Last week my husband and I attended the annual Chile Pepper Fiesta at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, described on the garden web site as "New York’s hottest fall tradition." There were many fun events going on at the fiesta and I'd love to show you a few.
There were cooking demos by top NYC chefs. We saw chef Dave Schuttenberg of Cabrito Mexican Restaurant and chef Karthik Kumar of Brick Lane Curry House Restaurant, and enjoyed samples of their sizzling sauces. Later, we enjoyed sips of chocolate chile and red pepper flavored beer.
There was also a Chocolate Chile Takedown event, held for an hour and a half, where fiesta visitors were able to sample and vote for their favorite dish out of the following six offerings, all made by Brooklyn chefs:
Chocolate and Chile Beef Dumplings by Greg Erskine
Chile and Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Milk by Alyson Mance
Chile and Chocolate Icebox Cake by Andrea Lynn
Chile and Chocolate Ice Cream by Chris Greenberg
Chile and Chocolate Fondue and Bacon by Daniel Marino
Chile and Chocolate Chicken Wings by Adrian Ashby
Everything was delicious, and the winner was Greg Erdkine's Chocolate and Chile Beef Dumplings. My husband and my personal favorite was the Chile and Chocolate Fudge, which we thought was fabulous.
The fiesta was full of stands selling an assortment of products containing chile peppers -- from pickles, chile sauces, Korean kimchi, chocolates, and even frozen ices!
One of the most popular attractions was the booth selling "Bhut Jolokia" from India, which is considered the spiciest pepper in the world!
All through the day seven bands performed, from chili-loving nations around the world, including Indian bhangra and brass, a Haitian dance fete, and Brooklyn’s own Ukulele Gals. There were even fire jugglers and fire eaters!
Of course it was still nice to break away from all the festivities going on and take a stroll through some of the different areas in the garden. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is located on 52 acres, and is home to over 12,000 kinds of plants.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's recently opened Herb Garden was bright with chile peppers from around the globe. There is a lot of good information on how to grow chile peppers, both in a garden or inside your home and how to preserve a chile harvest for further use on the garden's website.
As you can see in the photo above, pepper plants can be incorporated as an ornamental in a flower garden as well!
The garden was still full of many different beautiful flowers and butterflies, as the autumn weather in New York City has been mild.
These unique woven-wood sculptures titled Natural History were made in honor of Brooklyn Botanic Garden's centennial, by artist Patrick Dougherty, and were on display near Magnolia Plaza.
Click to enlarge to read more about this artwork and the artist. Natural History will be on display for the next year, until August 31, 2011.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Chile Pepper Fiesta event turned out to be a wonderful red hot day full of fun, and I hope to attend it again next year!
Are you a chile pepper enthusiast? What is your favorite way to use hot peppers? If you have a great recipe for chocolate chile fudge please let me know!
I'm linking with Susan of A Southern Daydreamer for her blog's "Outdoor Wednesday" event, and Sue's "Rednesday" on her blog It's A Very Cherry World, and Cathy's "Adventure Express" on her blog A Bit of the Blarney. Please visit these blogs today and join in all the fun!
I'd also like to congratulate my blog friend, Judy, of My Front Porch, and the other members of the blog Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog, as they will be professionally publishing a cookbook together of their favorite recipes! Click this link to learn more and also to find a link where you can pre-order the cookbook, which is scheduled to be for sale in June of 2011. I already ordered my copies! All proceeds from the cookbook will go towards a charity that feeds hungry children. I am so happy for them all and excited to see their dream come true!