Toasting New Brooklyn Cuisine at powerHouse Arena

Last night the Morrow Cookbooks team pulled on our party shoes and trekked out to the powerHouse Arena in DUMBO to attend the launch party for Melissa and Brendan Vaughan’s The New Brooklyn Cookbook. Rain be damned—there was free wine, a bookstore full of food lovers, and a cookbook to celebrate—we were going to Brooklyn. 

And as it turned out, over 200 other friends, supporters, chefs, restaurant scenists and publishing people packed the joint. In one corner, folks from Smith & Vine were pouring wine and beer, in another a lovely lady was mixing up Brooklyn Rumbles (courtesy of The JakeWalk), and over by the bleachers cheese and crackers were dished out by Stinky Bklyn. The authors, Melissa and Brendan, were mingling like a bride and groom, and although I didn’t get an introduction, I’ve heard that Gary Shteyngart and Michael Harlan Turkell (the book’s photographer) were in the crowd too. 

We couldn’t be happier for Melissa and Brendan; their book comes at a time when the national buzz about Brooklyn cuisine is reaching a critical mass.  There aren’t many who haven’t taken notice – even before it went on sale, the Vaughans’ book was getting excited attention from Grub Street, Edible Brooklyn, New York magazine, Foodandwine.com, Bonappetit.com, The New Yorker, TheDailyBeast.com, The Washington Post, iVillage… and the list goes on. No doubt the restaurants and recipes Melissa and Brendan chose helped to attract all this attention—it’s hard to argue with breakout talents such as Buttermilk Channel, No. 7, James, Roberta’s, The Vanderbilt, Egg, Marlow & Sons, Al Di Là, and Lunetta! 

Indeed, even if you aren’t an avid home cook, The New Brooklyn Cookbook is worth owning simply as a Who’s Who of the Brooklyn food scene. The resources section in the back is an amazingly thorough and inspiring compendium of the borough’s places to eat, greenmarkets to visit, and producers to patronize. 

By the end of the night, it was clear that everyone at the party had a great time mingling, nibbling and sipping. I talked with Kayleigh, who blogged about the party on The Roaring 20s, and had a chance to meet the adorable Phoebe and Cara, of Big Girls, Small Kitchen fame.

If you were at the party, please post a comment about it and let us know your favorite Brooklyn restaurant. If you weren’t at the party, browse the event’s photo gallery, and watch the video below of Melissa and Brendan talking about the cookbook.

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