Hmm…what’s that smell?
Oh, it’s just the 4th Annual Cheesemonger Invitational being held in Long Island City this year. Yeah, that’s where that holy aroma of cheese is coming from. On June 29, 56 cheesemongers from across the country will do battle to see who’s the big cheese…literally. And, in the trenches that day you will find Chris Palumbo and Laura Downey, co-owners of Fairfield Cheese Company. “We have worked hard during the past four years to put Fairfield Cheese Company on the map, and the invitation to compete helps to solidify us as a preeminent shop in the area and the country,” said Chris in a recent press release. Attendees will not only be able to witness the epic cheese battles, but they’ll be able to graze (or pit out) on a smörgåsbord of cheese prepared by last year’s winners.
So, how exactly do 56 cheesemongers battle? Well, everything is broken down into four separate rounds:
It’s officially summer in Darien when espresso NEAT opens their beautiful outdoor patio. So, what better way to kick it off than with some live music and a contest to prove your worth? We’re talking about Doug Allen live outside of NEAT and a latte art competition. They’ll begin the signup for competitors on 6/20 at 6 pm and the first pour will happen at 7 pm and go until 9 pm. Check their FB page and their site because they might be offering an online sign-up for those who can’t make 6. Each entry costs $5, but that money will be going directly to help the victims of the devastating Oklahoma tornado.
Beer beer beer beer,
beer beer beer beer,
beer beer beer beer,
buh buh buh buh buh buh…
Harry’s is not only a sponsor of this great event, but Renzo (beer god extraordinaire) helps get all the breweries there! We love Harry’s!
Ah, such lovely songs have never been heard before. And, chances are, you’ll be singing beer’s praise quite a bit at the 2nd Annual Harbor Brew Fest at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. While the event isn’t happening until September 28 from 12-5, tickets are going on sale next Friday, 6/21. Get your tickets fast because last year’s event sold out part of the way through the event, and you’ll definitely want to get your hands on one of the very limited Brewer’s Special tickets (see the ticket descriptions below). See, now that’s why you need to get yourself in gear and make sure to get your tix right away on the 21st. Now, let’s go through why this year’s event is going to be even better and more successful than last year’s:
Stamford ArtWalk Map 2013…click through for a zoomed in view
There’s always something great going on in Downtown Stamford, ya know? Whether it’s restaurant weeks, charity events, their yearly outdoor sculpture exhibitions (this year it’s “Downtown Abstractions”), Santa gliding down a building, or Alive @ Five, Downtown Stamford is the place to be. And, now we have another reason to love Stamford: the first ever ARTWALK that’s starting Friday (6/14) and goes into Saturday, 6/15. ARTWALK 2013 will feature 95 artists from the Northeast who are presenting their art in various styles and mediums. This weekend event is free to the public and if you’d like a copy of this map, just register at the ARTWALK booth on Spring Street. Time it perfectly by going to the opening celebration on 6/14 @ 5 pm, have some refreshments, and join many of the artists, gallery owners, local business owners, and restaurateurs…then pick up the map!
Most of that art that’s on display will remain up for viewing at restaurants and businesses until July 7, so even if you can’t make this event, you’ll have another chance for viewing. Plus, if you really love something, you can purchase it! In addition, there are special events (full list here) and exhibits up for you to check out:
Take a gander at this custom built truck…
There are food trucks and then there are food trucks, serving up hand crafted, custom made, awesome food. We’re not talking about your standard street food fare, we be talking ’bout Vanchetta, a rolling rotisserie truck that had its soft opening last week in Stamford. When we broke the news to everybody, people were excited…even the owner, Andy Dolan, who said he was a big fan of our blog but was trying to keep things quiet and take things slowly (oops, sorry for that man).
Well, now that it’s public knowledge, we’re ready to share our experience…
Your dad already has a set of screwdrivers, drills, a laser level, C3P0, R2D2, and an entire garage worth of tools that he’ll probably never use, so what are you going to get him this Father’s Day? Parallel Post in Trumbull is making that choice super easy: get dad a beautiful 1 liter wooden barrel. Yeah, the barrel is cool looking, but it’s also about what goes inside of that lovely wooden contraption. Yes, you guessed it…liquor! You’ll be able to help dad to get his drink on and create his own craft barrel-aged cocktail with either house liquor for $50 or top shelf choices for $75. Whichever option you pick, you’ll have your choice of bitters, dried fruits, and other flavorings. You’ll just need to call up (203) 380-6380 and get your special reservation with master mixologist Greg from 1-3 pm on Saturday or Sunday (6/15-16). You’ll get direct instruction and true one-on-one time to make the perfect cocktail that will be aged with love. Then, when the cocktail is perfectly aged, you need to invite us over to test it out. You know, we’re just looking out for you to make sure you’re doing it right.
