Dear Local Gourmands,
My streak of eating ramps went something like this: ramp risotto on Friday, smoked ramps on Saturday, pickled ramps on Sunday, ramps and fiddleheads sautéed with bacon on Monday, ramps in my salad for lunch on Tuesday, grilled ramps on Wednesday…I will admit that I contemplated making ramp ice cream at one point, but (thankfully) restrained myself. Perhaps this was when I realized I needed to take a little break and diversify my diet. All that is to say, like the rest of the locavores in New York, I’ve been obsessed with the foraged first greens of spring lately, those little wild wonders, that despite their delicate roots, pack such a punch no matter how you prepare them.
And just as the tables at the markets begin to fill up with other long-anticipated spring specialties like rhubarb and asparagus, the calendar has filled up too. From cocktails made with New York Corn Whisky at this week’s ioby.org fundraiser to a smashing, locally sourced menu pulled together by neighbors in support of the City Reliquary, to Edible Brooklyn’s bash for Long Island wine, the days ahead are filled with plenty of opportunities to appreciate the earliest bites (and sips) of local flavor.
Monday, April 26, 7-8:30pm
Stinky Cheese and Stinky Beer Tasting
427 B 7th Ave., Park Slope
Tonight Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers will present five especially stinky American artisanal cheeses which Justin Pillips will pair with five equally stinky beers. Take a break from sniffing the lilacs and belly up to the bar.
Tuesday, April 27, 7-10pm
Meals and Spiels by The City Reliquary:
An Evening of Dinner & Lectures About NYC’s Food
The Brooklyn Kitchen Labs
100 Frost Street, Williamsburg
“Meals and Spiels is a dinner that will focus on the incredible food shops, breweries, bakeries, and kitchens of North Brooklyn. What’s more, each dish and beverage in the Meal will come paired with a lecture about the food on your fork and beverage in your glass! All proceeds will go towards The City Reliquary.” Peep the menu for this event here.
Tuesday, April 27-Friday, April 30
Kingsborough College Eco-Festival 2010
Kingsborough College hosts its annual Eco-Festival replete with several days of activities, workshops and talks by Anna Lappé (author of Diet for a Hot Planet), Makale Faber Cullen on Slow Food and city lore, William Solecki, Director CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities, Elizabeth Yeampierre, Director of UPROSE, and Holly Kallman, Sustainability Coordinator for CUNY.
Wednesday, April 28, 6:30-8:30
Meet the Radical Homemakers
114 West 47th St, btwn 6th & 7th Aves.
First floor auditorium
Tickets, $10 or $25 (includes signed copy of book)
In her new book, Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture, upstate farmer and radical homemaker, Shannon Hayes tells the story of pioneering men and women who are redefining feminism and the good life by reclaiming control of home and hearth. Guided by simple principles of ecological sustainability, social justice, community engagement and family well-being these radical homemakers are questioning the corporate control of the home from the breadbox to the closet. Her presentation will explore the experiences of these rural, urban and suburban folks who are endeavoring to change the world by reclaiming their domestic skills — whether it be planting a garden, growing tomatoes on an apartment balcony, mending a shirt, repairing an appliance, providing one’s own entertainment, or cooking and preserving the local harvest.
Thursday, April 29, 6:30pm
Foodie Book Club
The Brooklyn Kitchen Labs
100 Frost St.
This month’s installment of the Foodie Book Club revisits Laura Ingles Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. Bring a potluck dish to share, and your own childhood copy of this American classic.
