What We’re Attending: May 24, 2014

shelter island bbq Amy Zavatto

This week, our editors share more of the events on their calendars — indoors and outdoors, casual and refined, uptown, downtown, out of town, and all entirely delicious.

VIDEO: Dan Barber Argues That Farm-to-Table “Is the Wrong Way to Think About the Future of Good Food”

Lauren Wilson & Gabrielle Langholtz: Dan Barber & Ira Glass at the 92nd Street Y
From Lauren: I actually missed Dan Barber at #Edible2014 (thank God there was a video, above), so I look forward to seeing him in conversation with public radio rockstar Ira Glass at 92 Street Y on June 11. The locavorism trailblazer has bold ideas about why farm-to-table is too passive of a practice to actually change the food system.

From Gabrielle: It’s been damn hard to get my work done this week, what with all 450 pages of Dan Barber’s new book begging me to play hooky and read about his agricultural education, encompassing upstate grain, nitrogen-fixing legumes, sugar levels in carrots, goose gavage and even occasional mention of my beleaguered livestock husband. But while I couldn’t blow off work to read, I’m still high off the next-best thing: watching Dan discuss his findings at the Edible publisher’s meeting. Missed it? You’re in luck. He’ll be speaking about the beyond-farm-to-table food revolution with none other than Ira Glass at the 92nd Street Y on Wednesday, June 11th. See you there.

Rachel Wharton: The PopUp Dinner Brooklyn — A Benefit for the Prospect Park Alliance
On June 28 the Prospect Park Alliance will host a 5,000 person pop-up dinner with the help of SF’s HandMade Events. It’s a fundraiser for the organization, which helps maintain, clean and restore one of Brooklyn’s best open spaces, among many other parky functions. Guest are to bring food and drink, decorate their own tables and supposedly end the night with an outdoor dance party — my favorite kind. (The catch? At least for me… You’re supposed to wear all white. I am a magnet for grass stains, spilled wine and greasy fingerprints.) Tickets are $35 here.

Amy Zavatto: Shelter Island Chicken BBQ
I look forward the Shelter Island Chicken BBQ held annually in late August like some people look forward to Christmas. Like most small-town chicken barbecues, its purpose is to act as a fundraiser for the Shelter Island Fire Department (a volunteer organization to which my Dad belonged for years; and thank goodness for them and their great work), but it’s a lot more than that to me, and most folks who show up to it. I like to call it the Great Equalizing Social Event of the Season — hundreds and hundreds of blue-collar locals and mansion-owning weekenders and a few curious tourists under a big red and white tent, eating with their hands and using wetnaps. It’s awesome. The last few years, my sisters Linda and Laura, my stepbrother Park, and my husband Dan, and I all bike over to St. Gabriel’s Field in the morning to volunteer to shuck corn in preparation — tons and tons of corn. Last year, I brought my then 13-year-old nephew Christian with me, too (he’s 14 now; don’t de-age a teenager, they get pissed off), and I felt like I was passing down the tradition to a new generation. We get covered in corn silk and stand around laughing and joking with people who I know from growing up out there, but who sometimes I manage to see only on this day every year. Like my former Girl Scout Troop leader, Patty Lennox, who is a totally amazing lady and fwomps out delicious, homemade potato salad onto my plate with great aplomb, and sometimes gives me extra. It’s a community-binding event and I treasure it. And the food ain’t bad, either. Not bad at all.

Eileen M. DuffyFundraisers for the Moriches Bay Project.
If you live on the East End, as I do, you’re well aware of the efforts to improve the lot of the Peconic and Shinnecock bays. More than one organization has taken on the tasks of shellfish replenishment and the reestablishment of eel grass where scallops live and breed. But woe to Moriches Bay, the site of a once thriving shellfish industry and the unfortunate sewer for the Long Island duck farms. Last year residents established the Moriches Bay Project to pay attention to this neglected and important body of water, which is bordered by by close to 10 incorporated towns and villages within Brookhaven and Southampton. From their website: “Excess nutrients from septic tanks and fertilizers have increased the incidences of harmful brown algae blooms that have notoriously wiped out environmentally essential eelgrass and shellfish populations. When at one time the bay was clear and blue, it is now a turbid brown soup that cannot support its innate abundance of marine life.” Feeling bad yet? This weekend I’m going to the Friday night fund-raiser (at $50 at Hamptons bargain). A Saturday breakfast will feature building an oyster farm. Donations always accepted. West of the canal is the East End too!

Feature photo courtesy of Amy Zavatto

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