The New York City Wine & Food Festival, running Oct. 15–18, promises deliciousness and fun for foodies.

The annual festival, now in its eighth year, brings together celebrated chefs and restaurants, all in the name of charity. One hundred percent of the net proceeds go to anti-hunger organizations.

Past New York City Wine and Food Festival. (Courtesy of NYCWFF)
Past New York City Wine and Food Festival. (Courtesy of NYCWFF)

Big Events

Meat lovers won’t want to miss out on Meatopia, a carnivore extravaganza where chefs cook various animals (beef, chicken, pork, turkey, lamb, duck, you name it) over an open fire. Participants include Michael White, of the Altamarea Group, charcuterie expert Joshua Smith from Moody’s Delicatessen (in Massachusetts), and Charles Grund Jr. of Hill Country Barbecue and Hill Country Chicken.

Burger Bash will feature burgers from fast-casual favorites Shake Shack and 5 Napkin Burger to fine dining establishments like 21 Club, Smith & Wollensky, and Catch. And of course, there’s an equivalent event for hot dogs—the Top Dog competition—hosted by chef Andrew Zimmern (also host of the travel show “Bizarre Foods”).

Past New York City Wine and Food Festival. (Courtesy of NYCWFF)
Past New York City Wine and Food Festival. (Courtesy of NYCWFF)

In addition, chef Aarón Sánchez will host Tacos and Tequila, Food Network show host Giada De Laurentiis will host an Italian Feast, and chef Dale Talde will host Dumplings and Dim Sum.

What’s New

For the meat-averse, fear not. There’s Veg Out, a new event this year that unabashedly celebrates clean eating and the health-conscious. Aside from sampling dishes and juices from restaurants like The Little Beet Table and ABC Kitchen, attendees can also take yoga classes and spa therapies.

Dessert lovers will be glad to know there’s a Masquerade Dessert Party with the James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and creator of the cronut, Dominique Ansel, and with chef Pecko Zantilaveevan at the Four Seasons Restaurant.

For those seeking a more decadent affair, there’s a new Caviar, Champagne, and Cocktails sampling event at the posh Wayfarer restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.

Intimate Dinners

Another highlight of the festival are intimate dinners with acclaimed chefs, with about 30 to 70 people at each seating. You’d want to grab those limited tickets soon. April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig and Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy team up for a vegetable-centric dinner, while Alain Ducasse, the renowned French chef with 19 Michelin stars under his belt, will serve dinner at his New York restaurant, Benoit.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune will join forces with two up-and-coming women chefs—Ashley Christensen, winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Southeast region, and Alex Raij, owner of the Michelin-starred La Vara.

Chefs Charles Phan and Justin Smillie are also collaborating on a dinner.

Family-Friendly

For foodies with children, the New York City Wine & Food Festival includes a family-friendly tailgating event, Jets and Chefs. Former Jets quarterback and Super Bowl champion Joe Namath joins chef Mario Batali as hosts, while a team of chefs cook up updates on classic tailgating foods like steaks, ribs, and wings. Children aged 2 and younger can attend for free.

For more information and tickets, visit NYCWFF.org