There are all manner of fun, food events taking place in New York on a daily basis — from lavish, charity-driven galas to crowded, walk-around tastings and an endless array of pop-ups. But unless you have the time and money to party seven days a week, you’ll have to be somewhat discerning about what goes onto your calendar. So here are just a few worthy food celebrations we recommend getting tickets (or making reservations) for right now…
Don’t Eat ‘Til Brooklyn (4/6): If there’s ever been a time that Meals on Wheels needed your support, it’s now. So show your love by throwing some dollars to New York’s Citymeals on Wheels, at their Young Professionals gala in Williamsburg. Restaurants like Birds & Bubbles, the Black Ant, Rock Center Café and Huertas are providing food and drinks at the walk-around tasting event, and $85 dollar tickets will directly benefit the hungry, homebound elderly.
The Annual Cherry Bombe Jubilee (4/8-9): This two-day networking event and panel series showcasing women in the food industry is back for its fourth year. Tickets start at $275, plus an optional supplement for access to the brand new Cherry Bombe Marketplace; featuring demos, book signings, and the chance to shop from female brands, entrepreneurs, and makers.
Bloody Mary Fest NYC (4/9): Imbibe the favorite brunch tipple for three hours straight at this boozy party, pouring the best bloodies from all over Brooklyn. Seriously, don’t expect anything as simple as tomato juice, vodka and horseradish, from inspired participants like Insa, Lobster Joint, Skylark Bar and A&E Supply Company. And be sure to sustain yourself with stops at the bagel bar and cheese station, so you’ll be able to try them all.
Brisket King NYC (4/19): Consider this the unofficial start of barbecue season. Presented by Food Karma Projects, the smoked meat showdown is back for its 6th year, positioning over 25 pitmasters against each other (think Robbie Richter, Hill Country’s Ash Falk, and Mighty Quinn’s Hugh Mangum), all hoping to be crowned “Brisket King” by the crowd.
NYC Hot Sauce Expo (4/22-23): A mere $10 buys entrance to this seriously steamy celebration, along with tastings from assembled vendors such as Angry Goat Pepper Co., Blair’s Deathsauce and Burns & McCoy, a front seat to competitions on the mainstage (think the Spicy Bagel of Doom Challenge, a Margarita Mixdown and the headlining Screaming Mi Mi Awards), and cocktails and bites from food and drink purveyors, including Phin & Phebes, Atomic Wings and Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur.
Taste of the Nation (4/24): Arguably the grandest of all tasting events (complete with Rosè Garden, Donut Derby and Candy Carnival) this sprawling food fantasia features over 50 of the top restaurants and bars in the city (Atoboy, Freek’s Mill, Huertas, El Atoradero), all sharing dishes and drinks to benefit No Kid Hungry’s work, to end childhood hunger in America.
James Beard Foundation Media Awards Dinner (4/25): The “Oscar’s of the food world” kicks off with the honors for notable media contributions. Not that you need to be handy with a pen to attend. Anyone can throw down $350 for a ticket to the dinner at Chelsea Piers, which includes a cocktail reception, a four-course seated meal with guest chefs, and of course, an extended awards ceremony, with medals given for cookbooks, television programs, articles, restaurant design and more.