Category Archives: Food

Feastly Potluck Meetup // Aug 19 // @ Dekalb Market

It grosses me a bit that I haven’t posted anything on my own blog since May. My brain has been that scattered. I’ve been that busy. My life has been that chaotic and uninteresting. After awhile I just abandoned the blog altogether and didn’t feel myself worthy to post anything. It was fear and laziness and anxiety piled atop each other and it become nauseatingly frustrating. But here I am to make a new announcement and hopefully get my crinkly fingers typing again for updownacross. Bare with me por favor.

Have you heard of Feastly yet? It’s an online platform that essentially helps you host dinner parties, a tool that connects cooks and eaters together as an alternative to the hectic NYC restaurant dining experience. At least that’s the goal. They launched in DC earlier this year and I’m joining the team to utilize my mad community development skills to bring Feastly to New York and more importantly, Brooklyn. Brooklyn is where the homes are, Brooklyn is where all the foodies are, and Brooklyn is where all those curious tastebuds go searching for new experiences to eat and meet new people.

I’ll be reaching out to all my foodies folks to host and eat throughout the city and I hope you’ll join me for our very first potluck for cooks interested in learning more about the platform. It’s a potluck and a meetup so RSVP here and dress to impress!

NYC Cooks Meetup with Feastly

August 19 // 6 – 9pm

at Dekalb Market

138 Willoughby Street




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Feed Your Baby Food from the Farm

Lauren and I go way back, like four years or something crazy like that. We met on a double date kind of thing and then I ran into her camping out at Queens County Farm (yes, Queens has a farm). It was right when I was about to launch Greenpoint Food Market and she was stoked to use it as a medium to sell her wicked boiled peanuts and bourbon pecan pies. She sold in many of the markets with her plaid tablecloth and vintage apron, and we even had a catering stint together under the moniker Three Blind Catering.

Lauren’s a tall southern hospitality guru and has since then attended French Culinary Institute, worked the grueling farm stands, tested recipes in the Saveur test kitchen and last but not least, launched a company making and delivering food for babies in the heart of Greenpoint.

Farm to Baby is the latest iteration of the current local, farm fresh, farm-to-table sustainability food movement to hit New York. Lauren takes produce from local farms and cooks up something healthful and delicious, grinds it all up, jars it in cute little mason jars, and delivers it to your baby’s mouth. Launching NEXT WEEK in North Brooklyn she’s on a mission to make it easy to choose the right food for your baby so he/she doesn’t develop mutant toes and brain dysfunctions due to pesticides and whatever weird stuff your kid will experience consuming food and culture in New York.

Read this interview with Lauren, forward to your mommies and mommy-to-bes and try not steal a spoonful when the babe isn’t looking.

What is Farm to Baby in 140 characters or less?

New York City’s first fresh, local and upright food for babies made by hand and delivered right to your door.

What’s the mission and goal that drives Farm to Baby?

Our primary concern is creating the best ever food for babies. Nutrition, flavor, texture and variety are paramount. Making it as easy as possible for parents to feed their children the best nature has to offer is what matters most to us.

Why should parents switch to Farm to Baby food?

Parents concerned with providing their kids with the best nutrition available will recognize the value of a fresh food for babies. Plus, numerous studies have shown that the varied, seasonal menu that Farm to Baby provides makes for less picky toddlers. Finally, parents can trust that Farm to Baby avoids synthetic pesticides and herbicides and plasticizers like BPA and phthalates, which means better, safer food for their babies.

Who makes the food?

I do! I make it all by hand in a certified kitchen. I went to culinary school at The French Culinary Institute and studied nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Where do you source the produce?

All of our food is sourced from local farms. We work hard to find farmers who use the best growing practices. That means that our produce is free from synthetic herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. What’s more, these farmers are good stewards of the land, ensuring the health of our planet for the next generation.

Why food for babies? Why not food for dogs, or hipsters, or old people?

Because babies deserve better.  It shouldn’t be hard for parents to feed their babies food that tastes good and is good for them.

What are your pick up/delivery locations?

We’re scouting convenient pick-up locations throughout Brooklyn right now and asking parents for feedback on their ideal locations. We want to make it easy for parents to get fresh and healthy food for their babies.

Where and when are you launching?

Our first deliveries will go out March 2nd in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.


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Eat My French Coconut Pie

One of my favorite ladies in the world is Nicole of the art and food blog Contemporary Confections. It’s been awhile since we’ve been in touch but last I checked she doing diggin’ up activities like curating an art show and teaching boot camp at Prospect Park. She don’t play around and I’m stoked to join her tomorrow as she judges pies in honor of MLK. I’ll be submitting french coconut pie. You like the sounds of that don’t you? Come thru to culturefix in LES tomorrow 2- 5pm!


