The NYC Hot Sauce Expo returns this weekend to heat up the borough once again with 50+ craft hot sauce makers. As always there is far more than the next hot sauce tasting to keep your burning tongue distracted. Aside from their marquee event, Guinness Book of Records Carolina Reaper Pepper Eating Contest, there will be more chihuahua’s under one roof than a Mexican cartoon kennel at the Chihuahua Beauty Pageant. Maybe the most off beat event at any food focused festival we’ve attended. We’re especially looking forward to finding out what the Volcanic Peppers Spicy Pizza of DOOM Challenge is and how we conquer it without killing ourselves. The event list deepens with everything from Hottest Ramen to Slaytanic Burrito contest to the prestigious Hot Sauce Hall of Fame inductions. We covered this back in 2016 and High River Sauces, the event sponsors, growth clearly has been massive, and inherently hot. With two full days of pepper craziness, prepare yourself. Fill your camelbak with some cold milk and pick up a jumbo loaf of Bimbo as you head to Greenpoint for the mouth burning mania. April 14th and 15th from 10am-6pm in Brooklyn.
Seems to us that Dessert Goals is much more than Instagram slang these days. Turns out they are real goals and Miraya Berke is helping the sweet tooth set achieve them this month with her 6th annual New York event. We’ve been in the past and suffice it to say there is no disappointment in the sweets dept. This year the line up is deeper than ever with showings by some of our personal favs Dough, Kouklet and Oddfellows. We love a good food festival but a special call out on this story to Miraya for being such an event enthusiast. She’s a self proclaimed event planner since 10. That passion led her to start Pop Productions, an event studio focused on experiences combining food, film or family. With events for Airbnb, Kiva and Northside Festivals under her belt she birthed two of her own events. The aforementioned Dessert Goals and the the quirkiest of film fests we’ve ever discovered, Rom-Com Fest. We love seeing people ride their passion into their day jobs. Props to Pop and Ms. Berke. Back to her weekend of sweets, we suggest you book an appointment with your dentist and find your way to Queens. March 23rd + 24th at 12pm in LIC, Queens
It’s safe to say coffee culture is a habit rivaling the crack epidemic of the 90’s. A harsh but not accidental comparison. We dubbed it “New Joe City”. Playing the finest supply and demand game, The Barisieur Brewing Alarm Clock wakes you up with a beep and an olfactory, pavlovian trigger known as warm caffeine. Disguised in a gorgeous and meticulously crafted wood exoskeleton, a series of modern electronics and intricate micro-plumbing converge to deliver a morning kickstart like none other. Originally a crowdfunding idea by designer Joshua Renouf, this alarm clock concept launched his design company Barisieur. In his words, the studio is a brand driven by design, experience and exceptional quality. Currently the coffee clock is the companies only product but we’d guess they have other lines in the works. A toothbrush that makes you a breakfast burrito OR a wind-proof umbrella that calls you an uber would be a nice next move. Just sayin’.
Every year the editors at Bon Appetit compile their top 10 restaurants in America. Then they hold a grand ol’ chef and food insider party celebrating their list. If rubbing elbows with the Foodie elite is your thing or you just like the idea of eating the best food in America, according to one of those aforementioned tastemakers, then the Bon Appétit Hot 10 Party is totally your scene. Snapping up a tier 1 ticket gets you unlimited food and drinks which is a great start BUT if you’re attending you might as well really go big. The VIP package gives you a special entrance (no queuing), early access to all the food, some mingling time with the chefs so you can drop that sous vide story you’ve been dying to use and a special Hot 10 alumni restaurant in addition to the 2018 team. That should hold you over with stories when commanding your next dinner party. If you just want to party and forget the food (which we’re not sure why you’d choose that) a quick $25 bucks gets you into the after party. October 17th at 6:30 in Brooklyn, NY.
