The Weekend Ahead: Dumpling Festival, Taste of France, Discover Shio-Koji Workshop, and Atlantic Antic


Now that the last weekend of September has arrived, the stress of finding a super original Halloween costume is on. Between your desperate search through vintage clothing shops and scouring Abracadabra for something in your size, why not take a break at some of these fun–and mostly free–events:

2013 NYC Dumpling Festival, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Chrystie & Grand Streets, Saturday, noon

Roll out the ravioli! Dumplings from across the globe will be on display as a variety of chefs share the secrets behind several varieties of the popular dish. There’ll also be a dumpling eating contest: contestants will try to finish off more than 74 dumplings in under two minutes to break the current record. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Food Bank For New York City.

Taste of France Show, Bryant Park, 41 West 40th Street, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.

If you bid adieu to the city during the summer, you probably missed the festivities surrounding Bastille Day. Not to worry; this two-day event showcases French culture with special attention paid to cuisine and wine. Thirty french chefs will demonstrate their talents with classic French regional specialties, and an equally impressive line-up of experts will lead wine seminars and tastings. Though many culinary events are free to attend and include complimentary tastings, special events are scheduled throughout the weekend. A full line-up of ticketed events starting at $35 can be found on the event’s website

Discover Shio-Koji Workshop, 41-26 27th Street, Queens, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Macrobiotic Chef Natsuko Yamawaki leads a demonstration on the creation and use of shio-koji, a salt and fermented rice mixture which is the basis for many flavor combinations including miso and soy sauce. Participants will also have the chance to taste a variety of shio-koji dishes after the demonstration. Reserve your seat to see how science and cooking combines to make great condiments on the workshop’s website.

Atlantic Antic, Atlantic Avenue between Hicks Street and Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, Sunday, noon

New York City’s largest annual street festival shuts down Atlantic Avenue to celebrate four Brooklyn neighborhoods. Restaurants, boutiques, and live music fill the streets offering everything from belly dancing for the adults to puppet shows for the kids. Hank’s Saloon is one of the many venues that will feature live performances throughout the day and foodie favorites like Mile End and Waterfront Ale House are back to dish out goodies like pastrami on a pretzel roll.