“Food is so rich. So personal. It’s never just about a bite of food.”
What does it take to tell a story? What is it I ask of people time and time again when I make my videos? What’s my trick? These are all questions I pondered and tore apart as I prepared for my food. curated. TEDTalk this winter. Surprisingly, I never really knew how hard it was to share until I had to look in the mirror at my own story. The stages of discomfort I went through. The self-doubt. The anxiety. The tripping over my own words. It made me feel for my subjects, truly. God bless them for what they’ve given me. For the trust they’ve granted me. I think, coming out of such a beautifully challenging experience, I have much more respect for the process. You see, the process was never something I ever had to pick apart. It was just something I did without thinking. I picked up my cameras and let the story flow. But, now, I see it went much deeper. My journey to the heart of people always involved more. Asked for more. Even more out of me. Now I understand the hurdles of vulnerability, I know the heights to which it pushes us, I know its tender edges. I have to say, giving this TEDTalk was a soul-opener. A path to understanding my own need for intimacy with people. And the beauty that sharing gives us: the magic of being real.
So, I’m humbled to share with you, dear friends, a little bit more about me. A look into the very essence of my storytelling series: food. curated.
I hope you enjoy it. I hope you share it. Many thanks to the organizers of TEDxBrooklyn for inviting me to speak. Please send through any questions or comments. I’d love to hear from you!
“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!
*** “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
… “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:
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:
“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!