Thursday night, the Museum of Food and Drink (62 Bayard St), a Greenpoint-based non-profit dedicated to examining culinary culture, was alive with the sound of crickets. Except by “sound of crickets” we actually mean the sound of insect delicacies being sampled by guests. MOFAD recently launched a learning series named Spring Spirits, which takes a deep look into special spirits, the process of creating them, and the food that goes along with them. Their first event gave the spotlight to a spirit that is becoming quite poplar: tequila’s smokier, more artisanal oriented cousin, mezcal. Before the tasting portion of the event began, Danny Mena, a top-rated Mexican chef at Hecho En Dumbo, spoke bout mezcal’s fascinating history, which dates back 200 years. He spoke about the process of making mezcal, the life of an agave plant (it’s nocturnal, like many North Brooklynites) and the different regions of Oaxaca that produce mezcal. Mena also discussed ancient traditions of Mexican food, which include learning to love eating insects and the many uses of corn.
The second half of the event involved tastings from three different mezcal makers and munching on crunchy bug-topped bites. The insects that were left in tact to eat as-is were a little hard to swallow, but most of the tasters could get behind the insect salsa as well as sal de gusano, which is a salt made with worms that you are encouraged to dip an orange slice in—definitely a few steps up from an ordinary chaser. Continue reading →
* Geeks Who Drink @Bar Schimmi (60 North 11th St) 6pm, FREE, A homegrown Pub Trivia Quiz modeled after those in Ireland and the UK. Quizzes cover everything from celebrities in trouble to wordplay to bad television, More info =) The Juice Comedy Variety Show @ Union Pool (484 Union Ave) 8pm, $5, The Juice is a comedy variety show including some of the best stand up, improv, & sketch, hosted by Carmen Christopher, Buy tix ♫ Talib Kweli LIVE with full band! @Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Ave) 8pm, $17-20, Buy tix Greenpoint Film Festival (Thursday, May 4th- Sunday, May 7th) @ Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Ave), various times from 5/4-5/7, passes from $10, Buy tix
# Spring Spirits: Mezcal and the Taste of Oaxaca @ MOFAD (62 Bayard St) 6:30pm, $60, An evening of Oaxacan food and drink to usher in Cinco de Mayo. Learn more about the production of mezcal, its diversity of flavors, and the important role insects have played in Mexican cuisine long before guacamole with grasshoppers appeared on American restaurant menus, Buy tix
♦ The Art Party @ Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave) 7pm, $50, A wonderful evening of art, music, online art auction, drinks and hors d’oeuvres supporting the arts for children at PS 34, Buy tix ♦ Saving Jamaica Bay Screening @ North Brooklyn Boat Club (437 McGuinness Blvd) 7:30pm, $5, A great movie about nature and a wildlife refuge in NYC you have to see, More infoContinue reading →
Since rosé has (somewhat proudly) ventured into basic terrority, you might be looking to spice things up this summer drinking season. Perhaps you could learn more about smoky mezcal and…insects! This Thursday May 4th, just in time for Cinco de Mayo, the Museum of Food and Drink (62 Bayard St.) has partnered up with the Mexican Cultural Institute for its first Spring Spirits series that features Oxacan food and drink. During this event you will learn about the production of mezcal and its variety of flavor profiles as well as the vital part that insects play in Mexican cuisine. The event will include tastes of mezcal and little bites —that may or may not feature insects. Part of the proceeds will go to support the educational initatives of the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York so your newfound education on a delicious type of alcohol and creepy crawlers will benefit others.
Tickets ($60) can be bought here and each ticketholder will also get $1 off drinks at Petes Candy Store (709 Lorimer St).
If you’re a fan of Sriracha (or soy sauce, or curry), you shouldn’t miss tonight’s talk at MOFAD (62 Bayard St.) from 6-8pm.
“Historic gastronomist and author of Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine, Sarah Lohman explores the global flavors that make up American cuisine. Join us to learn how soy sauce, curry, and Sriracha became part of everyday dining. How have these three distinct flavors come to represent Asian food in the US? And what do they reveal about how we define “ethnic” cuisine? Book sales and signing to follow.”
