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4 BOOZY POP RECIPES FOR SUMMER

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With a farm-to-bottle approach, Tamworth Distilling & Mercantile (TDM) in Tamworth, NH just opened.

The distillery is the latest from spirits guru, Steven Grasse, who created Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum and most recently, Art in the Age Craft Spirits. The Tamworth Distillery is located on the site of the former Tamworth Inn. Grasse bought the dilapidated Inn two years ago and was able to preserve one of the historic buildings, which will later be used as a farm to table restaurant. TDM will produce its own line of unique small-batch spirits, as well as very limited edition spirits for Art in the Age. The distillery and botanical kitchen will be highly experimental – a sort of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory of the spirits world.

In the Tasting Room, which affords a view of the distillery itself, there is a retail shop that includes bottles of the spirits themselves, as well as a collection of barware, mixers, books, and other artisanal goods for the home and garden. For those who want to continue experimenting at home, the shop stocks whiskey barrel aging kits, as well as an apothecary-style bar of herbs, spices, and fruit for infusions.

SNAP Spiced Coconut Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. SNAP Liqueur
  • 3 1/2 cups Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup Toasted Coconut
  • 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp. Organic Cane Sugar

Preparation: In a mixing bowl combine the coconut milk, toasted coconut, sugar and SNAP. Whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar. Pour mixture into the ice pop molds and freeze for 1 hour before inserting the sticks. Insert the sticks and then allow to freeze for 4 hours or until solid.

ROOT Mint Julep Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Demerara Sugar
  • 1 cup Mint
  • 1/3 cup ROOT

 

Preparation: Add sugar and water to a medium pot over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat and add in fresh mint. Lightly muddle the mint with a muddler or wooden spoon. Let this seep until the mixture has cooled to room temperature (about 45 minutes). Once it has cooled, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add in the ROOT and stir to combine. Then pour into your popsicle molds. Place this in the freezer and check back after 45 minutes (or longer depending on the temperature of your freezer) and add in the popsicle sticks. Keep in the freezer until frozen solid.

SAGE Cucumber Ginger Basil Popsicles

Makes: 8 pops

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. SAGE Liquor
  • 1 cup Reed’s Ginger Beer
  • 1 Large Cucumber
  • 2 Limes
  • 2 oz. Simple Syrup

 

Preparation: In a blender combine the cucumber, the juice from two limes, simple syrup, ginger beer and SAGE. Blend this until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds and let it sit for 1-2 hours until the pops are solid enough to hold popsicle sticks. Freeze for 10-12 hours.

RHUBARB Strawberry Basil Lemonade Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Raspberry Lemonade
  • 1 cup Fresh Strawberries
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 5 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/4 cup RHUBARB Tea

Preparation: First make the basil simple syrup. Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small sauce pan and warm it over a medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove it from the burner and add in 5 fresh basil leaves. Once the simple syrup has cooled to room temperature, strain out the basil leaves and transfer it to the refrigerator to cool.

 

Combine the 1 1/2 cup raspberry lemonade, the 1 1/4 cup basil simple syrup and the 1/4 cup RHUBARB Tea into a large bowl. Mix well.  Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds. Then drop in the strawberries. Let this sit for 1-2 hours before adding in the popsicle sticks. It needs to be solid enough to hold the stick from sinking to the bottom, but not too hard so it resists going in. Let freeze for 7-10 hours, then enjoy!

4 BOOZY POP RECIPES FOR SUMMER 

 


4 Artisan Organic Cocktail Recipes For Your Spring Wedding

05/14/2015
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If you are planning a spring or early summer wedding and are looking for a signature drink (or two or three), these artisan cocktail recipes from Art In The Age will have your guests sipping seconds. Art In The Age crafts a line of historically-inspired and USDA certified organic 80 proof liqueurs in ROOT, SNAP, SAGE and RHUBARB Tea. Here are four fabulous spring cocktail recipes featuring these unique alcohol blends.

The Rhuby Rose Spring Wedding Cocktail

Strawberries reach their peak season in April, May and June, so what could be more refreshing than the taste of local strawberries and rhubarb tea in a tall glass for your spring wedding? This simple recipe brings out the natural sweetness of spring with a kick. The lush red color is also irresistible.

