BAM's Latke Festival 2012: A Great Place To Be A Potato

I hit Great Performances' 4th Annual Latke Festival at BAM hard. Last night's celebration of the celebration of celebrating (...right?) was the kind of food festival you want to be at: non-existent lines, generous liquor pours and fried food not limited to latkes — think doughnuts, lots — and, well, lots of old Jewish people who didn't know what "hashtag Latke Fest" meant and didn't care to find out. And quite frankly, looked a little perplexed at Veselka's latke with lemon crème fraîche, shaved black truffle and microgreens.

But that's what happens when chefs fry up a bunch of potatoes in this manner. Here are some others:

  • Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola's deviled egg and black olive relish latke had the creaminess and richness you want from sour cream, plus, fried potatoes and eggs.
  • Fatty Cue's peanut oil–fried latke topped with ricotta and smoked crab went very quickly, as you might imagine.

  • And, as I predicted, the Sussman brothers' duck fat-fried latkes with "many sauces," especially the smoked salmon cream, were spectacular. "Make sure you get all the moisture out or they won't fry up," Eli Sussman reminded us, in the style of Bubbie.

Did temperatures, densities, grind of potato and fat of choice vary? Yes. Were some of the edges frizzled and burned? Of course, as is the answer to "and does that shred up the roof of your mouth, especially if you can't stop popping the hot burned devils because they're slathered with duck confit and gastrique?"

There is nothing to complain about during and especially after any latke festival. Mmm, I can smell it in my hair...mmm...

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