Dear Local Gourmands,
Spring, especially early spring, is the season for big ideas. Something called the gardening bug has bitten me and already I’m fantasizing salads grown from my (yet to be constructed) raised beds, which I imagine we’ll eat amidst the greenery that will grow prolifically from our rooftop. First thing’s first though– you gotta test your soil. And if you don’t have soil to test, well you need to get some like yesterday. I already feel like I’m behind!
Luckily this Saturday marks the 29th anniversary of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Making Brooklyn Bloom, a free day-long conference dedicated to helping you start the growing season off right. This year’s line-up of seminars and speakers take a look at Brooklyn’s soil– the necessary foundation from which we’ll green the borough and grow some super-local food. From soil testing to rooftop farming, the BBG is sure to inspire your spring fever to take hold while providing you with the know-how to turn your wildest dreams into a fruitful harvest. The event is free, but you must show up at 10am to get in on the action.
Let’s roll up our sleeves,
Tuesday, March 9, 12:30-2pm
Food Systems Network New York Open Networking Meeting
Fund for the City of New York
121 Ave. of the Americas, 6th floor
March’s open networking meeting welcomes Steven Romalewski, Director, CUNY Mapping Service at CUNY Graduate Center who will give a tour of the Open Accessible Space Information System (OASIS). The tour will focus on the recently updated community gardens layer completed by Mara Gittleman, a Compton Fellow who works for Grow NYC.
“The Open Accessible Space Information System (OASIS) website provides the richest source of community maps for New York City — free and all in one place. It helps nonprofits, community groups, educators, students, public agencies, and local businesses develop a better understanding of their environment with interactive maps of open spaces, property information, transportation networks, and more.”
Wednesday, March 10, 7:30pm
Dixon Place Presents: Pitom and Pie Tasting
161 A Chrystie St.
Dixon Place shines a light on all-American pies tonight when local talent Pitom takes to the stage at the famed Lower East Side performance space. Food writer Leah Koenig will be in the audience serving up slices of goodness while the band wails away.
Wednesday, March 10, 6:30-8:30pm
New York State Meat and Potatoes
European Kitchen Center
13 East 27th Street
Tickets, $25 (AIWF members), $35 (non-members)
Tonight the American Institute of Wine and Food turns its attention to the health benefits of eating grass fed beef. Together, a New York State beef producer, distributor, restaurant owner, and chef tell the story of how locally raised, grass fed beef gets from farm to table. Ken Jaffe of Slope Farms in the Catskills of Delaware County, New York, George Faison of DeBragga distributors, Andrew Tarlow and Sean Rembold, owner and chef of Diner and Marlow & Sons help put together the different pieces in this all-important discussion, demonstration, and tasting.
Wednesday, March 10, 5:30-8:30pm
Prospects, Pitfalls, and Prodigies: The Hudson Valley Dairy Industry
An Evening with Ag 2.0
55 3rd Ave.
Tickets, $10 (advance) $20 (at the door)
This month’s return of the tremendously successful Ag 2.0 holds court at The Smith where sustainable food folks from all over the city will gather to talk shop, swap ideas, and no doubt trade business cards like professional poker players. Guest speakers include dairy farmers Jessica and Stuart Ziehm of Tiashoke Farms, Dante Hesse of Milk Thistle Farm, and John Friedman, attorney and advisor to sustainable agriculture businesses. “Attendees hail from investment and consulting firms, farms and Greenmarkets, universities, food-related non-profits, food manufacturers, retailers, and restaurants. We’ll come together to network, talk food and ag, and catalyze the movement to a more sustainable food system. If you work in food and agriculture — or would like to — don’t miss this gathering of like-minded and local professionals.”
Thursday, March 11, 7:30pm
Local Dinner and Wine Pairing with Chef and Winemaker at Palo Santo
652 Union St.
Reservations, $75 (718.636.6311)
Eat with the chef and drink with the winemaker at Palo Santo for this evening’s locally sourced and thoughtfully paired menu. Chef Jacques Gautier will serve a five-course dinner matched with six wines from one of his resto’s favorite local winemakers, Bernard Cannac of Heron Hill Winery.
