Taste Talks Brooklyn just wrapped their second annual weekend of dinners, panels and a special expo, all exploring “The Future of Taste.” On Sunday, we attended the All-Star BBQ – an event presented by Mario Batali and curated by Danny Bowien that brought together 25 chefs at 12 grilling stations on Williamsburg’s scenic waterfront – and it was certainly a meal to remember.
Open to the public, the BBQ had a $40 price tag for 14+ delicious dishes. The long lines were daunting upon arrival, but we quickly realized they were moving fast for the amount of people in attendance. The biggest crowd was gathered around Michael White’s booth where rapper Action Bronson was getting down on the grill with chef and his team. They were serving up a Thai-spiced “Porchetta Kra Prow” with crispy watercress and tigelle, which was delicious. We tried almost everything except the Brooks Headley famous-as-of-late veggie burger which was sold out before we even arrived.
As you would expect from a BBQ, most of the dishes were meat-based. Our favorite was definitely the grilled duck hearts with a summer corn XO sauce from Ivan Orkin of Ivan Ramen. We had to stop ourselves from getting seconds, as the dish was extremely rich. Daniel Delaney of Williamsburg’s BrisketTown was serving a Texas hot gut sausage, definitely some of the best we’ve had in recent memory. Nate Smith of Allswell and Lee Tiernan of Black Axe Mangal cooked up charred lamb tongue with deep fried anchovy that was delicious, as was the pig head salad from David Santos and Jonathan Wu, of Louro and Fung Tu, respectively. Luckily there was fish to cut through all that delectable fatty goodness. Will Horowitz of Ducks Eatery grilled an incredibly tasty smoked char sui Long Island eel with fermented corn, sassafras root and crab roe creme. Ssam Bar’s Matt Rudofker grilled Blue Whale oysters with shaoxing, brown butter and ramps that may have been the most flavorful dish of all; it would have been the best if the oyster wasn’t so chewy.
We can’t think of a better way to wrap up summer than with a BBQ featuring some of the best chefs in the country – you’ll definitely want to check it out next year. To learn more about the Taste Talks and to get your tickets for the Chicago events taking place October 3-5, visit taste-talks.com.
Photo credits: Taste Talks/Care Howe
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