“You gotta start with an ambitious dream.”
Meet Ariel Barbouth, the co-founder and co-owner of Nuchas Empanadas, a Argentinian-inspired, NYC food truck specializing in hand-held foods. Ariel’s dream is to change the way we think about empanadas. To him, they are not just snacks. They are meals, hand-held devices to help introduce you to his appetite for global cuisine. In them is the spirit of Argentina: a dedication to high-quality ingredients and meats that pay respect to his home city.
Visiting his kitchen, I could see the care that went into making each empanada. The focus on technique and building strong flavors with layers of spices and fresh vegetables was hard to miss. So, congratulations to Nuchas Empanadas for being selected as a finalist in NYC’s 2014 Vendy Cup. They have over 7 different flavors of empanadas to choose from on their trucks. I can’t wait for you to try them.
Thanks so much for watching food. curated. We are happy to announce our continued partnership with the Vendys as their official video storyteller. Stay tuned this week to meet all the finalists. We’ll debut a new story every day.
See you at the BIG event on Governors Island, September 13th. Happy eating!
“Most dairy-free yogurts aren’t white. But, they should be. I didn’t want to put anything fake in the food I was making.”
Meet Anita Shepherd, the inventor and founder of Anita’s Creamline Coconut Yogurt, a small-batch, dairy free yogurt business based in Brooklyn, NY. Of all the makers I’ve worked with, no one has been more outspoken about the lengths they go to keep their secret recipe on lockdown than Anita. It may seem crazy, and a bit overboard, but if you watch her story, you’ll understand. It took her YEARS to develop the consistency, the texture, the perfect flavor of her yogurt. Even when everyone told her to give up, she persisted. She kept testing and testing (and testing and testing and testing…) until, she became an expert herself. Now, she’s getting many anonymous inquiries from industry people, who she believes are out to steal her recipe. This might make her overprotective, but it also makes her feel good.
In my experience of dairy-free yogurts, I have seen and tasted nothing like it. It is of the highest quality. Pure ingredients, nothing fake. With a creamline, so thick, so beautifully white, it makes you doubt it’s not dairy. Talking with Anita, I start to think that we should all go a little crazy sometimes. Why fighting for what we want, can lead to impossible things. That’s the greatness of invention. And I admire Anita. A lot.
Currently, a select number of stores NYC and Long Island listed HERE carry her coconut yogurt. Or follow this link to Good Eggs NYC to have it delivered to your door! I love it for breakfast with granola and berries. Anita suggests it makes a great substitute for cream in pasta sauces too. Plus, it’s vegan and vegetarian-friendly. I hope you give it a try.
Thanks for watching food. curated.! Happy eating!
“The fun for me is the hunt for the story. I depend on my curiosity to drive the storytelling.”
Come listen in on a really cool radio interview I did with Host Shari Bayer from All In the Industry, a radio show that focuses on behind-the-scenes talents in the restaurant industry. The show’s theme was authenticity, being genuine. While on-air, I talk a lot about what I’ve learned during my career as a storyteller, dish on current news and talk food preferences. To enjoy my relaxed tell-all session, click this link to Heritage Radio Network.
Thanks for tuning in!
“The flavor is incredible. It’s like a 5-year old kid running around like crazy because they are so full of energy. Microgreens are no different. They’re like little kids booming and pushing through.”
Before we get started, I took away a couple of important lessons while filming this story: 1) just because you used to grow “medicinal herbs” (wink, wink) in California doesn’t mean you can’t apply that experience to agriculture, and 2) I never really knew how intense broccoli, celery or a carrot could REALLY taste until I tried them as microgreens. You think you’re ready for it, but you’re not. Pop these little suckers in your mouth and your taste buds explode. They are so concentrated. Just imagine the array of possibilities for new recipes, new dishes. You get it. It’s a pretty great feeling from something so small!
Meet Brendan Davison, the founder and grower at Good Water Farms, a certified organic microgreens farm located in East Hampton, Long Island. Just to be clear, Brendan is a “grower” not a farmer. There’s a difference, he tells me. Farmers tend to the land. He tends to soil. On trays. Plus, he needs to make the distinction since the local farmers don’t really take him seriously. To them, what he grows is a trend. A passing fad. And Brendan, well, he’s out to prove them wrong. He believes microgreens are the future of food. Come see why…
To taste Good Water Farms microgreens, you can visit a number of restaurants that serve his products, like The Musket Room in New York City or Tom Colicchio’s restaurant Topping Rose in The Hamptons. Or you can order them right to your door from GoodEggsNYC. I’m a huge fan of this local artisan/farm focused food delivery service. They make eating well very convenient. And I’m collaborating with GoodEggsNYC to bring you stories from a few of our favorite food makers. More to come.
Thanks so much for watching food. curated.! Peace, Love & Microgreens!
“I aspire to be a sushi master of the bread & butter world. The ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ of bread and butter.”
Meet Dan Richer, the James Beard Rising Star chef semi-finalist and owner of Razza Pizza Artiginale in Jersey City, NJ. I remember his laugh the most. There’s a quality, a character to it, as if he knows he’s laughing at his own joke, poking fun at his own self-awareness. I find it charming, that Dan admits to being crazy. Crazy about ingredients. Crazy about sourcing. Crazy about everything that passes in and out of Razza’s kitchen. He is picky and meticulous to say the least. When he starts a new food project, he has to master it. “It’s part of being a craftsman,” he tells me. Part of his fight against mediocrity. To him, mediocrity serves no one. And maybe that’s the mark of a true artisan, someone willing to go those extra lengths. To move towards perfection. Here at Razza’s this design is in everything, especially in the bread & butter.
Blink…and you’ll miss the dish on Razza’s menu. Miss it, and I’ll feel truly sorry for you. It’s special. Really special. Even now, I can remember spreading the soft, salted butter over the oven-warmed bread. An act of salivation! Every bite is pillowy, the butter uniquely grassy, tangy. The crust alive and darkly caramel. The slippery coat on your lips triggers a need for more bread, more butter. You marvel that something so simple, so overlooked, could be so satisfying.
To me, it’s the most memorable dish on Dan’s small menu, which says a lot coming from a restaurant with pizza in its name. And that’s ok with Dan. While learning to make a better pizza, he got sucked into the rabbit hole of fermentation. Now, as you’ll see, it’s become his specialty. The bread & butter is Dan’s greatest achievement, showcasing everything about food that’s important to him. From farm to table. Enjoy his story. And, please, get yourself to Jersey City to experience it! I’d love to hear what you think.
Thanks so much for supporting food. curated.! Happy eating!