Events, New York City Eats

Le Grand Fooding & Weekly Eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Home/Made, Early Bird Cookery & Do Re Me Farm

April Bloomfield The Spotted Pig, Le Grand Fooding

STUFFED.  On Friday Sept 24, my sister and I went to the 2nd annual Le Grand Fooding at PS.1 MoMA.  This year with a thematic theme: throw down San Francisco vs. New York City chefs / West coast vs. East coast.  With chefs including from New York City David Chang from Momofuku, April Bloomfield from The Spotted Pig and chefs from San Francisco Laurence Jossel from Nopa, James Syhabout from Commis.  This theme derived from David Chang’s comment earlier  ” $#*! every restaurant in San Francisco is just serving figs on a plate with nothing on it.  Do something with our food.” – Look who’s talking?  Unfortunately, I did not get around to taste Chang’s Beets, goat cheese, walnuts dish so who am I to judge, but the combination of Beets, goat cheese, and walnuts… how innovative (sarcastically).

Food was spectacular at the Le Grand Fooding though waiting on lines after lines with the cost of our admission was absolutely annoying and disappointing.  I suppose the wait is considerably reasonable in comparison to how some of these participating chefs requires advance reservations for their restaurants up to 6 months to 1 year? -whoo   I was really excited to finally try April Bloomfield’s The Spotted Pig cooking.  The only female chef of the evening.  She created an exclusive dish for the event, cheese inspired a Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie.  I mentioned earlier that I don’t eat beef but I’m not a strict no beef diet person and it’s April Bloomfield!  To the fashionista she’s a Diane Von Furtensburg and to the graphic designers she’s a Paula Scherr.  April Bloomfield reinvented the British gastropub cuisine with a sophisticated modern comfort food twist and the Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie was amazing!  The Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie were served pipping hot from the oven in a average muffin sized tin.  The pie had a quiche and pot pie essence.  With the exterior similar to a quiche topping off with grated  Bleu D’ Auvergne cheese with a swift of Bleu Cheese aroma in the air.  A bite into the Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie the braised beef brisket was cooked to tenderness.  The proportion of cheese, crust and beef filling was cooked to perfection with layers of excitement and the taste was flavorful.

Events like Le Grand Fooding needs to be strategized.  We enjoyed April Bloomfield’s pie while on line for Laurence Jossel from Nopa (SF), Wood-grilled Pork ribeye, smoked tomato jam on artisinal bread.  The choice of tomato is very clever as it is one of the most seasonal fruits or vegetable however you like to classify it.  The dish was served bruschetta style on a nicely glazed extra virgin olive oil toasty artisinal bread with a generous  couple of  quarter inched sliced wood-grilled pork ribeye topping with tomato jam.  The tomato jam was excellent and overall it was fresh and every component and every flavored shined.

Next we waited on line in anticipation for the wine and pizza pairing from Pizza Moto (NY) and Pizzaiolo (SF) .  Unsure which was by whom. There was a seasonal heirloom tomato pizza and a calamari pizza.  Both pizza were delicious though I prefer my pizza cheesy and both lacked the cheesiness.  To end the evening, we finished off with James Syhabout from Commis (SF) Scallops with smoked stone fruit emulsion licorice herbs.  The line was the least longest but looks can be deceiving.  Chef Jams Syhabout has the execution all planned out and the scallops were very fresh and meaty.

Several dishes I did not get around to or were disappointingly out of:  David Chang’s Beets, goat cheese, walnuts (NY) ; Rich Torrisi Pickle salad (NY); Jeremy Fox’s Vegetables on a plate (SF) and Robert Newton’s Tennessee-style fried chicken. (NY)

San Francisco or New York City?  Hmm… I was born and raised in New York City and have lived here for over twenty-two years of my life but I also love San Francisco, the one and only west coast city I have gone back more than once and had considered in moving to.  The food in San Francisco is incredible.  San Francisco being closer to the Mexico border and to South America and to the Asian countries, the multicultural flavors are bold and are generally authentic.  Whereas New York City is a greater population of melting pot of multicultural and with the influence of the old inspiring the new creativeness.  Thanks to April Bloomfield’s Beef, Bleu D’ Auvergne and Suet Pie, I would give the title to New York City.  Her dish was awe-inspiring and I always appreciate chefs who cooks their food rather only having their name under their dish.

