EVENT: Le Grand Fooding Brunch at the Nitehawk – Darkness with a Chance of Piperade

Le Fooding is a French collective that explores the art in trends of cuisine – most successfully developing collaboration between groundbreaking French and American chefs in the form of an annual festival: Le Grand Fooding.  This year’s 5-day event focused on Brooklyn and the head chefs that are creating new delights in dining.

We had the opportunity to cover brunch at the Nitehawk, which is an art house film theater that happens to have full dining and bar service inside the theater during screenings.  The movie featured was cult smash “Saturday Night Fever” which had everyone in a singing mood (unfortunately for my neighbor since I know all of Robin Gibbs’ parts), but it was the food that rang out.  Resident chef Russell Dougherty was joined by Inaki Aizpitarte of Paris’ Le Dauphin & Le Chateaubriand.  Together they crafted a menu that showcased what a special meal brunch can be: ricotta pancakes in honey-poached blueberries with granola topping, piperade (a traditional Basque dish) with red berries and Serrano, a BLT with fried green tomato, and an espresso ice cream sundae – all paired with rich coffees from Nespresso.

As it was our first time at the Nitehawk, our only frame of reference for in-movie dining was popcorn and soda, so we didn’t quite expect that each course would be served as though we were at a 5-star restaurant.  The blueberry pancakes were a wonderful appetizer, and I found myself tasting each element of the dish to appreciate nuances like the honey in the berries.  The piperade was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten – topped with a poached egg in a sauce that begged a piece of bread to soak it up.  The variation on the BLT with fried green tomato on fresh warm focaccia was expertly seasoned with the South in mind, and held the meal together nicely.  And of course everything’s better with ice cream, topped with an outstanding specialty chocolate sauce from Williamsburg chocolatiers: the Mast Brothers.

When it was all over, as the crowd finished the last bars of “How Deep is Your Love”, we were introduced to the chefs – who received a well-deserved resounding round of applause.

Nitehawk Cinema
136 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

To learn more about Le Fooding, visit their website (in French).