Since making its first appearance in New York City four years ago, Le Fooding, France’s renegade answer to the Michelin Guide, has hosted cheeky celebrations of the cutting edge of the dining scene, spotlighting innovative chefs and restaurateurs while pushing them out of their comfort zones via themed parties like the round-the-clock pop-up The Exquisite Corpse and last year’s Time Mach’Inn, a look back at the contributions of the previous three eras of food. This summer, Le Fooding heads to the Rockaways — highlighting the explosive nature of the restaurant industry out that way — where it will host a three-day shoreside pop-up called Sanpellegrino Fruitstock at the Rockaways featuring Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi and Rockaway Taco’s Andrew Field, with appearances by Ivan Ramen’s Ivan Orkin, Ludo Lefebvre, and Enrique Olivera of Mexico City’s Pujol.
Event organizer Anna Polonsky sensed something was cool happening out in the Rockaways, and that’s when she got in touch with Field to put together a party out there. “We had heard about Le Fooding, and we thought it would be a really fun event to put on at the 97th Street Concession,” Field says. “It’s an oceanfront dining venue that’s still in New York City and accessible by train. All the pieces simply fit.”
And he confirms Polonsky’s hunch about the neighborhood’s growth. “It’s our seventh summer out here, and it’s been amazing to watch,” says Field. “For a long time, it was untouched. In 2011, Caracas and Rippers came out to join us, and that really opened the door. In 2012, the energy and flow was really good, and it was sort of a natural progression that people were flocking to the beach in summer times. Bloomberg was pushing things to the waterfront, and Jamaica Bay got a lot more recreational attention.”
That vibe was derailed a bit by Sandy, and last summer, says Field, most of the people who live in the neighborhood were still spending their free time rebuilding. This summer, most of the construction is complete, and the beach is feeling busier than ever. “People are focused on having fun this summer,” he says. “You can hear the tone in their voices.”
Le Fooding will channel that energy on July 11 through 13 at Rockaway Beach 97, when the crew of chefs it’s enlisted will serve Italian food al fresco — a challenge Field says he was up for, despite the fish taco-focus of his own concept. “It’s all really fun and interactive,” he says. “There will be this constant flow of people moving around and grabbing different things. We get to try something different.”
There will be two seatings per day, one at noon and one at 2:45 p.m., and the meals will feature live entertainment from a brass band and DJ sets from Nancy Whang and Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans of Yacht. Entrance is $40, and some of the proceeds benefit the Graybeards, an organization that caters to the restoration of the Rockaways.
Tickets aren’t open to the general public yet, but you can get yours right this very second via our special presale link. Head on over to the Le Grand Fooding website to reserve your place at the party.