Small plate lessons from Brooklyn’s GoogaMooga

Foodie festival in Brooklyn could inspire non-commercial chefs.

By 
Lindsey Ramsey, Contributing Editor

Two weekends ago Prospect Park in Brooklyn (a five minute walk from my apartment) hosted the first Great GoogaMooga festival. The festival was billed as “an amusement park of food and drink” and in that regard it definitely succeeded. Approximately 75 vendors from some of the city’s top restaurants—Red Rooster, Jean Georges, The Spotted Pig, Colicchio & Sons, etc.—were on hand to prepare small plate versions of some of their signature dishes. The vendors were set up in themed areas such as "Hamburger Experience," "Hamageddon," "Sweet Circus" and "Tony's Corner," which were restaurants chosen by chef Anthony Bourdain.

The amusement park billing couldn’t have been more correct as attendees were forced to wait in monstrous lines for pretty much every vendor and every beer tent. One maxim to keep in mind when dealing with Brooklyn hipsters—don’t restrict their access to beer. Despite the first year hiccups, there were some truly inspiring food options on display. I braved the lines for some delicious brisket tacos with roasted corn from Hill Country Barbecue. Looking over the rest of the menu made me think a festival like this, but with better line management, would be a great special event for C&U, B&I or even K-12, especially considering the popularity of street foods. Here are some more of the menu items I spied in the hope they spark some culinary creativity:

Berbere Roasted Chicken from Red Rooster: This Ethiopian-spiced chicken was served with orecchiette mac and cheese and a piece of corn bread.

Oaxaca Grilled Cheese from Little Muenster: This fancy grilled cheese featured cotija cheese, jalapeño corn purée and roasted tomatillo on organic peasant bread, and served with a soup shooter.

Fried Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich from Joseph Leonard: These sandwiches looked amazing and clearly were popular. The day I was there the chef ran out at about 4:00 p.m.

Fried Cheesecake Bombs from James: Lemon-ricotta cheesecake was manipulated into a deep-fried cheesecake treat, topped with fresh mint.

Dirty Duck Dogs from Craft: These hot dogs were made from duck and were topped with pickled cabbage and black garlic.

Bee Sting & Sopressata Pizza from Roberta's: This thin crust pizza featured mozzarella, tomato, chili oil, speck, mushroom and onion.

Foie Gras Doughnut from Do or Dine: I didn’t get to try it but the talk of the festival was this jelly doughnut, which was injected with foie gras.

Also, I wanted to share a slideshow I found that has some pics of some of the menu items and festival.

Keywords: 
menu development

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
usa map regions

From global flavors to clean labels, it’s clear that some buzzworthy noncommercial menu trends are universal. But FoodService Director ’s 2016 surveys have revealed some noteworthy differences within segments in the Northeast, South, Midwest and West regions. We combed through data from our College and University Census, Hospital Census and Long-Term Care/Senior Living Census for the most surprising variations in menu trends and expectations.

1. Plant-based dishes are on the rise at Midwestern colleges and universities

Seventy-seven percent of C&U operators in this region say...

Industry News & Opinion

Ithaca College is turning to new solutions to address overcrowding at a dining hall that is already understaffed, The Ithacan reports .

The Ithaca, N.Y., school's Terrace Dining Hall has seen a large influx of students this year after being renovated, causing lines to wrap around the dining hall.

To ease congestion, Sodexo Area General Manager Jeffrey Scott told The Ithacan that the eatery has added a separate entree line, as well as signage displaying menu items at less-crowded food stations in an effort to draw students to the other side of the dining hall.

The...

Menu Development
mac cheese pizza

Anybody think the popularity of mac and cheese has played out? Anyone?

More likely, foodservice directors are trying to bake new life into the comfort staple by tweaking the presentation and components. Here’s a snapshot of how that rejuvenation effort looks in streetside restaurants.

Industry News & Opinion

Noncommercial foodservice operations and other employers would be spared from costly new overtime pay regulations if 21 states succeed in the legal challenge they jointly filed yesterday.

The lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to set aside the rules, which are scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1.

If the court rejects the request, restaurants and other businesses will be required after that date to pay overtime to any salaried employee who works more than 40 hours in a week and earns less than $47,476 on an annual basis.

The...

FSD Resources