Review: Brunch Bedecked in White @ French Cheese Board Jun 26

Bottom Line: The fighting French have shown us once more why they are cheese #1 at the French Cheese Board. Allez les Bleus!

A cheese tribute to the 4th of July © Kaori Mahajan or WhereNYC

A cheese tribute to the 4th of July © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Review: If cheese heaven exists, this is how it would look like.  France’s celebrated cheese enthusiasts, La Ligue des Fromagers extraordinaires, descended upon SoHo at the French Cheese Board for the most amazing brunch, featuring French all-stars including: comté, bleu, camembert, and of course, mimolette.

Meeting La Ligue des Fromagers extraordinaires

Meeting La Ligue des Fromagers extraordinaires

© Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Mimolette heaven © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

As the guests clad in white attire arrived, those familiar sounds of uncorking of champagne and people happily tucking into the most amazing spread went like a melodious symphony. The display celebrated cheese, France and the pleasure of the table. The buzz at the French Cheese Board was amazing with a packed house of foodies.  It was a chance to rub elbows with reputable bakers such as: Pierre Zimmermann, owner of La Fournette, who came in from Chicago. And others lingered on over a glass of champagne and savored a delicious macaron.

© Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Love is cheese  © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

If you haven’t heard of the French Cheese Board, you are missing out. It’s quirky store in SoHo opened with an amazing reception in May and frequently hosts exhibits, tastings, classes and receptions. It is a shrine, learning center, and creative lab devoted to promoting French cheese in America.

© Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

The Cheese Pyramid © Kaori Mahajan for WhereNYC

Catch more of the fun at the French Cheese Board.

 

Review: Japan Society Talks + with Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Anthony and Saori Kawano June 20th @ The Japan Society

Photo © Daphne Youree for Japan Society

Photo © Daphne Youree for Japan Society

Cover Photo: All smiles from the panel: Don Gabor, Michael Anthony, Saori Kawano, Marcus Samuelsson and Japan Society President Motoatsu Sakurai © WhereNYC

Bottom Line: “You don’t have to fully understand something to love it,” Marcus Samuelsson explained what most outsiders miss when trying to “figure out Japanese culture.”  There is a beauty that lies in the unknown, but for Marcus and fellow panelists Michael Anthony, head chef at the Gramercy Tavern and Saori Kawano, owner of Korin knives in Tribeca, Japanese culture and its cuisine have in many ways defined their careers. Here at the final installment of the Talks+ series, the three sat down with moderator Don Gabor.

Michael Anthony chatting with guests at the reception.

Michael Anthony chatting with guests at the reception.

Review: Marcus Samuelsson said many outside of Japan just don’t get Japanese culture, and yet it has influenced many chefs in the West. Michael Anthony, executive chef at the Gramercy Tavern and who studied both French and Japanese, took a more unorthodox route and began his stage in Japan, under the guidance of Shizuyo Shima. It was this decision to train in Japan that defined his cooking philosophy of precision, dedication and passion.

Although a distant land, Japan’s influence on Western cuisine and American chefs has rapidly increased over the years, thanks in part to increased trade and interaction. No one is more aware of this than Saori Kawano, who started Korin in Tribeca during the 1980s when Japanese food was unheard of, and began supplying knives and kitchenware to Japanese restaurants in New York. But as interest grew and more high end Japanese restaurants began appearing, American chefs also began taking interest in Japanese products and applying similar cooking techniques to Western cuisine.

Chatting with Marcus Samuelsson

Chatting with Marcus Samuelsson

Perhaps many in the West, according to Marcus, may still not fully comprehend Japan and its unique culture, but the Japanese seem to “get” French gastronomy and are among the top chefs of French cuisine. Samuelsson, who trained in Switzerland, said that the Japanese chefs were the best. “They were even better than the French at French cuisine!” he joked. The philosophy of respect for ingredients, precision, dedication and no waste is as much a part of French gastronomy as it is Japanese. And Western cuisine is incredibly popular in Japan, where chefs are now producing top end French, Italian and even Indian cuisine.

In Japanese gastronomy, the total respect for ingredients and nothing-goes-to-waste philosophy go straight to the heart of Japanese food culture, which has often baffled many outside of Japan. Here in Western countries, we often think that the Japanese have very complex notions of discipline, dedication and respect. For the Japanese, respect for ingredients may enshrined into Shinto religious traditions, as Saori Kawano mentioned during the Q&A, but this deference may have more to do with being an island nation.

