Dear Local Gourmands,
The text came at 9am yesterday: “We’re sharpening our knives! Come over!” It was my friend and neighbor, Laena, who had acquired four rabbits to prepare for an Easter potluck. I tied a ribbon on my sun hat, grabbed the red wine we’d purchased for our braising experiment, threw How to Cook Everything into the Easter basket for good measure, and took off for her kitchen which is just an easy block away.
Laena had arrived on my roof for cocktails the night before, still shivering after a bike ride from Mario’s butcher shop in Williamsburg. She showed me a picture on her iPhone, “They look like logs!” she exclaimed of the cottontails. We both recalled having pet bunnies when we were younger, but neither of us had a clue about how to prepare them for supper. From the roof we rang my dad for advice, we consulted Mark Bittman, we put calls in to chef friends, but on Sunday morning it came down to sharp knives, intuition, and Laena’s boyfriend who nonchalantly instructed us to follow the bones.
Some hours later, we arrived at the potluck bearing a coconut cake, two dozen deviled eggs, and the rabbit meat which went into a LeCruset pot on the hostess’ stove along with red wine and several bulbs of garlic. It’s no coincidence that at this party of food friends and cook-off pros someone else had showed up with another Easter bunny. Noah seasoned his meat with prunes and herbs, and the two creations sat side by side, bubbling away and tempting the ready diners who were mingling on the back patio. Pretty soon the table became crowded with fried chicken, no less than four varieties of deviled eggs, pasta and ambrosia salads. We hovered around the smorgasbord, munching happily amidst the forsythia, and the stewing smells that wafted out the back door. It wasn’t until the rabbit was served that we all finally found seats and kicked our heals up. At that point, nearly 24 hours after we’d first started talking about how to braise the bunnies, we finally dug in. The aromatic, tender meat was falling off the bones, and there was absolutely no reason to hop up and do anything else, except go back for seconds.
Tuesday, April 6, 6-9pm
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 Vanderbilt, 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.”
Tuesday, April 6, 7-9pm
Moby and Miyun Park: Gristle: From Factory Farms to
Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat)
Book Launch Party
37 Main St., DUMBO
“In Gristle, vegan and multiplatinum recording artist Moby, has compiled writings from ten of the country’s leading food-minded folks, laying out a hard-hitting and eye-opening guide to the meat you eat. Both Moby and Park will be present to discuss and sign the book.”
Tuesday, April 6, 6-11pm
Blue Plate Special for FRESH
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St.
$22 Blue Plate Special
Tonight Jimmy’s No. 43 serves up a “Blue Plate Special” as a pre-opening benefit for the movie FRESH. Entreés include roast pork with apples and polenta, shrimp and grits, and local lamb sausages with olives and escarole. Your order includes a ticket to the good food flick that will be shown in theatres around New York beginning in April. Filmmaker Ana Joanes will also be in the house to chat up the cause and encourage a hopeful dialogue about how our food system is slowly being turned around.
Tuesday, April 6, 7-9pm
Monthly NYC Beekeeper’s Association Meeting
Seafarers & International House
123 E. 15th St.
Talk shop with fellow urban beekeepers, discuss the revised healthcode that has recently lifted the ban on beekeeping in the city, and taste mead from Manhattan Meadery at this month’s NYCBA meeting.
“Manhattan Meadery is a small urban winery based in New York City. Nathaniel and his brother Thatcher and the founders and sole employees. They’ve been brewing beer and making wine as a hobby for about 10 years here in the City and have always liked experimenting with unique flavors and ingredients. They started making mead about five years ago and the results were amazing. After buying some commercial mead, they discovered that no one else was making anything like what they had created. The duo decided to start an urban winery and share this discovery with others.”
Wednesday, April 7, noon
Beard on Books: John T. Edge
James Beard House
167 W. 12th St.
$20 suggested donation for non-students
James Beard award-winning writer John T. Edge presents the Oxford American’s 2010 Southern Food Issue, a quarterly publication that celebrates the very best in southern food writing, and the vibrant culture that gives way to one of the country’s favorite cuisines.
Thursday, April 8, 7pm
Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn with
Leonard Lopate, Fritz Haeg, Annie Novak, Will Allen, and Scott Stringer
The Greene Space
Leonard Lopate hosts a discussion on the future of urban agriculture in New York City and around the country featuring prominent figures from both the local and national scene. Speakers include Fritz Haeg, artist, designer, radical gardener, and author of Edible Estates; Will Allen, contributor to the book, and MacArthur winning founder of Milwaukee- based Growing Power; Annie Novak, founder of Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint; and Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President and the force behind “FoodNYC: A Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System,” the most comprehensive effort to date to unify and reform New York City’s policies regarding the production, distribution, consumption, and disposal of food.
Thursday, April 8, 6pm
Red, Hot and Potted:
a lecture, book signing and tasting with chili expert Dave DeWitt
Horticultural Society of New York Library
148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, btwn Broadway and 7th Ave
The Horticultural Society of New York welcomes Dave DeWitt, co-author of The Complete Chile Pepper Book, to show city dwellers how to grow peppers in containers. He’ll offer practical growing advice, recommendations of chili varieties, sign books, and dole out sample tastes.
Thursday, April 8, 7:30-10pm
Local Beer and Chocolate Tasting to Support FRESH
Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory
105 N. 3rd St., Williamsburg
Tickets, $25 (includes a ticket to see FRESH at Quad Cinema between April 9-15)
“Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Craft Ales and Mast Brothers Chocolate unite for a tasting at the Masts’ Chocolate Factory in Williamsburg. Redd Ale and a chocolate-minded brew will be featured alongside the sweet creations of Mast’s bean to bar process.”
