The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “steak” as “a slice of meat cut from a fleshy part of a beef carcass.” With a definition that wide it leaves a lot of room open to interpret what can or can’t be looked at as steak. While normally our carnivorous adventures take us to what would be consider more standard definition of a steak, there’s no reason why we can’t eat outside the box.
For this month’s outing, we didn’t hit up a steak house, nor did we end up at some restaurant serving a selection of cuts. Instead, we attend the “Brisket King of NY” event put on by Food Karma Projects. Their company produces a number of cool and unique, artisan food & media events in and around NYC including Cookout NYC, Pig Island, the Farm & Beer Expo among many, many tasty others. The Brisket King of NY event was sold exclusively through Thrillist Rewards, the go to place to get tickets to exclusive events like this.
For only $55 via Thrillist Rewards, we were going to be treated to unlimited samples of Brisket from some of the best chefs, restaurants & purveyors in NYC along with copious amounts of craft beer & indie spirits. The entire event was being judged by a number of local food critics & celebs including yours truly, The Rev.
Here’s the official press release:
Food Karma Projects is happy to announce its first big meat event of 2012: A Brisket A Brasket returns on Monday, February 27th, this year renamed to Brisket King of NYC. We’ll be crowning the winner at a larger venue (Santos Party House at 96 Lafayette Street). After the success of last year’s subdued affair, we are pulling out all the stops with 10+ chefs and farms/food purveyors, including Thomas Perone (Joseph Catering), Will Horowitz of Ducks Eatery, Chef Jessica Wilson with High Point Farms (Trumansburg, NY), Chef Joe Dobias, Murray’s Cheese, Sam Ullman with Hudson Valley Harvest (NY State grass fed beef), Chef Emma Feigenbaum, Eric Johnson aka Mr. Bobo, Chef Robbie Richter, John Brown Smokehouse, The KitchenNYC’s Patrick Connolly, and additional co-host Jimmy’s No. 43. More chefs TBA.
Co-hosts, Gastropolis editor Annie Hauck and Food Network Kitchen’s Jake Schiffman, will help add a new special feature to this year’s event: artisanal spirits tastings curated byModern Distillery Age. Plans are to have 5-6 local artisanal spirits, including Catskills Peace Vodka, Square One Organic Spirits, Dutch’s Spirits, Finger Lakes Distilling, Tuthilltown Spirits, Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery, and LiV – Long Island Spirits. Wine, craft beer and a cash bar will be available.
Of special note, “Brisket King of NYC” has attracted some of the top food authorities to serve as judges that will include Charles Granquist (Food Network special events), Cricket Azima (a judge at last year’s event), four-time James Beard Award winner Rozanne Gold, Mark Russ Federman of Russ and Daughters, Joe Distefano (a.k.a. Joey Deckle), Rev. Ciancio from Idle Hands Bar/BurgerConquest.com, Robin Maii (chef/professor at Kingsborough Community College’s culinary department), Chef Paul Denamiel (Le Rivage), and Peter Kaminsky (author of Culinary Intelligence: The Art of Eating Healthy [And Really Well]).
Winning chefs will get prizes courtesy of Anolon Nouvelle, Wüsthof and Microplane based on both the Judges’ decisions and People’s Choice awards.
The event runs from 6:30-10 p.m. and will include special Catskill Peace Vodka cocktails (a CPV Pickleback Martini Shot and a CPV “Bullshot” made with brisket juice from the event). A portion of the proceeds benefits New Amsterdam Market.
While we could’ve sauntered around the room, causally taking our time to try all the purveyor’s samples, we practically raced around the room, devouring bites as quickly as we could get them into our hands. It was as thought we thought we weren’t going to be able to try each or, either that or a very hungry Englishman by the name of The Big P.A. was too excited and too hungry to take it easy. As it turns out, we did actually miss out on a couple bites due to samples running out, demand and a disappearing fork situation.
John Brown’s Smokehouse
– Burnt ends with foie gras and tangy coleslaw
Ducks Eatery – Chef Will Horowitz
– Bubby’s oak-smoked brisket with papaya salad
Jimmy’s No. 43 – Chef Jessica Wilson
– Beer-braised brisket with roasted grape chimichurri
Murray’s Cheese Shop
– Brisket with Raclette on Bread
Thomas Perone – Thomas Joseph Catering
– Brisket on Polenta
– Brisket sub with pickled onions and peppercorn may
Patrick Connolly – The Kitchen NYC
– Worchestershire-braised brisket with horseradish on bread
– Shabu Shabu
Emma Feigenbaum – Bristrami Boudain
– Panko-crusted brisket meatball with a sharp mustard aioli
John Brown’s Smokehouse – The most brisketly appropriate dish in the competition.
Murray’s Cheese Shop – The brisket itself, braised with red wine & lamb stock was pretty damn good but what had me coming back for 2nds & 3rds was the deliciously stinky raclette cheese.
Duck’s Eatery/Chef Will Horowitz – The savory brisket when paired up against the sweet crunchy salad made this my favorite dish of the night.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS:
People’s Choice 1st Place – Chef Andrew Gottlieb
People’s Choice 2nd Place – John Brown Smokehouse
People’s Choice 3rd Place – Murray’s Cheese
Best dish by a host: Chef Jessica Wilson cooking for Jimmy’s No. 43
Best interpretation of brisket: Joe Dough
Best deep-fried brisket: Chef Emma Feignebaum
Best student of Tom Deutsche: Chef Thomas Perone
Best reinvention of a condiment: Chef Patrick Connolly
Best brisket on a bun: Mr. Bobo’s
Best brisket not cooked sous-vide: Chef Sam Ullman
Best use of all parts of the cow: Murray’s Cheese
Best flavor condiment round-up south of the border: Andrew Gottlieb
Judges’ 1st Place – John Brown Smokehouse
Judges’ 2nd Place – Duck’s Eatery/Chef Will Horowitz
Judges’ 3rd Place – Robbie Richter
Everything we had, from the Brisket, to the liquors, beers & cocktails was fantastic. Not a lack of flavor or quality in the whole room. The event itself was a blast and even though it was quite packed, there was never more than a 5 minute wait for food & drinks. Kudos to everyone involved for throwing a tasting & fun event. The world’s #1 Steak Club approves!
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