Thursday, August 2, 2012


I was assigned to write about Julia Child Restaurant Week (Aug. 7 - Aug. 15) by the New York Post, and got a chance to interview all the local participating chefs, including Michael White (Marea), Carmen Quagliata (Union Square Cafe), Claude Godard  (Jeanne & Gaston and Madison Bistro), Marcus Ware (Aureole) and Jody Williams (Buvette). Because of space issues, we couldn't keep this great anecdote from Quagliata on meeting the JC in Napa Valley:

In the late 1990s, Carmen Quagliata was working a packed house at Tra Vigne, a popular Italian restaurant in California’s Napa Valley, when Julia Child stopped by for dinner. “It was like having a dignitary in the restaurant,” says Quagliata, now executive chef at Union Square Café. “I was running the service when she appeared in the kitchen. We all stopped. The tickets were slipping to the floor." Child then walked around, spending five minutes meeting with each cook, saying things like, ‘Keep it up, it’s a great profession.’"

Qualgliata was stunned. 

"She understood her role, and was so kind and encouraging to a bunch of sweaty scrubs -- I mean, hardworking line cooks. It was magical.” 

(Pictured, at top, mousse au chocolate  @Buvette. Below, roast duck with cracklins, plum sauce and yellow peaches @Union Square Cafe.)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Oh Land in the sky


I interviewed Oh Land last summer in the penthouse of the Rivington Hotel on the Lower East Side. I took this photo (above) with my phone as she posed for the actual photographer. Nice view, eh? I watched her sing at Webster Hall, then in Boston for a show at the House of Blues a few weeks later, and again, back down in Manhattan where she played the Bowery Ballroom. Each time, I marveled at how interesting she is to watch -- whether she's just lifting an arm or shifting her shoulders to a quick staccato.  Below, are tearsheets from S Magazine, but to read the whole story, you're gonna have to look for the hard copy. I know they sell them at McNally Jackson Books on Prince St. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Aamanns/Copenhagen sneak peek!

Another day, another Danish-royalty party. These shots are from yesterday's stop on the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark's U.S. visit. Chef Adam Aamanns' new smørrebrød spot at 13 Laight Street in Tribeca won't officially open until late November/early December, but here's a look at what will be served:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Denmark's the Spot!

I spent the last couple of weeks scrambling to write a story about Nordic cuisine in New York City and sat down with many of the city's finest purveyors of gravlax, smørrebrød, rye bread, pickled herring et al. One guy I didn't get to interview was Rene Redzepi, famed chef at Copenhagen's Noma, aka the "best restaurant in the world." But I finally caught up with him in Union Square yesterday, eating a local apple no less, where he was promoting Danish cuisine to an audience of foodies, press and the Crown Couple of Denmark.
As for American chefs who inspire him, he cited Thomas Keller ("an astonishing chef"), Wylie Dufresne and David Chang. In fact, Redzepi's head chef at Noma is yankee Matt Orlando.When I asked him if he had plans to open any restaurants in NY, he gave me a sad face and shook his head, "No," saying, "I love New York City. Who doesn't?" But he's pretty happy and busy with what's going on with his work back in Denmark, so really, nothing to be sorry about.

However, as an addendum to the part in my article about the New Nordic Manifesto, Redzepi said he was "surprised" that chefs here were looking at it for their own Scandinavian cooking. "They're not rules —they're inspirations," he says. "If you have rules, it becomes absolute. That's a horrible thing. Who's to say just because you want to incorporate olive oil that it's not Nordic cooking?"

Below, samples of bites prepared by Adam Aamanns -- who will be opening an eatery in Tribeca by December. (At very top of post, æbleskiver dusted with vinegar powder.)
Potatoes with mussel cream

Beet Root smørrebrød

A smorgasbord.

 P.S. As for my story which came out today - I highly recommend stopping by Nordic Breads, mentioned in the intro for their "dark piquant rounds of Finnish rye." (Multiple locations: New Amsterdam, Union Square and Stuyvesant Town Greenmarkets; some Dean & Deluca’s, Shaller and Weber; Whole Foods Market)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is it really the end of S̶e̶p̶t̶e̶m̶b̶e̶r̶ October already?

When I was researching my story about places to eat around Lincoln Center during Fashion Week, there were plenty of restaurants to choose from. Rosa Mexicana or Fiorello's would have been too obvious. Salumeria Rosi was too far. Boulud Sud would have been one too many Bouluds...I was on the fence about Gastroarte--but then I saw their insane platings and thought, "how perfect." Above, squid ink risotto and seafood. Below, beets! and further down, Lincoln Ristorante by day.