Saturday, March 13, 10am-4pm
Making Brooklyn Bloom
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
1000 Washington Ave.
“Kick off the spring gardening season at Brooklyn Botanic Garden with this daylong conference on how to green up our communities by revitalizing our soil, the foundation of life in the garden. This free event features a keynote address by Dr. Nina Bassuk, director of the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell University, developer of Cornell Structural Soil, and author of Trees in the Urban Landscape. Visit exhibits and workshops on Rooftop Farming, Community Composting, and Testing Your Soil. No pre-registration is required, but you must arrive at 10 a.m. to register for the day’s workshops.”
Saturday, March 13, 2-5pm
Slow U: The Locavore Hunter
Slow Food NYC
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St.
Tickets, $25 (SFNYC members), $35 (non-members)
The Slow Food chapter of New York City invites locavore hunter, writer, and instructor, Jackson Landers, to teach city dwellers how to hunt the overpopulation of Whitetail deer that are roaming rural and suburban New York and New Jersey in record numbers.
“Learn the basic information that an aspiring locavore hunter needs to know to start hunting deer for food. Techniques will be discussed that allow even apartment-dwelling urbanites to hunt, dress, age and butcher their own meat for the cost of a few tools and a hunting license. No pickup truck required.” He’ll also demonstrate how to butcher a venison hindquarter and back strap using basic home kitchen utensils, while the crew at Jimmy’s No. 43 prepare these cuts for the class to try.
Saturday, March 13, 3:30-5pm
Educated Eater Panel:
Off The Hook: Why Local Seafood is Sustainable
200 Hudson St. at Canal
Tickets, $10 (call: 212-601-1000, or www.92y.org)
If you caught The End of the Line at Hungry Filmmakers last week, this panel on local, sustainable seafood in our region will hopefully answer some of your lingering questions about what seafood is safe to eat here in New York City. Which seafood guide should you refer to? Is the fish you buy in the market sustainably caught? Greenmarket has assembled a panel of fishermen, a regulatory agent, a marine advocate, and a chef to set the record straight, and talk about the positive steps that are being taken towards a more sustainable future for our local waters and the communities who fish them.
“Moderated by Colin Alevras former Chef of the Tasting Room and currently Beverage Director for David Chang’s Momofuku restaurants, and including: Alex and Stephanie Villani from Blue Moon Fish in Mattituck, NY; Christopher M. Moore Chief of the Partnerships and Communications Division in the office of Sustainable Fisheries at NOAA Fisheries Service ; and Niaz Dorry, Director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA).”
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Monday, March 15, 7am-8pm
No Farms No Food Rally
American Farmland Trust
Head to Albany for the No Farms No Food Rally to tell our state legislators why they must invest in New York State’s farm and food systems. Governor Patterson’s budget proposes cuts that will eliminate programs that help farmers make a good living, such as the Farmers Market Grants program and the New York Farm Viability Institute. The Farmland Protection Program, the premier state program for protecting irreplaceable farmland from development, may be shut down for at least two years. Meanwhile, the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps provide nutritious food to food pantries, is being cut by $1 million.
These cuts are not inevitable! The American Farmland Trust has organized a FREE Bolt bus from Manhattan to Albany on the day of the rally. Contact Tammey at email@example.com or call (518) 581-0078 to RSVP today.
The day’s agenda in the state capitol will cover the following: protection of farmland for future generations, the increase of consumer access to nutritious foods grown in New York, help for farmers to protect water and the environment, and strengthening the economic viability of farms.
