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FEATURES

Filtering by Category: Cuisine

Brooklyn Diamond Coffee

fairweather enterprises

It was amazing to sit down with Lottie Terzi, the founder of the delicious cold brew coffee shops, Brooklyn Diamond Coffee. At the age of 21, Terzi opened her first store in Brooklyn in 2013 and she is excited to share that she just launched a new shop on 54th street right next to Soul Cycle. How did it all begin? "I just loved coffee," smiles Terzi. "But I was also very particular about my coffee and I would never settle. I'm very picky," laughs the gorgeous entrepreneur. So when she started making her own cold brew coffee at home, it quickly became a hit among friends. And word spread that she had something beyond your regular cup of joe. And that is certainly the case as it takes 18-20 hours to brew her yummy cold brew.

In the spring of 2013, she started to do door-to-door deliveries of cold brew coffee and by the summer, she was asked to open a summer pop up in South Street Seaport. The budding entrepreneur generously donated the summer’s proceeds to the victims of Hurricane Sandy and by the fall of 2013 bottled Brooklyn Diamond Cold Brew was available at local grocery stores and health food markets throughout the tri-state area. Next, Terzi decided to open her first location in Gravesend, Brooklyn. And she found that the stores are more than just coffee shops. As Terzi put it, “It has almost become a culture,” a community that is expanding with her new location in midtown as well as a popup shop during the summer at the Jersey Shore. In 2016, Terzi plans to open 2 more locations in NY as well as to expand her wholesale business of cold brew coffee.

What advice does she have for entrepreneurs? “Today you need hard work but it has to be strategic work and smart work,” reflects Terzi. “You need to constantly educate yourself. Always read. Read about CEOs and entrepreneurs. It’s very important to have role models.” And after seeing Terzi’s success, I’m sure she will become an incredible role model for others. So, if you are looking for a role model or an insanely delicious cup of cold brew, make sure to visit one of Brooklyn Diamond Coffee’s shops.

Chloe Coscarelli

Mable Yiu

A lifelong vegetarian and vegan for ten years, Chef Chloe Coscarelli is an award-winning chef and best-selling cookbook author. The first-ever vegan chef to win Food Network's hit show Cupcake Wars, she demonstrated how eating vegan doesn't mean giving up your favorite treats and flavors. Having committed herself to bringing delicious, meat-free dishes to a mainstream audience, Chef Chloe recently made a splash in NYC's dining scene with her popular fast-casual spot, by CHLOE.

Chloe Coscarelli 3.JPG

by Minnie Kim

Minnie Kim: You were the first vegan chef to win a culinary competition on national television - what first got you into cooking?

Chloe Coscarelli: I grew up cooking with my mom, and once I went vegan, we had so much fun veganizing all of our family recipes.  It showed me that food can still be flavorful, satisfying and delicious. I took that passion to the Natural Gourmet Institute and it just grew from there! 

MK: What made you transition from being a vegetarian to being vegan?

CC: I was a lifelong vegetarian, once I tried the vegan lifestyle, I realized there were so many options to make vegan cooking just as delicious, but without all of the cheese and dairy. My family was beyond supportive in my decision and made the transition that much easier.

MK: Most memorable moment from "Cupcake Wars"?

CC: Aside from winning, it would have to be when I left my audition and realized that I had forgotten to tell the casting directors that my cupcakes were vegan.  When they followed up I filled them in and they said “we don’t care, they are delicious!” That as a really exciting moment where I realized that my sweets had a real shot. 

MK: By CHLOE has been a huge hit since its recent opening - any plans for expansion?

CC: It’s been incredible to see everyone’s excitement and support for the restaurant – we'll ever not be excited to see the lines out the door. We currently have two additional New York City locations planned for 2016 – in Flatiron and Soho. We are excited to see the brand grow!

MK: Will you be adding any holiday specials at by CHLOE?

CC: We will be! We just wrapped our Thanksgiving special but still have our pumpkin latte and pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting through the end of December.  We also recently launched a No-Egg Nog for December that you can enjoy as is or spiked for an extra treat!

MK: What is your go-to dish to bring to a holiday pot luck?

