UPPER WEST SIDE — Tickets are now on sale for what some neighborhood foodies call the hottest event of the year.
Now in its sixth year, the festival will benefit the Wellness in the Schools program at the O'Shea School complex and P.S. 87 and the Columbus Avenue Streetscape Project, which aims to spruce up the avenue between West 76th and West 77th streets.
The event draws more than 1,500 people each night and is often sold out.
"Each year, we try to make the events better than they were the year before, bringing in hot new restaurants and chefs, as well as new entertainment," said BID Executive Director Barbara Adler.
Adam Richman, of the Travel Channel's Amazing Eats, will kick off May 31 by hosting "Comfort Classics," "soul-satisfying classics" and "new takes on old favorites" from more than 40 Upper West Side chefs.
Guests can move from booth to booth tasting selections from Jacob's Pickles, Gastronomie 491, Ditch Plains and Baconery, among others, while sampling cocktails from Palm Bay International Fine Wine & Spirits and enjoying the rhythms of DJ Phresh.
The "Best of the West" event the next day will feature the more upscale neighborhood chefs, from Daniel Boulud to Jean-Georges Vongerichten to Michael Lomonaco and Jacques Torres. It will be hosted by Gail Simmons, who is a Top Chef judge and Food & Wine special projects director.
VIP tickets, meanwhile, offer guests the chance to mingle with the chefs and special guests ahead of time.