So, usually when we say “sponsored post” it means an advertiser is paying for the privilege of our editorial touch. In this case it’s an inside job.
Although Brooklyn Based is the media home of the UnFancy Food Show, we don’t exactly put on the event. Long before I was senior editor here at BB (well, a year before) I was organizing UFFS with my then boyfriend, now husband, Tom Mylan (pictured above with Marlow & Sons and Diner chef, Sean Rembold). See, this was back before the whole world was in love with artisan pickles, pork belly marmalade and handcrafted chocolates. We’d been working with and around small producers in Brooklyn, none of whom could afford the table fee at the annual Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center. Buyers from all the big specialty outlets from Dean & DeLuca to Whole Foods go to the show to stock their shelves with the new and exotic finds each year. Tickets aren’t cheap ($60) and booths for vendors aren’t either.
Our brilliant friend, Sasha Davies, came up with the idea of hosting the UnFancy Food Show at a bar, where we could buy beers for our favorite producers and have people from the neighborhood come taste their awesome wares without all the fuss. We hooked it up with the East River Bar (below) and a tradition was born.
This year, the Fourth Annual UnFancy Food Show is getting a little fancier and moving to The Bell House. While we love the East River, and still spend an inordinate amount of time grilling in their backyard, last year we had to say no to a lot of vendors and the event was ridiculously crowded.
People often ask where we get off calling paté, confit (don’t worry vegans, there are some special vendors just for you) and handmade chocolates UnFancy. It’s not the item, it’s the attitude. We don’t charge vendors table fees, we’re just out to have a good time and create an event where a bunch people all working at the same thing–small food businesses–can get together and say hello to each other and their fans. We started out with around nine food businesses; last year we were up to around 20, this year there will be close to 50–the vast majority from Brooklyn. It’s kind of amazing to have charted the progress of a whole movement in a way. Neither of us would have ever guessed four years ago that so many different, weird, delicious companies could spring up in such a short time.
Another fancier component this year is the music. Andy Laird, from Nunu Chocolates and Kheedim Oh, from Mama O’s Kimchee, will both perform, Andy solo and Kheedim with his band The Beatards. Our friends The Dixons will also play. Marlow & Sons will be selling food on the sidewalk, along with Nick Suarez of The Food Experiments (showing off a hot dog that beat out Bobby Flay in a recent Throwdown). No tickets (available at the door) necessary to come by and get a snack from these folks.
And, Brooklyn Brewery has really outdone themselves by sponsoring the event and making $3 tall boys $2 12-oz cans of Brooklyn lager available (you guys drank all our tall boys and they had to substitute, way to get UnFancy!). Of course, the vendors are going to have a jump on those, so get there early to stockpile your supply. See? Totally not fancy at all.
The UnFancy Food Show (click for a complete list of vendors)
Sunday, June 27
Noon to 5 pm
The Bell House
$5 – tickets at the door
Sent by Annaliese. Photos courtesy of Brooklyn Based.