Lord and Taylor’s Food Themed Christmas Windows

I was walking to dinner last night and saw that even thought it’s only November 19th at Lord and Taylor it’s Christmas!  I have always loved their windows and figured that given that two of the windows were food themed I could post about them ;-)

It’s great that the big department stores here in NYC still go overboard on their holiday windows.  And sure ’tis the season to shop, but ever since I was a kid I loved seeing the Christmas windows.  This year is no exception, which just goes to prove no matter how old you get you’re still kid at heart.  IMG_0200

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This is a Christmas Advertisement for a British Grocery Store

So manipulative and adorable! Sainsbury wins best grocery store ad ever!

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Cooking With Refugees

This is a brilliant conceit: Vice finds people who have been refugees and has them talk about their experiences while they cook.

In this video it’s a woman from Somalia who escaped the civil war by walking to Kenya. She and her children lived in a refugee camp for years and then finally were able to immigrate to Oakland, California.

First off I really want to go to her house for dinner.

Second notice where they eat dinner at the end.

Really lovely, inspiring and worth 8 minutes to watch.

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Your Shopping Heart Attack for Today

IMG_0171Sure we all know that white truffles are expensive. In NYC at fancy restaurants it’s not unusual to see $100 bowls of pasta with generous shavings of these odoriferous tubers.  Usually, not that I shop for them with any regularity, they sell them by the ounce, so to see them sold with a price that lists their per pound cost is, I found, just a little breath-taking.

My theory is that in Soho, at a pretentious place like Dean & Deluca, they cater to a customer who wants to buy the most expensive thing, so this kind of sticker shock is more like sticker glee to them.  Get out the Centurion Card and ring me up a pound of white truffles!  Hard to imagine, but I’m told there are people like that out there.

Full disclosure I walk by this Dean and Deluca on a regular basis and sometimes the rarefied beauty of the place calls me so I can be a voyeur among the rare (and not so rare) produce and food stuffs and ponder what it must be like to shop here for your weekly groceries.

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Bordeaux Radish: The Giant of the Radish Family

IMG_0141Most people’s idea of radishes are small and red or maybe if you are asian white (daikon) but up until last Saturday I had no idea a radish could be huge and purple.

As you can see from the above picture these radish were the size of a small melon.  Purple through and through with a sharp pic crunch.  One radish would give you more radish than you would get if you bought a bunch of traditional radishes. IMG_0142Union Square market here in NYC is the largest weekly farmers market, it caters to a large cross-section of shoppers with a heavy emphasis on selling to restaurants.  One way to distinguish yourself is to sell unique, rare or hard to grow items.  It’s one of the things that I love about going to Union Square market: every visit is an exploration into a world full of surprises.  IMG_0140These are a new breed of radish grown in Hawaii and Korea and are sold by Bodhi Tree Farm at the market.

I thought they were french when I started to write this post, given the name. In all my research the only reason I can find to why they named this Asian radish after the famous wine making region of France is because it has a similar taste profile to french breakfast radishes?

France, Paris in particular is very much on my mind today after the senseless and tragic events that unfolded their last night. My heart goes out to the people of Paris today in the wake of the tragic violence perpetrated on the innocent people of that great city.

Vive la France

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Air Canada’s EnRoute Magazine’s 10 Best Restaurants in Canada

In my “promotions” mailbox today was an email from Air Canada that was breathlessly titled:  The list is out!  The list it turns out was their annual top 10 best restaurants across Canada list.

The article is nicely art directed, well written and includes a video for the top 3 restaurants.  I clicked and starting to watch thinking it would be some sort of Air Canada promo (how did I ever get to be so cynical) it didn’t take long before I realized that these were really well produced, interesting over views of 3 chef and how their passion and love for cooking, food, and sustainability helped them build an amazing restaurant.  Often I should add in places most people don’t think of as culinary dinning out capitals.

These videos feel like mini documentaries showing the chefs visiting local farms and purveyors to give you not just a sense of the restaurant, but of the place/location it is in.

Kudos to Air Canada for doing such a great job in producing informative, beautifully done videos and creating a list of restaurants in places all across Canada from Galiano Island, British Columbia to St John New Brunswick.

Each video made me want to go visit, which is probably why Air Canada’s EnRoute magazine does a 10 best list every year.  It’s a brilliant way of introducing new places to visit and to motivated to go by way of your stomach (oh and of course you can get there on Air Canada).

The videos are so well done that I think anyone interested in food, cooking, sustainability and restaurants will find them worth watching.

#1 Pigeonhole

#2  Port City Royal

#3 Pilgrimme



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The Donut Burger

thumb_600The other day I was walking down the Bowery on my way to get some groceries and saw this sign:IMG_0129Let me just break that down for you, chocolate, donut, hamburger.  I stopped and pondered this.

The first time I’d ever heard about a donut burger was when I worked on the Paula Deen show at the Food Network.  At that time (maybe 8 or 9 years ago) I had no idea who she was.  What I quickly learned, while assembling a many layered cake, that I was trying to cover in crushed Skittles (have you ever tried to crush Skittles?) was that she was the southern queen of excess.

Here is a clip of Ms Deen making a donut hamburger.

PYT, the place I passed that was advertising the chocolate donut burger is the self-proclaimed: Home of America’s Craaaziest Burgers.  And if the clip below is any indication the PB & J burger and the fried Twinkie burger really make the chocolate donut burger look rather classic and stayed.  They don’t mention the burger in this clip, but the last imagine they show you is a chocolate donut burger.  The donut isn’t actually chocolate, it’s a glazed donut with chocolate covered bacon, bien sur.

I was overwhelmed when looking for a picture of said burger by how many pictures, videos, articles and press is out there about, what should I call them? Non-traditional burgers?  Certainly the donut burger has been a big hit, as it seems nearly every media outlet has done a story about it.

Sweet and savory is a wonderful combo, it’s why salted caramel and salted chocolate desserts are so ubiquitous.  The burger donut thing sort of leaves me scratching my head.  I like a burger every now and again.  The ones I make at home are lamb not beef.  If I go out to say Diner where they serve what I think is one of the best burgers in town, I love to indulge in a burger covered in melted cheese, (Gruyère or sharp cheddar), some maple cured bacon, pickles, good homemade ketchup, mustard, some lettuce all piled atop a nice brioche bun.  Not a donut.  And certainly not wedged between two fried Twinkies.  I mean that’s just disgusting.  After watching the video I needed Pepto Bismal I can’t imagine what I’d feel like after a Twinkie Burger.

Am I being a prude?  Am I missing out on a wonderful taste sensation?

If you have had a donut burger please let me know in the comment section and share your thoughts.



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