Marcus Samuelsson and Bill Clinton greeted crowds of food fans to the first (and hopefully annual) Harlem Stroll, a festival of diversity, showing off Harlem’s restaurants, neighborhood organizations, and the work of local artists.
Celebrity chefs, local restaurateurs, and their fans strolled around three tents of tastings.
Highlights so far include a sweet spring pea soup by the Sylvia Center, Jerk Chicken slider by Harlem Shake, and a tasting plate by Charles’ Country Fried Chicken.
And a hilarious cooking demo by Aaron Sanchez with Samuelsson, as other TV star chefs egged them on.
This Middle Eastern street food vendor demonstrates one of the most impressive frying techniques I have seen. Watch him in this video to see him craft perfect little balls of fried dough (which a Jordanian friend of my calls “floats”) and flips them into the fryer from a distance. Fun to watch, and probably fun to eat.
Karen Greene has a passion for preserving these receptacles, according to an article in Crain’s New York Business about her photography of Art Deco mailbox masterpieces.
So glad to see my neighbor Karen Greene doing good work like this — and getting recognized for it.
A clinical psychologist, she is also an amateur photographer with a passion for documenting the city’s Art Deco mailboxes. Last year, Art Deco Mailboxes, the book she co-wrote featuring her pictures, was published by W.W. Norton, and she’s now speaking to New York art aficionados about the cultural importance of century-old letter receptacles.
‘Karen has done a marvelous thing by focusing attention on something we see all the time but don’t really think about anymore,’ said Roberta Nusim, president of the Art Deco Society of New York.
Cochon Butcher restaurant, New Orleans Here’s a glimpse of one of the best meals I had in New Orleans recently. Cochon Butcher is the casual side of Chef Donald Link’s New Orleans restaurant family. Cold cuts made on the spot, sausages hanging all around, and house-made pickles result in a terrific place to enjoy high-quality interpretations of New Orleans style cuisine. http://www.cochonbutcher.com/
Here’s a glimpse of one of the best meals I had in New Orleans recently. Cochon Butcher is the casual side of Chef Donald Link’s New Orleans restaurant family. Cold cuts made on the spot, sausages hanging all around, and house-made pickles result in a terrific place to enjoy high-quality interpretations of New Orleans style cuisine. http://www.cochonbutcher.com/
Times of crisis often create opportunities for scams, or sometimes just well intentioned but misguided efforts. In addition to a listing of vetted charities active on Nepal earthquake relief, Charity Navigator has this guide on giving during a crisis like the one in Nepal.
The marketers of New Zealand wine took an idea started by St. Supery winery in California six years ago and helped turn Sauvignon Blanc Day into a global event, with tastings around the world on Friday, April 24, so that the day stretches into two on social media. Fair enough: Many New Zealand wines are worthy of such attention. Although some of my favorite NZ wines are pinot noir, more than two-thirds of all wine produced in New Zealand is Sauvignon Blanc.
Many people may recognize New Zealand wines among some of the lowest price wines sold in the United States — it’s not hard to find respectable bottles for around $10. Some of this results from efficient bottling and transport (some wines are bulk shipped to California for bottling and distribution.) And, New Zealand benefits from the relatively recent development of its wine industry — mostly within the past 30 years or so.
This week, I tasted two sample bottles from Nobilo. Both were good; one I look forward to enjoying again. Other enjoyable NZ Sauvignon Blancs I’ve had include ones by Ata Rangi (the 2011 was velvety soft); Wairau River and Cloudy Bay.
The better of the two bottles was 2014 Nobilo Regional Sauvignon Blanc. Pale straw hues, pronounced grapefruit flavor, and a long, mineral finish, this dry wine worked well with spicy foods and strong cheese, and it would match many seafood dishes perfectly. At around $14 a bottle, this represents a very good wine for the price.
The other sample was 2014 Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc. Definitely more complex, this wine’s high acidity and light body belies the expected silky balance. The nose had notes of gasoline (petrol if I follow the standard wine flavor glossaries,) flowers, apricot and bell pepper. Grapefruit dominates the flavor, with some white and black pepper. Still a good value for around $17, the balance of the $14 Nobilo Regional still wins for me.
These are only two of hundreds of good New. Zealand wines available in the United States. One advantage of the Global Economy is greater opportunity to enjoy products from around the world. New Zealand wines fit that category quite nicely.
This post was based in part on sample wines provided by the producers.
The restaurant business is rife with emotional ups and downs, but there have been too many sad stories like this one. The Chicago Tribune reports on the suicide death of Homaro Cantu, 38. He rose to fame in Charlie Trotter’s kitchen and earned his own Michelin star in 2012. But notoriety in the kitchen does not always translate into business or personal success. Read more:
Figuring out the science of wasabi’s heat could be a way to develop new treatments to prevent or reduce pain.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are studying how the human body reacts to wasabi
— the hot Japanese horseradish typically found accompanying sushi or sashimi. Their latest observations unveil the “wasabi receptor” and exactly how chemicals in wasabi activate the sensory process identify possible channels for novel pain treatments.
That receptor, which they call TRPA1, plays a role in the body’s ability to sense things like environmental irritants, in addition to the heat from wasabi, so the researchers believe that learning how TRPA1 works not only will lead to understanding how basic pain sensations occur but also ways to prevent or reduce pain.
“The pain system is there to warn us when we need to avoid things that can cause injury, but also to enhance protective mechanisms,” said David Julius, PhD, professor and chair of UCSF’s Department of Physiology, and co-senior author of the new study, which appears in the April 8, 2015 online issue of Nature. “Knowing more about how TRPA1 works is important for understanding basic pain mechanisms. Of course, this information may also help guide the design of new analgesic drugs.”
One of my friends posted a picture to Facebook over the weekend showing cleverly arranged waffles, bacon and fruit on plates for his kids. I don’t have kids, but I can have fun, too. Here’s my take on David Honig’s porpoiseful breakfast plate.