Friday, March 11, 2011

The Brooklyn Booze Experiment !

Last weekend brought around another Food Experiment from the masterminds of Theo Peck and Nick Suarez who are expanding their food experiments to Austin this weekend (yay, TX!) among other US Cities in their freshly launched National Tour.

The recent experiment was all about booze - dishes that feature alcohol!  22 competitors cooked up sweet and savory dishes for the likes of us eaters to feast upon.  Traci + Geoff along with their friends joined in for the fun.  After attending three of these events now, I admire how the same competitors return each time with such inventive and creative dishes.  Here's the photolog of shots!

The setup for the tables changed up for this event with tables set up lengthwise within the space.  Previous events had bottlenecks happen immediately at the door because of tables that were setup right at entry, and while the new arrangement seemed to make the room more spacious, bottlenecks still occurred.  Until they figure a better process, I would recommend arriving early and avoiding the whole jammed mess as much as possible.

Pescado verazcruzado. 

Bourbon pernil.  Might've been better if served warm.
Denise did Porktown in Margaritaville which we really liked during our first few bites at the event.  Crisp chip scoops with a lime-flavored pork.
Mossberger & Frites' Bourbon Braised Beef short ribs won first place for the audience award. 
Savory plate.
O'le McMole. 

Beanz with bacon.
Third place judge's winner: Fondue fennel with pastis tomato jam.  I actually liked this crunchy, mushy, fennelly concoction though I overhead others WTFing tomato jam.  I love calling thick marinara-ish sauce tomato jam.
Empadados made with rum and coke pork

Andrew Gottlieb
Andrew Gottlieb's pork pops.  I didn't know what this was initially, but eating it was a beautiful surprise.  Soft, braised pork belly!  Yuuumm.  Geoff hated his because it was all fat, but Traci and I agreed that that was why it was so delicious.  I wanted to get more of that, but the line was a bit obscene at his station (understandably!).
The "wine and cheese" entry that looked like dessert but was not.

Torta Ahogada Estilo Guadalajara sammies.  Longest line at the event and well worth it.

The pork was nicely flavored, great layer of guac, pickled onions and choice of salsas.  I liked the thick, spicy red sauce, though the others preferred the green.  The buns were also toasted in their panini grill.  Awesome combo.  Third place winner of the audience award!
Dessert plate!
1st place winner of the judge's award: Roopa Marcello's Old Fashion Italian Doughnuts.  
Upon first bite of this warm, soft, bitter-sugar coated doughnut, I was excited, but I found the strong, bitter, blood orange chocolate center entirely overwhelming.  Roopa explained it was supposed to mimic drinking an actual Old Fashion drink.  I am a super lightweight though, so while this doughnut was just too strong for me personally, I knew that this was a great technical execution.  I would love to just eat a bucket of unfilled doughnuts!
Jeffrey Olsen's Cranachan & Hot Toddy!
Jeffrey had my and Greeshma's faaavorite brunch dish (scones + earl grey ice cream) so I was excited to see his new entry which involved homemade marshmallows that are injected with hot chocolate?! (SAY.WUT?!)
The marshmallow texture was perfection, and eating it while warm was especially good.
Traci's friends didn't like how the ice cream had completely melted all over the cookies, making a mess to pick up, but I didn't mind it with a little help from my spoon.  It was great!  Nice crisp little cookies slightly softened by the ice cream.  I was glad that Jeff won the Bell House Prize this go-round.  I wish he could teach Diana and me how to make marshmallows since our first attempt with Carrie was an unfortunate, sticky mess.
Pecan pie with vanilla bourbon ice cream
This was among our favorites - soooo delicious.  Beautifully candied pecans, nice thick ice cream that sauced up the pie perfectly.  Yum.  No surprise it won 2nd place among the eaters votes.
Guinness muffins with Guinness glaze.
Irish carbomb cupcakes.

We then sat in the front room and shared our opinions on the best dish of the day.  We all agreed that there should really be two categories for sweet dishes vs. savory dishes as it is hard to pick just one when they can be so very different.  We loved Jeff's marshmallow hot chocolate, but we also loved the torta sandwich.  Decisions, decisions!

Really tough decisions.

The ballot!

We all placed our votes, and agreed that we will return for the next experiment (I'm hooked!).  We slushed our way back to the city.  Well. Except for me.  I made a pitstop that I will share with you soon!

Maybe coming to a city near you!
The Bell House
149 7th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11215


  1. Great photos! I've always wanted to attend one of these community-driven cook-offs!

  2. You totally should when you get the chance, Sara! They are prolly one of my most favorite experiences in the city!

  3. those marsh cookies are calling out to me! as well as the rum and coke pork. (even though I eat five pounds of pork a day right now. hahah. can never have enough.)