For 7 years now, The Jamaican Jerk Festival has brought together some of the best in island music and food. In a time where music/food festivals seem to hop the bullet train to corporate run monsters, this little indie festival guarantees true local flavor. Even though the title sponsor is one of the largest producers of West Indian food products, you can’t rattle the “real” out of the 5 borough Caribbean community. This year will be the biggest, best and booyakasha of all years with Barrington Levy anchoring the vibes and a quarter mile of jerk stands to spice up the day. Appropriately hosted by our new home borough in Roy Wilkins Park, take the E train to Jamaica center and then get cozy up on the Q5 bus. We promise a Sunday adventure in sound, culinary and transit. Sunday, July 23rd from 12-8pm in Queens, NY.
For years hydroponics has carried a stigma associated with your sophomore roommate’s
cannabis closet experiment. On the contrary, hydroponics have been in play with far more practical benefits for some time. Ever have a juicy, red tomato in January? Yeah, that’s most likely the hydroponics. The Monsanto issues aside, Futurefarms Spacepot Hydroponic Grow System brings the benefits of nutrient rich water growing science to your kitchen countertop. The beautiful, sleek system boasts the ability for a simple three step path to delicious, hearty plants in just 5 weeks. The crew is a collaboration of scientists, creators and makers in California who are on a mission to bring hydroponics into our homes to improve our well-being and lifestyle. In our case that’s perpetuating the Italian-American stereotype with fresh basil all winter long. And hey, your college roommate might actually get another swing at the bat this time as a culinary herb dealer.
The whole SingleCut Brewery had me on the eyes with their label design but the Jenny Said IIPA got me on the lips. With all the hoppy hop hopness out there these days it was a pleasure to get some stronge floral and fruit bits for balance. We’re not real beer snobs here so enough with the tasting note commentary. Simple truth is, it’s an easy to drink IPA out of a dope graphic can. Plus, these guys hold up in Astoria Queens and you know we’re crushing on #QNS hard these days. Consider your Memorial Day started.
We’ve been drooling over Dennis Prescott’s IG for the last few years. He has this knack of making everything look so perfectly crisp and juicy that we theoretically lose our minds and literally salivate. That pavlovian response has now been chronicled in a 125 recipe book, Eat Delicious, that reveals not only the food. Dennis also reveals his photography approach, technique and gear in achieving the ultimate in food porn perfection. Although he calls himself a chef first and photographer a close second we might be so mesmerized with his images to even take a bite. In a recent interview he said, “My passion is cooking and photographing large, feast-style scenes that highlight the community table.” That gets us right in the soul. Hey Dennis, any time you want to shoot one of our feasts, open invite buddy. If you’re not already a long time @dennistheprescott follower here’s your moment to jump in both digitally and with a printed home version you can drool all over in private.
Today’s post comes on the heels of two commingled happenings. First, My Head of Culinary is trouncing about in Parma checking out brown cows and pig legs. Second, The Food Book Fair kicks off it’s 2017 edition. So, a book on Italian Street Food is more than appropriate. If any of you have spent any time in Italy, as Paola, the author of this guide to goodness, has, you know getting a bad meal is tough anywhere on the boot. But, the culinary road less traveled lies in the nooks and crannies that are street food. A rice ball, a porchetta sandwich or a panini from a stand or off the beaten path vendor with a tiny hole in the wall (literally sometimes) shop are the true diamonds in the rough of this food gem country. Paola Bacchia was born Australian but has always looked to Italy as her Italian migrant parents made it impossible not to. Her book chronicles the recipes of these undiscovered street classics in a way that only an enamored 1st generation non-Italain can. If this book redlines your drool factor, Paola hosts a cooking school in Melbourne, Australia and annual workshops at the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in Sicily where you can taste some of the beauty this book reveals.
