All Culture Stuff
Good Humor and RZA ice cream truck jingle just dropped with the goal of ending the racist roots the current song subliminally drives into our brains. Here in Queens, this oppression is monotonous most afternoons. The song is derived from “Turkey in the Straw”, an old mistral song. If that doesn’t mean much to you take a listen to this NYTimes podcast. Now that you understand why that connection is horrific, watch and listen to the new tune here. Leave it to a Staten Island rapper and a 100 year old ice cream company to bring some equality-based joy into our lives amidst one of the darkest times in our country’s history. I always said, “You can count on ice cream to always bring a smile.” I never thought it would simultaneously help deconstruct generations of systemic racism. If you are so moved by this to obtain a music box of your own to perhaps gift your local ice cream truck proprietor, Nicholes Electronics specializes in pre-programmed, looping, music boxes for just such an application.
We’ve been drooling over Dennis Prescott’s IG for the last few years. He has this knack of making everything look so perfectly crisp and juicy that we theoretically lose our minds and literally salivate. That pavlovian response has now been chronicled in a 125 recipe book, Eat Delicious, that reveals not only the food. Dennis also reveals his photography approach, technique and gear in achieving the ultimate in food porn perfection. Although he calls himself a chef first and photographer a close second we might be so mesmerized with his images to even take a bite. In a recent interview he said, “My passion is cooking and photographing large, feast-style scenes that highlight the community table.” That gets us right in the soul. Hey Dennis, any time you want to shoot one of our feasts, open invite buddy. If you’re not already a long time @dennistheprescott follower here’s your moment to jump in both digitally and with a printed home version you can drool all over in private.
Today’s post comes on the heels of two commingled happenings. First, My Head of Culinary is trouncing about in Parma checking out brown cows and pig legs. Second, The Food Book Fair kicks off it’s 2017 edition. So, a book on Italian Street Food is more than appropriate. If any of you have spent any time in Italy, as Paola, the author of this guide to goodness, has, you know getting a bad meal is tough anywhere on the boot. But, the culinary road less traveled lies in the nooks and crannies that are street food. A rice ball, a porchetta sandwich or a panini from a stand or off the beaten path vendor with a tiny hole in the wall (literally sometimes) shop are the true diamonds in the rough of this food gem country. Paola Bacchia was born Australian but has always looked to Italy as her Italian migrant parents made it impossible not to. Her book chronicles the recipes of these undiscovered street classics in a way that only an enamored 1st generation non-Italain can. If this book redlines your drool factor, Paola hosts a cooking school in Melbourne, Australia and annual workshops at the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in Sicily where you can taste some of the beauty this book reveals.
We first wrote about Chitra Agrawal when we discovered her Brooklyn Delhi products. Since then she’s been up to a lot more than just jarring delicious pickled things from India. Her latest edition to your Indian food education comes in book form with Vibrant India. South Indian cooking is not the Indian dishes that commonly pop to mind for us Americans. Having a South Indian mother-in-law has schooled me on these flavorful and light regional tastes. Chitra draws from her mother’s cooking bringing Bangalore all the way to Brooklyn where she adds her own twists to these vegetarian classics. I’ve often proclaimed, “I could go full vegetarian.” after eating at my in-laws for a weekend. As a pretty serious carnivore, that says a lot about her book and the deliciousness potential. Point is, there’s something for everyone in this book. Vegan, vegetarians, paleo or carnivore the flavors and simplicity will swoon you. We promise.
We’re back from our Nordic adventure. If you’ve been following the IG story you know. Now that we’re settled back in BK, expect an onslaught of Nordic and North Euro finds and events on the blog this week. Kicking it off is this bible of new, and old, Nordic cuisine from the man who made it an unignorable culinary trend. Of course, Magnus Nilsson doesn’t call it trendy. He just calls it his childhood food. Part of his notoriety and the cuisines attention stems from his restaurant Fäviken in Sweden. Currently ranked the 25th best restaurant in the world and with two Michelin stars, it’s almost impossible to get a seat. Incidentally, it’s almost impossible to get to as it’s a 7-hour drive from Stockholm. All part of his plan and experience. In comes The Nordic Cookbook. Broken up into sections, you can find classic Nordic favorites and New Nordic expressions woven together as you flip the pages. Ingredient lists read as you might expect. Lingonberry, juniper, pine, pig trotter, fiskbullar and blodpalt, to name a few. Winter is coming in quick. Perfect time to grab this book and make some hearty, comfort cozy for you girlfriend.
Here at FT HQ, we’re used to chicken of the fried, roasted, baked, and, well, eaten variety. But that doesn’t mean we can’t talk up the alternatives, like David Ezra Stein’s “Interrupting Chicken”, an illustrated story-within-a-story book geared towards the sleepy little chicks in your life. Let’s hope this funny, not-so-cautionary tale about a young chicken named “Chicken” who can’t stop interrupting his bedtime story succeeds in easing your clutch into quick and uninterrupted slumber instead of, well, the opposite. If, on the other hand, you’re reading this to your brood in Bushwick after a drink and draw, all bets on sleep are off. You know as well as we do you’ll finish the story at Roberta’s.
