Towards the end of last year I decided to go to some of the food and wine festivals and see what they’re all about. Since my heart seems to be located closer to my stomach than the average person, this seemed like a genius idea. I would travel in pursuit of life-changing meals and inspiring wine pairings that would leave me with memories worthy enough to be passed down to my grandchildren.
First stop, keeping it local, was New York City Wine & Food Festival. Me and my then-significant-other went to “30,000 Feet Above Sea Level: Delta’s ‘Catch of the Day’ featuring X, Y and Z, hosted by A; Presented by B”. With such a long title and $250 per person price tag, I was convinced that this dinner would exceed my expectations.
I am not sure if my expectations were too high but although I was grateful for the experience I was disappointed. The evening began being greeted by Delta employees and then waiting for an awkwardly slow elevator. When we got to one floor we were offered wine at the bar and once we took to some low seats we were offered some average and yummy hors d’oeuvres. The waiters were cordial but impersonal, this combined with the lack of atmosphere made me feel as though this portion of the event was an impromptu one because the kitchen wasn’t ready to serve (although I am sure that was not the case).
Finally after being served the same three hors d’oeuvres for an hour and making them lose their wow factor, we were able to go up to the second level for dinner. The venue was apparently new and not yet open to the public, so I imagine I was supposed to feel honoured. I couldn’t help but think that for a dinner entitled “30,000 Feet Above Sea Level” we should have actually been eating somewhere way above sea level. Come on, it’s New York, make it happen. The open kitchen was a cool touch but without being guided to seats or told to find your own there was a moment of confused idleness. We took seats near the kitchen and consequently we were able to see the staff plating the meals for about 100 people next to our table because apparently there was inadequate space inside the kitchen. This was fun for someone who takes pride in plating her own meals at home but I am not sure how professional it was.
The food came and then it went, some in my tummy and some back to the kitchen on the plate and most likely in the bin. The six-course meal was paired with fine wines, which I actually enjoyed. The chefs came and spoke about their dishes and then it was over. Luckily I had great company and staring into each other’s eyes over our meal compensated for the lack of fireworks on my pallet.
Weeks later we went to Barbados for their Food & Wine and Rum festival. The experience was similar to that of New York except it was for several days. Fortunately the weather was lovely so we could really make a holiday of it. This weekend we are going to South Beach Food & Wine Festival, which apparently has grown over the years in every way. I look forward to having great things to report and making everyone jealous!
Live Love & Eat!