On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Marco Canora regales us with his path towards A GOOD FOOD DAY. After surviving a decade behind the stoves at Hearth restaurant in NYC’s East Village, with it’s 70 hour work weeks, breakfast, lunch and dinner of coffee, bread, and cigarettes, until that after shift burger, Chinese food order, or 24-hour bodega ham & cheese sandwich at 130AM, Marco had to make a healthy decision or further face the consequences. Prompted by a scary diagnosis of inevitable diabetes and gout if he didn’t change his habits, Marco didn’t want to compromise his life as most that diet do, but understood he couldn’t keep going on like this. That’s where his training as a chef, and obsessive researcher, may have saved his life, all the while making it more delicious. Most recently opening a little takeout window called Brodo, which began the bone broth craze, Marco’s constantly searching inside himself, on how to be a better cook, husband, father, business owner, and enlightened eater.
*photos by Sara Remington
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Louisa Shafia grew up Persian in 1970’s Philadelphia. Her father was Iranian; pomegranates, pistachios, and saffron were aplenty in their household. It wasn’t until working as a chef in San Francisco, that Louisa awoke the flavors of her heritage, recreating her version of “fesenjan” a sweet-and-sour stew accented with pomegranate molasses and ground walnuts. Impassioned by her family’s past, she returned to Iran, did R&D in Los Angeles (the largest community of Iranian expats), and wrote “The New Persian Kitchen”. Still, Louisa wanted to further share her cuisine, opening a pop-up called Lakh Lakh at NYC’s Porsena restaurant, serving such dishes as Sabzi Kordan (herb and cheese plate with barbari bread), Sambuseh (a crispy phyllo triangle stuffed with veggies, lentils, nigella seeds, served with a spicy tomato relish), Jujeh Kebab (chicken kebab in a saffron marinade), and Bastani Nooni (saffron ice cream sandwiches with cardamom wafers). Politics aside, this may mark the start of a new Iranian food revolution.
*photo by Emma Jane Kepley
*photo by Daniel Seung Lee
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, what happens when a self-proclaimed “man about town” / Instagram aficionado, and a steel ukelele playing avant-garde thespian throw a dinner party? Answer: Spring Street Social Society, ssssociety.com. Patrick Janelle & Amy Virginia Buchanan seek to bring people together in unexpected spaces, pulling off variety show meets dinner theatre events, complete with coursed dinners. Collaborating with artists and chefs alike, they’re now traveling the globe in search of their next location, and meal.
*photos by Noah Fecks
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Mississippi born Ben Mims was surrounded by a family of fabulous bakers and sweet-makers. There was his mother Judy’s weekly Pecan Pie. His aunt Barbara Jane’s coveted Christmas tin, full of Pretzel-Peanut-Chocolate Candy and Crisp Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. He’d stop by his grandma Carol’s to eat Coconut Layer Cake. Saturday mornings weren’t complete with out fluffy biscuits and muscadine jelly. No wonder you couldn’t take the South of of this boy even after years of working as a food editor for Saveur in NYC, pastry chef in SF’s Bar Agricole, and back to NYC in the test kitchens of Food & Wine. Ben’s now published, Sweet & Southern: Classic Desserts with a Twist. Don’t worry, there’s your classic Hummingbird Cake and Peach Cobbler, Peanut Butter Pie and Buttered-Pecan Ice Cream, but also riffs like Cantaloupe Upside-Down Cake, “Red Velvet” made with pomegranate juice, and an Ambrosia Pavlova. His inspirations travel even further, Indonesian by way of Dutch baking traditions for his Cinnamon-Chocolate Spekkuk, a Southernized Sicilian Cassata swapping sweet ricotta for cream cheese, a Sweet Potato Cake that resembles Arabian Spoon Halva, Camotes Pie made with Mexican piloncillo, and Pumpkin Kanafe influenced by the Greek ingredients of his neighborhood, Astoria, Queens. Just in case your Valentines Day isn’t sweet enough.
*photo by Sydney Kramer
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Jonah Miller and Nate Adler grew up on NYC’s Upper West Side. They shared a food life filled with Zabar’s and downtown dim sum, but who would have thought, that a bar mitzvah and the Asturian region of of Spain, would lead them to their own pintxos place in the East Village. Huertas, which literally means “orchards” or “small gardens”, reflects the landscape of Spain’s Northern coast, food pairing with an ever-growing of true Spanish ciders. Stop by for some passed bites in the front room, or stay for the dinner party like tasting menu in the back, but either way, this multifunctional restaurant thrives on it’s youthful enthusiasm for service, slow roasted chicken, and tortilla espanola.