Wine but where's the food?

Wine but where’s the food?

To this day, Samuelsson, Anthony and Kawano still look to Japan for new inspiration and continue to share their experience of Japanese culture with other Americans in the industry. Saori Kawano founded the Gohan Society, which is to fosters culinary exchanges between Western and Japanese chefs. Kawano also co-authored Chef’s Choice with Don Gabor, a compilation of 22 chefs who discuss their love of Japanese cuisine.  And in 2016, Michael Anthony won a James Beard award for his cookbook V Is for Vegetables, which drew inspiration from his stint in Japan years ago. 

Although the Talks+ series has been a huge success, I think they could have included some food samples. All this talk about food and nothing to eat irked me a bit. The book signing of Chef’s Choice was a great idea, but it was thatV Is for Vegetables wasn’t available for purchase. Oh well, time to go on Amazon.

Visit The Japan Society’s homepage for upcoming events.

Review: “Cheese Art” and Tasting @ French Cheese Board June 11-19, 2016

Cheese, honey, edible flowers on crackers.

Visitors savored cheese, honey, edible flowers on crackers.

Bottom Line:  Already into its sixth day, the buzz was a little quieter than previous events at the French Cheese Board, but the carving of the cheese sculpture was an amazing treat, and then of course, there were the hors d’œuvres. Yummy.

The celebrated cheese map at French Cheese Board.

The celebrated cheese map at French Cheese Board.

The good stuff. Guests enjoyed tasty bites with some daring combinations.

The good stuff. Guests enjoyed tasty bites with some daring combinations.

Review:  Beautiful weather on a Friday just screams for a stroll in SoHo, but what could be better than also shopping for delicious French cheese? No one is more aware of this than the organizers at the French Cheese Board, whose new concept store south of Houston Street has turned into a small lab, a boutique and meeting spot, where cheese-lovers all converge in search for the next big idea.

Comté carving? An exquisitely cut by artist Kraï .

Comté carving? An exquisitely cut by artist Kraï .

A gallery, a concert, a lifestyle of cheese.

A gallery, a concert, a lifestyle of cheese.

Started in 2014 as a mission to promote French cheeses in the U.S., it has now transitioned into a concept store, bringing a little more quirkiness and creativity into savoring cheese. From experimental labs, classes, tastings and showcases, the French Cheese Board is taking it to the next level: cheese as a lifestyle rather than just sustenance.

Carving a mimolette. Forget pumpkins on Halloween; let's have these instead.

“We don’t need no stinking pumpkins!” Artist Kraï carving a mimolette.

Some combinations worked better than others. The banana with roquefort was one step too far.

Some combinations worked better than others. The banana with roquefort was one step too far.

Like a gastronomic gallery, visitors come to enjoy the frequent events, marvel at the displays and maybe sip the odd glass of wine, before buying some delicious cheeses on their way out.

Toy cows and delicious cheese

Toy cows and delicious cheese

Oh my god yummy!

Oh my god yummy!

Confiture heaven. Visitors can purchase jams at the French Cheese Board.

Confiture heaven. Visitors can purchase jams at the French Cheese Board.

Exit through the gift shop.

Exit through the gift shop.

Check out the French Cheese Board for upcoming events.

Review: Russia a Test for Modern Unity: 934 Conference series at the French Consulate June 13, 2016

Bottom Line: The annexion of Crimea, the troubles in Donetsk, the frequent incursions in foreign territories and the grueling sanctions on Russia, Vladimir Putain continues to take an erratic turn in asserting its sovereignty. The unified Western response to Russia has even its limits. Not since the days of the Cold War has the US-EU transatlantic partnership faced a more difficult test.

French Consul Bertrand Lortholary

French Consul Bertrand Lortholary

Review: Although it may seem odd why the French Consulate is hosting a discussion on Russia and foreign policy, the 934 Conference is not only a platform, where global issues and discussed, but it goes to the heart of French Republican values of debate and exchanges of ideas. Panel discussions with experts cover topics including: India, Pakistan, the COP21, European integration and even the Roman colonization of Provence. No matter your expertise on the selected topic, you will always learn something new.

