This Week in Food: Sour Ales, LUCKYRICE Festival, New Taste of the Upper West Side

Cascade Brewing’s Sour Ale Event
As Is (734 Tenth Avenue)
Tuesday, 6 p.m. until close

Cascade Brewing (of Portland, Oregon) is bringing its sour ales to Hell’s Kitchen’s brand-new beer bar, As Is. The event marks the first time Cascade’s sour ales have been available on tap in New York, and a selection of Cascade’s bottled beers will also be available.

Lady Jay’s Social Club
Morris-Jumel Mansion (65 Jumel Terrace)
Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Head to the Morris-Jumel Mansion for a Roaring Twenties–style party complete with food, cocktails, and casino games. The museum’s recent conservation work will also be unveiled. Tickets start at $100 and include access to an open bar, bites, and casino game credits. Reserve yours here.

LUCKYRICE Festival’s New York Feast
Industry City (233 37th Street, Brooklyn)
Thursday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Fill up on regional Asian bites including specialties from Vietnam, Laos, and China at the annual LUCKYRICE festival. This year’s event — hosted by Dale Talde — includes tastings from more than thirty chefs ranging from fine-dining restaurants to under-the-radar, mom-and-pop delights. The V.I.P. lounge includes one-hour early access to the event as well as a dumpling bar, cocktails, and seating. Tickets start at $88 for general admission and can be reserved here.

New Taste of the Upper West Side’s Surf and Turf Event

O’Shea Schoolyard (Columbus Avenue and West  77th Street)
Friday, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Dive into summer-inspired bites from more than 45 restaurants and chefs including April Bloomfield, who will debut a few sample bites from her upcoming restaurant. Guests can also enjoy bites from new neighborhood-area restaurants like Playa Betty and Han Dynasty, with old favorites like Shake Shack returning this year. Ticket offers start at $92.50 for a pair. Reserve them here.


Sound Bites and Celebrity Chefs at LuckyRice’s Grand Feast

The LuckyRice Grand Feast had an impressive food and chef line-up. Although not everyone on the star-studded culinary council could be found in person, industry notables like Susur Lee, Angelo Sosa, Masaharu Morimoto, Jeffrey Steingarten, and Todd English were spotted among the crowd. We talked to founder Danielle Chang, Lee, and Sosa on their thoughts of the event. Details after the jump.


Susur Lee
Susur Lee

Susur Lee, chef: “I love the people. People are very relaxed and at the same time, there is a lot of cultural exchange. There are people from a lot of different parts of Asia, a lot of Asian faces, and they just like to stare at food. It’s very good-spirited. It’s not very stuffy, or serious, or foodie — no wine glasses or anything like that.”

Danielle Chang
Danielle Chang

Danielle Chang, LuckyRice Founder: “This is actually the third time we have done the Grand Feast at the Mandarin Oriental and I’m actually most pleased with this year’s festivities. I think we just have a great mix of chefs here from local favorites to chefs from Asia, Taiwan, Macau, and Thailand. Also there are chefs like Todd English and Gramercy Tavern who are non-Asian restaurants and are participating for the first time in a Asian food festival. I think it’s really fun to see what these chefs make with the different flavors.”

Photo from LuckyRice 2011
Photo from LuckyRice 2011

Angelo Sosa, Top Chef alum: “I love the event. Danielle Chang is actually a really close friend of mine. I’m actually on the culinary council. I’m just very proud that she’s taken this to the next level. Asian food has a long way to go, there’s so much to learn. There’s so much to bring back from the East to the West and I’m very excited.”


Inside LuckyRice’s Grand Feast 2012

The third annual LuckyRice Grand Feast was more than just a food tasting–it was a high-end cultural celebration of Asian flavors and culture. With a lineup as diverse as it was prominent, the food did not for a moment disappoint. Hot edamame dumplings from Buddakan and “Kanom Buamg-Yam” Thai tacos adorned with minature hot-sauce pipettes were main crowd-pleasers of the evening. And in terms of the booze, the selection ranged from traditional in the form of sake to quirky (Bombay Sapphire’s dragon fruit cocktail).

As the crowd grew from dozens to hundreds by 7 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the Mandarin Oriental on Friday, the plates became more difficult to reach. Lucky for us, we managed to snag photos of the dishes and a couple of bites before that happened. A round-up of some of the food offerings after the jump.

Crispy Chinese sausage rice cakes with broken chile sauce from the Hurricane Club

“Kanom Buarng-Yarn” Thai taco by Ember Room

Hong Kong shrimp taro toast from Susur Lee

Curry dusted salmon with port wine sauce and pickled Hon Shimeji mushrooms from the Cooking Channel

Red roast duck with crispy rice on gingered spaghetti squash with a sambal-lime puree by Ming Tsai for Kyocera Advanced Ceramics

Snapper with dashi and trout roe from Gramercy Tavern

Macarons (caramel-miso, rose-jasmine, sesame, wasabi, chai-chocolate) from Bosie Tea Parlour.

Chicken betel leaf with roasted shallot chili and eggplant relish from Betel

Macanese egg tarts from Macau

Pig blood popsicles from Public

Hakka pork belly with taro tater tot from Wong

Peekytoe crab dumplings, market peas, spicy ginger carrot from Perry St.