  • 2 parts RHUBARB Tea
  • 2 parts organic strawberries
  • Dash of Rose Water
  • Club Soda
  • Directions: Muddle strawberries, RHUBARB, and rose water in a tall glass. Add ice and club soda. Scale based on how many people you want to enjoy this special wedding drink for spring!SAGE Farmer’s Market Spiked Lemonade

    Juicy watermelon, fresh lemon, and sophisticated cucumber accents make this drink extremely refreshing on a hot spring day.

    • 1.5 parts SAGE
    • 3/4 parts fresh lemon
    • 3/4 parts simple syrup
    • Muddled watermelon
    • Cucumber
    • Basil
    • Splash of club soda

Directions: Muddle watermelon, lemon juice, cucumber and basil in a tall glass. Add in simple syrup and SAGE, top with club soda and pour over ice.

ROOT and Root Beer Wedding Cocktail

For root beer lovers, nothing could be simpler than this recipe. Blend your favorite root beer with this artisan root beer flavored alcohol and bam – you have an awesome and totally unique drink for your green wedding.

  • 2 parts ROOT
  • 4 parts Root Beer

Directions: This drink keeps it simple. Combine ingredients and serve over ice. Enjoy!

SNAP Farmhouse Shandy

Shandies are typically made by blending beer and a non-alcoholic soda, carbonated lemonade, ginger beer, ginger ale, or juice. They are refreshing and a tad sweet, without being too “girly.” This shandy recipe is unique as you add a gingery twist with SNAP – and an additional alcoholic kick to an otherwise mellow drink. A sure crowd pleaser at your spring cocktail reception.

Directions: Combine ingredients and pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with basil.
4 Artisan Organic Cocktail Recipes For Your Spring Wedding 

Rhu-Paul Cocktail at Mile High Gay Guy

Rhu-Paul Cocktail at Mile High Gay Guy

05/13/

5.19_1 Mile High Gay Guy

5.19_2 Mile High Gay Guy
2015
The finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race is on May 19, and the fine folks at Art in the Age have put together the perfect cocktail to sip whi
le
watching the contestants
strut:

RHU-Paul’s Orange Tic Tac
1 part Art in the Age RHUBARB
1 part orange juice
2 parts sparkling wine
Splash cranberry juice
Flamed orange peel
(optional) Teaspoon of Galliano
Mix RHUBARB and orange juice in a glass, over ice. Top with sparkling wine and a splash of cranberry juice, and garnish with a flamed orange peel. For extra 70’s disco flair, stir in a teaspoon of Galliano liqueur.
Inspired by the lunch that RuPaul shares with finalists (a single orange Tic-Tac), this fruity, fizzy cocktail is fabulous.
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Cocktails: RHu-Paul’s Orange Tic-Tac 

An Afternoon in Philly: Grilled Cheese, Pizza, Art in the Age, and a House

An Afternoon in Philly: Grilled Cheese, Pizza, Art in the Age, and a House

05/12/2015
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Philly, you will always have a special little place in my heart, even if we were to move a million miles away, I’d still love you and think of you often. Especially the food. Oh, the food.

Me and my husband have always made our dates about good food. Ever since we were dating, we were excited to finally be able to experiment with food, and after growing up in a rural area where TGI Fridays are considered fancy, we could choose to indulge ourselves with an incredible meal. We’ve essentially eaten our way through Philly, and what I love more that anything, is that we never seem to run out of amazing new spots to try.

Whether it’s super fancy, or casual bars with some kick-butt food, Philly has literally got it all, I swear. If you live around Philly and haven’t tried some of the amazing eats it has to offer, well shame, shame, I know your name.

This past weekend I had something crazy, and totally unexpected happen – I three days off in a row. Amazing, I know. I’m still basking in the glow of it.

Saturday, Frank and I decided to spend the day together and enjoy the city. We quickly realized that going anywhere past Broad street was pure mayhem. Between the Rittenhouse Festival, and all the events at the Art Museum, it was crazy. But that’s fine with us, because we adore East Philly. Walking through Old City always feels like I’m at home, and I think it may always feel that way to me.

