"A good fried chicken comes down to being seasoned all the way through the meat. Ours is more than an 11 herbs and spices recipe."
Come see a behind-the-scenes peek into the prep work and concepts behind some of the unique foods offered at The Great GoogaMooga food and music festival this weekend in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Meet the cast at Joseph Leonard, a West Village neighborhood restaurant claiming to have perfected the fried chicken sandwich. This one's got quite the crunch too. I hope you're hungry... Enjoy!
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"We're planning on selling close to 3500 egg sandwiches in 3 days."
Come see a behind-the-scenes peek into the prep work and concepts behind some of the unique foods offered at The Great GoogaMooga food and music festival this weekend in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Meet the cast at Northern Spy Food Co., a farm to table restaurant in the East Village, serving up a soft yolk packed, eggy chimichurri sandwich bomb for those looking for a delicious, meatless option. I hope you're hungry... Enjoy!
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"I like to make food worth lining up for. It's too much work to make food that's just average."
Come see a behind-the-scenes peek into the prep work and concepts behind some of the unique foods offered at The Great GoogaMooga food and music festival this weekend in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Meet the cast at Landhaus, a farm to sandwich operation in Brooklyn, serving up high-quality, herb infused, melt-in-your mouth, thick cut bacon on a stick. Enjoy! I hope you're hungry...
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"When it comes to Filipino food, everything's gotta be BIG."
Today, I'm kicking off a week-long food. curated. collaboration series with the fun folks at GoogaMooga!
Come see a behind-the-scenes peek into the prep work and concepts behind some of the unique foods offered at The Great GoogaMooga food and music festival this weekend in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Meet the cast at Jeepney, a super-creative Filipino gastropub serving up a burger you won't believe -- it's one part jungle fever and one part FUNK. I hope you're hungry... Enjoy!
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"I wanted to make upscale food more accessible, because that's the way I want to eat."
Meet Sung Park, the chef and owner of Bistro Petit in Brooklyn, a tiny, unassuming, 10-seater restaurant entirely devoted to unique, bold-flavored Korean French cuisine. Yes. You read that right: Korean French cuisine. Chef Park specializes in the novel -- breaking taboos and creating new possibilites in food -- proving to doubtful colleagues that you can marry Korean and French flavors and technique. As Chef Park explained to me, "it's all about balance." But, achieving that balance didn't come easy. In fact, it took close to a decade of working and reworking his ideas to finally understand.
I'm telling you now, this is a special place, one of the best deals in Brooklyn too. A place where you'll discover standout dishes like kimchi bouillabaisse and Korean beef bourguignon http://www.livefootagebrooklyn.com. It's a playground, an on-going test kitchen where Chef Park tinkers and plays around with his secret supply of specialty Korean ingredients -- all because, to him, it's exciting!
Bistro Petit has certainly made an impression on me, which is why I'm excited to share this story. Be sure to check out the $90, seven-course tasting menu served stool side Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. It's a food experience you won't want to miss, especially for the price. So, what's that moment of clarity like, when you finally know why you want to cook? Click play and find out.
**A very special thank you to my pals Mike Thies and Topu Lyo of LIVE FOOTAGE for lending their beautiful, atmospheric music to this story. You can watch them perform live at Apotheke every Sunday night in New York City. Or, just click here!
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"My whole life I thought I was healthy..."
What if you loved food, but the odds were against you? What if foods you knew to be good and nourishing were also the enemy? These are the questions I tackled this week for my short food. curated. series exploring the idea of Why We Cook. Meet Amie Valpone, personal chef, recipe developer, food photographer and the Editor-in-Chief of The Healthy Apple, a clean eating blog based in New York City. For Amie, food is a long list of wants but cannot-haves. And this is her story about why she cooks.
I hope Amie's optimism -- despite all her challenges -- inspires you to take a moment to think about what you put in your body. So many of us eat without thinking, but if you put more thought into it, if you questioned how your body reacts to certain foods, what would you discover? It's worth thinking about. I'm certainly thinking about it. That's why I love her story.
Enjoy. Overcome obstacles. Eat. Food awaits you.
