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…
“Family Meal” Fundraiser at Café Altro Paradiso (1/8): In partnership with Bon Appetit, this fundraising event series features a different restaurant each month, and gives ticket holders unprecedented access to an integral back-of-house ritual; family meal. This January, $80 will grant entry to a cocktail party and Latin brunch with Ignacio Mattos at Café Altro Paradiso, with proceeds benefiting the Immigrant Justice Corps.
9th Annual Cassoulet Cook-off (1/15): January is National Cassoulet Month (when better than the dead of winter to honor this rib-sticking, South of France dish; a slow-cooked stew of sausage, white beans and confit?), which means that Jimmy’s No. 43 is readying to throw its annual cassoulet cook-off! Both amateur and professional chefs compete for People and Judge’s Choice awards, with prizes from WUSTHOF and Anolon Cookware, but attendees are the ultimate beneficiaries; getting to taste unlimited samples of multiple cassoulet permutations for only $20.
Pinot Days “Table Hop” Dinner at City Winery (1/17): Pinot Days joins forces with City Winery to showcase fifteen wines, five winemakers and a one-night only Mediterranean menu, specially designed to highlight pinot noir’s stylistic versatility and pairing ability. Starters and wines from four pinot producers will be offered in walk-about style, followed by a three-course meal, paired with two pinots from two different producers. The winemakers themselves will move seats with every course, so that they are able to share their stories with diners.
Donut Fest NYC (1/21): Hopefully the city will be a tad less snowed-out this year, when Donut Fest returns to New York for the second time. Both a competition and tasting, local vendors such as Carpe Donut, the Donutologist and Artisan Glaze Donuts and Coffee will submit their best ring, cruller or long john, in an effort to be crowned as having the best sugary, deep-fried treat in all of the five boroughs.
Winter Restaurant Week (1/23-2/10): Ah, Restaurant Week — it’s a bit of a bright spot during the dreary slog of post-holiday winter. And the city-wide promotion actually lasts 15 days, not 7 — allowing diners to eat their way through New York’s best restaurants for an exceedingly low price; expect a 30-50% discount off of regular menus.
Cochon 555 (1/29): How meat it is! This celebrated nose-to-tail cooking competition and tour (dedicated to supporting family farmers, and educating chefs and diners about heritage breed pigs) is touching down in New York this January. Dubbed “New Porc City,” $125 tickets feature pig pairing bites from chefs like Jocelyn Guest and Erika Nakamura (White Gold Butchers), and competitors hoping for a shot at the title of Prince or Princess of Porc; Greg Baxtrom (Olmsted), Ryan Bartlow (Quality Eats) and Nicole Gajadhar (Saxon + Parole) are all in the mix.