Cook. Nourish. Heal. Celebrate.

New York Wine & Food Festival #nycwff

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 16, 2012 at 3:14pm

john levy andrew zimmern new york wine & food festival stephanie meyer fresh tart

The email I just sent to my mom:

Hi Mom! Holy Hannah, what a whirlwind weekend! So so so much fun. The Levys say hello. We got to see everyone: Tom, Val, & kids; of course Dot & John; Bartley, Maud & Natalie; Andrew & Rishia; and lots of time with David, Etta, and Stacey. The food truck event on Sunday night was a BLAST. The AZ Canteen truck was a huge hit! So fabulous! Here’s a link to the article Joy wrote for City Pages – yes, Joy was there too, got to see her several times! Attached is a pic of David, Etta, Stacey & me.

How are you feeling?

Love you, S

david meyer stacey meyer etta meyer stephanie meyer fresh tart

I realize that I sound about 16 years old in that email but it pretty well captures my enthusiasm for the weekend. CRAZY FLIPPING FUN! The best part was the time spent with friends and family, particularly my brother David and two sisters Stacey and Etta. With Stacey and me living in Minneapolis, and David and Etta living in NYC, the four of us only get together a couple of times per year.

I hated to say good bye.

john levy stephanie meyer fresh tart

John and I are lucky that his parents still live in the city. We always have a lovely place to stay and time to hang out and chat with my in-laws, who rock. That’s my father-in-law John making his famous gumbo. He’s a fan of a dark chestnut roux (not the darkest dark) and loads of mussels, clams, andouille, langoustines, and shrimp. No oysters. Okra fried a bit crisp before simmering. Heavenly, heavenly stuff.

Maybe some day he’ll give me the recipe…?

michael clurman le bibloquet poulet cajun stephanie meyer fresh tart

Friday lunch John and I met his high school friend Michael Clurmen at Le Bilboquet. I can’t imagine how I haven’t met Michael before, but I’m awfully glad I have now. He’s a riot AND he recommended a dish I wouldn’t have otherwise ordered: Poulet Cajun, a dish of blackened Cajun chicken with frites. I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a blackened Cajun anything since 1989 but oh my goodness…quite possibly my favorite dish of the weekend. What? I know! But it was absolutely delicious, butter tender and spicy (of course), served in a butter sauce, with perfect frites and crisp greens, meant to all be eaten together, on each forkful, for maximum salty-spicy-crusty-crunchy-tender-crispness. I don’t know what I’m saying, I’m still confused by the Cajun. All I know was that it was just damn tasty.

(Ah ha! A little search for Le Bilboquet’s website, which apparently doesn’t exist, revealed that I am not alone in my love for Poulet Cajun…the dish made Eater NY’s list of 12 Epic Chicken Dishes to Eat Before You Die. Hey cool. Eleven to go and I can check out.)

After lunch John and I hopped on the subway to visit my baby sister Etta at the Soho office of DuJour Magazine. Etta is the photo editor of this stunning new lifestyle magazine. I am her ridiculously proud sibling. Go Etta!

maud bryt john levy tom levy bartley bryt natalie bryt stephanie meyer fresh tart momofuku ssam

On Friday night, still full from lunch, we feasted a bounty of pork & pickles – I know, you must wonder if I ever tire of pork & pickles, but the answer is most certainly no, never – at Momofuku Ssam Bar with the Levys and our friends the Bryts. Highlights for me were the barbecue pork buns, a giant bowl of pickled vegetables that I pretty much ate by myself, raw oysters, and of course the house specialty: the glistening, fall-apart-tender Bo Ssam pork shoulder roast, served with rice, lettuce, kimchi, and their massively addictive scallion sauce.

john levy central park stephanie meyer fresh tart

Saturday morning John and I took a crispy, sunny walk through Central Park, to walk off about 1/1000th of the previous day’s indulgences, just in time to…

le charlot john levy joy summers eric tollefson stephanie meyer fresh tart

…eat more. We met a couple of Levys as well as Joy Summers and Eric Tollefson at Le Charlot, another sweet little bistro, because I needed more frites. I very much enjoyed my crab avocado salad, but their frites couldn’t hold a candle to Le Bilboquet’s, not that I didn’t eat plenty of them anyhow. Still, we had great fun pointing out examples of good and bad plastic surgery and taking enough pictures of each other for my mother-in-law to point out we were being rude.

