Fun With Vegetables: Brass Heart and the Challenges of the Vegan Tasting Menu

Fun With Vegetables: Brass Heart and the Challenges of the Vegan Tasting Menu

Fun With Vegetables: Brass Heart and the Challenges of the Vegan Tasting Menu February 4, 2019 Uptown Pumpkin/Photo: David Hammond
The food at vegetarian restaurants was once drab and brown, with lots of grains and cheese, a clearly non-vegetable product, but more importantly, at least to the chefs who put the plates together, non-meat.
For a vegan menu, being non-meat is not enough. Nothing on the menu can be of animal origin. And that’s the kind of vegan menu Brass Heart has presented since opening late last year in Uptown. We asked Chef Matt Kerney, formerly of Michelin-starred Longman & Eagle, about the challenges of preparing an all-vegan menu.
“The hardest part of the vegan menu was definitely trying to create a cohesive menu that wasn’t stacked with hydrocolloids [thickening agents like starch, guar gum and pectin],” Kerney says, “and I didn’t want to do a menu with meat substitutes, like seitan and tofu. But making sure to just not put vegetables on a plate was difficult, because there’s only so much manipulation you can do before you end up with something that requires a hydrocolloid to hold it together.
“It all requires a much more delicate hand, and much more thought, because all the flavors you use are harder to convey. You find yourself sorting out where you will be getting fat from. Simply throwing olive oil on everything is a bit redundant. We get much of our fat from root vegetables with high fat content.”
You have to imagine that developing a vegan menu would involve a lot of trial-and-error… maybe mostly a lot of error. “We definitely had some big blunders that we still laugh about to this day. We tried to work with a dehydrated watermelon, which ended up coming out texturally like meat. While at first, we were excited, upon tasting the dehydrated watermelon we were horrified by the texture and flavor. While it did sear like meat, it also tasted nothing like it,” he says. “While working on making some vegetable leathers, we found out that vegetables that go through excessive dehydration have the strength of a plastic rain coat. After working on the recipe for a while, we found the pleasant and tasty texture we were looking for. But the first test run was concerning.”
At Munch , a vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Oak Park, we had a “pulled pork” sandwich a few years ago made of jackfruit. It didn’t taste like pork, so we asked the owner, Robin O’Hara, why she even bothered to call a non-meat dish “pulled pork.” Why not appreciate the vegetable for what it is and call it what it is, rather than suggest it might approximate the flavor and texture of meat? O’Hara responded reasonably that she wanted “to give customers an idea of what it’s going to taste like.” This is a standard strategy for those who offer vegetarian alternatives to meat, including Tofurky, Soysage and “vegetarian bacon.” Chef Matt Kerney/Photo: Jesse Lirola
Kerney, however, isn’t trying to approximate a meaty texture “as much as heartiness and soulfulness. Making the vegan menu required me to think differently, because I didn’t want substitutes, I didn’t want the vegan version trying to be meat. If a vegan wanted meat, they would eat meat. A vegan diner is looking for an interesting and fun new way to see their favorite vegetables. Much of current vegan food is trying to trick people into thinking they’re eating meat. We sought to serve them vegetables, in a fun way, not in a way that was like something they had seen before.”
