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Following last year’s success, the Nordic Food Festival NORTH is returning to New York for the week of September 12 to 20, bringing exclusive Nordic dinners and cooking classes to the city. Arranged by the online culinary magazine Honest Cooking, the festival will be even bigger than before, with over 25 participating chefs and new events, including a nightly changing pop-up restaurant and a Nordic Street Food Festival. The prestigious list of chefs who will be showcasing the best of Nordic cuisine include Frida Ronge of vRÅ in Gothenburg, Sweden and Sasu Laukkonen of Chef & Sommelier in Helsinki, Finland, as well as New York based Fredrik Berselius of Aska and Mads Refslund of ACME.
Like last year, participants of the festival will be able to choose from a wide selection of cooking classes and dinners, for which tickets are sold separately. Held at the International Culinary Center, cooking classes include anything from “Nordic Grandma Cooking” with chef Sasu Laukkonen, learning Maria Östberg of FIKA’s secrets to making perfect Swedish cinnamon buns, to more unusual themes, like learning how use your own foraged vegetables and herbs in chef Sami Tällberg’s “Wild Finnish Cuisine” class.
Nordic dinners — from sustainable Norwegian seafood to Swedish chocolate and coffee pairings — will all be held at the brand new North pop-up shop, located in The Old Bowery Station in lower Manhattan, while the other new component for 2014, the Nordic Street Food Festival, is hosted at the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Free and open to public (with the option to buy food and drink tokens), the Street Food Festival will take place September 14 and 15, giving New Yorkers a chance to mingle and pair small bites of Nordic cuisine with Brooklyn Brewery beer. The second day of the festivities is dedicated to a unique all-Nordic hot dog competition, in which chefs will battle it out for the title of best Nordic hot dog — a concept that may seem incongruous, but hot dogs are more Nordic than one may think.
“All Nordic countries have their own unique versions of hot dogs, and the past few years we have seen the gourmet hot dog trend blow up in the region,” Kalle Bergman, editor-in-chief at Honest Cooking, said in a press release. “Now we want to crown the best — prepared by superstar Nordic chefs — and since New York is the quintessential hot dog city, we think it is only right that we host the first ever Nordic Hot Dog Championships right here on neutral grounds.”
For more information and tickets to the events, visit the NORTH Food Festival webpage.
New York won’t require masks or social distancing for fully vaccinated people starting WednesdayAP
New York will adopt the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to not require masks or social distancing for vaccinated people beginning Wednesday, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Unvaccinated people should still wear masks, and masks will still be required of all people on public transit, in schools and some communal settings, Cuomo said at a news conference. The outdoor dining curfew ended Monday, most capacity guidelines will end Wednesday and the indoor food and beverage curfew will be lifted May 31, but private venues may continue to implement stricter Covid-19 restrictions.
The announcement from Cuomo comes on the heels of new CDC guidance released last week that people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances. The updated guidance also says people still need to wear masks if they’re unvaccinated, including people younger than 12. In turn, many states have sought to begin reopening as more people are vaccinated.
Last week California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced an effective end to the state’s mask mandate when California fully reopens next month, and Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that her state — which recently battled a surge in coronavirus cases — would lift its mask requirement for fully vaccinated people over the weekend.
Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday that fully vaccinated people in the nation’s capital no longer need to wear masks in most situations, with some limited exceptions including schools and health care facilities.
New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, meanwhile, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” Monday that his state is “just not ready” to adopt the new guidance.
“We’ve been clobbered not once, but twice. We’ve lost over 26,000 people. We know the virus is more lethal indoors. And you’re asking somebody who is at the hardware store working there, or in a retail or a grocery store, to make the judgment on who is vaccinated and who is not. We’re not there yet. We’re close,” he said.
Democratic Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, who rescinded his city’s most recent emergency Covid-19 order in light of the new CDC guidance, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “OutFront” that “we were caught off guard.”
“Our goal all along has been to align ourselves with the CDC, we are in a red state in a red region,” Lucas said Monday. “We want to say, it’s the science, it’s medical experts who are really helping us make our decisions. When you see this sort of shift, particularly one that doesn’t really align with how enforcement is done, it creates a challenge for us.”
Cuomo said Monday that 52% of adult New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated, adding that the statewide positivity rate is 1.26% and there are 1,581 Covid-19 hospitalizations statewide. New York recorded 11 fatalities related to the virus Sunday, the lowest single-day count since October 30, he said.
New York venues expand in-person event capacity
“The whole point of this CDC’s change, the whole point of our change, is to say to people, there are benefits to being vaccinated,” Cuomo told reporters.
James Dolan, the CEO of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., said the venue will “favor the vaccinated” for events like the upcoming New York Knicks games. Dolan said the organization has not yet sorted out vaccination verification for venue entry.
