Calexico tacos from last year's Madison Square Eats. [Photograph: Alice Gao]

Friday (May 4)

New York City Food Book Fair
Friday May 4th to Sunday May 6th
This three-day event series is an intellectual foodie's dream come true. Panels featuring renowned food writers, chefs, and activists will focus on the intersections of food, art, media, politics, and ecology. Between catered meals, book signings, and art exhibits, there's something for everyone. Tickets available by day or event. $15/panel or $65/day. 80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn; event website

Madison Square Eats
Friday May 4th to Friday June 1st
Beginning this Friday, Worth Square welcomes back Madison Square Eats for its spring 2012 edition. For the next month, more than 25 beloved food vendors will be serving up delicious lunches and snacks thanks to the Madison Square Park Conservancy. We're especially looking forward to more of Eataly's pizza fritta. Madison Square Park; event website

Umami Food and Art Festival Student Cooking-Art Challenge
Friday May 4th, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
This is the final event of the Umami Food and Art Festival that began last month. Brooklyn Kitchen is hosting an exhibition of art projects produced by teams of culinary and art students. The works, ranging from edible dishes to performance art to film, will be on display for the evening. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces and a winner will be announced by a panel of industry judges. Beer and hors d'oeuvres will be served. $15. 100 Frost Street, Brooklyn; event website

Saturday (May 5)

Cinco De Mayo Celebration
Saturday May 5th, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Brooklyn Kitchen heads over to Smorgasburg for a Mexican fiesta. They'll be playing games and serving up mezcal, salsa, tortillas, and some crunchy and delicious crickets. Yum! 27 N. 6th Street, Brooklyn; event website

Mex Fest on the Seaport
Saturday May 5th, 12 to 7 p.m.
New York's most popular food trucks will congregate at the South Street Seaport to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Each truck will offer a Mexican twist on one of their normal menu items in honor of the holiday. The fair will also feature a live DJ, drinks, a hot chili pepper eating contest, and other festivities. $8 vouchers. Pier 16, New York, NY; event website

Colonel Boyd Presents the 138th Kentucky Derby
Saturday May 5th, 1 p.m.
The Bell House is doing Derby day to the max. From live-band karaoke to square-dancing lessons, they've got all the bases covered. Food from Urban Rustic, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and $6 Maker's Mark mint juleps will be available throughout the day. For fashion enthusiasts, prizes will be awarded for best formal and informal headwear, and hats from La China Loca will be on sale. $10. 149 7th Street, Brooklyn, event website

Sunday (May 6)

International "Meats" Local
Sunday May 6th, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30p.m.
New Amsterdam Market and the Vendy Awards are partnering for this special locavore event. Using produce from the Union Square Greenmarket, meat from Marlow & Daughter's Butcher Shop, and chicken from Bo Bo Poultry, five Vendy food trucks will prepare trademark dishes with an eye toward sustainability. The participating vendors are Solber Pupusas, Guadalupe's Tamales, Eggstravaganza, A-Pou's Taste, and Veronica's Kitchen. $30 early bird, $20 general admission. 100 Peck Slip, New York, NY; event website

Sunday May 6th, 1 to 5 p.m.
Head over to Chelsea for a celebration of Basque cuisine and wine. The street fair will bring together over a dozen New York City restaurants, including Pearl Oyster Bar, AC Restaurants, Aux Fourchettes, and Sullivan Bakery, for a delicious array of traditional and modern Basque dishes. A full range of Txakoli wines will be available for sampling with every bite. $45. 240 9th Avenue, New York, NY; event website

Monday (May 7)

James Beard Awards
Monday May 7th, 5 p.m.
Covering all aspects of the industry—from chefs and restaurateurs to cookbook authors and food journalists to restaurant designers and architects and more—the Beard Awards are the highest honor for food and beverage professionals working in North America. The Master of Ceremonies at this year's awards is Alton Brown. Tickets start at $425. Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue and 65th Street, New York, NY; event website

Wednesday (May 9)

Northern Spy's Wild Foods Dinner
Wednesday May 9th
Northern Spy Food Co. is offering a tantalizing four-course menu inspired by foraged ingredients. From a wild mussel and ramp chowder to a knotweed napoleon, this meal is sure to provide some novel flavor profiles. If a foraged forest salad of burdock root, pine, violets, and malted rye doesn't qualify as food for thought, I don't know what does. $50. 511 East 12th Street; event website


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