Goat Cheese on Foccacia Home/Made

To end the week and the final weekend of September 2010 is my weekly eats at the New Amsterdam Market. For this week of Sept 26, I had to try the weekly vendor Brooklyn, Home/Made‘s signature goat cheese on foccacia and at Home/made served coffee brewed by Brooklyn’s Kitten Coffee. The goat cheese spread on foccacia is highly recommended and by far the best chevre cheese I have had or perhaps ever.  The goat cheese is not overly pungent but with the fresh goat cheese taste still in existence and pairing with the freshly baked foccacia bread with the right amount of consistency and thickness is absolutely heavenly delicious.

I sampled the remainder ice cream flavors at the Early Bird Cookery from Cocheton, NY which was Blueberry and the oddly unusual but favorable beer & pretzel.  It was towards the end of the day so the ice cream were not as frozen.  The beer & pretzel flavor an obvious adult ice cream is surprisingly good and will definitely stir up a conversation with the process of developing the beer & pretzel flavor with the vendor just like in those black and white western cowboy films at the saloon with a draft beer and a friendly conversation with the bartender.

At it’s seasonal peak, I bought a bundle of fresh beets from the farmer John Pahucki  Do Re Me Farm located New Hamptons, NY.   I am very excited to attempt in cooking raw beets for the first time.  I usually buy the packaged beets from Trader Joe’s which are convenient, healthy and delicious.  With some advice from local experts I am confident to attempt a better version of David Chang’s beets, goat cheese and walnuts. HA.

Addresses:

New Amsterdam Market/// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Oct 3, 2010)

Home/Made /// 293 Van Brunt Street Brooklyn NY 11231

Early Bird Cookery /// Cochecton, NY

Do Re Me Farm/// 342 Maple Avenue New Hampton, NY 10958

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New York City Eats

Weekly Eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Green Brown Orange, Wine Stomp, & BACON

If you haven’t visit the New Amsterdam Market yet, what are you waiting for?!  So here is what you missed…

Anthony Road Winery Wine Stomp @ New Amsterdam Market

Anthony Road Winery from Penn Yann, Upstate NY hosted a public wine stomp event inviting visitors to get their feet massaged in a barrel of high quality Chardonnay grapes.  The wine stomp was very popular.  Afterall how often do you have Chardonnay grapes pampering your feet?  The aftermath of the wine stomp I’m not too sure about… Dare to sip on white wine with the stomp contribution of many New Yorkers?  I can assure it is a multi-region blend.

Lunch with Green Brown Orange

This week guest vendor Green, Brown, Orange served some seasonal prepared dishes at the New Amsterdam Market.  Green, Brown, Orange is a catering, cafe, and private party business with a cafe located on the Lower East Side.  Green for Catering.  Brown for Cafe. Orange for Epicerie.  The dishes were served from a hot buffet stand consisting, mushroom frittata, beets & carrots salad, and  fingerling potatoes ($4 each).  I tried one of everything with an agua fresca ($3) which is a very refreshing grapefruit mint lemonade beverage.  The dishes are very rustic and the taste transports you to a country farm.  The fingerling potatoes and carrots are unpeeled which I am not accustom to but I appreciated the notion that nothing goes to waste. The crunchiness of the julienne carrots and beets is a nice contrast and are lightly seasoned.  The mushroom frittata was, what can I say, it has the combination of eggs and mushrooms both of my favorite.

Bourbon-Coffee-Bacon-Caramel Kettle Popcorn @ Liddabit Sweets

The ultimate foodie favorite is the infamous BACON!  There are some unusual innovative bacon out there and Liddabit Sweets acknowledges this craze with their bourbon- coffee- bacon caramel kettle popcorn ($5)  Bourbon – checked.  Coffee- checked.  Caramel – triple checked.  Bacon- checked.  I love kettle popcorn, kettle potato chips,  the process using kettle really enhances the ingredient.  Liddabit Sweets bourbon-coffee-bacon caramel kettle popcorn was heavily empowered by the caramel taste, depending on whether you are a caramel fan this could be heaven.  The bacon bits was disappointingly inconsistent with nearly a strip of bacon in my bag of bourbon-coffee-bacon caramel kettle popcorn but the flavor of skillet fried bacon vs the sweetness of the bourbon and caramel gives you the desire of asking for more.  Liddabit Sweets offers a variety of treats at the New Amsterdam Market handmade with love and perfect for any gift baskets.

