Food is Art
I’ve written about the Red Hook Food Vendors before (click here) but it’s wasn’t until this past Saturday that I visited them on their home field for a tour led by Chef Aaron Sanchez, part of the Food is Art culinary program, a series of lectures, classes and special events curated by Zarela Martinez in conjunction with the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.
While the clouds and world cup kept some away, the trucks were still there, lining the park like trees on wheels, their spots staked out with carts and flags. Starting with Eleazar Perez’s stand we worked our way past Mexican huaraches and agua frescas, Salvadoran pupusas, Colombian arepas, Guatemalan antojitos, and Chilean empanadas in less than an hour. At Chef Aaron’s recommendation, I tried Eleazar Perez’s tostada de barbacoa for a lamb that didn’t just fall off the bone, it fainted. It was a bit of a blur and then it was over.
A couple of years ago, the vendors’ future was uncertain as they struggled to meet stricter (and expensive) city Parks requirements. Today they’re not only thriving, they’re expanding into the Red Hook Mercado, an open air market place on Van Brunt.
Walking away from the park, I came across a temporary exhibit by Atom Cianfarani. Commissioned by NYCDoT urban art program. “Welcomed Guests” comprises 10 bird nesting boxes mounted on wooden poles anchored by wine barrels doubling as benches. Taking in the the installation caught somewhere between Red Hook ball fields and the IKEA flag stand, it seemed all really were welcome if you could find your way there.
Food is Art will run throughout the summer leading up to the celebration of Mexico’s bicentennial in September. For more information about Food is Art, click here.