2021 Recap – Bowl of Zole

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Bowl of ‘Zole 2021 Recap

Chefs and mezcal brands came together in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in late October to celebrate all things pozole and agave spirits. This festival, curated by Arik Torren, owner of Fidencio Mezcal; chef, restaurant owner, and cookbook author, Danny Mena; and Food Karma’s Jimmy Carbone, untied an amazing community of mezcal aficionados and Mexican chefs all excited to share the experience with our attendees. See more here.

All Photos by Patty Lee

The event featured delicious versions of pozole from:

  • Luis Arce Mota of La Contenta
    • Vegan Pozole Verde
  • Yara Herrera of Xilonen
    • Green Vegan Pozole de Calabaza
  • Cosme Aguilar of Casa Enrique
  • Danny Mena of La Loncheria
    • Red Pozole with Crab and Pork
  • Ivan Garcia of Mesa Coyoacan
  • Irwin Sánchez of Under the Volcano
    • Classic Corn Pozole
  • Fernando Navas of Balvanera
  • Julian Medina of La Chula Taqueria
    • Miso Pozole with Porchetta, Hominy, Cabbage, Radishes, Scallions and Chile de Arbol
  • Julian Medina of Kuxé
    • Pozole de Birria with beer braised brisket & pork, maiz pozolero and pickled watermelon radish-habanero salad

Plus tastings and cocktails from these top-shelf brands:

Del Maguey

Mezcal Siete Misterios

Erstwhile Mezcal

Don Fulano

Sotol Flor Desierto

Mezcal Cruz del Fuego

Tequila Fortaleza

Mezcales de Leyenda

Mezcal Derrumbes

Raicilla La Venenosa

Bacanora Rancho Tepua

Sotol La Higuera

PM Spirits

Mezcal Bañuelos

Raicilla Bonete

Bacanora Yawee

Skurnik Wines and Spirits

Mezcal Espiritu Lauro

Sotol Coyote



Mal Bien

Don Amado

Minas Real

Arte Nom

Craft Distillers

Mezcal Montelobos

Mezcal Wakaha

Mezcal Vago

Tequila Ocho

Mezcal el Buho

Mezcal Los Vecinos

Mezcal Sombra

Tequila Astral

Heavy Metl

Rayo Seco

Bowl of ‘Zole is Proud to Partner with City Harvest

City Harvest
Part of this event’s proceeds and food will got to City Harvest, New York City’s largest food rescue organization. City Harvest will rescue 66 million pounds of food this year and deliver it free of charge to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community food programs, helping to feed the nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers struggling to put meals on their tables. Learn more. 

About Event Curators Arik Torren & Danny Mena 

Arik Torren
Arik started his career in the restaurant business over 25 years ago.  As a front-of-house person he worked in all parts of operations but was always drawn towards beverage.  In 2004 and 2005, Arik received his Level 1 & Level 2 certification for the American Sommeliers Association.  

In 2009, Arik launched Fidencio Mezcal. His passion for educating and telling stories were the perfect complement to present Fidencio and grow the category of Mezcal.  Within the past 14 years artisanal mezcal has seen major growth and Fidencio Mezcal has been a driving force within the category.  

In 2014, Arik has launched Fidencio Spirits to import other brands to the United States. Fidencio Mezcal sparked a desire to explore more flavors, learn more stories and share them with the market. The first project was Raicilla La Venenosa. Until now, these remarkable spirits were hidden to the outside world. With the launch of the brand La Venenosa, he also launched the spirits category of Raicilla and Tutsi to the United States. In 2015, Fidencio Spirits launched Mezcal Derrumbes, A Mezcal Journey. 2017 brought us Bacanora Rancho Tepúa and Mezcal Del Amigo. In 2018 FS launched Sotol La Higuera and in 2021 the Tequila Mi Casa. The portfolio currently has 36 expressions with 16 different Maestros, 26 unique varieties of agave and sotol coming from 11 different states in Mexico, clearly telling a story and sharing a passion.  