We had lunch at Revolution House. We sat on the roof deck and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I had grilled cheese, he had a cheese steak (which he snagged a bite of before I had a chance to snap a picture. I don’t blame him at all though, it smelled amazing). Our food was delicious, the view was lovely, and the service was great. I spotted several diners around us with delicious looking drinks that still have me kicking myself for not getting one (next time, though).

After lunch we wandered through Society Hill. If you ever see two kids in their mid twenties walking around society hill, pointing and commenting on all the of the historic architecture, well, that’s us. We’re geeks.

We were excited because we were finally able to grab a tour of the Physick House, which we’ve been wanting to do for some time, but it always seemed to be closed when we were around.

It was lovely, and interesting. We were lucky to get on a tour with only two other ladies, so it was intimate. They have so much of the family’s original furniture too, which is fascinating. I also loved getting to meet the great great (great great great?) grandson of Dr. Physick which actually lives in the house today!

After the tour we did a little more walking, and got some drinks and relaxed a bit. PS - if you’re ever in the area and looking for your coffee fix, I love Menagerie Coffee, although Old City has plenty of other great cafes as well.

I’ve talked about before how I feel Old City has some of the best small boutiques in the city, and I still stand by it. So, of course, I couldn’t help popping in Art in the Age while I was in the area.

Last time I was in I wanted to check out their Warby Parker collection, but it was pretty packed. I was lucky this time though, and the shop was nice and quiet. I went ahead and tried on basically every pair, and fell in love with the ones below. I’m thinking I definitely need to order them, right?? Besides my obsession with a new pair of glass, I just always love to check out what brands and artist’s their carrying currently, because they’re always interesting.

How to explain Pizzeria Beddia? The whole operation seems to be two guys – one makes the pizza, the other takes the orders. They don’t have a phone, they don’t deliver, and they only make so many. You come in, you pay cash, and they tell you when your pizza will be ready. It was a Saturday night, and we got there around 6:30 and we’re told to come back at 7:40 for our pizza. It’s not fast food, it’s not convenient food, but it’s damn good pizza. Pardon my french.

They have two standing tables to eat at if you really want to dig right into your pizza there, but instead we grabbed some drinks from the grocery store across the street (which also looked pretty amazing, and I could see myself wandering around in and spending too much money at someday), and headed to one of the parks on water. We grabbed a bench, and munched on our pizza. The cheese, by the way, is just plain incredible, I may dream about it for weeks. We made some doggie friends, and were greeted by some unexpected, but totally welcomed, fireworks.

I couldn’t complain if I tried.

AN AFTERNOON IN PHILLY // GRILLED CHEESE, PIZZA AND A HOUSE 

 


RHUBARB featured in FSR Magazine

RHUBARB featured in FSR Magazine

05/07/2015
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RHUBARB TEA

As seasons shift, we can push aside dark, gripping Manhattans for light and lively concoctions made with, say, fruit-infused vodka and naturally sweet tequila. Perhaps extend dinner on the patio with a glass of exquisite rum, and stoke appetites with delicate, vermouth-rich cocktails.

Rhubarb is a vivid springtime staple at farmer’s markets, but RHUBARB Tea, from Pennsylvania-based Art in the Age—the states own pioneering Benjamin Franklin was the first to bring rhubarb seeds from Europe to the U.S—extends rhubarb’s sadly fleeting shelf life. Subtly tangy and sweet, it unites rhubarb with beets, carrots, lemons, petitgrain, cardamom, and pure cane sugar. Weave it into a gimlet or pair it with honey and tonic for a refreshing highball.

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RHUBARB TEA 

Mother’s Day gift ideas at Art in the Age

Mother’s Day gift ideas at Art in the Age

05/07/2015
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15 Mother’s Day Gifts So Awesome She’ll Forget You Never Call

Reminder: Mother’s Day is May 10th.

BY MARINA LAMANNA  |  MAY 5, 2015 AT 5:20 PM

 

PSA: Mother’s Day is May 10th, friends. Show mom you care and prep for the impending holiday by scooping up these editor- (and mom-) approved gifts. Psst: There’s no need to shell out for overnight delivery, you can snag most of the goods at local retailers.

