Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hot, hot, hot

Not one to gingerly move those jalapenos to the side of your dinner plate? Then this event is for you.

New York City’s hottest autumn event, the Chile Pepper Fiesta, returns to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, celebrating the chile pepper and its uses in cultures around the world with musical performances and culinary activities for the whole family to enjoy.

On October 3, noon to 6:30 p.m., the Garden presents a global homage to the chile pepper featuring sizzling concerts and a hot culinary lineup, plus kids’ activities, a cool qi gong workshop, expert advice on cultivating chile peppers, and more.

For the first time, Chile Pepper Fiesta is sweetening its spice with a brand new Chocolate Chile Cabana in the Osborne Garden, where throughout the day visitors will have the opportunity to explore one of the most delicious culinary combinations around with attractions including:

--“Hot” Chocolate: Twelve area chocolatiers and confectioners (including Mast Bros., Vere, Fine & Raw, Nunu, and more) will sample specially commissioned treats that marry the decadence of chocolate with the heat of the chile pepper;--Brooklyn Chile Peppers ’n’ Chocolate Takedown: Amateurs will compete for the crowd’s favor as they concoct chile-chocolate dishes;

--The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History: Leading chocolate historian Maricel E. Presilla will sign copies of her new work;

--Sweet & Spicy Suds: Portland’s Rogue Brewery will offer their Chipotle Ale and Chocolate Stout to thirsty visitors;

--Some Like It Hot: Chocolate expert Alexandra Leaf will moderate a panel, featuring some of the area’s most prominent chocolatiers, on the history, health benefits, and trends of the beloved chile/chocolate combo;

--Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Chocolate But Were Afraid to Ask: No query is too small for Alexandra Leaf, president of Chocolate Tours of NYC;

--The Dust Busters: Old-time swing tunes with a dash of New Orleans blues keep the energy high.Elsewhere during the Fiesta, spicy food will take center stage in a series of demonstrations and tastings, including:

--Seoul Food, a Korean cooking session with Chef Saeri Yoo Park of Moim Restaurant; --Spicy Malaysian Mischief with Corwin Kaye, Executive Chef at Fatty Crab;

--Cooking in Clay with indigenous food expert Nathalie Herling;

--The Art of Indian Chutney-Making with Bombay Emerald Chutney Company Chef Nirmala Gupta.

On the mainstage, a series of diverse performances will turn up the heat, as visitors enjoy the joyful African world beat mix of Nepo Soteri & Asante, the infectious blend of North Indian bhangra and brass funk by Red Baraat!, the red-hot ranchera rock of Pistolera, the pulse-quickening dance music of Brooklyn’s all-women tour de force Paprika and the return of Grammy-nominated Lost Bayou Ramblers, virtuosos of the Cajun musical tradition who have thrilled thousands with their repertoire of early accordion dancehall tunes, Cajun swing, and original numbers.

MCs Robbins & Ringold fire up audiences with fire eating, fire juggling, and other daring deeds of flame throughout the day.

Plus, enjoy hot sauce, hot pickle, and other spicy food tastings; hands-on kids’ activities and a visit with renowned chile plant expert The Chile Goddess will be ongoing throughout the day. The Zagat-rated Terrace Café will offer a special Chile Pepper Fiesta menu to tingle the taste buds with spicy food and cold beer.

Visitor entrances to the Garden are at Flatbush Avenue, at the parking lot gate at 900 Washington Avenue, and at Eastern Parkway. For information, call 718-623-7200.


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