At the Gourmet Institute in NYC, which is in its 4th year and continued running, each ticket costs about $1350.00 which is ALL inclusive, and good too because all foods and drink is available throughout the days.
The first thing that I went to was the Travel and Hospitality Lounge. This is held on the 2nd floor of the Millennium Broadway Hotel (44th Street) and the workshops are held in the Gourmet magazine studios in the Conde Nast Building.
The first things I gulped down were these magnificent cupcakes sponsored by Jaguar and cranberry lemonade. A new invention called the Tassimo (www.tassimo.com) provided coffee, hot chocolate and varieties of tea. When one arrives at the day you receive a HUGE goodie-bag with knives from Henckels, Cuisinart, new spices from McCormick grinders (smoked sea salt and black sesame seeds)...wait there's more.
Finally a picture of me in the gown....at the newly opened Buddakhan restaurant (they had the opening Gala dinner or buffet) special goodies included boneless spare-ribs, minced pork fried balls (which I didn't partake of, but were spicy and just right with the plum dipping sauce), shrimp dumplings in egg-drop soup (Sorry couldn't get pictures of those), spring rolls, spicy rock shrimp, bento boxes for dessert.
Me and Ruth Reichl (It was not hard to meet Ruth over the course of the weekend. She's very easy to talk to and get pictures with, and avails herself to all folks over the weekend. I thought she would've been difficult to talk with but she put herself out there and sat tables among her guests and this was one of the 4 times that I spoke with her. She even signed her book "Garlic and Sapphires" for me. When I asked her about the ethics and moral dilemmas involved in getting into disguise for restaurant reviews, she said "NO! I was doing it because I wanted to see what it was like to be treated ordinarily. I had not qualms! Why should I have?" and I said not in the least.
Then it was off to have wine the next day with Michael Green...at 9:00 am (that was a very long day and I needed a nap, but couldn't take one.) The other sommeliers were from the restaurant Craft (Tom Colicchio's baby).