Food and fitness collide at this year’s NYCWFF

The Meatball Shop's Michael Chernow is participating in one of the NYCWFF's Fit & Feast events this year. Photo Credit: Robin Marchant
The Meatball Shop's Michael Chernow is participating in one of the NYCWFF's Fit & Feast events this year.
The Meatball Shop’s Michael Chernow is participating in one of the NYCWFF’s Fit & Feast events this year. Photo Credit: ThinkMoncur

Scroll through social media and you’ll find there are two subjects New Yorkers really love posting about — a really great workout and a really great meal. There seems to be a natural balance between fitness and food, whether it’s powering up for a challenging spin class, or powering down after a tough kickboxing class.

Embracing this connection, this weekend’s Food Network and Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival has rounded out its packed line-up of intimate chef dinners and signature events, like the Burger Bash, with fitness offerings. Four Fit & Feast events are included as part of this year’s festivities on Saturday and Sunday.

Lee Brian Schrager, founder and director of the annual festival, explains why they’ve expanded their sweat seshes for this year’s event.

Why did you want to incorporate fitness into the festival?

Fitness and food are two important aspects of daily life.  Since we started with our Fun & Fit in the City event years ago, incorporating fitness and wellness programming into the festival has been a way for us to allow people to experience these two things in a unique format.

How are the classes formatted?

Each session will start with a welcome from the hosts and approximately a 45-minute fitness class.  After the class, guests will enjoy a specially-curated walk-around tasting of food followed by a 30-minute panel discussion with the hosts.

What will the panel discussions cover?

Robert Irvine and Monique Crous will be covering health and wellness as a lifestyle; Markus Glocker and Olivia Young will chat about balancing burgers, boxing and beer; Michael Chernow and Roxie Jones will talk about health and wealth; and Jane DO and Hannah Bronfman will cover “We Don’t Believe in Dieting.” I think they will all be very engaging conversations.

How popular have the classes become?

We just have limited spots left at the available classes at this point.  I think people have been drawn to them as a unique way to enjoy a food festival weekend without over-indulging – or to pace themselves while experiencing all of the exciting events we have going on during the four-day weekend.

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