How's your summer bucket list going? We hate to be the ones to tell you but there's only a month left of Summer Fridays and outdoor everything.
It's been a good season for sun seekers, from a couple of spectacular new rooftop pools in Brooklyn to a branch of Smorgasburg opening in Manhattan, the city's biggest oyster bar opening on Governors Island and the rise of Industry City as a full-blown destination.
Which is all amazing, but it's not summer without some serious outdoor cooking. No need to wait until Labor Day weekend — we've rounded up the last of the season's barbecues and cook-offs to bring the season to a delicious close.
Back and bigger than ever, the “porktacular” festival that is Pig Island brings more than 25 chefs to the Brooklyn Waterfront for a day of open-air grilling. They’ll be using heritage pork, so expect tons of flavors you’ve never experienced before in a day-long snout-to-tail feast from chefs including last year’s winner Rodrigo Duarte, Clay Gordon (with a chocolate bacon fondue!), Jonathan Botta of Smoke Show and a crew from Toronto’s Cherry Street BBQ. Plus lots of ciders, craft beers and an artisan spirits tent featuring New York state liquors, live music and more. Sept. 9, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Erie Basin Park, Red Hook, $75, kids under 12 free, eventbrite.com
Brooklyn has made as much a name for itself on the city’s food scene as Manhattan, and the annual Taste Talks series gathers some of its best chefs for a weekend of talking about why it’s better in Brooklyn, then putting their knives to use proving it. The highlight is always the All-Star Cookout, when 12 of the attending chefs — this year featuring Dale Talde, Frankie Cosmos and the Win Son crew — to cook up something fun to go with your two complimentary cocktails. Sept. 10, noon or 2:30 p.m. entry, $49, brooklyn.tastetalks.com
Queens BBQ Smokedown & Brew Fest
All that late-summer sunshine and eating are bound to leave you thirsty. Well, “beer” is right in the name of the second annual Queens BBQ Smokedown & Beer Fest, so expect it to flow freely (with admission) all day. Curated by the people behind LIC Flea & Food, champions of all things made in the borough, you can taste what’s cooking in one of the city’s fastest-growing neighborhoods while browsing its weekend market of vintage housewares, handmade clothing and crafts. Sept. 16-17, 5-25 46th Ave., Long Island City, $36-$126, licflea.com
Pig Beach Guest Pitmasters
Gowanus’ 13,000-square-foot backyard cookout is going all-season this fall, after acquiring the building next door. The crew at Pig Beach are already all-star pitmasters themselves, but they occasionally turn their grills and smokers over to some other barbecue luminaries to bring some of the South to NYC. Coming up in the Guest Pitmaster Takeover series are Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porker BBQ in Nashville (Aug. 23-24), Pat Martin of Martins BBQ in Nashville (Sept. 13-14) and Tuffy Stone of Q BBQ in Richmond, Virginia (Sept. 20-21). Note: They’re open until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 480 Union St., Brooklyn, pigbeachnyc.com
Brooklyn Bacon Takedown 2017
For the faithful who believe there’s one part of the pig superior to all others, there is the Brooklyn Bacon Takedown 2017. Instead of restaurants, the Takedown series pits home cooks against each other for glory (and usually some sweet pots and pans as prizes). If you think you’ve got what it takes, entries are still being accepted for the Sept. 24 competition (and come with 10 pounds of Cheshire pork from Heritage Farms to perfect your bacon strategy), or just come to the hallowed Bushwick grounds of Arrogant Swine to help decide the next Bacon King of Brooklyn. Sept. 24, 2-4 p.m., 173 Morgan Ave., Bushwick, $20, brownpapertickets.com