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La Vara Churros: The Standard Which to Measure Every Churro

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Jan 15, 2014
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“The window of opportunity to eat a freshly fried churro is actually very short.”

Meet Alex Raij, the co-chef and co-owner of La Vara, a bright and beautiful Spanish restaurant in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. To me, Alex is a Saint. A Churro Saint. She saved me. She single-handedly absolved all the sins of New York City churro makers by creating, in my opinion, the Holy Grail of Churros. Just one bite will transform even the strongest skeptic into a believer. Trust me, from street food vendors to Zagat-rated restaurants, my crusade for the perfect churro has spanned years. I’ve chewed on cinammon-starved cardboard logs. I’ve suffered sponges full of dirty oil. I’ve sat alone, hungry and hopeful, awaiting the arrival of someone’s “favorite churro” only to be left disappointed, dejected and exhausted, with nothing to show except cinnamon & sugar in the deep lines of my hands. So come you tired churro masses, come cake your weary lips with sugary heaven. Your search is finally over.

La Vara’s churros are ONLY available on weekends on the brunch menu. I know it’s been awhile, but I have lots of stories in store for the new year.

Thanks for watching food. curated.Happy eating!

Over $12,000 Raised for Typhoon Relief

Blog PostsBy Liza de Guia on Dec 20, 2013
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*** “I am gonna have such a balut hangover…” ***

Thanks to all your love, support and impressive appetites, I’m happy to report that we’ll be sending over $12,000 towards typhoon relief in The Philippines. The evening was alive. Brave guests were cracking into balut with fear and excitement. The heavy scent of venison adobo on bone marrow fried rice filled the air while sizzling pork sisig lit up the Landhaus grill. And the Coconut Milk Whiskey Punch went down a little too easy.  It was a night of giving back the Filipino way: through good food, good times and karaoke.

With the generous contributions of our kind partners, this event was more festive, successful and adventurous than we ever could have imagined. Thank you for helping us spread hope to those in need. Rose Charities thanks all of you for your contribution. You can read the Executive Director’s thank you letter here to see where your money is headed.

Wishing you a very warm and Happy Holidays!

–Liza & Curtiss

 

EAT FOR A GOOD CAUSE: An Adventurous Eating Foodraiser for The Philippines

Blog PostsBy Liza de Guia on Dec 11, 2013
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“Hope is contagious.”

This month, it’s time to put our money where our mouths are. In the holiday spirit of giving a little something back. Together with the aid of amazing food artisans, The Gastronauts Adventurous Eating Club and I have organized an all-out, blow-out of a foodraiser to help the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that pummeled the Philippines last month.

And the entire Filipino food community is coming out to help, feed us amazing things, and show off their wares. There’ll be whole-roasted lechons, balut, venison adobo; Landhaus is making pork sisig, goat longaniza, and oxtail tacos; and The Woods is donating a open bar from 7pm to 10pm and making some special drinks. And that’s just for starters.

Suffice to say, this is going to be seriously great. We even built a website for the dinner.

We’re so excited, and the need in the Philippines is so great, that we’ve decided to go big on this one. So, for the first time in Gastronaut history, we’re opening up the event to the public. This means we need you to:

BRING ALL YOUR FRIENDS!

Seriously, check out the insane food lineup below and try to tell us that you’re not salivating. You’ll never see all these things in the same place again. And while you gorge yourself and try to empty The Woods’ bar, you’ll be helping us do something good for someone else.

Oh, and tickets are only $50 — so you won’t have to sell a kidney to come eat kidneys at dinner. And it’s tax deductible, which basically means Uncle Sam wants you to party.

Below is a list of all the fun partners:

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Dock to Dish: A Full Circle of Awesome

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Dec 3, 2013
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“It’s a win, win, win, win, win.”

Meet Sean Barrett, the co-founder of Dock to Dish, the first community supported fishery in Long Island, New York. A few years ago, during a trip to San Sebastian, Spain, Sean noticed a very different practice occurring among local fishermen. They were selling their day’s catch directly to restaurants that lined the harbor. Diners were experiencing the freshest fish, straight from the sea to the table. This inspired Sean’s idea of Dock to Dish, a revival of an old way of life, where customers buy their fish directly from the source.

In today’s model, the chain of custody isn’t as direct as you might think. Sometimes a single piece of fish can pass through a surprising number of supply chains, even reaching other countries before it arrives in a customer’s hands. Sean’s idea is to eliminate the number of hands that touch a piece of fish to preserve its quality and freshness. To give people what he believes they’ve been missing: a fisherman’s fish. A fish so fresh, members prefer to eat it raw, no matter the variety, because each fish is guaranteed to be less than 24-hours to your table. Enjoy his story.

Dock to Dish is always growing, and is currently making plans to accommodate new members. To find out more, click here. Recently, Sean launched a new restaurant supported fishery program in New York, with the help of Blue Hill, Le Bernardin, Telepan, The Spotted Pig, Breslin and Nick & Toni’s. Find out why “New York’s largest fishing port is undergoing a return to awesome.” 

Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy Eating! 

The Regal Vegan: Fooling Jewish Grandmothers w/Faux Gras

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Sep 17, 2013
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“I wanted to make something bigger. Something better. Where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Meet Ella Nemova, the Founder and Chief Faux Gras-preneur of  The Regal Vegan, an artisan food company in Brooklyn focused on decadent vegan treats. Ella is a force to be reckoned with. Spend just a few hours with her and you immediately get swept up into her whirlwind of ideas and epiphanies about vegan food. Her opinions are fiery, and her suggestions eye-opening. All stemming from a mini-diet experiment that changed the way she ate forever. Before I knew it, I found myself picking apart my own diet, wondering why I didn’t talk about “feeling amazing” or “feeling energized” as often as she did. This is what I love about exposing myself to passionate individuals, the belief in what they do is so strong, you feel this pull become part of it. Like osmosis. And just being around Ella, I started to feel good already. Try it yourself sometime!

As Ella explained to me, “decadent and vegan are not usually used in the same sentence.” She wants to change that. Starting with her Faux Gras and Basilicotta vegan spreads, she wants to help satisfy our cravings for meat and dairy with alternatives that actually tasted rich – introduce food items that wouldn’t make you second guess a meat replacement. Enjoy her story! I hope it convinces you, not to stop eating meat entirely, but to peer into the food landscape and see what you’re missing. I’ve never had cardoons. Now I’d like to know what they taste like. Thanks Ella. Thanks for sharing the exciting possibilities of a vegan diet. The plant world awaits us all.

Thanks so much for watching food. curated.! You can find out where to pick up or buy Faux Gras online here. Have fun eating your vegetables!