Eat Eat Eat@ICC, and Repeat
Brown Butter Lobster Roll from Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley's Eventide in Portland, ME
Evan Hennessey of Stages at One Washington in Dover, NH
Jeremiah Bullfrog's Duck Ham Cuban with Mustard and Whipped Duck Lardo, Potatoes, and Oregano
Justin and Kate Meddis's Chocolate Meringues from Rose's Meat Market and Sweet Shop in Durham, NC
Mike Isabella and Spiced Baby Goat Sandwich from G Sandwich Shop in Washington, D.C.
Mark Burnett of Rockaway Brewing Company - New York, NY
Will Zuchman and his dish of Hamachi, Grapes, and Dashi Vinegar
EAT@ICC left first-day Congress attendees sated and singing the praises of their fellow chefs and artisans behind the food carts pervading the Chefs Products Fair floor. Mainer Eli Cayer of Urban Farm Fermentory brought his love of brewing to ICC with a line of kombucha, the fermented-tea drink. Cayer offered several flavors of his product, including blueberry, mint, and ginger. The mint kombucha was refreshing and tangy and the ginger added a spicy kick for thirsty congress goers. To simplify the fermentation process, Cayer says he “first makes a batch of sweet tea, then adds yeast and bacteria and lets that ferment. The end product: a tart, yet sweet and fizzy drink rich in B vitamins.”
Known for his Italian-American sandwiches at G Sandwich Shop in Washington, D.C., Top Chef alum Mike Isabella dominated with one of the most popular food carts of the day. Crowds lined up for his stand as he served a Spiced Baby Goat Sandwich with Harissa, Lemon Potatoes, and Oregano.
Chef Evan Hennessey of Stages at One Washington served ICC attendees New Hampshire Pig Leg, Hay-smoked Creamed Corn, Black Garlic, Tomatoes, and Marcona Almonds. Hennessey expressed his support of local farms in his dish: “The pig, hay, and corn all came from the same farm. Altogether, Stages sources its ingredients from 18 to 20 different farms, and the ocean, too.” Sustainability aside, the black garlic was sweet and syrupy, adding a subtle balsamic-y taste atop the corn. The bite of the almonds also paired well with the tenderness of the pork.
Justin and Katie Meddis of Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop in Durham, North Carolina, combined their areas of expertise and offered ICCers cocoa clouds from heaven in the form of Katie’s signature cloud-like (addictive) Chocolate Meringues. Justin’s Country Ham with Carolina Peanuts and Beans paired well with Rockaway Brewing Company's ESB English Style Ale.A Duck Ham Cuban with Mustard and Whipped Duck Lardo, Potatoes, and Oregano was one of the day's favs from Miami's Jeremiah Bullfrogof Gastropod. And Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley of Eventide made their way down from Maine to share their superlative Lobster Roll with Brown Butter Vinaigrette.
Will Zuchman’s food cart showcased Fresh Hamachi, Grapes, and Dashi Vinegar and his skill at coaxing nuance out of pure, simple ingredients. The vibrancy of the dish was echoed in the hulking SuperPier that housed ICC and its food carts on a sunny fall afternoon on the Hudson.
As attendees ate their way through ICC, they may have found themselves drawn to the massive Main Stage or one of the many engaging workshops. But the red and white striped EAT@ICC food carts attracted crowds of their own. Rising Stars John Bates and Brandon Martinez of Noble Sandwich Co. served Venison Blood Sausage with Yellow Eye Beans. Pickled melon added a sweet tang to the spicy, intense sausage.
The line at James Merker’s cart snaked through the Products Fair, and for good reason: POUTINE. Merker plated hand-cut French fries lightly soaked in chicken gravy and cheese curds.
Kyle Knall’s food cart was also popular. Taking individual components from dishes served at his New York City restaurant Maysville, Knall served an amalgam of Smoked Yukon Potato Purée, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, and Country Ham. Vibrant in flavor, the bread-like texture of the ham crumbles contrasted perfectly with the buttery potatoes and crisp vegetables.
Other stand out food carts included David Gilbert’s with a Thai Red Curry Fish Cake; Francis Derby’s with Steak Tartare; and Shuna Lydon and Amanda Cook’s with Emmer Flour “Bread.” While Rich Buceta satiated thirsty guests with his SingleCut beer, Dani Garcia offered adventurous attendees his creative, yielding “Croquetas de Sepia”(squid ink-cuttlefish croquettes) with citrus aïoli.
Justin Walker's Fried Blue Point Oysters Wood-fire Grilled Padron Pepper Relish and Fried Nepitella Leaf
Louro's David Santos and his Warm Fall Lamb's Tongue Salad
Leah Cohen's Curry-fried Chicken Wings with Pickled Watermelon Rind
The finale of EAT@ICC was a surprise; and not only for attendees. Two pop-up restaurants—presented by PreGel America and Steelite—were planned for Day 3 of ICC. But three pop-ups were eventually opened, much to the joy of six lucky diners. Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis’s pop-up got double booked and his comrades in arms snapped into action. In a matter of minutes Pastry Chefs Johnny Iuzzini, Sam Mason, Patrick Fahy, and Philip Speer set up an additional pop-up and created a menu from the various food stuffs from Day 3 demos and the Products Fair floor. The pastry dream team presided over this once-in-a-lifetime spontaneous cooking event that will surely go down in the ICC history books.
Chef Jeff McInnis—who announced the opening of his NYC resto Root & Bone at ICC—served Potted Australian Goat; Lamb “Slim Jims;” Pulled Beef Brisket with Plantain Crème; BBQ Rack of Lamb; and Brussels Sprouts with Lamb Pancetta at his carnivore’s playground pop-up.
There was a chatty Lamb’s Tongue Salad with Chilled Portuguese Horchata at Chef David Santos’s Louro food cart. Chef Justin Walker served mountains of Fried Blue Point Oysters at his Earth cart. The oysters were presented on the half-shell with Wood-fire Grilled Padron Pepper Relish and Fried Nepitella Leaf. And finally, at the Pig and Khao cart, Chef Leah Cohen doled out Curry-fried Chicken Wings with Pickled Watermelon Rind. A finger lickin’ end to a lip smackin’ EAT@ICC. Y’all come back now, ya hear! See you cartside next year.
Photos by: Anna Beeke, Clay Williams, Ellen Wolff, Ester Soligue, John Keon, Ken Goodman, Laura Thompson, Mark Kohlman, and Shannon Sturgis