Undeterred by the pandemic, yet undeniably reshaped by it, for the 13th year the Food Network & Cooking Channel’s New York City Wine & Food Festival opens the month of October (through October 11). If anything this year’s event, presented by Capital One, is even bigger than the usual walk-around tastings offered, since it’s not only happening to some extent in person but also virtually, which means opportunities for participants to hobnob with celebrity chefs and bring a few of their skills into kitchens around the world.
Per usual, the event’s mission is to raise awareness and funds for No Kid Hungry and Food Bank for New York City, whose operations are even more critical these days. With marquee names such as Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Andrew Zimmern, Katie Lee, Jesse James Decker, and Giada De Laurentiis doling out cooking lessons and others preparing special, intimate dinners, participants will be glimpsing inside pro kitchens like never before. In that spirit, here’s an even closer peek into what a few celeb chefs love about their own gourmet domains. Hint: They’re all about the islands.
These days the James Beard Award–winning chef, TV host, and author is mostly cooking in the Kitchen Studio and Test Kitchen at the office of his production company and restaurant group, Intuitive Content and Passport Hospitality, which has massive firepower. “My favorite features are the flattop griddle on the cooktop in the rear, and the storage island that was designed with capacity to house all our tabletop appliances—and, most important, it contains our wine fridge, plate warmers, and utility cabinets.” Zimmern is in the midst of a home redesign that includes a drool-worthy new kitchen with “Puustelli custom cabinetry and a full Gaggenau suite that includes some incredible features like a wok burner, steam oven, and large baking oven. My favorite feature there is also my island, where I cut out cutting board–sized sections so that my work space is flat all the way across.” The chef has been part of NYCWFF since the start, and this year offers a class making the Brazilian seafood stew called moqueca (October 10 at 6 p.m. ET). “It’s not only delicious, but I hope it will also raise awareness of the massive falloff of seafood sales here in America, where 70% of our seafood is sold in restaurants during a time when many are closed or hampered by limited seating.” He is also cooking a private subscription dinner with a charitable component.Read more here