We’ve got a packed weekend here at Art in the Age, and we’re inviting you to join us!
This First Friday (5/6) come have a Rhubarb or Sage cocktail on us and try some delicious AITA-inspired macarons
from Philly’s Brulee Bakery
Chicory Florals are lovingly grown on a half acre of vacant land right here in the city of Philadelphia. Show the moms in your life how much you love them next/this weekend with local flowers (of the extremely non-basic variety) from CHICORY. Andrew and Erica are setting up shop at AITA this Mother’s Day weekend with their signature hand-tied bouquets full of all their garden favorites.
(CHICORY photography by Neal Santos)
“Show me a piece of land that God forgot—
a strip between an unused sidewalk, say,
and a bulldozed lot, rich in broken glass—
and there, July on, will be chicory…”
— JOHN UPDIKE.
Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 116 North 3rd street Philadelphia, PA 19106
What grows together, goes together.
We’re proud to announce the release of our new AITA Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial! Our latest small-batch infusion is a unique blend of tart blueberries and foraged black trumpet mushrooms. This unique cordial from Tamworth Distilling was made in collaboration with our friends at the New Hampshire Mushroom Company. House-grown lavender and lemon verbena reinforce the fresh flavors, creating a rare cordial that brings to mind a prize-winning blueberry pie.
Welcome to this month’s installment of The Aura. Once a month, we’ll sit down with an artist, maker, or other creative who represents the Art in the Age philosophy.
1. How did this pizza making life begin?
I left my life as a beer brewer and began working in restaurants. Basically a 28 year old busboy. I was thirsty for learning about wine and food. During that time I kind up picked of pizza as a hobby. I would spend my off time either traveling and eating pizza or experimenting at home. I also decided to begin a ‘stage’ at Osteria shortly after they opened. It was my first foray into the back of house. They were very professional and hard working. I think I saw what it took to do something at a high level there. I also knew that I’d like to be more focused. Pizza was a side project that eventually became a career.
2. What are some of your favorite pizzerias and what makes them so special?
My favorite pizzerias are Una Pizza Napoletana (San Francisco), DiFara Pizzeria (Brooklyn, NY), Pizzeria Bianco (Phoenix, AZ), and the now closed Great Lake (Chicago, IL). They all helped shape the way I make pizza now. I took from all of them. They’re all perfect pizzas in their own way.
3. Tell us about your workspace. What’s the music played, the aesthetic, and why Fishtown?
Pizzeria Beddia is a tiny 350sq ft space. It’s clean and efficient. I “designed” it really the only way possible. There weren’t a lot of options. I only use American made equipment. I wanted it to be a space that felt good, especially because of the amount of time I knew I would spend there. We have a really nice sound system. I started playing mostly old country music- at least for the first year and a half. Waylon, Willie, John Prine. Then I went into Bill Evans. He calms me down. Lately it’s been some local guys like Spacin’, Kurt Vile, Steve Gunn. Also kind of obsessed with Black Sabbath and Dead Moon.
4. If you could make a pie for any one person who would it be and why?
I’m a big fan of stand up comedy. Probably more influenced from that than anything else. It’s the only place to go for honesty. Better if its brutal and dark too. Howard Stern is a hero. Or Louis CK.
5. What are your hobbies outside the business?
My hobby right now is probably drinking natural wine. Hope that doesn’t sound pretentious. It’s like a lot of things that I really respect in life. Doing stuff the way your grandfather or great grandfather did. You can really say that about a ton of stuff like pizza. But natural wine is more of an expression of a place and a season. It’s kind of romantic I guess.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the club soda and garnish and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled collins glass and stir in the club soda. Garnish with the rosemary sprig.
1- How did you become interested in baking?
I’ve always been a dessert lover, but I didn’t start experimenting with baking until years after college. A cake decorating blog caught my eye and I was hooked. I started out by trying various cake and buttercream recipes and worked my way up to the more advanced decorating techniques. During this time, Instagram burst onto the scene and, with so many cake decorator pages at my fingertips, the inspiration was endless. I was obsessed. My friends and family were overwhelmed with a TON of treats over those few years.
2- How and when did you become a business?
I officially started my business in January 2015 after years of honing my skills at home. I was presented with a fantastic opportunity to jumpstart my business by renting kitchen space out of the Bakeshop on Twentieth in Rittenhouse Square. (Many thanks to the Cosgroves!) This was a phenomenal opportunity and a great way to build an audience in the city. I’ve recently moved to a larger kitchen in Manayunk to continue to grow the business, hopefully taking on more orders and weddings.
3- How does this medium fulfill you artistically?
I’m sometimes amazed that I didn’t grow up envisioning this path for myself. It suits me so well that I can’t believe it took me well over two decades to figure it out! The transition from fine artist and painter to cake decorator and baker was seamless. Everything that I studied in art school – composition, scale, color theory, mood, texture – all apply directly to the cakes that I create. From sketch to slice, the entire process is very gratifying and necessary to my personality. Every cake request is an open ended question and my job is to come up with an answer that embodies each individual client’s personality, theme and color palette.
4- What’s your favorite thing about your business?
The most satisfying thing about my business is that I get to contribute to the truly special life moments of my clients. I also love that every week, every day presents me with a new project and a new challenge. I’m constantly able to try new techniques and perfect ones I like. This is certainly not a boring job and it keeps me on my toes creatively.
5- What type of creations do you apply AITA spirits to?
In the past, I’ve soaked my vanilla beans in SNAP. It gives them a really rich and spiced flavor. I’d like to continue to explore with some of the other spirits – especially RHUBARB – into cake flavors and syrups.
Find out more about Nutmeg Cake Design at nutmegcakedesign.com
Here in Pennsylvania, the return of spring means rhubarb season is just around the corner. And that means pie season. Here’s a fast track way to kickstart our favorite months of the year in the best way possible: in the form of a delicious cocktail.
5 parts RHUBARB
1 part simple syrup
2 strips of orange peel and sliced strawberry for garnish
Briefly shake RHUBARB tea and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a cup filled with crushed ice. Garnish with orange and strawberry.
Our small-batch Chicory ROOT vodka is now available outside of Tamworth Distilling in the state of New York and we set off to find it in the wild (streets of Brooklyn, that is). Here’s two delicious cocktails we encountered in our travels.
Chicory Root Americano at HiHello – 247 Starr St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
Art in the Age Chicory Root any way you like it. Try a Chicory Americano with brown sugar or Chicory with Earl Grey Tea
Purple Roots at Walters Foods (253 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211)
Chicory root, rum, beet and coffee syrup, whole egg, and chocolate bitters. Topped with ground nutmeg – $12
Want to try Chicory ROOT and can’t get to these bars? Order online at:
A surgeon’s scalpel, a painter’s brush, a poet’s pen, and a barman’s gear: every trade has its own signature tools. We’ve got a ton of awesome barware in stock at the store. Shop our bar section for one of these awesome tools to kick your home set up a notch.