The wall of colorful boxes with the quirky logo and bad grammer copy drew us in moments after stepping foot on the Renegade Craft Fair floor. Christopher Coccagna, founder of T-WE TEA, holds the company title of “Director of Truth & Beauty” as well as “Expert in Fabulous” We didn’t want to take his word for it so we cupped. Then we cupped some more. After our third cupping (a tea tasting BTW) we saw past the intoxicating packaging and tasted the hand picked ingredients. We felt the hand mixed batches. We even saw the regions from which the brew was harvested. To add to all that, every tea is 100% organic, fair trade, and kosher sourced. That doesn’t make it easy to source but it does make it tasty.
Turkey has been high on our travel list for the last 5 years and we have yet to step off a plane in Atatürk Airport. Since we live in NYC there’s more than one way to achieve our goal of tasting mouth watering kebaps and off the chain börek. If you’re in NYC or close, you can play the same game we are. The Turkish Culture Center is offering a cooking class that promises to give you a solid dose of culture and food all wrapped up in a warm pide ekmeği (flat bread). We’re not promising flat bread but we are promising you’ll leave full of food and new friends. June 1 from 6:30 to 9:00 PM in NYC.
No ideas what you’re doing in for the middle day of Memorial Day Weekend. Look no further. What’s more memorial than a hotdog show down with beer? That’s totally rhetorical. Frankly we’re not sure why you are even still reading this. Go get tickets. Now. Buy one for your friend who will inevitably call you Sunday morning, lost, asking what to do. You really are a deliberator. Fine. Craft Beer and Hot Dog Showdown tickets include unlimited eating of gourmet hot dog creations, voting rights, free entry to the food fest after party and guaranteed belly full of yummy. Sneak peek of the dogs on the tickets page. Sunday, May 29th from 12:00 to 4:30 in NYC.
My dad was an auto mechanic for 20 years. After that he became a self taught electrical engineer. It’s safe to assume tools and their boxes were a big part of my childhood. To date I have at least 10 different toolboxes. One for electrical, one for plumbing, one for cars, one for the house. The list goes on. The appeal of the BBQ Toolbox is therefore obvious but instead of this container synonymous with work, it’s a beacon for play. Flipping out like an old school True Value gem, the trademark red box reveals two grilling surfaces and a place for your prized sauces and critical grill tools. Summer music festivals are about to get “worked”.
Considering the run up to this weekend, we continue with the grill gadget prep and the Relic Portable Brick Oven. Clocking in at $1100 and 3000 degrees fahrenheit, this one might have to get through the wife before it makes it to your deck. If it flies, you just turned your $60 standard grill into a Napoleotano’s birth right. Aside from the pizzas you could make in this cast iron turtle shell think about the meats. Cherry wood infused poultry. Walnut wood ribeyes. We’re drooling just typing those combos. Don’t forget about the vegetable ramifications. Wood fired asparagus, corn and even tomatoes might just have appeal to your better half enough to elicit a “yes”.
Sometimes it rains on Memorial Day weekend. Sometimes it rains most of the summer. This is mother natures way of blessing the earth and replenishing life but it does deprive you from your weekly summer grilling rituals. If this summer turns soggy the Otto O.F.B. Steak Griller is your backup QB (Quick Burner). Fashioned after the commercial kitchen mainstay, the salamander, this broiler uses radiant heat to crisp up any protein to that perfect grill kissed aesthetic and texture. Pair this with a sous vide machine and you might ditch the grill all together.
One of our favorite topics has always been failure. We think it’s an underserved topic. When it is discussed it’s usually shrouded in successful stories that the “failure” was the catalyst for. We’re not saying we shouldn’t learn from our mistakes, we just wish failure talks were about the horrific and gut wrenching misshapes of our passionate endeavors. The learning from that is invaluable. This Thursday the Food+Tech Friday Fails event continues bringing these terrible stories to light. This week, Gotham Greens, Sweet Revenge and the former founder of Modern Farmer. All followed by audience Q&A so you can dig even deeper into the disaster. Thursday, June 2 @ 7:00 PM in NYC.
There’s nothing more satisfying than that first time you fire up the grill each year. In prelude to the Memorial Day ritual most of us restock our grill gadget arsenal with mostly unnecessary but highly pleasurable new toys. The SteakChamp might not actually fall into that category because of it’s incredibly functional tech. A simple set of colored LED’s flash green for rare, yellow for medium and red for well to indicate that illusive inner doneness. No, it does not talk to your phone but part of the grill experience is hanging out and tending to it. We’ve field tested this one and the thermometer is dead on. As soon as we get a flashing green we know we have a perfectly done medium rare cut. Now you just have to convince your butcher to cut you that 3 inch porterhouse.
