Dear Local Gourmands,
Growing up on the coast of Maine, my parents couldn’t understand why I resisted bites from their treasured baskets of fried clams. I don’t think I liked eating something unrecognizable, or maybe it was that they were too chewy– I much preferred stealing the cup of tarter sauce that accompanied each basket and dipping my French fries in it instead. Maybe I just didn’t like the clams because I was skeptical of where they had come from. This weekend a friend invited me to Fire Island to go clam digging. We wrestled with the tide, dragging a contraption that looks like a combination of a basket and a rake across the floor of the bay. Resting the handle of the contraption on your shoulder you can hear the prongs scraping through the sand. When you hit a clam there’s a thunk, and you know you’ve got one. Or at least that’s what they told me. I came up empty handed. Luckily my host caught eight, fat, purple-shelled beauties, which he then steamed open in butter, shallots, and flat leaf parsley with a bit of white wine. He tossed them with pasta and served a late, late lunch on the deck as the sun set. Our catch was wonderfully briny, and totally addictive, which means I better get my clam digging technique down pat, and quick before the summer is over.
Monday, August 16, 7:30-10pm
Brewmasters Reserve Release Party: Explosions in the Park
The Prospect Park Boat House
An explosive summer garden party announces the latest brewmasters reserve release by Brooklyn Brewery: Detonation Ale.
Be the first to taste Detonation, enjoy other tried and true Brewery favorites as well as food from The Meathook and dumplings from The Dump School. All ticket proceeds benefit The Prospect Park Alliance.
Monday, August 16, 7-8pm
Beer and Ice Cream Social
427b 7th Ave., Park Slope
New Jersey native and Bent Spoon ice cream maker/co-owner Gabrielle Carbone will make her way to Park Slope to co-host the first Beer Table ice cream social! Hailing from Princeton NJ, the Bent Spoon has gotten quite a following thanks to its stellar ice cream and use of seasonal ingredients from the area’s farms and producers. Gabrielle and a NJ grower will give a small glimpse into the rich agricultural landscape of the southern Garden State. Four flavors will be served along with beer pairings. Email email@example.com to reserve your bar stool.
Wednesday, August 17, 7-11:30pm
Local Cheese and Cider Tasting
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St.
Amy Thompson of Lucy’s Whey pairs artisanal American cheese with the finest ferments from Farnum Hill Ciders of Lebanon, New Hampshire. If ever you long for the dry cider served in English pubs, this is your chance to try our best domestic counterpart.
Thursday, August 19, 6pm
Green Screen Film Series Presents: Sweetgrass
Horticultural Society of New York
148 West 37th St., 13th fl
Tickets, $5 (Hort members), $10 (general public)
Hort members $5; non-members $10
“A paean to the Old West, Sweetgrass captures modern cowboys’ overland journey, wrangling thousands of sheep, as they move across Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains, amid sweepingly dramatic vistas and endless skies. Ronnie Scheib in Variety describes the film as “a mad cross between Howard Hawks’s RED RIVER” and an anthropological account of vanishing nomadic traditions, with “a dash of Tex Avery’s DRAG-ALONG DROOPY.” Twenty-first century cowboys call their mothers on cell phones and complain about rainy weather, ornery sheep and exhausted horses. A strikingly beautiful film, SWEETGRASS is at once funny, awe-inspiring and endearing. At first the passive, fuzzy sheep seem utterly adorable; over time we come to understand the exasperated cowboy who screams profanities at this sea of stubborn, bleating beasts over which he struggles to reign.” RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 757-0915 x115 for tickets.
Saturday, August 21, 6-10pm
Summer BBQ: with Fatty ‘cue
10 Hope St., Williamsburg
Plate of ‘cue, $5
In these dog days of summer it’s nice to have a few last hurrahs to look forward to. All summer Greg and Darin Bresnitz of Dinner with the Band, have been curating inspired barbecues in the patio of Good Company on Hope St. in Williamsburg. If you haven’t made it yet, you better plan on getting there early to load up on Fatty ‘cue’s Southeast Asian interpretation of the wood smoke American barbecue technique. Punches DJs, heating up the dance floor with disco vibes to keep you moving.
Sunday, August 22, 11am-4pm
New Amsterdam Market: Ice Cream Fair and Tomato Tasting
South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip
Celebrate the height of summer with some of the region’s best artisanal ice cream created with local products to showcase the local flavor. Catch cones by The Bent Spoon, Roberta’s, Early Bird Cookery, Marlow & Daughters, MilkMade Ice Cream, and Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. Each presenting producer will create up to three unique ice creams and sorbets for the market using only seasonal or responsibly sourced ingredients. If you have a hard time choosing, buy a $20 ice cream sampler ticket, good for six miniature cones. The drips might make your hands sticky, but the proceeds will benefit the market.
From noon to 4pm on the same day, Food Systems Network New York stages its annual tomato tasting at the market. “Taste and compare a dazzling array of dead ripe tomatoes at their peak of flavor, savor tomato dishes and virgin cocktail sips by tomato chefs, including FSNYC members Jorge Collazo (SchoolFood), Meg Grace (The Redhead), Mary Cleaver (The Cleaver Company), and others.” Purchase tickets now!
