It’s a few nights until Hannukah, but the Brooklyn Museum helped get Crown Heights in the mood with the eighth annual Latke Festival last night.
Out of the 20 competitors serving either savory or sweet latkes, Park Slope’s Benchmark not only had the best presentation — a cutting board with an image of Lionel Richie asking “Is it me you’re cooking for?” — they also won the judges over with their latke flavored with cranberries and juniper, topped with a confit of smoked duck and spicy pickled cucumbers. People's choice winner Shelsky's of Brooklyn won over the crowd with a Great Gatsby latke of caraway potatoes, topped with pastrami smoked salmon and horseradish cream cheese.
Alas, we didn’t get to try it, since Shelsky’s was among four restaurants that were already out of food about an hour into the three-hour event. Other notable bites included Brooklyn Museum’s own The Norm cafe, with Jamaican-style oxtail and coconut yogurt on a casava latke, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola with a combo of maple-bourbon sweet potato latke and smoked goat cheese, brought together in perfect sweet-savory harmony by sage oil, and (of course) Veselka, who managed to make an airy chicken liver pate balanced with roasted vegetables over a zucchini-potato latke.
Check out our photos from the event, which also featured drinks by The Bedford, Tito’s vodka, City Winery and more, all to benefit The Sylvia Center’s mission to educate children about nutrition and cooking.