Center-Stage Vegetables

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

The vegetarian-heavy menu trend in downtown Manhattan is picking up steam, but unlike other food fads, this one doesn’t seem like it will go out of fashion. In March, Bobby Flay opened the Mediterranean-inspired Gato, where the best-selling item is a kale and mushroom paella. In SoHo, stylish diners are flocking to Navy, where Camille Becerra incorporates ingredients sourced from a Pennsylvania farmers’ cooperative into a vegetable- and seafood-based menu that includes charred snow peas with peanuts, chili and basil. Later this fall, Amanda Cohen will move Dirt Candy, her popular meat-free restaurant, to a larger space on the Lower East Side, while Jean-Georges Vongerichten is expected to open his newest spot, a vegan and vegetarian eatery for ABC Home, in early 2015. At Narcissa, in the newly revamped Standard East Village hotel, John Fraser has made vegetables from the hotelier André Balazs’s upstate farm the basis of a fantastic meal. “Chefs aren’t thinking about how to make ‘vegetable’ dishes anymore,” according to Flay. “They’re making interesting, healthier dishes in general, and vegetables have become more a part of that.”

Working Hard Pays— And Christina Tosi Can Prove It

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Tosi_SuperwomanCrack pie, compost cookies, cereal-milk-flavored soft serve — six years ago, these hilariously named confections would have been the stuff of fantastical sugar-laden dreams and late-night binges. Today, they’re signature trademarks of Milk Bar, the growing bakery franchise co-owned by David Chang and his pastry chef Christina Tosi. These madcap items are more than just trailblazing baked goods — they’re Tosi’s edible manifestations of what it means to be unapologetic about what you believe in.

Of course, trusting her gut plays heavily into the 32-year-old’s story of finding success as a chef and entrepreneur, most notably when she moved to New York to study pastry at the French Culinary Institute), and again when she joined David Chang’s Momofuku team — taking on a non-cooking job — back before the restaurant franchise was even a shadow of the globally known phenomenon it is today.



A Fashionable Sugar-Coated Cookie, Made For Afternoon Tea

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

This past Saturday, the Steven Alan Home Shop in TriBeCa served up a sweet deal: complimentary cold-brew green tea blends from the Brooklyn- and Japan-based purveyor Tea Wing, and cookies and tea cakes from Burrow bakery for anyone browsing the store’s wares.

Having (iced) afternoon tea at the store wasn’t completely out of left field (the Home Shop stocks Tea Wing’s products year-round), but it was the first time Steven Alan had invited Kurokawa to fill the space with her unique treats, like lemon and hazelnut tea cakes. Although she’s best known for her custom portrait cookies — uncanny facial renderings in the form of palm-sized iced shortbread cookies that can be ordered online — Burrow’s founder and sole baker Ayako Kurokawa lends the same artfulness to her many other confections.



Food Matters | A New York Chef’s Home-Cooking Essentials

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Camille Becerra is no stranger to departures and homecomings. “We actually lived here before,” the chef and food stylist says, waving around her sun-filled TriBeCa loft. “That day the towers went down, we physically left,” she says of Sept. 11, which prompted her to flee with her then six-month-old daughter to the Brooklyn neighborhood of Greenpoint, where they lived for seven years. During that period in her new neighborhood, Becerra opened Paloma, a restaurant housed in a converted parking garage, which she named after her daughter. In 2008 the restaurant burned down, and Becerra returned to her beloved loft in Manhattan.



Gluten-Free Restaurants in Paris

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

 With all of its patisseries and boulangeries, Paris might seem like a punishing destination for those shunning gluten. But there’s good news for non-wheat-eaters: Even in the land of pain au chocolat, there are new restaurants and cafes offering “sans-gluten” foods that are downright delicious. These three establishments all have 100% gluten-free menus, eliminating the risk of cross-contamination, so even celiac sufferers can indulge with abandon…


Click here for the full story.

