On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Maayan Zilberman was born on a kibuttz in Israel. She moved to NYC at 15, during the 1990’s, a time when fashion and hip hop culture were colliding. Maayan had attended religious Jewish private schools, where uniforms were made of thick navy felt, single inverted pleated skirts and white blouses, and now in New York, she finally saw color. With her newfound palette, she entered a world of fashion that saw her start her own lingerie line, all the whiles, snacking away on confectionaries that was almost more design than delicious. She had always been fascinated by it’s alien forms, it’s otherworldly origins, like a real life Willie Wonka land. Here she began making candies, molds of banal forms: watches, Kodachrome slides. She made chewing gum, using chicle from trees in Mexico. Her friends we all request her to make sucking candies and bubble gum for parties. A book, “Entertaining” by Martha Stewart, made Maayan realize that food as an experience could potentially be her next design project, finding true pleasure in making the nostalgic candies she used to think were so foreign.
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Jessica Koslow grew up near Los Angeles, surrounded by fresh produce and perpetual summer. It wasn’t until a stint cooking at Atlanta’s Bacchanalia, that she realized how fleeting seasons can be. When Jessica returned to California, she started Sqirl, a jam company in it’s original iteration. Using local fruits, like Gravenstein Apple, Moro Blood Oranges, Wild Boysenberries, and Blenheim Apricot, she began to grow organically as a business in East Hollywood’s Silver Lake, eventually serving breakfast rice bowls with sorrel pesto and lacto-fermented hot sauce, as well as the now famed ricotta toast. From 8AM-4PM everyday, Sqirl feeds LA in a way it’s never been fed before, with a creative conscience, and a taste for preserving the future … come Sqirl away with us!
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, we ask Luke Holden and Ben Conniff of Luke’s Lobster about what makes Maine great. Yeah it’s got those pristine coastlines perfectly situated for hauling in the freshest seafood, those wild blueberries which make for the tastiest pies, but what made two guys from “Vacationland” decide to open up a little lobster shack in NYC. In their cookbook “Real Maine Food”, they travel around their home state, searching for beach clambakes, the best chowders, and whoopie pies that will make you say “ayuh”, with the rest of them Mainers. Oh, and how about you finally learn to crack that lobster the right way.
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Joe Carroll, proprietor of barbecue restaurant Fette Sau, and New American steakhouse, St. Anselm, joins co-author Nick Fauchald in their book about meat cookery called “Feeding The Fire”. Hear how a $40 Weber grill, one dry rub, and a slow and low mantra, not only changed the urban BBQ landscape, but also elevated the cuts of meats we smoke and/or throw on the grill. Yes, there’s Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, and the Carolinas, but did you know about upstate New York’s Cornell chicken, California’s Santa Maria Valley tri-trip, Western Kentucky and mutton, and Maryland Pit Beef? Learn that BBQ is more technique than recipe, and contemplate the choices you’ll have to make for that coveted smoke ring (pinkish meat under the bark) and perfect doneness.
*photo by Claudio Gallone
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Adam D. Tihany has made quite a mark on the interior of New York City. He’s designed some of the top restaurants and hotels in the world, but it all begin here in 1981, when Tihany designed La Couple, New York’s first grand café. Since then has worked on Sirio Maccioni’s Le Cirque 2000, Thomas Keller’s Per Se, Daniel Boulud’s namesake Daniel. His book, TIHANY: Iconic Hotel and Restaurant Interiors archives, and celebrates projects from around the globe like the Westin Chosun in Seoul, Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner in London, One & Only Cape Town South Africa, and the Mandarian Oriental in Las Vegas. But what does Tihany first see when he walks into a restaurant? Where’s his favorite seat to dine at? What modern materials are being used to build beautiful new dining spaces? Now, Tihany sets his sights on the sea, designing the future in ultra-luxury cruise liners. What will Tihany design next?
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Sarah Simmons Southern sense of hospitality, may have turned her Sunday suppers into New York City’s culinary salon better know as City Grit. A win as Food & Wine’s America’s Home Cook Superstar, may have proclaimed her food worthy, but nothing prepares you for the business that comes with owning a restaurant. Luckily, years working as a retail strategist for Fortune 100 companies, gave Sarah the insight she needed to become a successful chef and restaurateur. Her second venture, Birds & Bubbles, focuses on fried chicken and champagne, because, really, what’s better than that pairing?! Now working with Williams Sonoma, Sarah curates gourmet gifts, scouts out up and coming chefs in cities across the USA, and begins to focus back on her Carolina roots, with possible brick and mortar culinary experiences making their way back South. So much for just being a home cook.