Beef tataki with kinpira gobo from En Japanese Brasserie

Cured hamachi amberjack with lemongrass and lime on betel leaves from Bombay Sapphire East

Burmese Kauswer (coconut-chicken noodle soup, crisp shallots, cilantro) from Asiate

Edamame dumplings with shallot-sauternes broth from Buddakan

Spicy king crab from Morimoto

African chicken from Macau


What’s Happening This Week: Guactacular, Lucky Rice + Madison Square Eats

Guactacular 2012
Nachos NY is hosting its annual Guactacular event on May 6, and it will be exactly what it sounds like: a epic party with nachos, guacamole, and beer. The best guacamole makers will be there, and according to event planners, hundreds of avocados are to be sacrificed for the occasion. $15 pre-paid and $18 at the door.

Lucky Rice Festival
The Lucky Rice Festival kicks off May 1 with a Epicurean Cocktail Feast. The six-day event celebrates the Asian culinary world and will feature industry trailblazers like David Chang and Masaharu Morimoto. The belle of the ball is the Grand Feast on Friday, a three-hour long celebrity-studded tasting.

Taste of the Nation NYC
Charity event Taste of the Nation NYC takes place today, and the event will feature gourmet fare by top chefs from restaurants such as Ai Fiori and Gramercy Tavern. General admission is $225, and VIP tickets are going for $420.

Madison Square Eats
Outdoor food-vendor gathering Madison Square Eats begins its season on May 4. It’s hosted by the Madison Square Park Conservancy and will be serving food daily in the Worth Square area until June 1.

Barbès 10th Anniversary
Brooklyn bar Barbès is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a series of shows starting May 1 to May 6. Artists include Andy Statman, Catherine Russell, Raya Brass Band, Las Rubias del Norte, and Slavic Soul Party. Suggested donation of $10.

Food Book Fair
The first-ever New York Food Book Fair is taking place Friday, May 4, to Sunday, May 6, at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. Founder Elizabeth Thacker Jones is bringing together more than 50 participants and 15 panels ranging in subjects from Food + Art + Medium (with Jennifer Rubell) to Food + Porn (Gael Greene) with keynote speakers Dr. Marion Nestle, Harold McGee, and Carolyn Steel.


LuckyRice Festival 2012: Celebrity Chefs, Asian Night Market and a Hawaiian Luau

LuckyRice Festival 2012 is a week-long lineup celebrating Asian food and culture. In its third inaugural year, the event has an impressive roster of celebrity chefs and personalities from ethnically Asian Masaharu Morimoto, David Chang, and Anita Lo, to other big industry names like Daniel Boulud, Anthony Bourdain, and Eric Ripert.

“I’ve been so fortunate to have the support of all these chefs since the beginning,” LuckyRice founder Danielle Chang says. “As a chef, you can’t deny the popularization of Asian ingredients and how they’re making their way into the streets.”

The festival will span from May 1 to May 6, and the company will be putting on eight different events. “It’s really just about the popularization of Asian food in America,” Chang says. “We really wanted to bring a whole range of Asian food experiences to New York.”

The festivities will kick off with a cocktail party with food pairings. New to this year’s listing is a sunset luau, hosted by Hawaiian chefs Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, Chai Chaowasaree, and Vikram Garg. “We’re trying to bring the island of Hawaii to the island of Manhattan,” Chang says.

Previous LuckyRice Festivals have drawn more than 6,500 participants. The Chiang Mai Dinner, hosted at Pok Pok, is already sold out. LuckyRice is also set to hold events in both Los Angeles (August 10) and Las Vegas (June 23) this year.

Here is the breakdown:

May 1: Epicurean Cocktail Feast
“Each chef-mixologist pairing is selected to highlight the role of cocktail culture in fine dining today.”
Price: $88

May 2: Sunset Luau
“Sunset luau will transport guests to the land of plumeria leis, warm breezes, kalua pig, hula dancers and mai tais.”
Price: $88

May 3: Chinese Wedding Banquet
Cabaret-style dinner meets Chinese wedding banquet
Price: $200

May 3: Chiang Mai: A Northern Thai Dinner
“Two Thai culinary masters devoted to faithful Thai cooking come together in a one-night-only collaborative dinner at Pok Pok.”

May 3: James Beard House: Salute to Asian Spice
“Join two of the country’s most celebrated Korean chefs–West Coast-based Sang Yoon (Father’s Office and Lukshon in Los Angeles) and East Coast-based Hooni Kim (DANJI).”
Price: $170

May 4: Grand Feast
“This is a gathering of the world’s top chefs serving up authentic as well as imaginative interpretations of the best that Asian cuisine has to offer.”
Price: $150

May 5: Night Market: Asian Street Food
“Multi-sensory street food experience that brings the flavor of Asian night markets from Taipei to Kuala Lumpur to the historic Archway under the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO.”
Price: $50

May 6: Talk + Toast: A Sunday Cocktail Brunch
“Celebrated chefs from around the world will represent the diverse cuisines of Asia and perform cooking demonstrations while answering questions from the audience.”
Price: $50