Chef Laurent Tourondel Talks Skirt Steak and This Year’s NYCWFF

NYCWFF bread signage

The Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) presented by Capital One is right around the corner! The four-day festival will celebrate all things food and drink across NYC, filled with over 80 events, 500 participating chefs, and nearly 50,000 attendees.

We recently sat down with Laurent Tourondel, who will be among the celebrated chefs at this year’s NYCWFF. Chef Tourondel, a native of France, has a career that spans more than 40 years working in fine dining kitchens. He has earned some of the highest accolades in the industry, including Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs and Bon Appetit’s Restaurateur of the Year.

In 2004 Tourondel launched the eponymous BLT brand. The BLT concepts earned Tourondel an array of two- and three-star reviews from The New York Times and a coveted Michelin Star for BLT Fish.

In the Hamptons, Tourondel launched several concepts that range from LT Burger and Sag Pizza in Sag Harbor to Caffeine, an all-day coffee concept, and LT Burger West, both located in Westhampton.

See Chef Tourondel at Steak and Whiskey hosted by Robert Irvine on Saturday, October 15th beginning at 5pm at Hard Rock Cafe New York.

NYCWFF dinner
Chef Laurent Tourondel

Why is 2022 a particularly special year for being a part of NYCWFF?

This year is special because it is the first year it will feel normal since Covid. Less restrictions and limitations this year compared to last, which is great for all involved to experience a great festival.

Which events have been your favorite over the years and why?

The Steak and Whiskey events are always my favorite as well as the walk around grand tasting events are always fun.

Why is fall perhaps the best dining season in NYC? Can you share some new concepts at your restaurants for fall (if applicable)?

Fall is one of the best seasons in NYC because it is my personal favorite and it’s a great time and choice of products and ingredients. The weather is much better, and people are still excited to be enjoying meals al fresco. The menus at The Vine and L’Amico are updated to fit the autumn season with items like a Pumpkin flatbread, prosciutto and fig.
Steak and Whiskey event food festival
Chef Laurent Tourondel – Images courtesy of NYCWFF

Could you give us a sneak peek into how you are integrating Skirt Steak into the Steak and Whiskey event?

We’ll be serving our signature skirt steak along with libations created by our Director of Beverage, Jason Hedges.

What are you most looking forward to for the holiday dining season? Any new concepts or ventures in the making?

I look forward to creating the Thanksgiving menu that I’ll be serving at each restaurant because I love all of the seasonal ingredients and side dishes. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For Christmas I cook classic French.

How have you seen NYCWFF evolve over the years? What is most prominent about this year’s event for you?

The level of chef talent involved each year gets better and better. I’m looking forward to reuniting with a few of them and of course, sampling dishes from newer chefs.

Please describe your perfect fall day in the Hamptons.

My perfect day in the Hamptons is on the weekend, going for a walk on the beach, sitting by my fireplace, having a drink a Gurney’s, picking up some vegetables at Balsam Farms and then cooking the local produce for dinner.

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Vanessa Gordon
Vanessa Gordon is the Owner and Publisher of East End Taste Magazine. Vanessa is regularly called on as a family travel, personal finance, and Hamptons lifestyle expert. She has been featured in Reader's Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily Beast, The Daily News, and many other publications. Vanessa is also the Founder of the annual Hamptons summer event, the Hamptons Interactive Brunch.