Oye! It’s the Fiesta de Flores y Comida This Weekend

Pick a peck of purple peppers. Photo courtesy NYBG, where capsaicum like these are ready for harvest right now.

Wednesday is the first day of Fall, but things will be decidedly hot all weekend at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, where chili peppers take center stage.

September 25th and 26th — the start of our own Eat Drink Local week, in fact — the Garden celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with Fiesta de Flores y Comida, a festival of flowers and food.

Flowers, sure, but food? Si! It’s part of the NYBG’s Edible Garden exhibition, all about growing and preparing good food (we are a proud sponsor). Set across the 250-acre Botanical Garden landscape through October 17, the exhibit showcases locally grown food through daily cooking and gardening demonstrations, including appearances by dozens of chefs, including Mario Batali, Marc Forgione, and Bill Telepan. Featuring four spectacular kitchen gardens, the exhibit teaches visitors how to grow the best food at home, and then cook it up right.

In honor of the Fiesta, this weekend’s Home Gardening Demonstrations will celebrate chili peppers—at their peak right now—and give advice for growing them at home. Then chefs who know those capsicums quite well will cook them to perfection: chef Stephanie of the popular restaurant Don Coqui, and culinary historian Maricel Presilla, Chef and Owner Cucharamama Zafra and Ultramarinos. You can also enjoy music, dancing and guided tours of the four food-centric gardens. Plus, we’ve heard the rest of the place is worth a trip, too.

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Gabrielle Langholtz is the former editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan.