Showing posts with label Food event. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food event. Show all posts


There Ain't No Party Like a Valrhona Party

When you come home from a party to a text from your friend that says "I have chocolate all over my hand!!!", you know it was a successful night.

Valrhona logo

Monday night (when all amazing parties happen don't you know?), said friend and I ventured out to DUMBO for the grand opening celebration of L'Ecole Valrhona--the renowned chocolate company's first Brooklyn and US outpost for pastry and chocolate chefs alike to network and learn new techniques. Alongside their professional pastry classes and think tank, this location will also offer consumer-facing workshops where amateur gourmets can master their favorite pastries in half-day, hands-on workshops comprised of no more than 12 students.

Valrhona party in Brooklyn

When we arrived at the 26 Bridge Street event space, we were welcomed with Champagne and a buffet of...yes...chocolate. 

chocolate and candy buffet

There were bon bons and caramels and fudge and truffles and ginger praline marshmallows and hazelnut eggs, and I thought, well screw dinner!

But we didn't have to forgo a savory dinner you see because there were all sorts of delicious non dessert stuffs passed around on never-ending trays by super friendly waiters. Given the fact that I only have 2 hands and the food came in waves as big and fast as those at Pipeline in Hawaii, my photos of these wonderful morsels are limited, but included: marinara chicken sliders, BBQ chicken cubes with coleslaw, citrus hamachi crudo (our fave!), seared steak on a potato with truffle, tuna tartare, beet and goat cheese tartlettes, and short rib lettuce cups.

marinara chicken slidersBBQ chicken cubes

As we were intermittently snarfing dinner and dessert (more to come on that), the founding pastry chefs of L'Ecole Valrhona Brooklyn--Sarah Kosikowski and Derek Poirier--took the stage to say their thank yous among many other legendary pastry chefs.

Valrhona chefs at party

We then made the rounds and saw some "live art"... 

Valrhona party live art

Valrhona party live art

and took an obligatory photo in the Sharingbox photobooth...

sharingbox photo booth from Valrhona party

But then the rest of the dessert came out. There was an American side with things like key lime pie, brownies, and cupcakes and a French pastry side offering desserts with much fancier and unpronounceable (by me) names. See below for gluttonous photos:

French pastry chocolate mint

French pastry floating island

French pastry

caramel brownies at Valrhona party

American pastry

Chocolate French pastry

American pastry

Key lime pie at Valrhona party

chocolate cupcakes at Valrhona party

dulcey choux at Valrhona party

chocolate tart at Valrhona party

Just when we thought the night was winding down (and you thought this post was over, didn't you?), we turned to hear the beat of several very loud drums coming from outside. Soon the whole party was dancing to the rhythm of a 6-person reggae band, complete with several drums, a tambourine-like instrument, and a saxophone. They even started a conga line, and of course we joined in. Because why wouldn't you join a conga line on a Monday night?

reggae band at Valrhona party

reggae band at Valrhona party

As we left, we were handed L'Ecole Valrhona branded gift bags with all sorts of goodies inside: a cast iron pan, a chocolate cookbook, and of course, an assortment of chocolate bon bons.

Gift bag from Valrhona party

chocolate bon bons from Valrhona party

So circling back, I too had chocolate on my hand when I got home (...and my forearm and my phone). Considering I also popped a few pre-wrapped caramels into my purse on the way home, I'm likely to be finding remnants of this night and party throughout my life in the coming weeks. Would I trade it for a thing? Nope.

Check out L'Ecole Valrhona here and get your chocolate conga line on!


Get Your Tickets for Choice Streets on May 5th

Missing Choice Eats this year has already been arguably one of my biggest regrets of 2015. So it goes without saying that attending The Village Voice's 4th Annual Choice Streets event is on the must-do list.

The event, which takes place on Tuesday May 5th at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, will feature at least 12 food trucks including Big D's Grub, Korilla BBQ, The Treats Truck and Valducci's Pizza and Cinco de Mayo entertainment from Mariachi Flor de Toloache. General admission tickets are $55 and will let attendees in at 8pm. If you want early admission, you can pay $65 to enter at 7:30pm or spring $85 for a VIP ticket that will let you in at 7pm and send you home with a gift bag. All tickets can be purchased here.

You can also apply to volunteer at the event and in turn receive free admission to The Village Voice's 5th Annual Brooklyn Pour Craft Beer Festival on September 26th.

To read a recap of the 2013 event, click here.


