Summer 2014 Food Festivals



For every event I attend in New York, there are a dozen other possibilities that I can't fit in. It leads to a feeling of never enough--to always be on the quest--and for me a feeling of guilt that I couldn't do it all. Here's a short list of some fun things to put on your busy calendar.

This weekend, June 7th and 8th in Madison Square Park, is the 12th annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party. It sounds both compelling and calorically dangerous. Event admission is free, with award-winning barbecue and Southern-inspired fare from the country’s top pitmasters. There will be music performances throughout the day, and even seminars. Hm, do I need to learn how to grill? I'll get back to you on that. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday June 7-8 2014 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

6/8/14: Also this Sunday, June 8th is the 14th Annual Egg Rolls & Egg Creams Festival. Put on by the Museum of Eldridge Street, the festival is a collaboration between Chinatown and the Lower East Side, two of my favorite neighborhoods, and cultures. Chinese opera and acrobatics, klezmer music, Yiddish and Chinese language lessons, mah jongg, scribal arts (what is this?), food, crafts, synagogue tours, and more. Event runs 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

6/14/14: An eating contest with the word duck in it? I'm not sure I can handle how strangely interesting this sounds. The Duckathalon is Saturday, June 14th in Manhattan from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. You compete, answer questions, and, bang bang, you eat. If you go alone they pair you up with a team, or you can find three other crazies to attend as a team of four. Oh the insanity of it all. Tickets are $60. I need a sponsor.

On June 13th and 14th, there's a rosé event, on a yacht! The evening event is already sold out, but there are tickets available for their day event. Do you think I can pay with some pink Monopoly money?

6/25/14: Edible Magazine is hosting a barbecue in Bryant Park on June 25th. The food is coming from 'wichcraft. The list of drinks, beer, and spirits, leads me to believe the emphasis will be on booze. Which I'm not saying is a bad thing. Should be fun, but could also be a zillion people trampling a beautiful park. Tickets are $60 and you can get them here.
7/4/14: Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest: Last years winner, Joey Chestnut of San Jose, CA, holds the world record for eating 69 Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes. He's seeking his eighth straight title this year, and perhaps it's time I checked this thing out. Lest you think this is a male dominated sport, Sonya Thomas of Alexandria, VA will defend her title as Female Champion; she consumed 36 ¾ Hot Dogs and Buns in 10 minutes last year. If you're curious about the calories, a hot dog has about 120 calories and the bun has roughly the same, 120 calories. Most of the calories in the hot dog comes from fat, so if you chose a fat free or turkey option the calories drop quickly. I have a feeling the contestants aren't thinking of those things. The finals will be held in Coney Island on July 4th.

Le Fooding, the French version of the Michelin Guide is holding a three-day festival in the Rockaways July 11-13. There will be two seatings a day. Chefs Ivan Orkin, Ludo Lefebvre, Enrique Olivera, and Cristina Tosi will be there throwing down the grub. Food, music, sand, and waves, what else do you need? Pre-sales tickets are available here. I'm going on Friday. Are you? Ping me so we can talk about it!

7/14/14: Sponsored by Just Foods, Kegs & Kluckers is an event to get homebrewers and chicken keepers (and the people who love them!) to connect. I can't decide if I love beer or if I am intrigued by chicken keepers. This fun-filled event will include homebrews, unlimited Brooklyn Brewery drafts, delicious local fare, a raffle featuring unique and egg-citing prizes, Egg Olympic games, and a homemade Deviled Egg Competition. Hosted at Brooklyn Brewery on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

There are also some totally out of my price range events that are fundraisers, should you be in the spirit:
Taste of Central Park, June 11th
Celebrate Flatiron Chefs, July 15th

7/20/14: The Jamaican Jerk Festival is July 20th in Roy Wilkins Park, Queens, New York. Who doesn't need more jerk in their life? Get more of that spicy stuff here.

7/24/14: There's a benefit for Just Food, a non-profit I love, called The Street Foods of India and it's on Thursday, July 24. Tickets are $25. The menu already has me wanting to go, as long as their AC is working: Roasted Chickpeas with Chiles & Coconut; Urad Dahl Bada in Sambhar (Dahl Patties/Fritters with Lentils); Aloo Chaat (Indian-Style Potato Salad); Cauliflower & Paneer Frankie (Wraps); Onion Uttapam (Flatbread with Dahl and Rice Batter). The event will be hosted at the Bowery Culinary Center at Whole Foods Market | 95 E. Houston St; Manhattan

7/29/14: Did you know that July is good beer month? I didn't. On Tuesday, July 29th, the Beer Film Festival will be at the Anthology Film Archives. They'll be pouring beer, screening films and gabbing about all things malt. 508 Gastrobrewery in SoHo, Rockaway Brewing, and Sixpoint Ales will be there, and a few others I hope. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Heritage Radio Network. Get tickets here.

7/30/14: In collaboration with Brooklyn Grange, the High Line is hosting Honey Day, on Wednesday, July 30th from 2-7 p.m. Taste your way through NYC's artisanal honey market, meet the busy beekeepers from all five boroughs at this pop-up gathering.

9/6/14: If you missed the Big Apple BBQ, don't sit home moping, get tickets to Pig Island, which should be similar but better because it's farther away--in the heart of Red Hook--and you know, people don't like to walk far. The all-inclusive tickets to the event will get you all glory kinds of barbecue, beer from Six Point, wine from the North Fork and Long Island, demos, music and more. Saturday September 6th, from 11:30-4:30 p.m. Tickets here.

And some of my favorite weekly events that I always like to hit in the summer:
Hester Street Fair
Brooklyn Smorgasburg
LIC Flea & Food