You’re Invited: The Gilt City Sample Sale on April 7-9th!

The legendary Gilt City Warehouse Sale is getting a complete makeover! The Gilt Sample Sale, taking place on April 7-9th in NYC will be featuring a new design and exciting lifestyle offerings, such as:

  • Onsite styling
  • On-demand tailoring
  • Luxurious pop-up shops
  • Gilt City concierge

gilt city sample salesGilt City Shopping Party

The Gilt Sample Sale will offer stylish apparel, shoes, handbags, jewelry and home decor from coveted designers like Balenciaga, Prada, Valentino, John Varvatos and Paul Smith—all at up to 80 percent off retail. Look forward to a revamped layout and shopping experience, complete with the ability to browse by price point, trend and more. 

Gilt Shopping Partysample sales nyc

Each ticket includes:                             

  • Admission for one to the Gilt Sample Sale at Center415 on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 9 PM -11 PM
  • Up to 80% off designer brands like Chloé, Valentino, Tibi, Sandro, Maje, The Kooples, Derek Lam, Helmut Lang, Jimmy Choo, Tom Ford, Paul Smith and John Varvatos
  • Complimentary Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé
  • Mount Gay Rum will be serving unique craft cocktails, including stirred Old Fashioned cocktails and refreshing Rum Punch, from recipes developed by NYC’s best mixologists
  • Personal styling advice from celebrity stylist, Catherine Peridis
  • On-demand alterations and tailoring from Air Tailor
  • ROYCE New York pop-up shop with leather accessories and complimentary onsite monogramming
  • Lifestyle concierge services from Gilt City
  • Luna and Cliff Whole Nutrition bars
  • Sounds by DJ Rosé
  • Complimentary coat check (guests must check all coats and bags/purses larger than 5″x7″ before entering the sale)
  • FastPass line for those with bags smaller than 5″x7″ and no coats
  • Complimentary Coco Community coconut water to help you keep your strength up as you shop
  • Free mini facials & makeup application from The Ritualist and APTO Skincare (or enjoy a 30-minute service at extra charge)
  • Retromarine pop-up shop with handmade trunks for men
  • Onsite Miansai accessories sample sale
  • Wala Swim pop-up, a curated collection of the best fitting suits

Get your tickets on Gilt City before they sell out, click here!

The NYC Chocolate Project: Cocoa Store

Located at 15 E 18th Street the Cocoa Store is easily the smallest chocolate shop that I’ve been in. What they lack in space, they make up in creative use of that space. The walls are lined with some of the priciest chocolate I’ve had, and the jewelry-style display case makes their limited selection of truffles feel extra special.

The Cocoa Store in NYCNYC Chocolate Shops

Cocoa Store is a “retailer of prestigious chocolate brands from around the world”, and carries primarily five chocolate brands: Amedei, Domori, Castronovo, Dick and Taylor, and Harper Macaw.

You can buy single truffles from the display case, or chocolate bars and collections from behind. I definitely recommend the miniatures collection in front of the register, in this case your best bet is to acquaint yourself with the flavors of the chocolate offered before committing to a whole bar or collection.

Cocoa Store NYC register

Out of all the chocolate shops that I’ve been to, the Cocoa Store offers the most intense (and expensive) chocolate. If you, or someone you know, are hardcore chocolate connoisseurs – the kind that know the bean location and cocoa concentration of their chocolate – then you and they will love this place. Especially dark chocolate fans.

Initially I was sort of skeptical of the prices I saw at the Cocoa Store, however a little digging proved that the chocolates offered here are the real deal – they’re boutique chocolates with a world-wide following. Amedei’s single plantation chocolate, Chuao, is considered by some very influential chocolatiers to be possibly the greatest chocolate in the world. Food & Wine’s Pete Wells wrote an excellent article on the chocolatiers here, it’s well worth reading whether or not you’re a chocolate fan.

Cocoa Store NYC display case

Domori, another specialty chocolate, was founded in 1997 and are credited with restoring the cultivation of Criollo beans. In 2002, Gianluca Franzoni opened a plantation in Venezuela where he is cultivating varieties of Criollo that are on the verge of extinction.

