Cioppino with Tyler Florence

I'm not good at getting tickets to events. I don't like to plan that much in advance, and I'm not one of those people who knows what's going on and how to get tickets. I've seen broadway shows, but never actually purchased the tickets myself, and usually when my friends go to concerts I feel like "how come I didn't know about that?". But early in the year, I probably passed by some bbq in Madison Square park, or other big roped-off food event, and I decided to get in on the next one. In April I found the Food Network NYC Wine and Food Festival "coming soon" website and signed up for email alerts. In mid-June the alert came that tickets would go on sale that day. Unfortunately, by the time I confirmed with my friend to both buy tickets to see Giada De Laurentis cook, her event was sold out (within 24 hours). So was Bobby Flay. But knowing my demo companion uses Tyler Florence recipes often, I snapped up 2 tickets. He tried a few hours later to get more tickets but they were gone. Next year I won't hesitate, and I'll definitely try to attend more events at the festival.

I love cooking shows, and cooking classes, so it was a given that we'd enjoy a live cooking demo. Tyler has a great stage presence and rapport with his audience. He is opening 3 restaurants around the San Francisco area, so he shared with us his current obsession with the area's history involving food and cooking by giving us a comprehensive history of the area and connecting it to themes for his new restaurants. I appreciate the thought and research he's putting into every detail of his restaurants - he definitely deserves his success. After, he showed us how to make Cioppino, an Italian seafood stew. It was still quite surreal, almost like watching him on tv, except when he filled time during the cooking process to answer audience questions. The smells were the best part - just amazing - especially when he broiled the garlic bread! He even walked around the room with the stew pot to let everyone smell.

Here's Tyler's Cioppino recipe, and an older video of him demonstrating a similar stew.


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