Festivals and dinners for the serious foodie
Ready your Google calendar, your stomach and your spandex -- it's time to feast.
The end of summer is always filled with amazing opportunities to eat, with festivals, events and special meals where you can drink up and chow down -- and not feel guilty since bikini season is on its way out. Here's what's on my radar:
Start on Aug. 7 with the Slammin' Summertime Barbecue at the venerable James Beard House. This event will be hosted by pit-master Pat Martin (of Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint in Tennessee). Prepare yourself for hoards of smoked pork belly with a bourbon pecan glaze, tons of cracklins and slices of "My Mom's Coconut Cake," all washed down with Scribe wines and Blackberry Farm brews. $130-$170, 7 p.m.; 167 W. 12th St., 212-627-2308, jamesbeard.org
On Aug. 9, head to the Rockaway Beach Boardwalk at 97th Street for Masafest, a celebration of masa offering a variety of corn-inspired street food from Rockaway Taco, Caracas Arepa Bar and Cosme. There will be tortilla making demos and even a Masafeast, a dinner on the boardwalk by Gabriela Camara, of Mexico City's Contramar and Merotoro, New York's Ignacio Mattos of Estela. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., tickets $125 for dinner; 9701 Shore Front Pkwy., Rockaway Park, masafestfeast.eventbrite.com
Then on Aug. 17, there's the Play With Fire dinner at Fish & Game Farm (just a little jaunt to the Hudson Valley). There, expect a gathering of U.S. and Canadian chefs, from April Bloomfield and Jamie Bissonnette to Zak Pelaccio and Matt Jennings. Nose-to-tail will be the theme here with whole spit-roasted meats over five smoking-hot fire pits -- all to benefit the FarmOn! Foundation. 3:30 p.m., $250; 623 Fish and Game Rd., Hudson, NY, friendsofthefarmer.com
Come Sept. 6, I plan to go hog wild at Pig Island at Erie Basin Park, where 25 New York chefs will bring 80 locally sourced pigs from Flying Pigs Farm to Red Hook for a seriously porky party. Katy Sparks from Tavern on the Green and Shane McBride of Balthazar will be on hand, and in between bites, sip plenty of Sixpoint beer. 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., $75; 1 Beard St., Red Hook, pigisland.com/tickets
Ariel Kanter is an editor at Gilt City.
Correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the Slammin' Summertime Barbecue would be held Aug. 8. It is on Aug. 7.