By Emily Kuo, Expedition PR
Last week I attended Brooklyn Eats, Brooklyn’s first food & beverage trade show. Organized by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce the event brought together 100 manufacturers who produce at least one of their products in Brooklyn. In addition to vendor booths at the trade floor – with lots of sampling, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce also hosted speaking programs and cooking demonstrations.
Brooklyn Eats showcased the robust local Brooklyn food scene. There was everything from soda to chocolate, baked goods to hot dogs, and ice cream to cornbread.
One of Brooklyn’s well-known gourmet chocolate makers, Jacques Torres aka Mr. Chocolate, discussed his new project in the Brooklyn Army Terminal. Moreover, he encouraged listeners to stay local, and produce within Brooklyn. Torres told of his history, starting out as a pastry chef and moving to the US to make chocolates. His first location was in DUMBO, which he says at that time was not as safe or developed as it is now. As his business grew, Torres was able to watch the entire neighborhood grow alongside it. The positivity he experienced in DUMBO has led him to stay in Brooklyn, showing his passion for and loyalty to the local food scene.
Being able to walk around the fair and listen to some of the speakers was both fun and educational. Most vendors prepared samples of their products for attendees of the fair to try, as well as discounted lunch specials. Some of my favorite vendors were:
Raaka: Virgin dark chocolates handmade in Brooklyn. This was one of the first booths I stopped at. Not only do they ensure that their chocolates are delicious and healthy, they also give back to the community and environment by using recycled paper for their wrappings and organic, fair trade ingredients.
Steve’s Ice Cream: The ice cream boosts unique flavors and features “ add-ins” from Brooklyn-based food artisans. With flavors such as Sunday Morning, maple syrup ice cream with pieces of waffle, and Mexican Chili Chocolate, chocolate ice cream with a blend of spices, they plan to revolutionize ice cream, one flavor at a time.
P&H Soda: Syrups handcrafted in Brooklyn. What caught my eye first was their old-school postcard flyer, covered in what looks like hand-drawn fruits and a fancy logo. The syrups are all-natural, made from whole ingredients, rather than with extracts, flavorings or high-fructose corn syrup. They go well with soda water, cocktails or even teas and lemonades.
Jack’s Chedbred: Cheesy cornbread with both sweet and savory twists. I love cornbread, so this was an obvious stop for me. They aim to redefine people’s notions of cornbread with their nontraditional flavors like jalapeno, maple bacon and raspberry.
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale: Unfilted ginger ale made with fresh ginger. Promoting the health benefits of ginger, as well as great taste, each flavor is made with all natural ingredients.
The Brooklyn food community is definitely thriving. The emphasis on all-natural and eco-friendly production made me even more excited to be at Brooklyn Eats, and the friendliness of each vendor made my experience there great. If you missed Brooklyn Eats this year, don’t despair. Many of the vendors also have a booth at Smorgasbrod, Brooklyn’s locavore food market that features packaged and prepared foods, beverages, and more from purveyors from New York City and across the region.