Scenes from Sunday’s smoky, boozy, delicious Heritage Fire festival 

On Sunday afternoon several hundred hungry (and, apparently, quite thirsty) people gathered behind Building 77 in the otherwise desolate Brooklyn Navy Yard for a raucous celebration of food cooked by live fire.

There were plenty of meaty delights to be had, of course — pork, beef, and chicken were well represented among the 21 food tents — but unlike your typical BBQ party, the Heritage Fire festival spotlights all manner of flame-roasted ingredients, including octopus, broccoli, plantains, and celery root “taco shells.” There were several stellar desserts as well and, not incidentally, a whole lot of really good booze.

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Karina Garcia slathering those ribs at the Cocina Consuelo tent (Scott Lynch)

Everyone who hung out by the water and ate and drank and danced for three hours on a lovely Sunday late afternoon was clearly a winner for the vibes alone — the all-inclusive admission price got you as much as you could eat and drink from all vendors — but there was also an actual contest going on, for “Best Bite of the Day” as voted via QR code by attendees.

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Good vibes — and fire-cooked food — only (Scott Lynch)

One quibble: Voting for the “best bite” felt like an absurd undertaking given the sheer variety of bites on offer — from savory to sweet and every combo in between. We’d have preferred a few categories to choose multiple top picks, in addition to a grand prize. Many were worthy of the honor, but the Deer’s Head Inn team, who came all the way from the Adirondacks to feed us Brooklynites, took home the the coveted “Heritage Hero” plaque for their “cheesy dack-ita crunch,” which involved maple smoked pork, crisp potatoes, a lively salsa verde, and some ultra-rich consommé.

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On the lower right, the cheesy dack-ita crunch that won the Deer’s Head Inn team ‘Best Bite of the Day’ (Scott Lynch)

My vote went to the sleeper hit of the festival, Yesenia Ramdass’s all-vegan sweet plantain boat from her Healthy as a Motha shop in Long Island City, a fire-caramelized slab of fruit overflowing with seasoned soy crumbles (resembling ground beef), jalapeno queso, and a lovely, fiery sauce.

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My surprise pick for best bite? The vegan plantain boat from Healthy as a Motha (Scott Lynch)

Other pick hits on the day included the Stephen “Octoman” Fried‘s charred Spanish octopus, the grilled ginger broccoli and short rib lettuce wraps from Noho’s Kyu crew, Josh Finger‘s robust cassoulet, the whole animal hot dog from Brooklyn’s incomparable Meat Hook, Smorgasburg star Karina Garcia‘s well-seasoned pork ribs, Hoodoo Brown‘s “porkstrami” mini-reubens, and the chicken scarpariello from “Brooklyn-born, Bronx-raided, Hudson Valley-refined” Andrew Mercado of the Fed Hospitality Group.

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Bites from, lower right going clockwise, Blue Smoke, Stephen ‘Octoman’ Fried, Jakarta Munch, and Cocina Consuelo (Scott Lynch)

The desserts were excellent too, led by Janie Deegan‘s legendary peach pie crust cookies, Gracie Bensimon‘s sticky banana cream pie, and Dylana DeGannes‘s divine chocolate bread pudding.

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Janie Deegan and her incredible pie crust cookies (Scott Lynch)

And so much alcohol! This was the first time the Heritage Fire tour has come to Brooklyn and, as such, the event was not booked to full capacity. Which among other things meant that there were no lines at the many booze tents, where shots of whiskey of rum, cans of beer, and glasses of wine were handed out freely.

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Hoodoo Brown serving up porkstrami reubens in the day’s most awesome shirt (Scott Lynch)

DJ Big Vic kept the place hopping with an impressively non-stop mix of all the actually good crowd-pleasing bangers you could think of, and the party ended with both the Electric and the Cha Cha Slides. Good vibes all around. You’re going to want to check out Heritage Fire when it returns to Brooklyn next year.

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(Scott Lynch)

The post Scenes from Sunday’s smoky, boozy, delicious Heritage Fire festival  appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.

By: Scott Lynch
Title: Scenes from Sunday’s smoky, boozy, delicious Heritage Fire festival 
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Published Date: Mon, 22 May 2023 22:00:02 +0000

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