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Tomorrow // Something I Ate // Food & Art Series

My dearests Sam & Kat have produced another rendition of Something I Ate to take place tomorrow night at Acme Studios in Williamsburg. I’ll be on site throughout the day and night helping out with set up and install and then eating & drinking a whole lot. More details below, you should join us. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

Creative minds converge for this event with food being the principle medium. Presented at ACME Studio in Williamsburg, artists will document 7 days of their personal eating experience, from zero to x “meals” a day, culminating in a collaborative menu with Skimkim Foods. The idea is that from food, we derive pleasure, satisfaction, energy and inspiration (or vice versa) and these elements, whether cognizant of them or not, ignite our creative fires. With “Something I Ate”, we intend to share various artists’ true perception of food & sustenance in everyday life.

Each artist will pinpoint a defining meal, ingredient, or experience and Sam Kim of Skimkim Foods will present her seasonal, local interpretation including drinks from SNAP Liquor & Sailor Jerry Rum. Also, enjoy a Hot Buttered Rum by A.F. Rapoport Ltd.

Music will be provided by Dances With White Girls curating a fun aural environment.

Featuring Menu Collaborations by Artists: Jillian Leedy, Sidney Lo, John D’Aponte, Kristen Wentrcek and Sam Kim from Skimkim

Curated by Jose R. Mejia


  • Curry-infused Broth, Roasted Apple & Turnip, Fennel Fronds
  • Turkey Leg Pretzelbread Sammies w/ Cranberry Whole Grain Mustard  & Gravy (Tin Mustard)
  • Orange Ginger Pork Dumplings w/ Fermented Black Bean Sauce, Orange Zest & Radish, Deconstructed
  • Beet Risotto w/ Butternut Squash & Bacon Vinaigrette, Microgreens
  • Papadum & Faux Gras Napoleon w/ Pear Chutney, Parsley & Watercress Pesto
  • AsiaDog CornDog Thanksgiving!

And at the bar:

  • SNAP Coquito – Puerto Rican version of eggnog! Cold & creamy.
  • Rum Fashioned – A spicy rum version of an Old Fashioned w/ an orange twist.
  • Dark & Tempetuous – SNAP w/ ginger beer & lime.
  • Hot Buttered Rum, A.F. Rapoport – Hot & buttery. Perfect for warming you up.


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Abalone & Sea Cucumber

On Friday my dearest Veronica asked me to help serve and prep for Treasures of the Sea: An Exclusive Tasting Event highlighting two exotic seafood ingredients: Sea Cucumber and Abalone. The dried versions of these coveted delicacies are exorbitantly expensive and nearly impossible to find in the US. It was prepared for emperors and high-ranking officials during the Confucius era. They are still considered treasures in Asia as a reflection of wealth and prosperity, however the common taste of the common man demand the sharing and distribution of Abalone and Sea Cucumber to enjoy in their country and dinner plate.

Veronica’s mom Wendy Chan, a marketing consultant who’ve landed multiple gigs promoting the wonderful world of Asian food (can she be my mom too?), brought together the finest producers and importers of these unique delicacies and asked chef Kian Lam Kho (he used to sell awesome pork buns at Greenpoint Food Market) to create a six course tasting menu. I jumped on the opportunity to garb myself as a spiffy waitress (happy halloween!) server and lay out 150 small plates six times. Here’s some of what I got to gorge on before, during, and after the event.

Clockwise from left:

Abalone, Ham and Mushroom Bun Garnished with Scallion & Cilantro: I consumed at least three of these piping hot buns stuffed with meaty abalone & mushroom, its savory component topped off perfectly with the spice of cilantro. Unlike the guests of the event I had the advantage of soaking the bun with spoonfuls of abalone sauce.

Sliced Abalone and Pomegranate with Mustard Dressing: I didn’t get much of the pomegranate other than its crunch, the abalone was laced in mustardy dressing which reminded me of a Korean rice cake sprinkled with sweet rice flour.

Sticky Rice with Chicken, Abalone, Sea Cucumber & Chestnut Wrapped in Lotus Leaf: There were plenty of these laying around and we played hot potatoes in the kitchen, opening up the steaming rolls and like barbarians, ate them without utensils. Tastes were subtle and comforting, chewy and nourishing. Again, pouring Abalone juice on top and making a whole mess of it all was too much fun.

Sauteed Sea Cucumber with Reduction Sauce on Fried Taro Nest: I definitely favor abalone over sea cucumber, I still can’t figure out what it tastes like. It’s a bit bland and overtly chewy for me. Plus, they’re bugs! The gimmick to this plate is what made it genius: the taro nest were thin and brittle roasted fries whose crunch was waiting to be hydrated with a plastic tube filled with sauce. We took turns squirting it directly into our mouths. Naughty!

