Food and Drink Events This Weekend: Dec. 9 to 11

By Annie Wu, Epoch Times
December 8, 2016 5:12 pm Last Updated: March 8, 2018 5:23 pm

Weekend Picks: 

Gift-Making Party at Raaka Chocolate 

Brooklyn bean-to-bar chocolate company Raaka Chocolate is hosting a chocolate-making party at its factory. You can design and wrap your own chocolate bars and chocolate barks to purchase as gift items or mix with other goods from vendors on site. Hot chocolate will be provided. Free.

Friday, Dec. 9 & Friday, Dec. 16
7 p.m.–10 p.m.
Raaka Chocolate 
64 Seabring St. (between Richards & Van Brunt streets), Brooklyn 

Great Northeast Cheese Fest 

More than 30 artisanal creameries will showcase their cheeses at this epic cheese festival, including Vulto Creamery, Crown Finish Caves, Crosswinds Farm and Creamery, and Bovina Valley Farms. New York chefs will prepare unique cheese dishes for the event, such as pommes aligot (mashed potatoes and Cheddar cheese curds) by Chef Hugue Dufour. Wines, craft beers, farmstead ciders, and cocktails created especially for pairing with cheeses will also be available. $60 per person. 
Saturday, Dec. 10
6 p.m.–9 p.m. 
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd. (at Linden Place) 

Upcoming Events:

Female Bartending Competition at Diamond Horseshoe

The winner of the 2016 Speed Rack competition, Lacy Hawkins of The NoMad Bar. (Gabi Porter)
The winner of the 2016 Speed Rack competition, Lacy Hawkins of The NoMad Bar. (Gabi Porter)

Speed Rack, the all-female, speed-bartending competition, returns to New York for its sixth year. More than 20 of New York’s best female bartenders will compete to make drinks under time constraints, including Kayla Hasbrook (ABC Cocina); Anna Wingfield (Mother’s Ruin); Brooke Smith (The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog); Christine Su (Bathtub Gin); and Erika Ordoñez (Porchlight, Montana’s Trail House). The public can view the competition while sipping cocktails from sponsors. All proceeds go to breast cancer charities. $25 per person, $30 at the door.

Sunday, Dec. 11
3 p.m.–7 p.m.
Diamond Horseshoe at Paramount Hotel
235 W. 46th St. (between Seventh & Eighth avenues)

Panel on Immigrant Food Cultures in America

Food historian Sarah Lohman will discuss her new book, “Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine,” about lesser-known immigrant culinary traditions that influenced American fare. Chefs Jonathan Wu of Fung Tu and Mario Carbone of Carbone will join her at the Brooklyn Historical Society. $10 per person.

Tuesday, Dec. 13
7 p.m. 
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont St. (at Clinton Street), Brooklyn

Champagne Sabering at The Pierre

At The Rotunda, the iconic dining room at The Pierre hotel, representatives from renowned champagne houses will saber bottles for guests to enjoy. The last champagne in this series is Pommery Cuvée Louise. Light canapés will be served. $70 per person.

Thursday, Dec. 15
The Rotunda at The Pierre
2 E. 61st St. (at Fifth Avenue)

Spiked Mug Fest

Ejen's Korean noodle dish. (Courtesy of Spiked Mug Fest)
Ejen’s Korean noodle dish. (Courtesy of Spiked Mug Fest)

Enjoy unlimited tastings of hot cocktails, mulled wine, and winter beers at the Spiked Mug Fest in Queens. Vendors such as Cugini Panini and Ejen (Korean food) will serve street food, while the holiday bazaar will feature wares from local artists and craft shops. $39 to $49 per person.

Saturday, Dec. 17 & Sunday, Dec. 18
The Factory
30-30 47th Ave. (between 30th Place & 31st Street), Queens

Launch Party for Emma’s Torch 

Emma’s Torch is a nonprofit dedicated to helping refugees enter the culinary industry. Founder Kerry Brodie, who studied government and policy, wanted to help alleviate the refugee crisis. “I grew up loving to cook, and loved to be in the kitchen with my family,” Brodie said a phone interview. The universality of cooking and food prompted her to research how to create a program to train refugees in culinary skills. 

Now, her organization—named after Emma Lazarus, an advocate for refugees whose famous poem “The New Colossus” is etched on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty—has launched. Participants are trained in a range of skills such as basic kitchen prep work, nutrition, and job placement skills. The first cohort of students, who are from Senegal, the Philippines, and Venezuela, will prepare a feast of delicacies, such as Venezuelan arepas and lumpia (Filipino egg rolls), for the launch party. Proceeds go to refugee advocacy groups. $100 per person. 

Sunday, Dec. 18
6 p.m.–8 p.m.
Brooklyn FoodWorks
630 Flushing Ave., #200 (between Marcy & Tompkins avenues) 

Feast of the Seven Fishes at Grand Central Oyster Bar

Italian seafood salad. (Courtesy of Grand Central Oyster Bar)
Italian seafood salad. (Courtesy of Grand Central Oyster Bar)

Chef Sandy Ingber will serve an a la carte menu of dishes inspired by the Italian Christmas tradition. The seafood-heavy options include Insalata di Natale (seafood salad with octopus, sea snails, calamari, and shrimp); Bacala (salt cod cake with spicy Amalfi tomato sauce and broccoli rabe); and Sicilian-style grilled Pacific swordfish steak with lemon herb oil and arugula. Dessert options are eggnog gelato and espresso crème brûlee. 

Saturday, Dec. 24
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level 
89 E. 42nd St. (between Park & Vanderbilt avenues)

Expats Christmas Day Brewers’ Brunch at Jimmy’s No. 43 

Guests at the Brewer's Brunch. (Courtesy of Jimmy's No. 43)
Guests at the Brewer’s Brunch. (Courtesy of Jimmy’s No. 43)

For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, are solo in town, or don’t want to do any holiday cooking at home, East Village bar Jimmy’s No. 43 is hosting a brunch party full of cheer. It will be served buffet style, with options like classic pork, beef, and chicken roasts, salads, mashed potatoes, yams, and bread pudding. Ciders, wines, and craft beers on tap can be purchased separately. $25 per plate.

Sunday, Dec. 25
Noon–4 p.m.
Jimmy’s No. 43
43 E. 7th St. (between Second & Third avenues)

Morgenstern’s Hot Chocolates 

(Courtesy of Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream)
(Courtesy of Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream)

For the impending cold weather, the ice cream shop Morgernstern’s is now offering a hot chocolate menu with unique flavors. They are Vietnamese hot chocolate with 64 percent dark chocolate and Vietnamese-style coffee (mixed with condensed milk); Szechuan hot chocolate with 38 percent milk chocolate and Szechuan peppercorn; and Durian hot chocolate, with white chocolate, banana, and the pungent-flavored durian fruit. $4 per cup.

Through Saturday, Dec. 31
Morgernstern’s Finest Ice Cream
2 Rivington St. (between Bowery & Chrystie Street)

Lunch Menu at Augustine 

(Harry McNally)
(Harry McNally)

The latest restaurant opened by Keith McNally is now serving weekday lunches. The menu is filled with both classic French and New American dishes, such as soufflé au fromage, with cave-aged Gruyère, Parmesan, and horseradish fondue; steak and fries with Café de Paris butter; the Whisky Burger with Scotch-braised onions and Comté cheese; and halibut en cocotte with black truffle, fennel confit, roasted leeks, and lobster jus. 

Augustine at The Beekman hotel
5 Beekman St. (at Nassau Street)