Castronovo, owned by one of few female chocolate makers in America, Denise Castronovo, offers sustainable American craft chocolate. “Castronovo sources the cacao beans and contributes to providing an income for indigenous people who live off of the rainforest.  The prestigious awards she has received, including 7 World Final International Chocolate Awards, and 8 Academy of Chocolate Awards from London are just the result of her lifelong commitment.” – Cocoa Store

Amedei Chocolates NYC Cocoa Store

Dick and Taylor source their cocoa from around the world, using only organic cocao and organic cane sugar. With options like Black Fig, 72% Maple Coconut, and a limited release Vietnam Tien Giang with tasting notes of spice cake, apricot, and almond butter, you really can’t go wrong trying at least one. Each 2oz bar runs about $8.50, and ranks as a small, affordable luxury. Plus, the packaging is absolutely beautiful.

Harper Macaw chocolates are sourced from two of Earth’s most threatened biomes – Brazil’s Atlantic and Amazon rainforests. Their mission? Turning chocolate into a force for tropical reforestation. You clearly see their inspiration in the creative and eye-catching design of their chocolates.

Harper Macaw Chocolates Cocoa Store NYC

On my first visit I ended up spending roughly $80 on chocolates – I had a few pralines and truffles, an Amedei Toscano Red Chocolate Bar, Domori Napolitains D-Fusion Sleeve, a Single Origins Sleeve, a Domori Pret a Porter Chocolate Gift Bag, and a Criollo sleeve.

The sleeves are the best way to familiarize yourself with the varying degrees of cocoa content, bean sources and flavors, while the chocolate gift bag is great for gifting and easing yourself into the serious and intense flavors offered. The bag itself seems to be themed around hazelnuts with exception of the Rum and Chestnut ‘Cuneesi’ Pralines – which utilize chestnut cream and Agrimontana chestnuts liquor instead.

Amedei Chocolates in NYC

My favorite was the Amedei Toscano Red Chocolate Bar, which features a minimum of 70% cocoa content, and dried red fruit (strawberry, cherry, and raspberry). I always love the marriage of tart and sweet, and while the dark chocolate here isn’t exacting teeming with sugar, it’s still beautifully done.

Amedei Toscano Red

After doing my little bit of googling research into the brands sold at the Cocoa Store, I really feel much more enthusiastic about this little shop. You’d be hardpressed to find brands like Amedei elsewhere and I only know of one other place – 2beans – that carries Domori. In terms of access, the Cocoa Store is part of what makes the city so great – that we have the ability to hop on the train or bus and are able to access luxury chocolates, possibly the greatest chocolates, quite easily.

Cocoa Store
15 E 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 982-8005

https://cocoastore.nyc/

Everyday Art: Luxury Spanish Porcelain Brand, LLadro, Brings Creative Pedigree to Lifestyle Products

As a self-confessed homebody, having nice things at home means a lot to me. A gorgeous piece of art makes the home look more inviting, a boutique candle makes the home smell more inviting – you know what I mean. It’s the little things that create a space that’s expressive of who we are. So naturally I was excited when Lladro invited me to swing by their boutique on Madison Avenue. Lladro is a Spanish luxury porcelain brand that are widely known for their creative, classic, and completely collectible creations. Lladro porcelain pieces are painstakingly handcrafted, and are collected around the world for their beauty and craftsmanship. As much as I loved looking at Lladro’s ceramic artwork, I was there to check out their Home Fragrances Collection.

Iladro detail1detail3

The Lladro Home Fragrances Collection consists of a core Heavenly Dreams candle and diffuser selection, a signature nose candle, and a signature Volutes candle.

Iladro Home Fragrances

Each of Lladro’s Heavenly Dreams candles feature a ceramic angel figurine on the lid, they come in three poses: Thinking of You, Dreaming of You, and Missing You – which translates into the angel folding its arms, leaning on its arms, or waiting expectantly. I love this detail so much, it really ties the candles into the mother brand. You’re basically buying a small Lladro creation.

