Inside the SAVEUR Holiday Social

We rang in the holiday season this past weekend at New York City’s Astor Center with our 2014 Holiday Social, an all-day fête full of tastings, chef demos, culinary classes, and great food and drinks, with a portion of ticket sales benefiting Citymeals-on-Wheels. We had a blast eating, drinking, and learning from talented chefs like Craig Koketsu, Hugh Acheson, George Mendes, Brad Farmerie, Cesare Casella, Brooks Headley, and more. If you missed all the fun, see some of the highlights below—or check out all of the great shots tagged with #saveurholiday on Instagram »

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Eli Sussman, executive chef of New York’s Mile End Deli, lifts a latke out of the pan during his demonstration on how to prepare a Hanukkah brunch with chef-partner Noah Bernamoff. “We operate the delis using an old school, slow approach to cooking Jewish food,” Sussman said.

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Hugh Acheson demonstrates how to make the Georgia-style Christmas dinner from his feature in our December issue, complete with boozy eggnog and field pea gratin.

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Chef Hugh Acheson’s full Georgia-style Christmas dinner.

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Coconut tapioca pudding with persimmon, coffee crumble, and macadamia nuts, part of chef Craig Koketsu’s menu centered around persimmons. Though Koketsu joked during class that persimmons “don’t really have a flavor,” the chef-partner of Fourth Wall Restaurants in New York City made them sing in crispy braised pork belly with persimmons, persimmon salad, and persimmon hot toddies.

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Guests fill the Taste Room to sample cocktails and dishes like bacon-wrapped sausage-stuffed dates, cinnamon churros with chocolate sauce, and fresh pasta with truffle cream sauce.

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Attendees try a hot pink beet milk punch made with gin, ceylon tea, and goat’s milk, created by Eamon Rockey, general manager of New York’s Betony restaurant. Rockey, along with chef Bryce Shuman, demonstrated the versatility of beets and goat milk by pairing the cocktail with marinated beets with goat cheese espuma and horseradish.

SAVEUR Holiday Social

James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Brooks Headley of Del Posto shows us how to get fancy with dessert, demonstrating a twist on an ice cream pop made with ricotta gelato, huckleberry compote, and brutti ma buoni (ugly but good) hazelnut meringue cookies. (We can vouch for Headley’s assertion that when you’re baking brutti ma buoni, “the nuts and cinnamon toasting together perfumes the kitchen with…awesomeness.”)

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Featured vendor Cocktail Punk, with 8 varieties of bitters on offer.

SAVEUR Holiday Social

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 13: Jake Cohen (L) and Judy Haubert attend SAVEUR Holiday Social at Astor Center on December 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for SAVEUR)

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Chef George Mendes of Aldea makes amêijoas à bulhão pato, a classic Portuguese recipe of clams steamed with vinho verde, garlic, and cilantro, from his new cookbook, My Portugal: Recipes and Stories (Stewart, Tabori & Chang).

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Mendes plates the steamed clams for the attendees of his class on Portuguese cuisine.

SAVEUR Holiday Social

Coquito ice cream cones rolled in toasted coconut from Brooklyn-based Blue Marble ice cream.