Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Food2 Launch Party at the Food Network Kitchen

This may sound horrible to say, but, sometimes, I am in awe of myself. Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say that, sometimes, I am in awe of my life. There are days when I have to stop and ask myself, "How the hell did you get here?" I asked myself that very question as I was checking my coat at the sign-in table at the Food Network Kitchen for the Food2 Launch Party on May 1st. Taste As You Go hasn't even celebrated its one-year anniversary, yet there I was, in the Food Network Kitchen.

Food Network Kitchen | Taste As You Go
Food Network Kitchen

Food Network Kitchen | Taste As You Go
Food Network Kitchen

I admit it. I was a little intimidated. I was there alone and didn't recognize anyone and spent the first few minutes wandering around like a lost little lamb. Until Stephane from Zen Can Cook spotted me. At last! A friend!

Zen Can Cook at the Food2 Launch Party | Taste As You Go
Zen Can Cook at the Food2 Launch Party

We spent the evening being sufficiently overfed by the insistent servers who gave us practically no time to enjoy the food they were passing around.

Country Ham and Biscuit Appetizer at the Food2 Launch Party | Taste As You Go
Country Ham and Biscuit Appetizer at the Food2 Launch Party

The Country Ham and Biscuit appetizers looked innocent enough, but when I took a bite, I discovered that the biscuit had been spread with a combination of mayonnaise and mustard, two of my least favorite condiments in the world. Needless to say, I only had the one bite and avoided that tray for the rest of the night. Only the bartender knows what happened to the uneaten portion of my Country Ham and Biscuit appetizer.

Mutton Sliders | Taste As You Go
Mutton Sliders | Taste As You Go

Preparing the Mutton Sliders | Taste As You Go
Preparing the Mutton Sliders

The Mutton Sliders were a nice surprise and were served on grilled buns and topped with caramelized onions. Though, every time I was asked whether I wanted another Mutton Slider, I kept thinking about that scene in The Princess Bride when Miracle Max is talking about MLTs (Mutton, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwiches). After the decadence of the Mutton Sliders, I was impressed by the simplicity of the Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Man, they were buttery and delicious.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at the Food Network Kitchen | Taste As You Go
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at the Food Network Kitchen

There were other appetizers floating around, of course, but I was too busy eating and chatting it up with new friends, including Dave from Eating in Translation, to take pictures of them. I also met Mike from GreasyGuide.com and Claire from Colloquial Cookin'. And, yes, despite the fact that I was running the Revlon Run the following morning, I allowed myself a glass of wine. Okay, okay. Two glasses of wine. But I was drinking plenty of water, too!

Mike, Claire, Stephane, Michelle at the Food2 Launch Party at the Food Network Kitchen | Taste As You Go
Mike, Claire, Stephane, Michelle at the Food2 Launch Party at the Food Network Kitchen

One of the highlights of the evening for me was getting the chance to meet Kelsey Nixon (from Season 4 of The Next Food Network Star) and Spike Mendelsohn (from Season 4 of Top Chef)!

With Kelsey Nixon from The Next Food Network Star at the Food2 Launch Party | Taste As You Go
With Kelsey Nixon from The Next Food Network Star at the Food2 Launch Party

With Spike from Top Chef at Food2 Launch Party | Taste As You Go
With Spike from Top Chef at Food2 Launch Party

I had the opportunity to speak with Kelsey for a bit, and she's absolutely adorable. We bonded right away because we're both on the short side (*wink*). Kelsey and Spike were at the Launch Party to promote their Food2 series, Kelsey & Spike Cook, which was playing on the televisions in the kitchen so all of the attendees could get a sneak peek. If you haven't had the chance to see the show yet, here's Episode 1 - Grilled Steak:


I would have been content to go home right then and there but right after I took that picture with Spike, there was an announcement about dessert. How could I go home before eating dessert?

Whoopie Pies | Taste As You Go
Whoopie Pies

Light and fluffy Whoopie Pies! I tried to be good and only eat one, but I swear, they must have trained the servers in skills of master persuasion because I was "convinced" to eat at least four. I figured it would be okay since I could run away those extra calories over the course of the next day's 5K.

With Adam (The Amateur Gourmet), Michelle, and Zach (Midtown Lunch) | Taste As You Go
With Adam (The Amateur Gourmet), Michelle, and Zach (Midtown Lunch)

As I was picking up my coat and getting ready to leave, I snagged Adam from The Amateur Gourmet, who also has a series on Food2, appropriately called The Amateur Gourmet, and Zach from Midtown Lunch for one more picture. As you can see, we were very happy by the end of the night. While I can't speak for them, I definitely enjoyed the event and am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend.

So, have you checked out Food2 yet?

Taste As You Go Disclaimer: I was provided with the opportunity to attend this event at no cost. I do not accept monetary compensation for writing about my experiences. All opinions expressed are my own.

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16 comments:

Zenchef said...

Wait.. i thought i was the highlight of the evening! It's a typing mistake isn't it? :-)

We left before the dessert!? Darn it!

Giff said...

sounds like fun!

Michelle said...

Zenchef - I said one of the highlights was meeting Kelsey and Spike. The other highlight, of course, was meeting you. :-)

And don't worry about leaving before dessert. I ate enough for you, Claire, and me!!

Michelle said...

Giff - It definitely was!

Joan Nova said...

You're not alone. I'm in awe of you too! Way to go, girl!

Michelle said...

Joan Nova - Thanks, Joan!

gail said...

Wow! Looks like lots of fun! How did the run go?

Michelle said...

Gail - The run went well. I managed to raise $2065 and ran the 5K in 26:40, which totally shattered my goal of running it in "under 30 minutes". :)

Sue said...

That sounds great...almost as great as Foodbuzz's event last night. I'm waiting for a full report.

Michelle said...

Sue - Still have to upload the photos from the Foodbuzz event. I had SO MUCH FUN with you! I think I'm still full from all of that dessert we shanghaied.

Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas said...

What a cool event! I love grilled cheese and those chocolately puffy things would have been hard for me to resistant, too : ).

Michelle said...

Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas - I'm really blessed to live in New York and to be able to accept invitations to events like these! And, yeah, those Whoopie Pies were worth it!

jeremy hanlon said...

Looks like that was a great event! And thanks for the heads up on Food2, i love the website. just wanted to say hello to a fellow "newbie" and can't agree enough with your title!

Michelle said...

Jeremy - Thanks for stopping by! I'm really encouraged by what I've seen on Food2 so far and hope they can keep the content fresh and engaging. Good luck with the blogging and keep in touch!

The Duo Dishes said...

Wow, THAT is an experience! Lucky lucky you.

Michelle said...

The Duo Dishes - I hope I'm lucky enough to be invited to more events like that in the future! :)