Kidz Kitchen and Burger Bash

This weekend the Food Network Wine & Food Festival kicked off in NYC which included the popular Burger Bash, hosted by yours truly, and my favorite event, the Kidz Kitchen, which was yesterday.

Burger Bash started as an event during the Miami Wine and Food festival, but when Lee Schrager decided to bring the festival to NYC, we all agreed that must do the Burger Bash in NYC as well. Burger Bash is where we pull together some of the top chefs in the city and ask them to come up with their best burger creation. We had 18 chefs grilling away at their own stations and guests could go around sampling mini burgers or halves. I tasted all burgers and from my conversations with other party goers, everyone had a blast. In addition to burgers, Godiva and Junior’s Cheesecakes had tables giving away these decadent mini chocolate creations, in case you had any room after all the burgers. Most people found the stomach space as these goodies were sinfully good. Attendees texted their votes for best burger and Katie Lee Joel, author of the book, The Comfort Table, won! She was, by the way, the only female contestant and she made a delicious burger that was almost like a cross between a grilled cheese and a burger.

Here’s Adam Perry Lang, of Daisy May’s, at his grill station with a pal.

Read all about Burger Bash on Serious Eats’ website.

But my favorite event of the weekend is the Kidz Kitchen, where the kids were the judges. I demonstrated some of my favorite recipes that I thought kids would also enjoy making and eating. I made Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta

Here I am sharing a plate of Penne-Wise with my friend, Anna. I love this dish because it has pumpkin, which is loaded with vitamin C and fiber, but it is also one of the most economical and nutritious dishes (that’s why it’s called penne-wise, get it?).

I also made Quick Chicken with Gouda Gravy and Smashed Brocco-tatoes

which is another quick snack delicious meal that you could whip up after work or school. It truly warms the belly and gives regular ol’ potatoes a nutrition boost with the added broccoli.

I got alot of questions from kids and parents while I was cooking and I thought I’d share some of them and my answers with you here.

Q: What are some good vegetarian meals?

A: Of course the Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta dish we made today, but also Veg-head Three Bean Chili, Pasta with Hazelnut Spinach Pesto

and you can be creative with these dishes. Here I made the Veg-head chili but I added frozen corn and frozen spinach to increase the veggies and because I happen to have a couple of half bags lying around.

Q: What does your mom make that you like to eat?

A: I love everything my mom makes but I really like her Beef Burgundy.

Q: What’s your favorite cookbook?

A: I like alot of books, but I really enjoyed learning about Italian cooking from Marcella Hazan

Q: Do you cook for Isaboo?

A: Are you kidding? She’s my baby! Here are some pet friendly recipes you can check out but talk to your pet’s vet before feeding them any human food!

Q: What’s your favorite dessert?

A: I am not really a sweets person, but here are some dessert recipes on our website.

Q:Are you going on book tour this year?

A: Yes, my new book, the biggest one I have ever written, is coming out in about a week. It’s called Rachael Ray’s Big Orange Book. I will be back on book tour in December so come back to to look for dates. You can preorder the book from today.

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