Address:

New Amsterdam Market/// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Sept 26, 2010)

Anthony Road Winery/// 1020 Anthony Road Penn Yan, NY 14527

Green Brown Orange/// 61 hester street new york, ny 10002

Liddabit Sweets/// Find Liddabit Sweets at the Weekly Sunday New Amsterdam Market

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New York City Eats

Impulsive Artichoke

I was in the neighborhood a little before noon and jay walked across 14th street between 1st and 2nd ave when I spotted Artichoke! -NO LINE!

Artichoke is a tiny pizzeria with a limited menu selection.  With only four options: maguerita, sicilian, crab and artichoke & spinach.  Being the pizzeria is named Artichoke and very rare do I find a slice of spinach & artichoke ($4.50) I thought it would be most appropriate to order a slice of just that.  The slice of artichoke & spinach required more than one paper plate to hold the slice as the portion is rather generous and larger than a typical slice of cheese pizza in New York City.  It is a heavy duty slice and well worth the price.

I got my piping hot slice of artichoke & spinach pizza and took my first bite while sitting on the nice L shaped wooden benches outside of the pizzeria, it was instant gratification!  The slice of artichoke & spinach was unusual but also had a familiar taste.  The taste of cream with broccoli soup -well in this case artichoke & spinach soup with melted stringy cheese over on a nice loaf of buttery garlicky bread.  The thickness of the crust is moderately in between a deep dish and a thin slice.  What is unusual is instead of the classic tomato pizza sauce is a creamy white sauce.  Few minutes later the bench was packed with fellow Artichokes savoring every bite and every moment and very likely with a stranger.

Artichoke offers their signature artichoke & spinach slice throughout the year but I think it’s most perfect for the upcoming Fall season .  It is very hearty but beware, food coma alert!  As I am still recovering from one as I am writing while my eyes are drooping.

Sorry no photo.  You have to taste it to believe it!  Go!

Address:

Artichoke ///328 E. 14th St. East Village, NYC 10003

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New York City Eats

Weekly Eats at the New Amsterdam Market: Nectarine Ice Cream, Tamales & Porchetta

Where can you find freshly brewed kombucha, homemade kimchi, and Porchetta under one roof?  Or in this case under the Lower Manhattan FDR Drive highway?  It will be the New Amsterdam Market, now in it’s 3rd annual and introducing weekly Sunday markets beginning this fall.  It’s a food lover paradise with all the local farm fresh produce selling handpicked heirloom tomatoes to made -to- order Maine lobster rolls.  New Amsterdam Market showcases a wide selection of local farmers, artisans, purveyors, and independent small moms + pops food business.  Each vendors are specialized in a particular food and are a connoisseur and more importantly passionate in what they do.

Nectarine Flavored Ice Cream The Bent Spoon

Being New Amsterdam Market is now a weekly Sunday market I will be making my weekly visits a weekly eat.  Nearly making my way through a quarter of the market,  I was stuffed with free samples from vendors.  For this weekly free sample pick of  Sept 12, 2010 goes to The Bent Spoon.  Located in Princeton, NJ, The Bent Spoon, an artisan ice cream using only fresh ingredients to create their bold and unusual flavors.  I was given a sample of the nectarine and was presented in a cute 2 inch sugar wafer cone.  The nectarine flavored ice cream borderline sorbet taste had a light but bold nectar flavor.  It tasted of fresh picked peaches and was absolutely delightful!  Most vendors will be at the New Amsterdam Market every Sunday throughout the season, with a few new additions too and a few will make occasional appearance.  Catch The Bent Spoon at the New Amsterdam Market again on Oct 17!

Vegetable + Cheese Tamales Great Performance & Katchkie Farm

There is something for everyone at the New Amsterdam Market for the sweet tooth in all of us and for those who are seeking something savory.  For this weekly out of pocket pick of Sept 12, 2010 is the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm vegetable & cheese tamales.  I was first introduced to tamales while visiting San Francisco in 2004 and it remains to be the best I have ever had.  Though the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm vegetable & cheese tamales are comparable.  Great Performance is an upscale catering company in New York City and it is perhaps the only catering company using fresh farm ingredients to table from their very own organic Katchkie Farm located in Columbia County, NY.  Tamales is a staple Mexican comfort food dish, pounded corn based with any ingredients desired, it is wrapped in corn husk and steamed.  To the Chinese tamales are equal to zongzi (sticky glutinous rice with fillings), prepared similarly.  Though I prefer tamales over zongzi…yeah, I am disgrace to the Chinese.  Tamales are lighter in comparison and the Great Performance & Katchkie Farm’s vegetables & cheese tamales ($4 each) with a green salsa side condiment is moist, savory and the green salsa side dipping gives a nice kick.  The cheese in what I believe is mozzarella filling is a nice surprise tucked in the center like a hidden treasure.  The Great Performance & Katchkie farm will be back at the New Amsterdam Market on Nov 21!