AWESOME DEAL: Pay What You Wish at Just Salad Today

Wallet feeling kind of light? (Or even kind of heavy?) Just Salad, a fast casual restaurant concept serving healthy food--including, yes, salad--at 315 Park Ave South is allowing customers to pay what they wish for any salad or wrap at both lunch (12-1:30pm) and dinner (6-7:30pm) today 4/9.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Food Bank For NYC. Limit 1 wrap or salad (valued up to $10) per person and in-store only.


Man Oh Manischewitz!

For those of you who don't know, the Jewish holiday of Passover begins in less than a month. To celebrate, Manischewitz is hosting their first ever pop-up event in Chelsea Market to showcase all of their kosher for Passover products and give new inspiration to old recipes. I attended the press preview last night with Hailey of Barton's Bites, but you can check it out for yourself over the next few days (details below).

First things first, there was a giant "gumball" machine dispensing coconut macaroons. Start dinner with dessert? Yes, please!

Hailey and I with the macaroon gumball machine
Then we made the rounds to the individual food tables. First up was some comforting carrot, quinoa and spinach soup. Then 2 different kinds of matzah pizza--margarita and pesto. Lastly, potato latkes with a multitude of toppings (I chose the apple and fennel slaw).

I must admit, I was surprised (but happy) to see them serving wine other than the notoriously sweet Manischewitz. Instead, they featured Sam Adam's beer and Israeli winery Tishbi.

Now back to dessert. The fact that there are pistachio orange macaroons blew my mind. At the event, they served them with a dollop of cream cheese icing. You could also dip your macaroon in a chocolate fountain and top with sprinkles or coconut. Lastly, the cupcakes (I tried red velvet), were deceptively cakey (always a struggle with pastry items kosher for Passover), and I give them 2 thumbs up!

There were also celebrity chef demos and tastings! Chef Jamie Geller, cookbook author and publisher of Joy of Kosher magazine, showed us how to fancy up your latkes with smoked salmon and creme fraiche. And Chef Katsuji Tanabe, winner of Food Network's Chopped, current contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Boston, and owner of MexiKosher Restaurant in LA, made us some sashimi tuna on matzah crackers.

Chef Jamie Geller

Chef Katsuji Tanabe

We had fun oogling all the new products and brainstorming how we can mix things up for Passover 2015. Carrot cake macaroons anyone? :)

There was also a photo booth and a step-and-repeat, so I'd call it a great event.

Oh, and a crazy awesome gift bag that will get me most of the way through the holiday. It included vegetable broth, garlic and rosemary crackers, carrot cake macaroons (!), red velvet cake mix, potato pancake mix, salmon caviar, The Joy of Kosher magazine, and "The Afiko Mensch" (a Shark Tank product!). Just add matzah and you have an instant seder!

The Manischewitz Experience is free to the public and open at Chelsea Market (75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011) on the following dates:
  • Thursday March 12: 11:00am to 7:00pm
  • Friday March 13: 10:00 to 6:00pm
  • Sunday March 15: 11:00am to 7:00pm


Narrowing Down on Darrow's

If there's one thing we love around here, it's restaurant openings--ESPECIALLY when the kitchen and menu were designed by David Kupperberg of Pure Food & Wine, Taylor Thorne of Eleven Madison Park and Jean Georges (who needs no superlatives). Darrow’s Farm Fresh Takeout (115 E. 18th Street) also brought in nutritionist Julie Starr to ensure their food is nutrient-rich and 100% local and organic.

We were invited last week for their public debut and got to sample several of their juice and cocktail offerings as well as some salads and sides.

Darrow's from the street
Main level and menu
Kitchen staff hard at work
Main level and juice bar
Juice Bar-istas
Upstairs - I was a little obsessed with these farm-inspired crate lanterns
Upstairs - And I LOVED this living wall

The simple food all tasted great and you could tell it was meant to highlight the local and organic ingredients. First I tried the Black, Red, and Wild Rice Salad with dried berries, hazelnuts, apples, pomegranate, and spinach with Sheep's yogurt (talk about antioxidants!) and loved it. Other favorites were the Raw Curried Cauliflower with dried fruit and nuts and the Crispy Kale with chipotle tahini sauce.

As for libations, I could drink and drink their beet juice and I loved that they had Fever Tree ginger beer on the menu (a new Awesome favorite!)

Beet juice! (not blood)

This seems like a great lunch spot for those who work in the area. You can dine in (order and pay on iPads on every table!) or order to go. They have several vegetarian-friendly plate options for $11-$15 and you can add a protein to any of them for another few bucks. Juice prices are pretty standard at $9-$11. But I'll definitely keep this in mind as a place to hide away from the bustle of Union Square and go read next to the living wall while sipping a Fever Tree.

Darrow's Farm Fresh Takeout on Urbanspoon