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Aarón Sánchez grew up on the Mexican border town of El Paso. He learned to cook from his mother Zarela Martinez, who would come to be one of the first female Latin chefs in New York City, if not the nation. At age 16, Aarón was accepted for master class with Chef Paul Prudhomme, which launched his career, through schooling at Johnson & Wales, and under the tutelage of other nuevo-Latino chefs like Douglas Rodriquez. In 2001, Aarón’s own voice was heard, opening Paladar in New York City’s Lower East Side. Gritty and true to his roots, it helped define the kind of cooking Aarón would continue to perfect. His understanding of chilis, salsas, chorizo, and moles, made Aarón a go to authority for Mexican cooking, landing him a judges seat on Food Network’s Chopped, and in front of many other food television shows, like Cooking Channel’s Taco Trip. When the cameras, and Aarón heads home, he still longs for his mother’s famous arroz con crema.
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Jud Mongell & Ken Addington, are partners in Brooklyn cornerstone all day cafe Five Leaves, and it’s adjacent Latin inspired bar/restaurant Nights & Weekends. Recently they’re gone west, opening L.A. Chapter at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, and King’s Highway in Palm Springs. How did a place on the edge of hipster Williamsburg, find manifest destiny in a Grass Fed Burger with Fried Pineapple, Pickled Beets, Harissa Mayo, and a Sunny Up Egg? Can you believe it all started on two islands, oceans apart from each other? Jud’s upbringing in New Zealand, and Ken from the St. Thomas US Virgin Island, both eventually calling New York City their homes. While Ken’s mom worked for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, organizing bus tours of the borough decades before it was popular, he found himself in a Manhattan kitchen at 15 years old, working for the likes of Thomas Keller. Jud, just really wanted good strong coffee, and planned on serving Oceania fare. A bus now passes by Five Leaves every day, people get on, people get off. This reminds both Ken & Jud, that their spots are for everyone, everyday, just as a neighborhood joint should be.
*photo by Andy Ford
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, Anna Jones, a cook, writer, stylist, and vegetarian, only meant to cut out meat for a 6 week trial. Seven years later, she’s still at it, and inspiring other to join in. In her cookbook, “A Modern Way To Eat”, Anna uses her many years in London with Jamie Oliver as a chef and creative, as well as working with Yotam Ottolenghi, Sophie Dahl, the Fabulous Baker Brothers and more, to guide us through a vegetable based cuisine that can still be indulgent and delicious, make you feel and look good, leave you feeling light yet satisfied, help lighten the footprint on the planet, that’s quick and was and won’t cost the earth, and still impress your family and friends. From the Really Hungry Burger, which finally offers us a worthy veggie patty, to a more worldly approach with Turkish fried eggs, Dosa-spiced potato cakes, and Indonesian gado gado, Anna provides us with tutorials on how to make a great salad, variations on soups from the base up, all while elevating vegetable underdogs like turnips, chard, and rutabagas. You too may never turn back to your past eating habits.
On today’s episode of THE FOOD SEEN, April Bloomfield, chef of contemporary New York classic The Spotted Pig, her restaurants that bookend the Ace Hotel, The John Dory and The Breslin, and the famed revive of the Tosca Cafe in San Francisco. In April’s second cookbook, “A Girl and Her Greens”, she celebrates vegetables seasonally, with all the adoration she has for those not-so-nasty bits oh so loved in London. Growing up in England with her nan’s Sunday roast and her mum’s garden, hear how April traded in bacon sandwiches with HP sauce and a side of frozen peas, for salad sandwiches and crushed spring peas with mint. Don’t worry, this show isn’t just for vegetarians, there’s still a bit of lardo between every slice of hasselback potatoes. From pot-roasted artichokes with white wine and capers, boiled asparagus with ramp béarnaise sauce, watercress soup with spring garlic, swiss chard cannelloni, kale polenta, and broccoli raab morning buns, you too will be eating your vegetables from the top to the tail.