The food festivals were out in full force this weekend, from the 12th Annual Taste of Tribeca, to the behemoth Ninth Avenue International Food Festival, to newcomers BLT Crab Fest (more on that later) and the NYC Culinary Festival. It was a hectic weekend, so the jury was still out on visiting the NYC Culinary festival, at least, that is, until we got an email from the gentleman behind the Big Apple Dining Guide with the ominous subject heading "Don't go to the NY Culinary Festival this weekend." Intrigued, we read on.
Where to begin? They take your ticket (I bought mine online and printed it at home) and give you another, smaller ticket. No direction, no brochure, no map or list of vendors, NOTHING. It's 6:25 and I am excited to hear Max McCallum (USA's cheese whiz) and Terrence Brennan (Artisanal/Picholine) talk about cheese and fondue - scheduled to take place at 6:30. But no one seems to know where they are or if in fact a cheese demo is taking place today. I am then told to come back in a half hour. Okay. So I check out the booths...apparently there are supposed to be 80 vendors...currently I'd say there are 25 set up at most. Less than half. What the hell did I pay my $20 admission fee for? So I wait on this unbelievably long line to purchase food/drink coupons. It takes awhile but I have nothing else to do. A half hour or so later and Josh DeChellis is making a trout is miso marinade which is kinda cool...but he looks like he'd rather be in the weeds at Sumile or Jovia. I wish I was in the weeds at Sumile or Jovia.
An hour later and still no one knows what's going on. And, it turns out, that there won't be a cheese demo tonight. But no one is sure exactly why.
He concludes that it was "[t]ruly the world's worst run event. I've never seen something run so poorly." Foodite was not impressed either. "For the most part it was unexciting, unorganized, and most notably, not worth the $20 admission fee." The Girl Who Ate Everything was the only report we got that didn't sound completely awful, although she shared some similar views about the organization or lack thereof.
Did any of you out there get to the event? How was your experience?
Photo from The Girl Who Ate Everything