CC: The Stuffed Shells from my latest cookbook, Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, is a solid holiday stand by. Whenever I’m hosting a dinner party at home, it’s usually the first recipe I decide on for the menu.  It’s a crowd pleaser, super easy to make ahead of time, and tastes great as leftovers.

MK: Baking or cooking?

CC: That’s like asking someone who their favorite child is! I love them both! The science behind baking is really exciting – you can get into the zone in that kitchen and perfect the details, while cooking I feel like you can toss in a little kale, a sprinkle of paprika, and just watch a dish meld together as you go along.

MK: Do you have any festive holiday traditions?

CC: Vegan cinnamon rolls all season long. My mom and I make them and are popping them out of the oven for breakfast lunch and dinner during the holidays. Nothing like the smell of cinnamon and yeast filing your home!

MK: Favorite holiday cocktail?

CC: I say keep it simple – I love a glass of rose' champagne, something a little on the sweeter side but still dry enough to enjoy alongside appetizers.

MK: Dream client to cook for?

CC: Kate Middleton! I'd make her vegan sticky toffee pudding.

MK: What are you giving this holiday season?

CC: Fresh baked vegan chocolate chip cookies! The perfect gift on a budget that everyone loves. I just pick out some cute tins and gift tags at the Container Store.

 

Minnie Kim works as a social media marketing coordinator in NYC. An avid foodie, you will often find her shamelessly standing on chairs to photograph for her food Instagram @eatingwithminnie.

Photos courtesy of by CHLOE.

Julie and Dan Resnick

Mable Yiu

Photo courtesy of  @lindsaymorrisphoto

Photo courtesy of @lindsaymorrisphoto

by Christine Wong

In two short years, feedfeed, a crowd-sourced highly curated digital cooking website, developed by Julie and Dan Resnick, a husband and wife team based in Amagansett, NY, has become one of the biggest influencers in social media's global food community of home cooks, chefs, bloggers, and food organizations/suppliers. This ecosystem of food/cooking enthusiasts share thousands of images/recipes with feedfeed each day on one of the most prominent hashtags (#feedfeed) on Instagram, which after careful curation, fuels feedfeed’s publication, offering the most dynamic insight into what the world is cooking today. feedfeed’s website was developed as a comprehensive online recipe share platform offering inspiration to anyone who cooks. 

Dedicated to the notion of crowdsourcing, Dan and Julie are helped by 100 community editors, experts in their culinary fields, to curate a growing list of over 200 specialty ingredient/occasion/lifestyle feeds, ranging from Black Sesame to Healthy Athlete to Dinner Parties to Pie Crust Inspiration and more on their website. Complimentary to their global outreach, Julie and Dan are also strong supporters of small, local farms, and partner with GrowNYC. It was here, when they were distributing their autumn-inspired recipe cards at Union Square Greenmarket, that I got the chance to speak to them. 

Christine Wong: How did feedfeed start?

Julie Resnick: Since moving out of NYC to a small coastal farming and fishing community on Eastern Long Island, Dan and I have been cooking and eating local, seasonal food almost exclusively. We are constantly seeking inspiration for what to make with what we have on hand, and often wondered what other like-minded people with the same ingredients were making at that moment; both in our local area and around the world.  That is when we decided to try to connect with people on social media around the topic of cooking, which quickly evolved into growing a community. 

Photo courtesy of  @dan_resnick

Photo courtesy of @dan_resnick

CW: What do you love most about the feedfeed community that you've created and inspire every day?

JR: From the beginning, the value of this community for us personally has been the ability to have a lens into kitchens around the world, to see what people are making with similar products, how they create unique flavors and beautiful photography, and a chance to play a role in connecting people and organizaitons from around the world. 

CW: What is unique about the feedfeed community as compared to other communities or publications?

DR: The democratic nature of the feedfeed community has alway been a major source of gratification and differentiation for us; the way people with 100 followers connect and inspire others that may have 10s of thousands and still gain an equal voice, judged only by the creativity of their recipes and photography. 

CW: What is your favorite "go to" meal to cook, or to eat, and to stay healthy particularly in the cold winter months?

JR:  Root veggies in a coconut curry!