This reminds me of the Seinfeld bit about maximum strength aspirin. “Figure out what will kill me, and then back it off a little bit.” Death Wish Coffee is the only common household food product that I’ve seen promote a skull and cross bones warning. It claims “highly addictive.” Thanks to Howard Schultz for exploiting what a bunch of Italian guys do in a “bar” every morning and afternoon, we’re a strong coffee obsessed nation. Death Wish takes that to the max by combining the strongest beans with what they call a perfect roasting process. We imagine blow torches and heat shields are involved. They even dropped this juice in vodka for a limited Death Wish Coffee Vodka run. Apparently only available in Albany New York though.
Eat to help kids. That sounds like a win win right? With Bouley, Bubby’s, Duane Park Patisserie, Gigino Trattoria, The Odeon, Tribeca Grill, and Walker’s on the docket the decision to attend really isn’t that tough. Taste of Tribeca was founded 20+ years ago to benefit PS 150 and PS 234 and has expanded since then to benefit even more kids. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a neighbor in the triangle below canal, this event is the perfect way to feel comfortable, full of tasty and help kids get smart. Saturday, May 21 in NYC from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM.
This is a little different than our normal posting style. Tomorrow starts Jamie’s Food Revolution. You know the guy. Jamie Oliver, aka The Naked Chef, aka owner of Fifteen, Jamie’s Italian and a slew of other British based restaurants. Friend of Jay Kay. FoodTube creator. must I go on? Most importantly, doer of good and carrier of the better food for kids through cooking torch. Here’s the mission in their words. “Access to good, fresh, nutritious food is every child’s human right, but currently we’re failing our children. Millions of kids are eating too much of the wrong food, while millions more don’t get enough of the good stuff to let them grow and thrive. We need to unite as one strong, single voice to force governments and businesses to create a healthier, happier world for the future.” Their efforts are truly incredible and making a difference. At last look they were approaching 700,000 revolutionaries. Here’s all you do. Sign up, share with your friends, cook some recipes and then pledge to teach the kids in your life. You’re probably doing that already. No brainer. Let’s go.
We’ve been big into barrel aged things that traditionally have never seen the inside of a barrel. SOSU Barrel Aged Sriracha takes it to the next, next level by applying this trend to a hot sauce. Just when you thought your hot chicken was perfected, along comes this depth in a jar to add yet another layer of complexity to your dinner party wow-pertoire. Secretly we dip carrots straight into the jar when no ones looking for a quick snack.
It’s hard to imagine what Essex Street looked like 76 years ago given the modern, melange of current architecture, boutiques and posh players drapping the concrete beat. The gold pineapple doesn’t help this reverie. I’m not sure this matters much except the fact that there is some history to this party. 76 years to be precise. The Essex Street Market is celebrating its 76 years with a true neighborhood throwdown. The whole ‘hoods in on it. Ice & Vice are even dropping a specialty flavor. If you are the historic type, Turnstile Tours has you covered. Just don’t get all tenement hood on us. Saturday, May 21 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM in NYC
When I first saw these I was mesmerized. The curves, the way they stack, the pure color, all of it transfixing my eyes even without food on the plates. Compostable, bamboo pulp and inexpensive are not the next words I expected to hear out of Michiyo Tanabe’s mouth when we chatted in her booth at the NY Gift Show. Aside from the unique aesthetics Wasara’s process is extremely refined and…well, good. Bamboo grows extremely fast, meaning it needs to be cut back often. That’s recycle #1. They also use bagasse, a by-product of making sugarcane juice. Most of the 100 million tons is discarded as waste. Michiyo and team uses some of this to soften the bamboo. That’s recycle #2. Finally, because it’s softer than wood pulp it uses less energy to produce the final product. So, use them to make you feel great about helping the planet or reduce waste or recycle materials. We use them because they are gorgeous.
I’m less excited about the Koffie Straw for the purpose it was invented, to protect teeth from stains and enamel erosion. Although a great solution to a problem it simultaneously solves one of our biggest pet peeves. Splashy cups. Invevitably our morning cup of coffee jets jostled around on a our commute to a point of spillage from that little oval hole in the lid. The Koffie Straw has an oval design to fit snugly in the lid. Gravity will help sedate the splash as it attempts to travel up and out the spout but it’s denied every time. Small compact and reusable, we’ll have one of these in every jacket we own.