Monday, March 15, 6-8:30pm
NYC Debut of Big River
451 West St. btwn Bank and Bethune Sts.
Tickets, $25 (FSNYC members), $35
From the makers of King Corn comes their long-awaited follow up film, Big River. Food Systems New York hosts the flick’s New York debut, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Ian Chenney, Curt Ellis, Aaron Woolf, along with Hudson Valley farmer Cheryl Rogowski, and Steve Rosenberg, Senior Vice President of Scenic Hudson.
Tuesday, March 16, 6pm
Culinary Luminaries: Joseph Baum, Restaurant Impresario
The New School Food Studies Program
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall
55 West 13th St, 2nd floor
Tickets, $5 (available at box office); free to all students and New School faculty, staff, and alumni with ID
Legendary restauranteur Joe Baum was responsible for such show-stopping establishments as Windows on the World, the Four Seasons, and la Fonda Del Sol, to name a few. In this panel discussion the culinary luminary is remembered for his triumphant personality that enabled him to bring his staff together to pull off extraordinary feats and ultimately change the restaurant industry.
Panelists include: Michael Batterberry, editor-in–chief and publisher of Food Arts Magazine; William Grimes, author of Appetite City, former New York Times restaurant critic; Milton Glaser, Graphic and Interior Designer on many projects for Joseph Baum; Hugh Hardy, Principal and Founder of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, LLC.; and Michael Whiteman, President of Joseph Baum and Michael Whiteman Company.
Saturday, March 20, 9am-4pm
GreenThumb Grow Together
Hostos Community College
149th St & The Grand Concourse, Bronx
Admission, $3 (in advance), $5 (day of)
This year marks the 26th GreenThumb Grow Together with a return of favorite workshops from years past and a new focus on youth gardens. Bobby Wilson, President of the American Community Gardening Association will deliver the keynote address.
Tuesday, March 23, 6:30-8:30pm
A Celebration of Chinese Food in Today’s America
Culinary Historians of New York
Museum of the Chinese in the Americas (MoCA)
215 Centre Street (btw Grant/Howard, 1 block north of Canal)
Tickets, $40 (non-members and guests), $25 (MOCA/CHNY members), $22 (CHNY senior and student members)
CHNY honors Dr. Jacqueline Newman, 2009 recipient of the Amelia Award for lifetime achievement in culinary history, with a panel discussion on Chinese food in America today. Panelists include: Jessica Chien, pastry chef and food blogger; Jeffrey Chuang, illustrator and art designer; Kian Kam Kho, software engineer and food blogger; and Stephanie Wang-Breal, filmmaker; moderated by Andrew Coe, author of “Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States.”
“Since the 1965 reform of the immigration laws, tens of thousands of Chinese have arrived in New York from every part of China. Most non-Chinese fans of Chinese food know that one result has been a golden age for exciting new restaurants serving all kinds of once-unfamiliar dishes. But what does the American or Chinese-American food scene look like to members of the Chinese-American community—or communities, since the makeup of today’s first- and second-generation immigrant population is so complex? How do people view the food that they cook at home, the different versions of Western food that they have encountered, the food served here in different kinds of supposedly Chinese restaurants? Four food-minded Chinese-Americans will relate their experiences in navigating Chinese and American culinary identities and share their thoughts on what’s happened to Chinese cuisine as it has become progressively woven into the American culinary fabric.”
Tuesday, April 6
Good Spirits at The Bell House
149 7th Street, Gowanus
Good spirits and good times will be free flowing at the Bell House where Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn ring in the second installment of their cocktail series that celebrates local liquors and our borough’s favorite “mixology-minded chefs.” The Vanderbuilt, No. 7, James, Walter Foods, The Farm on Adderley and Palo Santo prepare plates to go with perfectly paired cocktails concocted with storied spirits. Sip Empire State favorites like Tuthilltown Spirits and Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery, as well as small batch selections from Vertical Vodka, Chartreuse and Illegal Mexcal. $40 tickets for this evening of food, drink and merriment come with a complementary one-year subscription to Edible Manhattan or Edible Brooklyn when you enter the code “cocktail.”