“I’ve been trying to figure out who my customers are and it’s hard to say. I get a lot of New Yorkers. I get a lot of Midwesterners. It almost depends on the pie. I’ll have people from Pennsylvania order the shoo-fly pie because they miss that flavor, or Southerners order the pecan pie. I think there’s a pie for every palette and for every context…”
Meet Allison Kave, the owner and chief pie baker at First Prize Pies in New York City, an artisan pie company that specializes in twists on old-classics and inventive, made-by-hand pie recipes. Allison started baking pies as a kid, inspired by her mom who was always in the kitchen, cooking up good food with good ingredients, so that her family could eat better than the canned goods she grew up on. According to Allison, pie “kinda became her thing” and by the time she was in high school, she was already starting to invent her own recipes. Therefore, even though First Prize Pies is only about a year old now, the passion for the product is decades in the making.
So how do you achieve a great pie? Well, you’ll learn from Allison that it’s a balance between having a perfect crust recipe with perfect fillings. And to get the perfect seasonal fillings for her spring and summer pies, Allison handpicks fresh, local fruits and produce at the New York City Greenmarkets. So come take a peek into First Prize Pie’s small operation at The Essex Street Market. During the week, Allison hand makes between 40-50 large pies for her shop, online orders and select restaurants; in addition to, hundreds of mini-pies that sell at the Hester Street Fair on weekends.
So, to really kick off the spring and summer season, why not start with a slice or two of pie? You can find First Prize Pies at pie-friendly spots like Fatty ‘Cue or the Greene Grape in Brooklyn, or place an order at their online store. A few favorites you might want to start with:
- Local Rhubarb Frangipane Pie
- Lemon Cream Pie (my personal favorite)
- S’more’s Pie (Allison’s favorite to make)
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie (Allison’s favorite to eat)
- Bourbon Ginger Pecan Pie (Customer favorite & Winner of Best Overall Pie at 1st Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off)
- (soon to come) Samoa Pie – based off everyone’s favorite Girl Scout cookie!
All in all, Allison just loves the act of creating, she confessed: “Pie isn’t even my go-to dessert to eat. I much rather have ice cream, but, I really just love making pie.” And, honestly, that’s all you really need to know.
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating Pie!
Getting this list right was very, very important to Mike, as you’ll see. So, take a fun, bonus video peek into the madness of a condiment lover. And while you’re at it, think about what YOUR “Mount Rushmore” of condiments might be. Do you have it? Do you? If so, share it in the comments section. I’d love to know if there’s anything I’m missing out on.
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating!
“It’s always been my dream to become a condiment man, and I feel like I’m taking the steps necessary, at this point, to reach that goal.”
Meet Michael Kurtz, the founder and completely obsessed “condiment man” behind Mike’s Hot Honey, a small-batch spicy pepper infused honey company based in Long Island City, Queens. Mike loves condiments. He collects them like a little kid would collect baseball cards. It’s a love that grew out of his passion for hot sauces growing up; a love that expanded to other bottled and jarred goods as he was exposed to greater cuisines and food markets here in New York City.
Now, not all collectors like to become the maker of things they like to collect. But, Mike always had a passion for food. He’s not a trained chef, but works confidently around a kitchen; and for many years, he tried to develop his own special condiment to take to market. But nothing, and I mean nothing, really inspired him until he had his first taste of spicy pepper infused honey in Brazil in 2003.
So, come watch Mike’s story and see for yourself why these little squeeze bottles of red-hued honey are full of surprises and secrets worth trying over and over, and again and again and again.¬† I will admit, I’m an addict already. It pairs with more foods than you can imagine too. I’ve squeezed it onto cooked seafood, peanut-butter sandwiches, all sorts of fruits and vegetables, avocados, eggs, cheeses – it even made it onto my morning granola w/yogurt & berries. And I tell you, it was damn good. This Mike’s Hot Honey stuff is amazing. And like the title says, this condiment will change your life. It’s already changed mine and a good number of people here in New York and across the country who’ve been lucky enough to try it.
Some of Mike’s favorite hot honey food pairings are listed below. And the best part is, he sources his honey from a local apiary in Pennsylvania, with hopes to one day find a farmer to grow his secret peppers here in New York.
Mike’s Top Hot Honey Pairings:
- manchengo cheese & Bosc pears
- vanilla ice cream (Mike’s mom’s favorite)
- vegetable & meat stir fry
- roasted chicken
- Salvatore Bklyn ricotta w/fresh baguette (his favorite)
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating!
Jerky innuendo? Why, whatever are you talking about?? According to the founders of SlantShack Jerky, it’s just normal speak at this point. Enjoy another laugh in this awfully appropriate, yet completely inappropriate bonus video. It’s on me.
(**Please note, Liza was unable to contain herself in the editing of this video. She hopes you laugh like she did.)
“The SlantShack Laboratories are really a collection of just thought experiments, if you will. And it’s through testing these waters and really pushing the envelope of jerky science – and meat culinary gastronomy in general – that we are able to kind of stumble upon, hopefully, stumble upon some breakthroughs.” – Alexander Baumel, Possible Mad Scientist, SlantShack Jerky
Meet Joshua Kace, the president and founder of SlantShack Jerky, a high-end artisan beef jerky company based in Jersey City, New Jersey. Josh loves a good beef jerky. In fact, he loves beef jerky more than anyone I’ve ever met. Ever. His obsession started at age 6. He was on a road trip to visit the National Parks out West when his parents pulled over to a gas station and handed him his first taste of delicious beef jerky. It’s a very clear memory for him, a memory that changed his life; and ever since then, all he’s had on his mind was jerky, jerky, and more delicious beef jerky. Which is why, I believe, you and I can trust his jerky tastes. I mean, when you’ve been eating dried meat for over two decades, you better believe that person knows what a good jerky tastes, looks and feels like.
SlantShack Jerky is, currently, my favorite beef jerky. In fact, I crave it. I do. And I never used to crave chewy, dehydrated meat until now. I like it because so much happens when you eat it – a journey Josh calls “The Flavor Train”, one of many “breakthroughs” that happened at the SlantShack Labs. Given the competition, it was important for them to invent an “original, not traditional” recipe. And for over a year and a half, they tested hundreds and hundreds of ideas and flavor combinations until they developed the original salty, but sweet flavor that they finally introduced in 2009. Since the success of that recipe, they’ve gone on to partner with The Vermont Highland Cattle Farm for grass-fed beef, in addition to, now offering over 30-flavor combinations in their Build-a-Jerky online customization program, where customers can choose their own “jerky destiny”.
All in all, the SlantShack crew just wants to show how jerky doesn’t have to be a one trick pony, like most beef jerky brands encountered in gas stations and supermarkets. A good jerky can have many tricks; and while having many tricks, it can also be a heck of a lot of fun and silly too. Just watch. For someone who loves bringing out the crazy in people, I didn’t have to work very hard at all. Enjoy!
- Original w/Jerk McGurk’s Wild Rubdown (Liza’s favorite)
- Hot & Smoky with Brown Sugar Glaze
- Hot & Smoky with RedRub and Spicy Pepper Glaze
- Hot & Smoky with Smoky Sanch’s Dusty Trail and Brown Sugar Glaze
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Jerky Eating!