There’s a saying around here: "A trip to Brooklyn is like a trip around the world." And so it’s no wonder that this new global capital of creativity has been the location of the 2012 edition of Le Grand Fooding New York, which has just terminated its fourth edition.
The five jam-packed days were divided into four sections, and it was an opportunity for local chefs from places like Williamsburg, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Red Hook to come together with some of the most famous names on the international culinary scene who arrived from Sweden, California, Paris, and London…
A 'LUNCHEON IN THE DUST'
Magnus Nilsson, for example. The rising star of Nordic cuisine, he was among the participants of The Luncheon in the Dust – the street food section organized along with S.Pellegrino in the flea markets of Fort Green and Williamsburg. His proposed dishes included grilled oysters from a traditional recipe “stolen” from New York, where oysters were once eaten as a quick, cheap street snack - similar to today’s pretzels and hot dogs.
Following the theme of food-nostalgia, France’s youngest star chef Bertrand Grébaud has reinterpreted an old family classic in a completely personal version: a dish of long-stewed lamb with smoked eggplant and greens (here the recipe). He then followed with a mouth-watering 'Peach Melba Ice Cream', a dessert made famous in New York thanks to Van Leeuwen. One of the three owners of the artisan ice cream brand, Laura O’Neill, explains the inspiration behind this popular flavor: “The peach Melba is a classic dessert, invented in 1892 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honor the Australian soprano Nellie Melba”. It may be old fashioned, but it clearly hasn’t lost its appeal. The soprano loved the delicate, old-fashioned recipe back then. And it's still a crowd-pleaser even today. Especially when served in hand-engraved glasses by the French artist Ludivine Billaud, which added to the allure.
CAMPFIRE SESSION #02
Against the glittering backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, the Williamsburg flea market was the location for Campfire Session #02, where five pairs of chefs, who mixed tastes and traditions like local street food and global haute cuisine. Here the famed pastry chef Pierre Hermé created four exclusive recipes inspired by the flavors of Sanpellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverages. More than one thousand people stood in line to see what the great chef Inaki Aizpitarte was going to prepare at New York’s carnivorous paradise, The Meat Hook (the menu included 'Red wine & Rosemary Pork Sausage, Watercress and Anchovies'). The guys from the Mile End Delicatessen, specializing in traditional Jewish comfort food made from scratch – paired up with the Young Turks duo, emblematic of a “new approach to British cooking”. Choncho’s Tacos and Fredrik Berselius left eaters speechless and satisfied with their “New Nordic” dish the Tacorulle (shrimp, pork, potato taco).
Lastly, the improbable team of Pizza Moto & Danny Bowien, the chef star of San Francisco’s Mission Chinese Food and the Mission Burger San Francisco: if you think that pizza and Chinese tradition have nothing in common, you’re about to be pleasantly surprised.
But it doesn’t end here. The Le Clicquot Brooklyn Tour sponsored four dinners created by four talented local chefs, each one paired with a “Brooklyn-minded” alter ego. The NiteHawk Cinema hosted a brunch accompanied by two cult films, Saturday night Fever and The Warriors.
This was truly a huge celebration of Brooklyn—its diversity and propensity for inclusion and experimentation. Along with its thriving artistic scene, a new breed of chef has been created: some vegan, others meat-loving. Some tattooed, all independent. Napkins, however, are always optional.