Cuomo told reporters he’s encouraging private venues to permit more capacity for vaccinated people over unvaccinated attendees.
“Private venues, I encourage them to have a high percentage available for vaccinated people,” he said. “Radio City is going to be 100%, I encourage that, because that’s an incentive to get vaccinated.”
Radio City Music Hall will be at 100% capacity with no social distancing or masks, permitting only vaccinated attendees for the closing event of the Tribeca Film Festival on June 19, Cuomo said.
The film festival will host in-person events throughout New York City in June, Cuomo announced. It will be the first in-person festival to take place in North America since the pandemic, Tribeca Film Festival cofounder Jane Rosenthal said at the news conference.
The New York City Marathon is scheduled for November 7 with 33,000 runners, which is 60% of capacity, the governor announced, noting that race capacity and safety protocols could change before the event depending on the pandemic status.
Multicultural Festival returns in a new, limited way this month
Over the last few years, Aurora’s Multicultural Festival has become a late summer staple – and the family-favourite is set to return to Town Park once again this month, but in a very different way.
This year, due to public health restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Multicultural Festival will be a mixture of in-person and virtual performances, representing the cultures of Brazil, Spain, Italy, and Hawaii.
In-person performances, limited to 100 people, will take place Saturday, September 12 and Saturday, September 19, with two performances each day from 9 a.m. to 10.15 a.m. and a repeat performance from 11.15 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. While they take place at the same time each week, the September 12 and 19 performances will offer something different.
Performances will also stream virtually via the Town’s social media channels.
“We have always found the cultural groups so mesmerizing and vibrant,” says Shelley Ware, Special Events Coordinator for the Town of Aurora. “Clearly, it is not something most of us are exposed to on a frequent basis, so that is why it is so captivating.
“New this year, because we know with the successful Multicultural Festivals, there is always rhythm and there is always food although sampling food and those types of culinary experiences aren’t really possible this year, we have gone to great effort to team up with a variety of chefs, who will be putting together a variety of dishes, all online, step by step, for the entire week. We have designed a menu so families can cook together every evening, try a different dish, and try a different favour.”
In the lead-up to the Multicultural Festival, the Town will release a list of ingredients so residents will have everything they need to taste the world – including such staples as risotto and paella.
“When we started working on the Multicultural Festival, it was back in May and we were still in Stage 1 then and it was very hard to look forward with enthusiasm,” says Ms. Ware. “But it was so important to come up with a dynamic program that was safe and accessible.”
In some ways, the Town’s Concerts in the Park summer series has been a litmus test. As will be the case with the Multicultural Festival, space at Town Park for revellers is limited to 100 but hundreds will be able to experience the performances virtually.
“We have been averaging over 1,700 viewers with our concerts, so I am hoping with these cultural performances, which we didn’t do virtually before, people can actually see them again and again,” says Ms. Ware. “I remember last year specifically seeing the Egyptian dancers, I had never seen this type of dancing before it was indescribable how beautiful it was and, with regret, it wasn’t livestreamed. This year, you have the ability to see it over and over.
“I am grateful we’re in Stage 3 and it has been able to come together in this format, but the part I am really excited about is the at-home virtual experiences. I think a lot of people in this industry it has been a natural pivot to go virtual, but what does virtual mean? It has always been in the forefront of our minds to ensure that our virtual offerings are the best they can be because we don’t want people developing virtual fatigue. We want you to know in Aurora that when we say ‘virtual’ you know it is quality. We are hoping that the different chefs cooking in different kitchens with different recipes, making it possible [to bring in a new] experience we wouldn’t have been able to have in our previous format. I’m also hoping it will stay with us for years to come and these efforts weren’t for a one-time flash in the pan. Hopefully it is going to strengthen our programming from here on out.”
The performances set to be captured virtually won’t be the only elements of the 2020 Multicultural Festival that will live on for years to come Ms. Ware says she hopes the online cooking demonstrations will inspire people in the community to share their recipes towards the creation of a community cookbook.
“As residents send in recipes, they are sending in the flavour they want to showcase and we’re hoping that as recipes come in we’re able to curate and put it into a package you can literally print from our webpage,” she says. “Maybe it is a recipe you never heard of but seems easy enough that you want to try, but we’re giving the community and opportunity to share their specific culture directly.
Northside Festival Returns With New Twists
Northside Festival, organized by The L Magazine, is back again, delivering four nights and three days worth of constant entertainment all over Greenpoint and Williamsburg. This year the event, which kicks off tomorrow, has some new bells and whistles.
Spread across more than 25 venues, 270 bands play at shows for which fans can purchase individual tickets, or acquire a badge for about $60 that grants access to all the shows--provided there's room. (The badges are sold out as of this morning, alas.) The festival also includes a weekend of film and art, including a new "do-it-yourself" festival, a competitive showcase for shorts and features screened before Brooklyn celebrities and established directors. Winners get their films shown at an exclusive Northside Rooftop Films screening, as well as other prizes.
