Spaghetti was seen as exotic in my grandparents’ day in age. Hummus was strange and vegan-centric when I was in college. Guacamole grossed a lot of Americans out a few decades ago. I don’t need to point out that they’re now proud staples of the American diet. But just imagine what our plates would look like if we had closed the door on immigration years ago.
Old people eat dumplings. Babies eat dumplings. Big people, little people, smart people, silly people, black, white, Asian, Hispanic—all people eat dumplings. It’s a phenomenon that I experienced early on, when my mom brought pork and chive potstickers for the elementary school “bake” sale. Everyone—teachers, parents, kids—ate them with gusto. “Dumplings are magical,” said a judge/organizer for the 13th Annual NYC Dumpling Festival last Saturday in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. That’s all there is to it.
It was last Tuesday. #GivingTuesday according to the hashtag gods, which came at the heels of #CyberMonday and (pre-hashtag era grandfathered) #BlackFriday. I felt like the initiative to give to charity came at an inopportune time, since people just spent so much over the weekend already. But in my inbox, there was a handful of emails from PR firms offering me samples of new food products in exchange for my sharing them over the Internet, or just my consideration of doing … Read More
New York, I still love you. I think that’s how many people felt when they saw the infamous pizza rat meme. For all the crap that goes through its gutters each day, all the crazies and critters that line its streets, there is a gleeful levity in little moments like these happening in every corner of the city all the time. And so for all the hunger that some of its people suffer, there are events like the NYC Dumpling Festival, pelting food from all … Read More
There’s a street food that everyone’s obsessed with in Taiwan, and it involves boneless nibs of chicken marinated in five-spice, battered and crispy-fried, dusted with white pepper, and tossed with fried basil leaves. How can you improve upon this irresistible snack? You can’t, really. But you can take the same formula and make other foods irresistibly tasty, too. And one ingredient that works very well with it is juicy chunks of king oyster (or trumpet) mushrooms. At least, that’s what … Read More
For the last eight and a half years, I’ve been writing here and elsewhere about my main passion in life: not eating out in New York. You must know plenty about that. Fortunately, the topic of home cooking is infinite; there is no end to delicious (and budget-friendly, healthy, seasonal and sustainable-minded) recipes that can be cooked up, or avenues to explore within this broad realm (urban farming? foraging?). Or, indeed, books to read and write about it. I’ve taken a passion for the … Read More
Sure, we’ve raved about it from restaurants, we may applaud its sustainability, and we may even have been to a backyard pig roast where we’ve dabbled in it ourselves. But are you ready to cook like a nose-to-tail chef? Then we’re looking for cooks like you to sign up for the I Like Pig Cook-Off at Jimmy’s No. 43 on January 31st. To celebrate the recent launch of the I Like Pig e-cookbook, based on the Pig Island food tasting events for … Read More
Each year brings a different set of challenges for local food systems. But each year has seen some progress in New York City, thanks to the non-profit organization Just Food. From helping small farmers through CSA to bolstering fresh food access through city farms, Just Food makes it more possible to Let Us Eat Local. So on September 17th, we’re celebrating with a benefit event called that. In addition, you can participate by winning a unique prize in its silent auction, … Read More
Last week, I was treated to a seasonally-inspired, five-course dinner hosted by someone I’d never met before, along with nine people I’d never met before, either. But even before the first course, it was just like hanging out with the gang. Our hostess and chef de cuisine for the evening, Emily, was a whipsmart aspiring chef and erstwhile front-of-house expert at some of Brooklyn’s best restaurants; playing both roles, in her own apartment, may just be her ultimate calling. I … Read More
I’m suffering from a slight sunburn today, but it pales in comparison to the burning sensations experienced at the first-ever NYC Hot Sauce Expo yesterday. Held over a two-day weekend at the East River Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the show featured dozens of small-batch hot sauce makers from around the country. The outdoor event spanned the public park, just across the river from Manhattan’s skyline, on an especially sunny spring day. Other participating vendors offered craft beers, vodka for Bloody … Read More