Photo courtesy of  @dan_resnick

Photo courtesy of @dan_resnick

Q: The holidays are here, how are you preparing for them? What's on your Holiday Table?

JR: As always, I turn to the feedfeed community for inspiration...when making latkes, I go to the Latkes feed and find kimchi latkes, or when thinking of holiday gifts I find myself gravitating towards making a Gingerbread Granola on our DIY Holiday feed. For Christmas Cookies, I will be making the Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies. 

CW: In the spirit of the holiday season, what are you giving? 

JR:  We have been excited to put together a great gift package for our tireless supporters and community editors.  

DR: From a philanthropic standpoint, we have made several small donations to our local farms, which has always been a part of our mission, in addition to the supportive promotional and community building work we do for the Grow NYC Greenmarkets in New York City. 

 

Christine Wong is a proud member of the feedfeed community and editor of the Healthy Kids and Fermented Food feeds. She empowers people to take charge of their well-being with plant-based clean eating through coaching, detoxes, cooking workshops, and cookbooks and can be found at www.yommme.com and @conscious_cooking on Instagram.

MatchaBar

Mable Yiu

Photo courtesy of Issy Croker

Photo courtesy of Issy Croker

by Mable Yiu

Taste it to believe it: the original MatchaBar brothers make it best.

Why did you start MatchaBar? 

Where do I begin? It began with an obsession – followed by a vision. I think any great product, really any great brand is created out of drive to share something with the world. For my brother Max & I, we wanted to bring matcha to the people. Plain and simple. We whole heartedly fell in love with the way matcha made us feel. I was amazed at how hard it was to find, and how few people even knew of matcha. In fact, there was so much education and awareness in the category to achieve, we knew right away a physical location was essential. We had to create a real community and hub for matcha lovers in New York! That community today is known as our MatchaFam.

What are your thoughts on the matcha trend?  How did that all begin recently? 

I like to think any product that becomes a household name needs to go through a "trendy" phase. Let's look at similar examples... salad, coconut water, yoga, fresh juice, even specialty espresso shops. When Max & I created the concept to launch MatchaBar, hardly anyone knew what it was. I remember Max and I joking that there was a good chance 50% of our sales would come from espresso in the first year. That being said, we had faith in the product, and our ability to educate and foster a real community. We have seen first hand the excitement behind matcha as we have brought pop-up stores to College Campuses, Music Festivals, cities as far as LA and Tokyo, corporate offices from the New York Post to Forbes Magazine. We do anything we can to share our matcha with the world. Why? Because we believe matcha is on its way to become a staple in the caffeinated beverage world, what I call your "morning cup." Now the key to success lies in who is promoting the product, how it is positioned, and the baseline quality behind it. Matcha is a tricky product. NOT ALL MATCHA IS CREATED EQUAL. The crap the Starbucks, The Bean, etc is serving... Even half the trendy coffee shops in New York who are launching lines of matcha - the preparation is inconsistent and generally lacking in taste, but what really upsets me, is that they are using at most, 1 gram of matcha per cup.... essentially shorting the customer half of what we call "the good stuff" (caffeine, L-theanine, and antioxidants). At MatchaBar we use a 2 gram serving, something that may make the margins less pretty, but delivers the full functional benefit of matcha. Imagine a cafe serving an espresso with a half shot of an espresso - good luck getting through your day with that.

Now, how do we create a unified movement behind matcha when there is such a lack of quality control on the market? It's a tough challenge that we plan on tackling! 

What have your experiences in Japan been like? How did you find the family farm to partner with? 

Japan is a wonderful country. It all started with cold calls to farms we could find online with a translator on the line. Some were more receptive than others. In the end, I had to travel to Japan myself, meet with these farmers, and find a partner that was right for us. Our current farming partners are extremely supportive of our vision as a company. What really surprised us was the reaction from our pop-up store in Tokyo! To this day, we see a great chunk of business coming from those traveling to New York from Japan!

How did the pop-up in Japan come about? What was that like? 

The pop-up in Japan came about from a fantasy. We see ourselves as the authority of matcha in New York - but how can we think of ourselves so highly when the home of matcha itself hasn't even heard of us. There is only one thing to do, get on a damn plane and open up in Tokyo - even if it is for 3 days!