Iladro Candle1

The Heavenly Dreams candles are all inspired by the Mediterranean and the brand’s creative universe, and the scents include: Gardens of Valencia, Mediterranean Beach, A Secret Orient, Tropical Blossoms, and last but not least, I love You, Mom.

Lladro Banner 728 x 90

I couldn’t actually pick a favorite, but if I had too I’d choose Tropical Blossoms and Mediterranean Beach which are both so lovely. Mediterranean Beach has an orange blossom and woody tone, but it’s very fresh and transformative as a home scent. Tropical Blossoms, which is the scent I ended up picking, is a floral perfume of Italian mandarin and frangipani, with the tropical fragrance of benjoin. I didn’t even know what benjoin was until I burned this candle, then I was all obsessed by finding other fragrances with it. It’s basically a balsamic resin taken from the bark of specific trees, it has quite a distinctive smell.

Iladro Candle2

All of the Heavenly Dreams candles burn for up to 45 hours, the diffusers have a duration of up to three months, and the Nose and Volutes candles last up to 35 hours.  Once you’re done burning them, you can absolutely reuse these for cotton balls or to hold your makeup brushes on your vanity.

I’m not going to lie, the boutique kind of feels like an art museum. I learned so much about their process – like how pieces like this equestrian number can take a number of artists to create. Each layer – from color to accessories to glaze – will require it to be re-fired in the kiln. Another cool fact? When Lladro releases a limited edition item, they will make the set number of that item and then actually break the mold. Yep, breaking the mold ensures that no other replica can be made – it really asserts that collectors are indeed investing in a unique piece.

Lladro Ceramic HorseIladro NYC Boutique

Speaking of unique, the lighting! I could not get over how gorgeous they were. Lladro lighting definitely falls into the realm of luxury, with prices ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars. But a girl can dream, and this girl is dreaming of their Niagara Chandelier’s. They use optic fibers to suspend painstakingly crafted porcelain fairies or foliage. The light travels down the fiber and illumiates the ceramic creations, creating a breathtaking sort of Midsummer’s Eve-type effect. You can also bend the fibers yourself, cracking them and creating fissures for the light to catch along the fiber. Boy, if I had a spare 50k!

lladro niagara chandelierLladro Luxury Lightinglamp1Lladro Lamp 2

Between the gorgeous lighting, contemporary and charming Animal Heroes collection, their work with artists, and their amazing Home Fragrances Collection, Lladro is not just your grandmother’s ceramic brand! It’s an innovative lifestyle one too!

To find out more about Lladro’s Home Fragrances Collection or their other products watch the video above, then click here!

*This post is sponsored, product or services were provided. For more information please click here.*

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Debut New Coconut & Almond Milk Creamers at Tasting Table Event

This past week I was invited to join Coffee-Mate & Natural Bliss at Tasting Table in Soho to get a closer look at their new plant-based creamers in action. If you don’t know, Tasting Table is basically a test kitchen and dining room – it’s where all the cool culinary action takes place, from video shoots to invite-only dinner parties. I’ve heard so much about it, that I was so glad that it lived my expectations. It is such a dreamy space and their team is amazing.

Tasting Table CocktailTasting Table NYC

Tasting Table & Natural Bliss put together a ‘Breakfast for Dinner’ menu that blew my socks off. There was a fun Acai Berry Bowl station, where Coffee-Mate’s Natural Bliss Coconut Milk Creamer was put to the test. I’d never actually had an acai bowl before and if they’re anything like the one I had at Tasting Table, then I can see why they’re so popular.

Acai bowl station at Tasting Table

We also had Citrus and Beet Salad, Mushroom and Soba Salad, Vanilla Almond Chia Pudding with Fresh Fruit, and my all-time favorite item of the evening – Almond French Toast.

French ToastChia Cups

Because I was in a breakfast sort of mood, coffee was a must. Made with no GMO ingredients, natural bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk plant-based, non-dairy, creamers are deliciously smooth and creamy. My pick? Caramel Almond Milk Creamer. I’m a sucker for caramel anything, so this with my standard coffee is pure gold. There’s also Hazelnut Almond Milk Creamer, Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer, and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk Creamer (which made my acai bowl extra special).

