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Rachael Ray, Pat LaFrieda and more share favorite NYCWFF memories

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the New York City Wine and Food Festival, which runs this year from Oct. 12 to 15, we asked the local food celebs to share their favorite memories and events from the past decade.

Here's what they had to say:

Katie Lee, co-host of the Food Network talk show “The Kitchen”

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 01: Katie Lee
Photo Credit: Getty Images for Extra/Dia Dipasupil

“My favorite memory of the NYCWFF was when I won the very first Burger Bash. I remember being on-stage and Rachael Ray said that she was so happy that a lady was representing and called out my name. I thought she was just giving me a shoutout and then she looked at me and said ‘Katie, you won!’ I think I did a little dance and then I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for hours.” (Find her hosting Rooftop Rose on Oct. 15)

Thomas Chen of Tuome

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Chef Thomas
Photo Credit: Getty Images for NYCWFF/Robin Marchant

“I take a few of my cooks every year to NYCWFF. My favorite memory every year is being able to work a different kind of service with my crew and meeting new people together.” (Find him participating in the Rooftop Iron Chef Showdown: Battle Autumn Bounty on Oct. 14)

Scott Conant of Fusco

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Chef Scott
Photo Credit: Getty Images for NYCWFF/Gustavo Caballero

“It’s awesome to see everyone who comes out to celebrate with us in New York. It’s always a great crowd.” (Find him hosting Smorgasburg on Oct. 12 and Apertivo! on Oct. 13.)

Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 20: Marcus Samuelsson
Photo Credit: Getty Images for SiriusXM/Jamie McCarthy

“Picking a single memory is tough, but I have many favorite moments of reconnecting with chef friends. I love doing cooking demos, especially ones with kids. NYCWFF is an exciting, dynamic event, so you walk away each year with so many great moments.” (Find him hosting Smorgasburg on Oct. 12.)

Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 04: Alex Guarnaschelli
Photo Credit: Getty Images for Food & Wine/Michael Loccisano

“It’s always at the end of the festival when we hear how much money has been raised through eating and drinking to end hunger in America!” (Find her hosting Smorgasburg on Oct. 12, throwing a dinner with Dominique Crenn on Oct. 13 and judging the Rooftop Iron Chef Showdown: Battle Autumn Bounty on Oct. 14)

Pat LaFrieda of Pat LaFrieda Meats

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mike Coppola

"My favorite memory of the festival was at a closing, late-night party, basically the last event of the weekend. Just as I was able to take a deep breath from the chaos of the festival, after supplying most of it with our meat which is an expensive and logistical nightmare, I was tapped on the shoulder by an unfamiliar face. The gentleman asked if I was Pat LaFrieda and after a brief pause, I answered yes. He indicated that he was a representative of the Food Bank and wanted to say thank you! It was at that moment did I realize the positive impact our sacrifices made and it felt great." (Find him, pictured first on the left, hosting the Coca-Cola Backyard BBQ on Oct. 15)

Rachael Ray, Food Network host

Photo Credit: Getty Images for SOBEWFF®/Neilson Barnard

“The best thing about NYCWFF is the amount of money it has raised for Share Our Strength and Food Bank for NYC. To see people like Mario Batali and other well-known chefs get up on-stage and talk about the importance of the fight to end hunger and what our community can do to help is incredible. Other than that, Burger Bash is my baby and I love to see what these chefs and restaurants come up with each year. I’m always excited to see what Shake Shack is going to whip up, and I really love seeing famed chefs — and even pastry chefs like Jacques Torres — cook side by side with a local bar or restaurant that makes a great burger. The sense of community that the festival brings to the food world is fantastic.” (Find her hosting the Burger Bash on Oct. 13)

Missy Robbins of Lilia

Photo Credit: Getty Images for FOOD & WINE/Jamie McCarthy

“I really love cooking at the private dinners. They’re more intimate than some of the other events. I get to interact with guests, cook with friends (and amazing chefs), and it’s almost like being in my restaurant, Lilia.” (Find her throwing an intimate dinner with Bruce Kalman on Oct. 13.)

Geoffrey Zakarian of The Lambs Club

Ted Allen, Zac Posen, Geoffrey Zakarian, Ja Rule==
Photo Credit: Jimi Celeste/PMC/Jimi Celeste

“My favorite event from the NYCWFF has to be the Greenmarket Brunch. I love seeing all of the farmers showing off their wares. The room is just bursting with pride!” (Find him, pictured second from the right, hosting the Greenmarket Brunch and judging the Rooftop Iron Chef Showdown: Battle Autumn Bounty, both on Oct. 14.)


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