Cristina crafts pieces on travel, parenting and lifestyle. Connect with her at www.editorialcreatives.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Editorial-Creatives/147954298617175 and @CristinaDimen on Twitter. WN mentor link: www.weekendnotes.com/profile/37614/
For those who love a great barbecue and are looking for a fun block party, get ready for a popular foodie event in Manhattan. On the 9th and 10th of June, 18 of the best pitmasters in the country—experts from Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, the Carolinas, Texas, Nevada and more, will showcase their mouthwatering specialties at the 10th Anniversary Big Apple Barbecue Block Party.
Bring your appetite to Madison Square Park—around Madison Avenue, between 23rd & 26th streets for pulled pork shoulder, succulent ribs, tender chicken, brisket and sausages. Pitmasters will also treat attendees to delicious sides, including cole slaw, baked beans and an array of salads.
Arrive early—the aroma of cooking barbecue meats wafting through the surrounding streets will tickle the noses of fellow carnivores, luring them to this annual culinary event. In its decade-long run in New York City, the festival draws hungry (and lucky) passersby, city residents and loyal yearly attendees who look forward to tasting fare created by the likes of Kenny Callaghan, executive chef and pitmaster (founding event partner) from Manhattan's own Blue Smoke. In 2011, approximately 125,000 folks gathered together, creating a big block party—Big Apple style.
Don't forget that it's a cash-only event, so bring a sufficient amount—enough for you to partake of the creations by barbecue greats, such as Scott Roberts of The Salt Lick BBQ from Texas, or Myron Mixon of Jack's Old South from Georgia, or John Stage of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que from New York.
Then claim a patch of grass at Madison Square Park. Or perhaps, you'll chance upon a couple of vacant bench seats where you can sit back and relax.
Plop down and have a tasty picnic with your group.
Purchase one of the 30 ParkPasses at $500, and enjoy the event with VIP access to the tent within the park. Feast on a spread of barbecue buffet, desserts and beverages—without the long lines.
Regardless of where you choose to sit to sample all the BBQ fare, take in the urban scenes and sounds, laugh with your friends and linger for a bit—before you head out for more tasty plates. Prior to leaving this community event, catch one of the musical performances, or learn a new and tasty tidbit via the free cooking demos or seminars. Who knows, you may wind up surprising your own guests with some newly acquired recipes at your next backyard barbecue.