The fourth annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine took  place September 29 – October 2, 2011. Once again, 100% of the net proceeds of the Festival benefit charity. The Festival  benefits the Food Bank For New York City, an organization dedicated to  fighting hunger in the five boroughs. It is  a national nonprofit working to end childhood hunger in America. In 2010, the Festival raised more than $1.2 million for these charities, helping them better provide for those they serve and closing the gap on hunger in our country.

The highlight of the event was the The Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite. It was held at the historic Pier 57, with beautiful views of the Hudson River. The Grand Tasting was one of the first events held in the unique newly opened event space. And grand it was!  The event offered access to culinary demonstrations from top celebrity chefs, culinary showcases for any foodie including all-day tastings provided by NYC’s top restaurants and chefs.

The food was accompanied by fine wine and spirits from the Southern Wine & Spirits of New York portfolio along with 12 daily cooking demonstrations from beloved Food Network talent, all under one roof. The KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations presented by Buitoni will featured two continuously running stages with celebrity chefs showcasing their talent live. It was a rare opportunity to see your favorite personalities out of the kitchen and up close as they demonstrate their techniques and personalities for an intimate live audience.

There were appearances by top chefs like  Andrew Zimmern, Pat and Gina Neely, Kazuhiko Hashimoto, Paula Deen, Rocco DiSpirito, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri and more.

It was an invent to indulge in some of the finest culinary treats locally, while sipping some of the best wine and champagne available in NYC. Diet Pepsi held a public lounge for those who needed a break from indulging in the copious amounts of food and wine, and there was a private lounge for American Express cardholders. Many vendors were present, but here are my picks:

Although they will be hosting events in other cities, sadly the festival will not return to New York until next year – so don’t miss it!

Photos via Appetite for Good and Diet Pepsi
P.S. Appetite for Good is an organization made up of volunteers whose mission is to advocate and stimulate philanthropic organizations, events, and causes with the food and beverage industry. They promote philanthropic organizations, events and causes, showcase how restaurants, chefs, owners and beverage providers are giving back to community, increase awareness for social change and encourage philanthropy in the food industry. They provide a broader avenue of support for philanthropic organization, and get their readership involved in philanthropic efforts. Please check out their website at