We had the vegan and the omnivore menu, side-by-side at a recent dinner at Brass Heart. For the first course, called Pumpkin, the vegan menu version was more pleasing than the omnivore menu version, which contains animal products. Pumpkin is a pumpkin panna cotta, made with the squash, coconut milk, maple syrup and gar, topped with a pumpkin chip of whole wheat flour and aquafaba (the juice of fava beans) and a gel of maple syrup, vinegar and agar agar. The vegan version was topped with finger limes, which look like the caviar used on the omnivore version. In this case, the caviar, though delicious, seemed to overwhelm the other, more laidback flavors. The finger limes, on the other hand, provided a pleasingly astringent accent to the sweetness. First round was a vegan victory.
We had the wine pairings with both menus and it was surprising that for some courses, the same wine was served for both menus. “Our vegan menu is paired with the same approach as our omnivore menu,” sommelier Sarah Traynor says. “There are flavor profiles that are classic pairings, such as sweet with spice or acid with fat. You don’t, however, necessarily need a more aggressive wine with a meat. Wine pairings that are successful—truly harmonious pairings—enhance the entirety of a dish. This is why there can be crossover from the vegan to omnivore pairings. Our chefs have designed the courses to leave our guests with a feeling of a shared experience.” Gatherer’s Stew/Photo: David Hammond
A personal favorite of the evening was The Gatherer’s Stew, which Kerney explains is a play on the Hunter’s Stew, and contains “all the things you would find in a base of boeuf bourguignon. The base is a heavily roasted vegetable stock fortified with mushroom. We caramelize vegetables very hard in the pan with tomato paste and flour, then we deglaze with red wine and add mushroom stock and more mushroom trimmings. We cook it for one hour and then pass it through a fine chinois [sieve]. I’d say the dish that best exemplifies the ideals of what we are shooting for is the Gatherer’s Stew. I have a deep love for classic French cuisine, and I thought hard about the idea that vegans probably never get to experience classic French technique because of the emphasis on butter and animal product. Vegans constantly can eat a lot of Indian and different ethnic cuisines that are classically vegan or vegetarian, but trying to serve them a known cuisine that typically shuns their ideals seemed like a challenge.”
It was a challenge that worked well: the broth for the Gatherer’s Stew was a favorite of the evening.
The last course for the vegan menu was celery root, potato and truffle. For the omnivore menu, it was Kobe beef. Our diner who ordered the vegan menu reached across the table for the beef, and the one with the omnivore menu swiftly snatched the vegetables. Brilliant conclusion: most of us probably prefer to eat vegetables AND meat.
Brass Heart is not the first fine-dining restaurant to serve a vegan menu, but at $85, Brass Heart’s vegan menu may be the highest-value vegan menu around.
Brass Heart, 4662 North Broadway, (773)564-9680, brassheartrestaurant.com David Hammond
Dining and Drinking Editor for Newcity , David also writes a weekly food column for Wednesday Journal in Oak Park and is a frequent contributor of food/drink and travel pieces to the Chicago Tribune , Plate Magazine and other publications. David has also contributed chapters to several books, including Street Food Around the World , Street Food , and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia . Contact: Related

