Ok, let me just start with this:
What I’ve been saying for the past 24 hours: “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
If you know me, you know my obsession for Giada. Actually, I think there are people who don’t know me and know my obsession for Giada. Her shows, her recipes, her life … in general, she is my idol. And I think it was about a year ago that I said, “If I could meet anyone in the world, it would probably be Giada.” Well, let’s check that off the life list. (I say “life list” because “bucket list” sounds too morbid – I’m only 25!)
So let me tell you how this all started… Oh and this:
A few weeks ago, I went down to the Duane Read below my (former) office for my five-minute lunch break. Like I often do, I gazed at the Illy coffee. I actually didn’t buy one that day, just thought about it (must have had too much coffee already) but a “text to win” sticker was glaring at me from the beverage fridge. I saw New York City Wine & Food Festival, which I’ve always wanted to go to but either cheaped out or it was sold out. Well, two weeks ago I got a call saying I was the winner. Not only did I win tickets, but I won TWO tickets for the WHOLE weekend. Other than an all-inclusive trip to France, I can’t think of anything I would have rather won. (I NEVER win ANYTHING!) I was – and still am – in foodie heaven.
So on Friday, after I handed in my work credentials (more on that later) I ran to the Meatpacking Uncorked event to sample some wines throughout Chelsea Market with my sister. (Free wine in Anthropologie? I can’t think of anything I love more! Oh wait, I can – meeting Giada!)
Then we taxied up to Pier 92 for the Blue Moon Burger Bash hosted by Rachael Ray. We thought we would be there to try a Blue Moon and a burger, and maybe spot Rachel Ray. But actually, there were about 25 burgers, multiple flavors of Blue Moon and several variations of wine, and spotted not Rachel Ray (she wasn’t around much) but got SERVED by Guy Fieri who was impressively manning his own burger booth. (We voted for his burger as the fav.) We also spotted Bobby Flay and Ty Pennington. I was bursting at the seams with burgers and happiness when I left to go meet friends for a concert (what a day!).
Saturday, I took Tom along for the ride at the ShopRite Grand Tasting. This was a warehouse full of food and wine samples – it was impossible to eat them all. And of course everything was of the highest quality. This was worth going to year after year (or day after day, like me).
We spotted Martha Stewart at her book signing (eh been there, met her), and a few other celebs hanging around. But we had another event to jet to: Jets + Chefs hosted by Mario Batali and Joe Namath. We didn’t see Mario, but Tom was happy to get a glimpse of Joe in between bites of our tailgating food. Oh, and he met another celeb who happened to be visiting ….
Can we all agree I’m the best girlfriend ever for a) bringing him to this event b) taking this picture? And yes, she WAS eating that tailgating food! Even Miss America eats! And I have to mention, she was super nice about the million guys stopping her and asking to take a pic.
Next stop (it never ends) we had our “night” event complete with red carpets and margaritas that glow: Tacos & Tequila! We didn’t stay long because … well … we just couldn’t fit anymore food. But I did find room for a BBQ Lamb Barbacoa taco which I’m still thinking about.
Kiley was my guest again for the Sunday finale. And that’s where the magic happened.
That’s my name … that’s Giada’s signature … and now my life is complete.
We had to skip the next event in Queens so that we could make it to the final bash back on the Pier 92 rooftop: Sunday Slices. Yes, pizza! As if I could fit anymore food in that stomach. We stopped in for some amazing cheese and Neoplitan-style pizza, then had to waddle our way back to the ferry. I will be running off this weekend for three weeks straight.
But hey, I still have this amazing swag bag (well, several) as a souvenir. The memories will live on as I cook my complimentary quinoa …
Can’t wait until next year! Maybe I’ll win again, but if not this is worth the price.
Thanks Illy Coffee!!!!!!