This Week’s Five Best Food Events – 8/5/2014

What’s on the agenda for this week? Farm dinners, pintxo tastings, and plenty of rosé. Take a look at our best bets to sate your appetite.

Rosé Pairing Dinner, Trattoria Il Mulino, 36 East 20th Street, Wednesday, 5 p.m.

Summer is rosé season, and this $60 dinner courtesy of chef Michele Mazza pairs the wine to a line-up of Italian dishes includes mozzarella with vegetables, ravioli with arugula and goat cheese, and a choice of either bacon wrapped scallops or veal limone. Guests can make a reservation for the special four-course dinner, which runs from 5 to 11 p.m., by contacting the restaurant directly.

Pintxo Pairings: a 12 Course Food & Drink Tasting, Huertas, 107 First Avenue, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy delicacies from Spain’s Basque region during this 12-course small plate tasting created by chef Jonah Miller. You’ll dine on current menu items and dishes that might make a fall debut, with each bite accompanied by its own drink pairing. The event includes a discussion with chef Miller on the recipes. Tickets are $50.

SWEET Documentary World Premiere Screening Event, The National Gourmet Institute, 48 West 21st Street, Thursday, 6 p.m.

If you’re looking to expand your cultural understanding of food entrepreneurship, consider a documentary that covers India’s battle with chronic illnesses. Filmmaker Andrew Rothschild will be in attendance for a Q and A to discuss his film, which focuses on The Cookbook Project Founders Adam Aronovitz and Alissa Bilfield — who will also be in attendance — and their work with women rescued from human trafficking, who help create a healthy sweets business. After the film, there will also be a healthy sweets cooking demo along with complimentary ayurvedic chai tea. Tickets start at $22.

Happy Hour and Trivia Night, Table Green at the Battery — Battery Park, State Street at Battery Place, Thursday, 6 p.m.

If you’re a Wall Street worker sick of the same old bar scene on Stone Street, consider trivia and drinks with a sunset view. For $25, guests receive two drinks and the chance to flex their mental muscles, with all proceeds going to support Battery Urban Farm. Snacks from the farm will also be provided.

On the Farm Dinner: Vegan Night, Edgemere Farm, 385 Beach 45th Street, Queens, Thursday, 7 p.m.

Barry’s Tempeh will be taking a trip to the farm as this Rockaway retreat hosts its first ever all vegan dinner. Tempeh tamales, shishito peppers, and DiCosmo coconut ices are all included on the evening’s menu, with Rockaway Brewing Co. beer and other beverages, too. Tickets are $15.


Six Things From Chef That Would Never Happen in Real Life

Chef is a movie about restaurants and food trucks written and directed by Jon Favreau, who also plays the protagonist chef Carl Casper. He worked to accurately portray chefs’ lives via little details: His character has multiple forearm tattoos, wears a bandana, and lives in a messy apartment with a ridiculously nice kitchen. You can thank Roy Choi for the minutiae; he was a co-producer and consultant on the movie. But there are still plenty of things that happen in Chef that would never happen in real life, aside from the fact that it’s extremely unlikely Favreau would be able to attract Sofia Vergara and Scarlett Johansson as love interests just by making some kick ass carne asada. Here are the top six things the movie got wrong.

6. The restaurant serves the same exact meal to a critic twice, and the team knew he was coming in both times.

Having Oliver Platt, brother of actual New York restaurant critic Adam Platt, star as Los Angeles’ most popular food blogger, Ramsey Michel, was a stroke of genius by the casting department. Perhaps Favreau should have consulted Adam, though, before writing the scene in which the kitchen serves the food blogger the same exact meal that he viciously berated in a review only a few days before. It’s hard to believe that a restaurant would invite a critic back in for a second chance only to drop the ball; it’s even harder to believe that the critic would actually agree to re-taste the dish.

5. The food truck has a permit ready to go in a matter of days.

Once Favreau’s life blows up over his Twitter jabs and dining room meltdown over the critic’s bad review, he gives up fine dining and picks up a food truck, which is magically ready to operate everywhere in the country almost instantaneously. We’ll give Favreau his artistic license here: In the real world, the amount of time it takes to file for and receive a permit to operate a food truck in multiple states would pretty much kill the rhythm of the film entirely.

You can't work a food truck if you're 10, even if you're just bonding with your father.
You can’t work a food truck if you’re 10, even if you’re just bonding with your father.

4. There’s a 10 year old working the line.

Fun fact from the U.S. Department of Labor: “Children under 14 years of age may not be employed in non-agricultural occupations covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including food service establishments.” That 10-year-old worked the (incredibly hot and probably extremely dangerous) line like a champ, though, and he refused to back down, even after burning his finger on a hot press.

El Jefe totally jacked that spot from a schwarma stand, which would get it a ticket in the real world.
El Jefe totally jacked that spot from a schwarma stand, which would get it a ticket in the real world.

3. The food truck pulls up wherever it wants, and there’s never any other competition.

El Jefe, Favreau’s truck, takes viewers on a cross-country road trip with stops in Miami, New Orleans, and Austin on its way to L.A. Thanks to its impressive child social media guru, it attracts a megacrowd, too, which flock to the truck when it parks wherever the crew feels like parking. Like right on South Beach. Or Frenchman Street. Or right outside an impromptu Gary Clark Jr. concert in Austin. Try that in real life, and you’ll soon be bleeding dollars to the local parking police.

2. The food truck is super profitable.

Turning a food truck or small restaurant into an empire is a real path to success — just ask Roy Choi, or Luke Holden, or any number of restaurateurs who started with a rolling kitchen and have continuously seen their influence grow. But the idea that Favreau turns one truck into a full-out restaurant in six months is…a bit ambitious, even if you ignore the lease and build-out time warp. Food trucks are expensive operations — and even with a legion of fans, making a chunk of change substantial enough to fund a brick-and-mortar takes a lot longer than a few month stretch.

1. The chef winds up becoming business partners…with the food critic that crushed him.

It’s not completely unheard of for a food writer to trade in the pen for a POS system, but the idea that Oliver Platt sold his food blog for tons of cash and purchased his own restaurant is laughable, beyond the fact that most bloggers (like me!) are broke. I’ve had some seriously transcendent plates of platanos, but none that’d make me give up my life’s work to go into business with a guy I’d previously crushed in a review.