1. Engraved Locket, Catbird // Say it with us: personalization is always better. Go one step further than the typical monogram and opt for a locket equipped with a teeny-tiny picture of the two of you. $168.

2. Cooking Classes, COOK // Select a class for the two of you to attend (think strawberry desserts or hands-on pizza making) or give her a gift card to choose her class at a later date. June’s course offerings will be posted on May 12th. Prices vary. 

3. Gold Blossom Studs, Egan Day // Shoppist editor Emily favors these dainty studs because they’re a fine jewelry gift that isn’t four figures. $310. 

4. Flower Subscription, The Flwry // For when one bouquet isn’t enough, gift mom a membership for fresh-cut flowers. Packages include six and 12 month options as well as once and twice a month refills. Starts at $37. 

5. Glass Teapot and Raw Honey, Omoi Zakka // Thoughtful pairings are always a hit. Gift this glass teapot with built-in diffuser and fragrant raw honey to amp up her regular teatime.Teapot, $48; honey, $16.95. 

6. Six Classic Manis, Lacquer Lounge // Ensure that she’s primped and pampered long after Mother’s Day with a gift card for six classic manicures at the super-feminine salon Lacquer Lounge. Psst: It also means you have six reasons to go on mother-daughter dates. $96. 

7. Lauren Oxford, Bus Stop Boutique // These classic kicks come in a bevy of hues and are mom-approved (Emily’s mother scooped up two pairs at the collection’s release party). $195. 

8. Waltzing Matilda Navy Market Tote, Meadowsweet Mercantile // This structured tote will surely become a favorite for errand-running. $360. 

9. Celebratory Card, Arch Street Paper Co. // None of the gifts on this list are complete without a charming accompanying card. $5.

10. Brahms Mount Cotton Herringbone Throw, Bons Rêves // Plush blankets in calming hues and knotted rope fringe are always well-received. $210.

11. Mixed Dried Berry Dark Chocolate Bark, Marcie Blaine Artisanal Chocolates // Stray from the typical box of chocolates gift and opt for decadent berry-dotted dark chocolate. And while you’re there, pick up a bar for yourself. $7.50.

12. Americano Mason Jar Candle, Art in the Age // Gift her a scented candle she might not otherwise buy herself. This one smells like coffee, but we also suggest the fig variety. $30. 

13. Marina Pajama Shirt and Shorts, Sleepy Jones // These luxe pajama shirt and short combo boasts fine cotton fabric, slim piping trim and French seams, putting the oversized t-shirt to shame. Shirt, $138; shorts, $48. 

14. Lunch and Shopping, Terrain // Pencil in time for the two of you to enjoy lunch at the greenhouse cafe followed by shopping in the whimsical main boutique. Psst: They’re having a Mother’s Day brunch. Make a reservation here.

15. Library of Flowers Perfume, Scarlett Alley // Our interest was piqued by the fun flower prints, but the English cucumber, davana and honeysuckle notes sealed the deal. $53.95.

 

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15 Mother’s Day Gifts So Awesome She’ll Forget You Never Call 

Art in the Age spirits make for great Derby Day cocktails

Art in the Age spirits make for great Derby Day cocktails

05/07/2015
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Wine & Spirits: Derby Day Drinks

Posted on 01 May 2015

This tasty trifecta is a sure bet 

By Erica Moody 

The horses are fast, the hats are big and the drinks are flowing. For a take on that classic southern favorite, the mint julep, and two other refreshing cocktails for Derby Day, we looked to Washington-based elixirs companyElement Shrub and organic spirits line Art in the Age for their race-appropriate concoctions.

For a crafty take on the mint julep:

Lemon Mint Rhubarb Julep
1 oz Rhubarb
1/2 oz Lemon Mint shrub
4 sprigs fresh mint
Splash of Bourbon (Bulleit)
1 cup crushed ice

Directions:

1. Muddle 2 sprigs fresh mint with lemon mint shrub with 1/4 cup crushed ice

2. Add AITA Rhubarb

3. Top with a splash of bourbon (1/4 oz)

4. Stir

5. Add remaining ice and garnish with 2 sprigs fresh mint

6. Let ice melt and enjoy slowly

And more fun with rhubarb:

Rhuby Collins 

1 part Lemon mint shrub

3 parts RHUBARB

Top with club soda, garnish with a lemon wheel and sprig of mint

And to spice it up:

SNAP Spiced Pear

3 parts SNAP 1 oz. Rhubarb

1 part Chai Pear shrub

Serve on the rocks.

