)

Charles said...

Hey Jen! Yeah, I'm right on 202, not so much in the heart of Chadds Ford but that's my zip so I'm not complaining LOL....I have got to get back to BBP because I didn't get the milkshake, though I hear the Bourbon Vanilla Shake is out of this world.