Ed Schoenfeld of RedFarm on Domestic Bliss

Friday, May 10th, 2013

It has been 40 years since Ed Schoenfeld helped open Uncle Tai’s Hunan Yuan, New York City’s first four-star Chinese restaurant. Working as a captain in the front of the house, he hosted an illustrious clientele that included Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Andy Warhol, before going on to preside over the dining rooms of several other landmark eateries throughout the city. These days Mr. Schoenfeld, one of the country’s foremost experts on Chinese cuisine, is the proud co-owner of RedFarm, a popular dim sum restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village. A second RedFarm location is due to open on the Upper West Side next month, in addition to a new bar and dining room in the space downstairs from the original location. Last January, Mr. Schoenfeld and his wife, Elisa Herr, a financial editor, moved from Park Slope, Brooklyn, to the Forest Hill neighborhood of Newark, N.J. He spoke to us in the kitchen of the 1909 Georgian-style house that he and Ms. Herr share with their cat, Cocoa Chai Latte.



Plate Deconstruction: Jose Andres’ Yogurt-Pine Snow

Friday, December 14th, 2012

It’s always cool when a chef as accomplished and celebrated as José Andrés still admits moments of uncertainty, especially when the outcome is no less masterful. Take his “Yogurt-Pine Snow” dessert at minibar in Washington, DC. “This dish started out as a simple idea — a concept consisting of pine and yogurt,” Andrés tells us. “The idea came from childhood memories of eating snow off the pine trees that had amber-colored sap dripping from the tree. But we really did not know what form or shape this was going to take.”

One glance and it’s obvious that the resulting plate took on a literal presentation. And why shouldn’t it? Dramatic and spellbinding at once, the light dusting of yogurt-turned-snow evokes the natural beauty of the forest and the wintry season, and yet it’s entirely befitting for the avant-garde eatery’s menu. Read on for Andrés’ nostalgic interpretation.

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Feasting On Art: Food for the eyes, recipes for the appetite

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

“I’m interested in still life because it’s an easy mode of visual communication that gives pride of place to the sustenance we all need to survive. They are a visual history of a the produce and regional dishes of a specific culture” explains Megan Fizell, the writer and art historian behind Feasting on Art, a blog that offers up food-centric artwork paired with recipes befitting the visuals and the context of their creation.

The Sydney-based American also recently curated the show at Sydney’s Brenda May Gallery, Art + Food: Beyond the Still Life, the first of a series that will continue next fall with Sugar, Sugar, an exhibition of artwork created entirely with sugar.

As a Food Republic exclusive, we asked Fizell to pick five of her favorite food-based photographs, each one more striking than the next. Scroll down to take them all in, but first read on about Fizell’s process, as well as some of her favorite grub spots in her hometown Down Under.

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Nolita’s Coolest Salon Owner Dishes On Her Top Neighborhood Spots

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

It goes without saying that Julie Dickson knows a lot about hair. The stylist and salon owner has been styling locks since 1996, with stints at some of the city’s coolest beauty hubs — including the Upper East Side’s Minardi Salon, Dop Dop in Soho, and Blackstone’s in the East Village, before finally opening her own Nolita space, Fox & Boy, in 2009.

Besides her almost encyclopedic hair knowledge, which she’s also cleverly spun into annual “hair how-to” parties (Psst! The next one is November 16th!), Dickson’s one savvy advocate of her ‘hood — and where to go once you bounce out the salon’s doors. Thankfully, we tagged her for an insider guide, and she’s giving us the lowdown on the best place to meet your friends for after-work drinks, an awesome inexpensive breakfast café just a short walk away, and her go-to spot for a gorgeous dinner party dessert on the fly.



Plate Deconstruction: WD~50’S Scrambled Egg Ravioli

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

“Not only is the filling a scrambled egg, the outside is also an egg—more specifically, egg yolk,” explains chef Wylie Dufresne, as we poke and examine a curious yellow cube. The self-contained edible, an egg wizardly transformed into Scrambled Egg Ravioli, is the headline component in a dish from wd~50’s “From the Vault” menu, a collection of the restaurant’s greatest hits, so to speak.

Though the dish itself has become a golden oldie at Dufresne’s groundbreaking restaurant, where gastronomy is perenially approached with original thinking, he tells us that its concept was originally inspired by a classic Italian pasta filled with scrambled egg. “I thought it’d be fun to do that, but what if the outside was eggs, as well as the inside.”

On the plate, the “ravioli” is joined by charred avocado and pickled kanpachi (a type of Japanese amberjack). “In many ways, it’s kind of like a breakfast,” Dufresne says of the dish. “The way you’d have scrambled eggs, potatoes, maybe a little bit of fish.” Pasta, eggs, breakfast…all such humble-seeming words that fade at first sight.

Read on to get the breakdown from Wylie himself.