The friendly French-food-festival rivals Le Fooding and Omnivore return this fall with competing schedules of dinners, demos, and al fresco feasts (both located in outdoor Brooklyn markets). Who earns the most artisanal cornichons on our Très Brooklyn meter?
Le Fooding Brooklyn Fling
September 19-23; various locations; lefooding.com
Why Brooklyn? According to founder Alexandre Cammas, [Brooklyn chefs] are fans of street food, love the avant-garde, and some of them, of course, are hugely talented.
Highlights: Michelin-star-giver-backer Alain Senderenss dinner at Maimonide of Brooklyn is sold out, but you can sample Paris pastry guru Pierre Hermés handiwork (albeit a bite of fruit) at a campfire hootenany of sorts at the Williamsburg Flea, or join the hoi polloi at Luncheon in the Dust picnics at the Fort Greene Flea and the Williamsburg Flea.
Très Brooklyn Meter It doesnt get any more New Brooklyn than the Franks (Castronovo and Falcinelli), even though they grew up in Old Queens. Theyre cooking dinner on September 20 with super-locavore Charleston chef Sean Brock at Frankies 457 (sorry, also sold out). But Nespresso and San Pellegrino as sponsors? Cmon, guys, couldnt you get Sixpoint or Manhattan Special to kick in?
Rating: 4 out of 5 cornichons
Omnivore New York Tour
September 20-23; various locations; omnivore.com
Why Brooklyn? The Young Cuisine we promote is in ebullition in Brooklyn. Brooklyn represents the actual center of creation, says Omnivores Paula Reisen.
Highlights: Master classes are industry-only, but tickets for some of the festivals signature F***ing Dinners, including a $100 ten-course feast by Mission Chinese Food chef Danny Bowien and another that pairs chefs Dominique Crenn (of San Franciscos Atelier Crenn) and Alexandre Couillon (of La Marine in Noirmoutier, France), are still available. Tickets to the Omnivorous Party finale are free to reserve, but food will cost you.
Très Brooklyn Meter Holding a food festival in a vacant lot outfitted with reclaimed shipping containers (Dekalb Market) speaks volumes. And the lineup of chefs (including Ivan Shishkin of Moscows Delicatessen and Gita Seaton, who runs Montréals Nouveau Palais diner) is terrific. Taunting us, however, with a dinner for only twelve at Bushwicks Blanca that predictably sold out in about a minute is downright cruel and goes against the egalitarian spirit of the New Brooklyn movement, non?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cornichons