This Weekend’s Five Best Food Events – 7/3/2014

Tropical storm or no, a long holiday weekend involving hot dogs and beer is still something to get excited about. Here are five food events that you should take into consideration if you’re sticking around.

Delaney BBQ to Go, Briskettown, 359 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, Thursday

If you’re in need of a last minute solution to an impromptu party, consider ribs and brisket by the pound. Daniel Delaney’s smokehouse is offering both via pre-order; food will be ready for pick-up at 11 a.m. on the 4th. Place your order today only on Briskettown’s website.

Jersey City’s Freedom and Fireworks Festival, Liberty State Park, 200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City, NJ, Friday, noon

A long weekend is the perfect time to explore a new neighborhood, and Jersey City is rewarding visitors and residents with an all day festival that will culminate with the Grucci fireworks show surrounding Lady Liberty. Food trucks, carnival games, and a free concert are all part of the event; the fireworks show starts after 9 p.m.

Hot Dog Eating Contest After Party, Professor Thom’s, 219 Second Avenue, Friday, 7 p.m.

If you can’t make it to Coney Island, hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut will be kicking back at this East Village bar. The bar is also celebrating the fireworks’ return to the east side with beer specials and is known to throw some pretty epic costume parties — so break out those American flag pants from college.

Oliver’s Astoria Summer Fundraiser — Inaugural Cornhole Tournament, Oliver’s, 37-19 Broadway, Queens, Saturday, noon

Loosen up the arm and be ready to flex some muscles — beer-drinking kind included — with a summer charity cornhole tournament. For $50, guests can play for cash prizes and attempt to claim the title of champion while enjoying happy hour specials like $4 brews and $5 appetizers. Don’t feel like playing? Stop by to cheer on or boo teams. Be sure to register in advance.

SingleCut Beersmith’s Independence Day Celebration, 19-33 37th Street, Queens, Sunday, 1 p.m.

Celebrate your post-holiday hangover with more beer and BBQ, as this Astoria brewery will be keeping the door open to anyone who wanders in looking in for a drink special. Eclectic East Village craft beer pairing expert Jimmy’s No. 43 is bringing its smoker to Queens for a grand cookout, and the brewery plans to run drink specials every hour until 5 p.m.


The Sixth Annual Cassoulet Cook-Off Crowns a New Champion

Manhattan has its fair share of cooking competitions, but few embody the quirky spirit of the East Village — and its love of food — quite like Jimmy Carbone’s cassoulet cookoff. After descending down a flight of stairs into Carbone’s basement beer cave Jimmy’s No. 43, guests were treated to a tasting of stew-soaked Toulouse sausage and duck confit.

The competition, now in its sixth year, highlights the French bean stew, and this year’s batch of contestants included a caterer as well as a waiter who came all the way up from Washington D.C. Previous iterations included riffs on the classic — one year included an Italian version — but this year was more about sticking with tradition. Ingredients were posted prominently behind several tables, and the contestants described their techniques step by step to a crowd of eager students.

Some chefs, like caterer Patricia Clark, were returning to the cookoff to improve upon previous year’s mistakes. Others — like Chef Annette Tomei, founder of VinEducation — were bent on demonstrating how many varieties of cassoulet one could make. Tomei contributed four different types of of the dish, including a vegetarian option and one featuring chicken confit and turkey wings. The host even got in on the action: Jimmy’s No. 43 chef David Navarro rolled out a homemade sausage and beans dish topped with crispy pork.

In the end, it was Frenchman and Washington D.C. native Gilbert Clerget who took home the judge’s and people’s choice award with his cassoulet de castelnaudary; not bad, considering this was the first time he participated in the competition.

The winning entrant used D.C. butcher Stachowski for his Toulouse sausage. Here’s a photo recap of what went down on Sunday afternoon. And if you missed out on the weekend of cassoulet, not to worry: Carbone is capping off the festivities with a prix fixe wine and cassoulet dinner tonight. It starts at 7 p.m.

Hit the next page for photos.

Patricia Clark shares her cassoulet technique and ingredients with the crowd
Patricia Clark shares her cassoulet technique and ingredients with the crowd
Nourish Kitchen used kale for its version
Nourish Kitchen used kale for its version
Chef David Navarro speaks with guests about the cassoulets they're sampling
Chef David Navarro speaks with guests about the cassoulets they’re sampling
Vegetarian cassoulet courtesy chef Annette Tomei
Vegetarian cassoulet courtesy chef Annette Tomei
Gilbert Clerget's traditional cassoulet took home top prize in both categories
Gilbert Clerget’s traditional cassoulet took home top prize in both categories

What’s Happening This Weekend: K2 Lounge, Mystery IPA Contest, Beer and Cassoulet, Fried Chicken Feast

It’s almost the weekend, and if you’ve been stuck inside around a space heater all week, it’s time to get out — warm winter foods are in season, and plenty of dark drinks will brighten your day. Here are a few enticing activities to lure you out of the house.

K2 Lounge, Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th Street, 6 p.m.

Friday nights transform this museum cafe into a Pan-Asian lounge with solid happy hour specials and a guest DJ, who goes on at 7 p.m. Drink up and then enjoy thematic tours and films: This Friday (and every second Friday of the month), museum guides join professional storytellers from Talkingstick Collective to discuss Himalayan art — a topic we imagine is exceptionally fascinating after a highball or two.