It’s late. Your buddy accidentally ate some potent edibles. You peer into your bright, empty refrigerator with a gape that only says one thing. “Where’s the beef?” Normally at 2am you’re SOL until your Key Food opens at sunrise but, if you live close to what we consider the greatest vending machine invented since Sprinkles cupcake ATM, you’re in major, grill-it-now, satiate those gourmet munchies, luck. That’s right 24/7 of prime cut beef on demand all from a little, smart, butcher called Applestone Meat Company. The Meat Vending Machine interior spins displaying the various cuts like diamonds in the windows of 47th street. You don’t even need your wallet just your phone with an Apple and Android Pay integration. This means you can Instagram your purchase in real time bragging to whoever is still awake. Prices vary depending on the cut and the size just like non-robot meat purchasing. We’d recommend going big and pricey because if your standing in front of this machine in pajamas it’s a major meat mission and why skimp now? Apparently, this gets confusing so the guys over at Applestone made this helpful video. We’re so psyched about this we’ve contemplated the 111 mile drive just to experience this merry-go-round of meat first hand. Look for an update on this post once we finally make that move. For now, those closer have a real innovation on their hands. We just hope this spreads far and fast so the rest of the carnivore night owls can share in the on-demand fun.
If we stand for anything, it’s dinner. The more special the more better. When we discovered Mark Ladner, pasta making magician of Del Posto and Lupa fame, was celebrating his one year anniversary of his fast-casual Pasta Flyer with a supper series we we’re psyched to say the least. An already high-rotation, week day, post-workout, dinner for us because of the incredible value Mark and team bring to the literal table…Secret best meatballs in city, secret great wines by the glass…he’s crafted this dinner series with some of his best chef friends. From the likes of Mario Carbone to Maialino’s Nick Anderer to Barbara Lynch (who has the best oyster bar in Boston amongst her food dynasty) the menu creations are bound to be off the chain. We’re not sure what we’re most excited about. Two Italian’s in the same kitchen or a food storyteller augmenting the current Pasta Flyer menu. It looks like this was a Resy and Applestone collab too. Props to them as we recently were swooned by the 24/7 butcher. Tickets will undoubtedly go quick so make a move briskly. September 26th through November 7th in NYC.
F+B robots are coming at us this week like Rosie when George Jetson gets home from work. On the heels of the Creator burger restaurant, Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas (No shock that a grain alcohol, cocktail making, robot lives in the city of sin) will mix a drink you ordered through your other robot, your phone. See what’s happening here? Robot to robot. Of the extensive Vegas curated menu our clear favorite was the Bionic Bomb. This 28oz frozen cocktail starts with some raw white refined sugar in the form of something they call Passion Berry to get you good and wired. Next they up the ante and sugar taste with none other than the grandmomma of flavored vodka, Stoli Razberi. You gotta respect that Z. Remembering this is Vegas the final robotic, precision pour is 4oz of Cruzan 151 Rum to float this fribble and your sobriety to all but a memory. Did we mention it comes in a Tipsy Robot Souvenir Cup? Yeah, that happens. We were curious what, or who really, was behind this autonomous bartender, so we did some digging. Turns out, the Italians. Seriously, The Makr Shakr, as the white label robot is called, was designed by Carlo Ratti Associati out of Torino, Italy, the birthplace of Vermouth for those who are down with the Negroni. Carlo Ratti Associati specializes in design and innovation, and now I guess robotics. Or, maybe, that’s the innovation part. I imagine the teams beta tests were Aperol Spritz’s and Negroni’s instead of the freebase drinks the Tipsy Robot is pouring in Nevada. Jokes aside, this team has created projects like Supermarket of the Future and Paris navigating Gym (a boat that runs on spin cycle bike power) which is to say, some awesome projects. When we realized they weren’t cucks we really started loving what they created regardless of its location or application. Considering all that, maybe one more Bionic Bomb is not a bad idea. That’s either innovation talking or the 151.