Natural Bliss Almond Milk CreamerCoffee Mate Creamer

Avacado toasts, Carrot Apple Kombu Shooters, and Chickpea Panisse rounded out my evening of fun. And I can’t forget the Caramel Tres Leches Cake as dessert, which was perfectly done.

Tasting Table Avocado ToastAvocado Toast

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk Creamers are now available at retailers nationwide – with the Hazelnut flavored Almond Milk creamer being sold exclusively at Target stores. For recipes and more information on the new natural bliss products, click here.

On Our Radar – Events in & Around NYC this Winter & Spring

This list will be updated continuously throughout the Spring of 2017. Keep coming back – or follow The NYC Talon on twitter (@KristaK2) for updates!

My Little Pony and Milk & Cookies Kids Spa and Salon Offer “My Little Pony Pamper-Me” Pop-Up Spa | February 9-17

The NYFW Pamper Me Pony Pop Up Spa

Little fashion fans and their parents are invited to get ready for the runway by stopping by the My Little Pony Pamper-Me Pop-up Spa at Milk & Cookies Kids Spa and Salon.  This unique My Little Pony experience will allow kids (and parents) to rest their hooves between runway shows, play with all new My Little Pony fashion-themed products and enjoy an exclusive menu of My Little Pony-inspired spa treatments, named after the Mane 6!  Services include:

Spa Services

1196 First Avenue (btw. 64th & 65th St.), more info here.

French Wink is opening the first pop-up concept Store dedicated to French lifestyle products | February 10-14

Valentines Day Pop Up Store NYC

French Wink is opening the first pop-up concept Store dedicated to French lifestyle products.

We selected the very best of France from the internationally renowned French brands to the new designers and creators not yet seen in the US. 
We will welcome you in our little Paris where you’ll be tempted by our unique selection of clothes, fashion and home accessories, kids products and gourmet food.

A lovely way to say it in French to your Valentine. 

Opening hours: Friday 10th at noon – rest of the days from 11am to 8pm, at 230 Mulberry Street, NYC.

More info here.

Meatpacking District Announces ARTech: Adventures in Art + Technology, A Pop Up Activity Center for Children | For the entire months of March & April

Art Tech NYC Meatpacking District

The Meatpacking Business Improvement District (BID) is proud to invite you to experience ARTech: Adventures in Art + Technology!

What Is ARTech?
ARTech is a two-month long pop-up activity center
comprised of STEAM-based experiential workshops, installations, and interactive moments for school age children + their accompanying adults.

What Is STEAM?
STEAM (Acronym, Adjective) – Of, or used to describe the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

Who is involved?
ARTech is hosted by the Meatpacking BID and programmed by Children’s Museum of the Arts and the New York Hall of Science.

How Much Does It Cost?
ARTech is FREE and open to the public! RSVP is required for a timed entry slot.

When Is It Open?
ARTech will be open March 1 – April 30, Wed +Thurs from 3pm-7pm and, Sat + Sun from 10am-5pm, hours may vary.

What’s The Goal?
ARTech is designed to inspire young minds to explore and consider how these principles impact their daily lives and the world in which they live.

ARTech will enable exploration around problem-solving and creativity and seeks to facilitate experiential learning.

RSVP and more info can be found here.

Care Bears 35th Anniversary Celebration Collaboration with Sprinkles!