Porchetta slider from Porchetta

One of many participating vendors that will be at the New Amsterdam Market throughout the Fall season through Dec 19th is East Village, Porchetta. Since watching Unique Eats on the Cooking Channel with recent coverage on Porchetta, I could not stop dreaming of getting my hands on one.  Sure, East Village is a walking distance from where I live but the slider portion Porchetta ($5 each) at the market is a wallet friendly sampler before deciding on splurging for a $10 Porchetta sandwich at the restaurant and for $10 if it means more pork, count me in!  It’s incredibly seasoned with Italian herbs and slow cooked pork and crispy pork skin served on a ciabatta roll.  The only flaw is it was wrapped in aluminum foil and cold when I was hoping it was made-to-order.  Nonetheless, the first bite is a pork fiesta in your mouth!

You don’t have to wait till a month or two to try all the good eats sold at New Amsterdam Market the wait is only now in 7 days away!

Addresses:

New Amsterdam Market /// South Street between Beekman Street and Peck Slip, New York NY 10271 – near the old Fulton Fish Market.  (Every Sunday 11-4pm, next market is Sunday Sept 19, 2010)

The Bent Spoon/// 35 Palmer Square W Princeton, NJ 08542

Porchetta/// 110 East 9th Street New York, NY 10009

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A Look into Cookbooks

A Look into Cookbooks: Skye Gyngell, My favorite Ingredients

Good riddance summer heat and bring on the autumn breeze!  I love the time a few weeks prior creeping into the new solstice.  Change of season is always exciting.  A change of pace in the city, lesser tourist, the vibrant change of colors in the foliage and East Coast farmer’s market seasonal best: apples and squash.  Being in the kitchen is even more pleasant, time to crank that stove!  In anticipation for the new season, earlier in August I got submerged into the recent expansion and selection of cookbooks NYPL Mid-Manhattan library now offers and got carried away and checked out a basket full of cookbooks.   As my waistline have expanded over the summer social gatherings with family and eating out in New York City sidewalks and open gardens with friends, I am tuning down a bit on the dining scene and  introducing the inaugural of A Look into Cookbooks!

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Skye Gyngell, My Favorite Ingredients is one of my favorite finds.  Skye Gyngell, is a female Australian head chef at Petersham Nurseries Cafe in United Kingdom.  In the trend of the culinary world with seasonal grown farm produce to table, My Favorite Ingredients shares Skye Gyngell favorite ingredients and recipes in complement with the beautiful nostalgic photography of Jason Lowe achieving the essence of being invited to the kitchen of Skye Gyngell.

Each chapter is a different ingredient, with a total of 16.  This range of ingredients includes from fruits and vegetables: asparagus, citrus, to proteins: fish and shellfish, to condiments: vinegar and honey.  A surprising ingredient or not very surprising ingredient is an entire section dedicated to Game Birds – probably not the most common ingredient to be used in a New York City home kitchen, pigeon as a substitution for the partridge perhaps?  Or as Skye Gyngell has an exclusive Game Bird dealer, ” Albert the Grouseman.”   What I don’t understand is in the Northeast America, chefs hunt and eat bear claws and in the UK freshly prepared rabbit stews, yet when Chinese mentions chicken feet, people cringe…explanation?  Other rare find recipe is the Salad of summer leaves and flowers: nasturtiums, violet, pansies, and borage.

I am unsure how likely I will cook from any of the recipes from Skye Gyngell’s cookbook but each chapter ingredient has a nice introduction from the chef’s perspective, experience and memories which certainly makes the cookbook a good read.  With the nostalgic photographs of Jason Lowe gives the essence of transporting to the country side with hearty, fresh, comfort food.  My Favorite Ingredients is visually pleasing to mesmerize page after page.

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