Foodies, rejoice — Tastes of Brooklyn is back.
The food-fest, where the city’s finest chefs partner with “farmers, youth and healthy movers and shakers” for extraordinary restaurant crawls in the borough, will return next month with two events — one in Gowanus and another in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill.
The crawls provide a way to reinforce the diversity of the neighborhood, said Nancie Katz, executive director of Seeds in the Middle, which hosts the crawls.
“The whole event began with the fact that we were losing the international nature of the neighborhood,” explained Katz, an area resident. “We want to save the small businesses and keep the charm of these neighborhoods. The character of our neighborhood is built on these small businesses.”
The day also focuses on raising money for Seeds in the Middle, which, said Katz, “empowers children [affected by] the obesity epidemic to create healthier places to live and learn.
“We may take for granted that there are these great farmers markets in neighborhoods like Carroll Gardens or at Brooklyn Borough Hall, but they don’t exist in most of the poorest parts of city,” she added.
The events thrive on donations from participating restaurants.
“They don’t really do it because they think they’re going to get business out of it, but we try to make sure they do by bringing more faces to them and having people come in and say, ‘Wow, this place is so great, now I’m going to come back,’” Katz said.
One of the benefits of the crawls is that they showcase eateries that both locals and Brooklynites living outside the neighborhoods may not know about.
“You’re trying to draw people from outside the neighborhood to spend a few hours in Gowanus or eat and drink in Carroll Gardens or Cobble Hill, but you also want to get those living in the neighborhood who walked by the place and noticed it before to stop in and try something,” Katz said. “We pass by places all the time but sometimes don’t bother to check them out.”
What makes Tastes of Brooklyn stand out, Katz said, is its large selection, and its layout.
“You walk around,” she explained. “You don’t stay in one place. You get a map and a menu, and say, ‘I want to try the Gowanus Cocktail at Bar Tano, so you plot out on your map where you want to go.’”
The Taste of Gowanus will take place on April 13 from 2 to 6 p.m. between Fourth Avenue and Bond Street. The Carroll Gardens-Cobble Hill Crawl will take place on May 3 from 2 to 6 p.m. and encompass Court Street, Smith Street and Clinton Street, south of Atlantic Avenue.
Tastings start at four tastes for $20. Special guided food tours with “Airbnb Social Impact Experiences” are also up for grabs.
To buy tickets and for a list of participants, visit http://bit.ly/tastesofbk-spring.