Care Bears will always have a special place in my heart, because – like most people my age – I used to watch the show when I was a kid. I distinctly remember my sister informing me that I was Grumpy Bear and that she was Cheer Bear, a comment which of course incited an all-out war. Ah, siblings. Actually now that I’m older I much prefer to be associated with Bedtime Bear, for obvious reasons. Last week Care Bears announced a partnership with Sprinkles, the first cupcake bakery, as a part of their 35th anniversary celebration. From January 5th-25th, Sprinkles will offer limited-edition Care Bears cupcakes and sweet surprises at all bakery locations!

care-bear-cupcakesmini-cupcakessprinkles-care-bear-promotion

First of all, can you believe Care Bears is 35 years old?! What?! Second of all, what could possibly be sweeter than a cupcake with a Care Bear on it? Nothing. Nothing could be sweeter or cuter.

care-bears-fruit-juicecare-bear-merchandisecare-bear

I was invited to decorate a cupcake of my own, but after a clumsy attempt (alas, I am no cupcake froster) at it I mostly stood around texting pictures of the cupcakes to my sister. Sweet revenge. Also, if you’re looking for a real treat, try enjoying your Care Bear cupcake with some nice champagne. So, so good.

sprinkles-limited-edition-care-bear-cupcakeschapagne-and-cupcakesbouvet-brut

In addition to limited-edition Care Bears cupcakes, whisper words will be revealed weekly on the Care Bears and Sprinkles Instagram pages with instructions for fans to redeem freebies and special goodies at check out. On January 21st, aka National Hug Day, big celebrations will take place at select stores where fans of all ages can partake in product giveaways and cheerful activities.

sprinkles-care-bear-cupcakes

Stick around for lots of sharing and caring and hugs from Care Bears with Sprinkles and other great partners in 2017!

The NYC Chocolate Project: Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland

With two locations in the city, Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland offers NYC tourists and locals some seriously decadent confections. Founded in 1932 in Switzerland by Dolf Teuscher, Tuescher’s signature offering are the champagne chocolate truffles – of which I have eaten many, many, many of. The chocolates themselves aren’t the prettiest things to look at, they’re simple, polite domes dusted in a powdery white sugar coating. But the quality and care put into creating these unassuming treats are obvious in the flavor.

teuscher-chocolatier-nycrockefeller-center-summer-2016teuscher-chocolates-of-switzerland-nycteuscher-chocolate-varities

Teuscher’s champagne chocolates are made with Dom Perignon champagne (the good stuff! I feel like Ina Garten would approve), butter cream, surrounded by a dark cream ganache, then enrobed in milk chocolate. These rank up there with Grey’s Papaya hot dogs, good pizza, and good sushi for me. Pure comfort. My family has actually made a yearly tradition of walking to see the tree at Rockefeller center, taking a touristy picture, then swinging by Teuscher. There’s something about being surrounded by the chaos and glamour of the city while enjoying fancy chocolate flown in from Zurich. Then, of course, we brave the crowds and descend upon the problematic subway system (you did hear that they’re raising the fares soon? Crazy!).

teuscher-chocolate-barsteuscher-champagne-truffle-boxesteuscher-champagne-chocolates

Don’t sleep on Teuscher’s other chocolate offerings though, these jewel-shaped gianduja truffles were silky and ideal. The Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pistachio truffles are definitely worth trying too. What’s really pleasant about Teuscher chocolates is that you can taste the intensity of the chocolate without missing out on the flavoring aspect. You taste the champagne in the champagne truffles, but the chocolate is good enough that you taste that too. There’s nothing quite as trying as a champagne truffle that doesn’t taste like it has even the remotest splash of champagne in it. You won’t experience such disappointment here.

baileys-cream-trufflesteuchser-chocolates-nyc

Though the $112 a pound price tag can cause general sticker shock, two champagne truffles usually cost between $8-9, which is not entirely astronomical considering that they’re flown in from Zurich and are comprised of quality ingredients. If you’re looking for an extra special gift, stop by during the holidays. These pictures are from the Summer, where they go all out on décor and specially styled boxes, so you can imagine the effort and imagination that goes into the holiday offerings. My family actually hangs a little Swiss doll ornament that we purchased at the Rockefeller Center shop years ago.

chocolate-truffles-nycteuscher-summer-chocolates

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, the 61st Street shop is much smaller, and much quieter thanks in part to their no cellphones rule (suggested by a sign posted on the door). Find more information about Teuscher, and to purchase your own chocolates, click here.

Must-Have Home Tech: Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor!

