Passion Points: Food/Wine
The culinary elite storm midtown Manhattan during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, which hosts a weekend of events at storied institutions like the International Culinary Center and adored classics like Commerce. Founder and director of the festival and it’s South Beach equivalent, Lee Schrager spoke to Indagare about the 2013 celebration, food fads and his own eating habits. Read more about the festival and buy tickets here.
What is new to the festival this year that you’re most looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to hosting our new and returning signature events at Piers 92 & 94 – our culinary compound. New events at Pier 94 include Jets + Chefs: The Ultimate Tailgate hosted by Joe Namath & Mario Batali and Ronzoni presents La Sagra Sunday Slices sponsored by Time Out New York hosted by Anne Burrell & Adam Richman. Also looking forward to seeing all of the incredible talent we have lined up for our Bank of America Dinner Series – including Matt Abergel coming in from Hong Kong, Alex Atala from Brazil, and Yotam Ottolenghi from the U.K.
Both cities are unique and premier culinary destinations – New York City in the fall is beautiful and many of the greatest chefs in the world call it home. Who wouldn’t want to be in Miami in February – with the sun, sand and ocean, and renowned talent.
What are your favorite spots in New York and Miami for big nights out? For quick breaks? For weekend brunches? For cocktails?
I really like SoHo House (in both cities) for a cocktail. There are so many great spots in both cities to dine, but some of my picks for New York City include Salumeria Rosi, Costata, and the Four Seasons Restaurant, and MC Kitchen, Mandolin and Buena Vista Deli in Miami.
You travel frequently and not just on the U.S.’s eastern coast. What have been your favorite recent discoveries, culinary or otherwise?
I recently returned from Italy where I was fortunate to experience the talents of the world’s greatest butcher at Dario Cecchini in Ronzano. A few months ago I enjoyed the incredible street food culture of Thailand.
What current food fads do you foresee sticking around for a while? Which do you hope to see retire?
It would be nice to see the cronut retire, but I think dessert/sweets trends in general will be around for a while.
Do you cook? If so, what would you say is your signature dish?
I’m a huge fan of Christopher Idone’s cookbooks – so anything from them. Also – Pat LaFrieda steaks on the grill, my mother’s matzo ball soup and Michelle Bernstein’s chocolate bread pudding.
What’s the best thing you’ve had to eat in the past week? To drink?
Any future plans to expand the Wine & Food Festival to a third city?
I think I have another city left in me – possibly on the West Coast.
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