Then, when you’re doing putting your barrel-aged cocktail together, think about taking dad out for dinner too. They’ll have a special menu just for him on both days, 12-10 pm:
“Tart words make no friends; a spoonful or honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.” Ben Franklin
“When you go in search of honey you must expect to be stung by bees.” Joseph Joubert
“`Well,’ said Pooh, `what I like best –’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” Henry David Thoreau
“We lived for honey. We swallowed a spoonful in the morning to wake us up and one at night to put us to sleep. We took it with every meal to calm the mind, give us stamina, and prevent fatal disease. We swabbed ourselves in it to disinfect cuts or heal chapped lips. It went in our baths, our skin cream, our raspberry tea and biscuits. Nothing was safe from honey…honey was the ambrosia of the gods and the shampoo of the goddesses.” Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Marina Marchese, she’s the bee’s knees
Who knew that there were so many things to say about honey and how deep and philosophical honey could be? We dig what Winnie the Pooh was saying about the anticipation of eating the honey being one of the sweetest things ever, but…hey, we know he’s never had some Red Bee Artisanal Honey. That’s craft, high-quality honey that’s produced in Weston, Connecticut by C. Marina Marchese. She’s not only the person who created Red Bee Artisanal Honey, she’s also a beekeeper, and has authored two very successful books. Her first book is Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper and her newest book is called The Honey Connoisseur, written with Kim Flottum who is editor of Bee Culture Magazine. In this brand new book, Marina and Kim discuss the origins, flavors, pairings, and uses of more than 30 different varieties of honey. Yeah, so, there’s more than one type of honey…definitely more than that golden plastic bear filled with honey you find at the stores. You’ll learn how to taste and pick out the perfect honey to match with your foods, plus you’ll learn about all the factors that go into the production of honey, basically called terroir. You’ll also find some recipes inside to put your newfound honey knowledge to the test.
It all started one fine day at work in Stamford when Carlo Fuda was checking out Facebook. CBS was looking for contestants for a brand new show that featured amateur bakers. Without much hesitation, he wrote up an e-mail, hoping his passion and love for food would shine through. Then, late one night he got the phone call. It was from CBS and they had some amazing news: he was going to be one of ten contestants on The American Baking Competition. He remembered being excited that he was chosen, but he had felt that he had a great shot from the start. ”When I got the call,” he shared with us, “it created a new path for me to follow through on my passions.” The American Baking Competition is hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy and judged by Marcela Valladolid and Paul Hollywood. Each Wednesday at 8, contestants are pitted against each other with the “Signature Bake,” “Technical Bake,” and “Showstopper Bake.” Eventually, only one baker is left and that person is crowned America’s Best Amateur Baker and they pocket $250,000.
A citrusy cappuccino
Unfortunately, Carlo didn’t make it past the first episode (check out his CBS backstory), but during the episode his Twitter feed was blowing up with comments from fans who said they loved him and needed to see more. Well, Carlo always has more and keeps his fans fed with his blog and other social media accounts, all listed at the bottom of this post. Some of his most recent recipes are Calabrese Stuffed Eggplant (from a 100 year old recipe), Polpette di Nonna, and Garlic Parmesan Fried Zucchini & Eggplant. Because he was so willing to talk to a fellow paesan about food, we scored an interview with this Stamford/PA resident, getting a view into the machinery that powers such an energetic, creative, sweet, and passionate mind. So, here’s a little slice of Carlo’s la dolce vita, literally the sweet life.
In the first episode of The American Baking Competition, one of the rounds had contestants a create a pie. Is there a story behind your Italian Easter ricotta pie?
We like restaurant weeks, but what we really love are events that bring entire towns or cities together for a massive party. Just think about it: you get to walk around a room, eat food, drink wine, beer, and liquor, chit, and chat. This is really the best way to get to try out a town’s best food, all in one night. And, the 6th Annual Taste of Wilton will do all that…and more! Just show up to the Trackside Teen Center on 6/17 from 5:30-8:30, pay just $30, and you’ll get to taste the best of what Wilton (and some nearby areas) has to offer. This is another great idea for Father’s Day…just sayin’!
Here are all the restaurants and drink providers you can expect (and there might be more added, too):