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Highlights From NYCWFF: Jets Tailgate, Guy Fieri, Oktoberfest, Sunday Slice (Photos)

Andrew Zimmern offers up several varieties of his new sausage line with Pat LaFrieda
Andrew Zimmern offers up several varieties of his new sausage line with Pat LaFrieda
All photos by Billy Lyons

A collective "I ate way too much" burst forth from the mouths of attendees of the New York City Wine and Food Festival last night, wrapping up the event for another year. 2013 saw the return of old favorites like La Sagra's Sunday Slice and Blue Moon's Burger Bash as well as brand new tailgate and Oktoberfest festivities, which helped attract food lovers of all kinds. Here's a look at the highlights from some of the weekend's festivities.

Jets + Chefs: The Ultimate Tailgate

On Saturday, the New York Jets hosted a tailgate party of epic proportions: With Mario Batali, Rocco DiSpirito, and Joe Namath leading the charge, some of the city's most globally diverse kitchens huddled up. The result? Not your typical stadium parking lot dining experience. Combinations like smoked brisket tacos, kimchi shrimp rolls, and beef tongue pastrami had people lining up in formation, the human wall surrounding Dominique Ansel's tent wasn't letting anyone through, and buffalo shrimp inundated the sea of green jerseys like a Rex Ryan blitz package. The Jets may want to think about running a tailgate like this every weekend: They defeated the rival New England Patriots by a field goal this past Sunday. Hey, a superstition isn't weird if it works, right?

DiSpirito pumps up the crowd during a demonstration
DiSpirito pumps up the crowd during a demonstration
Batali and sons showcase their custom Jets jerseys
Batali and sons showcase their custom Jets jerseys
Deviled eggs, one of the unique dishes spotted at tailgate
Deviled eggs, one of the unique dishes spotted at tailgate
Socarrat Paella Bar's classic Spanish paella, something you don't see at an everyday tailgate
Socarrat Paella Bar's classic Spanish paella, something you don't see at an everyday tailgate
You know, just your typical tailgate ham
You know, just your typical tailgate ham
AG Kitchen's pomegranate and grilled pineapple guacamole. Serve in metal tub for ultimate impact.
AG Kitchen's pomegranate and grilled pineapple guacamole. Serve in metal tub for ultimate impact.
Corn on the cob gets a facelift with coconut flakes and chili mayo courtesy of Num Pang
Corn on the cob gets a facelift with coconut flakes and chili mayo courtesy of Num Pang

 

Need a drink? Guy Fieri is ready to serve and carry on some conversation
Need a drink? Guy Fieri is ready to serve and carry on some conversation

Guy Fieri's Rock of Ages party

Fieri greeted each attendee at the door during his Rock of Ages party on Saturday night, nearly a year after that same door swung open on Flavor Town, welcoming tourists, locals, and, eventually, unsympathetic reviewers. By the time Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update got through lampooning the star chef back then, his image had taken a serious hit. Yet here was Fieri one year later playing it up for a packed house. He played host. He played bartender. He ran the show. Oh, and he also tied for first place for the Burger Bash's People's Choice award. The guy's in-your-face personality may not win over everyone, but like the Journey song blasting in the night, his popularity just seems to go on and on and on and on.

Guy Fieri. Owner. Chef. Professional Greeter.
Guy Fieri. Owner. Chef. Professional Greeter.
The bar portion of Guy's American Kitchen and Bar
The bar portion of Guy's American Kitchen and Bar
Sashimi tacos, a typical menu item you'll find at Fieri's Times Square restaurant
Sashimi tacos, a typical menu item you'll find at Fieri's Times Square restaurant
Fieri goes behind his bar to please thirsty revelers
Fieri goes behind his bar to please thirsty revelers
Huli Huli Chicken, a featured entree at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar
Huli Huli Chicken, a featured entree at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar

 

Zimmern engages the crowd while offering several varieties of his new sausage line with LaFrieda
Zimmern engages the crowd while offering several varieties of his new sausage line with LaFrieda

Oktoberfest

Amidst the sea of steins, lederhosen, and giant pretzels with cheese dip, Zimmern and LaFrieda showcased their collaborative effort on a new line of all-natural sausages to coincide with the first NYCWFF Oktoberfest. After all, if you're going to recreate Bavaria in Queens, you're going to need a meat-focused menu. LaFrieda's presence throughout the weekend is typically associated with the various blends that make up the entrants in the Burger Bash, but this collaboration focused on offering an equally iconic foodstuff: the New York hot dog. The new line features a preservative-free Piedmontese heritage beef along with selections like bratwursts with cheese and goat sausage

"I like the goat sausage because I like the mint in it, I like the fennel. It's very very different," LaFrieda told us. "I would say that goat is going to be America's next big protein." Zimmern added that he's anxious to see what chefs like Alex Stupak of Empellon start doing with the animal--which he noted is like soccer in that it seems to just be loved a little more outside of the U.S.

Fans flocked to Studio Square in Astoria for the brand new Oktoberfest event this year hosted by Zimmern
Fans flocked to Studio Square in Astoria for the brand new Oktoberfest event this year hosted by Zimmern
Bronwyn featured a giant pretzel with traditional cheese dip
Bronwyn featured a giant pretzel with traditional cheese dip
DBGB joins in on the Oktoberfest festivities
DBGB joins in on the Oktoberfest festivities
Oktoberfest at Studio Square might just become a regular event based on the turnout this year
Oktoberfest at Studio Square might just become a regular event based on the turnout this year

 

Brooklyn's own Adam Richman was on hand to help pick a winner
Brooklyn's own Adam Richman was on hand to help pick a winner

La Sagra Sunday Slices

New Yorkers--as we all know--are particular about their pizza, whether it's fried up montanara-style, spiced up with soppressata, or even served upside down. With Brooklyn native Adam Richman and Anne Burrell leading the charge, pizzerias like Motorino, Co., and Rubirosa converged to offer their interpretation of what makes the best slice, ultimately demonstrating what a little mozzarella, dough, and tomato sauce can do to make magic.

Pizza-tossing 101
Pizza-tossing 101
The upside down pizza from NY Pizza Suprema
The upside down pizza from NY Pizza Suprema
Co.'s Green Tomato Pie
Co.'s Green Tomato Pie
La Montanara from Forcella features a fried crust, which makes throwing it away a sin
La Montanara from Forcella features a fried crust, which makes throwing it away a sin
Rubirosa's Pizza Rustica featured a thin crunchy crust
Rubirosa's Pizza Rustica featured a thin crunchy crust
One of the few times people don't notice the city skyline because they are staring at pizza
One of the few times people don't notice the city skyline because they are staring at pizza


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