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"Life's goal is to beat you down. Our goal is to tell Life, 'I'm here, I'm stronger than you.' And for me, that anchor is the kitchen. The kitchen is my constant."
Meet Jennifer Perillo, a.k.a. Jennie, the food writer and cookbook author behind In Jennie's Kitchen. Over the course of the next few weeks, I'll be profiling some very special people I've met for a short food. curated. series on Why We Cook.
What compels us to cook? That's a question I've been tossing around my head these past few months. I've been feeling a bit sentimental these days, spending time in the kitchen to "work things out." I've come to realize, that's what I do. I come to the kitchen to be fully present in the moment, to not let the past or future bother me, but to have space to just be me. I guess you could say, I cook to help let go. Last week, I made a beautiful salad for a friend I hoped to make amends with, enjoyed the simplicity of finding that just-right recipe, with that oh-so-perfect blend of flavors and ingredients to make 'em know I cared. Over the weekend, I popped out of bed with a mission to bake fluffy, buttery biscuits, to help erase a heavy night of tears and bad dreams, after a week of some sad, personal news. So for me, the kitchen is where I go to repair and find peace. For Jennie, the kitchen is even more: Food. Family. And Life. Lots of life to be exact. A whole spectrum.
I don't want to say too much, because I think her video says it all. I hope you enjoy Jennie's story. I hope it inspires you like it inspires me. Every time I watch it, I'm moved.
To read more about her life stories and to try some of her recipe creations, you can purchase her new -- and very first -- cookbook Homemade with Love, here.
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"Seitan isn't a meat replacement, it's a food stuff in its own right. Some of our happiest moments are when we get a meat eater who says, 'You know what, this stuff is great. I didn't realize vegetarian meat could be this good.'"
Meet Chris Kim and Rebecca Lopez-Howes, the co-owners and seitan specialists behind Monk's Meats, a vegetarian butcher shop -- with plans to open a storefront -- in Brooklyn, New York. Monk's Meats is on a mission to supply home cooks and local chefs with meatless raw materials made with a foodie in mind, whole foods made with integrity and a passion for flavor. Dissatisfied with the seitan options at grocery stores, Chris and Rebecca, both vegetarians, started making their own version at home three years ago, getting so good at it that they decided to launch a business. And I'm glad they did.
"Nobody else in New York City was doing it, so it made sense to me." - Chris Kim
Monk's Meats motto is Fresh Food. Tastes Good. and it hints at two of their beliefs: 1) they make fresh food and it tastes good, and 2) the key to high quality food starts with well-sourced, fresh, raw ingredients. Watching them make artisan seitan is a fascinating process, both very physical and very tedious too. But, according to Chris, "It's fun!" And it certainly looked fun. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to throw down my camera to help him punch out and shape the seitan.
On a daily basis, they produce between 100 to 150 pounds of seitan for Monk's Meats, hand-delivering them to restaurants, customers and a handful of retail shops around the city. I've tried all of their seitan flavors, and each one of them stands out distinctly -- enhancing stir-frys, sandwiches, salads, soups, omelettes, you name it -- with a great source of protein. Oh, and the texture is unbelievable too. Perfectly chewy. Firm. And succulent. Like they say, it is meat. And it sure does feel like it.
"Like everybody else, I have Tabasco getting dusty in my cupboard. For me, it's always been about fresh peppers."
Meet Sonya Samuel, the founder and owner behind Bacchanal Pepper Sauce, a Brooklyn made, Caribbean-hot, soul-satisfying pepper sauce that recently launched in New York City. Like her hot sauce, Sonya too is a party. She throws around "yeah babys" like I throw around smiles, engaging people with a lust-for-life attitude that you're always glad to bump up into, when you do. Now, Sonya LOVES food. And I'm not saying it just to say it. I'm saying it because it's something she'll tell you often -- and often with a very vocal opinion. She knows what she likes and doesn't like, and isn't shy about picking dishes apart. I appreciate that about her. She knows and trusts her palate, and I think that's why her hot sauce is so good. She has standards... very high standards. Sonya wants her pepper sauce to represent what she believes in food: that good food should create memories and moments. It should "transport" you. And, you know what, I'll give it to her. This pepper sauce is like a nice, spicy vacation.