Thursday, April 29, 7:30pm
Gastronomy in the Still-life Paintings of Luis Meléndez
with Gillian Riley
Culinary Historians of New York
National Arts Club
15 Gramercy Park South
Tickets, $40 Non-Members and Guests | $25 CHNY Members
“British culinary historian Gillian Riley, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of food in art, re-examines the still-life paintings of Spanish painter Luis Meléndez (1715–1780), with an eye for culinary themes. Melendez’s paintings, long admired for their stunning technique and composition, are now being appreciated for their gastronomic content as well. In many of his paintings, what at first seems to be a random selection of objects tipped out on a kitchen table is in fact a rigorous, perfectionist arrangement of items illustrating a precise theme: a meal, a recipe, or a gastronomic event. He presents the ingredients for a gazpacho, a salad, a dessert of fresh and preserved fruit—or in some paintings, a hint of a whole meal, with fresh crusty bread, jamón, and figs, or a composition of young cheese, fruit, and dessert wine.”
Thursday, April 29, 7-10pm
ioby.org Cocktail Fundraiser
10 Lefferts Place
$10-$20 suggested donation at the door
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
ioby.org connects New Yorkers to environmental projects in their neighborhoods. Tonight’s cocktails are mixed with Tuthilltown New York Corn Whiskey by ioby.org digital media fellow cum mixologist, Nate Storey. Learn about ioby’s digital storytelling program while sipping your way through an innovative cocktail menu, mingling with neighbors, and munching on hors d’oeuvres in a backyard garden in Clinton Hill. All proceeds from the event go to specific ioby.org environmental projects.
Saturday, May 1, 7-11pm
Living Liberally 2010 Annual Celebration
Honoring Marion Nestle
87 Lafayette St, between Walker & White
Tickets, $250, $150, $100
The fourth annual Living Liberally celebration and fundraiser honors Dr. Marion Nestle “for promoting the radical notion that a more sustainable national diet can help build a more sustainable world,” and the Service Employees International Union for “for supporting the netroots and building a more progressive America.” Join a terrific group of hosts to celebrate the liberal media we rely on from livingliberally.org.
Saturday, May 1-Sunday, May 9
NYC Wildflower Week
Celebrate NYC Wildflower Week by picking up free native wildflower plants in Union Square, go out on a guided wildflower walk, take native foods cooking class, or attend a salon dinner at Mas (farmhouse). Most programs throughout the week are free, open to the public, and located all over the five boroughs. See a full list of the week’s events here.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Monday, May 3, 6:30pm
Screening: Pressure Cooker
Eating Liberally and Food Systems Network New York
354 W. 45th St btwn 8th & 9th Aves.
Eating Liberally and Food Systems Network NYC present a screening of Pressure Cooker, an uplifting documentary directed by Jennifer Grausman that tells the story of a high school teacher in Philadelphia who puts her underprivileged students through a “culinary boot camp” to help them win scholarships to the country’s top culinary schools. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Grausman, Lynn Fredericks, the Family Cook Productions founder, and several youths who have benefited from these programs, including Fatoumata Dembele (one of the students featured in Pressure Cooker) and Dexter Ambrose of Brooklyn Automotive High School, whose inspiring teacher, Jenny Kessler, was recently featured in The New York Times. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Food Systems Network NYC.
Monday, May 3, 8-10pm
Brooklyn Brew Shop Beer Trivia Night
Bar Great Harry
280 Smith St.
Trivia night at the bar gets a whole lot better when the questions are all about beer– to win, it literally pays to drink more. Bring your best beer drinking friends to Bar Great Harry for a night of beer trivia where Erica and Stephen of Brooklyn Brew Shop will challenge your craft brew knowledge and reward winners with 1-gallon homebrew kits complete with new seasonal Rose Cheeked Blonde and Lady Lavender mixes as well as the Shop’s classic Grapefruit Honey Ale mix. Sign up in teams of four or six, or join a team at the bar.
Wednesday, May 5, 4:30-6:30pm
Paisly Farm CSA Sign Up and Seed Swap
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St.
Paisley Farm, a 25-acre farm in Tivoli, NY, will be providing CSA shares at five locations in the city and Brooklyn this season. Organic produce, fruit, and egg shares are all on offer. Visit the Upstate Farms website to learn more about share options and payment, and look forward to picking up your produce at one of these locations all summer long:
Jimmy’s No. 43 (sign up in person at Jimmy’s on May 5, and profit from a seed swap!)