Also for the first time this year, Northside is hosting "Ideas Festival," a collection of panel discussions on an assortment of issues, including creative community building.
But, of course, the big draw is the music, and here's a guide to whom you should check out:
New for 2018
Celebrity Chef William Cornelius will prepare recipes using his own sauces, local foods and craft beverages. Marcella’s Appliance Center will be demonstrating their Big Green Egg grill by smoking meats in the adjacent culinary tent and offering tastes. Local bartenders will demonstrate their mixology skills creating drinks with wines and liquors available at the festival.
The Festival has added a new class of tickets. VIP ticket holders will enjoy these perks:
- 1/2 hour early entry
- Exclusive check-in area
- 6 Bottle reusable Wine Tote
- Wine Glass Holder Necklace
- Wine Glass VinoHug
- Voucher to enjoy one Featured Item at participating Food Trucks ($4 value)
- Lake George Coupon Booklet
- Bottle of Lake George Premium Brand Water
Kids are welcome
While adult beverages are the focus, this is a kid-friendly event. A special Kid Activity Tent offers arts and craft projects and games for children. Children may also play at the Festival Commons Children’s Adventure Playground. Admission to the festival is free for ages 15 and younger.
Chef William will be demonstrating recipe preparation using his own sauces and local ingredients. A Kid Activity Tent offers coloring, craft projects and games for children.
The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival returns to New York this month
The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival returns this year from October 11th – 18th with screenings at Nitehawk Cinema, Syndicated, LIU Kumble Theatre, Videology, and the Wythe Hotel Cinema.
This year they’re once again presenting a slew of locally-made shorts, this time called Home Invasion. The following films are all from Williamsburg residents.
THE INVADERS – Producer Caroline Radigan lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
LUCY’S TALE – Members of film crew lives in Williamsburg.
ABEYANCE – Director Charles Irving Beale lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
THE WOODS – Director Robbie Lemieux lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
THE INVADERS – Producer Caroline Radigan lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Other highlights below. You can check out the full schedule at brooklynhorrorfest.com
OPENING NIGHT FILM
NEW YORK PREMIERE OF KNIFE + HEART
Known for productions like ANAL FURY and HOMOCIDAL, successful gay porn producer Anne (Vanessa Paradis) takes her skin flicks as seriously as the most greatness-minded auteur would his or her own prestige dramas. But Anne isn’t the only one who’s infatuated with her company’s films—one by one, and in an exceedingly brutal fashion, someone is butchering Anne’s actors. As she tracks down the killer, Anne begins recreating the murders as part of an elaborate new project, all while losing track of what’s real, who’s dead, and who’s next on the chopping block.
Shot on 35mm and featuring a killer retro score from M83, Yann Gonzalez’s KNIFE + HEART is an ultra-stylish and blood-soaked ode to ’70s-era De Palma, Argento, and Friedkin. The kills are impeccably staged and gruesome, the performances are campy and spot-on, and the whodunit twists are relentless. Take note, slasher and giallo fans: This will be your new obsession. —Matt Barone
EAST COAST PREMIERE
CENTERPIECE FILM – STARFISH
Stricken with grief, Aubrey is having a difficult time coping with the death of her best friend, Grace. To combat the overwhelming sadness, she breaks into Grace’s apartment and quietly picks up where her late friend left off, caring for her pets and using her possessions, not to mention sleeping in her bed. The next morning, though, everything’s changed. The streets outside are desolate, fires engulf the city, and people are being attacked by something inhuman. There’s only one person who can potentially save the world: Aubrey, thanks to clues found on mixtapes left by Grace.
An endlessly creative gambit that fuses multiple genres, including cosmic horror, director A.T. White’s STARFISH is one of the most ambitious feature debuts in years. It’s also one of the year’s best films, an emotionally potent, frequently terrifying, and wholly disorienting mash-up of a film that plays like ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND as remixed by H.P. Lovecraft. —Matt Barone
Within the slasher movie canon, there are the indisputable giants: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers. But what about Marvelous Mervo? Sure, he’s not the omniprescent icon that those other homicidal maniacs are, but there’s something to be said about a madman who’s played by eccentric ’80s music star Tiny Tim dressed like a clown and who leaves victims’ bodies hanging upside down in a barn like cattle.