An otherworldly drink is your future, at least if it comes from Tarot of Cocktails, a deck of 30 recipe cards that promise to add some spirit to your…spirits. Created thanks to funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign, the cards have an ethereal, tarot-inspired layout featuring cocktails with names like “The Violet Twilight,” “Seer of Dreams,” and “Blood and Smoke” to make you feel like you’re communing with another world (the alcohol may help, too). The cards are mortal-friendly and aren’t meant for official divination purposes BUT we like picking a random card and letting the concoction in question predict the night ahead. We’re willing to bet that the buzz from Queen of Bees portends a better evening than The Withering Vine. But really, what do we know? It’s all in the cards, and what we see in the cards are some darn good drinks, whatever destiny awaits you.
We’re going to let the book jacket write this one for us because it’s succinctly so many things we live for. The Mad Feast is a richly illustrated culinary tour of the United States through fifty signature dishes, and a radical exploration of our gastronomic heritage. We’re kinda obsessed with dishes that define cities and states. Matthew Gavin Frank does just that and digs in the history of each to boot. If you follow the Drool List, you know we’re entering travel season. This one makes us want to dust off the luggable loo and mount up the truck for an epic cross country zig zag…again.
It’s not often the person we spend our work week five feet from publishes a food book. It’s even less often there’s a city-specific theme which awakens our travel bug gene. Nina, as us lucky insiders know to call her, hails from Athens Georgia, the Classic City, in the shadow of Hotlanta. Nina lifts this veil in a who’s who, foodie filled, Athenian hardcover. Classic City Cooking is perfect for those Georgian friends or people like us who just added another city to our gastro-travel list. If you’re in NYC and want to celebrate all things Athens, her book party is on September 16th. You’ll find us in Athens ASAP, book in hand.
Alex is an awesome illustrator based in Wisconsin. About a year ago he Kickstarted an idea for this book focused on famous characters eating only Junk Food. The results, besides a successful funding, was this 112 page turning masterpiece. if you have a favorite hero character chances are s(he)’s been n a strict diet of devil dogs and Big Gulps thanks to Alex. The Famous Chunkies is now in regular stock these days so pick one up for your favorite junk food obsessed bestie. They will either love you or hate you for it. Either way, I think you win.
I’ve know a few starving artists in my day. In fact there was a time in the 90’s where I actually was one. Although todays newly minted “starving artists” don’t really seem starving and, not to be too judgy here but, no so much artists. More like graphic design graduates that took their senior project to ETSY, Bushwick or Instagram. It’s why Sara Zin and her The Starving Artist Cookbook gets props from the whole FT crew. Sometimes just making sh*t for YOU is the best foot forward. Way to keep it real and delicious Sara.
With the every exploding foodie craze devouring New York, a book like Ina Yalof ’s Food and the City is a peephole into the minds of those on the front lines. Cutting through the clutter of food tweets, Instagram gasto-sensational pics and verbose bloggers (present company included) Ina interviews New York’s pro chefs, restaurateurs, line cooks, street vendors, and purveyors getting to the root of their passion for their daily grind. In a lot of ways, this will reground us all to why we care so much about this newly crowned food lifestyle popularity in the first place.
Dad’s are tricky people. you never know if your going to get a life lesson, a lazy afternoon sharing a beer or an informal reprimanding about saving in your 401k. Regardless, we wouldn’t be here without them and celebrating them next Sunday is not only appropriate but critical. The right gift could defer some of those tougher talks for a few months. Here’s our favorite nine round up for 2016. Sfoglini Pasta of the Month $75 | Dad Bod T-Shirt $23 | Silicon Grip Grill Gloves $20 | Big Apple Barbecue Block Party FREE | House Beer $8 | Dude Sweet $8 | Detroit Denim Apron $115 | Bourbon Maple Syrup $16 | Po’ Man Charcoal Grill $115
10 years ago I read a book called “The History of Food” which chronicles human eating habits from the hunters and gatherers we started as through the birth of restaurants and into today’s modern industrial food complex (disaster). A History of Food in 100 Recipes sets out to drop the same knowledge but in a more approachable less academic prose. There’s pretty pictures too which softens some of the more aggressive and outright despicable turns in our food history. For anyone who wants to not only what we eat but why we do, this is a great read.
For a city with such an indulgent gastro presence a book is a no brainer. But until now there has not been a single portfolio that encapsulated the “right now food magic” from across the entire city in one trend telling, step-by-step, storytelling cookbook. Montreal Cooks Book fixed this by bringing together heavy hitter natives like Jonathan Cheung, Tays Spencer, Gail Simmons. The book chronicles 40 local chefs best recipes and stories capturing the NOW of the Montreal food scene from the artery clogging indulgences to the surprising fresh and local.