All the press has been aflutter with the preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, especially as we are now 11 days away from their nuptials. Knowing how crazy the UK souvenir hawkers and general public can get about these big events, I sort of wish I was there to see how all this will unfold. When I was in London a couple of months back, there were only a few items that I could see picking up to commemorate this occasion.
I have to confess, I’m not a fan of marshmallows. To me, they are overly sugary, powdery dense blobs of fluff with little flavor. That’s why it was such a revelation to come across MitchMallows by Mitch Greenberg one Sunday at the Foodshed Market at the Brooklyn Commons. One taste of his Maple Syrup Pancake creation with its lighter-than-air texture and rich, sweet, buttery flavor and I was hooked.
On the day 150 years ago when the Battle of Fort Sumter started, kicking off the conflict that almost ripped the United States into shreds, Andrew F. Smith introduced his book “Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War” at an event hosted by the Culinary Historians of New York. Appropriately, this gathering was held with dishes featuring foods of the South provided by the members of the organization. 61 Local, which opened fairly recently in Brooklyn, was the meeting site.
A Duck Cookoff? Really? Yep. That’s where I was yesterday, indoors at Jimmy’s No. 43 while other New Yorkers were enjoying a very bright sunshiny day out of doors. All proceeds of this event went to Food Systems Network NYC, a non-profit organization that seeks to bring together stakeholders across the systems of food production and consumption. As was mentioned by a few folks to whom I spoke and the judges as well, it was really interesting to see the variety of dishes that the contestants (both pro chefs and amateur competitors) came up with using this one protein as their base.
Last night I ventured over the river to a loft in DUMBO for the first Tasting Brooklyn event by Brooklyn Exposed to try specialities prepared by more than 20 food and drink vendors. The evening was sponsored by Bao Fresh Kombucha and Fairway Market (opening this summer on the Upper East Side!). This was a great opportunity to try dishes from some places I’ve never visited as well as to see some food folks whom I hadn’t run into in a while.
It isn’t often that I’m waiting in anticipation for a new cookbook to come out. In fact, like many of you, I suspect, I did a big weeding out of my book collection a few years back and just kept the essentials. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, based upon recipes from his column in the Guardian UK as well as some new ones, has just come out in the United States and is a welcome newcomer to my bookshelves, making it an exception to my rules. So, last night, at the Williams-Sonoma on Columbus Circle, I found myself on line with several other fans of his cooking at a Q&A, book in hand for him to sign it.