This Week in Food: Maker’s Mark Holiday Tour, Batali Book Signing, Conversation With Michael Twitty

Maker’s Mark Holiday Tour
Crosby between Spring & Broome; Vesey Street between West & North End Avenue; East 8th Street & Astor Place
Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Maker’s Mark will stop at three spots in New York City this week, offering complimentary brownies and biscuits from Butter & Scotch along with spiced cider. While the goodies are free, a suggested donation ($5 or more) is encouraged. Proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength, an organization which aims to end child hunger in America.

Taco and Tequila Tuesdays
El Toro Blanco (257 Sixth Avenue)
Tuesday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

El Toro Blanco is now offering a tequila and taco tasting experience on Tuesdays. Each week, guest speakers from tequila companies will stop by the restaurant guide guests through the tasting process. Get a load of poached lobster with corn avocado tacos or try pork with roasted pineapple. Wash it all down with tequila — offered as a tasting flight, specialty cocktail, or by the glass.

How Immigrant Cooks Shape American Food
Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn)
Tuesday, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Chefs Jonathan Wu (Fung Tu) and Mario Carbone (Carbone) will chat with food historian Sarah Lohman to talk about under-the-radar recipes that have shaped American cuisine. Reserve your $10 ticket.

Mario Batali Book Signing
Williams-Sonoma Columbus Circle (10 Columbus Circle)
Wednesday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Mario Batali will be appearing live to sign copies of his most recent work, Big American Cookbook: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA. A signed copy of each book is included in the price of a ticket.

Holiday Celebration
Gansevoort Market (353 West 14th Street)
Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Gansevoort Market vendors are offering complimentary bites at this mid-week holiday celebration, with events throughout the evening like a graffiti art show and Christmas carolers. Guests are encouraged to donate toys.

An Evening with Michael Twitty
MOFAD Lab (62 Bayard Street, Brooklyn)
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Culinary historian and author Michael Twitty will lead a talk and tasting on the history of African-American food and its impact on food culture in the American south. Tickets are $32 for general admission.


Whisky Live at Chelsea Piers Tomorrow

Whether or not you spell it with an E, Whisky Live is a dream come true for any lover of the brown spirit of life. A tasting show that travels the globe over the course of the year, the three-and-a-half-hour event parks itself at Chelsea Piers tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. With over 300 whiskies — including small-batch bourbons, single-malt scotches, and Japanese rarities — the only drawback is having to deal with work on Thursday.

Tickets aren’t cheap; general admission fetches $119, and a $30 upcharge entitles you to VIP entrance at 5:30 p.m. But for that premium, attendees gain access to unlimited samples from brands far and wide, as well as three hours of buffeting, and live entertainment. While the specifics on the entertainment remain unclear (there will be bagpipes), the dinner spread promises to include carved brisket braised in Four Roses bourbon. With enough booze and beef, a puppet show would qualify as a perfectly reasonable live act.

For the higher-minded crowd, however, there will be three master classes offered throughout the event, each an hour in length. The first of the evening provides a glimpse into the evolution of scotch over the past five centuries. Later on, Balblair’s brand ambassador explains the philosophy behind vintage releases, before the concluding seminar delves into the effects of wood on whisky.

Assembling so many renowned spirits under one roof presents a welcome challenge: explore exclusive expressions that you have yet to experience, or head straight to the faithful go-tos? The answer is “yes.” You certainly won’t want to pass up new releases from local favorites like Hudson Whiskey, or Kings County — I’m hoping that the former bring their Double Charred and the latter their Peated Bourbon. But save room for faraway sensations such as Yamazaki and Nikka from Japan. Just don’t be afraid to use the spit bucket from time to time; Whisky Live reserves the right to remove anyone who doesn’t sample responsibly.

Live Entertainment at Whisky Live

Live Entertainment at Whisky Live


This Week’s Four Best Food and Drink Events – 4/21/2014

This week’s eclectic line-up of events includes war stories about the craft beer uprising and a unique Kiwi dinner to celebrate Anzac Day, a holiday in New Zealand and Australia.

Backyard Clam Boil, 606 R & D, 606 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, Monday, 6 p.m.

Fill up on all you can eat shrimp, clams, sausage, and sides at this backyard party, which will include a live bluegrass band. One glass of beer and sangria is included in the price of the $40 ticket, as are sweets like brownies and donuts.

Taste of Ridgewood, 69-02 64th Street, Queens, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Over 20 restaurants and caterers representing Queens will be on hand at this party, and they’ll dish out Italian, Spanish, and Mediterranean favorites. Tickets start at $60 and give you unlimited access to the goods.

Anzac Day, The Musket Room, 265 Elizabeth Street, 6 p.m.

In celebration of the New Zealand and Australian holiday Anzac Day, chef-owner Matt Lambert is offering a special $85 six-course menu, to which you can also add wine pairings. Dishes include authentic Kiwi favorites like red deer, smoked eel, and a traditional Anzac cake made of hokey pokey ice cream and caramelized milk. Reservations must be made in advance and can be secured by contacting the restaurant directly.

LIVE from the NYPL: Steve Hindy, Kim Jordan and Charlie Papazian, Celeste Bartos Forum — New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, Friday, 7 p.m.

Craft beer has undergone a revolution in the past decade or so, and at this event, Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy and beer celebrities Charlie Papazian and Kim Jordan will discuss how Americans transformed from big brand-lovers to supporting the local guy. Listen to personal stories about the rise of Brooklyn Brewery and Jordan’s New Belgium Brewery; Papazian will cover the art of home brewing. Tickets are $25 for general admission and can be purchased through the New York Public Library’s web site.


What’s Happening This Week: Restaurant Preview, Home Mixology, Swedish Holiday Celebration

Need a drink? Or how about something other to do than Christmas shopping, caroling, or transporting a tree on the subway? Whatever your desire, we’ve unearthed a bunch of festive events worth checking out.

Exclusive Preview: Ristorante Morini, Ristorante Morini, 1167 Madison Avenue, Monday, 6:30 p.m.

Join this preview and receive a glimpse of Michael White’s latest endeavor while supporting a great cause. Light bites, specialty cocktails, and wine are all included, and a portion of the proceeds go to support the charitable efforts of Citymeals-on-Wheels. Tickets are $125.

Home Mixology Mondays, Whiskey & Wine Off 69, 1321 Second Avenue, Monday, 7 p.m.

If you’ve been dying to get into PDT but haven’t had much luck, you should think about making Monday your night out. The infamous speakeasy’s bartender-owner Jim Meehan will be on hand at this UES all purpose liquor store to demonstrate how to turn your home bar into the talk of the neighborhood. The event is free to attend, and the store will feature additional spirits tastings one Monday per month, with December’s theme focusing on holiday punches.

“No BS” Food & Beer Pairing Dinner, Little Town, 310 Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ, Wednesday, 7 p.m.

The Bolero Snort brewery will be on hand to offer four brews alongside a three-course prix fix dinner. Look for beers like the Blackthorn, an American black lager clocking in at 6.5 percent ABV. Chat up representatives from the brewery as you drink. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased through the restaurant’s ticketing website.

Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish Holiday Celebration, American Table at Alice Tully Hall, 1941 Broadway, Friday, 6 p.m.

This Friday, chef and author Marcus Samuelsson draws on the Swedish part of his heritage with a party paying homage to St. Lucia. Sip glögg and snack on small bites like shrimp rolls and brisket sandwiches; Samuelsson’s will carve a traditional holiday ham for guests. A full menu from American Table will also be available, and walk-ins are welcome. Copies of Samuelsson’s memoir Yes Chef will be available for purchase and signing.