With Hannukah just around the corner, the homage to fried potatoes that we are part of at the Brooklyn Academy of Music–the third annual Latke Festival on December 19 that will feature 15 chefs, and one amateur contestant–is heating up with a new entrant from the East End, Chef Jason Weiner of Almond restaurant in Bridgehampton and Manhattan (and of recent pear recipe fame), who traces his latke roots back to his Brooklyn grandmother.
His root crop connections run deeper still–for years, his house-cut frites have used Tom Falkowski’s prized Long Island spuds, grown a mile or so from Almond. At the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Weiner plans to honor his grandmother–and grab first prize honors–by replicating her creations. “That’s my gimmick–four ingredients. Its so minimal its maximal. Its over the top and back again. It’s like the Tea Party and Occupy both backing Ron Paul. Am I getting too meta for you?”
It will be up to the esteemed panel of judges, including James Beard Foundation’s Mitchell Davis, Borough Prez Marty Markowitz, The Times’s Melissa Clark and our very own editor Rachel Wharton, to decide. Attendees will also have the chance to vote in a people’s choice category. And while our reader entrant winner, Dori Fern, has already won a Breville standup mixer, as well as the chance to cook her Double Happiness/Duck Confit latkes dish side-by-side with top chefs, we just learned the winner in the chef category will win Breville’s new–and highly anticipated–food processor, the Sous Chef.
We hope to see you at BAM, and munch latkes with you, when the winner gets crowned. Grab your ticket here.