For cider dinner reservations: huertasnyc.com/large-format
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Amy Chaplin grew up in the bush of Australia, 30 miles away from your closest supermarket. Her family built their own home, had a wood-burning stove, baked bread, kept bees, brewed ginger beer, made tofu, and ground wheat into flour, buying much of their dried goods in bulk … This sense of preparedness mixed with her mother’s affinity for entertaining, enlivened Amy’s spirit as a home cook. After years of working in restaurants, most notably the groundbreaking organic plant-based Angelica’s Kitchen in NYC, Amy returned to her own stove to create, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, a cookbook that sets you up for a healthy, happy lifestyle, allowing you to celebrate the art of eating well. From stocking a pantry full of whole grains, to introducing super foods to your meals, you can wake up to a bowl of black rice breakfast pudding, or awaken your tastebuds with miso soup with lemon, turmeric lemonade, pistachio pumpkin seed dukkah, and deeply satiate your soul with butternut squash lasagna with sage tofu ricotta, and heirloom bean bourguignon. Come feel the healing benefits of food.
*all photos by Peden + Munk
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, food photographers Taylor Peden & Jen Munk have formed the photographic super group, Peden + Munk. Inspired by their mentor Paul Jasmin at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Taylor and Jen took to the streets of Los Angeles, with two models, and cues from Godard’s 1960’s film “Breathless”, marking the beginnings of a life filled with collaboration. Their focus on food came after a 3 day shoot at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, which opened up the industry to their creative eyes. They’ve since documented BBQ in Memphis, farming on Martha’s Vineyard, Rhum Agricole in the Caribbean, and many Michelin starred restaurants in California and beyond. Their images have donned the pages of Bon Appétit, the New York Times Magazine, and the recently released cookbook, “A New Napa Cuisine“ with Chef Christopher Kostow of Meadowood in Napa. But what may excite them most, are the recipes they’ve learned through their travels.
On today’s THE FOOD SEEN, Charles Phan’s family left Vietnam just before the fall of Saigon to the Vietcong. Arriving to San Francisco in the mid 1970’s, Phan explored careers in pottery, architecture, but his family’s long history as excellent home cooks, manifest itself in 1995 when The Slanted Door opened it’s doors on Valencia Street in The Mission. The original iteration was going to be a rice crepe shop, instead Phan ventured past spring rolls and peanut sauce, introducing us to pho, rice porridges, clay pot cooking, and the wonders of fish sauce. In 2004 The Slanted Door moved to the Ferry Building, Phan won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef California, and Vietnamese cuisine was a solid part of San Francisco’s culinary architecture. Last year Phan won the JBFA for Outsanding Restaurant, celebrating it’s 20th anniversary with the release of his new cookbook “The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food”. Học ăn, học nói, học gói, học mở.
On today’s THE FOOD SEEN, Mary Ann Caws, a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, English, and French at the Graduate School of the City University of New York, takes an in-depth look at palates of famous artists throughout history. “The Modern Art Cookbook” mixes art with recipes, from Salvador Dali’s “Eggs on the Plate without the Plate” to a Picasso’s Omelette a L’Espagnole. The relationship between how Impressionists, Surrealists, and Futurists see food, interpreted through cooking, is wonderfully reflective of their personal styles. Imagine being studio with Paul Cezanne, snacking on his Anchoiade (anchovy spread), or trying Frida Kahlo’s Red Snapper, Veracruz Style, a bite of Monet’s Madeleines au Citron, or a slice of David Hockney’s Strawberry Cake. You can’t touch Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans”, but you can eat Allen Ginsberg’s Borscht any day!
*photo by Andrea Behrends
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, we share the tradition of Southern storytelling with Sean Brock, chef of McCrady’s, Husk, Minero, in Charleston SC and Nashville TN. The son of a coal mining family in rural Wise County, Virginia, Sean never forgot his Appalachian upbringing while finding himself in the Lowcountry. It all started over a simple bowl of Hoppin’ John, and continued itself with a side of cornbread. These dishes are emblematic, not only in the South, put as far as West Africa for the Gullah people. To understand his roots better, Sean researched and traveled, in hopes of reviving ingredients, preserving said tradition, through seed saving, and working with Anson Mills and their Carolina gold rice. Sean celebrates this journey in his debut cookbook, HERITAGE, fittingly holding a handful of heirloom beans on the cover. Of course there’s BBQ, the smell of smoke, and a sip of whiskey or two, but it’s really about his manifesto, and finding yourself through cooking. Then the food has much meaning far deeper than fried chicken.