Food of Kings: Bklyn Chamber’s culinary trade show boasts bounty of boro-made bites • Brooklyn Paper

Food of Kings: Bklyn Chamber’s culinary trade show boasts bounty of boro-made bites

Took a bite out of Brooklyn: Kmur Hardeman and Erica Hunt savored locally made food and drinks during Thursday’s Brooklyn Eats trade show at Downtown’s City Point complex.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

It was fan-taste-tic!

Hungry Kings Countians trekked Downtown on Thursday to savor locally made treats from dozens of vendors at the Brooklyn Eats food-and-beverage trade show.

And this year, the more than two-decades-old event featured two exciting firsts: a fresh location, inside the City Point complex, and more women-run businesses than ever before, according to an organizer.

“We had a new record with 21 women-owned businesses,” said Katheryn Benedetto, a project manager for business-booster the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Many of the 57 participating entrepreneurs dished up culinary creations that showcased the borough’s diversity, such as the maker of buckwheat-based bites inspired by those she ate as a child in the Ukraine.

“I grew up in Ukraine, and began experimenting with the idea. Then I explored further, and it took off from there,” said Leeann Rybakov, who sells her Buck What! snacks out of offices Downtown.

Other attendees, including a local baker of Norweigan crispbread crackers, said their made-in-Brooklyn businesses are second careers that began after years of perfecting recipes at home.

“I was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years, and the idea began somewhat as a joke,” said Hedvig Bourbon, the owner of Norwegian Baked, who sells her bites at stores across the borough and country.

And some vendors, such as the mother-and-son duo who sell their family recipe for the Mediterranean delicacy za’atar — a condiment made with hyssop leaves, sesame seeds, salt, and other spices — in jars and infused schmears, said the trade show, much like their businesses themselves, is a wonderful opportunity to come together for the love of food.

“Seeing people’s reactions, and how they embrace and using it so much, is special,” said Lorraine Harik, who founded Zesty Z: The Za’atar Company with her son Alexander in 2016.

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