Sunday, October 12, 2008

Death by Sweet

This past weekend hosted the annual New York City Wine and Food Festival, and the concentration of culinary happenings was so overwhelming that I badly needed clones of myself to tackle it all. Last night I attended an event aptly called "SWEET," preceded and followed by the names of several party sponsors. The gathering was graced by the presence of dessert and pastry chefs from some of the best restaurants in New York (some of the best, arguably, in the world), bestowing upon us gifts of their creations. It was a blur of confections, ganache, little French opera cakes, and absinthe. "Kid in a candy store" and all the clichés in the world don't even begin to cover how I felt. I could barely function, paralyzed by decadence. It was like the first time I saw "Willy Wonka" and his garden of sweets, his river of chocolate. That is probably the only way I can describe it because that's where I had landed. I remember wondering at one point if I had actually died and gone to heaven. I came to the conclusion that while crossing the street earlier in the day, distracted as usual by the sights, sounds and smells of the city, I was hit by a speeding cab and then delivered to a West Chelsea warehouse by beautiful little green absinthe fairies.

Also deliciously interesting was the party taking place nine floors above. One of the benefits of a spouse who works for a posh company is the posh company-sponsored VIP parties. I boarded the industrial freight elevator, reluctant to prematurely leave the goodness I was experiencing, yet excited by the anticipation of something equally tantalizing. When we finally ascended to the aforementioned destination, thumping music and crimson lights took over my consciousness. Complimentary champagne and tiny pastries floated by as I began to take in the scene. Attractive people in their stylish garments sipped and nibbled and laughed and mingled around me. I tried my very best not to stare, and I really tried to wish myself invisible, so I could stare freely, but obviously that didn't work.

I couldn't help myself - there were just too many interesting things going on in the room. The entire Food Network prime time lineup was making it extremely difficult for me to feign an aura of cool. Giada De Laurentiis was looking adorable of course, flocked by male admirers, and taller in person than I thought she was. Bobby Flay was fist-pumping on the dance floor to the beats of Justin Timberlake, and Tyler Florence was darting to the men's room. It was an open bar, after all.

By the end of the night, I knew I was not in heaven. Despite the amazing desserts and fascinating people, my fancy-shoed feet soon grew weary and sore, and I desperately longed for my bed. I wanted quiet. I wanted down pillows. I wanted to silence that secret, nagging feeling that I am way too far out of my league at such glamorous gatherings. It was a fabulous night. But I relaxed in my fabulous bed this morning with an even better picture of it in my memory.


stephanie said...

i love that you call out bobby flay fist pumping on the dance floor, because i thought it was more of the "raise the roof" type move.....

Veronica said...

I'll have to work on getting my dance move names straight :)