festivals and events
raves and reviews
the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Who doesn’t love a good popsicle? Summer’s ultimate frozen treat that’s fun to eat, easy to make, and reminds us of scorching hot days when we were young—probably with the melting sugary pops running down our faces. Happy as can be.
For a grown up twist on everyone’s favorite childhood chiller, try these creamy Apricot Rice Pudding Pops. And find more mouthwatering recipes for ice pops, paletas, and popsicles in boozy, bold, and fresh fruit flavors at BonAppetit.com.
Apricot Rice Pudding Pops
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit
Combine milk, coconut milk, cream, lemongrass, ginger, nutmeg and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place rice and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl; let stand for 10 minutes (to soften and release some starch). Drain.
Strain coconut-milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Add rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer (do not stir or rice will become too starchy) until rice is very tender, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Stir in apricots and sugar. Divide mixture among ice-pop molds. Freeze until beginning to set, 30-45 minutes. Insert a stick into each pop. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour longer. DO AHEAD: Pops can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep frozen. Image courtesy of Bon Appétit.
Tickets are now available for the 9th annual Duckathlon hosted by D’Artagnan—a leading purveyor of all-natural and organic poultry and game. Taking over New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion on June 14th from 12-5pm, this experiential “farmers-to-table” event will pair acclaimed chefs Anita Lo, Harold Moore, David Waltuck, Brad Farmerie, Cedric Tovar, Shane McBride, Saul Bolton and more with sustainable farmers, as they lead a series of interactive experiences and compete against each other for ultimate duck domination.
“D’Artagnan has always worked with small farms that share our commitment to sustainability and humane practices,” said Ariane Daguin, co-founder and CEO of D’Artagnan. “With the Duckathlon, our goal is to literally bring the farm to a larger Manhattan ‘table,’ and this event reflects our company-wide belief that product excellence begins with a true passion for animal husbandry.”
Throughout the day, game-loving gourmands can also enjoy a variety of hands-on challenges, live demos and on-stage events such as a fierce French dessert face-off between famed Master Pastry Chefs François Payard and Jacques Torres.
Another reason to join in all the fowl-filled fun? Duckathlon tickets benefit global hunger organization Action Against Hunger and its FoodLove initiative, connecting those who celebrate food and care about hunger in support of lifesaving nutrition. Now that’s something to quack about.
Find more details and snag your tickets HERE.
Image courtesy of TimeOutNY
It was another exciting year for the New York City dining scene, with new spots boasting everything from amped-up Asian to seductive Spanish to reimagined Italian. And last night, Time Out New York held their annual industry awards to honor the very best new restaurants, bars and chefs.
Taking over Marquee nightclub, the 2014 Food & Drink Awards presented by Stella Artois paid tribute to the city’s culinary finest in a grand celebration attended by top toques, restauranteurs, mixologists and industry insiders. Guests sampled signature dishes from nominated spots, including Toro, Pearl & Ash, Betony, Bunker and Dominique Ansel Bakery, and sipped craft cocktails created by Golden Cadillac, Betony, Attaboy and The Long Island Bar.
TONY readers voted for their faves to determine ten winners in the Readers’ Choice categories—top honors included Best New Restaurant (Carbone), Chef of the Year (Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi), Best New Sushi (Sushi Nakazawa), Best New Cocktail Bar (The Dead Rabbit), Best New Southeast Asian (Uncle Boon’s) and Best Brand Extension (Lafayette). Additionally, ten Critics’ Picks were presented, in aptly named categories ranging from the Dirty Disco Award (Golden Cadillac) and the “Soy, Vey!” Award (Ivan Ramen) to the Global 180 Award (Mission Cantina) and the Mad Scientist Cooks At Home Award (Alder). All twenty coveted awards were handed out during the event and the full list of this year’s winners can be found here.
Many congrats to all the talented 2014 winners and nominees!
Nobody puts the funny into food better than Jimmy Fallon. Back in March 2011, The Daily Meal crowned him “Late Night’s Culinary King,” and since then, the comedian continues to up the epicurean ante.
During his Late Night career, the hilarious host has invited countless culinarians and industry celebs to cook, mix cocktails, and promote their latest projects on his show. From whipping up dishes with culinary heavy hitters including Mario Batali, Giada de Laurentiis, and Bobby Flay; to hosting fierce Fried Chicken Battles, Martini Races, and Burger Cook-Offs, the funnyman has delivered highly-entertaining food moments to viewers, week after week.
My latest piece on The Daily Meal honors Jimmy’s Late Night reign with a collection of 20 culinary clips. Check out Fallon’s funniest food-focused moments here.
Image courtesy of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Tea drinking is a centuries-old practice with a rich history steeped in tradition. And fine purveyors across the world are enhancing the experience by offering tasting salons within their retail shops.
From a pretty Parisian parlor, to an ancient Shanghai landmark, to a charming atelier in Brooklyn — check out my slideshow on Food & Wine featuring tea company boutiques that master the celebration of this ancient art.