Sunday, August 22, 2-3pm
Eagle St. Rooftop Farm Lecture:
Grow it, Cook it with the Van Leeuwens
Spend this late summer day volunteering on the rooftop farm from 9am-4pm, or stop through to visit the farm market at any point to pick up some produce for your Sunday supper. At 2pm the Van Leeuwens (who have gained a serious following in the streets of New York for their locally sourced ice cream) speak about their former life as cooks in Bali. Learn about cooking global cuisine with local produce, and when you tire of weeding, their famous yellow pushcart will be down below on Eagle St. as a one-time special treat.
Of note a few weeks down the road…
Monday, August 23, 7pm
Jam Making with Anarchy in a Jar
427b 7th Ave., Park Slope
Get your jam on with Laena McCarthy from Anarchy in a Jar. Our favorite “jamstress” will demonstrate simple ways to make preserves and offer other ideas for stocking up your larder. Each attendee will take a jar of jam home with them and will receive two beers during the session. Please email@example.com for reservations.
Monday, August 23, 7pm-1am
Pop-up Taqueria: Black and Cream
East River Patio, under the Williamsburg Bridge
97 S. 6th St. btwn Bedford and Berry
Tacos filled with local black beans, topped with freshly made cheese, pickled produce, and greens grown on the city’s rooftops make a one-time appearance at this pop-up party under the Williamsburg bridge. Nosh on Mast Brothers chocolate and while you dance the night away to the tunes of Alex Pasternak.
Wednesday, August 25, 7-11pm
BBQ with The Franks and Andrew W.K.
10 Hope St., Williamsburg
Plate of ‘cue, $5
The final Finger on the Pulse barbecue of the summer rounds out the season with plates by the Franks of Frankies Sputino and tunes by the infamous Andrew W.K.
Thursday, September 9, 7:30-10pm
Peconic Pearl Oysters
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th St.
Slow Food NYC welcomes Karen Rivara who runs the only commercial shellfish hatchery in the Peconic estuary. With 800 oysters in the house, the evening will take the form of a “shuck and talk” with Karen informing guests about her role as an oyster producer in the preservation of the Long Island Sound.
September 12, 11am–5pm
Farm City Fair
The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen St.
“The fair is a wild, new take on the traditional county fair, a daylong celebration of art and food grown in Brooklyn! Festivities engage all the senses: hear live music performed by local Bang on a Can marching band Asphalt Orchestra; taste delicacies prepared by local chefs inspired by ingredients from Brooklyn farms; view specially commissioned work exploring the culture of agriculture by local artists; get a feel for materials needed to produce your own food in workshops by Brooklyn Food Coalition; participate in a blue ribbon competition hosted by GreenThumb; and browse a marketplace with some of Brooklyn’s small-batch artisanal food purveyors, curated by Greenpoint Food Market. Cap it off with The Food Experiments’ live cooking competition — Brooklyn Roots — featuring savory samples and refreshing drinks from Brooklyn Brewery, Six Points Brewery, Red Hook Wines, Brooklyn Oenology, Kings County Distillery, and others.”
Asphalt Orchestra, Brooklyn-based, 12-piece, next-generation, avant-garde marching band, will open the event on Bergen Street and in the neighborhood between 11 a.m. and noon.
Andrew Casner, compost painter, demonstrates his acclaimed, agrarian work — the community process of developing a viable compost with an acid-etched canvas underneath created as a natural by-product.
Mathilde Roussel-Giraudy, a Brooklyn-based artist, presents Ça pousse! (It’s growing!), human-form sculptures made from material such as wheatgrass that change as they grow.
Miwa Koizumi, Brooklyn-based ice cream maker of “NY Flavors,” will create a geographically inspired new ice cream flavor based on Bergen Street and the festival.
Tattfoo Tan, the vibrant urban farming visionary artist, launches his new bike-based S.O.S Mobile Classroom as the next installment in his two-year-long public art project titled S.O.S. (Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship.).
Wylie Dufresne, renowned chef of wd-50, creates a new downloadable recipe based on reimagining local ingredients, to be sampled at the fair.
Christina Kelly, Brooklyn-based artist meditates on loss and possibility, growing blue corn in monumental street planters in a public art project called Maize Field, located where Lenape Indians planted in the 1600s.
Events and activities throughout the day:
Farmstands from Brooklyn farms such as Added Value, Rooftop Farms, and Bk Farmyards will sell their produce and explain its provenance.
GreenThumb will host a Premium Blue Ribbon Contest for gardeners to show off their produce and reveal the range of possibilities for home growing in the city.
Brooklyn Food Coalition will present a daylong series of workshops on how to make or grow food at home, from canning to under-counter compost.
Greenpoint Food Market will curate the best of Brooklyn’s small-batch vendors, including Anarchy in a Jar preserves and Brooklyn Kombucha.
The Food Experiments, created by Theodore Peck and Nick Suarez, will select competitive chefs to respond to their Brooklyn roots, using one or more ingredients grown or made in Brooklyn in a cook-off.
A Bar of Brooklyn Brews, Wines, and Cocktails will offer Brooklyn-made libations during the fair.
Chefs from The Meat Hook, Marlowe & Sons, Ted & Honey, Egg and otherswill serve up delicious eats made in Brooklyn in collaboration with urban farms.