Easy to mix and refreshing to taste, these three drinks take the cocktail triple crown.

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Wine & Spirits: Derby Day Drinks 

Talking casual dinners with Alex Garfinkel who mentions Art in the Age

Talking casual dinners with Alex Garfinkel who mentions Art in the Age

05/01/2015
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TALKING CASUAL DINNERS OF ALL KINDS WITH BALBOA SUPPER CLUB MASTERMIND ALEX GARFINKEL

April 28, 2015 · by Brion Shreffler

Right here.

The cab comes to a quick stop.

I had given the address, but eying stenciled numbers while driving isn’t the smartest or easiest thing. And the part of Fishtown where the (fishy) placards jump from the buildings is several blocks over. We had traced the long arc of Frankford from Girard and were in lower Kensington.

We stopped in front of a row home in the middle of the block, the cab’s rear passenger window framing a Wes Anderson diorama shot: to the right, two gentleman in jeans, button shirts, and worn leather shoes huddled over a lighter, the eggshell plumes they exhaled followed by even easier words as I panned left to a wiry character whose expository words on the evening ahead—delivered via mobile phone to some friend, lover, or perhaps would-be mistress—quickly faded as my eyes shifted back to the middle to dive into the warm glow pouring from the open doorway.

“Is this a bar,” the taxi driver asks.

“It’s not a bar. No, it couldn’t just be that,” I say.

Or at least, maybe I would have, if it was a Wes Anderson movie.

But a flare for the dramatic is exactly what Chef Alex Garfinkel is aiming for with the private dinners he’s throwing in a row home in Kensington (let alone the ones he runs in two Old City locations and sites scattered about the countryside). He’s bringing his experience from Le Bec Fin, Lacroix, Morimoto, and Amada to four monthly dinners (two casual and two fine dining). While he wants to keep things relaxed, he aims to create singular experiences.

For the casual series, he’ll work with anyone from ambitious home chefs to unheard of line cooks. The fine dining series will feature big name chefs: Chef Yehuda Sichel of Abe Fisher will feature on May 5th; Chris Kearse of Will BYOB is on the bill on June 8th.

The dinner I attended on Wednesday, April 22nd featured deep flavors, perfect execution, and a creativity that didn’t betray the (deceptively) simple nature of dim sum.

I watched Garfinkel use a blowtorch to apply the finishing touches to a rack of ribs that he seared before throwing in a low oven (150 degrees) for hours to “get the same effect of a sous vide,” he says. A caramelized exterior gave way to a buttery, quickly deliquescent interior as my teeth easily dug and tore.

The other dishes that stood out amidst course after impressive course were three that I wouldn’t expect to find on a menu meant for a non-Chinese audience: pig ear salad, salt and pepper duck feet, and braised chicken feet.

Thin tendrils of pig ear lent a pleasant chew to a salad of shredded carrot, red onion, chilies and cilantro bathed in lime, sesame oil and a fish sauce with a perfect balance of sweet,tart, and spicy. The cartilage from deboned duck feet was an even softer bite under a perfectly spiced fried coating. And the braised chicken feet were much more approachable here, with Garfinkel’s collaborator and friend Huy Pham braising deboned feet in oyster sauce, fermented black beans, sesame seed oil, star anise, dried chili peppers, brown sugar, and white pepper.

Along with solid pork belly buns–that only needed crispier cucumbers–and deeply flavorful soup dumplings, this night provided the best dim sum I’ve ever had (and yes, that means it beat out Joy Tsin Lau, bus terminal Dim Sum Garden, and yes, Bing Bing Dim Sum).

We sat at two wooden tables stretching out in the small, yet hangar-like space, a certain openness provided by restricting the normal trappings of a Kensington row home to the two couches huddled by the entrance way. To the left of the front door, three quizzical portraits hung; hard to make out a first, they eventually settled into being as underwater shots of decorated storefront windows dancing with neon in the shadow of the nearby El. As the room pulsed with conversation and jazz played, Garfinkel and friends put their creativity to plate in the open kitchen behind us.