Image: Bellocq Tea Atelier
The best way to your Valentine’s heart may not be through fancy gifts or flowers… but through their stomach. Sharing an indulgent, edible gift with the person you love can be the most utterly romantic experience. Here, some of my favorite food finds to set hearts aflutter and make that special someone swoon.
Macaron Magnifique French Macarons
In August 2012, celebrity stylist Lauren Rae Levy and her father Marvin established their Parisian macaron company, Macaron Magnifique. Handmade and completely gluten-free, these delicate French confections come in scrumptious flavors including raspberry, chocolate, pistachio, and cheesecake. Customize a special box of the sweets (available in various sizes/prices) to make your Valentine fall in love at first bite. Ooh la la! MacaronMagnifique.com
William Greenberg Petits Fours
This darling Upper East Side bakery features a divine assortment of desserts and speciality sweets for every occasion. A Valentine’s Day exclusive from owner Carol Becker, these oh-so pretty Petits Fours feature layers of fluffy sponge cake and fresh jam enrobed in frosting and hand decorated with delicate flower adornments. Available in large ($6) or small sizes ($3.50; $42 / box of 12), these beautifully tempting treats are sure to delight your sweetheart. WMGreenbergDesserts.com
Mast Brothers Artisan Chocolate Bars
At their artisanal chocolate factory in Brooklyn, brothers Rick and Michael Mast churn out small batch bars made with cocoa beans sourced from farms around the world—including Madagascar, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. Wrapped in beautifully patterned, imported Italian paper, these handcrafted confections ($8 each) boast sophisticated, high-quality ingredients like Maine sea salt, Crown maple syrup, and Stumptown coffee. MastBrothers.com
Murray’s Cheese Gift of the Mongers
If your significant other prefers savory to sweet, then feast your eyes on the ultimate cheese and charcuterie collection ($148) curated by Murray’s mongers. Shipped in a signature Murray’s Cheese crate, this bountiful assortment of gourmet delicacies includes Vermont Butter & Cheese Coupole, Colston Bassett Stilton, La Quercia Prosciutto, Cave Aged Pyrénées Brebis, Creminelli Tartufo Salami, and Harvest Song Walnut Preserves. MurraysCheese.com
Jacques Torres Champagne Truffles
Champagne and chocolate. An indulgent culinary combination that Mr. Chocolate himself, Jacques Torres, showcases in his beloved bubbly truffles. Inside the signature orange gift box, your Valentine will discover cute, cork-shaped candies made from mouth-watering milk chocolate, fresh cream, and real Taittinger Brut La Française Champagne. Cheers to that! MrChocolate.com
KitchenAid® Artisan® Series Stand Mixer
Valentine’s Day is all about love. And no other appliance has made me fall head over heels like my red KitchenAid® stand mixer. The stylish, high-performance beauty makes whipping, kneading, and blending ingredients a breeze. In striking colors like Candy Apply Red, Raspberry Ice, and Komen Pink, this dream machine (available in various sizes/prices) is the perfect “I love you” gift for home cooks of all skill levels. KitchenAid.com
Eataly Ultimate Italy Gift Box
Manhattan’s massive Italian food emporium offers a selection of premium gift boxes packed with gourmet goodies and signature products. A serious splurge to spoil the Italian food lover in your life ($498), this exceptional collection of rare and authentic imports includes white truffle purée, extra-aged balsamic, La Valletta saffron threads, anchovy colatura, and gianduja candies from Torino. Eataly.com
Prestat Fine Artisan Truffles
One of the top chocolate shops in the world, this London import epitomizes sophistication in both flavor and presentation. The exquisite heart-shaped gift box (available in various sizes/prices) presents distinctive dark, milk, and white chocolate artisan truffles in an array of fine flavors, including classic rose and violet crème. If these decadent delights are good enough for Her Majesty (the Queen of England’s favorite chocolate!), then your princess will surely approve. Prestat.co.uk
Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves! XOXO
Images courtesy of Macaron Magnifique, Mast Brothers, Murray’s Cheese, Jacques Torres, Eataly, KitchenAid USA & Prestat
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the Big Apple is celebrating this romantic time of year by showing off its sweet side. Created in 2011, NYC Chocolate Week is the first event in New York City entirely dedicated to the art of preparing chocolate. During this ten-day culinary showcase, dozens of participating restaurants and their chefs will highlight chocolate’s irresistible qualities through exclusive food and wine pairings and specialty desserts.
From February 4-13, chocolate lovers have the opportunity to indulge their sweet tooth at romantic spots including Café Noir, La Bergamote Bistro, Artisanal, Ayza West Village and L’Atelier du Chocolat. Details vary by location, but many offer complimentary confections and decadent dessert samplings along with your meal.
Need a little more temptation? By attending a NYC Chocolate Week event, you’ll also be supporting official charity partner Action Against Hunger in the fight against malnutrition worldwide. Giving back never sounded so sweet.
For more info and a full list of participating restaurants, visit ChocolateWeekNYC.com.
Image courtesy of AyzaNYC.com