Dear Local Gourmands,
Just this morning in the Times I was reading about how glossy food mags are rejiggering to fit the shifting economy. Last week I heard Ruth Reichl speak, and she was as charming as ever, recounting her day very honestly: she Twittered, she looked at layouts, and then she had an awkward conversation with an employee she bumped into in the hallway– a woman who had just been laid off from the Gourmet staff. Still, Reichl is quoted all over this morning’s Times article and it’s apparent that she’s an optimist (which is really all anyone can be at this point: we only have one direction to go, and that’s up). The glossy mags are backing us up more than ever: it’s time to grow vegetables, time to cook your friends dinner; the celebration has swung back to the wonders of the home kitchen, away from fancy dining, and if you’re an optimist, you’re finding a way to embrace the shift. Food has always brought people together (check out Thursday’s lecture at NYU “Food and Celebration”) and what better time to stick together?
Like peas and carrots, yours,
Monday, March 2, 6-9pm
Home Brewing Class
427B 7th Ave. at 14th St. Park Slope
The first in a series of three classes on how to brew your own suds takes place tonight at Park Slope’s Beer Table. Subsequent classes will follow on March 16 and 30. The three-part course is $150. Call for registration information.
Wednesday, March 4, 7-9:30pm
Mari Fujii Visits Counter
105 1st Ave
“Chef Mari Fujii is one of the foremost practitioners of Shojin-Ryouri, the traditional vegetarian cooking in Japan’s Buddhist temples. Mari runs a cooking school with her husband, a Buddhist monk, where she teaches classic dishes created with wild greens, seaweed, tofu, and produce from local farmers. She is also an expert in Chinese-style temple food and yakuzen, a type of Chinese cooking which uses ingredients with medicinal properties. Counter is proud to host Mari’s first appearance in New York City on Wednesday March 4th from 7:00 to 9:30 pm. The four-course meal is $50, with an additional $15 for a drink pairing; telephone 212-982-5870 for reservations. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Japanese Culinary and Cultural Association of America (JCCA-AMERICA), exempt under section 501 (c) (3).”
Thursday, March 5, 4-6pm
Food and Celebration: A Long History of What Brings Us Together
The Fales Library and Special Collections NYU
Fales Library Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, Third Floor
70 Washington Square South
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, $10 suggested donation
This panel discussion, moderated by Clark Wolf, will explore the intermingling between food and celebration through the ages. Panelists include cookbook authors, food historians, and NYU Food Studies faculty: Joan Nathan, Scott Peacock, Krishendu Ray, and Marlena Spieler.
Saturday, March 7, 1-4pm
Past, Present, and Future of Food: Bushwick, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Public Library Bushwick Brooklyn
340 Bushwick Avenue, L train to Montrose stop
As part of the Arts in Bushwick SITE Festival, this self-described “A(n Urban) (Farm) Salon” will explore the history of how Bushwick went from being the agricultural supply for New York City to drying up into the food desert it is today. “We’ll talk about what people can and ARE doing to grow food here. We have rooftops, streets, empty lots, and plenty of light. We have water. What can we grow? What would happen if we ripped up Metropolitan Avenue and planted corn and potatoes? What would happen to the community? The price of homes? Could we raise fish in English Kills? Would people in Woodhull Hospital benefit fig trees in front of the building? Would juvenile crime decrease if teens had beans and beets to take care of or knew how to make bread out of the wheat they grew?” Come talk with your neighbors, share some eats, and discuss the possibilities.
Sunday, March 8, 10am-6pm
CSA in NYC Annual Conference
Register on-line now!
“The Just Food Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in NYC Conference is an opportunity for CSA members from around the city and farmers to come together for a day of workshops and discussion. This year’s guest speaker is black-dirt farmer and MacArthur “Genius Award” Winner Cheryl Rogowski as our Keynote Speaker. Rogowski is, as cited by the MacArthur officials, “an entrepreneur who has revitalized the character of family farming as a commercial enterprise and as an engine of community development.” For more, visit THE BLACK DIRT BLOG, or tune in to her radio program on WTBQ.”
Sunday, March 8, 5-8pm
Swamp Cabbage Wild Game Tasting Fundraiser
106 N. 6th St. Williamsburg
RSVP to email@example.com
Venison jerky, wild boar sausage, “gator bites” and plenty of other gamey delights are on offer at this pay-what-you-can fundraiser for the film Swamp Cabbage, a collaboration of two native Floridians-turned-Brooklyn-based-film makers. At its heart Swamp Cabbage is a story about how our habitat affects our connection to the food chain…since it takes place in the wilds of Florida you can only imagine the rest. Or you can go to HUGS on Sunday and eat some alligator to find out what the story’s all about.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Open through May 3
Over Spilt Milk
NY Food Museum at the City Reliquary
The City Reliquary
370 Metropolitan Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Just in time for the whispered conversations about where to get a good source for the still-illicit out-of-state raw milk that are sweeping the city’s dining rooms this year– you can visit the NY Food Museum’s site for a healthy drop of history to go with your café au lait. “Over Spilt Milk,” an exhibition that will be housed through May 3 at the City Reliquary in Williamsburg, exposes the long story of where milk sold in the city has traditionally come from and how the heck it got to be so expensive. The exhibit was researched by Hi’ilei Dye and designed by Jake Hobart.
Saturday, March 14, 12:30-3:30pm
70 Prince St.
$55, call for reservation 212-219-8570
Chefs Collaborative, an organization that collaborates with chefs and the greater food community to promote local foods and build the market for a sustainable food supply, benefits from a cassoulet festival-cum-fundraiser at Savoy. Taste test the comfort food of Southern France put forth by chefs from seven New York restaurants including Cookshop, The Grocery, Mas, and Diner, among others.
Saturday, March 14, 5pm
Spring Benefit Dinner and Rabbit Raising for the
Queens County Farm Museum
“This event, taking place just before the Vernal Equinox, will gather diners to celebrate the arrival of spring and the success of the coming season on the farm. Guests are invited to arrive early to tour the farm and attend a free field workshop on pasture-raising rabbits with farmer Julie Engel, and then settle into a cozy five-course supper amongst the many farmhouse fireplaces. Farmer Julie Engel will provide her pasture-raised rabbit, raised with a unique system unlike any other in the US. QCFM Farmer Michael Grady Robertson will provide pork, eggs, vegetables, and honey all produced on-site at the Queens County Farm Museum. Dinner will be served by the GradyWood supper club team and NY State wines will be poured throughout the evening.”
Saturday, March 21, noon-5pm
First Annual NYC Chowder Slam
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th Street, Manhattan
New Amsterdam Public is on its way, and it feels like the whole foodie community is pulling together to see the project through. Jimmy’s No. 43 (your local hotbed of activity for all projects sustainably food-minded) is hosting a chowda’ cook off on March 21 in effort to raise funds for the little market that could (and will)! Plus, the bar will have a smattering of good New England brews on tap to make the party just that much more merry. $20 at the door gets you in and shows your support to this organization that aims to bring sustainable, local food back to a market on the seaport.
Monday, March 23, 6pm
“From the Garden onto the Plate: One Writer’s Path”
Columbia University Low Rotunda
116th St. and Broadway
“He has been called a “post-wilderness nature writer” for his articles and books about the messy places where the natural and human worlds intersect – places like the garden, buildings, domesticated plants and agriculture. In his talk, he will trace the path of his writing from his graduate school encounters (here at Columbia) with Thoreau and Emerson through his work on the ecology and politics of eating.”