Sunday, May 27, 2012

5 Boro PicNYC 2012 grilled cheese sandwich and other winning dishes

Wow! What an amazing day on Governor's Island yesterday, May 26th, for the opening day events for the 2012 season. The BIG (over 1500 attendees) foodie event was the 5 Boro PicNYC organized by chef/restauranteur Extraordinaire, Jimmy Carbone of the east village gastropub Jimmy's No. 43.
I was asked to be one of five food judges of the event, including Amy Cortese, Kathy Blake, Matt Timms, Janet Zappala...) which put me in the enviable position of needing to taste as much as possible from all the different participating restaurants and organizations. I skipped dinner the night before and breakfast in preparation for this marathon.

The winner of the grilled cheese sandwich competition, sponsored by Jarlsberg, was Chrissy's Cooking Club creating the OMG Grilled Cheese put together by the students of the Bushwick Campus Farm. The Latino recipe was inspired by a "secret" family recipe of one of the Bushwick Farm group. The secret's out. As creative as this sandwich was, with layers of amazing flavors, using exceptional ingredients, many sourced from the local nyc farm, the story of the farm itself was wonderful to hear about.

For those lucky enough to have bought tickets ahead of time (the 2nd day of the event today Sunday is sold out, as was Saturday's) don't be daunted by the long lineup for OMG cheese's well worth the wait!

Ladies of the Bushwick Farms
The best sausage went to Van Daag's Boudin Blanc, second place to Peet's Kielbasa and third place to Van Daag's Blood Sausage. Congrats winners!

The best taco was chosen by three judges from Slow Food organization headed up by Anthony Fassio, who chose The Left Bank, which was prepared by renowned chef, Lawrence Edelman. "The sweetness of the braised pulled rooster lend itself to the spiciness of the filling. Topped with a fresh "salsa" of tomatoes, white onions and green peppers--which was just enough acidity to round out the flavors. Pulled together by Tortilleria Nixtamal's freshly made corn tortilla, was an incredible eating experience. Perfect for the warm Governor's Island Day," commented Mr. Fassio.

The judges agreed on two honorable/outstanding mentions. First to Jimmy's No. 43 for his offering a grilled, sliced flank steak on a slice of bread with generous dollop of Chimichurri sauce. The second honorable mention goes to Canadian chef Ian Kapitan of Alobar in LIC, who not only produced wonderful food, but their booth was still cooking and going strong, long after several others had finished.

The Chrissy's Cooking Club crew, who won first prize in the Jarlsberg Grilled Cheese Cook-Off for their OMG Cheeses takes home a Lodge seasoned/cast iron skillet set + cookbook, a 22lb wheel of Jarlsberg and Sur La Table gift card (total value: $500.)  
I smell more grilled cheese sandwiches on the horizon for the winners!
The lineups at No. 43 Jimmy's were constant, but Jimmy wisely set up three separate tented tables,
so the grilled flank was continually being served up. 

Jimmy Carbone checking in at the grilled cheese offerings at the Jarlesberg tent.


  1. I got one taste - the line was soooooo long all day! Great time this weekend!

  2. Plus the weather cooperated beautifully! Gorgeous sun till early afternoon, then some clouds which nicely cooled the air off a bit. And the thunder and lightening politely stayed at bay until 6:00pm, well after the event ended. A perfect NYC summer day.

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