Brooklyn Bugs festival serves up insects to foodies in Williamsburg

Williamsburg will host New York City's first-ever insect-eating festival called Brooklyn Bugs from Sept. 1-3,
Williamsburg will host New York City’s first-ever insect-eating festival called Brooklyn Bugs from Sept. 1-3, Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Williamsburg will be crawling with creepy delicacies this weekend.

Brooklyn Bugs, the city’s first insect-eating festival, will offer keynote addresses, cooking demonstrations, an outdoor market and cockroach – er, cocktail – socials.

Robyn Shapiro, co-founder of Seek, has a passion for crickets. She helped organize the event and admits the cuisine is a bit foreign to most New Yorkers.

“Not everything is for everyone,” Shapiro said. “I just hope people walk away with an open mind. We’re not asking people to try crickets necessarily, but I want them to have an open mind.”

Much like coffee, Shapiro said roasting can bring out a range of flavor in crickets. Her company plans to unveil and offer samples of their latest product: Cinnamon Almond Crunch Granola.

“And that’s exactly what it tastes like, cinnamon and almond,” Shapiro said. “Our products use crickets in a smooth, well-blended way. We’re getting people used to the idea of eating crickets, and not the flavor profile just yet.”

David George Gordon, author of “The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook,” has spent the past 20 years giving cooking demonstrations and speaking about the benefits of insects as food. For rookies, he recommends starting out with crickets. More adventurous eaters, however, should get straight to grasshoppers.

“I really like grasshoppers a lot,” Gordon said. “Grasshopper kebabs with a little teriyaki glaze are very tasty.”

The weekend’s events will take place across Williamsburg. Kinfolk 94 will host events Friday, Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The outdoor market will be open Saturday at T.B.D. Brooklyn from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a “Bug Banquet” at The Brooklyn Kitchen at 7 p.m. The banquet will be hosted by David George Gordon, aka the Bug Chef, and chef Joseph Yoon of Brooklyn’s Dinner Echo. The festival concludes Sunday with a particularly crunchy brunch at Guadalupe Inn, with a tasting menu by chef Ivan Garcia. Prices range from free events to a $199, all-access VIP pass.