I sat down the next day to talk with Garfinkel about the dinner I experienced and the all the projects he’s currently working on.

Brion Shreffler: When was the Balboa dinner series launched?

Alex Garfinkel: I found the place off the market in January. I took it over at the end of January and it took us about a month to get it up and running. We only did an open house [dinner on March 15th]. This is our third casual series dinner for Balboa. We did Taco Tuesday, Fried Chicken Monday and yesterday [the 22nd] was dim sum. The goal is to have two casual series dinners a month and one or two high end series a month to kind of play across the full audience we’re trying to reach. We built the spot as a collaboration space not only for myself and my endeavors but also for other local small businesses, both culinary or otherwise to create this incubation space of creativity across all genres of art. It’s moving in that direction. I’m excited to see all the connections and relationships that will come of it.

You had two friends helping out, Huy Pham and Ryan Fitzgerald. How do you know them?

In regard to Ryan, I was reading an article that someone wrote and it mentioned Boku and I was like how have I not heard of Boku Supper Club. I researched, checked out his website and everything it said was aligned with what we already accomplished with Balboa. Gave him a call, left a message out of the blue. Turns out he knew my friendJack Goldenberg, you know who did these [other] supper clubs. After an hour on the phone, we were virtual best friends and since he didn’t have a space yet, he was very excited about using Balboa as a launching site for Boku and that’s part of what I want to do [help people get started]. Collaboratively, we’re gonna start working on more events. The other side of it is I’m gonna help him with marketing and we’re gonna see how that develops.

As far as Huy, he’s been an old friend in the industry. He loves to cook. He’s got a passion for dim sum and Asian cuisine. He’s always excited to get his hands dirty and with these kinds of casual events, I really find it better to bring in multiple culinary minds. It’s a lot of fun.

As a chef, what is the creative impact then of working with other people?

You’re getting the sum knowledge of an entire person’s lifetime with food when you bring in another mind. I myself learn things and my guests get to experience a broad range of culinary identities. I was speaking to one of the guests last night and he said he could actually tell the difference between the three styles of cooking. Even though Ryan did one dish, there’s still three distinctive—or so I’m told. I enjoyed it. I think it’s fun collaborating with people.

In addition to the casual series, you have the fine dining collaboration series where it’s just you and another chef. Have you done one of those yet? 

Besides the three casual events, I did one collaboration dinner with my chef and mentor Hari Cameron from a(MUSE) in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. So we did a 9 course tasting dinner. Our next one is on Cinco de Mayo with Yehuda [Sichel] from Abe Fisher.

 

So, for each event you’ve had a different collaborator?

I haven’t done a solo culinary event out of the house yet. Each time, I partner with someone. So, the Sinful Feasts series with Landmark and Art In The Age—that’s always me. When I go to a farm, that’s usually me. But at the house, I want that to be about collaboration.

 

After the dinner with Yehuda Sichel, you’re doing a dinner with Christopher Kearse. Have you known them both for awhile?

Chris Kearse, I’ve known peripherally just through growing up in the Philadelphia food scene. He’s always been that name that just stands out as an amazing chef. Jocelyn [Garfinkel’s fiancé] sold meat to him [through Debragga & Spitler]. I went to dinner there [Will BYOB] for our anniversary. I talked to him about the space and he was very into it. When I asked him if he would like to do a dinner, he said he’d be happy to, which I was very excited about.

 

When was that?

That was almost two months ago and we actually have to sit down in the next few days and plan the menu. But Yehuda was a friend of Jocelyn’s through her work. He was happy to do—actually he was the only chef to say he wanted to do the competitive version of it. So, we’re doing a heads up battle. I love competition, so I’m happy to do that.

How is the battle going down?

For the heads up battle, we each have four or five courses. I let Yehuda choose the theme for the battle and I was surprised when he said Mexico. He apparently has a lot of passion and creative drive coming from that cuisine, and I’m very excited to see what he brings. I lived in Spain for a year, so I’m very familiar with Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines, so I’ll try those flavors in a few directions and give it a Mexican twist. We’ll have Kelly Pipich from Shake Mixology DNA. She is starting to partner with us for our events to do drink pairings. We’re hoping to launch a few more alcohol sponsors, including a tequila partnership.