Danny Mena
Mexico City-born Danny Mena began at New York landmarks Blue Hill and The Modern before opening Hecho en Dumbo in 2010 and La Lonchería in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood in 2017.

In his new book, Danny Mena mixes recipes inspired by Mexico City street food, local eateries, and multi-starred restaurants, combining regional traditions and global trends. Each recipe is inspired by a different Mexico City restaurant, and in more than 100 dishes, Danny Mena shows American home cooks the depth and diversity of true Mexican cooking in the capital city

Press and Related Media

The New York Times: “A new food festival on Saturday will feature 100 mezcals to sample, along with pozoles from the chefs Ivy Stark, Danny Mena, Gonzalo Rivera, Julian Medina, Hugo Orozco, Luis Arce Mota, Chai Trivedi, Fernando Navas, Ivan Garcia, Cosme Aguilar and Fany Gerson. Red pozole, matzo ball pozole, oyster pozole and pozole ramen are a few of the bowls that will be served. It’s engineered by Jimmy Carbone of Food Karma with Arik Torren, an owner of Fidencio Spirits, and Mr. Mena.”

Timeout: “New York gains Bowl of ‘Zole festival on February 29th. The event in Williamsburg will have pozole and mezcal to try and is curated, in part, by Mena, with chefs Gerson, Ivy Stark (Casa Bocado and Time Out Market New York vendor), Cosme Aguilar (Casa Enrique) and more.”

Grub Street: 10 Excellent Things To Eat, Drink, and Do in NYC This Februray: 1. Go to a festival that’s all about pozole and mezcal. Pozole is one of of Mexico’s favorite dishes, a pork and hominy soup that inspires obsession and longing. The New York chefs Danny Mena and Fany Gerson are so obsessed they recently launched the pozole pop-up La Pozoleria, and now Mena is doing one better: He’s curating the first Bowl of ’Zole in Williamsburg, a February 29 festival dedicated entirely to pozole and, for good measure, mezcal.”

Gothamist: Best Things to Do in NYC This Week: Warm yourself up at Bowl of ‘Zole, a feast of Mexican comfort food and drinks. The star of the day is pozole, a hearty stew made with hominy, greens, and a variety of meats (with vegetarian options too, of course), prepared by 10 different chefs including Casa Enrique’s Cosme Aguilar, Toloache and La Chula’s Julian Medina, La Loncheria’s Danny Mena, and Casa Bocado’s Ivy Stark. To wash it down, there will be 50 different smoky mezcals, an ancient beverage traditionally distilled in in-ground fire pits.

Bklyner: Celebrate Pozole at Bowl of ‘Zole Festival this Saturday in Williamsburg: Chef Danny Mena and Arik Torren, both veterans of the New York City mezcal and restaurant scenes, wanted to create an event that elevated mezcal and pozole, both of which tangibly represent the regional diversity of Mexico’s cuisine. They called up Jimmy Carbone, a seasoned event producer, to help bring it to fruition. 

Brooklyn Paper: ‘Zole Models: Festival Celebrates a Meaty Mexican Stew: “There are a million ramen joints in the city, why not pozole?” asked chef Danny Mena, who runs the pop-up restaurant La Pozolería in Manhattan. “It’s d— delicious!”

Beer Sessions Radio

Episode 520: Tastes from Mexico: Mezcal and Pozole
In honor of the upcoming Bowl of ‘Zole Festival, Jimmy talks about the festival’s featured food and drink: pozole and mezcal. He is joined by one of Bowl of ‘Zole’s curators, Arik Torren of Fidencio Spirits, in addition to Leslie Vinyard of Roberta’s Pizza and Chris Crowley of Grub Street. Arik draws on his experience importing spirits as the group talks about the traditional process of making mezcal and how increased demand has affected farmers in Oaxaca. They also discuss their favorite places to get pozole in New York and compare mezcal with natural wine.

Connecting Regional Agriculture, Food, and Tastes
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