Tag: Water Taxi Beach

Let Us Eat Local

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 | All Things, Eats, Events

At the Just Food fundraiser at Water Taxi Beach tonight, courtesy of M, who picked up a pair of pricey tickets to the sold out event.  Proceeds benefited this non-profit organization whose focus is to develop a sustainable food system in New York City.  In addition to fostering opportunities to support local family farms and community gardeners, Just Food partners community-based organizations with regional farmers to advance the growing movement of CSAsmine among them.

NB: My involvement with the organization this season is the primary reason that this blog has fallen by the wayside of late.  Only so many hours in a day…

The gritty edge of Long Island City is not the typical venue for these types of fundraising events, but given the haute barnyard vibe, it felt appropriate somehow.  The rain, which had fallen steadily through most of the afternoon, cleared out in time for our evening at the “beach.”  As we checked in, I was tickled to be presented with a selection of flip-flops — pink for me! — more suitable than my office pumps for traipsing around on the still-wet sand.

The event, dubbed “Let Us Eat Local“, began with an awards presentation honoring local leaders and farms.  M and I hardly heard the announcements, perhaps because we were happily distracted by the ice cream and Long Island winery tables, which the organizers had positioned in the outer tents, farthest from the podium. (Later, Adrienne Young and her band would provide the musical entertainment from the same stage.) Over two dozen restaurants and purveyors were represented here in all — each offering tastes of their wares, emphasizing local, organic ingredients.  All presented with biodegradable servingware and utensils, of course.

We quickly assessed that it would not be possible for us to sample everything.  Highlights included the offerings from Cleaver Co. & The Green Table, Candle 79, and Craft.  Chef Tom Colicchio, though, was nowhere to be found; perhaps he was otherwise engaged with the new Top Cheftestants in town.

Egg salad on chive biscuit from Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop on Rivington:

Both the Telepan and Jean Georges tables ran out of food by the time we made our way their direction towards the end of the evening — we’d heard their dishes were delicious — but we did manage to get to the smokey homemade kielbasa from Gramercy Tavern, artfully presented on skewers, while chatting up their three-starred chef Michael Anthony.

After all the unique gourmet bites presented to us — tasty all — M and I agreed that the most satisfying of all was the humble Harry Hawk burger.  After all, very few things can compare to the simple pleasures of a great burger.

Check out the rest of the photos on Flickr.  And for more inspiration, read the New York Times profile on Will Allenurban farmer and genius!

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