Moderator Stephen Sazbo

Moderator Stephen Szabo

This event moderated by Stephen F. Szabo, director of Transatlantic Academy included panelists: Marie Mendras also of the Transatlantic Academy, Researcher at Sciences Po in Paris and visiting fellow at Georgetown University, and Alexander Cooley from Barnard College and the German Marshall Fund gave their take on the rising tensions between Russia and the West.

French Consulate

Between the three experts, there was very little disagreement. Russia and the U.S. are locked in a game of chicken and hoping for the other to succumb to Ukraine fatigue. And in spite of many European countries’ desire to put an end to the rift with Russia, the panel agreed that Putin’s actions  have done more to push the E.U. closer to the U.S. Meanwhile the sanctions have taken their toll on the Russian economy as well as on the European Union who relies on Russian natural gas.  And as long as Washington and Moscow haven’t agreed on the terms to discuss Ukraine, the situation remains irreversable. Joy.

Receptions at the consulate

Receptions at the Consulate had always been the highlight of evening.

Despite the fascinating conversation and an informative Q&A, sadly, there wasn’t any cocktail reception, which had always been a great opportunity to rub shoulders with people in the field. It was a real shame because I always looked forward to chatting with the guests over a glass of champagne and a canapé or two.  This time, unfortunately, at the end, the staff cleared the room, and everyone had to leave. There wasn’t even a coatcheck available that evening to drop off your briefcase, and I was left holding mine throughout the conference. Bugger.

Until next time

Until next time

 

Review: Food Loves Tech June 11-12, 2016 @ the Waterfront

Food Loves Tech

Food Loves Tech © WhereNYC

Bottom Line:  Expect the unexpected. Indeed a cliché, but Edible Magazine & Vayner Media’s Food Loves Tech expo @ the Waterfront took me right out of my comfort zone and transported me to an amazing place.  Like many visitors at the event, I found myself savoring new, unknown delicacies that I never would have imagined edible.

New York, NY - June 11, 2016: Scenes from the Food Loves Tech festival, hosted by Edible Manhattan and Vayner Media. CREDIT: Clay Williams for Edible Manhattan. © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

New York, NY – June 11, 2016: Scenes from the Food Loves Tech festival, hosted by Edible Manhattan and Vayner Media.
CREDIT: Clay Williams for Edible Manhattan.
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

New York, NY - June 11, 2016: Scenes from the Food Loves Tech festival, hosted by Edible Manhattan and Vayner Media. CREDIT: Clay Williams for Edible Manhattan. © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

Who me?  José Andrés  New York, NY – June 11, 2016: Scenes from the Food Loves Tech festival, hosted by Edible Manhattan and Vayner Media.
CREDIT: Clay Williams for Edible Manhattan.
© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

The Food Stand giving interviews to the press

The Food Stand giving interviews to the press © W

Dinner in total-immersion

Dinner in total-immersion © W

Califia serving sweet iced coffee

Califia serving sweet iced almond milk coffee © WhereNYC

Umi

Umi Kitchen: cook from home and feed your neighbors.  © WhereNYC

Review: Innovation, creativity and sustainability: the three words that sum up the Food Loves Tech Expo sponsored by Audi USA. From the quirky, ingenious, and daring to the familiar, comforting and nostalgic, there was something for everyone. Passionate individuals from around the country and Canada converged under one roof determined to challenge the way we look at food.

Gelzen - making meat without hurting or killing.

Gelzen – making meat without hurting or killing.

Jellied Pigs? Gelzen at Food Loves Tech

Jellied Pigs? Gelzen at Food Loves Tech

Judge ye not! Things are not what they seem!

Victorian-era food scientist Vincent Holt had advocated eating insects in times of credit crunch, and today, many in culinary world are embracing entomophagy as a viable dietary option.

One Hop Kitchen Food Loves Tech

Give it a try; it’s delicious! One Hop Kitchen

One Hop Kitchen from Toronto, run by food scientist Lee Cadesky and his fiancée, offered the ultimate blind tasting challenge – three different tomato-based ragu sauces: beef, meal worm, and cricket. Ready to taste, I closed my eyes, opened my mouth and muttered a quick “here goes”.

Delicious! Although the beef bolognaise could have used more seasoning, the meal worm was incredibly enjoyable. I can’t believe I’m actually typing this, but it’s true! Ewww!

