WLIW's chefs come together for one evening
by Shane Miller
Sep 02, 2009 | 17187 views | 0 0 comments | 566 566 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fans of some of food television biggest personalities will have the chance next week to meet their favorite chefs in person, and in the process sample some of the best food and wine the city has to offer.

WLIW21's Autumn Gourmet Classic will take place Wednesday, September 9, at The Astor Center in Manhattan and feature popular public television chefs Lidia Matticchio Bastianich of “Lidia's Italy,” longtime cooking partner of Julia child and host of “Fast Food My Way,” Jacques Pepin, and John Barricelli of “Everyday Baking from Everyday Food.”

“We know there is a – no pun intended – huge appetite for our audience to meet our television chefs and hear about food,” said Laura Savini, vice president of marketing and communications for WLIW. “This is an opportunity for those who really care about high-end food and television to meet in one place.”

Savini said that the station has hosted demonstrations and tastings with individual chefs in the past, but this is the first time WLIW has brought together three big personalities from the food/television world for one event.

“We wanted to make it a food festival,” she said.

Bastianich, who is from Douglaston, will be signing copies of her cookbook, which is included in the price of the ticket, and speaking with guests. Meanwhile Pepin and Barricelli will give cooking demonstrations in The Astor Center's state-of-the-art kitchen galleries.

According to Savini, Pepin will demonstrate a method for instantly curing salmon, while Barricelli will be making mini-raspberry tarts for guests.

“You are going to experience food theater,” promised Savini. “We really look at our chefs as entertainers.”

In addition to the meet-and-greet session and the demonstrations, guests will also be able to sample food from various area restaurants, including Industria Argentina, Paladar, CoolFish Grille & Wine Bar of Syosset, and Stone Creek Inn of the Hamptons. They will also be able to try a wide variety of wines from Italy, Spain, and Argentina, as well as wines by Jean Luc Colombo, who is hailed as the “winemaking wizard” of the Rhone.

There are a limited number of tickets for the event, and while some are still available, they are being snatched up fast.

“We didn't want it to be jam-packed,” said Savini. “We wanted to put it in a nice place where you didn't have to wait on a long line and push yourself through a crowd just to try a wine.”

Savini has been with WLIW for approximately 20 years, during which time she has seen cooking shows evolve from the days when Pepin and Child ruled the airwaves.

“The shows have become a lot more diverse and specialized,” she said. “WLIW has really been at the forefront of food television.”

Single tickets for the WLIW21 Autumn Gourment Classic are $250 for a single ticket; $450 for a pair. The price of the ticket includes a cookbook by either Lidia Bastianich or Jacques Pepin. For tickets or additional information, visit wliw.org or call (800) 767-2121.

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