Chances are, you have the latest tech in your pocket. The newest phone, the latest laptop, netbook, tablet, and activity tracker. We adapt to new technology because they adapt to our needs, they make our lives easier – they change the quality of our lives. So when new tech like the Netatmo hits the market, I definitely sit up and take notice. With a seamless design and fully integrated app, Netatmo is the smart indoor climate monitor that takes four critical measurements of your indoor environment which can then be used to make healthy changes.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

Netatmo hosted media (including me), this afternoon for a Parisian baby shower, where we were able to have a first-hand view of the Netatmo Healthy Home Coach in action. The event was held at The Hudson Hotel penthouse – which has some of the prettiest event space in the city, and is simply gorgeous.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

We were joined by lifestyle expert Limor Suss, who shared with us the ways that Netatmo makes her life easier as a mom. The Netatmo Healthy Home Coach is slim and compact, allowing it to blend seamlessly into your nursery or home décor. What it does is use sensors to measure that space’s noise, humidity, air quality, and temperature. Lorni mentioned how babies sometimes wake up from their naps a little sweaty, well, the Netatmo climate monitor will notify the app on your phone when the room gets a little too warm or humid for your baby and offers suggestions on how to alter the room’s climate.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

The mobile app is compatible with iPhone iOS8 and above, as well as Android smartphone 4.3 and above. Alongside a handy dashboard, you can ask Siri the status of a rooms climate (it works with HomeKit), and the app also enables you to send notifications to whomever (babysitter, grandma, husband/wife, etc.) is at home and would be up to opening up a window when it gets too hot, or turning down the humidifier.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

Believe it or not, according to Netatmo most of us spend up to 80% of our life outdoors. So it’s definitely wise to invest in maintaining our indoor space. I really loved what the Netatmo representative said, “Stop guessing and start knowing”. Netatmo’s Healthy Home Coach is not just for babies – if you’re especially sensitive to humidity or would love to track the noise levels in your New York City apartment that might be causing you loss of sleep, the indoor climate monitor will definitely be useful to you too. Personally, I’m pretty excited to incorporate this device into my home, I love the concept of having access to information that will allow me to take more control over my home environment.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

The Netatmo Healthy Home Coach is available online here, as well as at Best Buy, Home Depot, and Amazon (ARV $100).

A Better Snack: Olives From Spain

This post is sponsored by Olives From Spain

Every year, Spain’s top wineries get together to celebrate their latest and greatest offerings with both wine novices, connoisseurs, and industry professionals. Hosted by the Trade Commission of Spain, Spain’s Great Match was packed this year. Thanks to Olives From Spain, I was able to attend and not only get a peek at popular vinters, but also dine on the country’s other favorite – olives!

Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.comOlives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com 

I’m actually a hardcore olive eater – if you’ve been following me on twitter or Instagram you might know this already. Not only do they rate as one of my favorite snacks, but they are a strict requirement for my cheese plates. I mean, really, a cheese plate is not a cheese plate unless there’s a decent Manzanilla olive somewhere on it. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually know too much about olives, aside from my preference for the Spanish Olives mix at the grocery store. Luckily, the Olives From Spain team was on hand to school me on some interesting facts:

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

Did you know that most olives are used solely for oil extraction? I had no idea! And while the time it takes for every olive to go through the process required to get them ready for eating may vary, only a select few are deemed suitable for consumption. I love that – it makes my snacking olives feel that much more special. Speaking of special, the olives served at Spain’s Great Match by Olives From Spain were something extra – just look at these Olives with Marcona Almonds (another Spanish specialty), diced piquillos, and Carables cheese. So, so good.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

But my favorite was the Queen Olives stuffed with goat cheese, and served with a slice of apple, honey, and extra virgin olive oil. Queen Olives are named for their size, which the Olives From Spain folks informed me correlates to their price. The larger the olive, the more expensive it is. I’m familiar with stuffed olives – I’ve had them with piquillos, lemon, and almonds, but up until this event, I’ve never had them with goat cheese. I expected the cheese to come across as sharp and bitter, but the combination of the olive with the cheese, apple, and honey struck such an ideal balance that I had to restrain myself from snapping them all up and eating them myself.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

Spain’s olives not only deliver great flavor and make a great low calorie snacking food, they also pack in a surprising amount of iron and fiber! There are currently more than 300 million olive trees in Spain, so there’s plenty to go around (or at least enough for my snacking habits). Which is a good thing, seeing as how Spain produces about half of the 145,000 tons of olives we import every year. Suffice it to say, the US is a massive fan of Spanish olives.