Ever since the discontinuance of the Turkey Leg Ball I haven’t had a convo with The Infatuation that didn’t start or end with, “When are you bringing back events?” When EEEEEATSCON was announced I had a mini imaginary umami party to rejoice, then I realized it was in LA. Not to worry because tons of you live there and they now make a thing called an airplane. The non-food festival promises, in true Infatuation prose, to be everything you want and none of the stuff you don’t. What that literally means is a mash-up of speaker series, band stage and food hall all inside a retro airplane hanger. More detailed programming was recently announced starting with the inventor of the “celeb chef”, Shep Gorden” talks with Stang (Infatuation co-founder). The Knocks play a set while the food pavilion rages with the likes of Badmaash, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and chi SPACCA to name just a few of the mouth-watering lineup. May 20th from 12am-9pm in Los Angeles.
Do you have an amazing vegetarian mother-in-law like me? Perfect. This card is one of our favs. Spotted in Dépanneur Brooklyn last year we held onto this gem until the high holiday of mother’s rolled back around. Drop this I Eat My Vegetables Card atop a basket of hand picked, farmers market fruits and veggies and you’ve got yourself a Mother’s Day mic drop.
We love everything about the Food Book Fair. It makes it virtually impossible to capture the tasty in a paragraph. That’s why each year we choose one break out component and chew on that. This year, Literary Speed Dating. Description unnecessary but since you asked, the 90’s speed dating phenom mashed up with a mix of heavy hitting literary agents. We’re talking editors and publishers from Phaidon, Clarkson Potter, Abrams Books and ICM Partners++. Attention artists, There’s even an illustration publisher at the table. Mix it with a couple dozen authors-to-be and you might just have a cake. No not really, but a book on cake for sure. It should go without saying, seats are limited. If you want in on the book Bumble grab a spot fast. See you in the Dewey Decimal Catalog. What? They stopped using that you say? Friday, May 12th from 2 – 4pm in NYC.
If you know us, you know burgers are something of a perfected item in our purview. When we discovered the Burgabox we danced a ground meat jig and hollered to the burger gods. We’ve written about box concepts in the past. We love the idea that our on-demand world can now summon boxes of quality food to our door from a few swipes of a smartphone. The thing Chuck and his cofounders at Boston Burger Company didn’t like was how healthy the contents of most box delivery companies tended to be. Having made their way into the restaurant biz with 28 over the top burger concepts, they thought dropping the ingredients into a box so people, not in Boston, their home turf, could try their amazing product was genius. We agree. We we’re so intrigued that this ex-postal worker, ex-real estate guy and ex-bartender started a phenom restaurant dynasty we dug deeper. Read the burger names and tell me you don’t want to hop an Amtrak to Cambridge this afternoon. Some of our stand out favs, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, KILLER BEE and VERMONSTER. That last one is offered in box form and boasts sautéed apples & red onion, bacon, maple mayo, sharp cheddar on top of an 8oz patty. In the box you get two or four burgers (depending on the pkg you choose) along with 2lb Pulled pork mac & cheese, 1lb Chili wedge fries, 1lb Chili wedge fries, 8oz side of Boston baked beans and 8oz side of homemade cole slaw. In case math isn’t your strong suit, that’s 6lbs of food goodness ding donging on your front stoop. We’ve already ordered two subscriptions just in time for the grill season kick off.
We first wrote about Chitra Agrawal when we discovered her Brooklyn Delhi products. Since then she’s been up to a lot more than just jarring delicious pickled things from India. Her latest edition to your Indian food education comes in book form with Vibrant India. South Indian cooking is not the Indian dishes that commonly pop to mind for us Americans. Having a South Indian mother-in-law has schooled me on these flavorful and light regional tastes. Chitra draws from her mother’s cooking bringing Bangalore all the way to Brooklyn where she adds her own twists to these vegetarian classics. I’ve often proclaimed, “I could go full vegetarian.” after eating at my in-laws for a weekend. As a pretty serious carnivore, that says a lot about her book and the deliciousness potential. Point is, there’s something for everyone in this book. Vegan, vegetarians, paleo or carnivore the flavors and simplicity will swoon you. We promise.
