If, like the Accidental Locavore, you spent a lot of time in New York City, the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn was not somewhere you’d go on a whim. However, in the search for hipster space it (like so many other places) has been cleaned up and is now a hot area. The other night I went out there to visit Farmigo’s offices and go to their monthly storytelling event.
This was the second in a series they’ve started, featuring food entrepreneurs telling an unscripted story around the month’s theme. The topic was “in the weeds,” a restaurant term for being slammed with orders to the point that all hell breaks loose.
In lieu of the standard bio, Benzi, Farmigo’s CEO, introduced the storytellers by asking what their food fetishes were, a much more interesting (and shorter) way to go.
The presenters, like their fetishes, were an interesting mix, ranging from Viraj Puri of Gotham Greens, whose predilection is for lettuce (naked), to the extremely handsome Sean Dimin of Sea-2-Table. But my favorite in terms of fetishes was Jorge Salamea, of the soon-to-open Cuatro Rios, who loves a crunchy chicken butt! Nicole Chaszar of the Splendid Spoon, and Scott Bridi of Brooklyn Cured rounded out the list.
While being in the weeds is something that happens almost daily for a chef like Jorge, whose weeds story was about not having an essential staffer — a dishwasher — on a busy Friday night, for Nicole, it was about firsts — giving birth and filling a big soup order for Fresh Direct, all in the same week! Sean told us about an adventurous trip to Alaska (“forget Texas, everything really is bigger in Alaska!”) where after being warned about the various bears, he had to go out and hunt them to help out the fishermen he was trying to work with.
Before the event, there was a networking period and a chance to explore Farmigo’s spacious new digs. Refreshments included beer from the Brooklyn Brewery (a neighbor), crudités, cheeses, salsa and chips, all labeled to show their local provenance. Possibly a sign that the sequel to Portlandia will be Brooklyndia?