The 10 Most-Comforting Fall Flavors We Tasted at Katie and Marcela's Harvest Party
Now that fall has officially arrived, you could celebrate the return of colorful leaves, crisp air and comfy sweaters with a trip to the orchard or perhaps an apple pie. But on Saturday during the New York City Wine & Food Festival, Katie Lee and Marcela Valladolid hosted a Harvest Party that brought together all the best sights, smells and flavors of the season — including pumpkin pie, instead of apple, as it turns out.
Guests gathered inside the seasonally decorated Highline Stages in New York City not just to taste fall fixings like butternut squash soup, turkey sandwiches and that creamy pumpkin pie, but also to meet the hostesses. When we caught up with Katie and Marcela recently, they both said how eager they were to mingle with fans of The Kitchen at their event.
“I’m excited because it’s the one time a year that we get to be in the presence of the fans — of the people that are being supportive and the people that watch the show and the people that take their time out of their way, of their schedules, spend money to buy a ticket to come and see us,” Marcela explained. “And that’s kind of huge. And I’m super grateful and I’m super excited to get the opportunity to actually be with people face to face.”
As for the food, Katie told us: “I just love fall harvest season in general. I love the food that comes along with it. It’s warm; it’s cozy.” She also noted that she was excited to have one vendor in particular in attendance, Carissa’s Breads, from East End, N.Y. “It’s my favorite bread,” she said. And we quickly realized why. Her offering made our list of the best fall bites of the Harvest Party. Read on to get all the details.
Sweet Potato Soup (pictured above)
We’d heard positive rumblings from guests about how stellar this soup from Primal Cut was, and after trying it for ourselves, we realized just how right the others were. Luxuriously smooth and creamy but oh so light, this soup had subtle tang from mascarpone cheese. The toppings of crispy, salty pancetta and sweetened pecans were bonuses in the flavor and texture departments. Primal Cut also served a sweet side dish — Pumpkin Infused Caramel Cheesecake — which featured a similarly silky filling.
Duck Prosciutto & Port Soak Fig Croissant
Not just sweet treats, croissants can be deeply savory, as Carissa proved with these two-bite beauties, each branded with a signature C.
The Baked Bakery team dished out squares of their tried-and-true fall dessert, but they made their not-too-sweet pie squares extra special by adorning each with chocolate and vanilla cookies. (We tried one of each flavor because when it comes to cookies and pie, more is more, right?)
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese with Fig Jam & Crackers
Oh, there’s a cheese plate at your party? Yes, we’ll eat it and we’ll love it. No more questions needed. We regret not eating a few more of these from The Cellar.
Aged White Cheddar Mac and Cheese with Chicken Skin Crumb
Fall is all about comfort food, and perhaps the most-classic comfort food out there is macaroni and cheese. This satisfying version — which offered a noticeable cheese pull when you were eating it — featured a definite tang from the cheddar cheese. And that Chicken Skin Crumb was exactly the crispy bite needed to round out the mac.
Caviar Gougeres with Chive Creme Fraiche and Green Apple
The thing about caviar is that you don’t taste fishiness when you eat it. It has a purely salty, umami flavor, something that we’re crazy about. The bite-size cheese puffs were airy and light — the ideal “bun” for the fancy filling.
Napa Cabbage Schnitzel Sandwich
For us it was all about the “pho mayo,” at once creamy and acidic, that dressed the cabbage atop these pickled-onion-topped sandwiches from No. 7.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Frankies Spuntino brought a warming soup as well, though this was thinner than its sweet potato counterpart. We were captivated by the presentation, watching the soup run from the funnel into the bowl.
Korean BBQ Beef Noodle Salad
Cool and bright with an acidic bite, these noodles from Mister Lee’s Noodles/Bolete Restaurant were served with hard-boiled eggs and cucumbers, and they were a welcome contrast to the richness of some of the other dishes.
Just because the air is crisp outside doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a frozen treat indoors. Melt Bakery handed out these chocolate-on-chocolate ice cream sandwiches, which boasted welcome texture from the coarse sugar on the outside of the cookies.