Saturday, April 10, 9am-noon
Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Community Forum
388 Atlantic Ave.
Between Hoyt and Bond
Take part in the conversation around “What’s for Dinner? Connecting the Dots Between Food Access, Policy and the History of Agriculture from the Black Perspective.” Learn what black farmers and urban gardeners in New York are doing to get fresh, healthy, locally grown food on the tables of their families and neighbors. Guest speakers include Maya Wiley, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Social Inclusion; Kolu Zigbi, Program Officer for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation; and Jennifer Steverson, Public Programs Curator at Weeksville Heritage Center.
Sunday, April 11, 4-6pm
Tastebuds NYC Fundraiser for Hot Bread Kitchen
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St.
Tastebuds NYC, a lively social networking group for city foodies and good food advocates, throws a cook off benefit for Hot Bread Kitchen, an admirable non-profit that trains immigrant women in traditional baking techniques. The challenge for chefs? Use either Hot Bread’s corn tortillas or granola (both are truly outstanding products on their own) as a muse to show the judges what you bring to the table. Cook-off chefs will go head to head to compete for bragging rights and a great cause. Judges include Nick Suarez and Theo Peck of the Brooklyn Food Experiments, Alexis Powell Grossman from Crop to Cup, and Katrina Schultz Richter from Hot Bread Kitchen. For more information or to sign up to cook, e-mail Heidi Exline: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, April 11, 6:30-10pm
Farmers Market Sweep
622 Degraw St., Brooklyn
Tickets, $12 in advance, $15 at the door
Bikeloc, a team of cycling locavore enthusiasts will take their love for the local food movement on the road this summer in a cross-country bike tour of small farms. Meet the mend behind the madness at a local food trivia night, Farmers Market Sweep, aka Brooklyn’s first food-themed game show. Aaron Zueck and Robert DuBois of Bikeloc, Louisa Shafia author of Lucid Food, Ava Chin of the New York Times, Joanna Shaw Flamm, editor of spoonandtrowel.com as well other prominent foodies will go head-to-head in a battle for the title of Champion Locavore.
The game show will be followed by the savory sounds of Smoothe Moose Laboratories featuring Brooklyn based cellist and electronic musician Cosmo D who will be serving it up with beat master DJ Saucy Crotch. If you’re interested in making a local snack for the event, please contact Aaron at email@example.com for details.
Sunday, April 11, 4:30-8pm
Betty Brooklyn Hors d’oeuvres and Cocktail Hour to Benefit BK Farmyards
220 Plymouth St. Suite 5A, DUMBO
Tickets, $20 in advance $25 at the door
Using the best of New York’s local, seasonal and organic produce, Betty Brooklyn prepares delicious, nourishing meals for people who love food. She also offers personalized private chef classes for individuals and small groups. Tonight her hors d’oeuvres get paired up with cocktails by Sister Liqueurs, Blue Point beer, in a benefit happy hour for BK Farmyards who is working with the High School for Public Service to create a 1-acre youth farm. The menu includes sautéed spring mushrooms with Salvatore Bklyn ricotta and tarragon, grilled marinated flank steak skewers with chimichurri sauce, deviled quail eggs with crispy bacon, and spring peas in ramp and pistachio pesto with radish slices on locally baked baguette.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Saturday, April 24, 10am-9pm
Earth Day Council
Hattie Carthan Community Farmers’ Market
Clifton Place and Marcy Avenue, Brooklyn
“Celebrate Earth Day at the Hattie Carthan Community Garden! The day will begin with a Garden Planning Workshop and Free Seed Giveaway followed by Feasting and a Community Workday engaging in various building and spring garden activities. To close the day, participate in Honoring the Web of Life and be a part of the Earth Day Council. This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Yonnette: 718-638-3566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Sunday, April 25, 7pm
Just Food Benefit Honoring Joan Dye Gussow
1334 York Ave. at 72nd St.
Just Food honors Joan Gussow, chair of its first board of directors, and one of the founding forces that rallied the local food movement. As the Mary Swartz Rose Professor Emerita of Nutrition and Education at Teacher’s College where she formerly headed the Nutrition Education Department, Joan believes that eating from close to home makes economic, ecologic, and gastronomic sense and sacrifices neither taste nor pleasure. She is a highly acclaimed nutritionist, author, co-author, and editor of a number of articles and books, including her 2001 work, This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homestead, which is based on the lessons learned from decades of working toward growing her own.
Sunday, May 16, noon-4pm
Taste of WilliamsburgN 11th St. btwn Berry and Wythe Aves.
Tickets, $35 for 6 tastes, $95 for 18
Celebrate the flavors of ‘hood at the inaugural Taste of Williamsburg with Tastes from local favorites Dressler, DuMont, Diner, Marlow Sons & Daughters, Miranda, Fornino Pizzeria, Brooklyn Brewery, Juliette, Karczma, Brooklyn Star, Bakeri, Brooklyn Oenology, Sweetwater, El Almacen, Blackbird Parlour, The Lodge, Teddy’s Bar & Grill and more. All proceeds from the event benefit the building of the Northside Town Hall Community and Cultural Center, to be housed in the yet-to-be converted historic former Engine Company 212 firehouse.