Ming Tsai, babe magnet?

The 2012 Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, an annual event drawing dozens of celebrity chefs from the 24-hour cable channel, returns to town from Oct. 11-14 with the promise of fun panels, informative workshops and, of course, good food.

However, with a packed lineup of events from morning past midnight, there are bound to be several where food is merely an accompaniment to the party.  So, to look ahead to one such event, here is a look back at the inaugural 2010 “Rock & Roll with Morimoto and Friends” held at the Harvard Club.  Part all-you-can-eat sushi buffet and part watch-the-chefs-embarrass-themselves-while-singing-karaoke gig, the 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. time slot meant that original Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto was potentially front and center, chopping a giant tuna one minute and belting in Japanese the next.

But Morimoto was upstaged.  Those dethroning honors went to a jovial Ming Tsai, he of the Wellesley, Mass., restaurant Blue Ginger and already a Food Network alumnus at that point.  A rowdy Tsai took the microphone, promptly dissing the venue (he went to Yale), spewing profanities (then apologizing if there were any minors in the room – doubtfully, given the hour) and warbling some tunes.  He then returned to his work station to pose for photos with a number of female fans, and insisted on feeding even more women spoonfuls of sashimi while continuing to sing, and even dance, this time to the tune of Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite.”  Is it too bizarre to picture the seemingly straight-laced Chinese American chef in this state?  Some of the proof is in the photography.

The 2012 “Rock & Roll with Morimoto and Friends” event takes place Fri., Oct. 12, once again at the Harvard Club, and once again featuring Ming Tsai, among many other chefs.  Tickets are $150, and 100 percent of the net proceeds go to Share Our Strength and the Food Bank for New York City.

Photo Gallery: 2010 “Rock & Roll with Morimoto and Friends” event – Food Network NYC Wine & Food Festival
all photos by Bibs Teh / Meniscus Magazine