Archive for the 'events' Category

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Events: Tomorrow (Tuesday) – MSG on Diets; Saturday – Dutch Sweet Eats

The Masters of Social Gastronomy Cut the Fat
@ Public Assembly, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
FREE (but please RSVP here so we bring enough samples)

For every supposedly innovative weight loss fad, there is a century-old counterpart. From low-carb diets to extreme mastication,calorie counting to calisthenics, Sarah will reveal the radicals and pseudo-scientists that invented America’s favorite dieting trends.

Soma will pull back the curtain on the dieting industry, from the shadowy producers of diet pillsto our dear frozen friends at Healthy Choice. See what happens when Budweiser battles South Beach, and how marketing muscle can be found in an IBM computer from the 60′s. Featuring kickbacks, intrigue and many many cigarettes.

At Storytime, we’ll figure out whether tapeworm diets, negative calories and other crazy ideas are fact or fiction?



Saturday, December 1st 2-4 pm
The New York Historical Society
RSVP required at; $10 materials fee

Dutch families in New Amsterdam were known for their delicious holiday confections—can you imagine all the good smells that would have come out of their kitchens?

During this program, participants will take the place of Cornelia van Varick in her seventeenth-century kitchen as she prepares traditional food for the New Year. We’ll handle objects and ingredients that Cornelia would have had, such as sugar cones and nippers, Dutch ovens, and mortar and pestles. Then we’ll use them to make two Dutch holiday treats, orange caraway cookies and fried doughnuts, that participants can taste and take home.

This is a series of three  family programs on New York City’s food history. Each two-hour program allows participants to experience historic foodways through an exploration of kitchen objects based on the New-York Historical Society’s collection and cooking. The first program focuses on seventeenth-century Dutch food traditions, the second on how kitchen tools have changed since the early nineteenth century, and the third on how food rationing affected families during WWII. Sign up for one or all programs in the series!

CANCELLED Events: MSG Takes on Taboo Foods! (Tuesday, Oct 30th)

MSG is CANCELLED due to Hurricane Sandy!  Stay safe everyone!

The Masters of Social Gastronomy take on Taboo Foods!
Tuesday, October 30th, 7pm
@ Public Assembly, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
FREE (but please RSVP here!)

MSG is our monthly lecture series all about the history and science of some of your favorite edibles. This month? Taboo foods, just in time for Halloween.

What culture is forbidden to eat pork? Who was denied access to bananas? What is the most adorable animal the Aztecs ate? What’s worse than eating people?

All these questions answered, and more, when Sarah looks at a worldwide history of taboo foods.

Meanwhile, Soma will unravel the sinfulness of garlic, the pros and cons of eating your enemy’s brains, and a breakdown of what awaits those who break the rules in all your favorite myths. Don’t eat a slice if you can’t pay the price!

As if all that education’s not enough, we’ll be having our first annual MSG COSTUME CONTEST. Best costume wins a $50 bar tab furnished by the awesome Public Assembly, and you’ll get an automatic prize if you come dressed as your favorite taboo food!

RSVP  so we have enough samples!

Events: Brooklyn Boozehounds (Thurs, Oct 11)

Brooklyn Boozehounds:  A History of Distilling in Kings County
Thursday, October 11th, 7pm
The Brooklyn Historical Society 128 Pierrepont Street  Brooklyn, NY
Tickets are $10/ Free for BHS members.
Whiskey Wars, Swill Milk, and Illicit Booze– the production of alcohol has long been tied to Brooklyn’s history, through commerce and controversy.  In this talk, we’ll wade our way through Brooklyn booze-soaked past, from the earliest applejack producers to the end of distilling during Prohibition.  But the story of liquor in King’s County has a happy ending, through a change in legislature, distilling has returned to Brooklyn.  Whiskey, gin, and vodka are all being bottled in the borough, and we’ll be talking about this new wave of distillers who have picked up the torch.  With samples from Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn Gin, and Van Brunt Stillhouse as well as a “free lunch” of farm fresh butter from Saxelby Cheese and bread, cheese, and cold cuts from Sahadi’s.  And tickets are only $10! Get you tickets here!

Events: Eating our Emotions (Sunday, Oct 7)

A “Funeral Card,” given to guests of a 19th c wake.

Eating our Emotions: The History of Food in Funeral Traditions
Sunday, October 7th, 2:30 pm
The Queens Historical Society
Free (but please RSVP here so I know how much food to bring!)

At the end of an early American funeral, participants were often given a cookie: spiced with caraway, and stamped with a special design, they were often kept for years as a memento of the departed.  Although mourning traditions have changed over time, and vary from place to place, what they often have in common is food and drink.  From the home parlour to the funeral parlor; from Irish wakes to sitting Shiva, consumption offers comfort in a time of grief. In this talk we’ll look at the culinary traditions surrounding funerals throughout American history, and we’ll taste beer from Midas’ tomb, funeral cakes, and Mormon funeral potatoes. RSVP here!

Events: MSG is Tuesday!

The Master of Social Gastronomy Get Shelved: Preservatives and Convenience Food
Tuesday, September 25th, 7pm
@ Public Assembly, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
FREE (but please RSVP here!)

MSG is our FREE monthly food science and history lecture, and this time we’re talking all about convenience food!

It’s evil, right?

Well, you may change your tune after Sarah’s Ode to Convenience Food in Three Parts: How Convenience Food Won the Civil War; How Convenience Food Almost Killed Us at the Turn of the Century; and How Convenience Food Liberated the Modern Woman.

Sarah is fairly certain modern society was built on the back of Borden’s Sweetened Condensed Milk, and at MSG, you’ll find out why.

