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the sweet scoop
Drink. Tip. Make a Difference. Next time you’re craving a cold beverage, belly up to the bar at Neely’s Barbecue Parlor, where one incredibly generous employee has taken the fight against breast cancer—literally—into her own hands. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, bartender Michelle Milton will be donating 100 percent of her tips made during the month of October to Chemo Comfort—a volunteer grassroots organization that provides cancer patients with kits to help with the side effects of chemotherapy.
A former media account executive, Michelle made bartending her new career four years ago, and became a dedicated breast cancer awareness advocate after losing loved ones to the disease. “I’ve lost close friends to breast cancer, including the woman that was my mentor. Also both of my parents passed from other types of cancer, so this cause really hits hard for me personally.” Michelle shared.
In the past three years, she has raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer foundations by selflessly dedicating all of her tips—the bulk of her salary for the month. And at the end of October, Michelle will shave her head as an act of solidarity to everyone with the disease.
Be sure to stop by Neely’s Barbecue Parlor and say hi to Michelle. Drink up, tip till your heart’s content, and help in the fight!
Image courtesy of Neely’s Barbecue Parlor
More than 40 chefs, hundreds of hungry carnivores, thousands of pounds of meat. Last Saturday’s Meatopia on Randall’s Island was an ambitious culinary spectacular where whisky and beer flowed freely and meat reigned supreme. Event founder Josh Ozersky seriously upped the ante from last year’s meat-filled fest and successfully executed one of the most organized and enjoyable food events of the year—in spite of some wet weather.
Some of the highlights and best bites from Meatopia 2012:
The talented lineup of chefs and pit masters showcased at this year’s “City of Meat” (including Marc Forgione, Alex Guarnaschelli, Franklin Becker, April Bloomfield, Naomi Pomeroy and many others) focused on utilizing whole animals, and dished up a dizzying array of meats prepared in every way, shape and form. A few of the most mouthwatering dishes included Pat LaFrieda‘s whole marinated Creekstone steer, Justin Smillie‘s succulent spit-roasted short ribs, Portuguese paella with soft egg and jalapeños from Anthony Goncalves, tender grilled rib steak with bone marrow butter and pickled grilled onions from Marc Forgione, and the undeniable crowd favorite, Aaron Franklin’s BBQ beef brisket—which blew away any preconceived notions of what brisket should taste like.
While the event was in full swing, dark grey clouds rolled in and the sky opened up on the carnivorous crowd. Luckily, the Amstel Light and Diageo tents provided shelter from the rain, along with music, entertainment and unlimited tasty beverages. While weathering the storm in the George Dickel Tennessee Whisky tent, I had a blast watching Discovery Channel’s Jimmy DiResta handcraft an entire wooden bar from scratch and downed delicious whisky cocktails like the “Possum Eatin’ Peach Pits”—my favorite drink of the night, and the perfect complement to the savory all-meat menu.
Congrats to another successful Meatopia! Looking forward to even more meaty madness in 2013. And to tempt your taste buds in the meantime, dive into the peachy punch cocktail recipe below:
Possum Eatin’ Peach Pits Recipe
1 ounce George Dickel Tennessee Whisky
1/4 ounce Stirrings Peach Liqueur
1/2 ounce Olorosso Sherry
1 teaspoon Amaro CioCiaro
1/2 ounce black tea
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
Slices peaches and strawberries for garnish
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker; Shake well. Pour contents into a rocks glass. Garnish with sliced peaches and strawberries. Cheers!
In recent months, New York has seen an explosion of beer garden openings. From traditional German-style to sleek and modern, there are dozens of outdoor drinking destinations to choose from, but my go-to spot for slinging back suds is The Garden at Studio Square. On Sunday, Long Island City’s spacious open-air courtyard threw their first annual Summer Spit BBQ, hosted by famed chef David Burke and Samuel Adams founder Jim Koch.
This beer, bourbon and BBQ blowout featured all-day tastings of eight different Sam Adams brews on tap, five bourbons including Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, and unlimited porcine pickings. Guests noshed on passed hors d’oeuvres of angry pigs in a blanket, smoked gouda lollipops and chorizo grilled cheese, and a buffet featuring pulled pork tacos, sweet and spicy chicken wings, smoked beef fat fries, BBQ chicken dumplings, chicharones and more. The main attraction was a smoking dual rotisserie spit, where two massive 400-lb hogs had been roasting since the night before. The crowd watched in awe as Chef Burke got his hands dirty and worked those porkers for hours, carving up succulent swine for entrées of whole roasted pig and pork belly.
For some sweet after the meat, dessert offered deep fried Oreos, sugared donuts, green apple-flavored cotton candy and David Burke’s whimsical signature chocolate cheesecake lollipops. And to entertain the lively crowd, Big Mike Lynche from American Idol fame manned the mic with his East Coast band, as they covered hits spanning decades.
Talk about Sunday Funday! The inaugural Summer Spit BBQ completely rocked Studio Square and I’m already looking forward to next year’s pig out.