Now that we’re officially moving to Queens, there’s nothing we love more than a celebration of all things Brooklyn. Held in the new epicenter of Brooklyn making culture (Industry City), the eight-hour Best of Brooklyn Festival is a roundup of everything from craft beer to artisanal food to indie music to the best of Brooklyn product makers. That last one might not be true but the festival organizers tout “in-the-know finds”. We interpreted that as “stuff”. Tickets run you 30 bucks without upgrades. Early entry, a book and after party perks drive ‘em up to $125. Depending on how thick your beard or how colorful your jumper will determine what the necessary spend will be for you. No matter what your choice, ALL the BK bests will be in one giant, industrial, hard to get to space. Make the trip, the line-up will not disappoint.
Old World Jewish cuisine and delicious usually don’t make it into the same sentence. That’s why when we read “A culinary laboratory where Ashkenazi stories and culinary wisdom from the Old World could be explored and brought into the new.” we immediately wanted to know who said it and why. Turns out Jeffrey Yoskowitz and Liz Alpern are not only behind the statement but behind a dinner series, product line and cookbook dedicated to keeping this slice of culture alive. Speaking of slices, tonight of all nights is the perfect time for a slice of the Gefilteria cornerstone product. Artisan Gefilte fish made where else BUT in Brooklyn. The duo now bring Gefilteria goods to you online and through some specialty shops in NYC. Bring a loaf to your holiday parties and keep the new traditions alive.
We haven’t been this excited about milk since we discovered Frosted Flakes in 1982. 100 years ago the Shatto family started raising cattle. In 2003 they decided to start making their own milk and then cheese, then, butter, cookies, ice cream and now juice. They also decided to brand everything with an irreverent and slightly off utter humor. They developed a list of core values for their brandd and then punned the hell out of them. Lines like, “No hormones. Yes Whey.” and “Udder to store. Under 24.” We love everything about the Shatto Milk Company but mainly their milk. It’s a testament to a pure and best-in-class, raw ingredient being the cornerstone of so many other products. In the case of the Shatto family, that means their OWN products. Ohh right, and they brought back the milkman too. OMG. Yes. My Frosted Flakes will never be the same. Now, if I only lived in Kansas City.
Food and Christmas go hand in hand. With the current slobbering over all things edible, it’s no wonder the food ornament game has stepped up to the plate and started hitting homers. No better place to snap up one of these winners than Terrain, the Urban Outfitters folks take on outdoor stuff. This Glass Tomato Ornament is one of our favs because it’s a building block of many recipes and a beautifully simple summer fruit we rarely get to see in winter. Hanging off our tree we want to puree them up and make a red sauce for our raviolo but that would make for a disaster. Obviously, made for memories, there glass vegetable line is meant to remind us how good the real thing is and wait for summer. That’s cool, we’re asking for heirloom seed for Christmas.
Full disclosure on this holiday gift reco. We’re tight with the Barking Irons guys. Help you move. Treat you to dinner. Bail you out of jail kind of tight. Disclosure aside, let’s talk delicious unique Americana history. With Barking Irons Applejack at the root of this story, we guarantee happiness under the tree. Or under those gold multi-candle holders. We digress, this spirit is the OG. Meaning, the British and Spanish sailed over to America. They couldn’t find the usual things to make booze from. They found a crap load of apples. “Jacking”, A freeze distillation process to increase the alcohol content, became a thing. They aptly named it Applejack. Boom, the first indigenous American liquor was born. Quick side note, we are by no means stepping over Haren A Pitahaya, the Apache and Maricopa saguaro cactus wine but Applejack was the first “modern” American spirit. Since then, most of us have forgotten about this story and the product it produced. The guys at Phear Creative thankfully have not. They put into production the first new Applejack option since Laird’s in 1780. What does all this mean? You can gift (yourself if you are so bold) not only a unique addition to ones home bar BUT a historical reference and story to go along with all the fabled Santa Claus tales.