Mystery IPA Contest, Mugs Alehouse, 125 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, Saturday, noon

Think you have what it takes to dominate a blind tasting? Or perhaps you just really like IPAs? For $30 you can achieve both and choose which brewery will have their IPA featured at the bar for six months. Attendees will sample 12 American-style IPAs — in four-ounce pours — with unlimited access to each contestant. Once you vote, you’re able to grab a free take-home pint glass of the beer you selected — and continue filling up as much as you like until 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the bar’s event ticketing website.

Beer & Cassoulet, Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 East Seventh Street, Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m.

The famous French stew known as cassoulet makes its return to this East Village underground beer temple, where $45 gets you a laundry list of beer pairings along with three cassoulet dishes. Beers range from farmhouse-style ales to a lager brewed with nougat, with nine beers to sample in total. On Sunday, the bar will host its annual cassoulet cook-off, where amateur and professional chefs will compete to be crowned champion. For $30, attendees can sample 10 different style of cassoulets and receive one free drink. Tickets for both weekend events can be purchased through the bar’s website.

Fried Chicken Feast, The Breslin, 16 West 29th Street, Sunday, 5:30 p.m.

It’s stuff-your-face-then-hibernate season, and no better place to do it this weekend than at the Breslin. This $50 feast includes duck-fat-fried chicken with habanero and gorgonzola sauces, biscuits, and slaw plus other sides and a strawberry rhubarb pie with buttermilk ice cream. Reservations are accepted for parties of five to 12 guests and can be made by emailing



What’s Happening: Harmony of Beer and Cheese and Cassoulet Cookoff

Monday, January 7th
The Harmony of Beer and Cheese: If you’re sick of pairing cheese with wine, Murray’s Cheese is offering a beer and cheese pairing class for $75. The experts at Murray’s say to pair German smoked Rauchbiers with a “meaty washed rind cheese” to create a “bacon bomb.” Sounds delightful. 264 Bleecker St.

Wednesday, January 9th
Something to Wine About: City Winery hosts a night of wine tasting and and laughter with comedienne/ sommelier Laurie Forster. She does a set of stand up and guests get six wine tastings with $45 tickets. 155 Varick St.

Friday, January 11th
Roast and Toast at 92Y Tribeca: Coffee experts Jesse Kahn and Kate Carguilo discuss the origins of coffee and how to source ethically. Russell Moss will prepare dinner that enhances the flavor of coffee and guests will taste various blends. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at 92Y. 200 Hudson St.

Saturday, January 12th
South American Wine Tasting: Union Square’s Corkbuzz will host a South American wine tasting class on Saturday afternoon for $50. 13 E. 13th St.

Sunday, January 13th
Cassoulet Cookoff at Jimmy’s No. 43: Vote for your favorite French casserole at Jimmy’s No. 43’s fifth annual cassoulet cookoff. For $30, guests get two hours of samplings and one drink ticket. Past cookoffs have been popular, so get there at 1 p.m. to enjoy the whole event. 43 E. 7th St.


5 Great Gifts for Beer Lovers

Holiday shopping is in full swing and gift guides are aplenty, but what does a friend, spouse, family member, or fond admirer get for the devoted beer lover in their life? Gifts from these New York locales will do the trick.

Beer Making Kits from Brooklyn Brew Shop, $40
Everything you need to make one gallon of your favorite Brooklyn Brew is in a little brown box. Try something different like Jalapeno Saison or Bourbon Dubbel. Your beginner brewer will be quite thankful and who knows, maybe they’ll share that gallon with you.


Beer Connoisseur Set from MoMa Store, $50

Pour your loved one a beer in every glass, but don’t forget which goes where. This crystal set includes four glass shapes: wheat beer, tall pilsner, lager, and a beer tulip.


Taste the Taps at Jimmy’s No. 43, $25
Instead of trying one or two beers, try all of them. Walk in with this voucher and taste four ounces from each of the 12 taps.


One Bottle Tote from Bierkraft, $13.95
For the beer lover on the go, grab this Christmas-colored insulated tote, that’s designed to carry one 750-mL bottle. Sorry 40 oz. lovers. The guys at Bierkraft guarantee it stays cold up to four hours.

Homebrewing Class from Brooklyn Kitchen, $145
If you want to give the gift of teaching, splurge on this two-hour brewing class taught by Ray Girard. A homebrew starter kit is included, and your gift recipient will walk away with a few bottles of their own homemade beer.


Upcoming Events: Learn How to Prepare an Entire Pig, Brooklyn Grub Crawl

Sunday, June 3

Pig Preparation at Jimmy’s 43:

People in town this weekend can learn how to prepare an entire pig from head to feet the way it’s done in Mexico. The event begins on Sunday beginning at noon. Chef Zarela Martinez will show participants how to make chorizo, carnitas, carne adobada, tamales, manteca, pickled pig feet, and cueritos. Class includes lunch. Cost: $65

Brooklyn Grub Crawl:

The Belvedere Vodka and Bon Appetit Grub Crawl continues on Sunday at Red Hook from 11:30am – 4:30pm. Vendors: Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Fort Defiance, The Good Fork, Mile End, and Sunny’s.

Sunday Supper at Asellina:

The Italian restaurant at the Gansevoort Park just launched a dinner series. Sunday Supper includes a three-course prix fixe menu of inventive dishes ($35/person) and half-off all bottles on the wine list.

Monday, June 4

Perilla Beer Dinner Series:

Perilla will be hosting a series of beer dinners with boutique breweries that will run all summer. A special four-course menu will be designed to pair with the beers offered and the month of June will feature Evil Twin. Cost: $60