Do you fancy cricket or worm?

Do you fancy cricket or meal worm? One Hop Kitchen pasta sauces

I wondered how did such a charming couple decide of serving bugs. Perhaps it was a first dinner date, with one of them suddenly exclaiming, “You know what this pasta sauce needs…” They will be back at the Museum of Food and Drink on June 28 /29.

Exo's cricket bar

Jess Tran showing off Exo‘s cricket bar

They weren’t the only insectivores on the block. Exo Protein also offered a mashed up cricket paste bar to anyone feeling adventurous. Like One Hop Kitchen’s pasta sauces, Exo Protein also disguised the unusual ingredient into something familiar, like an upmarket Fig Newton.

It delivered on taste thanks in part to its collaboration with notable chef Kyle   Connaughton, formerly at the three-Michelin starred The Fat Duck in the UK.

Fabanaise serves a winner

Fabanaise is fabulous! © WhereNYC

Happily, it wasn’t all about mashing up crickets. Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise served up a delicious (but vegan!) mayonaise, made from the left over water of drained canned chickpeas. My worry about veganism aside, I respect Sir Kensington’s nothing-goes-to-waste attitude.

Vegan Mayonaise

It’s sustainable and delicious! Fabanaise © WhereNYC

And to be honest, if I hadn’t known the secret ingredient, I’d swear I were eating  regular mayonaise.

Sustainability also pertains to space as much as food. Let’s face it, more people live in cities, where space is scarce.  Locavore urban agriculturers Gotham Greens grow their produce from rooftop gardens, while Seed Sheets will build you your own harvest-ready garden with their kits.

The ultimate hipster fake overall T-shirt.

You looking at my overalls T-shirt? Seed Sheets at Food Loves Tech. © WhereNYC

Seed sheet, garden ready in minutes? Wow.

Seed sheets, garden ready in minutes? Wow.

But there were also tasty conventional bites. Le Fusion ( or rather la fusion!) also served delicious fried vegetarian spring rolls, including a Mac n’ Cheez.

Le Fusion served some amazing veggie egg rolls. The shitake was absolutely delicious.

Le Fusion served some amazing veggie egg rolls. The shitake was absolutely delicious. © WhereNYC

Then there were also the sweet comforts: crumble cake, cupcakes and sweet potato cookies from Make My Cake Bakery in West Harlem. Yummy!

Sweet potato, white chocolate, walnut cookies were a hit.

Sweet potato, white chocolate, walnut cookies were a hit. Make my Cake Bakery from Harlem © WhereNYC

It was great to see Owl’s Brew back and showing off their tea-based booze cocktails. The spicy Wicked Green with lime, green tea and habenero was my favorite.

Boozy tea cocktails by Owl's Brew © WhereNYC

Boozy tea cocktails by Owl’s Brew – absolutely delicious!

And I loved the white cheddar from Beecher’s Cheese, salty, crumbly and oh so good.

Good old fashioned cheese!

The real white gold. Good old fashioned cheese from Beecher’s ! © WhereNYC

Sustainablity is the future of food

Food waste is a global phenomenon, ironically even with the massive amount of hunger in the world.  On the other side of the pond, activists like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the UK are fighting hard to curb it.

Bow to me! José Andres preaches not to waste food.

Bow to me, plebian! José Andres preaches not to waste food.

In the US, everything from purple potatoes, imperfect veggies and of course tons of bread, gets tossed in the bin. In the restaurant world, waste is even more common, which the late Keith Floyd once called it a very expensive disease.

All smiles at Food Stand, but who'sthe villan-looking geezer in the back?All smiles at The Food Stand, but who’s the villan-looking geezer in the back?

In recent times, many chefs have been championing sustainable practices to save money and contribute to the betterment of the planet. Attending speakers such as chef José Andrés, a protégé of molecular gastronomy legend, Ferran Adrià, and owner of several celebrated restaurants in the U.S. has also thrown his hat in with The Food Stand to stop waste.

Even ugly vegetables should end up on the plate.

Even ugly vegetables should end up on the plate.

Sustainable movers?

Cheers mate! Sustainable Movers not Shakers from Brooklyn was among the event’s attendees.

