Spring arrived sooner than expected, but we’ve got five great reasons to put off swimsuit season prep for one more week.
Get an early start on that most missed of summer traditions, barbecuing, at this walk-around tasting of the city’s best briskets. Over 20 chefs and butchers from Marlow and Daughters, Beast of Bourbon and Kimchi Smoke and more will bring their smokiest, most tender briskets to Sanders Studios on March 16 to compete in the Battle of the Meats, with categories like Best Smoked and Most Innovative in addition to best in show, so expect to taste some out-there flavors. Pick up some tips for your own backyard cookout at carving and cooking demos, sit in on panels with other meat enthusiasts. $90, 6-9:30 p.m., 525 Waverly Ave., Brooklyn
Yes, we did just have adoughnut festival. But given how they’ve been dominating the food trend headlines, from The Doughnut Project’sEverything Doughnutto theRainbow Doughnutsat Moe’s Doughs, it doesn’t hurt to check in on what’s cooking in the fryers around town. Plus, since they’re neither hot nor cold, they’re the perfect treat for spring weather. Participants include Underwest Donuts, the car wash doughnut shop that could take credit for the recent artisanal doughnut craze after launching their Maple Waffle Donut last February. There are three 90-minute tasting sessions to choose from, and tickets also include unlimited cold brew from the Sweetleaf coffee bar and unlimited beer from Tsingtao. $37, March 19, Marquee, 289 10th Ave.
Cocktails are already a heady mix of endless experimentation, alchemy and a little something special each bartender brings behind the bar. Cocktail Magic combines them with music and Italian eats by Roberta’s during an evening of illusions (tricks are for, well, not magicians) provided by Matthew Holtzclaw, who’s consulted for the Teller half of Penn & Teller, renown card trickster Jon Armstrong and more. David Korins Design usually keeps to Broadway sets, including the rotating stage for “Hamilton,” but they’ll be reworking the space to set the magical mood, with 24 cocktails will be served by 10 of the city’s best bars including the Dead Rabbit, Attaboy and Leyenda, as well as two out-of-town heavyweights, Chicago’s Broken Shaker and Williams & Graham from Denver. March 19, 10 p.m.-1 a.m., Weylin B. Seymour’s, 175 Broadway, Brooklyn
This one’s pricey, but you’ll understand why if the name Anthony Bourdain means anything to you. The longtime “No Reservations” host is doing some good in his own backyard to benefit educational programs for some of the city’s most underprivileged students with Food for Thought on March 16. Bourdain called in some big-name friends like Superiority Burger’s Brooks Headley and Andrew Carmellini of Lafayette to cook up dishes, all to benefit the Bronx Academy of Letters’ mission to prepare students in the Bronx for college. $350-$1,000, 7 p.m., Gustavino’s, 409 E. 59 th St.
When headline-making cooks put out cookbooks, home cooks can eat all the dishes that have the rest of the city standing in hours-long lines. But just how well do those recipes hold up outside of a professional kitchen? Food52 went to find out, pitting recipes from A-listers like April Bloomfield (Salvation Burger) and Michael Solomonov (Zahav and the upcoming Dizengoff in Chelsea Market) against each other over three weeks. On March 16, they’ll unveil the winner of the seventh annual Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, with all 16 contenders’ dishes up for sampling along with cocktails. $65, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Rizzoli Bookstore, 1133 Broadway