 Olives From Spain at Spain's Great Match, read more at nyctalon.com

How do you enjoy your olives? Do you serve them as a table snack? Or do you use them in marinades, salads, or stews? Olives from Spain are so versatile, but if you’re looking for a creative way to serve some look no further than http://olivesfromspain.us/ for more recipes and to learn more about your favorite Spanish olives!

Why You Do Not Want to Miss the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel NYC Wine & Food Festival

Every year NYC eagerly awaits the hottest food event of the year – the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival. The NYCWFF is a four-day long festival featuring a variety of food related activities and as many food celebrities as you could ever want to see. You can rub elbows with Rachel Ray at her annual Blue Moon Burger Bash, or hang with the entire cast of Chopped at their rooftop event at Pier 92. Why stop there? With a plethora of food events, tastings, and seminars and panels, you really have a multitude of options – here are some of our favorites:

The Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite

If you only do one event, go to the Grand Tasting. Not only do you get a swag bag, but you also get to spend hours wandering around a 130,000-square-foot culinary wonderland. You’ll get to sample food from some of NYC’s finest establishments, sip wine & spirits from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of New York portfolio, and collect cooking techniques and tips at the Samsung Culinary Demonstrations. Bring a friend, you’ll both have an amazing time. Tickets start at $185, get yours here.

Brunch

While the coveted Lobster Place Oyster Bash is sold out (we’re still crying over our lack of tickets), there are three other brunch events to choose from – Josh Capon will be hosting the New York Yankees Pinstripe Brunch presented by Delta Airlines, if you have a Mastercard then you’ll definitely want to check out Broadway Tastes presented by Variety, and if you’re on a budget A Brunch with Craftsman and Wolves hosted by James Beard Award-nominated Chef William Werner is only $85! Act fast, tickets sell out quickly!

Bank of America Dinner Series Curated by Chefs Club

So you’ve missed out on A Dinner with Ghetto Gastro hosted by Martha Stewart, but don’t despair there are plenty of other great dinners to attend. Explore Israeli and Middle Eastern culinary traditions at A Kosher Dinner with Elior Balbul, Eden Grinshpan, Amitzur More, and Yehuda Sichel, who are bringing kosher cuisine to the forefront of the NYC dining scene.

Other options include:

  • A Dinner with Melissa Clark, Marco Canora, Sara Jenkins and Marc Murphy – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7:30pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Floyd Cardoz and Anita Lo – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Mourad Lahlou and Alex Stupak – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Deuki Hong and Edward Lee – Friday, Oct. 14th at 7pm, $250.

Full listing here.

Hands-on Classes

nycwff-hands-on-classes

If you’re looking to get your hands dirty, NYCWFF offers some excellent hands-on events. You can learn how to add spice to your kitchen with Lior Lev Sercarz’ A Guide to the World of Spices, where you’ll not only create your own custom blends but you’ll also head out with an early release of Lior’s upcoming cookbook!

You can also learn how to bake bread with Zach Golper of Bien Cuit, roast like a pro with The New York Times’ Melissa Clark, and decorate cakes with none other than Sylvia Weinstock! Classes will take place in state-of-the-art professional culinary kitchens at the Institute of Culinary Education. For a full listing of hands-on classes, and to buy tickets click here.

There really are so many awesome events to choose from, and if you’re on a budget then definitely check out the $100 and under options as you’ll certainly find something to your taste there! Are you planning on going to the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival? What event sounds the most exciting to you? Let me know in the comments, or feel free to send me a tweet with the #NYCWFF hashtag!

*Photos courtesy of NYCWFF, from NYCWFF 2015*