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Top chefs will return to Queens to celebrate the pig this month at the Charcuterie Masters event

Photos courtesy of the Queens Tourism Council

It’s that time of year again — the city’s celebration of all things meat is returning to Queens this month.

On Feb. 22, the fifth annual Charcuterie Masters event will return to Flushing Town Hall, located at 137-35 Northern Blvd., Flushing, to celebrate the “Ultimate Year of the Pig.” From 6 to 10 p.m. that day, guests can enjoy unlimited tasting of more than 60 kinds of charcuterie, including tasty bites from top NYC chefs:

  • American Cut Steakhouse’s Anastacia Song—pastrami spiced bacon candy with fennel kimchi.
  • Tao Downtown’s Stephen Yen—roast pig bao sandwiches with garlic hoisin.
  • Michelin Bib Gourmand winner Alfonso Zhicay of Casa Del Chef Bistro—organic faro risotto with Ribs Within Bacon.
  • John Brown Smokehouse’s Josh Bowen—short rib pastrami Reuben.

Other pork-related offerings that guests can taste include Portuguese Alentejaño ham from Don Rodrigo Duarte, Greek loukaniko sausage from Chef Serafim Ferdeklis of Astoria’s BZ Grill, Prosciutto Speciale from Chef Cesare Casella and Spanish chorizo and morcilla from Despaña. Guests can pair their meat with drinks from Chimay, Brooklyn’s Rooftop Reds, and Brooklyn Ciderhouse.

“Many food festivals have become just massive feedings of the masses. I like being part of Charcuterie Masters because it still has the focus of showcasing the food and the artisans that have made it,” says Chef Yen. “Working with people like Rodrigo Duarte is both an honor and inspiring. How he is raising pigs in New Jersey is magical.”

Like in previous years, guests can also watch some of the best meat chefs go head-to-head in the Charcuterie Masters tournament. This year, those competing include Evan Thomas (Bacon Bar Japan, Okinawa City, Japan), Steve Williams (Good Game, Topsham, U.K.), Marc Dennis (Duchy Charcuterie, Cornwall, U.K.), Josh Bagalacsa (Chef de cuisine, charcutiere, Paris Paris Bar, Toronto), 2019 Grand Champion Mark Elia (Hudson Valley Sausage Co., Highland, N.Y.), and Gregory Laketek (Salumi Chicago, Chicago). Guests will be able to taste competing products on a huge charcuterie board, including Good Game’s culatello and ’nduja.

Judges for Charcuterie Masters 2020 include Peter Kaminsky (food writer and author of “Pig Perfect”), Chef Cesare Casella (Dean of Italian Studies, International Culinary Center), Aurelien Dufour (founder, Dufour Gourmet), Marc Buzzio (president, Salumeria Biellese), and Chef Jeffrey Butler (lead instructor, International Culinary Center).

Ticket prices start at $70 for general admission and $150 for VIP, which allows ticket holders early admission to the event as well as access to the VIP Experience. Tickets can be purchased online at CharcuterieMasters2020.eventbrite.com

Emily Davenport