Just wanted to extend my sincere gratitude to The James Beard Foundation, my peers, my fellow nominees, and to all you lovely, lovely folks who continue to watch and support my series. Every story this past season has been such a gift to tell. So, thank you.
When I found out the news from my friend Kari, I sat down at my editing desk and started crying. Not many people know this, but my 2012 storytelling season was the most challenging and most difficult to get through to date. It asked a lot out of me. It asked me to tell stories when I was sad. To tell stories, when I didn’t have the will to tell stories. But, I pushed forward and did it anyway, because something deep within me knows it’s what my true purpose is. I’m a storyteller. It’s what makes me special. It’s what makes me want to wake up every morning and do my job well. My job is to find life and share life. And in sharing life, the cool thing is…I actually help people. That’s the power of a good story. That’s why I LOVE what I do. Going out into the world with my questions and my cameras reminds me of the magic in the everyday, the collective drive we share as dreamers/doers, the need we share to connect with others, and the struggle we all go through in life to do what we love to do. It’s a beautiful thing to document and to be a part of. Plus, all these food makers become dear friends. How could I not feel quite lucky, everyday?
So, with all my heart, thanks for watching food. curated.! Thanks for supporting passionate food artisans! I would love to know YOUR favorite story from this past year in the COMMENTS section too. Enjoy the day! Seek life. -Skeeter
“When you use multiple versions of one ingredient, it makes a difference! We do a lot of blending with spices that way. These aren’t just one-note or two-note flavors.”
Meet Lynn Sterett and Joan Kass, the co-founders of The Well Dressed Nut, a 3-year old, premium, artisan nut company based in Tenafly, NJ. I will admit, I’m not the biggest nut person. I rarely crave them. In fact, I don’t seek them out. Nuts, in general, don’t make it into my pantry as a snack. So, when I came across The Well Dressed Nut, it’s not that I was skeptical, I guess you could say, I was just going through the motions of story research. I wasn’t thinking too much about it, UNTIL I took that first bite: CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH. Immediately, my brain and tastebuds kicked in: what’s that flavor, and THAT spice? What IS that? That hot, peppery kick in the back end of the bite, that’s new. That’s interesting. All these flavors, woke me up. It was a nice change. And, they have a nice story.
Lynn and Joan don’t come from the food world. They originally met, and became close friends, selling beauty products in New York City for twenty years. After they left their careers, they still wanted to work together. They searched and brainstormed ideas for awhile, hoping to find something fun and challenging, until one day, after one too many dinner parties, an idea fell NUT-urally into their lap. haha.
So, enjoy the story of The Well Dressed Nut! Hope you purchase a few pouches online to try them. They carry a variety of flavors in their “Flavor Wardrobe“. My favorites: the Spiced-Up Pecans (using a top secret spicy ground pepper in the mix) and the Cinnamon-Vanilla Pecans (incorporating 3 unique types of cinnamon to enhance the flavor).
Thanks for watching and supporting food. curated.! Happy eating!
“Life tastes better with a cookie.”
Meet Paige McCurdy-Flynn, Head Cookie Fairy and Founder of Cookie Fairy Sweets, a unique little cookie company based in Brooklyn, New York. Now, it takes a certain kind of person to call themselves a “cookie fairy”, a certain confidence to own up to the title, and a certain belief to name your company just that. After spending a day with Paige, I discovered there truly is something magical about her. Maybe it’s her infectious laugh, or the way she makes you believe that her cookies are BETTER and HEALTHIER from the freezer box. Whatever it is, I’m sold.
I actually discovered her My Man Cookies while randomly wandering through a small gourmet shop in Park Slope. I had never seen fresh baked frozen cookies marketed in the freezer aisle before and I was intrigued (maybe a little skeptical), but I’m so glad I tried ‘em. Her My Man Cookies might be the best cookies I ate last year. You’ll see why during my close-ups of her mix! It’s filled with so many layers of goodness, I stopped counting.
So, have fun hitting play and enjoy my latest story for the new year!
I encourage you to please check out Cookie Fairy Sweets and her line up of flavors on her website. You can purchase her cookies for delivery online, or visit one of a handful of local shops that carry her cookies, here. Oh, and if you like oatmeal raisin cookies, today’s your lucky day.
Thanks for watching food. curated. and supporting small food artisans! Happy Eating!
“Our cookie selection is different. I didn’t grow up in the United States, so, I didn’t grow up on chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies. I don’t connect to them like others do. I just bake what I’ve known all my life.”
Meet Zohar Zohar, the owner and head baker behind Zucker Bakery, a specialty, small-batch bakery cafe in the heart of New York City’s East Village. Here, you’ll find uniquely spiced cookies that just might surprise you; cookies that make you feel like you’ve traveled – with flavors and spices that hint of other countries, other walks of life. It’s a tiny, homey space – just the way Zohar imagined it – with a curated collection of family and friends of family cookie recipes very close to Zohar’s heart.
Zohar comes from a small community in Israel, where baking was a big part of life. She moved to New York City to work as a professional chef in restaurant kitchens, and only re-discovered baking when she left the trade to raise her own kids. During the past 10 years, she’s been perfecting classic cookie and pastry recipes in her kitchen at home, sharing what she loved solely with family and friends. It was just supposed to be a hobby, a personal act of passion, until her husband convinced her to open her own bake shop.
Zucker Bakery has only been around for a year now, and in a short amount of time, has created quite a cookie-loving community for itself. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. The cookies are always fresh. I hope you stop by! To me, the discovery of this little bakery is what makes New York so much fun.
“I hope my cookies strike a memory or a warm place for anyone who eats them.” -Zohar Zohar
Zucker Bakery -
433 East 9th Street, New York, NY
Thanks so much for watching and supporting food. curated. artisans! Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays!
“There’s something about smelling bread that touches the atavistic impulses inside of us and comforts us.”
Meet Judith Norell, the baker and owner of Silver Moon Bakery, a small neighborhood bakeshop located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. For Judith, baking bread is a calling – it’s not work to her – it’s more like her art and her joy. It’s fun watching her get lost in it too. She’s so poignant about something so seemingly simple. And when Judith talks about bread, her face lights up! It literally lights up. You’ll see it happen in the first few moments of the video. It’s the coolest thing. To find so much passion in someone’s eyes, it’s moving…
Silver Moon Bakery’s baguettes are, hands down, my favorite baguettes in New York City. There’s nothing like ‘em. To me, they have the perfect texture, perfect flavor and crunch. I hope you stop by to pick up a baguette or two. You won’t regret it!
So, enjoy the story. This is my birthday story. My birthday post as a shared present to myself and to you. Making people feel special is the best feeling in the world. It’s why I tell stories – and I feel so lucky I get to share what I love doing most. xx
2740 Broadway (at the corner of 105th Street)
New York, NY 10025
Thanks so much for watching and supporting food. curated.! Happy Eating!