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Reveling In Old-World Charm At Kwality…

A place where Delhi first learned how to dine is now all set to return, hoping to bring back traditions such as delicious and authentic fuss-free food, a dress code, foreign brass bands, formal high teas, and midnight dances.
I am referring to Kwality, New Delhi’s single oldest restaurant that has been standing strong in Connaught Place for the last 80 years. Having opened in 1940 by the legendary owner PL Lamba, during the pre-independence time. Kwality has had the rare privilege of laying the foundation stone of India’s post-independence food landscape, introducing Indians to the delights of ice-cream, hotels, and fine dining.
The past Republic Day weekend, I had the pleasure of dining at Kwality, of course, it is the perfect time to revel in some national nostalgia, albeit through the culinary route.
Being pioneers of Anglo-Indian cuisine, the menu at Kwality features a selection of Indian and Continental delicacies, with the ambiance exuding unmatched old-world charm, complemented by polite and attentive service.
The service style is presented with bespoke crockery and cutlery from Villeroy & Boch, Germany, and a painstakingly curated silver service.
Designed by Mandira Lamba with the touch of Manuu Mansheet, the interiors reek of historical authenticity. Behind a heavy velvet curtain entrance, one is immediately transported into a time warp with original period furniture, a piano lounge and a typical maharajah style polo bar littered with original antiques.
There are almost seventy original photographs of CP by the famous photographer Madan Mahatta on the walls, spanning over the period of 40 years and have captured the essence of the grand Connaught Place and lifestyles post-independence where strong colonial influences can be seen.
Coming to the gastronomic excellence that is plated with a smile at Kwality…
Beverages:
Kwality Shikanji is one of the in-house specialties, a homemade concoction that refreshes the palate.
Oolong Kangra is one of the warm brews that feature on the high-tea menu at Kwality, a blend straight from the tea estate at Kangra Valley! 🙂
Appetizers:
Dahi Ke Kebab were appetizing, melt-in-mouth morsels of hung curd complemented by pomegranate and cashew.
Shakargand Ramadana Tikki was a crisp and flavorful preparation of sweet potato and amaranth, one of the unique delicacies on the menu.
Palak Patta Chaat is one of the quintessential and popular street foods in Delhi and its preparation at Kwality was a vibrant and delicious one.
Stuffed Tandoori Mushroom Tikka had button mushrooms enveloping a creamy mix of khoya and dry fruits, which was delightful.
Paneer Boti Tikka was an elaborate preparation off the grill, with the smoked charcoal flavor balancing the creaminess of cottage cheese.
Kashmiri Paneer Kebab was grilled to perfection with the nuttiness of dry fruits.
Khijiya Papad is one of the in-house special accompaniments to an Indian meal when dining at Kwality.
Soups:
Minestrone and French Onion are two of the classic English preparations and both were presented with finesse, and the classic flavors intact.
Main Course:
Grilled Fish is a classic continental preparation that had soft river sole fillets served with a side of grilled veggies and lemon butter sauce.
Desserts:
Kwality Special Pudding
Parsi Dairy Kulfi
Tutti Frutti
Bread and Butter Pudding
All in all, a meal at Kwality resembled warping to the bygone era in the heart of Delhi. 🙂

