Puttin’ on the Ritz: Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend, June 18th-19th
Oh, yes, folks, the party approaches—so you better get your little black dress back from the cleaners. To quote one of my favorite chefs, this ain’t gonna be a “Port-O-San in the Parking Lot” affair. Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester promises to be a seriously swank three-day event, full of actual celeb chefs and (yes, really) fine wines. In contrast to similar events, our ticketing is limited—all to ensure shorter lines at the food and wine tables and at the Ritz-Carlton’s luxe bathrooms (with actual running water—we swear).
Events on schedule include two days of Grand Tasting in the Ritz-Carlton’s Grand Ballroom—which, for the greedy (and you know who you are), means four hours per day of access to incredible foods and wines. Attendees will be sampling vintages from scores of wine tables (stay tuned: more on this later) while munching specially designed bites from some of our region’s hottest restaurants. Look for samples from X2O, Birdsall House, 42 the Restaurant, Sushi Mike’s, Moderne Barn, Serafina, Harvest on Hudson, Farmhouse at Bedford Post, and Crabtree’s Kittle House, to name a few. Folks, there will be 50 restaurants participating throughout the weekend. I’m just gonna throw a word out here: Bacchanalia (and did I mention the bathrooms?)
Throughout the Grand Tasting, there will be cooking demonstrations by Chef Alex Grunert (of Blue Hill at Stone Barns), Chef Peter X. Kelly (of X2O and the Xaviars Restaurant Group), Chef Eric Gabrynowicz (of Restaurant North), Chef Phil McGrath (of Iron Horse Grill), and Chef David DiBari (of the Cookery). Also, look for wine seminars taught by the esteemed oenologists Kevin Zraly and Ned Towle, perfect for educating your palate while hitting the tasting floor. Riedel Crystal will also be informing on the contentious question of wine glass shapes. Admission to their seminar, “Shape Matters When it Comes to Wine,” includes a complimentary set of Riedel glasses, valued at $116. Holy Goodie Bag!
Any Top Chef fans? (And don’t even lie—you know that you watch it.) My all-time favorite cheftestant, Dale Talde—the one who told the entire Judges Table to go eff itself, the one with the great Fabio impression (ch, ch, just for you!), the one over whom even Anthony Bourdain wept!—will be engaged in a head-to-head Cook Off with another Top Cheftestant, Ash Fulk.
But the kicker is the most exclusive of the weekend’s events, Saturday night’s Winemaker’s Dinner overseen by Honorary Chairman Chef Peter Kelly. We’re talking 12 passed hors d’oeuvres from Chef James Dangler of the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester (served with still more wines), followed by a serious, five-course, seated dinner with dishes from Chef Kelly, Chef Ethan Kostbar (of Moderne Barn), Chef Marc Lippman (Crabtree’s Kittle House), Anthony Goncalves (of 42 the Restaurant), and Chef Dangler. Kevin Zraly will pair wines for each chef’s courses, and, during the dinner, Zraly and John Crabtree (of Crabtree’s Kittle House) will be honored for their contributions to wine and food with a Golden Apple Award.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m clearing that entire weekend for this hoedown. You’ll see me there: I’ll be the one in a raccoon coat holding a fig leaf. Click here for Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend tickets and schedule information.
An artist’s rendering of yours truly, sans my fig leaf. No, really.
Guess what, folks? They’re letting me give away free s***—and a VERY nice class of s*** it is. Over the next seven weeks, we’ll be giving away baskets of beer, crates of wine, signed books, and all sorts of cool stuff. Each week, the prizes get more valuable, culminating in the biggest, baddest bling of all: we’re talking two tickets to a Grand Tasting at Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester (valued at $170), and a subsequent Grand Prize that includes an “all-access pass” to the entire weekend. Folks, this lucky Grand Prize winner will receive two tickets to both days of the Grand Tasting, free access to any and all seminars (priced from $25-$75 each), and two tickets to the Winemaker’s Dinner (worth $500). As if that weren’t enough for our lucky-butt little winner, EDP’s Big Giveaway Grand Prize includes an overnight stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester (if he or she can manage to crawl to the elevators after all that wine), where she/he/it can endure bedspins in acres of luxurious sheets.
How does the contest go? It’s easy: Just answer very simple questions on the comments section here on EDP. Every Monday, the questions will be posted, and winners will be chosen randomly by Westchester Magazine from all correct answers posted online in the comments section on EDP by noon on Friday. Answer often, and check in weekly—you won’t want to miss out. Sadly, employees of Westchester Magazine or its affiliates may not participate in the contest.
The EDP Big Giveaway: Week One
Put your thinking caps on! Here’s the clue: To receive a fabulous signed book by Windows on the World Wine School’s Kevin Zraly, tell me which person on Westchester Magazine’s Wine & Food Weekend’s Advisory Board won a James Beard Award for his work in Wine & Spirits? (Hint: look through the pictures on WMWFW site linked above—and I’ll tell you, confidentially, it’s not that that creepy leaf lady.) Post your answers here in EDP comments by noon on Friday, May 6th, and a winner will be randomly chosen from all correct answers. Good luck, kids!
Spicy pork belly and bulgogi Korean tacos at Scarsdale’s month-old WaBa BBQ.
Oh, you’ve heard the rumblings. It started in California when some fantastically smart street-vendor-fused delicious Korean beef bulgogi with the ease of a taco truck. Soon—in Portland, in Seattle, and all over the Left Coast—you could find Korean taco trucks slinging tortillas filled with sweet, soy-and-scallion-marinated seared beef topped with crisp salad and a dab of ssamjang. Right here in New York, the trendy street snack merited this New York Times notice, so it really was only a matter of time before Korean tacos hit Westchester. Wha Gyong Lee, proprietor of several Westchester Yogo Berry outlets, is no stranger to Cali fads, and is dishing up delicious Korean tacos at WaBa BBQ (Fresh Taste of Seoul Food) at 760 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale (914)472-2598. Look for flour tortillas packed with delicious, succulent fillings—like sweetly spicy hot pork belly (pictured on left), bulgogi beef (pictured on right), and kimchi barbecue. Also look for bibimbop, kalbi, pork ribs, and even burgers. Mmmm.