We love robots so much we all carry one in our pocket. Creator has invented the first burger making robot and it’s freaking awesome. Currently staged as more of a POP-UP in San Francisco than an actual full-fledged restaurant, patrons buy tickets to the restaurant waiting their turn to build their own burger OR rather, tell the robot what burger to build. A stunning store design with the visual “making” front and center (obviously) makes for a communal and interactive experience. The founder and CEO, Alex Vardakostas, says he employs the same amount of people as traditional restaurant the difference is that more staff can focus on the customers instead of cooking. The robot has that covered. As long as the team is friendly and engaged, unlike some NYC Duane Reade employees I’ve recently suffered through, this model is an amazing potential for bringing the human experience back into a app driven, delivery and pick up riddled existence. We always thought food should be fun and shared. Creator might just have invented the backlash to quick, autonomous, fast-casual, food service. August in San Francisco.
Knights of the Raj NYC is an immersive peek into the history of NYC curry cuisine. To understand why this is a fascinating visit to Brooklyn’s MOFAD that will feed your mind as well as your stomach, we need to back up to the origins of the Knights of the Raj and the curry uprise in Britain. The “Knights” started as an homage to those who are responsible for bringing curry to Britain in the first place, the Bangledeshis. aka, the East Pakistanis or British Indian Muslims, depending on what year you are focused on when discussing the topic. A short history of India seems necessary. The British Raj, as Britain was known, occupied India between 1858 and 1947 until “partition” emancipated India and Pakistan from British rule. The handy work of Brit Cyril Radcliffe drew new borders with the goal of dividing Pakistan and India so that the Muslim and Hindu populations were not disturbed. FAIL on Cyril’s part. Known as the Radcliffe line, this ridiculous re-bordering made a split country of Pakistan creating two wings, east and west, with India in the middle. This also caused 14 million Muslims and Hindus to flee across new borders when they discovered they were in the wrong country. This duo of Pakistans only lasted until 1971 when a revolution in East Pakistan due to civil disobedience led to the war of independence resulting in the new state of Bangladesh. Whew, ok…That brings us back to Banglideshis migrating from their newly formed country that was experiencing famine, poverty and military coups to Britain. Along with this they obviously brought their food and curry started to make its way into the British culture as an exotic dish. Fast forward to modern day and Britains national dish declared curry and rice, you can image the impact the Knights of the Raj have had in a short 50 years. With 30,000 Indian restaurants in the UK, The Knights stories start with the first Bangladeshis settling in Birmingham and spreading across Britain. Curated by artist Mohammad Ali The Knights of the Raj NYC is a continuation of the British story and Bangladeshis landing in New York. Included in the visit are Immersive Arts Experiences, Walk-In Diorama, Live Performances, and a Three-Course Sampler Menu of Bangladeshi Street Foods and British-Style Curries. July 20th – August 5th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm in Brooklyn, NY
From what the organizers have said, The Pizzadelphia Pizza Festival is at least partially to put Philly pizza on the map. Now, as a New Yorker, you know Naples is the only city that even matters but that’s like saying France wins the world cup again. Update: that actually happened. Well maybe Philly is Croatia. Maybe they beat out Chicago in an upset and they are now in the finals. With slices from Pizzeria Vetri, Pizza Brain and the illusive Beddia, the line up is solid and the party is set to sauce mode. Some of Philly’s best DJ’s make it loud and the Vetri Community Partnership makes it good. If you are a pizza freak this weekend at the Navy Yard has your shirt stain waiting. Saturday, July 14th from 12 to 5:30pm in Philadelphia.
We’ve been talking a lot about tomatoes this month on the socials. The Killer Tomato Festival takes all that juicy, sweet talk and packs it up with an impressive chef line up and a musical act seemingly named for this convergence of nightshade lovers, G.Love and Special Sauce. By impressive we mean 33 local chefs and 4 visiting chefs all making tomato based dishes for you to taste. The food is backed by 20 mixologists from Atlanta’s best bars keeping this whole party well lubricated. The best part of the entire angry tomato theme is that in partnership with Georgia Organics, who’s mission is to connect organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families, they are helping locals eat better at home instead of just in restaurants. The king pin on the vine for all this is Chef Ford Fry who, besides his Atlanta restaurant dynasty tearing up top 10 lists for years, he has the distinction of Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurant of the Year. Not shabby on the kitchen chops we’d say. If you’re thirsty for some ‘matos and you’re local or visiting Atlanta, this might be your Sunday move. Sunday, July 15th from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M in Atlanta.