Sunday morning I lay around reading and it was AMAZING. (I’m just about done with The Snow Child, a terrific read.) I could have felt guilty for not stealing another stroll through Central Park. Or catching a fabulous museum exhibit. Or breakfasting in some sunny, sparkly spot. But I didn’t! I shrugged off the pressure to cram in New York experiences and fried up some leftover Bo Ssam, topped it with with a poached egg, sipped some bubbly, and relaxed. So good.

az canteen new york wine & food festival stephanie meyer fresh tart

And then I slowly got myself ready for the big show, the real reason we were in town, to attend the New York Wine & Food Festival’s Trucks & Train event, hosted by Andrew Zimmern to raise money for Share Our Strength. Andrew’s AZ Canteen food truck was at the event and since my husband John is a partner in the AZ Canteen venture, we were nervous and excited to see New Yorkers’ reaction to cabrito butter burgers. The verdict was…they loved them! There were 24 trucks at the event, but the longest lines were at AZ Canteen, and it warmed our Minnesota hearts to hear passersby raving as they stuffed their faces with pretzel-bunned goat.

#nycwff stephanie meyer fresh tart

My sister Stacey’s friend Michael got us off to a grand start, snagging Venezuelan plantain sandwiches, Cubano sandwiches, AZ Canteen butter burgers, and arepas before the doors even opened.

john levy andrew zimmern stephanie meyer fresh tart new york wine & food festival

Andrew introduced John and me to Food & Wine Magazine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin, who is as petite and lovely in person as she is in photographs. I’m quite sure I failed at not seeming utterly star struck.

I ate about 20 of these crispy little plantain sandwiches, stuffed with tender chicken. Look for a blog post soon, I can’t wait to try my hand at them. Gluten-free goodness, much appreciated.

I am kicking myself that I didn’t get a picture of Joy Summers’ face when she laid eyes on this bare, bumpy butt parading around the event. This lady damn near stole the show!

joy summers stephanie meyer fresh tart

Joy and I had a blast eating, drinking, and snarking our way through the weekend and event. That girl is 100% smarty pants fun. Love.

john dot levy stephanie meyer fresh tart

My in-laws had a great time at the event, eating and dancing with the best of them.

etta meyer stacey meyer stephanie meyer new york wine & food festival fresh tart

My cool sisters. Apparently we all like Ray Bans. Hey.

andrew zimmern train stephanie meyer fresh tart

That’s Andrew, backstage while Train brought down the house.

john levy joy summers eric tollefson stephanie meyer fresh tart new york wine & food festival

John, Joy, Eric, and I said goodnight to Andrew and his wife Rishia and the whole of Team Zimmern and then grabbed a Chinese feast at Chin Chin because we’re crazy. Monday morning we all flew home and…

…here we are, digesting, reminiscing, and planning for the next trip. I’m still full and I can’t wait!

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Older Comments

  1. By Susannah Chen on October 22, 2012 at 11:51AM

    So sad to have missed you! There's always next year :)

  2. By FreshTartSteph on October 17, 2012 at 6:19AM

    Dave, thanks man, I love this note. There was definitely a lot of smiling and giggling about the craziness of being at NYCFWW. Life is strange. And cool :)

  3. By Dave Ostlund on October 16, 2012 at 9:58PM

    Steph - This was a very fun read tonight. Got glimpses here and there earlier, but the shots and snippets wrap it all together. Congrats to John and Andrew on a successful segue to the south. Nice to see lots of smiles everywhere. So fun, whimsical and "full"!

  4. By FreshTartSteph on October 16, 2012 at 6:32PM

    Thank you Shawn! I'm excited to mess around with those sandwiches too. I'm a big fan of tostones, mmm! Thanks for the sweet comment about my bro & sisters...of course I think they're amazing :) OMG that butt...and Joy's reaction to it...yes you can imagine, bahahaha. Awesome. (Her reaction, not the butt...) xoxo

  5. By Shawn Augustine on October 16, 2012 at 6:13PM

    Oh my gosh, what I trip! This is definitely one of my most favorite posts of yours! I can't wait for the future post on the plantain sandwiches! Your sisters and brothers are as beautiful as you and man, does John look like his Dad or what?!?! Wow! I wish I could have seen Joy's face when she saw the butt....oh my oh my.....thank you for sharing this wonderful weekend with us! oxox