Creativity and innovation go hand-in-hand

The virtual reality space at the event was really cool. AR Pandora, specializing business solutions, including virtual architecture, took visitors to a new dining alternative reality, where we could examine a virtual dish from all angles. Truly impressive.

What do you see? Virtual glasses

Like my specs? Virtual glasses. VRT Consulting.

For those who have loads of dietary restrictions, Nima showcased its portable food ingredient sensor.

Allergic to loads of stuff? Nima's food detecter might be your solution.

Allergic to stuff? Nima‘s food detecter might be your solution.

In some cases, the concept was better than the product. Nasa grant-winners  and innovators BeeHex programmed a 3D printer to create a heart-shaped pizza. Chintan Kanuga of BeeHex hopes eventually to install pizza-making vending machines.

A 3D pizza, make by a robotic arm. Impressive - yes, but failed to deliver on flavor.

BeeHex’s 3D pizza, made by a robotic arm. Impressive – yes but failed to deliver on flavor.

Although it was impressive to watch, but it took an awfully long time to make. The end result didn’t deliver on taste or texture. The pizza crust was raw, the sauce cold, and not at all pleasant to eat. And I don’t see how taking out the   human element makes for a better pizza. And in New York City, getting a slice is already an easy convenience.

Farmer's Fridge from Chicago

Farmer’s Fridge from Chicago

Chicago-based Farmer’s Fridge – another really great idea of delivering snacks to every fridge and the option to donate unused food. Unfortunately, the machine was out of commission due to transportation issues. What a pity because it ticks all the boxes on nutrition, sustainability and innovation.

Some of  ideas, however good, didn’t work for me.

Loliware serving edible glasses

Loliware serving edible glasses

A great idea but sticks to your teeth.

A great idea but stuck to our teeth.

Indie Fork restaurant had a drink plus crostini special, but the menu wasn’t cheap. And with the price of the event tickets and the added cost of a $16 cocktail, many opted to go elsewhere.

Indie Fork Cocktails - nice bar, but expensive drinks

Indie Fork cocktails – nice bar, but expensive drinks

In spite of some minor worries, the highlight of the afternoon was dinner by Food Sessions from Canada. The traveling French-Canadian company produced an exquiste dining installation for its guests, centered around nostalgia and the pleasure of the table.

You like my shirt?

You like my shirt? Food Sessions live dinner installation. The highlight of the show.

Behind the parked Audis, registered diners sat at a rectangular table. The calm voice in their headphones instructed them to savor every bite and record their thoughts.

received_10154079279630590

Food Sessions – A silent disco for your tongue

What may seem like solitary experience turned out to be incredibly interactive, mainly because we were sat with people we didn’t know. And then there was the food: a  spicy chicken, seasoned beautifully and moisty. Each garnish worked in total harmony with the main event.

Food loves tech

Perfection on a plate.   Spicy chicken, courgettes, foam crisp and radishes

And the dessert was lovely

And the dessert was lovely

With every bite, we listened carefully to the soothing voice instructing us to write down our cherrished food memories while waiters pourred generous amounts of wine. Like all good meals, the moment lingered over a glass and great conversation with new faces and creating new memories of the plaisir de la table that will stay forever.

 

 

 

Review: Annual Sake Event @ The Japan Society Jun 8, 2016

John Gaunter, presenter and editor of Sake World is the face of Japanese sake in America.

John Gauntner, presenter and editor of Sake Today is the face of Japanese sake in America.

Sake and smiles

Sake and smiles. Nanbu Bijin “Umeshu”

Bottom line: For sake and foodie enthusiasts alike, Japan Society’s annual sake event is a bit like Christmas. Brewers from Hokkaido to southern Kyushu offered guests to sample sake not yet available in the States.

IMAG7876

Craig Tabandera, who found sake 14 years ago, representing Dassai sake from Yamaguchi-ken

Kirin Hizoshu from Nigata prefecture

Takuya Nambu from Hanagaki sake – another favorite

Review:  Like France and Scotland and many other booze producing regions of the world, regionality of a beverage defines character, taste and spirit. The French term, terroir, loosely defined as territory, actually refers to the climate, soil and the traditional methods of production, applies equally to Japan’s sake producing prefectures.

Japan Society

Yamato Shizuku from Akita, Japan

Japan Society sake 4

Don’t stop pourring, love!

