Thursday, October 7, 2010

NYC Wine & Food Festival begins!

Hey! I hope you are in NYC for the Wine and Food Festival, but if not ... I hope to bring you along for the ride with a few pictures and stories! Last night was the unofficial kick-off party hosted by Food Network Magazine for it's readers. Subscribers were invited to come hang out and since I love the magazine I was more than excited to meet some readers. Here I am with some other attendees ...
That's Marcela from Mexican Made Easy, Food Network Magazine Editor Maile Carpenter, me and Food Network Magazine Publisher Vicki Wellington. The event was also a chance for all of us to raise money for Share Our Strength. Some signed items will be auctioned off for donation. There were so many Food Network hosts there and every time I turned around I got a chance to talk to someone that read the magazine and also watched Food Network. I gotta tell ya, if you want to meet any one on Food Network, these festivals are the place to go because every time I turned around I was bumping into a host. When I was in radio, there was a person notorious for having high-priced birthday parties and the guests would pay crazy amounts of cash to get in only to find the host locked away in the VIP section. Out of sight, no pictures, no chance meeting, not even a chance to say happy birthday. I felt it a waste of people's money and couldn't believe they did it year after year and got away with it. If I pay $$ I want something for it! lol, So the cool thing is here you get great wine, food, experiences and at these events everyone is approachable, so it's not like you have to look from afar. Get up close and personal and say hi! If you are here in town and reading this, please stop me and say hi if you see me and want to meet!

Check out my girl aka "hot mama" ...
It's Melissa d'Arabian, host of $10 Dollar Dinners! Even though she lives all the way in Washington we keep in touch pretty well over the phone and her kids and I are fast friends! They are too cute! There was plenty of tiny finger food around to nosh on, but the treasures of the night were the regulation-size Sprinkles cupcakes being offered as dessert. One of the owners Candace Nelson and I met back in 2006 before I was on Food Network. I was trying to get a show on the network and they sent me out to Los Angeles to shoot a pilot featuring some great places to eat in Los Angeles. Sprinkles was my first stop and after traveling to many other places and eating more food, Sprinkles was also my last stop that night lol. No shame in my game, I went back when the cameras weren't rolling that evening and indulged some more. Suffice it to say, it was a neat reunion with Candace because now not only do I have a show on the network, so does she! She judges the popular show Cupcake Wars! Here we are along with Maile, Aarti and Cooking Channel's newest addition, Lee Anne Wong (you may remember her from Top Chef).
Lee Anne hung out for a second and promptly found out we had the same goal ...
Eat cupcakes!!!! This actually was right before I left the party, so I made sure to grab another one and take them with me for a late night snack at home. Again, no shame in my game ... I'm pretty sure I was the only one walking out double-fisting cupcakes. Then when I got to the car I realized I had to find a way to transport them. I give you the reason why all cars should have cup holders ...
Because every once in awhile, a girl needs to travel with cupcakes! I thought I was pretty clever with this discovery and felt good about leaving them in the car while I mingled at the next party. This one had no press, so I bring you some real behind the scenes pics! The next party was thrown by a company many Food Network hosts work with as well as other television hosts and production companies. I walked in happy knowing I had cupcakes for dessert and immediately got another happy surprise ...
That's Travel Channel's Samantha Brown! I watch her show allllllll the time and really enjoy the way she tells a travel story. She really makes you feel like you are a friend on the trip. What a sweetheart in person and come to find out, she lives in Brooklyn! Her husband was there with her and they looked so cute together. I see a Brooklyn dinner in our future! It was pretty crowded at the bar so I wiggled my way around and ran into the Cake Boss ...
That's Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo's Bake Shop and the producer of Cake Boss, Art Edwards. Then I ran into one of my favorite people ...
That's Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery. I have to say he makes one of the best burgers ever and if you live in the Washington D.C. area, it's a must try. The shakes are crazy too. I'm looking forward to this week's Burger Bash in Brooklyn. I'll make sure to stop by his booth and get a close up of the juiciness. He also has a pizza place next door to his burger place, but I haven't tried it yet. I think I need to give Amtrak a call and make arrangements! I can't wait for the Burger Bash and I hope he makes a repeat effort on the milkshakes he did at the last South Beach Food & Wine Festival. Can't wait for Burger Bash! Ok, last pic then I'm headed into the city to pick up my passes...It's Guy Fieri and Cooking Channel host Darryl Robinson from Drink Up.Darryl and I worked together on an episode of Next Food Network Star: After Party. He made some really tasty drinks, I remember a cucumber one that was soooo good. I'm a sucker for cucumber drinks. Try my Mean Green Cucumber Juice if you are like me. Alright, I have to get out and start my day. Hope you enjoyed the pics. Like I mentioned before, if you are here for the festival and you catch me walking around, please stop and say hi! The weather is perfect! I have plans to head out to another kick-off party tonight hosted by Art Smith, so if I see anything fun, I'll snap a pic! Check back in ...