Meat Hook Sausage Company ran a Kickstarter about a year back but now the successful Brooklyn butcher has taken their star product beyond the shop and packaged it up in supermarkets near you. Near you if you live outside their Williamsburg epicenter but still in hipster distance. The real hook to these tubular treats is they cover the classics but run crazy with some more creative options. Much like the Ample Hills approach to sausage. You’ll find the classic Italian, Brats and even a hotdog on the straight side of the options. Then it breaks out with ridiculously exciting options. Try a Bacon Cheeseburger (exactly what you’d think it is) or
Big Trouble In Little Dumpling, everything a dumpling would have to be awesome just inside a casing instead of a raviolo. The list continues with Buffalo Chicken, Beet Roasted Onion Sausage (no it is not vegetarian), Chicken Tikka Masala Sausage, a Banh Mi and even the one that got them on the map in this game, a pork, pepperjack cheddar cheese, roasted jalapenos and Texas Pete hot sauce sausage named Long Dong Bud. If all this has made you’re non-NYC resident mouth water their is a solution to this, delivery just became available via Mercato. Considering the biggest grill day of the year is looming, we’d suggest an order is in…order.
We’ve loved the McKittrick Hotel since our first sneak peek before the fames Sleep No More ever performed once. The Punchdrunk team has now opened up The Attic and invited us to The Last Supper, a surreal time warp back to the 1960’s that boasts a hypnotic experience. Knowing this theater companies flair for the eerily awesome, there’s no doubt this night will be a head spinner you will remember for a solid decade. A few early reviews are available but leave a lot to the imagination. Our advice is not to click and be completely surprised by the journey that lies up in the attic. The dinner only runs until July 21st so you have to grab tickets as soon as you can. Don’t forget to wear your mid-century best or summon your inner Don Draper. Dressing the part always makes for more immersive fun. Now through August 4th in NYC.
The most impactful journey of my recent travels was meandering through Cuba in 2016 just as the country started opening up it’s doors to mass US travel. The Havana Film Festival New York’s closing film, Cuban Food Stories, touches a nerve and floods back many of those memories. The director, Asori Soto, calls it “a road-trip adventure all around the island to discover the most authentic flavors and stories behind the Cuban cuisine.” With access to remote parts of this culturally rich island nation, Asori goes beyond the cliches, Ropa Viejo and cigars to show us the kind of Cuba Cubans know. Beyond this film, there’s a whole incredible week of programming. In collaboration with Havana’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana Film Festival New York showcases Cuba, Latin American,Caribbean and Latino creators and their films in a light that makes for a multi-cultural experience for the Latino culture and more importantly, beyond. In other words, if you like film, this is for you. If you like food and film, closing night is on order. April 6th-17th in NYC. Cuban Food Stories is April 17th at 6:30PM in NYC
The World’s Fare is not only the best food pun for an event we’ve heard in a while. It’s a proper Queens food in Queens celebration of everything this glorious borough has to offer. Meaning the single most culture dense square footage in perhaps the world. With your ears and your tongue as your guide, the Fare will treat you to as many international bites and sips as you can muster while you listen to music from all corners of the globe. We’re talking Don Ceviche with a Modelo, D’Abruzzo and a Red Stripe or Rib-in-a-Cup and a New Belgium. If that’s not enough it’s going to be under a giant metal globe. Now you get the pun right? No Will Smith and giant alien bugs this time just tasty bites for 2 straight days. Snap up some tickets because this is bound to be the best trip around the world without leaving your backyard boro. April 28th-29th 12pm-9pm at Citi Field in Queens.