festivals and events
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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
The street cart craze continues to sweep the nation and on Sunday afternoon, over a dozen of the city’s top vendors parked their notorious trucks at Jeffrey Chodorow’s modern food marketplace, FoodParc. Hosted by bizarre-food guru, Andrew Zimmern, Carts in the Parc is the ultimate celebration of the best fare served on four wheels.
During the casual three-hour event, live bluegrass beats played as guests walked around the spacious outdoor courtyard to sample an assortment of street eats—including spicy beef and pork tacos from El Rey del Sabor, melted gruyere, cheddar, blue cheese and mushroom grilled sandwiches from The Milk Truck, and market fresh squash soup with apple and pumpkin from Rouge Tomate Cart. Attendees got sweet on the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck’s ginger curry shakes, Melt Bakery’s red velvet ice cream whoopie pies, and an incredible array of luscious treats and confections from Sweet Street Desserts.
Everyone voted for their fave and in the end, Biryani Cart was crowned People’s Choice winner (and scored an awesome hula girl tiki trophy) for their famous kati roll with grilled chicken tikka and caramelized onions on Indian Chapati. For the second year in a row, Carts in the Parc was one of the best events at the NYC Wine & Food Festival and I definitely recommend parking your appetite here in 2012.
“Tacos, Yo!” exclaimed host Bobby Flay as he manned the mic at his Saturday night soiree, Patron Tequila’s The Art of the Taco. Presented by Creekstone Farms, the event featured nearly 30 of the country’s hottest chefs who put their own unique spin on the South of the Border staple—with styles ranging from traditional, Mexican-inspired to elevated with French flair.
This time at 82 Mercer, Patron and Corona flowed as taco-lovers bounced from station to station sampling tortillas stuffed with creative combos of steak, lamb, shrimp, tuna, beef tongue, duck, pastrami, lobster, bone marrow, oysters and foie gras.
Tender braised pork carnitas from Mercadito, a Cretan spiced lamb pocket from Kefi’s Michael Psilakis, and Scarpetta chef Scott Conant’s spice crusted lamb neck tacos all made me swoon, while versions with oysters from Riverpark and foie gras from Recette palatably expanded my taco horizons.
Dozens of celebrated chefs and TV personalities (including Aaron Sanchez, Alex Guarnaschelli, Marc Forgione, Claire Robinson, Marcela Valladolid, Debi Mazar, Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson and Geoffrey Zakarian) were seen doling out their taco creations, mingling with the crowd and even belting out Bon Jovi. Awesome.
After taking in tons of savory tacos, sweet relief was welcomed by ice cream chilaquiles drizzled with Mexican chocolate chili sauce and Gramercy Tavern’s salted chocolate hazelnut tacos. And after many of Bobby’s margaritas were had by all (hello, Sunday hangover!), the event turned into a late night dance party and guests and chefs alike let loose and had a grand ol’ time.