Central Park East School II
Wednesday, May 5
Edible Brooklyn at BAM
30 Lafayette Ave., Fort Greene
Edible Brooklyn, along with her sister pubs Edible Manhattan and Edible East End, and the Long Island Wine Council bring the borough a taste of world-class wines from our neighbors in Long Island wine country. Local chefs will pair seasonal plates with these local sips while winemakers tell you all about their grapes and the soil they’re grown from.
Wednesday, May 5, 6-9pm
Cinco de Mayo at Palo Santo
652 Union St., Park Slope
Call to reserve a table:
Local food champion and Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket regular, chef Jacques Gautier, brings Cinco de Mayo to Brooklyn. Enjoy traditional Poblano dishes like mole paired with unlimited sangria and Mexican beer.
Thursday, May 6, 6-10pm
Brooklyn Food Coalition One Year Anniversary Party
388 Atlantic Ave.
The Brooklyn Food Coalition celebrates its first anniversary with delicious local food, drink and conversation. Anna Lappé will talk about her new book, Diet for a Hot Planet, and emcee as BFC activists share what they’ve been up to throughout the year.
Sunday, May 9-Sunday, May 16
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St.
It’s Pig Week at Jimmy’s No. 43, and the East Village gastropub lauded for its incredible selection of brews and menu featuring local ingredients (this week heritage pork from the Piggery will be featured) wouldn’t let it pass without just fanfare. See the line up below and jimmysno43.com for more info. Tickets are available online or by phone: 212.982.3006.
May 9, 1-4pm ($20): The Piggery butchering demo with porky lunch and live bluegrass.
May 11, 6:30-8:30pm ($35): Bacon, cheese, chocolate, and beer pairing hosted by Josh Ozersky and the New York Degustation Advisory Team.
May 12: Local charcuterie and beer pairings featured a la carte on the menu.
May 13, 7:30-9:30pm ($10): “Meat” the Farmer– Just Food and Jimmy’s No. 43 present an
Informational Q & A with Mike Yezzi of Flying Pigs Farm. Learn how pig farms work, hear anecdotes, and hang out with the farmer. (All proceeds will benefit Just Food and Flying
Saturday, May 15, 6pm
Slideluck Potshow XV
Manhattan Bridge Archway at Water & Pearl Sts., DUMBO
6pm Beautiful Bountiful Brooklyn Tasting Hour | 7pm Potluck | 9pm Slideshow
Slideluck Potshow returns to Brooklyn to team up with the New York Photo Festival for a spectacular evening of local food, potlucking, and a slideshow. Naturally, the theme will be bridges, and the projection will take place just beneath the Manhattan Bridge. Some of New York’s finest photographers will help curate– David Alan Harvey (National Geographic, Magnum, Burn,) Jae Choi (The Collective Shift,) and W.M. Hunt (Hasted Hunt Kraeutler, SVA), and your own photo submissions will be accepted until May 3.
“As Brooklyn is becoming almost synonymous with the seasonal, sustainable and local food movement, we’re going to tap into it by offering up a tasting hour with a number of Brooklyn-based farms, organizations and purveyors alongside Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster’s Reserve beers – while tickets last. And as this is a potluck dinner, we’d like to invite people to bring dishes that have as many local, seasonal ingredients as possible.”
Sunday, May 16, 8:30am-7pm
Journey to the East End of Long Islang with Anne Saxelby of Saxelby Cheesemongers to visit Wolffer Estate Vineyard for a wine tasting and picnic lunch and Mecox Bay Dairy for a tour of the farm. If weather permits, the day will end on a near-by beach, leaving tour-goers full of wine, cheese, sunshine. Read on for a full description of the day’s itinerary.
Sunday, May 16, noon-4pm
Taste of Williamsburg
N 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.