The last couple days I’ve gluttonously consumed more than my share of Abalone, whose exotic and rare qualities I took advantage of by eating it over and over again with a plain bowl of white rice. Thank you Veronica, Wendy, and Kian for letting me indulge in the treasures of the sea!!

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Diner en Blanc New York is a Shitshow

So I read this awesome article in New York Times about a picnic in Paris where 10k people come dressed in white and bring their own table and food. Recreating the same event in New York would be a bit more of an administrative traffic considering alcohol and street permits, the potential mob scene, lugging tables and chairs AND food on the subway, and the sheer logistics of bringing together 10k and encouraging to do as simple of a thing as: come dressed in white.

The registration on their website has been live and I’ve been waitlisted for next year which I don’t understand in the first place considering folks should not be paying $50 to organize their own meal and seating arrangement. For those who have successfully registered and paid their $50 on paypal last Friday afternoon have become victim to a fluke entrance.

Apparently a shitshow of a tirade has ensued over the weekend as some computer glitch apparently charged 4k people instead of 200, duping 3800 folks into thinking they gained entry to this dinner that really doesn’t need to be that exclusive. There’s something like 31,000 folks registered on the waiting list, all now straight up FUCKING UPSET making a big fuss on the Diner En Blan NY’s facebook page. The nasty comments and disapproving remarks are so quintessential New York, the rat race mob mentality is scary and a huge warning to ANY event producers: Prepare well in advance, try to include as much of the community as possible, especially if its a food related event sensically open to a vast majority of the public.

I pity the organizers of the NY event and surely there’s really nothing they could’ve done about a computer glitch but c’mon, there’s so much you could’ve done to make this a truly enjoyable participatory event: Get a parks permit for the entirety of Central Park, change the tacky images of good looking people on your website, don’t have reservation and ticketing systems, don’t CHARGE people (what are they getting for their money?), and just ready, set, EAT.

Is that so hard??

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Chicken Inasal at Sa Aming Nayon

What is the pork trifecta and how does it explain Tasting Table’s title and review of a new Filipino restaurant in the East Village? From a little googling the port trifecta refers to Italian cured pork: prosciutto, guanciale, and pancetta. It also refers to pepperoni, sausage, and bacon. There’s even a video of a woman making pork stuffed with pork wrapped in pork, naming her dish the porkpocalyptic trifecta. So I can conclude any three combination of pork, whether cured and raw or stuffed and cooked, can safely be generalized as a Pork Trifecta.

This still doesn’t explain why Tasting Table decided to title this review “Sa Aming Nayon hits the pork trifecta”. It waxes poetic about two porktastic dishes: sisig and pata, but fails to name a third that would justify its title. Whether its an editing mishap or I’m just obsessing about something I’m completely ignorant about is irrelevant. Either way I read the review and instead of adding into my address book of restaurants to check out I made a determined decision to check it out. Angel and I went last night and weren’t quite sure what to expect as the review didn’t mention anything about the setting or environment.

Sa Aming Nayon certainly isn’t chic or hipster, no care for rustic refurbished wooden tables to be found here. It’s pure authentic ethnic food with little consideration for moody lighting or printed menus meticulously designed by a junior graphic designer from Brooklyn. We found ourselves seated in the back surrounded by a giant mirror wall and a flat screen tv which we took the liberty to change the channel to watch a Giants preseason game in silence. There was an unlit backyard with a group of diners eating in the dark which will be tempting were there no threat of a downpour.

Service was mediocre at best, the old couple who I assume are the couple mentioned in the review seemed a bit lost or overwhelmed about accommodating to the demand and attention I assume said review has garnered. I assume pre-review from Tasting Table they were cooking for fellow natives. This night it was packed with your foodie know hows of the white people variety except for the three grandmas sitting in the back with us grappling over the check with their failing eyesight and inability to add on the price of a drink to their separate individual.

Angel ordered a delicious goat stew dish that reminded us of the spicy, comforting food from his Dominican end. I ordered Chicken Inasal which was described as “Grilled marinated chicken breast in vinegar, garlic pepper, and lemon grass served with pickled papaya”. It is by far the juiciest and most flavorful chicken breast I’ve probably ever had the honor to consume. The crispy grilled skin gave way to tender meat that squitred juices of pure spice and slightly sour, perfectly acidicized marinated goodness. A bowl of plain white rice was a great combo, a perfect homecoming meal that is humble, comforting, and soulful.

Next time we go I’ll make sure to fulfill the pork trifecta and order a whole lotta pork. Til then, we’ll be going meatless for a week!

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