Dear Local Gourmands,
I feel like I talk plenty about meat in this newsletter from week to week, but the truth is I’m a recent recovering vegetarian. Last year my Thanksgiving consisted of all side dishes– what’s to miss when you’ve got no less than five variations of potato on the table? This year my hostess has an in with a livestock farmer, but I’ve been getting plenty of notes from Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, Heritage Foods, and Stinky Bklyn saying there’s still time to order your local, sustainably raised bird.
In other good meat news, I stopped by the soft opening party for the new Meat Hook and Brooklyn Kitchen Labs last week. The soon-to-open enterprise– a joint venture of butcher Tom Mylan (late of Marlow and Daughters) and the founders of the Brooklyn Kitchen— boasts 7,000 sq. feet of “classroom” space for what is poised to be New York’s first culinary school for the home cook. The space will also house the city’s newest butcher shop, the Meat Hook. Expanded offerings based on the sold-out classes at the BK Kitchen (pig butchering, ice cream making, cake building, knife sharpening) are already posted on-line. The Labs may still be raw around the edges, but to be sure the skylights will be gleaming and the crew will be ready by opening day, November 16. In the meantime, the meat locker is packed, and you can place you order for a beautiful Thanksgiving turkey now.
I’m not just excited, I’m ravenous.
Monday, November 9, 7pm
A Dram Fine Evening
Char No. 4
196 Smith St., Carroll Gardens
Char No. 4, our go-to spot for whiskey drinkin’, hosts “A Dram Fine Evening” with master blender John Ramsay of The Macallan, Famous Grouse, Highland Park and Glenrothes fame. “John will be at the bar at 7 pouring complimentary scotch for as long as it lasts and answering your whisk(e)y questions until you run out of them. We know John is also looking forward to tasting American whiskey with everyone and discussing some of the similarities and differences in style, production and flavor between these two great brown spirits.” Oh, and with all that imbibing, you’d be well advised to place an order for some pork nuggets. Just sayin’.
Tuesday, November 10, 6:30pm
Food Writing Forum: Judith Jones
Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street, room 510
Tickets, $5; free to all students and New School faculty, staff, and alumni with ID
The venerable editor and author Judith Jones reads from her new book, The Pleasures of Cooking for One, which was inspired by the recipes and stories she wrote about in her memoir, The Tenth Muse. Jones is in great part responsible for bringing international cuisine into America’s home kitchens by luring stories and recipes from cookbook luminaries like Julia Child, Lidia Bastianich, Marion Cunningham, Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey, Edna Lewis, and Claudia Roden, among many others.
Wednesday, November 11, 6:30-9:30pm
Der Schwarze Koelner
710 Fulton Street
This month’s Tastebuds meet-up will take place at Fort Greene’s new German beer bar, Der Schwarze Koelner. Sip and mingle with fellow foodies– talk beer, cheese, cookbooks, farm to fork, school lunch, or new restaurants with folks who are just as obsessed with these endlessly interesting topics as you are.
Thursday, November 12, 6:30-8pm
How to Start a CSA
510 E. 51st St.
“Interested in how to get fresh, local and organic produce in New York City? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) connects local farmers with New York City residents through a unique, pre-paid share system. Members buy a share at the beginning of the CSA season and in exchange, receive a weekly share of 7-10 types of locally grown, organic vegetables – enough for a family of 2-3 people. Members pick up their vegetables for an average of six months at a neighborhood distribution site. CSA supports local farmers while CSA members receive fresh produce weekly and have the opportunity to form a relationship with their farmer and fellow community members.”
November 12-14, 8-9:30pm
Food for Thought
131 East 10th Street
$5 plus 2 cans of food, or $10
Danspace Project’s semi-annual food distribution benefit series, Food For Thought, is back for the Fall 2009 Performance Season. Guest curators have selected emerging and established choreographers to present a wide range of dynamic performance while benefiting St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery’s new food program. This community food-drive has a reduced ticket price of $5 with two cans of food or $10.
• Thursday, November 12th features Thomas F. DeFrantz, Rie Ono, Chris Peck, and The Grocery (Nicholas Vaughan and Jake Margolin) & Jessica Almasy, curated by Ursula Eagly
• Friday, November 13th features Monstah Black, Vanessa Anspaugh, GoGoVertigoat (directors: eunkyungkim and Lindsey Drury), and Jamal Jackson Dance Company curated by Maura Donohue
• Saturday, November 14th features Brad Kisicki, Travis Chamberlain, and Sheila Lewandowski in collaboration with Sarah Maxfield, and John McGrew curated by Enrico D. Wey.
Friday, November 13, 7pm
547 W. 27th St, 4th fl
7pm potluck, 9pm slide show
Old fashioned entertainment– a potluck and a slide show– get their just desserts when teamed up in the infamous Slideluck Potshow which takes place in New York this November at the Aperture Foundation. Artsy attendees are encouraged to make their own culinary interpretation of the theme “outside in”. “Make a pineapple upside-down cake, inside-out rolls, bring “outside” food in, or take an ingredient out and make the recipe differently. We will have a table reserved for all the themed dishes – and please bring your recipe so we know what we are eating!” Potluck starts at 7, multimedia slide show rolls at 9.
