Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New York City Wine and Food Festival Trends

The New York City Wine and Food Festival has ended and I am still full with the gargantuan amounts of food. But four days later, I keep thinking of "what were the food and drink trends" at the festival this year, if any? Without too much thinking, I got my messy notes and I discovered a few common patterns, if not trends. But before strolling down, have a look at the pictures below, all taken at the Grand Tasting. Can you identify a trend?

Did you guess the trend? It's seafood, raw fish, sashimi, you name it..I would add Graffit's Brochette of Mussel , Anthos grilled octopus and Armani's Ristorante Fifth Avenue Sauteed Scallops. So, this was in my opinion the trend of this year Food Festival. Pork was still very popular with plenty of options (read my previous post on the Bacon and the Blues event). I would make an extra note for the Tipsy Parson's BBQ pulled pork butt and the 10 Downing's Steak Tartare. So, vegetarians are out for sure despite the good intentions of the Food and Wine magazine's last issue about meatless living.

Another noticable trend was that of flavored popcorn. I loved the smoked paprika popcorn of 5 Ninth Restaurant served with Crudo of Watermelon and Fluke. The spicy bacon caramel popcorn from Ovenly was also amazing but probably too spicy for certain palates.

What about cocktails? Light, refreshing cocktails using whiskey and various fruit juices were highly profiled. Take for example the Cranberry Relish Cocktail  a blend of buffalo trace whiskey, signature cranberry syrup, fresh lemon juice, punt e mes, angostura bitters, finished with sparkling white wine and garnished with an orange peel. Or the Espresso Martinis offered by Illy Coffee.

So, to finish, this year eat your raw fish. And your paprika popcorn. Drink your cranberry whiskey relish cocktail. They all require a sophisticated palate and a rather fat bank account (because they don't come cheap) but they are all worth it.

Butterscotch, pumpkin and mascarpone mousse