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Noshe Djan: Afghan Food & Cookery

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Situated at the crossroads of four major regions-the Middle East, Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East-Afghanistan has survived centuries of invasions, whether military, cultural or culinary. Its hearty cuisine includes a tempting variety of offerings: lamb, pasta, chickpeas, rice pilafs, flat breads, kebabs, spinach, okra, lentils, yogurt, pastries and delicious teas, all flavored with delicate spices, are staple ingredients. This cookbook includes over 100 recipes, all adapted for the North American kitchen, for favorites like "Mantu" (Pasta filled with Meat and Onion), "Shinwari Kebab" (Lamb Chops Kebab), and "Qabili Pilau" (Yellow Rice with Carrots and Raisins). The author’s informative introduction describes traditional Afghan holidays, festivals and celebrations. Also included is a section entitled "The Afghan Kitchen," which provides essentials about cooking utensils, spices, ingredients and methods.

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One of the most influential and powerful endorsements for plant-based diets by the Lancelot Medical Journal to save the planet and feed the earth’s population. Yes, we’re on the right track!
Seven dietary changes to protect your health – and the planet
Consider a diet that can prolong your life and, at the same time, feed a growing global population without causing further damage to the environment.
That’s just what 37 scientists from 16 countries (the EAT-Lancet Commission) did for two years. Their findings resulted in recommendations for a healthy diet that can feed the world’s population from sustainable food systems and were published on Thursday in the medical journal The Lancet.
They recognize that food production needs to nourish human health and support environmental sustainability; currently, our food systems are threatening both. Strong evidence indicates that livestock farming is one of the biggest drivers of climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, water use and chemical pollution.
The “planetary-health diet,” largely plant-based and low in red meat and sugar, is estimated to feed 10 billion people by 2050 from sustainable food systems. The researchers also believe it will prevent 11 million premature deaths a year caused by an unhealthy diet.
WHAT’S IN THE DIET?
Daily protein comes mostly from plants including beans, lentils, soy and nuts. Whole grains, not refined, are included, and fruits and vegetables fill half of your plate at meals.
The recommended 2,500-calorie diet doesn’t completely eliminate animal foods. It can include, each day, one half-ounce of red meat, one ounce each of fish and poultry and one cup of milk or yogurt. One to five eggs can be eaten a week.
Plant-based oils are substituted for animal fats and added sugars are limited to 31 g a day, in line with the WHO recommendation for sweeteners.
IS IT FEASIBLE?
The planetary-health diet is a huge shift from the way we eat. But eating this way isn’t completely foreign.
The traditional Mediterranean diet of the early 1960s was largely plant-based and contained only 35 g of red meat and poultry combined each day. Many traditional diets (e.g., West Africa, India, Mexico and parts of Asia) contain lots of plant protein and little meat or dairy.
Some people, though, feel that achieving this global diet isn’t feasible.
Not today; that’s for sure. Reaching these dietary targets by 2050, the EAT-Lancet Commission points out, will require policies that encourage healthier food choices, agriculture sustainability, stricter rules around governing of land and oceans and reducing food waste.
TRANSITIONING TO A SUSTAINABLE DIET AT HOME
In the meantime, there are small steps you can take on an individual level to move toward the planetary-health diet.
Replace meat with pulses. Substitute cooked brown or green lentils for half of the ground meat in meatloaf, meatballs, burgers, shepherd’s pie, stuffed peppers and marinara sauces.
Replace some of the meat in tacos and burritos with black beans or pinto beans. Reduce the amount of meat in chili and add extra kidney beans or chickpeas. Eventually, replace all of the meat with beans or lentils.
Replace cheese in sandwiches with hummus.
Use nuts to replace meat. Add almonds or cashews to a vegetable stir-fry instead of beef or chicken. For lunch, have a nut-butter sandwich instead of ham or turkey.
Boost plant protein at meals by tossing toasted nuts or pumpkins seeds into greens salads.
Set a target. Determine how many meatless meals you’ll eat each week and then build on that. Vegetarian chili, tofu stir-fry, salad with edamame, bean burgers, chickpea curry and lentil soup are protein- and nutrient-packed lunches and dinners.
Include plant-based breakfasts, too. Try a smoothie made with fruit, greens and soy or pea milk, whole grain toast with almond butter, oatmeal topped with nuts and berries, quinoa or millet porridge or scrambled tofu.
Pack in produce. Eat a mix of fruits and vegetables, at least five servings a day (one serving is one-half cup of cooked or raw vegetables, a half-cup of berries or one medium fruit). One-half of each meal should consist of these foods.
Consider your snacks. Making snacks 100-per-cent plant-based is an easy step to take. Choose fruit and nuts, homemade trail mix, vegetables and hummus, whole grain crackers with nut butter, soy/pea milk smoothies or soy lattes.
Rethink restaurants. You’ll find a variety of plant-based options at restaurants that specialize in ethnic cuisines such as Indian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Japanese and Chinese.
Or, pick a plant-based restaurant near you and when travelling.
Reduce food waste. Shop for, store and repurpose foods to minimize waste at home. Avoid buying in bulk; purchase only what you need whenever possible.
Buy “ugly produce,” misshapen fruits and vegetables often thrown away by farmers and grocery stores. Use vegetable scraps to make soup stock.
Store leftovers at the front of the fridge so you don’t forget them; eat within three or four days.
sauce https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life…_Ppz3dDaAe3buE F*ck Cancer
Eat your veggies

