Eating healthier and following an organic lifestyle was on everyone’s mind who attended Rodale's Organic Life's first annual Farm2Fork Festival, sponsored by Subaru. Encompassing two days in Williamsburg, the festival included three eating and learning events, Bites of Brooklyn, Slow Down Dinner and Farm Feast Brunch. Showcasing local ingredients that are good for the planet and for us, Farm2Fork called Brooklyn home because it is the epicenter of the farm to table movement.
Gabe McMackin, executive chef and owner of the Michelin-rated The Finch, offered tastings of his restaurant’s farm to table menu. “We are serving a lightly smoked attic char with honey squash, honey crisp apple, and a little burnt crisp charred skin,” McMackin said. “We will also be doing a cooking demo, serving porridge with mixed green and mushrooms and tasting for the people.”
McMackin opened The Finch in December 2014 and strives to the offer organic farm to table food for patrons. “Working at restaurants when I was 17 was a challenge, but I feel in love with cooking,” he said. “I tried to find food that gave me involvement and I wound back in the restaurant with all its energy.”
While attending the festival, people were able to learn about the different types of seasonal ingredients and how to properly use them in cook and tasting some of the dishes. “It is a fantastic approach bringing food, agriculture and the community together,” McMackin said. “It’s a mission that’s close to my heart, celebrating a meal, what you grow and celebrating family.”
McMackin was in good company with other Brooklyn eateries that follow the same mission, including Allswell, Bar Bolinas, Delaware and Hudson, Egg, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co., Luckybird Bakery, The Pines and its sister restaurant Willow, and Ted & Honey.
“It was beyond fabulous to see so many people come out to our first Farm2Fork Festival this weekend,” James Oseland, editor in chief of Rodale’s Organic Life, said. “It was great to feel the crowd’s love, enthusiasm, and energy for our new brand and its mission. We’re already hard at work dreaming up new ideas for future events and are very excited about the possibilities.”
Whether people attended Bites of Brooklyn, the Slow Down Dinner, or the Farm Feast Brunch, their food rapture was expanded by the different dishes each restaurant offered. “I was excited to make great food for everyone that walks through the door,” McMackin said.
Bites of BK: Adam Geringer-Dun
Chef Adam Geringer-Dun from Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. did a cooking demonstration for the crowd that attended the Bites of Brooklyn.
Bites of BK: Allswell Food
Allswell, a seasonally rustic American gastropub in Williamsburg, served lettuce wedges with meat during Bites of Brooklyn
Bites of BK: Gabe McMackin
Gabe McMackin of The Finch demonstrated using seasonal ingredients in porridge for the attendees on Saturday.
Bites of BK: Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.
Attendees enjoyed eating fresh oysters from Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. at Bites of Brooklyn
Bites of BK: John Poiarkoff
John Poiarkoff, executive chef at The Pines, lead a cooking demonstration for guests that focused on incorporating seasonal ingredients in some of his signature dishes, including pasta and cured meats.
Bites of BK: Luckybird Bakery
Sweet tooths were satisfied by treats from Luckybird Bakery, which offered hand crafted delicious berry pies, chocolate chunk brownies, brown butter blondies, mini bespoke cakes, and walnut brittle.
Farm Feast Brunch
Slow Down Dinner
Guests at the Slow Down Dinner had delicious meal that included, roasted grape crostini, sweet tea and honey brined chicken, pan seared branzino, and apple bourbon cake. Food lovers packed the Williamsburg warehouse to enjoy an evening of live music and farm-to-table food courtesy of Andrew Tarlow, owner of Diner.