If that sounds weird enough on its own, just wait until you experience the entirety of BLOOD HARVEST, one of the strangest ’80s slasher movies you’ll ever see. BHFF is thrilled to host the world premiere of a newly restored print of director Bill Rebane’s unnerving and often uncomfortably hilarious oddity, courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome. Full of gnarly kills, Tiny Tim’s signature brand of weirdness, and relentless unpredictability, BLOOD HARVEST is ripe for watch-it-with-a-rowdy-crowd rediscovery. —Matt Barone
Dessert Goals festival returns to New York this weekend
A popular festival celebrating desserts is back in New York City for two sugar-filled days. Dessert Goals returns for the sixth time to the Big Apple on March 23-24 at Sound River Studios in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens.
The theme for this spring season’s event is “Party Animal Edition,” with colorful party vibes with animal flair. Attendees are encouraged to dress up to match the theme, and there will be animal-themed desserts and décor. The last time slot on Sunday, March 24 will be dog-friendly and hosted by canine Instagram celebs @puppynamedcharlie and Sawyer.
Vendor from all over the area will be in attendance with desserts available for purchase. Among the vendors are:
- Baked – cheesecake bars on a stick
- Baked In Color – cookies and brownies with swirls of color
- Bonchou – mini éclaires
- Eight Turn Crepe – crepes with extra Nutella and whipped cream
- Matcha n' More – matcha soft serve and lattes
- Moon Man – Southeast Asian desserts such as pandan steamed cakes and coconut pancakes
- Posh Pretzels – chocolate covered pretzels
- Rebecca's Cake Pops – Instagrammable cake pops
- Spoonable Spirits – booze-infused puddings
- Stache of Goods – adorable macarons
- Stax – donuts cut in half and topped with ice cream and toppings
General admission tickets to Dessert Goals give guests access for 1.5 hours, and Extra Sugar Rush tickets provide 30 extra minutes of dessert indulgence and a gift bag filled with a sweet surprise. Guests will have access to all of the dessert vendors, a candy bar with free candy from Red Vines and Sour Punch, complimentary beverages from Bodum, Boxed Water, and Harmless Harvest, a savory Salt Bar to cleanse the palate, an Instagram Garden designed specifically for dessert photos, and more sweet surprises.
Nigella Lawson returns for new BBC2 series: Cook, Eat, Repeat
Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.
Nigella Lawson is set to return with a fresh selection of mouth-watering recipes in her new six-part BBC2 series, Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat.
During the series, Nigella will spend time explaining where she finds inspiration for her recipes, from delving into her collection of vintage cookbooks to exchanges of ideas on social media.
“More than just a mantra, cook, eat, repeat is the story of my life,” says Nigella.
Her latest dishes include the indulgent chocolate peanut butter cake and the life-affirming fear free fish stew.
The show coincides with the release of her new book, by the same title, published by Chatto and Windus on 29 October.
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The Edible Garden returns to New York
Throughout the summer and into autumn, The New York Botanical Garden presents The Edible Garden, an exhibition about growing and preparing good food. Set across the 250-acre Botanical Garden landscape from June 19 through October 17, 2010, the exhibition celebrates locally grown, seasonal food through demonstrations from food and gardening experts every day appearances by Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Daisy Martinez, Dan Barber, Sara Moulton, and others during four festival weekends and programs that demonstrate the bounty, economy, and nutritional value of edible plants. Featuring four spectacular kitchen gardens and cooking demonstrations every day, The Edible Garden teaches visitors how to grow the best food at home.
Proceeds benefit the Children's Gardening program.
Celebrity chefs narrate The Edible Garden Audio Tour through which visitors can discover where their food comes from and how it gets to their table. Listeners can also receive text messages with nutritional information, recipes, tips, and facts about growing food. The Audio Tour is sponsored by Bloomberg and accessible by cell phone.
Four festival weekends during The Edible Garden offer visitors the chance to discover the origins of food and learn about the plants and plant parts that they eat every day. The Edible Garden launches with Get Out and Grill, a summer grilling opening weekend on June 19 and 20, just in time for Father's Day that Sunday. Celebrity chefs provide healthy cooking demonstrations in the Conservatory Kitchen featuring gourmet cookware and other kitchenware from Anolon, a major sponsor, and state-of-the-art, outdoor kitchen equipment provided by Viking Range Corp. Food prepared in the Conservatory Kitchen is provided by Whole Foods Market. Visitors can also sample a selection of food and beverage products from vendors at the Tasting Terrace and learn about Garden scientists' research projects involving edible plants at Cafe Scientifique. Macy's is the supporting sponsor of the Tasting Terrace.
Additional festival weekends are scheduled for Fiesta de Flores y Comida, a celebration of Latin American and Caribbean food and flowers, on September 25 and 26 Family Harvest (Columbus Day Weekend), on October 9, 10, and 11 and the Fall Finale, October 16 and 17.
Each weekend during the four months of The Edible Garden feature cooking demonstrations by chefs such as Keith Snow and food blogger Cathy Erway with special themes based on seasonal ingredients. Rick Bayless and Peter Hoffman make a special appearance on September 12.
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