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
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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.
NYC Food Truck Fest promises a crazy line up of belly treats despite the out like a lion this month persists on roaring. Hosted by the largest curated market in New York, The Grand Bazaar NYC, they know a thing or two about bringing together amazing vendors, the trucks are so good we have to drop the list right here. Big D’s Grub Truck, Cousins Maine Lobster , Cupcake Carnivale, DUB Pies, The Empanada Sonata, Gorilla Cheese NYC, The Guac Spot, HAPA Food Truck, Los Viajeros Food Truck, Mac Truck, Meatoss Truck, Neapolitan Express, Saravana Bhavan NY, Stuf’d truck and Toum Food Truck will be prepped and ready to deliver tasty to your tongue all day. While you digest between truck visits there are over 80+ non-food vendors you can shop. Think antique and vintage dealers, artists, designers, craft-makers. We’re sure you’ll find a few goodies to stock up on in the massive indoor/outdoor sprawl. The good doesn’t end there. We dug a little deeper into this event and discovered the mission behind The Grand Bazaar and it only made us want to explore and buy more. The market profits benefit the 4,000 children in the neighboring four schools. It provides these kids with enrichment programs, books, supplies, teaching assistants, sports and chess programs. And, we love chess especially when there are sandwiches involved. This makes it eating you can be proud of. Hell, we’ll take it a step further and call it eating that makes a difference. Make a difference this weekend and stuff yo face like the great, kid loving, citizen you are. Sunday, March 25 at 10AM – 5:30 PM in NYC
The name Village Schmaltzy really says it all but incase you’re not hip to the tribe we’ll break it down. The Jewish Food Society has mashed up Forking Tasty Suppers with The Moth under the lens of excessively sentimental Jewish tales. They say it best, dubbed kibbitzing and eating. MC’d by Mitchell Davis and programmed with 5 stories paired with 5 dishes, the night will be anything but guiltless. To prep your ears and palette consider an Egyptian Sofrito and story from Nir Mesika of Timna Restaurant, Pastrami Egg Rolls from Ed Schoenfeld of Red Farm OR Kasha Varnishkes from Stacey Harwood-Lehman. I think it’s safe to say their chutzpah will make us all more of a mentsh then when we arrived. Monday, November 6 from 7pm – 9pm in NYC
Washing down a big bite of food with a comparable gulp of wine has long been a top pastime of the whole FT Crew. So much so that we’ve come to know the difference between a 2 Buck Chuck and a grape grown in Montalcino. Although they both have a place in our wine cellar (read closet), learning more never hurts. The Brooklyn Wine Fest does this learning thing in the non-snooty, approachable, fun kind of way. I guess you’d expect this from a Brooklyn born wine festival but the legacy of stodgy wine makers is still a hard ship to turn. The organizers have broken these stalwarts down and curated a producers list that will make everyone punchdrunk happy. In addition to the 50+ wineries repping their grape juice there’s some on point food to help coat that belly. Heavy hitters like the Mac Truck, Luke’s Lobster and the Brooklyn Oyster Party, just to name a few, will help you savor every wine wheel tagged sip. Time management alert, the day is broken up into two sessions. (12-4 and 5:30-9) Our advice is, BIG brunch, go early, pace yourself, no spitting and stay until the sun is gone. You’ll be fine. Enjoy yourself and stop by Dandelion Wines post fest to try your new knowledge out. Lily and team will be waiting to help. Saturday, October 28th from 12-9:30 in Brooklyn.
Bitten is a conference, an event series, a pop up video series and a food story blog. All things we LOVE. Their “big show” takes place in a few weeks in NYC. It’s line up boasts some up and coming names in the food game. The likes of fellow supper club runner, Brian Bordainick (Dinner Lab) will be in the house along with Kimberly Chou (Food Book Fair) and heavy hitters like Dana Cowin, best known for her two decades as Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine Magazine. Coupled with all this food talk is a conversation on how it touches everything from high fashion to pop culture to insects lives. Think intellectual foodies soapboxing and waxing poetic in the best way possible. Friday, October 27th 8:30 – 4:30
In it’s 11th year the Food Film Festival never disappoints us. It’s not just because we get to eat and watch at the same time but because the films are always stellar both in story and production value. The idea that food pairs with movies just warms our hearts in way that only an ex-Dinema Supperclub runner could love the Food Porn Party, sorta just like it sounds. October 19th-22nd in NYC.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wait! Don’t go shopping today. Wait until tomorrow. Same goes for eating or at least eating out. Regular readers of FT know we’re buddies with The Infatuation crew. What you might now know is we’re equally long term fans of American Express. That’s why this collab was a must post for us. Plus, It’s innately a good thing to do. The Infatuation has curated some of the best deals on the Shop Small American Express site to get you both great (in many cases, hard to get) food while helping your local small biz stay in business. The team is hosting #DineSmall events at some of their favorite local restaurants in NYC, LA, DC, San Diego, Chicago and San Fran. Stay tuned November 26th as they open up the ticket sales. Saturday, November 26th from 3-6pm in various cities.
Thanksgiving can be rough if your family lives far from the hustle we call home. Thankfully there’s tons of alternative families available to belly up next to and enjoy a feast that rivals the family back home. In fact, it might even be better given the family drama is organically removed from the equation. One of our favorites is Greenpoint Beer and Ale’s Orphans’ Thanksgiving. Now in it’s fourth year, a meal and a movie are included with every ticket. A dessert potluck is part of the evening so bring a winner. If that wasn’t enough, $10 from each ticket will be donated to The Greenpoint Soup Kitchen. Thursday, November 24, 5PM – 11PM in Brooklyn.
We had a few days in Berlin. I hit a few of my old 2006 haunts but also discovered a new and vibrant food scene. Yes in the restaurants but more so in the community. Case in point is Sarah Go’s Feast Meetups. She aims to bring together “foodpreneurs”. She welcomes food designers, trend researchers, editors and gastronomy makers to connect and collaborate on all aspects of the culinary industry booming across the globe. Berlin’s no stranger to creativity, innovation and change. With those two backgrounds, I’m sure her next meetup and Feast’s mission will foster this culinary community well. We, unfortunately, didn’t get to hook up with Sarah while in town but if you live in Berlin or are planning a visit, check out the calendar and pop into an event. The last one was a viewing on ‘The Chef’s Mind’ with snacks. No “brainer” right?
You did it. You pulled closed the curtain, flipped a few old timey feeling switches, stuck an “I voted” sticker on your sweater and now, this most monumental of decisions, is out of your hands. After all the sensationalism, scandals, SNL skits and Twitter fights, you need a place to hunker down and watch as this countries leader is chosen. Of course, you need some snacks and drinks to accompany this evening so you don’t bite your nails off waiting for the electoral votes from the west coast to be tallied. The Brooklyn Bazaar is providing just this with an Election Night Viewing Party. Depending on the out come, and your preference in candidates, you can continue post-decision celebrating and/or crying with booze that will flow into the wee hours. Make sure you stock up your belly with enough of their awesome food options to pad the alcohol typhoon that’s bound to follow. Tuesday, November 8th 7PM – 12PM in Brooklyn.