Image via Secret Summer

Secret Summer Aquarius Brings Sustainable Seafood, Farm-to-Bar Cocktails to NYC

Secret Summer Aquarius is NYC's only bespoke sustainable seafood and farm-to-bar cocktail event. It will take place at the Foundry on January 27.

“This is an event for 21 to 40-year-old millennial hipster foodie fashion-forward people who love great cocktails and love great food,” Tyler Hollinger says when I press him to identify who his forthcoming sustainable seafood and farm-to-bar cocktail event, Aquarius, is for.

Secret Summer Aquarius is New York’s first-ever seafood and cocktail event to focus on sustainable ingredients and farm-to-bar food culture in New York City. Hosted by RAPT New York and HighLife Productions, the magical, immersive dining experience will take place at The Foundry in Long Island City on January 27, 2018 from 8 PM until 1 AM.

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Tickets are available here.

Image via Secret Summer

“Our goal is to create an experience that’s not usual in New York City,” says Allison Du Val of the Foundry– the lush, greenery-filled event space where Aquarius will be held.

“We’ve always felt that the space was on of the most unique and beautiful spaces in New York City, and you don’t often get to see the interior since it’s a private event space,” says Andy Maturana, Hollinger’s co-founder of Secret Summer and chef-owner of RAPT New York.

While Aquarius– like Secret Summer’s previous Farm-to-Bar cocktail event in New York City— will feature the best local seafood and beverage purveyors in the area (and maybe even the world), there is also an emphasis on immersive entertainment that makes Secret Summer programming unlike any other in the city.

The performances that take place throughout the event are up close and personal, featuring everything from aerialists and brass bands to subtle hospitality delights, like the fact that the servers travel around the space on mini bikes. “There’s no delineation between stage and audience,” Maturana notes.

As the event planners write on their website:

“This astrological event will feature many delicacies of the sea as well as the height of beverage culture and innovative representations from a bevy of premium liquors. Enjoy two floors and over 4,000 square feet of innovative mixology, worldwide brands, and delectable seafood treats from NYC’s best restaurants.

“Guests will enter the Foundry from the arched stone and ivy passageway along a candlelit trail to the guest check-in and coat check. There they will be greeted and ushered into the ‘white room’ adorned with winter wonder perfect for that insta-moment.

As the guests meander through the space they will be able to explore the lush greenhouse and expansive main hall where performers and treats abound. A hand selected cadre of NYC’s finest restaurants will be serving up bites and treats as many of the worlds most popular brands pour tastes and cocktails in this intimate environment. The marquee whole fish grill by Chef Carlos Barroz will feature the finest in sustainable fishing and local farm-to-table fare.”

Image via Secret Summer

Those interested in philanthropic entertainment will note that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to New York City’s Sustainable fisheries and shellfish farms, including the partner charity, the Billion Oyster Project.

“Our goal is to make sustainability, farm-to-bar, and seasonality a forefront of the events that we put forward, because we feel that it’s a very important, very relatable, and delicious issue,” says Hollinger.

“Secret Summer started out as a cocktail festival where we would bring the best and brightest of local farms and ingredients and pair them with responsible brands of liquor who want to reach people in a different way,” he adds. “Hopefully, down the road, we’ll be able to do one event for each season.”

Below, check out a selection of photos from Secret Summer 2017. See you at Aquarius!

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