It’s both to keep the price down and it’s a savvy way for some of these brands to market themselves.

Yea, exactly. We sell ourselves as an extremely high end catering service. When we try to do partnerships, it’s very easy to attract companies that want to align themselves with a high end brand. There’s Rival Bros. Coffee, which I think is a fantastic product. I use it at the house. I want to support what they’re doing. ReAnimator is another great local company that is working with Felt+Fat [on a fundraiser for them; Reanimator has also bought plate ware from them]. Felt+Fat just launched their Kickstarter. They make plates and kitchen serving pieces.

 

What about you and Christopher Kearse? What are the two of you going to do?

We’re looking to do the most creative, avant-garde tasting menu that we can put together, between his lofty ideas and his dream journal and mine. We want to push whatever boundaries we can push. My own personal style of cooking fits his. We go local, we go seasonal and we let the food speak for us. So hopefully we come up with some pretty fun ideas.

Tell me about the dream journal.

I don’t know if every chef has it. All interesting ideas that I don’t get to carry out or write down somewhere. He has—I’m calling it a dream journal—but all the cool culinary tricks…you have a million ideas weekly and you’re not gonna execute them all.

That really ties into some of the things I really liked from yesterday. I don’t think a dim sum place outside of Chinatown would be serving up braised chicken feet, salt and pepper duck feet and…what was the other dish?

There was the pig ear salad which you loved.

I did. I took some of that home.

[Referring to his fiancé]. She wouldn’t eat it.

You had three things right there that some people would be like, no way.

When you have ten items on the menu and we do a tasting menu, you can push the boundaries because if, on any one dish, if I have enough components and there might be one thing you’ve never tried or you don’t like it, but the rest of the dish kills it, you’re going away with a positive memory of that dish. There might be a few things this person doesn’t like, but overall, if there are so many more positive things, you don’t remember the negative things. If you have a less than average experience, you’re gonna nitpick on all the things you don’t like. But, if it’s a positive experience, you’ll get away with a lot. If I want to serve frog’s feet, I’ll kill with seven dishes that I know people are gonna go crazy over. And then maybe I’ll turn a few people over to frog’s feet.

But you’re also bringing in people who are easier to please.

I want to target foodies or foodie wannabes, or people who want to have a culinary adventure. While sometimes I stay with safer flavor combinations or techniques that I know will please the group, I try to push boundaries here and there. I think it’s key to know just how far to push the boundaries. If it was just me doing this dinner, it would have been feet and offal. By bringing in three chefs, three minds, you’re getting a declarative experience that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. I probably wouldn’t have done that type of feet because I don’t think I can sell chicken feet to a crowd. That’s an example of Huy bringing depth to the game.

Huy told me that he’s always been a bartender and he loves cooking.

Yeah, he’s an amateur chef.

What’s Ryan’s background in cooking?

He never went to school and he never worked as a chef in a kitchen but he loves cooking, he’s loves food and he’s done a lot of reading. With Youtube and the internet today, it’s not hard for someone who loves it to learn.

 

My impression was that everyone back there had a load of experience because everything came out flawlessly executed. Besides that you were pushing it with feet and ears, there was amazing flavors all across the board.

Thank you. A, we’re blessed with a great kitchen space for that crowd. Huy’s got good enough experience. He knows how to turn out food. How to properly sear or cook something. I guess Ryan has the least service experience, but wants to learn and he’s very enthusiastic and passionate. With a three person team last night, we killed it. Everything came out in a very timely manner. We should have said, raise your hands when you can’t eat anymore. Is it too much food? Just say stop. Dim sum is about eating until you’re happy.

 

What about preparation. How much time did you guys spend working on the menu?

We talked about the menu. I said, what do you want to do. He [Ryan] said, I want to do my [pork bao] buns. Awesome, great, you got it. I said to Huy, what do you want to do.He had a list of like ten things. I was like, ok, we have to tone it back. I came up with my list of ten things and we tweaked it. We took four things from him and five things from me and we had a well-rounded menu. There was so much food, you guys didn’t even get two of the courses.

 

 

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