Enjoy her story!
As of a few weeks ago, Sonya just started offering Bacchanal Pepper Sauce on her website online. It's 100 percent natural with no preservatives -- something very important to Sonya -- and a great condiment for anyone who likes a bit of heat. Which, in case you're wondering, is about an 8 out of 10 for most "pepper heads." I've eaten it on eggs, in soups, on italian subs, on vegetables. It's quite versatile and opens up dishes in a really nice way. I think you'll be surprised how many layers of flavor you'll experience. And the fruit, really, is what makes it sing (at least for me). I think that's what sets it apart from all the other hot sauces in my fridge. It's in a category of its own, and certainly worth a try.
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"When you use multiple versions of one ingredient, it makes a difference! We do a lot of blending with spices that way. These aren't just one-note or two-note flavors."
Meet Lynn Sterett and Joan Kass, the co-founders of The Well Dressed Nut, a 3-year old, premium, artisan nut company based in Tenafly, NJ. I will admit, I'm not the biggest nut person. I rarely crave them. In fact, I don't seek them out. Nuts, in general, don't make it into my pantry as a snack. So, when I came across The Well Dressed Nut, it's not that I was skeptical, I guess you could say, I was just going through the motions of story research. I wasn't thinking too much about it, UNTIL I took that first bite: CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH. Immediately, my brain and tastebuds kicked in: what's that flavor, and THAT spice? What IS that? That hot, peppery kick in the back end of the bite, that's new. That's interesting. All these flavors, woke me up. It was a nice change. And, they have a nice story.
Lynn and Joan don't come from the food world. They originally met, and became close friends, selling beauty products in New York City for twenty years. After they left their careers, they still wanted to work together. They searched and brainstormed ideas for awhile, hoping to find something fun and challenging, until one day, after one too many dinner parties, an idea fell NUT-urally into their lap. haha.
So, enjoy the story of The Well Dressed Nut! Hope you purchase a few pouches online to try them. They carry a variety of flavors in their "Flavor Wardrobe". My favorites: the Spiced-Up Pecans (using a top secret spicy ground pepper in the mix) and the Cinnamon-Vanilla Pecans (incorporating 3 unique types of cinnamon to enhance the flavor).
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"Life tastes better with a cookie."
Meet Paige McCurdy-Flynn, Head Cookie Fairy and Founder of Cookie Fairy Sweets, a unique little cookie company based in Brooklyn, New York. Now, it takes a certain kind of person to call themselves a "cookie fairy", a certain confidence to own up to the title, and a certain belief to name your company just that. After spending a day with Paige, I discovered there truly is something magical about her. Maybe it's her infectious laugh, or the way she makes you believe that her cookies are BETTER and HEALTHIER from the freezer box. Whatever it is, I'm sold.
I actually discovered her My Man Cookies while randomly wandering through a small gourmet shop in Park Slope. I had never seen fresh baked frozen cookies marketed in the freezer aisle before and I was intrigued (maybe a little skeptical), but I'm so glad I tried 'em. Her My Man Cookies might be the best cookies I ate last year. You'll see why during my close-ups of her mix! It's filled with so many layers of goodness, I stopped counting.
So, have fun hitting play and enjoy my latest story for the new year!
I encourage you to please check out Cookie Fairy Sweets and her line up of flavors on her website. You can purchase her cookies for delivery online, or visit one of a handful of local shops that carry her cookies, here. Oh, and if you like oatmeal raisin cookies, today's your lucky day.
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"There's something about smelling bread that touches the atavistic impulses inside of us and comforts us."
Meet Judith Norell, the baker and owner of Silver Moon Bakery, a small neighborhood bakeshop located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
For Judith, baking bread is a calling - it's not work to her - it's more like her art and her joy. It's fun watching her get lost in it too. She's so poignant about something so seemingly simple. And when Judith talks about bread, her face lights up! It literally lights up. You'll see it happen in the first few moments of the video. It's the coolest thing. To find so much passion in someone's eyes, it's moving...
Silver Moon Bakery's baguettes are, hands down, my favorite baguettes in New York City. There's nothing like 'em. To me, they have the perfect texture, perfect flavor and crunch. I hope you stop by to pick up a baguette or two. You won't regret it.
