Need something to distract yourself from the dangerously demented ditzy dingbat running around the country babbling incoherently about that fine James Garner comedy-western TV series in the early ’60s? Then belly up to the latest orgy … er, food extravaganza to hit New York: The New York City Wine & Food Festival kicks off today in the meatpacking district with stuffed celeb chefs such as Rachel Ray (who will host a burger bash in Dumbo featuring chefs from Shake Shack, Laurent Tourondel of BLT Steak and ubiquitous Boy Wonder David Chang), Tom Colicchio (who will host a ‘Big Red Meat, Big Red Wine’ dinner: Make ours a tofu!), Spanish culinary chemist Ferran Adria and naughty Brits Nigella Lawson and Gordon Ramsay. Basically, everyone! Meanwhile, DJ Samantha Ronson, better half of La Lohan and a person who does not outwardly appear to enjoy food or pretty much anything, spins a party for pastry chefs. “It depends what day you ask me,” said Lee Schrager—no relation to Ian—South Beach nightlife impresario and founder of this four-day glutton-fest, of his favorite event. “When I’m dieting I look forward to the burger bash.” Also: “We have a panel by the Zagats talking about trends in the industry. … Eater”—the food blog we read when not shopping for discount winter boots!—“is doing a panel with some great restaurateurs. … the authors of Skinny Bitch are doing a panel at the Maritime Hotel.” Said French chocolatier Jacques Torres (“Bonjour Monsieur Jacques!”) of his contribution: “We’re going to serve cookies with big chunk of chocolates. They really melt well. And we’re going to serve brownies.” Help! “I’m sure trays and trays and trays,” he continued. Later, Dumbo theater mecca St. Ann’s Warehouse opens Black Watch—and no, we don’t mean the polo team starring smoldering Argentine Nacho Figueras! We mean a serious piece of theater dealing with the war in Iraq from the soldier’s perspective. Bring chocolate. Trays and trays of it.
[New York City Wine & Food Festival, www.nycwineandfoodfestival.com for schedule; Black Watch, St. Ann’s Warehouse, 38 Water Street, Brooklyn, www.stannswarehouse.org]