BBQ Block Party
Forget burgers and hotdogs and get ready, New Yorkers, for real barbeque. The fifth annual Big Apple Barbeque Block Party is happening June 9-10 to celebrate the best of American food and music. Indulge in the pit barbecue by munching on pork shoulders, ribs and beef brisket while enjoying live blues, jazz and bluegrass music. The block party was created by Danny Meyer and Kenny Callaghan, of Blue Smoke restaurant in Manhattan, to educate New Yorkers on the regional styles of styles of barbeque.
“We knew we were onto something when, five years ago, it rained for two days and we still had 5,000 people a day [at the event],” Callaghan, Blue Smoke’s executive chef, said. “Ten thousand New Yorkers rolled out in the rain to eat this barbeque. Last year, 120,000 people showed up.” If you want to get in on the barbequing action, there are several seminars and workshops to participate in during the block party. Steven Raichlen, the author of the “Barbeque Bible” and host of “Barbeque University” on PBS, will demonstrate barbecue recipes from around the world. Other seminars teach you to make your own meat rub and investigate what countries many of our “traditional” American food have come from. “People love their barbeque,” Callaghan said in a statement. “It’s something they’re very passionate about.” bigapplebbq.org or call 646-747-7191.—Jovana Rizzo
Frozen yogurt vendor Pinkberry is rumored to be opening a fourth Manhattan store. New Yorkers commune with everything fat-free, low-fat and organic, so it’s no surprise that the Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt is warmly welcomed as a palatable frosty treat. What is Pinkberry? “It’s just a brand. It’s not actually a berry,” said store employees when asked by customers slurping fruity Pinkberry smoothies. But, Pinkberry does boast a “pure and honest frozen yogurt without additives or excess sugar,” denying rumors that its product is a combined mixture of powder and water. Pinkberry serves original and green tea-flavored frozen yogurt, at 25 calories and zero grams of fat per serving, along with a choice assortment of fresh fruit, candy and sugar cereal toppings. Tasti D·lite, Jamba Juice, and now Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt stores have sunk their bright pink swirl logo into the city’s sidewalks.—Melissa Swinea
Rumor has it that Michael Schulson, executive chef at the ultra-chic Asian fusion restaurant, Buddakan, will be resigning to star in his own show on the E!Style network.
Schulson, who at one point studied at the renowned Chang Mai Cooking School in Thailand and spent seven months at the Four Seasons Tokyo, has a long history of working with Stephen Starr. He first worked at Buddakan in Philadelphia, then transferred to Pod, which is also a modern Asian eatery located on the University of Pennsylvania campus. He had been serving as executive chef at Buddakan NYC, which is located in the trendy Meatpacking District, since its opening in February 2006.
Buddakan, which originally started in Philadelphia, is among Starr’s expanding empire of hip bistros offering a variety of cuisine including Cuban, Mexican, American, Japanese, and Pan-Asian. His venues are spread out all over Philadelphia, New York, and Atlantic City.
Sources say that although Schulson won’t be cooking in the kitchen anymore, he will continue to play a small role as advisor on the opening of new Starr eateries. He will also briefly assist Lon Symensma, who had previously worked at Jean Georges and Spice Market, to ease his transition.—Jessica Wang
Guide to Katz’s
You know about Katz’s Deli on Houston Street, recently one-starred by The Times. A recent discussion on the food message board Chowhound.com offered tips on how to get the most out of the famous sandwich shop. Almost everyone agreed that, “Obviously pastrami is THE sandwich to get at Katz’s,” wrote a user called Curiousgeo. Katz customers’ pastrami obsession aside, the deli also offers a variety of other food, including soups (User Kanger gave the matzoh ball soup a “shout out” on Chowhound), salads, hotdogs and hot and cold sandwiches. “You mean they actually have meat there besides pastrami?” wrote ESNY on Chowhound. Yes! “Katz’s knoblewurst is excellent!” wrote RGR, talking about the deli’s garlic sausage sandwich. Katz Deli is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and even stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays, until 2:45 a.m., for late night snacks. “Just reading this makes my mouth water,” wrote Ricky7. “Their pastrami is so freaking great.” katzdeli.com—J.R.