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Featuring the Best Las Vegas Restaurants in 2019

Best las vegas restaurants Featuring the Best Las Vegas Restaurants in 2019
As the Strip grew and expanded at all levels, so did its culinary scene. It all began with buffets and simple dinners. Some spots still worth tourist attention because of their history. Otherwise, hunt for exquisite experience brought on by celebrity chefs and sommeliers.
The selection is so wide that you might want another visit only to attend restaurants in Las Vegas that you missed your previous visit.
Eat out on any budget and choose among your favorite dishes. Chances are, you will find any place at a walking distance. The most popular options include: Italian Mexican Indian
You can also search for the best Las Vegas restaurants to eat pizza, sushi, and steaks. Italian restaurants Las Vegas – Rich Mediterranean Options
Italian cuisine is introduced by the 2 pearls at Bellagio hotel – Picasso and Lago by Julian Serrano. Picasso
Picasso appears as a more classic Mediterranean restaurant. With the intention of eating Italian, you might be seduced by Spanish and French influences in the interior and on the menu. Head for a somewhat quiet and composed dinner.
Restaurant deserved its 2 Michelin stars for servings that seem to reflect the original works of Picasso surrounding visitors. Try seafood and truffles accompanied by French wines. The earthy taste of Spanish wine will be a good choice to go with Colorado lamb dishes. Lago
Lago offers a modern atmosphere. We suggest reserving a table in advance with a view of Bellagio’s fascinating fountain. A romantic place to enjoy impressive cocktails created by Ricardo Murcia.
We suggest going for the small plates to taste more. Combination of fresh seafood with the sides and drinks make the whole experience beyond worthwhile.
Prices at both restaurants are considered to be average for Las Vegas. If you are in favor of Mediterranean, try Rivea. Another romantic place to visit at sunset. Apart from appetizing servings, the view from the 64th floor will induce a relaxing atmosphere. Asian Delight through Luxurious Minimalism
Chinese Kitchen in Las Vegas is represented by the famous Wing Lei. It is among the Michelin star restaurants Las Vegas boasts. Every dish here calls for a celebration. It looks beautiful, tastes delicious and costs relatively average for the restaurants Las Vegas has. Order Imperial Peking duck followed by signature must-try cocktails.
Always wanted to try Japanese fish? You can do so in a small but elegant Kabuto. Sake selection has hints for you as to which one to pair with your Tokyo fish. For more visual atmosphere go to Nobu. Here Japanese cuisine goes with a pinch of Peruvian influence. The drink menu also has both Japanese and Peruvian options.
Prices are considered to be average. In case you feel like spending, order table at Mizumi among the best restaurants in Las Vegas. Magical red and gold setting with koi pond accompanied by world prized dishes, masterpiece cocktails, and classy service. Mexican Food to Make Feel Like Home
Looking for simple dishes with friendly prices? Visit Juan’s Flaming Fajitas & Cantina. Simple servings of the food make up for relaxed dinner environment. Nothing fancy and the customers love it.
Otherwise, Lorena Garcia established a place called Chica. It righteously reserves a spot within the best restaurants Las Vegas list. Beyond satisfying Latin cuisine with delicious cocktails. Vegan Restaurants Las Vegas Takes Pride In
Le Pho combines smart prices, fun interior, freshest products, and attentive service. Despite classic pho containing meat, there are various vegan options to leave the table full on favorite veggies offered in gourmet dishes.
Vegetation offers a relaxed atmosphere and great selection of vegan and gluten-free options any time of day. Gordon Ramsey’s Stardom of Las Vegas Restaurants
There are a whole 5 of them. Gordon Ramsay restaurants Las Vegas offer great cuisine, perfect drinks, and full-on vacation mode. Winning at Caesars Palace
Staying at Caesars Place or anywhere near visit famous Hell’s Kitchen with a lively vibe. Cuisine needs no introduction. Reservations are packed, so if you plan to get in arrange in advance. Pub and Grill offer a pricey choice on its menu, but a calmer atmosphere at dinner time. The place gets packed with a loud crowd at night. Gordon Ramsey Steak at Paris Las Vegas
Varied menu with fish options among meat selection. Fine drinks for good companies stir the atmosphere that feels like a busy party. You will have to make a reservation if you plan to join. BurGR at Planet Hollywood
These burgers and dawgs pack delicious flavors. To bring the price down, visitors suggest splitting a single dish between two people. Fish and Chips in the Linq
A snack station perfects to grab a bite and avoid intense environment. Flavors and standards of food preparation are of course more than random take away. Why Should You Visit Cosmopolitan?
Another winning position is staying here. The experience offered by Cosmopolitan Las Vegas restaurants is one-of-a-kind, there you can find over 10 options varying from luxurious places to relaxed diners or busy bars.
Famous Blue Ribbon, District: Donats, Estiatorio Milos are all located here. There are Chinese, Mexican and traditional American options with places dedicated solely to desserts or drinks. The variety seduces tourists for numerous comebacks.
If you’re going not to only eat in Vegas, choose a show to your liking at Best-Vegas !

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Lucky Chow | KCET

Lucky Chow Lucky Chow
This episode explores how cultures collide when trends meet traditions. Mister Softee taken over by the Chinese government; Brooklyn Brewery is using Japanese hops from Jeju Island; the Fung Bros visits a New Yorker who is reinventing the Shanghainese soup dumpling. Become a Member and support this KCET program. Airdates Bay Area’s Pacific Rim Cuisine
This episode introduces Olivia Wu, designer of the original Asian restaurant concepts on Google’s “campus.” Go behind-the-scenes at Google’s first sit-down restaurant, as the assembly line churns out 2, 000 servings of the Indian fried rice dish, biryani. A visit to Google’s purveyors showcases the ethos of the Bay Area food culture – local, seasonable and sustainable. After a career in Silicon Valley, two retired Japanese executives returned to their ancestral farming roots and constructed an indoor vertical farm which services some of the top restaurants in the Bay Area. 2019-02-03T02:00:00-08:00

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Angela Davis The Kitchenista Interview Feb. 2018 Food