# ItaliaNites: Malèna @ Archestratus (160 Huron St) 7:30pm, FREE, Viewing of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Malèna in celebration of la Festa delle Donne (International Women’s Day). A coming of age film, it follows one teenage boy’s infatuation with a village siren during World War II Sicily, RSVP ♫ NVRSleep: Across The Pond Edition @ Kinfolk 90 (90 Wythe Ave) 9pm, FREE, An Experimental Music Platform for Today’s Creative Class. Audio trip Across the Pond via Jamaal Fisher, Nasty Nigel, Rodney Hazard, and Special Guests, RSVP =) Popcorn Hour @ Annoyance Theatre (367 Bedford Ave) 9:30pm, $5, See New York’s finest comedians put on a show for you that’ll leave you much more satisfied than a damn $15 movie and $20 soda. Free popcorn, Buy tix
* Reclaiming Our Estuary: The Newtown Creek Experience @ LaGuardia Community College (31-10 Thomson Ave), 4pm, FREE, Learn about rediscovering the commons, our waterway and its life, case studies, and the future of Newtown Creek, RSVP # Global Flavors: How Curry, Soy Sauce, and Sriracha Became American @ MOFAD (62 Bayard St), 6:30pm, $10, Learn how soy sauce, curry, and Sriracha became part of everyday dining. How have these three distinct flavors come to represent Asian food in the US, Buy tix ♦ FREE LIKE OSCAR: Resistance Through Afro-Latino Culture @ City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Ave), 7pm, $8-10, A discussion with Melinda González, co founder of BombaYo, on Latino cultural traditions rooted in the African diaspora that are particularly effective at teaching us resistance and resilience, More info
Somewhere in the aughts, Dave Arnold—an “adventurer and writer with a dash of mad scientist”—got the idea in his head that what New York and the world really needed was a museum specifically dedicated to food and drink. Think about it, what do most of us do throughout the day? We eat and drink. Where do we meet our loved ones? At bars or while grabbing something at a restaurant. In every culture, the very act of breaking bread with someone instantly forms a bond between those sitting at the table. And yet, there wasn’t a museum discussing this cultural aspect, or the technological aspect of our food system, or the marketing aspect of the industry.
Dave worked on the idea, getting so far as to build a business plan and having a goal for the first exhibit, but nothing could really get off the ground. Until 2011, when a lawyer taking weekend cooking class at French Culinary Institute—now the International Culinary Center—sat in on Dave giving a talk about this museum idea and decided he wanted to get in on it. That lawyer, Peter Kim, is now the Executive Director of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD)—Dave is still heavily involved—and we, as you’ve probably gathered, are the neighborhood lucky enough to have MOFAD in our midst.Continue reading →
More than 45,000 Brooklynites voted across 128 categories and Best of Brooklyn is showcasing your picks on January 28 at Industry City! This collection of Brooklyn’s best craft brew (unlimited!), tastings on sale from 20+ top chefs (Doughnut Plant and Dinosaur BBQ to name a few), special exhibits by the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), and music curated by C’mon Everybody. Pick from one of two sessions or hit the after party! Continue reading →
♦ New Solo Female Work @ New Women Space (188 Woodpoint Rd) 7pm, $15, Featuring female solo performance, poetry, singer-songwriters, stand up, puppetry or maybe something we haven’t seen before, Buy tix * Open Pole Night @House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave) 9pm, FREE, Fancy yourself a pole qween? Come ride our long, hard, steel all night. Come out and show friends and fellow aerialists what you’ve been working on, More infoContinue reading →
♫ Riverwild E.P. Release @ Union Pool (484 Union Ave) 8pm, $8, Riverwild’s musical influences are as diverse as the sounds of the Catholic liturgy, the racket of cult worship services, late night F.M. radio and the music found on stolen cassette tapes, More info =) Comedians You Should Know NYC @ Gutter Bar (200 North 14th St) 9pm, $5, Featuring Sam Morril (Comedy Central) Samantha Ruddy (CollegeHumor) Saurin Choksi (Brown Privilege) Erik Monical (Red Clay Comedy Festival) & more, RSVP ♫ Limited Resources 1 @ Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer St) 9pm, $6, Experimental music featuring Brandon Lopez (composer/bassist), Platypus Revenge (improvisation collective) Hendley/Khilko/LiButti, More info
Spice master Chef Lior Lev Sercarz gave a zestful talk about his life, career, the art of flavor, and his new book The Spice Companion at Williamsburg’s Museum of Food & Drink (62 Bayard Street) this past Thursday night. Lior was an engaging speaker, and it’s obvious that when he’s talking about spices, he’s speaking directly from his heart.
He asked the audience how many times we’d actually tasted the spices in our cupboards, by themselves. I cook a lot, but I’ve probably never shoveled a lone spoonful of paprika into my mouth. Lior’s point: these are ingredients we’re putting into our cooking every day, so why aren’t we tasting them? Why aren’t we smelling them? We should be giving ourselves a sensory vocabulary of spices so that we know how to use them as creative culinary tools. He passed a few spices around to the audience for us to taste and smell—turmeric, cayenne, ancho chile powder, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa powder. I noticed that when confronted with the spice itself, it allowed me to really get to know the depth of its personality, while imagining where I could go with it in a way that just wouldn’t happen if I muddled it into a recipe. Continue reading →