A little research–and an exchange of voicemails with a very nice woman at the James Beard Foundation–resulted in a bit of extremely useful information. So after a quick look around our new digs, we headed back down to Chelsea Market to visit the JBF LTD pop up. It was, to quote the Foundation, “the most exciting pop-up food pavilion and restaurant New York has seen.” It existed for 27 days. We were there on day…
A food pavilion is kind of like a mini-fair for foodies. There was a “steak of the day” brownies from the Food Network kitchen . . . some lovely crepes . . . an actual restaurant . . . where we got delicious flavored tea. Vikki got on TV with James Beard himself . . . and Rosemary found the rear end of a cow.
But, lovely as it was, that was just a warm up for the main event. We were there to see this: “Experts of the Food Network Kitchens—Katherine Alford, vice president of the test kitchens at Food Network and Cooking Channel, and Food Network executive chef Rob Bleifer will be on hand to talk about and sample their favorite Food Network dishes for everyone to see, smell, and taste.” And see them we did.
They even brought snacks: Note: As of this writing I’m hunkered in the closet during a tornado warning so I can’t remember what it was…but it was yummy. The green sauce is pea-based.
Naturally, our little group snagged prime seats front and center, which was a good thing for everyone. No, really. We were a fantastic audience: engaged, making eye contact, nodding & laughing at the appropriate times. Which could explain why when the interviewer opened the floor for questions he said, “Does anybody have any questions?” and immediately stuck the microphone in my face.
Yes, of course I had a question ready. Of the three questions asked, our group was responsible for two. (Told you we were a good audience.) After it was over we basked in a little reflected glory and noticed that Chef Rob was still hanging around. So we went over to chat with him and realized this was a golden opportunity. “You know that Food Network logo on the wall that we see on TV,” I said, with all the charm I could muster. “Is that somewhere we could get to to take a picture?”
Chef Rob pondered that a moment. “Well . . . no. But . . . I can sneak you up there.”
O. M. G.
“They’re working in the kitchen so I can’t take you in there, but I can get you to the logo.”
I love that man. We oh-so-casually followed him out the door and through the halls of Chelsea Market down an unobtrusive hall to an unmarked elevator. A seriously cool metallic unmarked elevator, btw, as befitting one leading to the foodie holy of holies. Then the doors opened and…
Now THAT’S what I call a successful trip to New York!