My Lucky Break – LUCKYRICE, Part 2 & 3

Of course, I meant to post this in a more timely manner. Such are the drawbacks of a demanding career and an addiction to continuing education (aka homework).

Before I get into the past events, I just want to recommend that you take advantage of the LUCKYRICE Restaurant Week going on this week (May 3-9, 2010). A great selection of Asian and not-so-Asian restaurants in the NYC area are offering special menus and special prices in honor of this event. I have my reservations – get yours!

OK, so on with my second event of the LUCKYRICE Festival… This past Friday was the Night Market (in addition to a panel discussion about Buddhism and food with David Chang and Eric Ripert (Hmm…?) at the Rubin Museum of Art which I was not able to attend).

It was a warm, balmy night – perfect for wandering around DUMBO. The small triangle where Pearl and Anchorage streets come together was converted into a Malaysian hawker mall (think serious street food feast) – bright-colored awnings, twinkling lights, wafting aromas of coffee and curry, hungry adventurous souls waiting in line for expertly crafted “fast food”. Nyonya restaurant, a long-time personal favorite, was there with their usual fan club singing their praises.

Nyonya's Roti Canai

 Fiji Water (an event sponsor) was also there with one of the most unique set-ups I’ve seen at an event in a while – a photography both complete with live photographer, Asian-style props (umbrellas, hats, fans…), and free photos for anyone willing to give it a try, compliments of  

Around the corner, under the Manhattan Bridge, the food festival continued. Twenty-six food purveyors, mostly NYC restaurants, lined the street under the arch on either side. In between, lively revelers moved from stall to stall tasting the sometimes strange (stinky tofu?), always tasty treats. Some favorites:

1. Double Crown’s Coconut Water Shaved Ice with Mango Puree

2. Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost

3. The Kati Roll Company’s spicy chicken roll

4. The Setai’s Crisp Fried Pork Belly, Kim Chee and Island Creek Oysters (absolutely stellar, as expected)

5. And, of course… Momofuku Milk Bar’s cookies (peanut brittle and blueberries & cream)

There was an indoor pavilion where all the alcoholic beverages were served, including a table hosted by my dear friends Dave & Nils from FCI (their Maker’s Mark Pu-erh Tea Cocktail chilled with liquid nitrogen, of course, nearly knocked me out!). It was too hot inside and too nice outside to spend too much time there, though I do regret not trying Brooklyn Brewery’s new Brooklyn Sorachi Ace… soon, very soon!

Part 3:

Since I know I wont get around to posting this before it is extremely dated, I thought I’d finish with a mention of the Sunday event held at The International Culinary Center (aka my second home)… I missed almost all of the event, sadly. But, I was able to catch Zak Pelaccio’s demo of braised beef short ribs over coconut rice. His deep knowledge and contagious passion for food and culture inspire me. And his food is damn good!

I had to leave before the next chef began, but not before I was given a bag of two Chinese wines to try – You’ll be seeing more on those very soon.

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