AKI MATSURI 2014

When you are invited to an event that  takes place at the Brooklyn Brewery and is serving Japanese cuisine, you simply just go. The Gohan Society hosted their annual Aki Matsuri event this past week and it was grand. Gohan Society’s mission is to foster an understanding and appreciation of Japan’s culinary heritage in the United States through outreach to chefs, culinary arts professionals and all who admire and enjoy Japanese culture.

– Pinky Finger Up

 

Events: Plate by Plate

I had the pleasure to attend the 16th annual Plate by Plate event . Plate by Plate is a yearly event put together by Project by Project.

Project by Project (PbP) is a national volunteer organization of social entrepreneurs that serves Asian American non-profits in need by raising public awareness, volunteerism, and capital. By partnering with a different underserved non-profit each year and providing applied skills such as fundraising, marketing, PR consulting, event planning, strategic consulting, recruiting, and other assistance. Project by Project represents an innovative and uniquely valuable approach to community service.

– Pinky Fing Up

 

Events: A Second Helping of Life Tasting Event

I had the honor of attending the 11TH annual Share Second Helping Of Life event last week at the Chelsea Piers. The event, featured some of the top female chefs that New York has to offer. Share is a 38- year-old survivor-led organization based in New York City that provides support, information, and  resources to women affected by breast and ovarian cancer. The event took place at the spacious Pier 60 in Chelsea Piers. Here is more information on Share. http://www.sharebenefit.org.

– Pinky Finger Up

 

PEEP THIS: Seoul Chicken

I have always wondered where the black stereotype and the association of black folk and their love of fried chicken originated from. Growing up my parents usually baked chicken or made stewed chicken. If we did have fried chicken, it was prepared with 4C bread crumbs. Nothing fancy. From my understanding, the association is from old southern folklore. Chicken has always been the affordable protein. It was considered a ‘dirty’ food since it was eaten with our hands but with this mindset, I guess we are all dirty because fried chicken is now a staple throughout homes across America.

I have had my share of crispy bird over the years, but there have been a bunch of new spots popping up in NYC that are worth checking out. The first stop on our chicken run was Seoul Chicken in the Lower East Side. Seoul Chicken is the new joint from former Top Chef alum Chaz Brown. The vibrant location looks like the Miami Dolphins training facility. It houses a nicely decked out bar with a big projection screen TV. Jocks, this is where you want to be for your football fix. Beer, sports, and wings…your holy grail.

Now on to some wings…

Pinky Finger Up tried six of seven wings offered on the menu:

Szechuan Peppercorn & Sea Salt – this was a little on the salty side and had us looking forward to the more saucy wings.

SZECHUAN PEPPERCORN & SEA SALT

SZECHUAN PEPPERCORN & SEA SALT

Gochujang & Buffalo – fermented red chilli paste with buffalo sauce. Not bad, but no the best.

GOCHUJANG & BUFFALO

GOCHUJANG & BUFFALO

Palm Sugar Calamansi – calamansi is a fruit native in Asia. A cross between a lemon/lim/orange so expect a citrus burst.

PALM SUGAR & CALAMANSI calamansi is a fruit native in Asia which is a cross between a lemon/lime

PALM SUGAR & CALAMANSI

Sriracha Honey – pretty mild with nice spicy and sweet flavors.

Pretty Mild with Nice Flavors

Pretty Mild with Nice Flavors

Habanero Kimchi – packed the punch I was looking for. Nice little burn.

HABANERO KIMCHI

HABANERO KIMCHI

Fish Sauce & Garli – the TOP bird. Definitely a bite you won’t want to stop eating.

FISH SAUCE & GARLIC

FISH SAUCE & GARLIC

Lastly, to wash all those wings down, I recommend the fresh virgin coconut to cool you off. Bottom line, if you like wings and thighs, Seoul Chicken is right up your alley.

FRESH COCONUT

FRESH COCONUT

 

-Pinky Finger  Up

 

 

Events: Let Us Eat Local

Pinky Finger Up crew always love events that spreads awareness throughout. On Wednesday September 17, Just Foods celebrated their 7TH annual Let Us Eat Local spectacular at the Altman Building in Manhattan. Just Foods supports community-led efforts to increase access to locally grown food. All restaurants used foods from farms located all over New York state. Take a look at some of the offerings at the event.

– Pinky Finger Up

Events: Taste Talk’s All-Star BBQ

This past weekend the Pinky Finger Up crew had the chance to attend the 3 day Taste Talk conference in our backyard in Brooklyn. Taste Talks explores the culinary cutting-edge for a food obsessed generation’ through discussions and panels. Some panels included “Online/Offline: The Future of Food Magazines” with the chic moderator Kerry Diamond and “Do Restaurant Reviews Matter?” to name a few.

The weekend’s highlighted event was the All-Star BBQ at the East River Park. At $40 a pop for a ticket, this was definitely a bang for your buck. We had all the elements for a perfect barbecue: sunshine, brewskis and hungry guests.

Some of the world’s top chefs gathered for this grill down and created some marvelous bites. At times we were treated to mashups like Marea’s & Ai Fiori’s Chef Michael White and bushy bearded wordsmith Action Bronson who blessed us with a thai spiced “Porchetta Kra Prow.” White is well known for hi Italian cuisine but this collaboration showed he had more than few Italian tricks up his sleeve. Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker spiced up some “Boar Collar Meat” with a garlic, coriander root and black pepper soy sugar glaze, straight goodness! Ramen wizard Ivan Ramen showed me some love and won my heart over with his “Grilled Duck Heart” served with a summer corn XO sauce. This was my very first taste of ANY heart and I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first, but it was straight pimpin’. Right down a literal line, we were treated to some good eats. Check out some the photos from the BBQ:

– Pinky Finger Up

 

Throwback: 2013 New York Rising Stars

I have been attending the biggest food festivals and tastings all around the city the past couple of years. Here’s a blast from the past. Some of my favorite bites from the 2013 New York Rising Stars Event last year hosted by StarChefs.com at The Liberty Theater.

– Pinky Finger Up