I remember Max, my partner Eli, and I sitting in Tokyo the night before the pop-up wondering if anyone would even show up. To see 2-3 hour lines the following day was one of the most humbling and exciting experiences of our lives. 

We were so inspired by this event that we will not only return this spring, but also have our eyes on expanding our cafes out there in the next few years!

What are your plans for the near and distant future?

We just opened a cafe in Chelsea. 256 W 15th, come by! 

Our biggest venture yet will launch this winter. We are launching a bottled product! We have taken three signature flavors from our cafe, and created a 10oz glass bottled product we will distribute throughout New York, and soon after, the rest of the United States. Each bottle will contain a full 2 gram serving of MatchaBar matcha. We are beyond excited to share this project with our MatchaFam - and look forward with being able to share our matcha with so many passionate matcha lovers who cannot make it to our stores in New York! 

Stephanie Nass

Mable Yiu

Photo courtesy of Katie Kosaya, The International Culinary Center

Photo courtesy of Katie Kosaya, The International Culinary Center

by Mable Yiu

Chef, artist, and entrepreneur Stephanie Nass finds new ways to tie together culinary and artistic expression...and not just with beautiful photos. 

Please tell us about Victory Club and how it all came about. 

Victory Club is the supper club I founded to bring together friends of friends over the culinary and visual arts. Events take place 2-3 times per month in artists’ studios, private collections, galleries, and museums. The art in each space inspires the menus. Members bring their friends so the group at each event is comprised of friends of friends.

Last winter, I started culinary school at ICC and hosting people in my apartment for dinner. Everyone invited was asked to bring a guest, and the art on my walls— my own paintings but also treasured pieces from artist friends—sparked our conversations. These informal homecooked meals helped me connect the art and food lovers of New York City, in person and on Instagram, and ultimately led to the membership organization that Victory Club is...

How did you get into the food industry and what are you doing that's unique in the food world?

Growing up, my brother Teddy gave me the nickname “Chefanie” because I spent every free second in the kitchen. After college, I worked in Silicon Valley, and Victory Club is exactly what I wished existed when I was doing that job: a way for food, art, and friendship to converge in my busy schedule.

I am passionate about food & art and constantly look for ways to bring these things together. I look for modern plating techniques to apply to familiar dishes and consider food an important artistic medium for self-expression.

What are your plans for the future?

I hope Victory Club will continue to inspire more people in interesting venues for many years in the future!! I also hope the club will find partners that share a passion for reaching food and art lovers. I am personally working on a cookbook, as well as designing and producing embroidered napkins with aspirations to do more tableware.

Dream client to cook for/work with?

Ralph Lauren!!

Alireza Niroomand

Mable Yiu

Photo courtesy of Kat Irlin

Photo courtesy of Kat Irlin

by Mable Yiu

Alireza Niroomand, stylistic eye behind Sant Ambroeus Soho, shares fashion and design insights.

Born in Iran, raised in Paris, and having made New York City his home 12 years ago, Alireza Niroomand is the charismatic manager behind the fashion establishment. He's also the reason why the restaurant has attracted waves of celebrities and developed a stylish following. Niroomand is not only an expert in the hospitality industry, but has also made fashion part of his lifestyle by working with brands such as Kate Spade, where he was photographed for her fall campaign. We asked him about his experience working with such brands.

It's been a true honor! And very inspiring. The best part is that I got to meet most of the artists I ever dreamed to meet...The whole experience has been rather surreal. I am very grateful.

The famous plate wall at Sant Ambroeus Soho. Photo courtesy of Sant Ambroeus.

The famous plate wall at Sant Ambroeus Soho. Photo courtesy of Sant Ambroeus.

What are your future plans?

The plan for the future is no plan, which I believe is the best plan. I leave room for spontaneity, which has been very effective thus far!

Today's Renaissance Man

fairweather enterprises

Fairweather magazine publisher Eric Goodman sat down with William Chang to discuss the genesis of his foodie and restaurant interests—including his favorite dishes at his restaurants—and the dish on his latest venture, the hot southern- cuisine belle of the West Village, Birds & Bubbles.

