Dear Local Gourmands,
I got up to Maine just in time for the first soft shell crabs of the year. And thank goodness I was staying with a friend who has found her way in the food world like I have– we woke up two mornings in a row, hit the Standard Baking Co., then crossed the street to the old fish market. Inside, the blue-shelled little crabs were displayed in neat rows. We sang our praises, then looked around to see that the baskets of oysters were just being refilled. Kara had to get to work (she’s a terrific cheese monger), so we placed an order to be picked up the next morning.
By the time we returned, the price for soft shells had dropped, an even better selection of oysters tempted us, the razor clams had arrived, and Kara bounced from stack to stack of whole fish from the morning’s catch, checking their eyes, feeling their gills, smelling their heads to check for freshness. In the evening her friends showed up as we were shelling the crabs to make a po’ boy. She showed me how to peel back the shell, then plop the meat in flour, dip it in egg, roll the mess around in cornmeal and finally immerse it in a pot of canola oil (which I’m happy to report was produced in Maine). I got a lesson in shucking oysters from her boyfriend, and remembered what it was like growing up on the coast of Maine, where people are not afraid to touch seafood with their hands– the ocean and the creatures in it are the way of life on the coast. We ate with our hands too, all of us gathered around the grill, gorging ourselves on fish, razor clams, roasted ramps, raw oysters, the po’ boy laden with tomatoes, lettuce, fried crab, and spicy homemade mayo– all flavors that brought this long lost Mainer right back to her seaside roots.
Monday, May 3, 6-8pm
Slow U: Consider Bardwell Farm
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St.
Tickets, $25 (members), $35 (non-members)
One of my great pleasures is stopping off at the Union Square Greenmarket on Monday evenings on my way home from work to pick up a piece of Dorset cheese from Consider Bardwell Farms. I eat it with a good crust of bread alongside salad or in omelets all week long. Meet Consider Bardwell’s founding farmer, Angela Miller, tonight at Jimmy’s No. 43 where she’ll tell you all about how cheese transformed her life. She will be joined by Consider Bardwell’s master cheese maker Peter Dixon, who will discuss the cheese making process and lead a tasting of Consider Bardwell cheeses, including award winning washed rind, raw cow, Dorset; aged raw goat, Manchester; aged raw cow “Toma”, Pawlet; and aged, raw cow “Alpine”, Rupert. Angela’s new book about her adventures in farming and cheese making, “Hay Fever”, will be available for purchase.
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.
Friday, May 7, 7pm
Dinner on the Farm
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, New YorkTickets, $80
The inaugural dinner in a series of suppers on the farm hosted in part by the Queens County Farm Museum and Tamara Reynolds, author of Forking Fantastic! will be held in the Adriance Farmhouse, which dates from the early 18th century. Nearly all of the food will be sourced from the farm to provide a menu that showcases the expansive culinary heritage of the many groups that have made Queens the diverse and delicious borough that it is.
Saturday, May 8, 8am-12pm
Composting with Evolutionary Organics
Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket
When I lived in Park Slope my dedicated effort to compost meant getting on the subway each Saturday with an impossibly stinky bag of kitchen scraps and terrorizing my fellow train riders all the way to Union Square where I’d contribute the dripping mess to the Lower East Side Ecology Center’s compost collection. I will admit I gave up the ritual by that August, and even though I now live in Fort Greene (with a terrific community compost collection) I still go to the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket each Saturday. Recently Evolutionary Organics (the stand that sells the watermelon radishes I’m forever raving about) has started to offer a compost collection. Contribute one dollar to the farm, and they’ll happily take your precious carrot tops, leftover lettuce, and other precious kitchen scraps to the place where they belong.
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 4.
“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, 9am-4pm
Plant Sale and Container Gardening Workshop
Eagle St. Rooftop Farm
Eagle St., Greenpoint
If you fear you were born with a black thumb but are willing it to turn green, head over to the Sunday volunteer day and plant sale at Rooftop Farms on Eagle St. where farmer Annie Novak will give you some helpful instruction on how to successfully grow your own container garden.
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.
Wednesday, May 19, 7pm
Screening: Food Matters
Bushwick Food Coop
V Ultra Lounge
Suggested donation, $5
The Bushwick Food Coop continues to bring on the good food films, this time at V Ultra Lounge, where a screening of Food Matters will explore the health benefits of eating a balanced diet. A collection of interviews with leading nutritionists, naturopaths, scientists, M.D.s and medical journalists answer basic but vitally important questions about vitamins, whether or not organic is a better choice, natural treatments for lowering cholesterol, and foods that combat anxiety, depression, and even cancer.
Saturday, May 22, 2-4pm
City of Merchants
New York Marble Cemetery
41 1/2 2nd Ave., East Village
*Tickets go on sale May 6
The wonderful public market that has taken over where the Fulton Fish Market left off, the New Amsterdam Market, won’t return to the stalls at the old seaport until June. In the meantime, join your friends who are merchants on the LES for afternoon of cocktails refreshments in the honor of the products and service they provide our community.
“City of Merchants is a celebration of the independent businesses who are restoring the health and vitality of our communities, urban and rural. Please stop by on the afternoon of May 22 for spirits, light refreshment and conversation at the New York Marble Cemetery, a hidden garden of the 19th century. The event will feature an exhibit of mercantile paper-works by Robert Warner, Master Printer; a silent auction of items manufactured in our region; and our first annual Toast to Merchants.”