The 2007 Chili Takedown that I did not

It’s all over, those of you — and there are many of you out there — who missed the third installment of the Manhattan Chili Takedown. Fifteen chilis, two judges, one unpredictable host, a swank club called The Plumm, a motley crew of both carnivorous and vegetarian chili-making characters, their friends, one small child, and it all came down to two champions: one, for the judged contest, and another for the audience’s choice. No, my chicken, pumpkin and hominy chili … Read More

The Bodega Challenge

As I’ve probably admitted more than once on this blog, in times of need, I turn the corner of my block and walk into “my” neighborhood bodega. Here I can score milk, limes, boxes of pasta, snacks, and more often than I’d like, pints of ice cream. Plus, the friendly Korean couple who own it treat me like a neighbor, and will let me get away with a few bucks if I’m short, since they know I’ll be back. Have … Read More

Seriously Corny

posted in: NYC Events | 5

This land is corn land: Curt Ellis (left) and Ian Cheney in Queens It’s not a joke. More than 80 million acres of corn were planted in the US last year. Yet only 253,500 of them were sweet corn, for eating on the cob. Where does the rest of it go? Leave it to Aaron Woolf, Ian Cheney, and Curt Ellis to illustrate this — and many other crucial facts about our current agricultural system and diet — in their … Read More

Bloody Mary Salsa

As you can see, I’m drinking to the end of summer. Stirred (not shaken) up as a last-minute idea for the Salsa Takedown at Mo Pitkins, this salsa is my sloppy toast to another warm season of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, many of which I feel much closer to in the wake of their departure for the fall.

Rebirthing Brillat-Savarin

posted in: NYC Events, Recipes | 2

What a week it’s been. Working and barely playing when it’s nice out for me always adds up to a slow way to count the weekdays. But luckily, a blissful way to end it came in the form of the second Foodie Book Club meeting at The Brooklyn Kitchen, where we tried to speak intelligently about Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin‘s bible of epicurean philosophy, The Physiology of Taste, as translated and annotated by America’s pioneering gastronome, M.F.K. Fisher. (It is a … Read More

Chili Champs

posted in: Cook-Offs, NYC Events | 11

the tasting frenzy at Mo Pitkin’s left no chili standing For those of you who weren’t sweating over styrofoam cups of chili at the Manhattan Chili Takedown 2007 yesterday, I was there; and I survive to tell you of the glory that went down.

I Cracked Peppercorn (and does anyone care?)

Being the breadwinner, they say, isn’t always fun. I can think of one exception, however, where that’s pure pish posh: winning the No-Knead Bread-Off at The Brooklyn Kitchen. Alright, I tied for best bread in show, beating out three of the five different loaves made by locals who each took twists on the no-knead bread recipe-turned national bread craze created by Jim Lahey of Sullivan St. Bakery.

McClure’s Pickles Launch Party

posted in: NYC Events | 5

NYC foodies! What have you got to do this Friday after sleeping off your turkey stupor and shopping ’til you drop? Spicy garlic dill pickles, picklemartinis, kick ass music, and good ol’ bar drinking might be just the weekend wake-up call. What’s more, the McClure’s Pickles cukes are all primed and prepped for the holiday season, at their most delectable after a 3-month steep. I’d go to this if I weren’t in upstate New York visiting my 93-year-old grandfather and … Read More

NYC Pickle Day is Not Eating Out

On Sunday, the lampposts were decorated with green balloons along Orchard Street in the Lower East Side. Down a few narrow blocks to Guss’ corner deli, a neighborhood landmark pickle maker, and the garlicky brines of some dozen pickle makers’ tents filled the air of the dank, congested streets. It was a beautiful day in the city.

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