There are so many different varieties of sake depending on where it comes from and the way it is produced, according to Sake afficianado and promoter, John Gauntner, editor of Sake World magazine.

Yuchiro Tanaka of Rihaku Sake Brewing Co.

Sparkling sake from Dassai from Yamaguichi Ken

Japan Society sake 6

Importer Kaoru Ishiguro serving a delicious sake Takasago Brewing, Hokkaido, Japan.

From the mountaineous Northeast, it is generally crisp with a clean finish, a perfect accompaniment to fermented and pickled food, whereas sake, the further south you go, generally has a broad, rich finish. Coastal regions traditionally brew light sake, which like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, compliments a fish course beautifully.

Japan Society

Fukucho by Master Brewer Miho Imada from Hiroshima displaying a creamy, sweet sake.

Japan Society sake 5

Yamato Shizuku from Akita Prefecture

But with higher demand of upscale sake such as the popular Junmai Ginjo and Daiginjo, Gautner explained, that much of the regionality is lost in the pursuit of a premium conformity.

IMAG7913

Miho Fujita, from Mioya Brewery.

Japan Sake

Ken Uchigasaki of Uchigasaki Brewing Co. from Miyagi prefecture

Much like whisky from Scotland or wine from France and Italy, lower grade sake often still retains its unique regional characteristic. While the expensive, pure, single-malt-like-status sake, Junmai ginjo and Daiginjo have skyrocketted. Other lower end premium sake like my favorite, Honjozo, have shrunk. Most Japanese either go expensive or super cheap, according to John Gauntner.

No surprise the event sold out

No surprise the event sold out

Sadly, sake’s share of the market in Japan is still quite small. Many young Japanese regard the drink too old-fashioned. Interestingly in Japan, the sake industry is more inclusive to women master brewers than the beer industry. Not so fuddy duddy after all. For me, however, I have a deep love for hot sake, or atsukan. There is a certain unctuous characteristic that flows through your palette and into your veins, almost like a good sherry or a deep red wine from the Languedoc. For me, tucking into a bowl of chirashi zushi and a cup of atsukan is heavenly. It screams comfort.

Kensuke Shichida of Tenzin Sake in Kyushu.

Kensuke Shichida of Tenzin Sake in Saga, Japan. Another delicous sake.

IMAG7919

George Yusa from Okunomatsu from Fukushima.

Almost every part of Japan produces sake, traditionally the largest producers come from Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures. Brewers at the event also represented regions such as Hokkaido and Akita, while sake producers from Fukushima and other prefectures of Tohouku, who survived hardship during the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster, also made their appearance.

Japan Society

Bride of the Fox from Kanbara in Nigata, Japan

Athough the expo’s focus was the regionality of sake and its unique taste depending on its origin, there were no food pairings. Many outside of Japan may question what you should eat when having sake.

Japan Society sake 10

Japan Society sake 12

Niichiro Marumoto from Chikurin from Okayama Prefecture.

It turns out less tricky than maybe one might guess. Quite a few of the articles in Sake Today and Gauntner’s blog post discuss the many varieties of food from cheesy, stuffed jalapeno poppers to traditional sashimi and roasted pork belly that compliment beautifully. Even Western favorites like pasta also pair well with sake. Next time, the expo should feature more tasty bites than just cold edamame.

Tenzin Sake from Saga was a big hit.

Tenzin Sake from Saga was a big hit.

Check out Japan Society for upcoming events.

Review: Revolving Dansk “Craft Beer Showdown” at Stuyvesant Cove Park

Bottom Line: When it comes to serving creative quality dogs, Revolving Dansk always delivers the goods.  With a Six Point beer and a delicious street dog in hand, it made perfect sense for a Memorial Day weekend barbecue.

Revolving Dansk

Care for a bite? Revolving Dansk showing off its new contender – The Berliner

Review:  A day with plenty of sunshine needed little else to make it special, and  a sunny day with quality beer and gourmet dogs was icing on the cake.

All hands on deck - Revolving Dansk during a busy service

All hands on deck – Revolving Dansk during a busy service

Each ticket to the hot dog showdown included two craft beers from Six Point, soft drinks cider and all you can eat high end dogs, and for around $35, it was a pretty sweet deal.

