July 15, 2016
Celebrate Flatiron Chefs Sells Out on a Perfect Night in Madison Square Park
This week hundreds of food and drink lovers gathered on the lawns and walkways of Madison Square Park for the 2016 Celebrate Flatiron Chefs event, with proceeds going to the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
This year’s event was notable for the perfect summer weather and new participating restaurants like Black Barn, La Pecora Bianca, Inday and The Smith. Also, the Conservancy was happy to announce that it sold out of all event tickets. The event is special for the fact that all the participating restaurants donate both labor and food costs so that the Conservancy can maximize the donations from the ticket sales. Also, it’s a great way to see the full culinary community in NoMad and the surrounding areas.
“It’s not the first time it has sold out,” Madison Square Park Conservancy Director Keats Myer told Experience NoMad, “but it’s the first time it’s sold out in several years. We didn’t have great weather the past couple of years, and it’s such a beautiful night. We’ve got a lot of new restaurants joining us. The Parks Commissioner was just here. Celebrate Flatiron Chefs is just such a happy, casual, fun event.”
Dozens of restaurants, breweries and distilleries were set up in booths that lined the park, as Big Bling looked on from the Oval Lawn and giddy ticket-buyers ran from one amazing offering to another. As a live jazz band played under a periwinkle sky and sated guests reveled, it was a charmed atmosphere in the park, set apart from the buzzing crossroads of New York City.
Behind the booth for Maysville Food & Bourbon, cook Mckennan Kaplan maintained the coals for its specialty kababs. We asked him about the event from a vendor perspective, “It’s been swell! [The Conservancy] provided us with everything we needed. Everybody’s been super happy with the food. It’s been a beautiful night so far.”
Chef John Doherty of Black Barn said, “I have to say, I thought I knew the neighborhood, but only until tonight did I realize how many great restaurants there are in such a small area. I’m proud to be associated with all of these restaurants. It’s inspiring.”
“It’s been exceptionally busy,” said Mark Barak, owner of La Pecora Bianca, adding with a wink, “The buzz is this egg asparagus of ours is the dish of the event. But I’m not saying that—it’s just ‘the buzz.’”
One of the winners of the Experience NoMad free ticket giveaway, Dave Schott, was attending Celebrate Flatiron Chefs for the first time. “The beauty and tranquility of Madison Square Park is the perfect setting for this very elegant summer evening party,” he told us. “Living in NYC, friends kept telling me that Celebrate Flatiron Chefs is one of the best food and drink events of the year. They were spot on. Everything was delicious!”
Our other ticket winner, Daniel Metzger, noted that in addition to the food “the drinks were great too. I loved Drink More Good’s ginger ale and bourbon cocktail, Greenhook Ginsmiths’ barrel-aged gin and the Mezcal cocktails from El Buho. I’ll definitely be looking for these guys the next time I stop at the liquor store, and I’m excited to add some new restaurants to my list.”
If this year was any indication, next year is surely to be one of the most anticipated events of the summer.