Celebration Raises Funds for Brooklyn Historical Society
Foodies flocked to DUMBO Wednesday night to visit Brooklyn Bounty, a celebration of local food and spirits hosted by the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS).
Organizers expected at least 400
guests, but it certainly seemed like more attended, as crowds packed 26 Bridge Street. There, they could try dozens of different dishes prepared by local chefs and purveyors, including Junior’s Restaurant, the Red Hook Lobster Pound, Taco Santo, the ReConnect Café and Brooklyn Oenology, among others.
“The best part of this is that we are applying these resources directly to building the BHS as the institution that preserves and explains the history of Brooklyn right down to the present day,” said Jim Rossman, chairman of BHS.
In addition to showcasing some of the great local food of Brooklyn, the Historical Society also presented its heritage awards.
Alan Rosen, the third generation owner of Junior’s Restaurant, was presented with the King of the County award; Father Jim O’Shea and Efrain Hernandez, directors of the ReConnect Cafe, were given the Innovators award; and Ben Flanner, head farmer at Brooklyn Grange Farm, was presented with the Pioneer award.
Rosen was honored for his decision not to sell the space that Junior’s downtown location currently occupies, despite receiving record-breaking offers.
“I’d like to point out something Alan said in a recent New York Times article,” said Wes Jackson, a BHS trustee. “He said, ‘I’m running something that is such a heritage and tradition to so many people in Brooklyn that cannot be replaced.’ It’s a short quote, but I think it’s very appropriate for what Junior’s is doing and is an inspiration to other business owners,” Jackson added.
Father O’Shea and Hernandez were honored for running their Bed-Stuy café, which offers “employment to local young men ages 18-25 … these young men are widely recognized as the next generation of young entrepreneurs and dreamers,” Jackson said.
Flanner was recognized for managing “the leading rooftop farming and innovative green roofing business in these United States,” said Jackson.
After the awards were presented, George Shea, chairman of Major League Eating and host of Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, introduced Eric “Badlands” Booker. Described as “the donut, green pea, matzoball, and corned beef hash eating champion of the world,” Badlands performed his “competitive-eating hip hop” for everyone to enjoy.
Finally, there was a two-minute pie eating contest with five contenders, which Andrew Garchik won.
Last year, the same event raised more than $160,000 for the Historical Society’s educational programs.