WHEN NOT ALLOCATING INSTITUTIONAL capital, William Chang runs his two Manhattan-based restaurants, Spasso and the more recently launched Birds & Bubbles.

Did I mention that he also runs the high-end men’s shoe line Cobbler Union? Here, Chang shares some thoughts on his many varied endeavors.

What is your earliest memory of incredible food?

My first memory of incredible food was on a trip to Asia when I was seven years old. It wasn’t so much a single dish that really had an impact on me, but rather being exposed to a variety of dishes that I had previously eaten in New York that now I was eating in Asia. The preparation of these dishes was a lot punchier in terms of ingredients and flavors, and that experience really helped me to appreciate the difference between good and great food.

What was it like growing up? Did you cook at home?

My palate is very much like my mother’s—while she grew up in India, she immigrated to the U.S. and tried all sorts of different food andhighly encouraged my sister and me to do the same (though as a child, sometimes we weren’t very amenable to this). As a child attending elementary school, it was difficult. I didn’t want to be the outsider with a greasy lunch bag. I was sent to kindergarten with sushi and curry when all I wanted was a PB&J sandwich and chocolate milk. In retrospect, I’m very grateful for this period, and it’s now inconceivable to think I once preferred deli meat over tri tip. I actually did not cook much growing up. I wanted to, but I wasn’t allowed. Instead, I spent a lot of time helping with prep. As I got older, I spent less and less time at home, as well as the kitchen. Ironically, now whenever I’m home, my folks ask me to cook.

Have your traveling experiences influenced your views on food?

Whenever I travel, I try to make an effort to try local cuisine, and I’m always on the hunt for new ingredients and new restaurants, even if it’s in our own backyard. For example, on my most recent trip to LA, my friend’s mother, Won na, introduced me to Buddha’s hand, a lemony type of citrus with a beautiful smell, which I plan to play around with and see what I can do with it.

What is your favorite cuisine?

Probably my favorite is whatever my mother happens to be cooking that day! But in all seriousness, that’s a tough question. If I hadto pick one, I’d have to say American, only because the cuisine now incorporates so many of the methods and ingredients found in other cuisines and because it is such an inclusive cuisine, you have a lot more flavor profiles to work with.

What makes a great restaurant?

Devotion and team work. A restaurant is about more than serving a good meal. It’s about serving up a great experience, and that only comes through with a team that can work together and puts the diner first.

How and when did you know that you wanted to develop restaurants?

It wasn’t until 2008. At the time, I had saved up some cash and had hired a chef to teach me how to cook. Again, never having been taught,I wanted to really start from the basics and learn from the ground up. I really got into it and had considered leaving finance altogether to pursue a career in the culinary arts, but at the end of the day it was tough for me to really leave my first love (finance), so at the end of the day, this was literally my way of having my cake and eating it too.

Please tell us about your restaurants, including your latest new restaurant venture. What makes your restaurants so special?

Spasso is an Italian restaurant located in the heart of the West Village. It’s an intimate space that is home to some of the best Italian food that the city has to offer, and whose Chef, Ed Carew and co-managing partner, Kareem NeJame work extremely hard to give diners a memorable dining experience. It has gained somewhat of a reputation as a great place for a date, given the solid beverage program, menu, and friendly staff. The menu is always evolving and incorporates an excellent mix of traditional and modern Italian dishes.

Birds & Bubbles is much more than fried chicken and champagne, though obviously there will be both! It’s a great place to satisfy your cravings for southern food—with bold flavor and playful twists on traditional dishes. I find it great because the food is savory and flavorful without weighing you down. It’s a unique space, as it’s subterranean, but it gives us access to a beautiful space with an outdoor garden, which I absolutely love.

I think what really sets these two restaurants apart from their peers is the lengths at which they get to know their diners and their preferences. Service is a huge point of pride. I’ve always loved a sense of community and found establishments in the city to have a very short ‘institutional memory’. I’ve found high turnover in the staff to be a challenge which we have faced successfully. High turnover inevitably puts a cap on the quality of experience you can hope to give your diners.

How do you go about designing a menu?

It’s really less of a science and much more of an art. It’s a blend of anticipating what favors people might be amenable to and seeing if you can push the boundaries a little bit and figure out what will leave people pleasantly surprised and wanting to come back for more.

