Annual Native American Festival Draws Hundreds to Inwood Hill Park

Native American Crafts for sale.
Native crafts for sale at annual Indian heritage festival in Inwood, NYC.

One of the highlights of summer in the city is the array of festivals each year. In northern Manhattan, Drums Along The Hudson is an annual Native American festival that has become an annual attraction, drawing hundreds from the local neighborhoods and beyond. Traditional foods like fry bread, storytelling, and face painting are among the highlights, along with performances and demonstrations of dances and chants passed on from generations of indigenous peoples.

Here’s a short video that captures the spirit:

Here's 45-seconds that I hope captures the spirit of today's Drums Along the Hudson festival of Native American culture, held in Inwood Hill Park. (Good shot of Luis Ramos dancing at the end.)

Posted by Doug Levy on Sunday, June 14, 2015

Inaugural Harlem Stroll Draws Hundreds #HarlemEatUp

Marcus Samuelsson and Bill Clinton greeted crowds of food fans to the first (and hopefully annual) Harlem Stroll, a festival of diversity, showing off Harlem’s restaurants, neighborhood organizations, and the work of local artists. 

Celebrity chefs, local restaurateurs, and their fans strolled around three tents of tastings.

Celebrity chefs Scott Conant, Marcus Samuelsson, Alex Guarnaschelli, and AaronSanchez were among the attendees.

Former President Clinton poses with workers as he exited the event.

Highlights so far include a sweet spring pea soup by the Sylvia Center, Jerk Chicken slider by Harlem Shake, and a tasting plate by Charles’ Country Fried Chicken. 

And a hilarious cooking demo by Aaron Sanchez with Samuelsson, as other TV star chefs egged them on. 

Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez on stage.

No more British chocolate bars in USA?

The New York Times reports that Hershey’s is enforcing geographic licensing restrictions that forbid some British-made versions of candies like Kit Kats from sale in the United States.

As a result of a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. The company also agreed to halt imports on KitKat bars made in Britain; Toffee Crisps, which, because of their orange packaging, and yellow-lined brown script, too closely resemble Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; Yorkie chocolate bars, which infringe on the York peppermint patty; and Ms. Perry’s beloved Maltesers.

The British chocolates are richer because they contain more milk than sugar and different stabilizers from the additives used in the United States that give the products a longer shelf life.

A weekend of discovery at food blogger conference

Blogger Mike Wangbickler in action at IFBC 2014.
Blogger and wine pro Mike Wangbickler delights upon learning of a new gluten-free oat crisp from Raincoast Crisps.

This weekend is the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle. It’s hard to think of a more food-obsessed city, so this will be a weekend of discovery. New commercial products, inventive chef creations, and a chance to explore the food scene of the Northwest. Here are a couple of images from the first few hours.

In addition to tasting plenty of interesting food (it’s ok for you to be jealous,) there’s real work here, and real learning. One excellent session earlier today focused on food photography, specifically how to break out of the cliche pictures that so many of us take.

One of Seattle’s top chefs, Thierry Rautureau ( of Loulay restaurant, demonstrated how to make a simple fresh tomato soup with just a few ingredients pureed in a blender. He suggests freezing the puree in bags, then defrost and puree again with olive oil right before serving.

An emerging theme of the conference is the promotion of vegetables to center stage instead of side dish. Food writer Karen Page told the bloggers that people around the world – and especially in industrialized countries like the United States – are catching on to the idea that vegetables hold the flavors that makes dishes exciting. Chef Thierry favors brining vegetables to add spice to Thanksgiving dinner, or lightly pickling celery sticks to make the crunchy bites a bit more interesting.

Advice from the French chef: Don’t freeze squash. “Zucchini is  great vegetable to shred and put it right on a grill, but if you freeze it, you have a mushy blah thing,” says Rautureau.

Beef slider
Duck confit sliders were passed around at the start of a cooking demo by Seattle Chef Thierry Rautureau.
Fresh cold tomato soup
Chef Thierry Rautureau demonstrated making fresh tomato soup.
Chef Thierry Rautureau
French-born Chef Thierry Rautureau led a colorful cooking demo at IFBC 2014.

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