How The NYT Really Chooses Restaurants For The Food Festival - Exclusive

Calling all foodies — it's time for the New York Times Food Festival. It's fall, which means the season for eating, drinking, and celebrating outside has officially commenced. Just days before the iconic New York City Wine & Food Festival, the New York Times is hosting Ina Garten, Padma Lakshmi, and several cast members from the food industry's summer hit, "The Bear" (Matty Matheson and Ebon Moss-Bachrach). Those are only a few of the culinary world's most familiar faces who will be making an appearance, as there will be live kimchi- and mole-making demos, profound talks, and cookbook signings from your favorite authors (any J. Kenji López-Alt or Emily "Maangchi" Kim fans out there?).

Emily Weinstein, food and cooking editor at The New York Times, will also be attending, as she told Tasting Table the details of the festival in advance. In an exclusive interview, Weinstein pulled back the curtains on the behind-the-scenes portion of the event — including how they choose which eateries to feature. With endless food options from the city's most well-known restaurants available at the festival, the food editor explained what motivates her dining decisions. However, choosing which restaurants to showcase doesn't stop there.

Weinstein says there is so much buzz about eating out

Emily Weinstein explained, "There are a lot of restaurants doing really interesting, great food right now in New York." She could not be more right — social media has found hidden gem restaurants in the Big Apple now more than ever. Weinstein added that it's getting harder to even get into restaurants because "there's all this buzz, and people want to eat out." The food editor described herself as "thrilled" with where the New York Times Festival landed, as the entire event sold out with 2,500 attendees.

As for the restaurants that were chosen to appear, there are all types of cuisines being offered for the ultimate eating experience. If you are familiar with New York, you may know Bonnie's, Dept of Culture, Dhamaka, Laser Wolf, or Ernesto's on the Lower East Side. But that's not even the most exciting part — Weinstein revealed that in addition to vegan options, there will be two stations that pay homage to donuts and fried chicken.

"Donuts With Friends" consists of several pastry chefs working on a variety of donuts along with a bake sale for the premium dessert table. Meanwhile, fried chicken fans will probably find themselves at the "Tour de Fried Chicken," which "features three different styles of fried chicken representing different cuisines" picked by a New York restaurant critic, according to Weinstein. We will definitely be hanging out at both of these tables throughout the festival.

Learn more about the New York Times Food Festival on the website and keep up with Emily Weinstein on her New York Times author page.