$115 to attend The Art of Tiki: A Cocktail Showdown presented by Cocktail Kingdom and hosted by Emeril Lagasse on Saturday, October 17, 10 p.m.–1 a.m. ($175 value)
Drink: Rum. Citrus. Maybe some flaming tiki mugs? Presented by barware purveyor Cocktail Kingdom, the festival’s signature cocktail event assembles top-notch bartenders to create tiki libations using alcohol from the Southern Wine & Spirits Portfolio. Best of all, attendees get to sample whatever catches their fancy. Don’t think the event is all kitsch, though—a panel will be judging the cocktails for both tiki integrity and complexity.
Eat: There’s no better pairing for colorful tiki drinks than Polynesian-inspired food. Light bites will be available throughout the event. All drinks and food are included in the ticket price.
Mingle: Unwind in casual, island-appropriate attire at Pier 92 on the Hudson. Meanwhile, the cocktail showdown will be imbued with the bombastic personality of Chef Emeril Lagasse, who’s celebrating 25 years of his flagship restaurant. Once the judges’ votes are cast, he’ll proclaim the NYCWFF’s first King or Queen of Tiki.
Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE
At Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE's events, culinary experts share some of their favorite things to eat and sip as part of their mission to "Eat. Drink. End Hunger." Many of NYCWFF's featured personalities are acclaimed chefs with beloved television shows: attendees may rub elbows with the likes of Chopped host Ted Allen or Mario Batali—owner of 27 restaurants, author of 10 cookbooks, and cohost of The Chew.
At the festival's Groupon-exclusive events, guests can also broaden their palates through a range of experiences, including tastings, cocktail parties, and gourmet food fights between celebrity chefs and up-and-coming culinary starlets. It's for a good cause, too: 100% of the NYCWFF's net proceeds go directly to Food Bank For New York City and the No Kid Hungry® campaign.