posted Tuesday, September 30, 2014 by Jessica Humphrey

This week on the Brookette blog, Jessica eats her way through the Taste Talks Brooklyn All-Star Chef BBQ and seminars.

At The Brooks Group we unanimously agree that one of the most enjoyable parts of our job is attending culinary events. Nowadays there is a food festival for aficionados of just about every food group. I’ve devoured plates at Oyster Week, New York Hot Sauce Expo, The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party and more in just the past few months and my stomach is already gearing up for Lower East Side Pickle Day and the Jamaican Jerk Festival this fall.


Aside from the drool-worthy dishes at most festivals, Taste Talks Brooklyn, an event presented by Chef Mario Batali and curated by Chef Danny Bowien, hosts two days of seminars on emerging trends (like the AeroGarden above) and hot topics in the restaurant and food industries. Speakers include local chefs like Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar) and food journalists like Dana Cowin (Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine) and Adam Rapoport (Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit).


Saturday afternoon I listened to Sam Sifton, Senior Editor at The New York Times, discuss the future of food and dining coverage in the paper and the launch of the NYT Cooking App which includes over 16,000 recipes. After Saturday’s seminars, I starved myself most of Sunday in anticipation of the All-Star Chef BBQ.


To start the afternoon, many guests were weary of Ivan Ramen’s Grilled Duck Hearts with a Summer Corn XO Sauce, but this skewer was easily one of my favorite bites of the day.


Russ & Daughters served up a sweet Grilled Cinnamon Babka while Michael White of Osteria Morini and rapper Action Bronson collaborated on a savory Porchetta ‘Kra Prow’ Tigelle.


A few squeamish bystanders passed on Fung Tu’s Pig Head Salad with Green Mango Slaw and Mala Vinaigrette (top left) and BrisketTown’s Texas Hot Gut Sausage (top right), but I had no qualms about either and dove right in.


Surprisingly, another one of my favorites was the Charred Lamb Tongue and Deep-Fried Anchovy from Black Axe Mangal, a restaurant from London.


The Lamb Tartare corn chip from Mission Chinese (left) was a light nibble while waiting in line for the next two dishes—a Smoked Char Sui Long Island Eel with Fermented Corn, Sassafras Root & Crab Roe Crème (top right) from Ducks Eatery and a Grilled Chicken Kebab with Szechuan Pepper Zhug on Flatbread (bottom right) from Mile End.


Rounding out my final three courses (from left to right) were Wilma Jean’s Barbecue Duck with sorghum, ginger and five-spice flat bread, Mission Cantina’s Egg & Anchovy Taco, and Pok Pok’s Boar Collar Meat.  Sadly, Del Posto’s Veggie Burgers ran out before I was able to snag one and the line for Momofuku Ssäm Bar’s Grilled Blue Whale Oyster was a nearly a 45 minute wait after I’d consumed the rest of the menu. Needless to say, I left full and satisfied and ready for the next food festival!