NYC Nouvelle Vague Summer’13

Bistros and brasseries reached their height of buzz in the late ’90s/early ’00s (just around the time that Sex and the City made Balthazar in New York a household name). In the years since, such transparently French transplants became somewhat expected, and their cuisine started to seem old hat. Lately, however, we’re seeing a resurgence of interest in French culture—its aesthetics, its foods, and even its lingerie.
frenchNo blog da Carla, cheguei a falar da onda francesa que assolou NY este verão, especialmente downtown,  onde novas brasseries e bistrôs trouxeram de volta os prazeres (simples) da cozinha francesa. Primeiro foi Monmartre, uma brasserie despojada, com jornais do dia, pratos pequenos, médios e grandes, em Chelsea (que precisava muito). Depois veio Calliope no East Village, com seu menu retro, ostras e coelhos e novos players na gastronomia de NY (o casal Eric Korsch e Ginevra Iverson). O Le Philosophe na Bond Street adicionou alguns toques de haute cuisine, com seus patos e lagostas. Mas o melhor acho que foi o novo de Andrew Carmellini, Lafayette, na Lafayette St, com seu menu gigante, com pratos de todas as regiões da França, ingredients de mercado e comida para o dia a dia. Os preços nem se comparam a São Paulo – o prato mais caro provavelmente sai por $35. Vive La France!

The Beautiful Gojee

This is a foodies paradise, or a true food porn site. Beautiful pictures, curated recipes and an easy search engine. It has been compared to StumbleUpon because searching is that easy: type in an ingredient, and Gojee sweeps the web to deliver relevant recipes in seconds, and that includes its history and the looks. One can “like” and “dislike” a page, their least favorite ingredients and cuisines, crave drinks or food, which all makes for smarter search engine and results more personalized over time.

The Soda Fountain

Finally back to writing my food blog this week. And as I researched the news about Brooklyn Farmacy opening inside a Kiehl’s store, I came across a bit of history of Americana and thought it was really fun…. the “soda fountain”!

Kiehl’s was founded as an old-world apothecary in the Lower East Side neighborhood 160 years ago. And until today the old house on third avenue looks like a pharmacy. As to the soda fountain, as old as Kiehl’s, it became popular exactly in pharmacies, as an attempt to replicate mineral waters that bubbled up from the Earth with rejuvenating and/or curating powers.  In the early 20’s the soda fountain flourished in all sorts of pharmacies, ice cream parlors and train stations; also creating a very civilized public space where neighbors could socialize and exchange community news. The person that operated the soda fountain, mixing syrups to the water he carbonated., in a highly coveted job, was the soda Jerk…

Cut to today, Kiehl’s opens a satellite of the very cool hipster joint from Caroll Gardens (Henry Street, that I miss so much) Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, also old-fashioned and classy store decorated with original tile and wood from 1920’s. Along with serving up the legendary NY Egg Cream, they’re mixing on-the-spot, old-time favorites such as Cherry Lime Rickeys, Ginger Ale, Lime and Root Beer.  The soda jerks are probably NYU students raising cash and they hop back and forth from Brooklyn to Manhattan; but really….it’s cool.

Food for thought

HBK Incubates is a non-profit food business development group in NY that does an amazing job aiding future gastro-entrepreneurs.  Originally founded to offer employment opportunities to low income immigrants, HBK has become a thriving business in the industry. First with Hot Bread Kitchens, baking multi-ethnic breads for gourmet delis such as Dean & Deluca, Union Square market, and Fort Greene; now with the incubates projects they offer women and minorities overall a real hands on training to become entrepreneurs. From the rental space in a commercial kitchen in Queens, to assistance in developing large scale recipes, and workshops about everything in the food business, from networking to financial planning and marketing.

Food Trucks

I think they started showing up less than a year ago. First LA, then NY; and from a gastronomic fad it has turned into a cultural phenomenon…and I can’t get enough of these food trucks! The food is fantastic, the settings are perfect (no tables! no waiters! no walls!) and the marketing is just so much fun! Waffles & Dinges or the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck are simply hysterical. Not to mention the stunts: when would you see Alain Ducasse cooking inside a truck, with Daniel Bouloud or Michael White beside him doing their own edibles for the masses? I really love it, and feel that I’m witnessing art and culture rolling down the streets of NY, LA…. But really they’re all over now.

umami, the fifth flavor

Chegou a vez do umami assolar a colonia gastronomica mundial. É o trend de 2010, e vem fascinando igualmente chefs, foodies e químicos que o descrevem como o “quinto sabor”.  A palavra vem do japonês “umai”, que significa delicia, e “mi” que significa essência. E é aquele sabor além do doce, salgado, amargo e azedo.  Já foi definido como rico, carnudo, saboroso, ou terreno, e pode ser descrito como um gosto que se sente ao comer cogumelos, queijo parmeggiano, aspargos, alguns tipos de peixe, algas marinhas, etc. Umami contem glutamato, um aminoacido que ao se misturar com outros sabores faz com que um outro sabor que não se descreve cresça mais….o “umami”. Nos EUA já exitem restaurantes com umami burgers, mas em Londres será vendido em pasta…tubos de “quinto sabor”. Veja mais no