Hope you enjoy the video story!
Silver Moon Bakery
2740 Broadway (at the corner of 105th Street)
New York, NY 10025
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"For a vegetarian, in particular, it's the best kind of protein you can eat. I love to share the taste of it."
Meet Barry Schwartz, the founder and tempeh master behind Barry's Tempeh, a small-batch, probiotic-friendly tempeh business based in Brooklyn, NY. To Barry, tempeh-making is an exciting, alluring and magical process: a job where he gets to combine his love of science with his love of farming and community. In fact, he prides himself less as a business person and more as a care-giver: caring for the "temperamental" tempeh to grow, and caring for customers by providing them with good food. It took him 5-years to nail down his current recipes. And in his quest for perfection, he discovered he could make tempeh out of anything -- not just traditional soybeans. Hope you enjoy his story!
To taste Barry's Tempeh or to cook it at home, you can visit his stand at Smorgasburg, or head out to one of the many shops he sells at in Brooklyn and Manhattan. I love slicing it thin and sauteing it. It also takes to marinades well too!
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"Food is naturally different. So, I just really want to honor that variety and let the chili peppers do the talking."
Meet Jolene Collins, the founder and artisan behind Jojo's Sriracha in Brooklyn, NY.
Jojo's Sriracha: Bringing More Hot Pepper Flavor to the Party (watch...
"It was born out of a real fascination I have with the way foods were preserved before industrial methods of preservation. I was fascinated by the way you can take a piece of food, and with the right amount of salt, time and temperature, not only could you make it...
"Goat meat is qualified as 'OTHER'. Unfortunately, it makes it seem exotic, a little scary, a little unfamiliar, but it shouldn't be. Goat is delicious."
Meet Erin Fairbanks, the project coordinator of No Goat Left Behind, a passion-driven effort to get every day diners, cooks and chefs - like you and me - to add goat meat to our diets. What Erin is trying to do, by partnering with 14 family farms across the northeast, is start a movement. She wants to encourage us, even tempt us (in a delicious way), to eat more goat meat for a good reason: to help dairy farmers save young, male goats from having a life they wouldn't be proud of.
The hard truth is: to get more goat milk for goat cheese, farmers need to breed more female goats to have babies. Unfortunately, after they're born, baby boys or baby bucklings, have no role on a dairy farm. So, most farmers are faced with difficult choices; but, it doesn't have to be that way. To tell this story, I visited Angela Miller, the owner of Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont, to see how the life of a baby buckling could be, if we all decided to give goat meat a go. Good dairy farmers want their goats to begin and end their life on the farm, but it's costly, and not possible unless they find more people willing to try goat meat. So far, it's been difficult for these farmers to find consumers willing to pay the money for a meat less well known. It's a big reason why I wanted to tell and share this story, to help support this movement. Goat meat deserves a lot more attention. Come see why.
For the entire month of October, Heritage Foods USA will make it easier for us to access artisan goat meat. Many restaurants around the city have optioned to put goats on their menu to directly benefit these local dairy farms. You can try different takes on goat meat prepared for you by different chefs. In addition, if you prefer to cook yourself, you can sign up at the Heritage Meat Shop in Essex Street Market to try one of several goat breeds they'll be selling at their counters or order online. It's a win-win project we can all help in by participating. I hope you do! It's a fun reason to get a few friends together to support good ideas and try something new.
Participating NYC restaurants include: Back Forty West, Minetta Tavern, Union Square Cafe, Momofuku Noodle Bar, Parish Hall, Fette Sau, Otto, Felidia, M.Wells, Lupa, Court Street Grocers, Roberta's, Vinegar Hill House, Blue Smoke, Northern Spy Food, Palo Santo, Tia Pol, Babbo, Gramercy Tavern, plus many more listed here.
"People like to cook more during recessions, it's good for us soup makers."
