Grit and bear it at this all-grits festival

The Brooklyn Paper
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Joe Pesci’s Vinny Gambini character in the movie “My Cousin Vinny” was probably the first Brooklynite to eat grits, but he sure won’t be the last.

Those curious about the Southern breakfast staple can sample a slew of preparations at the Brooklyn Grits Takedown on June 27 at the Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO.

The Takedown, a series of amateur cooking contests, began about five years ago, after founder Matt Timms came up with a way of bringing quirky dining events to the borough.

So of all the foods to choose from, why did the actor-turned-food enthusiast choose grits?

“I got the idea from all the cooking events I did down South,” Timms said. “There’s a million ways to make grits and people have such strong opinions about them.”

There’ll be plenty of free booze and even the foodie movie “It’s Grits.” But the actual grits, made from corn meal and similar to polenta, are the real draw.

Expect about 30 variations of the down-home dish. Crazy is the norm at a Takedown: the previous contest, a lamb Takedown in April, featured entries as bizarre as lamb cupcakes.

“The entries could be as classic as cheese grits, or as weird as grits popsicles,” Timms said.

That is weird.

Grits Takedown at the Tobacco Warehouse (37 Water St. at Dock Street in DUMBO, no phone), June 27, noon. Tickets are $35 (in advance), $45 (day of the show). For info, visit

Updated 4:14 pm, June 16, 2010
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