Why does your bacon clamor about its lack of nitrites, but your soda keeps quiet about sodium benzoate? Soma will unwrap our love/hate relationship with modern preservatives, and how keeping our food safe may or may not kill us in the end. Learn to read the small print of food labeling with terrifying ease!

Please RSVP here, so we know how many free samples to bring!

Events: The Masters of Social Gastronomy Get Tipsy

MSG is our free monthly lecture series all about the history and science behind some of your favorite foods, and this month, we’re taking on drunkenness and drinking games.

Jonathan Soma  of the Brooklyn Brainery will unravel the science behind inebriation, from the moment it hits your lips to your next-day regrets. We’ll break down “beer before liquor,” red wine’s affection for hangovers, and other boozy old wives’ tales.

After Soma explains the whys of getting drunk, Sarah Lohman, author of Four Pounds Flour, will actually get you drunk! She’ll unveil the history of drinking games, from the Greeks flinging wine at each other in a game of skill, to the American practice of “toasting,” that instigated the prohibition movement. From Geisha Games to Ancient Rock, Paper, Scissors, you’ll be invited on stage to play and compete for fabulous prizes and free drinks!

During storytime, Sarah will tell the tale of the best drinking game ever, The Hour That God Forgot: an annual, Daylight Savings-themed Power Hour that will become a holiday tradition of your own. Soma will cover the history of that standard-bearer of game-based alcohol, the red Solo cup, and how a recent redesign could change the face of flip-cup forever.

Details: Public Assembly, 70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg
Tuesday, August 28, 7pm

Learn all about ICE CREAM then learn all about PEPPER! (then make pepper ice cream?)

Masters of Social Gastronomy: ICE CREAM!

Tuesday, July 24th, Doors at 7
Public Assembly, Brooklyn
FREE with FREE Samples

MSG is our free monthly lecture series all about the history and science of food. Up this month: ice cream. 

Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour will unearth the stories behind our favorite ice cream treats and share some of history’s wildest bygone flavors–that may be due for a revival. By the end of the night, you’ll be able to answer questions like: which came first, chocolate or vanilla? The ice cream sandwich or the ice cream cone? Neapolitan or liquid nitrogen?

Meanwhile, Soma will show you the science behind making the perfect batch at home, and Big Ice Cream’s tricks for plumping up their profit margins. We’ll also track frozen desserts across the globe, from Italian gelato to dondurma, the magically stretchy ice cream from Turkey.

At the storytime halftime show, they’ll make ice cream right before your eyes, using an easy method you can replicate anytime, anywhere.

As always, MSG is free and takes place at Public Assembly (70 North 6th Street) in Williamsburg. Doors open at 7pm, with samples and drink specials all night long.

RSVP here! (so we know how much free ice cream to bring!)

American Taste: Black Pepper
Wednesday, July 25th, 6:30-8
@ The Brooklyn Brainery
$12 Buy tickets here.

This is an all you ever need to know class about black pepper!

We’ll look at the history of this spice, and discover how it went from being as precious as gold to the ubiquitous plastic shaker on a diner table.

Then, we’ll track its production, from life on a vine in Sumatra to tri-color pepper in the spice aisle of Whole Foods.

And lastly, we’ll taste five varieties of pepper from different regions, discuss pepper recipes past and present, and analyze the flavor qualities of America’s favorite savory spice.  Buy tickets here!

Events: Culinary Immersion Weekend

In case you need a summer vacation, too!

Culinary Immersion Weekend
Thursday, August 2th – Sunday August 5th
Good Commons Plymouth, VT
$575-$700 – Includes transportation from Manhattan, three nights lodging, all meals, classes and field trips. Book tickets here.

Escape the heat of August with a getaway weekend in the Green Mountains of Vermont!  I’ll be teaching at this three-day culinary immersion weekend.  The trip includes:

For a full itinerary, more details, to and reserve your spot for a delicious weekend escape, go HERE.

Events: Learn Urban Hearth Cooking!


Campfire Cuisine Beyond Hot Dogs: An Introduction to Hearth Cooking
Two dates: Sunday, May 6th or Sunday, May 13th
11:00 am – 3:00 pm
The Old Stone House & Washington Park, Park Slope, Brooklyn
$45 Buy tickets here.

In this hands-on class, you’ll learn the primal cooking skills that will make you a better cook in your daily life.

While preparing a meal on an outdoor hearth, we’re going to cover the four basic cooking techniques: baking, roasting, frying and boiling.  You’ll learn how to tell temperature without a thermometer, how to tell the doneness of food by using all of your senses, and how to build a bad-ass fire.

The skills you will learn in this four-hour session will allow you to amaze your friends on your next camping trip; put on an old-timey costume and cook at a historic house; or simply become a better, more intuitive home chef.

The cost of the class includes a light meal you will help to make. Purchase tickets here.

Events: Fake Meats!

Masters of Social Gastronomy: Fake Meat!
Tuesday, April 24, 7pm
Public Assembly, 70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg

Each month, MSG takes on a curious food topic and breaks down the history, science, and stories behind it. Accept no imitations, because on April 24th we’ll be talking FAKE MEAT.

Sarah Lohman of Four Pounds Flour will give you a run-down of vegetarianism in the west. From Benjamin Franklin’s ”Tow-fu” to Dr. Kellogg’s commercial “Protose,” we’ll explore just how long we’ve been eating things that masquerade as meat.

Soma will be taking charge of all your favorite modern imitation meats, exploring the many faces of soy and revealing the not-so-secret fungi factories that power your favorite frauds. We’ll take a look at crafting mock duck and tempeh at home, as well as where to shop if your culinary prowess fails.

There’ll samples of historic fake meats so good you might be inspired to replace your veggie burger with some history food, along with drink specials from the always awesome Buffalo Trace Bourbon. RSVP HERE so we know how many free samples to bring!