Meet Rachael Mamane, the founder of Brooklyn Bouillon, the first sustainable and traceable small-batch artisan stock company based in Brooklyn, NY. Rachael is on a personal mission to help small farmers. A few years ago, when she was working for the greenmarkets in New York City, she had the idea to help meat farmers generate extra income by creating a line of stocks from their unwanted "waste", such as discarded bones. It was an opportunity no one had seized on. Rachael noticed that none of the local farm stands offered a high-quality stock to home cooks on a consistent basis; a skill she had a knack for, cooking whole animals nose-to-tail throughout her life. So, she approached a few small farms with the idea, tested out a number of stock recipes using their raw materials, and in 2010, Brooklyn Bouillon was born.
What I learned from Rachael is that a good stock, and I mean a really good stock, takes a lot of TLC. I spent close to 12 hours in her commercial kitchen in Sunset Park watching her charmingly, geek out over flavored water. For her, making stocks was a therapeutic and rewarding process: one that involved hours of slowly removing impurities, roasting and adding aromatics at just the right moment, and straining and straining until the stocks reached a pure liquid form. I'll admit, I was in awe of them. Each batch looked rich, thick and full of all those good things that make us believe soups are cure-alls. The reductions looked beautiful too - a quality achieved through using specific vegetables to add color. Watching the whole process made me sad I always took the easy way out. Which is why I'm really excited to share this process and inspiring company with you. Like me, you may not want to buy canned or boxed up stock at the supermarket ever again.
Enjoy Rachael's story! If you are interested in picking up a batch, you can connect with Rachael here on her website. She'll have them stocked up at specialty stores in Brooklyn and at the greenmarkets in a few weeks.
Pasture-Raised Chicken Stock
Grass-Fed Beef Stock
Local Fish Fumet
Organic Vegetable Stock
Cage-Free Duck Stock
Heritage Breed Pork Stock
Local Seafood Stock
Wild Mushroom Stock
Cage-Free Veal Demi-Glace
Roasted Root Vegetable Demi-Glace
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"Getting access to fresh harvested, pureed roasted pumpkin is not an easy thing, and I don't think there are a lot of businesses that have the facility on site to do it."
I've never really thought about what actually goes into a pumpkin ale. I guess, I thought it was just a blend of spices that gave the beer its signature flavor. Until now. Meet the team behind Katchkie Harvest Ale, a collaboration between Captain Lawrence Brewery, Executive Chef Robb Garceau of Great Performances and Katchkie Farm. Katchkie Harvest Ale is the brewery's first attempt to develop a pumpkin ale utilizing fresh, local pumpkins...and squash. Over 500 pounds, in fact!
So enjoy this peek into the making of a true farm to keg beer. It'll be available for a limited time this October in select bars and restaurants around New York City. Let me know if you'd like to head out and taste it! The beer needed a few weeks to ferment after I came in to film the process, so I'm as excited as you are to try it. Enjoy the fall season.
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"This farm raises animals in a way I feel happy eating."
Meet Anna Hodson, the young and gentle, sheep loving shepherd at Kinderhook Farm in Ghent, NY. I made the journey from Brooklyn, 3+ hours upstate to visit Anna and learn about good shepherding. Being a meat consumer, I wanted to see for myself what the life of happy grass-fed sheep looks like - how a local farm dedicated to producing great tasting meat also prides themselves on the care and concern they give to each and every animal.
Over 400 sheep are now raised and rotated on hundreds of acres of beautiful Hudson Valley farmland at Kinderhook, huge growth for a farm that started with only 20 ewes in 2009. Touring the operation up close, it's easy to understand why their meat is in such demand: these are animals that get to live good lives, tended to by loving farmers, outside in the sunshine, eating healthy greens, flowering plants, weeds and clover that give unique, grassy flavors to their meat. It's lamb that tastes like what lamb SHOULD taste like!
So enjoy this little story on Anna Hodson. I'm sure she'll convince you, as she convinced me, that their farm raises animals you can feel really good about eating.
To try Kinderhook Farm's grass-fed lamb, you can visit their farm store in upstate New York, or check out one of the following butcher shops in New York City: The Meat Hook, Marlow & Daughters, The Green Grape, Foragers Market and Harlem Shambles.
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What are the secrets behind the top street food vendors in New York City? Come find out!
From tasty homemade white sauces, to spicy meat marinades, to handpicked oregano straight from the hillsides of Greece, food. curated. takes you through a tour of each vendor's personal stories...