New York Wine & Food Festival

Thanks to my amazing friend Susan, I was invited to attend the NYC Wine & Food Festival this year.

Besides the hundreds of amazing food and wine vendors to taste test, there were cooking demos and book signings from some of my favorite chefs. And I left with a fantabulous gift bag full of snacks and treats that will keep me going for days!

Paula Deen was entertaining and sweet – I genuinely felt like I was standing in her kitchen.  With the help of her husband, she made a three meat pasta casserole (“I just put meat in it until it can’t hold no more”). She also shared her recipe for chocolate chip cookies (“I tried seven different recipes!”). Though there were many more audience members than food, she walked around the crowd handing out broken samples of chocolate chip cookie to try to feed as many people as possible. When she learned that the audience didn’t get copies of the recipe, she read it aloud.  I did my best to transcribe it here. I’ll be testing it out on my book club next weekend!

Paula Deen’s Extra-Large Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 TB vanilla
3 TB water
2.5 sticks salted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups nuts (pecan or macadamia)

Standard cookie instructions…combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another. Combine, then add chips and nuts. Using a BIG cookie spoon, scoop onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet (Paula fit 8 scoops on a standard sheet). Using a small piece of parchment paper, smoosh the dough with the palm of your hand. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes for a nutty, crispy take on an old favorite.


Paula Deen and her sweet husband, Mike


Paula reading her chocolate chip cookie recipe


Alex Guarnaschelli



For the tastings, I experienced the goofy-but-entirely-useful-wine-glass-on-a-lanyard concept. At first, I didn’t want to put it around my neck, but what else does one do when attempting to sample an organic meatball while precariously holding a glass of pinot?



A sampling of happy vendors:

IMG_1882 IMG_1883IMG_1880

Which do you think I chose?

Which do you think I chose?




Left: Veggie pasta with Garlic & Leeks Right: Beef & Pork Bolognese


Barilla chef whipping up tasty pasta. Can I just live here?


Tyler Florence signing a copy of his book, “Fresh”



I had such a wonderful time and can’t for next year!