You are involved in other ventures in fashion as well as work in finance. Do you see a connection among all of your projects and ventures?

I definitely do. They’re all expressions of beauty. I love helping to create things that cause people to stop and reconsider their own sense of what they know to be good and what they think they enjoy, and forcing their tastes to evolve a little bit.

Do you enjoy cooking? Or prefer eating?

I secretly enjoy cooking a little bit more. It keeps me humble, curious, and creative.

Where is your favorite place to go in NYC?

Union Square. There’s a ton of great energy and it’s a great open space to get way and do some thinking.

What is your favorite dish at one of your restaurants? What is your favorite dessert?

Spasso: Butcher’s-cut steak for two; Birds and Bubbles: Fried chicken; Favorite dessert: a glass of Laphroaig 18 and creme brûlée.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Stay humble. And ask questions.

Power Meals

fairweather enterprises

Fairweather publisher Eric Goodman hada chance to get the scoop from Gherardo Guarducci, the restaurateur behind Sant Ambroeus and Casa Lever, on growing up in Prato, Italy, building restaurants that embody La Dolce Vita, and Casa Lever’s $50 million Andy Warhol collection.

Eric Goodman: What is your earliest memory of incredible food?

Gherardo Guarducci: Eating fresh-caught anchovies and mackerel from fishermen who brought the catch to our home in Forte dei Marmi.

EG: What was it like growing up in Prato, Italy?

GG: Prato is five miles north of Florence and it distinguishes itself by having a very strong entrepreneurial spirit and culture—business and trade is in the air. Growing up here has inspired me to become more successful and challenge myself, setting goals to help better my career.

EG: What’s your favorite cuisine other than Italian?

GG: Hands down it is Japanese. There are many similarities between Japanese and Italian cuisine. First and foremost, the great respect for a rich tradition and the raw ingredients.

EG: Did you enjoy working in your family’s textile trading business? It appears that everyone that works at Sant Ambroeus seems like one big family. Have you applied any lessons from your own family business to creating this family-like environment in your restaurants?

GG: Prato’s textile industry is grounded on family values and spirit. Everyone knows which family owns which business and each comes with colorful qualities. It was always important to me to recreate the family environment at our restaurants. Work is always much more enjoy- able when surrounded by family.

EG: How and when did you know that you wanted to develop restaurants?

GG: Restaurants are the only venues I knowof that require one to be comfortable leading people, creating experiences that are unique to all the senses, and be willing to change quickly. One must also be savvy with finances, marketing, and management and have a very supple ego.

EG: Casa Lever is celebrating its fifth year. What makes Casa Lever so special?

GG: We set out to create one of the city’s best Italian restaurants in a world class ambiance of iconic art and architecture. I think we are there, but still working as hard on it as if it were 2009.

EG: Please tell us about the incredible Warhol collection.

GG: All the Andy Warhol portraits in Casa Lever are courtesy of private collections. We feel extremely lucky to have such a strong relationship with Aby Rosen and are thrilled he has chosen Casa Lever to display so many of his Warhol portraits. The Andy Warhol portraits at Casa Lever create a unique and distinctive atmosphere for diners. There are only a few places in the world where diners can enjoy a meal alongside an outstanding and significant art collection and we are pleased to have the opportunity to offer this exclusive experience to our guests. The collection is a great point of conversation for diners and it help draws a diverse crowd to the restaurant, including businessmen, politicians, fashion designers, artists, tourists, etc. Just a few months ago, Aby Rosen expanded his collection and was kind enough to display them at Casa Lever, expanding our collection from 19 to 32 painting valued at over $50 million. The collection now consists of such celebrated names as Alfred Hitchcock, Dolly Parton, Jerry Hall, and Giorgio Armani.

EG: Do you enjoy cooking?

GG: I have always had a passion for cooking, but I really enjoy grilling fish and meats.

EG: Where is your favorite place to go in NYC?

GG: Masa at Time Warner Center.

EG: What is your favorite dish that is served at one of your restaurants? What is your favorite dessert?

GG: The trennette al pesto at Casa Lever—our pesto and tomato sauce takes me back to my childhood. My favorite dessert is the Millefoglie.