Six Point beer

Six Point beer

What makes these so special? After all,hot dogs are a staple in the NYC street cart dining scene. Everyone is making them, and in the city you’re never more than two blocks away from a stand.

You lookin' at my pølse? Memorial Day weekend Danish style

You lookin’ at my pølse? Memorial Day weekend Danish style

It might seem lucridous to tap in the already established market, but Revolving Dansk, which traditionally serves the Danish dog or pølse, has branched out to include some delicious, yet unsual combinations – which no one else is doing.

Don't forget a tip!

Don’t forget the tip!  Six Point IPA 

For this competition, guests voted for their favorites among the three contenders which were:

#1 “She’s Gone Nuts” – Still my favorite, though a little more Siracha wouldn’t go amiss. It’s no surprise that this won the most votes.

Peanuts, sweet pickled cabbage and spicy siracha. Yummy!

Peanuts, sweet pickled cabbage and spicy siracha. Yummy!

#2 “The Berlin” anothe great creation a currywurst style dog with crispy onions. This worked well with the Six Point lager with corriander seed.

Revolving Dansk

Ich bin ein Berliner! A currywurst inspired dog

Tatsuya Aoki showing off his creation, the North Pacific Gyre with pickled walnuts and tonkontsu sauce

#3 “North Pacific Gyre”  a very experimental dog with pickled walnuts and tonkonstu sauce- which had a sort of salty sweetness.

"Check on!"

“Check on!”

Although I don’t think Revolving Dansk could have done a better job, my only minor gripes with the event is that the venue need more sprucing and a little more shade, perhaps a larger tent would have sufficed. The rest of food fest strangely didn’t start until 2pm, two hours after Revolving Dansk opened their street dog competition. I think they missed out.

And for the live music, I found the depressing folk odd and completely unnecessary. The music was the people chomping on dogs and guzzling Six Point. But if you’re going to have music, next time just stay with the Beatles.

Visit Revolving Dansk for upcoming events.

Review: Pirch Kitchen &Opening Reception @ Soho 5/18

Bottom Line: Way beyond any kitchen and bath store, West Coast-import Pirch landed in Soho with a thunderous bash celebrating the opening of its New York location.

Pirch Soho DJ

Disco beats and R&B – Pirch knows how to party

Review: With over 3000 invitations sent, turn out was huge at the store’s grand opening. Swanky models, movers & shakers in the industry, designers and metronauts marveled at the incredible display of home furnishings at Pirch.

Coffee bar and wine in the back. No surprise hundreds turned up.

Coffee bar and wine in the back. No surprise hundreds turned up.

Pirch Show Room

I don’t know what these are for, but I kinda want them.

Occupying  an impressive three floors (including lower level, ground and second floors), guests endlessly indulged on sparkling wine and tantalizing hors d’œuvres while touring every inch of the showroom.

Pirch Soho Bar

Fill ’em up. Wine and beer endlessly filled up the glasses.

Although Pirch maybe an upscale kitchen & bath retailer, its mission is to promote a new lifestyle. From the amazing opening reception to free demonstrations and classes, Pirch’s objective is bring people into its philosophy of living with excitement and energy.

Going up? Pirch Soho

Going up? Pirch Soho

Generosity also goes to the heart of that philosophy as customers are offered tea, cappucino or espresso the minute they walk into the store and are encouraged to sign up for its weekly free events. Oh yeah, the store is completely pet-friendly, too.

Have a nibble on me. These were gone in seconds.

Have a nibble on me. These were gone in seconds.

Fancy a cheese burger slider?

Fancy a cheese burger slider?

From the main entrance offering up generous helpings of sparkling or red wine and beer, servers brought beautifully prepared canapés while the stations in two mini show rooms off to the side dished out tacos and  juicy, perfectly-pink-in-the-center cheeseburger sliders to hungry guests.

They served up the most amazing mushroom tacos and fresh guacamole.

They served up the most amazing mushroom tacos and fresh guacamole.

Every floor of the showroom had its own theme. From bath, kitchen and outdoor grilling, guests were encouraged explore and mingle while employees armed with bottles of sparkling wine readily topped up any half empty glass. Pirch is here to stay and nothing is off limits in its philosophy.

Glass in hand, time to look for a new bathtub.

Glass in hand, time to look for a new bathtub.

Check out Pirch’s upcoming in-store events and free demonstrations open to the public.