Friday, November 13, 7pm
Roberta’s Farm Fundraiser
108-110 Starr St., Bushwick
Roberta’s throws another fundraising party to break ground on their one acre urban rooftop farm. Their last roof-raising party was a hit, so be sure to get in on the action– soup, booze, and supporting a very good cause will warm your soul.
Sunday, November 15, 3-5pm
Brooklyn Food Routes
543 Union St.
Annie Hauk-Lawson, contributor and co-author of Gastropolis, discusses food and transport in Brooklyn, based on her chapter, ‘My Little Town: A Brooklyn Girl’s Food Voice.’ Joining the program will be Ian Cheney and Kurt Ellis, who produced the film ‘King Corn’. Check out Cheney’s Truck Farm, a plot he started back in the spring, which will roll on over to Gowanus for the afternoon.
Sunday, November 15, 1-5pm
The Bell House
149 7th St., Gowanus
Tickets, $20 (includes a beer)
With all the bean to bar chocolate enthusiasm that’s come about of late, it’s fitting that the cook-off crazed have picked up on the trend and chosen to focus in on the serious Achilles heel: chocolate. Competitive cook-off pros Theo Peck and Nick Suarez team up with Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs of Food52 to bring the borough the Brooklyn Chocolate Experiment. Amateur chefs are challenged to bring their most delicious chocolate-based dishes ranging from sweet to savory to chocolate beverages. The audience and guest judges (including Bon Appetit’s Andrew Knowlton and ice cream guru Ben Van Leeuwen) will award prizes and cold hard cash to their favorites. Visit www.thefoodexperiments.com for more info or e-mail email@example.com if you think you’ve got what it takes to participate.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Monday, November 16, 7-8:30pm
Pickle and Beer Tasting
427 7th Ave
Rick Field of Rick’s Picks stops by Beer Table to share a great variety of sours and his vast knowledge of pickling. Justin and Jenny Philips pair his vinegary treats with craft beers. Pucker up!
Monday, November 16, 7pm
Jonathan Safran Foer
Barnes and Noble Union Square
33 E. 17th St.
The author of acclaimed novels Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close reads from his latest book, Eating Animals, Jonathan Safran Foer’s first work of non-fiction.
Wednesday, November 18, noon
Beard on Books: Gastropolis
James Beard House
167 W. 12th St
Donation suggested, free for students
This month’s installment of the brown bag lunch series, Beard on Books, features Gastropolis. Co-editors Jon Deutsch and Annie Hauk-Lawson speak along with Beard Foundation VP and Gastropolis contributor Mitchell Davis, bringing to life our city’s rich food history.
Wednesday, November 18, 7pm
American Beer and Cheese Tasting
RSVP to Heidi@tastebudsnyc.com for address
Chris Munsey (who you may well recognize from the caves at Murray’s Cheese) curates an evening of pairing five American greats– great cheeses and beer, that is– talking his audience through the profiles and stories behind five selections from Saxelby Cheesemongers. RSVP is required for this event. Please email Heidi@tastebudsnyc.com with CHEESE in the subject line.
Monday, November 16, 6-9pm
A Toast to Hot Bread Kitchen
75 9th Ave
It was love at first read when we learned about Hot Bread Kitchen, the non-profit bakery that scored a feature in Edible Brooklyn in the Summer 2008 issue, and it’s been great watching them grow, popping up at conferences, markets, and CSA’s all over the city ever since. Now the innovative institution that employs immigrant women bakers, and supplies our toaster with some of its favorite slices, is expanding. Celebrate Hot Bread’s success and contribute to their future endeavors by attending their inaugural gala at Chelsea Market. Sip wine, watch baking demos, and take a spin on New York’s only corn-grinding bicycle.
Saturday, November 21, 1pm
261 Smith St, Carroll Gardens
We know you love on cheese– that goes without question. Head over to Smith St. to learn how to talk the talk of the caves, the molds, and the rinds you adore. Stinky Brooklyn takes you on a tasting tour through the basics of elevated cheese appreciation. Learn about the history of cheese making, the differences in milk types, fromage styles, and cheesy lore.
Sunday, November 22, 11am-4pm
New Amsterdam Market
South Street Seaport
Our most cherished local purveyors and restaurants fill the stalls of the New Amsterdam Market with their artisanal cheese, cured meat, house-made sausages, lobster rolls, raw honey, pumpkin ice cream, challah, olive oil, pork sandwiches, Long Island oysters, ginger beer, pickles, caramels, and chocolate. Come for brunch, fill your basket for Thanksgiving.
Sunday, November 22, 10am-4pm
Thanksgiving Market at Rooftop Farms
Eagle St., Greenpoint
For one last day the Rooftop Farms market sets up shop just in time to grace your feast day table with Brooklyn’s local produce.
Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4
Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barns
Registration is now open for this year’s Young Farmer’s Conference at Stone Barns.
Saturday, December 12, 8:45am-5pm
NYC Food and Climate Summit
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
566 LaGuardia Place
“Just Food, the Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and New York University present “NYC Food and Climate Summit: Creating a Platform for Change,” a day-long feast of workshops, training and action planning to increase awareness and action around our food system’s role in climate problems and solutions. The Summit will bring together some 1,000 community gardeners, local farmers, educators, advocates, city government leaders and concerned citizens, and will create a Platform for Change to spark grassroots mobilizations and policy advocacy in 2010 and beyond. The Summit is timed to coincide with the global UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen.”