Agenda: Chop Suey, Tea Parties, Sharp Blades, and Sweet Chemistry


The History of Chop Suey
Both beloved and abhorred, chop suey is widely accepted as the dish that opened the American palate to exotic cuisines. The Culinary Historians of New York will be presenting a dinner and lecture, "The History of Chop Suey in America," led by independent scholar Andrew Coe. Coe is currently working on a book about the history of Chinese food in the United States, expected to be published in 2009. The event will take place on Thursday, March 13, at Grand Harmony Restaurant (98 Mott Street) with a buffet dinner at 6:00 p.m., followed by the lecture at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets. $45/non-members, $30/members, $27 student and senior members.


EVENTS THIS WEEK (March 12 through 18)

Knife Sharpening 
Broadway Panhandler (65 East 8th Street) will be sponsoring an in-store Knife Sharpening Event, the proceeds of which will benefit City Harvest. For a small donation (100% of which will support City Harvest), participants may have up to three knives sharpened. There will also be culinary demonstrations, including knife skills with Ben Grossman, Chef/Owner of The Smoke Joint, and cookie decorating with Tina Casaceli, owner of Milk & Cookies Bakery. The event will take place on Saturday, March 15th, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. $10/person.

Celtic Tea Celebration
In honor of Saint Patrick's Day, Tea Master Elizabeth Knight will host a special Afternoon Tea at Fives restaurant at The Peninsula New York (Fifth Avenue and 55th Street). Sip Celtic tea and enjoy warm scones and pastries as Knight discusses her new book, Celtic Teas with Friends, Teatime Traditions from Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Knight will also share her ideas for hosting tea parties, the benefits of tea, and its related etiquette. The event will take place on Saturday, March 15. For reservations and more information, call 212.903.3918.

Jewish Home Cooking
Rugelach, matzo brei, challah, brisket, and much more. In honor of his Yiddish grandmothers, "Food Maven" Arthur Schwartz has written a new book, Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking. Sample Schwartz's kugel as he leads a slideshow lecture discussing the book. The event will take place at the 92nd Street Y (Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street) on Sunday, March 16th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $26/person.

Spring Wine Dinners
Blue Hill (75 Washington Place) will be presenting two wine dinners which will feature one last taste of winter and preview of spring flavors. Both events will include a four-course tasting and wine pairing, along with a guest vinter. The first of the dinners will be on Monday, March 17th, at 7:00 p.m., with guest vinter Peter Weimer of Cascina Ebreo ($300/person). The second dinner will be held on Sunday, April 13th, at 7:00 p.m. with guest vinter Mauro Mascarello of Giuseppe Mascarello ($325/person). Reservations: 212.539.1776.

The Chemistry of Sweet
Pastry chef Pichet Ong and sommelier Susan Wilber will lead a class which delves into science behind sweetness. The two will demonstrate the principles of pairing sweet ingredients through multiple taste combinations and discuss the chemistry behind why these combinations (sweet and savory, sweet and sweet, etc.) work. The class will take place on Tuesday, March 18th at Astor Center (399 Lafayette Street). Tickets $95/person.

Image: flickr user Jennifer Woodard Maderazo