Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chocolate Show

A chocolate show is a wonderful thing. Imagine your favorite thing to eat in the whole world and there's a convention about it, with every booth offering free samples of that thing. All people should go to a show featuring their favorite food once in their lives, yet unfortunately not all foods get their own show. Bacon probably wouldn't have its own show. Candy gets its own show sometimes. Chocolate has been getting its own show for years now. My first chocolate show was in November 1998 in New York, when I was a grad student in the Food Studies Master's degree program at NYU.

The Food Studies department posted a notice for volunteers to help out at the popular New York Chocolate Show at Soho's regal Puck Building. The time required to serve was a full Saturday, and we put on white coats and assisted a certain famous French pastry chef during his live chocolate demonstrations. His desserts and cakes are always impressive, however this chef treated us volunteers with disdain that day. I think that's when I learned it's definitely fun to volunteer at a chocolate show, but it's even more fun to be a patron.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bad Planet Marly, so here's a recipe too

Dear PM Readers,

As you may have noticed, my usual lapse in writing has gone on over 2 months this time. I am very sorry! There are excuses, but I won't make them. Instead, how about I say that sooner than you can whip a bowl of heavy cream, I'll get crackin' on a new post.

In the meantime, mark your calendar to see "Julie & Julia," what looks to be a great foodie flick opening on August 7th. It is based on the non-fiction best-seller of a listless administrative assistant in Queens, NY named Julie Powell, who decides to change her fate by cooking every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in one year while simultaneously blogging about it! She was actually a food-blogging pioneer, and adorably called her blog readers "Bleaders." Fantastic.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It Is Happening Again

Ok imagine you're a baseball fan, say a Yankees, Dodgers or D-Backs fan, and one day the rules change so that every other day a new stadium for your team opens in the team's (and your) town and official major league players are added in for each stadium so lots of games end up being added to the season schedule for each team. This would probably result in your being very excited that there are many more games to see each week, each night even, and this would spur you on to see all the games in your now bigger baseball club but then you'd start to think about it realistically and wonder, how will you ever have enough time or money to go see them all?

Welcome to my world. I'm a foodie. And this is the hell I'm again living in.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Cake Story

With the exception of pudding, I have not eaten a decadent chocolate dessert in a while, and that’s too long for someone like me. That's why recently I’ve been thinking more often than usual about chocolate cake. And that’s what brought me back to a tale from the Broadway days, about really great chocolate cake, and the meanest boss ever.


In the early 1990's I worked in Times Square at a Broadway theatrical advertising agency. Lucky for me my account group had the best client in the office. His name will not be posted here due to the efficacy of Google search engines. I will, however, tell you that he is from the United Kingdom and there is a tribute DVD about him on (click here for link) that I wish I owned. This post will refer to him as (code name) Seth. He is, in my opinion and many others, one of the world’s greatest theatrical producers and visionaries. And in spite of his success and the global popularly of his productions which include "Phantom of the Opera" and "Les MisĂ©rables," he is a highly respected, brilliant, and good man.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I heart Carmine's, and now you know

Carmine’s is and always has been one of my favorite New York restaurants, and that’s surprising, since I’m not a person who particularly cares for “red sauce” Italian cuisine. As one of the city's busiest and most profitable dining establishments, this convivial family-style Southern Italian simply does it right. And as happy as I am out west, it’s a place I think about and miss quite a bit.

Owned by small restaurant group Alicart, Carmine’s has two Manhattan locations, my favorite being the newer, grander Times Square/Theater District one. Carmine’s had its following on the upper west side all along, but opening the second location in the early 90's in heavily trafficked real estate truly stoked their reputation. My office happened to be across the street at 1515 Broadway, so those were the years I fell in love with the place, and learned a few things about Carmine’s too: