Pig Island 2019

 

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The 10th annual Pig Island BBQ fest was held on September 7th.

The event was held on the waterfront at Erie Basin Park in Red Hook Brooklyn. The neighborhood of Red  Hook is an old industrial waterfront area that in the 1990’s Life magazine called “one of the worst neighborhoods in the United States”. That has changed as the neighborhood has been going to a resurgence. Box stores such as IKEA and Fairway have made their way into the neighborhood and many of the warehouses have been converted to galleries, artists lofts, breweries and distilleries.

The event was produced by the Food Karma Project helmed by Jimmy Carbone who along with Josh Ozersky conceived Meatopia back in 2010. That wanted a farm to table event using pigs from small farmers.

With the cancellation of the Big Apple BBQ block party this year, this event was the premier bbq event of the year in New York and “the last great bbq event of the Summer”.

I attended after a two year hiatus. The park is on the waterway with expansive views of the harbor most of the way around. It was a big outdoor bbq with people and families spreading blankets on the grass while strolling from vendor to vendor.

Since my last visit more spirit vendors were in attendance this time around. Some of the interesting ones was Irish Whiskey from Kilbeggan and Tyrconnell which had a wide range of whiskey styles that I didn’t think Irish whiskey had. There were some nice single malts from Laphroaig, Auchentoshan and Bowmore, a couple of nice rye from Ragtime Rye and Knob Creek was on hand to make a smoked to order Old Fashioned.

When general admission was let in some of the food lines grew long, it seems that there’s a hierarchy of bbq vendors and some of the lines were longer than others.

 

BBQ to be sampled: 

Puerco a lo Cubano Vietnamese Larb
The Foxy Burger Mixiotes de Puerco
Apple Cider Brined Hog Pulled Pork Tacos
Puerco Ahumado Smoked Chorizo
Half Pig Porcetta BBQ Pigtail
Pulled Pork Bacon Cups Roasted Pernil

 

 

Cochon 555 2019

 

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Cochon 555 is a culinary competition featuring heritage breed pork. The competition is a 10 city tour that stopped in New York City on Sunday April 13th.

It’s a “nose to tail” culinary event with 5 chefs, 5 pigs and 5 wine makers. The mission of the tour was conceived as a way “to educate buyers about the agricultural importance of eating heritage breed pigs”.

The event was held at the Weylin, a former Williamsburg Savings Bank at 175 Broadway in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s an architectural gem with a beautiful copula in the center of the room.

As far as food festivals are concerned, this is on of the better ones with good wines, spirits and pork centric dishes from local restaurants.

There were a couple of cheese tables with excellent cheeses paired with various wines. A Sommeliers table that featured a rotating selection of eclectic wines throughout the evening. Spirits made a good showing with a good selection of brown spirits with some white spirits as well. I did have a nice cannoli too.

A butchering competition had a contestant breaking down a whole hog into kitchen ready parts.

 

 

 

Pigs & Pizza

 

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Food Network held its 11th annual New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) on October 11-14. It’s New York City’s largest food and wine festival with four days of 80 events and 500 chefs featuring a grand tasting, culinary demos, rooftop parties, late night parties, dinners, cocktails, spirits and classes. A foodies dream with something for everyone concerning food, drink and parties. This is the sister event to the South Beach food and wine fest held in February in Miami. 100% of NYCWFF’s net proceeds benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign and Food Bank for New York City. I was able to get the party rolling by attending some of the late night parties starting with Tacos & Tequila on Thursday night and Rock & Roll Sushi on Friday night. On Saturday I spent the day eating well. I attended:

 

 

The Ultimate Pizza Party presented by Slice and hosted by Jeff Mauro

Who doesn’t like pizza? At this fest several pizza establishments served their wood-fired creations with a wide range of toppings that in addition to the traditional red sauce with cheese included toppings with various meats and cold cuts, cheeses, vegetables, and even egg and with red sauce or no red sauce. Some of the rotating restaurants sending hot slices out of the wood-fired ovens included Motorino, Speedy Romeo, LBK and Sottocasa to name a few.

The event was held at Fornino’s Pier 6 restaurant located at Brooklyn Bridge Park which has a stellar view of lower Manhattan. To keep with the Italian theme I washed down those slices with shots of Fernet.

 

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Pigs & Pours presented by Whistle Pig and hosted by Robert Irvine

Later in the afternoon, I attended the pigs & pour event held at The Standard High Line Biergarten at the Standard Hotel located at 848 Washington Avenue in the Meatpacking district of lower Manhattan.

It was a walk around fest of local restaurants serving all things pork and pork centric that included everything from a whole roasted pig to bacon desserts with everything in between. To wash all that down was beer from Modello, cocktails made with WhistlePig whiskey and surprisingly, a nice selection of pinot noir from Oregon and California that included:

Cambria Julia’s Vineyard, La Crema Sonoma Coast, Siduri Willamette Valley, Willakenzie Estate Gisele and Kendall-Jackson VR.

 

 

Upcoming Wine Event: On November 10, Robert Parker Jr’s Wine Advocate Matter of Taste is hosting one of the best wine tastings of the year at the Conrad New York Hotel. At the Grand Tasting there will be an opportunity to try some of the finest wines of the world.

Promo code for $50 off the Grand Tasting: SVNYC18

 

 

Cochon 555 New York 2018

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Cochon 555 is a multi-city culinary tour to “further the conversation of heritage pigs on dinner tables across the nation” and whose goal is to “support family farmers and to educate influencers ultimately making them a better, more knowledgeable teacher”.

The 14 city tour kicked off in New York City on January 21 with a “friendly competition for a cause” featuring 5 chefs, 5 pigs and 5 winemakers.

The event was held at the Kimpton Hotel Eventi at 851 6th Avenue in Manhattan and showcased pork centric dishes from local restaurants (and the outlier steak tartare bar) and competitions that involved bartenders, sommeliers and butchers.

Of course to wash all that down were punches, Manhattans from the Manhattan Project and international wines some of which included:

 

2016 Mariotti Campi Rosato

2015 Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc

2015 Ronco dei Tassi Sauvignon Blanc

2015 Antica Chardonnay

2013 Antica Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Chateau Carbonnieux Rouge

2005 Marquis de Riscal Rioja Gran Reserva

 

 

Pig Island 2016

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This past Saturday afternoon, September 10th I attended the 7th annual Pig Island Porktacular BBQ festival.

Pig Island was created in 2010 to support New York pig farmers with hogs sourced directly from small farms. This year the pork was provided by Flying Pig Farms in Shushan New York.

The outdoor festival was held on the waterfront at Erie Basin Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn which is surrounded with plenty of reminders of its industrial past with monolithic cranes and rotting piers.

Over 25 Chefs served pork-centric dishes for us to sample along with craft beer, artisan spirits and cider, and the beer and cider came in handy since this Saturday was brutally hot, with temperatures atypical for this time of year in the mid 90’s (34°). I have to give Kudos to the pitmasters who practiced their craft over a hot grill in these temperatures.