Star Chefs Congress Day II

The theme for day two Eat@ICC focused on food made with freshly milled grains.  My first bite was a traditional take on the grain theme from local duo Jake Novick Finder and Maria Espina of Gristmill in Brooklyn with these warm flaky Garlic Knots topped with Everything Butter or Cacio e Pepe.  

Steve Santana from Taquiza in Miami Beach took a different spin on the theme creating Tamal en Cazuela. This was wonderful. The texture was surprisingly soft with the spicy, rich flavor of blood sausage and white olotillo offset by the fresh herbs.

My favorite of  the Mill Master theme had to be these amazing Buckwheat Crullers with goat milk custard, blackberry compote and honey miso butterscotch from Melissa Denmark of Gracie's in Providence, Rhode Island.

The inside was eggy like a cannale perfect for soaking in the miso butterscotch with a caramelized outer shell. This was so incredible I went back for seconds then thirds...quite possibly the best dessert I've had all year. 

Trevin Hutchins was shaking up some creamy cocktails from Tempo Dulu in Portland Maine like this delicious Sumatran Milk Punch...

...while next door Nicolas Torres from Lazy Bear was crafting up the Bye Bye Burner, a wonderfully light herbaceous drink made with Dewars, Aperol, Curacao and rosemary syrup.

I mentioned earlier that Fossil Farms always brings something big to the Products Fair table and this year the Whole Roasted Alligator was definitely the "big" ticket item.  This was a brash, hearty sandwich stuffed with smoked meat, sweet BBQ sauce and slices of spicy jalapenos.  

On the more delicate side Chef Ryan Pollnow of Aatxe in San Franciso showcased a delightful dish entitled Mahon "Hot & Cold, Young & Old" with aged Mahon cheese custard layered inside an eggshell with Cabell D'angel and whipped young Mahon cheese on top.

The afternoon was filled with some great seminars including Eric Kayser of the Maison Kayser empire, confectionery wizard Antonio Bachour and a blind tasting with Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer.

At night the event space turned into a lively bar scene for the Congress Cocktail where bartenders from across the globe mix up their favorite drinks along with some incredible food.

Two of my favorites came from local spots; a frothy Espresso Martini from Giuseppe Gonzalez at Suffolk Arms and a tropical pisco drink the Mom's Poison from Alex Valencia of La Contenta.

Another fantastic Congress Cocktail and a great reminder of the incredible talent we have right here in NYC. 

Brooklyn Expo Center
72 Noble Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222