CULINARY-OCCASIONS

FIRST COURSE
Weekend Pick: Hester Street Fair

You know what the hardest part is about these longer and increasingly warmer Spring days? Finding things to do outside so you can actually enjoy yourself. Not to worry though, because we've got three words to solve all of your weekend plan problems: Hester Street Fair. Starting this Saturday and Sunday, the Hester Street Fair kicks off its fifth year as THE weekly outdoor bazaar of the Lower East Side.

FIRST COURSE
Weekend Pick: Five Boro Craft Beer Fest

If you thought you got your fill of craft beer at New York Craft Beer Week, think again. The Five Boro Craft Beer Fest is quickly approaching, and all you brew-heads (especially the locavores among you) should take notice.

What’s The Five Boro Craft Beer Fest, you might ask? In essence, it’s a celebration of the five boroughs’ sudsy bounty. Thirty-three breweries from Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and The Bronx will be gathering together to display their beautiful wares, alongside paired snacks from five awesome local eateries (namely, Bill’s Balls, Brooklyn Wok Shop, Asiadog, Bite Size Kitchen, and BeeHive Oven.)

FIRST COURSE
The Culinary Clash of 2014

On one of the first few gorgeous days of the spring season, we had the pleasure of being offered a place at the table to judge a country wide, competitive search for the most innovative and committed of today’s culinary students hailing from the Culinary Institute of America. Part cooking competition and part scholarship fundraiser, the Culinary Clash invited students to submit a three-course menu with corresponding recipes for the opportunity to cook with Chef Todd English. Finalists Brad Lancaster and Nathan Buckley were the selected students contending for top recognition in the InterContinental New York Times Square Culinary Clash.

FIRST COURSE
David Lebovitz Brings A Taste Of Paris To New York

In honor of his new book, My Paris Kitchen, Lebovitz will be sharing stories of his ex-pat French life during a food talk at the 92Y, revealing the beauty, joys, quirks, and trials of living—and cooking—in the culinary capital of the world. These stories, as well as 100 sweet and savory recipes reflecting the way modern-day Parisians eat, are all included in the new book.

FIRST COURSE
ALL-AMERICAN DINER : !A POP-UP!

For one weekend only, Alex Mitow, the mastermind behind Los Perros Locos, brings you the All-American Diner: !A Pop Up!. Offering affordable, lively dinner parties this four day extravaganza promises to take one of NYC’s most unassuming venues, the now defunct Noah’s Ark, and turn it into an “over-the-top underground performance art, music, and culinary space.” Take part in a Debaucherous DISCO Diner Dinner, featuring Andrew Andrew and the Azucar DJs, or enjoy a Pan-Latin Night hosted by Dominican Hipsters, the Dip-Sters crew, and an S&M Sunday Gravy; whichever night you chose will be alive with food and fun.

Best Easter Eats in Boston

The stress of cooking a full course meal for your family and friends can be overwhelming, especially on Easter Sunday. Luckily, many restaurants in Boston keep their doors open to serve the public tasty plates, just like your grandmother would make. Special menus from the different neighborhoods of Boston are cultivating new appetizing dishes making your Easter the best one yet. Here are a few that caught our attention in the Boston area.

Beehive (541 Tremont St)

FIRST COURSE
All That You Missed at Taste of Fifth

In an increasingly alienated, gentrified city, real community events are becoming harder to come by. This past Wednesday, though, we came upon that rare beast: a real community event that managed to be both fun and authentic.

Taste of Fifth brought together 40 restaurants from Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue at the iconic Grand Prospect Hall. A gigantic gold-gilted, ornately decorated hall housed a totally sold-out crowd, and as soon as you walked through the doors you recognized the familiar, communal air of the event. A jazz band from local school MS51 played on a raised stage, and Brooklynites young and old milled around and chatted amiably.

FIRST COURSE A dish from last year's Queens Taste.
Prepare Your Tastebuds for Queens Taste

If you’ve looked outside recently, you already know that spring has sprung (fingers crossed, no jinxes), and with the blooms on the trees and the warming weather, a number of food festivals celebrating the best of NYC are also fast approaching.

One of the most exciting among them is Queens Taste, the Queens Economic Development Corporation/Queens Tourism Council’s annual foodie blowout. Queens, the largest of the five boroughs, is also one of the most diverse, and Queens Taste exists to highlight what that diversity lends to the Queens culinary scene. In honor of the event’s 11th anniversary and the globe-spanning nature of Queens’ many communities, this year’s theme is the World’s Fair. That means World Fair memorabilia, decorations, and guest veterans of the 1964 World Fair, which took place in Q-Town itself.

FIRST COURSE
Belgian Chocolatiers Teach the Art of Easter Eggs Decorating

All next week, the Belgian chocolatiers at Neuhaus will teach classes on how to best decorate and enjoy chocolate eggs. And all this time you never realized you were doing it wrong! Neuhaus will provide each guest with a hand-made chocolate egg, which they can decorate with gianduja, a luxury hazelnut paste, and fill with one of Neuhaus' famous pralines, including black currant, coffee, and fleur de sel.

Guests will also be invited to learn about the history of Neuhaus, and then taste some of their best-selling chocolates. Bubbly will also be provided to wash down the delectables. Those who fall in love with the products can also pick up their many Easter-themed packages at a discount.




What: Egg Decorating at Neuhaus

When: Wednesday, April 16th, Thursday, April 17th, and Friday, April 18th from 7-9pm, and Saturday, April 19th from 12-2pm

Where: Neuhaus, 500 Madison Ave., New York, NY

FIRST COURSE
NYC's Best Easter Eats


Toqueville, the Union Square restaurant that focuses on greenmarket fresh ingredients, has a three-course prix-fixe brunch for $68. The menu has a wide variety of dishes in modern preparations with superb ingredients, and it includes such diverse options as grits, sashimi and guinea hen.

1 E 15th St., New York, NY