PSFK and Mixhibit capture New York Taste, a gathering featuring forty celebrated restaurants and bars for one night of outstanding food and drink.

First on Scene brings our readers an exclusive look at distinctive cultural events, supported by the Smirnoff Mixhibit app available for iOS and Android. This week, PSFK is on the scene at the opening of New York Taste 2013. Check out our Mixhibit of the event, and share your Mixhibit using #PSFKonScene for a chance to win a PSFK Party Pack.

On a Monday night when NYC got its first real taste of winter, a post-work crowd descended upon a refurbished warehouse space in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. Inside, vendors from the city’s premier culinary establishments were offering their wares. The foodie scene in New York is much romanticized, but rarely does the city’s population have the chance to experience its incredible diversity in one place.

The 15th annual New York Taste event achieved this feat by bringing together forty of New York’s most celebrated restaurants and mixology dens for one night of outstanding food and drink.  Hosted by New York Magazine and curated by culinary editor Gillian Duffy, the line-up included celebrated chefs Katie Bell of Blue Hill, Shaun Hergatt of Juni, Dale Talde of Talde, and Pegu Club mixologist Audrey Saunders. The majority of them were there to deliver their dishes and cocktails in person, granting PSFK a few minutes to catch their ear while they adeptly plated our food. The chefs we spoke with have forged their reputation by staying true to their work ethic and the attention to detail given to even these bite-sized morsels demonstrated why these masters have risen through the ranks.

Check out our Mixhibit below to see the night in action.

The access to the chefs that the event provided gave it a low-key feel, but the dishes they were preparing brought a dash of haute cuisine to the mix. A fresh take on the southern classic shrimp and grits from Red Rooster in Harlem was an immediate favorite, prepared with Creole shrimp, pimento grits and chorizo aioli. The pork meatballs and steak tartare from Pearl & Ash greeted us upon arrival and were promptly gobbled up. The dishes had a wide range of geographic influences, including restaurant Num Pang’s Thai take on a modern classic: the Spicy Butternut Squash soup shooter with coconut cream. After that, it was time to visit one of the onsite mixologists for a sample of their latest concoctions.

The event’s setting was befitting of the values of today’s cuisine, as the Waterfront ‘Tunnel’ — which was built in 1891 — was designed as a transfer point for merchants receiving or shipping goods in and out of the city. This was when the importance of fresh ingredients and respecting the life cycle of the food we consume began. When asked if this will be a continuing trend in food preparation, Peter Hoffman of Back Forty commented: “We’ve always done it this way and don’t plan to change. Right now we’re excited about finding new ways to shorten the food chain between the restaurant and consumer.”

Photo Credit- Melissa Horn/Grub Street

PSFK, then moved on from food to beverages, to see what today’s top cocktail aficionados had to offer. After whipping up a “Port of Call” consisting of gin, Sandeman Ruby Port, Lemon Juice, Cinnamon Syrup, Cranberry Relish, Bitters, Julie Reiner of Clover Club noted that growing consumer knowledge and expectations around their products and methods of output has pushed her company to reach their best, and then break it down and start again. “What’s different now from ten years ago is that with drinks, the customer is more educated. It helps keep you honest in your craft but it also is creative license to make drinks which people will appreciate.”

The high level of competition in this city has always prompted a richer, deeper exploration of foodstuffs. We caught up with Paul Liebrandt of The Elm to ask about what places he is taking inspiration from for his food today. “We’re  looking to South America for new flavors. Ingredients hailing from the rainforest of Brazil are exotic, some of which have never been used before. Additionally, the social gathering around food that is prevalent in that culture has the chance to permeate ours.”

New York Taste is the perfect event at which to enjoy everything that the city’s food scene has to offer, giving unfettered access to some of the top talents in the business. It is an excellent way to broaden your palate, fill your belly, and create a better understanding of the thought and time that goes into your favorite dishes.

New York Taste

First On Scene gives readers an exclusive look at New York’s most vibrant cultural events, presented by the new Mixhibit app from Smirnoff. Follow #PSFKonScene to catch all of the event highlights live, and share your own Mixhibits with us on Twitter for a chance to win an exclusive PSFK Party Pack.

The Mixhibit app from Smirnoff is a groundbreaking new tool that blends users’ best moments captured on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter into a one-of-a-kind video. In a digital age where good times rarely happen without a phone in hand, the Mixhibit app provides a seamless way for people to “show and tell”, as users of legal drinking age select photos and status updates, and a soundtrack from the app’s library of over 10,000 songs, to create their video. Check out the hype film to see how it works, join the #Mixhibit conversation on Twitter, and download the Mixhibit app now from the App Store or Google Play store.