PHOTOS: The City’s Best Chefs Celebrate Just Food’s 7th Annual Let Us Eat Local Benefit

In addition to celebrating the appointment of a new executive director, Let Us Eat Local was an opportunity to showcase the bounty of the season.

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New York City based organization Just Food believes that everyone has a right to nutritious, locally grown food. Since 1995, this organization has been utilizing a multipronged approach to achieve this mission. Through community led efforts such as CSAs, farmers markets, food-to-pantry programs and other models, Just Food has effectively been helping residents in underserved neighborhoods throughout New York City gain access to better quality food.

To benefit the many efforts of this organization, Just Food organizes a tasting event every year that features local and seasonal dishes from the city’s best (and some of our favorite) restaurants. This year was the 7th annual Let Us Eat Local benefit. In addition to celebrating the appointment of a new executive director, Jasmine Nielsen, Let Us Eat Local was an opportunity to showcase the bounty of the season.

Here’s a photo recap:

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Chef Bill Telepan is not only the chef and owner of Telepan restaurant, but he is also the Executive Chef of Wellness in the Schools, an organization that brings healthy and fresh food to public school cafeterias.

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Montauk Pearl Oysters from local sustainable fishery, Montauk Shellfish Company.

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Local and sustainable seafood is the specialty of L&W Oyster Co.

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L&W Oyster Co. presented Montauk Pearls from Montauk Shellfish Company with candied Thera Farms figs and pasilla chile foam.

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Mike Martinsen and Mike Doall, the duo behind Montauk Shellfish Company.

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ABC Cocina served raw fluke with lemon olive vinaigrette and puffed rice as part of a VIP sustainable seafood tasting hour.

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Blue Hill paired with Dock to Dish to create sustainable kohlrabi (grown at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture) fish tacos.

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Executive chef Peter Hoffman represented his two restaurants, Back Forty and Back Forty West.

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Almond took advantage of the end of summer’s produce with a market tomato soup with grilled corn and truffle salad.

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Jason Weiner and Geoffrey Kornberg from Almond are happy about their market offering.

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Bubby’s offered tastes of their colorful and all natural syrups.

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It doesn’t get any better than Maine lobster tails from Luke’s Lobster.

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The Maine lobster tails from Luke’s Lobster were served with a corn, tomato and mint salad that featured heirloom tomatoes from Just Food urban farm partner Hattie Carthan Community Garden.

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Chef David Pasternack from Esca wowed with a sublime crudo de mercato paired with a hot pepper relish made with peppers from Just Food urban farm partner East New York Farms.

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One of the most unique ways to utilize summer corn and tomatoes came from chef Bryan Hunt at Riverpark. He prepared a sweet corn panna cotta topped with heirloom tomatoes and Riverpark Farm basil.

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L’Apicio served a “PLT”— pancetta confit, butter lettuce and pickled tomatoes that came from Just Food’s urban farm partner Taqwa Community Farm.

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Joe Campanale and Gabe Thompson, owner and chef respectively of L’Apicio presented their spin on a classic “BLT.”

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Newly appointed executive director of Just Food, Jasmine Nielsen, with author of “Lucid Food” and The New Persian Kitchen, Louisa Shafia.

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Williamsburg restaurant egg served a pickled vegetable salad and a romesco sauce with produce from the Brooklyn Grange.

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La NewYorkina represented with their artisanal frozen pops and a special blend of spices for an added kick.

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Another dessert highlight was a barely sweet rye and spelt crostada with maple cider poached pears, molasses caramel, crème fraîche and seed brittle from Bread Alone Bakery.

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The Harlem Brewing Company offered a choice between their Renaissance Wit and the Sugar Hill.

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Schmaltz Brewing Co. poured several brews.

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Chef Saul Bolton looks astonished by the tete de cochon he prepared for the occasion.

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Veggie haven, Candle 79 prepared a truffled vegetable salad served over silky avocado mousse.

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Northern Spy Food Co. enticed diners with beef tartare made with Fleisher’s grass-fed sirloin, yuzu kosho, pickled onion, herb salad and aioli.

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Gramercy Tavern shared an elegant presentation of serving tomato salad.

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Gramercy Tavern came equipped with branded napkins.

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Chef of Dirt Candy, Amanda Cohen and Marion Nestle exchanged greetings between nibbles.

 

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Sari Kamin

Sari Kamin is a food writer and ethnographer with a focus on the intersection between food and culture. She is a regular contributor to Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. Sari is the co-host of 'The Morning After,' a weekly radio show on HeritageRadioNetwork.Org. Sari holds an MA in Food Studies from NYU. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.