Jacques Torres: The Best Celebrity Chef Kitchens Behind the New York City Wine & Food Festival

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.

Jacques Torres

French chocolatier and pastry chef Jacques Torres has very specific needs for his own kitchen, met by having many flat surfaces and both wood and marble countertops. “Using marble-top is great because I can put ice on it, cool it down to work easier with doughs that have lots of butter, or any kind of work with chocolate,” says the Nailed It! personality. Meanwhile, “the wood countertop is a great surface to make pizza or bread.” As someone who’s taught for 40 years and loves sharing the craft and techniques of pastry and chocolate making, Torres finds this year’s virtual forum a wonderful way to connect with even more people than usual. “I’m excited to elevate my famous chocolate chip cookie recipe to a delicious spooky haunted house!” he says of his October 6 (5 p.m. ET) class. “It will be a lot of fun!”

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