Last weekend, a handful of us from Brown Paper Tickets got a chance to attend the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. Attending the largest specialty food event in North America was our chance to meet foodies from all over the world. Restaurateurs, chefs, bakers and vendors gathered over three days in the enormous Jacob Javits Convention Center to exchange ideas and sample each others wares.
The food industry is a particularly demanding field and requires a lot of creativity and hard work to stand out. Thousands of food samples of infinite variety were what caught our immediate attention, but the industriousness of the many food makers expressing their craft made the show what it was. As attendees, it was a great way to learn about the food industry’s latest achievements.
When the show ended at 4:00 PM on the last day, nearly 300 volunteers from City Harvest, a leading anti-hunger organization in New York City, gathered to collect about 150,000 pounds of donated products from exhibitors. This was the 21st year that the Fancy Food Show has worked with City Harvest, an organization that helps 260,000 hungry New Yorkers each week through the 600 community programs it serves.
While in the Big Apple we spread out covering the culinary ground thoroughly and leaving no brownstone unturned. A sweltering yet lovely evening was spent sampling some of Bed-Stuy’s best at an intimate pop-up dinner hosted by a very down to earth couple. The somewhat spicy menu included a Crudo of black sea bass, crispy pig ear salad, braised tripe with a quinoa cake, and checker pie all spectacularly paired and tastefully presented.
While making our rounds through the various boroughs of New York we sampled local beers, ciders, and spirits all while soaking up the local ambiance. A trip on the Staten Island ferry brought us to a seemingly average bar restaurant 120 Bay Cafe that once inside quickly exposed itself to be a very modern artistic local hang out. While there we had perfectly cooked burgers on locally fresh baked buns with crispy shoe string potatoes, washing it all down with some local brew. The decorum was end of the world themed but I have a feeling there is a very bright future for them. The service was friendly and relaxed A+!.
All in all it was a great week. Lot’s of food, drink, and friends and after all that’s what life is all about.
Of course, New York City is a food lover’s paradise and this week we’re highlighting some upcoming food events that food lovers will love. If you live in the city or are visiting soon, check these events out:
Saturday, July 13 and every subsequent Saturday I 2013 Little Italy Dinner Tour This is a 4-course full-dinner of Italy’s most delicious and iconic foods in New York’s Little Italy. The tour’s first stop is the Meatball Shop for their signature dish. Then guests will enjoy thin-crust pizza from Lombardi’s, the oldest pizzeria in America. Next is Parm, for a juicy chicken cutlet parmigiana sandwich, followed by the final stop on the tour, Ferrara’s, for home-made gelato. Tour includes visiting famous local landmarks and takes around 2 hours.
Sunday, July 28 I Mozzarella Making Class The Campania Region in Italy is known for its beautiful water buffalo milk pasta filata cheese: mozzarella. Although the water buffalo is a rare entity in the U.S., we can make the most of this traditional recipe by using the best breed of local cow milk. How do we replicate the richness of classic water buffalo milk in our cow milk mozzarella? This class will explore cheese making by producing a large batch of the cheese to be eaten fresh. Expect drink, cheese, spring produce, stories, and recipes from an urban cheese maker.
Tuesday, July 30 I July Good Beer Month Dinner with Jeff O’Neill of Peekskill Brewing Another one of Jimmy’s No. 43’s famous “Meet the Brewer” dinners. For their July instalment they’ll have Jeff O’Neill from Peekskill Brewing and will feature hand-picked food pairings to accompany their excellent brews.
Thursday, August 15 I Farm to Fork on the Roof The Brooklyn Navy Yard – once regarded as America’s premier shipbuilding facility, rich with history and unbelievable views of Manhattan – is now home to a unique cluster of artisans and independent businesses including NYC’s largest rooftop farm! It’s an amazing place to celebrate and congregate, and two neighboring tenants of the Yard are joining forces with national non-profit Slow Food NYC to throw a great party filled with local, made from scratch fare in one of Brooklyn’s most unique venues. Parker Red is the catering and events division of Ted & Honey, specializing in carefully crafted American-driven farm-to-table cuisine. Brooklyn Grange is a 65,000-square-foot rooftop farm atop building number 3 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Slow Food NYC works to create a food system based on the principles of high quality and taste, environmental sustainability, and social justicein essence, a food system that is good, clean and fair. Partake in an unique experience that will begin with libations and small bites amidst the bounty of the Brooklyn Grange farm. Hear from the founding farmers themselves as they speak to the history and future of the rooftop farm. As the sun sets, carry your glass and fresh-picked produce into the Parker Red kitchens where Executive Chef Christopher Jackson will talk through the night’s preparations. While the culinary team whips up dinner, enjoy additional cocktails and mingle with your fellow guests in the café and event space in BLDG 92, before sitting down to enjoy an interactive three-course dinner; one that will incorporate not only the freshest ingredients, but seasonal flavors as well.