10 comments:

Jen said...

Oh wow! Great pics! How fun!! I love the Food Network magazine! And as you know, I LOVE cupcakes and it looks like I missed out on some good ones! And what a great way to transport the cupcakes! That’s the way to go if you don’t get a 12 pack like me and my girls, lol!

I wish I was coming up for the NYC Food and Wine Festival! It sounds like it’s going to be a good one! My guy and I may be coming up to NYC for a weekend sometime in the next few months! If so, maybe we can get together for a drink or cupcakes or something!

Have fun this weekend! It’s my birthday weekend so who knows what we’re going to be up to :)

Jojo said...

What a great job you have and you seem to enjoy it so much! That's awesome - thanks for sharing! Cupcakes in the cupholders, LOVE IT!!

Lisa said...

Are you going to After Dark? My friend is going, I told her to say HI if your are there and she see you!

tamilyn said...

I really think we need to switch lives for a day. I'm sure you would have a swinging good time packaging cereal for 12 hours! Sound like a fun time-and look at those yummy cupcakes!

Holly said...

Hahahaha!!! The cupcakes in the cup holder was a perfect idea! Love it!!

Dolphinfanhg said...

Sunny, in all your travels and different jobs, you had to have been a writer at some point! You do such an awesome job of making us feel like we are there with you! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you! Have fun the rest of the weekend!

Sunny Anderson said...

jen, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! hope it's filled with cupcakes!! girl ... they need a 12-pack cup holder in any car i plan to buy now lol ... i was too proud of myself for finding a neat way to transport my dessert!

jojo, thanks! it's easy to share when there are friendly faces :-). thanks so much for reading and watching!!!

lisa, i missed it :-(. hope i still run into your friend!

tamilyn, girl, i will do it ... for a day! i worked in a chicken factory once. swore off chicken for a minute! i bet you can't stand cereal! but from a cap'n crunch, raisin bran, total, cornflakes and cocoa pebbles lover, i thank you. :-)

holly, i feel like einstein or hawking lol

heather, thanks so much for that compliment. at my heart i am a reader. so i'm glad my words are easy to read. typos, sometimes crazy grammar and all!

Anthony said...

Sunny, my wife and I attended your demonstration at Comix this Saturday, and we both enjoyed it immensely!


One question I didn't get a chance to ask: My wife is just beginning her personal chef business -- any tips?

-- all the best, fans from NJ

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

That looks like a really good time! Awesome sauce!

Charles said...

Haha it looks like Guy is about 3 sheets to the wind in that pic, when the zzzz's start to creep up on ya buzz...LOL

How cool you came full circle in a way with "Sprinkles" and now having your own show. That is so awesome, Sunny. And I 100% agree with Dolphinfanhg; your writing comes so freely from your experience, immersing the reader and makes us feel like we are there with you. Thank you for that. :)