Angela Davis The Kitchenista Interview Feb. 2018 Chef Angela Davis on Switching Gears, Starting Small, and Finding Her Footing Through Food February 2, 2019 by Britt Stephens 227 Shares
Following Angela Davis on Twitter is such a joy. No, I’m not talking about iconic political activist Angela Davis (who, to my knowledge, does not have a social media account) but an equally courageous, self-assured black woman who happens to share the same name. This Angela is a self-taught cook, private chef, food blogger, and author who tweets from @TheKitchenista . She is a 35-year-old mom of two — her son, Jaden, is 14, and her daughter, Raven, is 3 — who has a specialty in comfort food and frequently communicates with her followers about everything from recipes and kitchen techniques to motherhood and the news of the day. She does so with a sense of humor and laid-back, cool-girl attitude; she’s your best girlfriend who helps you stock a perfect pantry while you talk about Insecure , intersectional feminism, and the best way to cook ribs.
Angela Davis’s story is one that many young women can likely relate to. Many young women work a 9-to-5 job that doesn’t quite satisfy them and try to develop a way to fulfill their passions on the side. Some even end up quitting or getting let go from those dissatisfying jobs and are faced head-on with the decision to either find another one or finally figure out a way to turn their hobbies and obsessions into a real business. Davis knows this internal struggle quite well.
Before pursuing a culinary career, Davis was a full-time accountant in the construction industry, and her blog, The Kitchenista Diaries , was something she was doing in her spare time. The transition happened “out of necessity.” “I was pregnant with my daughter and had to move back home and lost my job — kind of all at the same time,” she told me over the phone from her home in Virginia. “I had a little bit of a network built up at that point; I had some opportunities to cook for a few people in person, and around that time I started selling recipes and e-books online.” Davis did whatever she could to make a little bit of extra money and was also doing a lot of self-reflection. “I began realizing that I was actually happier standing in the kitchen all day than I was sitting at a desk,” she told me.
Being out of work was difficult on its own, but Davis recognized that being pregnant was going to make it harder to find another desk job, even if she wanted one. “It was like I had nothing to lose,” she said. “All of these [cooking] opportunities were within reach, and I went for it. Once you have one win, it encourages you to keep going.” The baby steps made her feel even more confident, and she began seeing the potential for success. The best part was that it was happening publicly and other people were able to see her brand. “It just kind of grew organically,” Davis said. What started as a side hustle is now a full-fledged business: Davis has two online cookbooks — a holiday recipe collection and an appetizer handbook — for sale on her site, and when she’s not testing recipes and photographing her dishes, she’s catering events under the Kitchenista brand.
“When I first started doing this, it was more of a personal goal to learn how to cook better, and I didn’t even know at that time that along this journey it would become a career,” she said. “As I got into it, teaching other people how to cook and encouraging them to kind of adopt that lifestyle at home became more of my platform.” Food is personal, and once you realize that you are actually having an impact on somebody’s day-to-day life — teaching them how to cook for themselves and their loved ones — it can be intoxicating. What Davis loves most about connecting with her followers through social media is the immediate feedback. “I like Twitter the most because of the interaction. It’s fast-paced; as soon as you post something, you can have a conversation about it. I tend to kind of gravitate toward those conversations vs. some of the other channels,” she told me.
Davis gets the most social media interactions on weekends — “When everybody’s sharing Sunday dinner” — and says she hears “the most heartfelt stories around the holidays.” “I’ve had followers share with me that they hadn’t cooked since a parent or grandparent died, and my [recipes] helped inspire them to get in the kitchen again and revive those traditions. There are women who have shared that they’ve used my recipes to work through depression or anxiety — something I can relate to personally,” she said.
And apparently Davis’s buttermilk biscuits have led to a full stomach in more ways than one. “Quite a few women [on Twitter] have joked that they got pregnant after making the buttermilk biscuits. It’s a long-running urban legend at this point,” she told me. “When I was the one who became pregnant [with my daughter], the Twitter timeline lovingly nicknamed her Biscuit before she was born. The name stuck! It’s been cool sharing those connections over the years.”
Seeing her mentions blow up with photos of her dishes on strangers’ tables lets Davis know just how big of an impact she’s making. “It’s just amazing that so many people are cooking more at home, and they tell me that they weren’t doing that before,” she said. “It feels really good; it starts to feel like you’re part of one big family and not just out here blogging to empty space.”
Angela Davis’s aformentioned pregnancy biscuits.
As someone whose recipe knowledge ranges from “stuff my mom taught growing up” to “stuff I see on Pinterest,” I’m always fascinated by how chefs find their niche in the kitchen. In her own cooking, Davis gravitates toward Southern soul food but is “always looking for ways to amplify.” She will often incorporate ingredients or seasonings from other ethnic cuisines (Haitian, Portuguese, and Indian fusions are popular on her site) and interpret the idea with a twist, like making tacos with Nigerian beef suya or wrapping curry-flavored chicken salad in collard greens .
“I start with one thing that I’m really familiar with, and then it’s just [about] making a few small tweaks: maybe I switch up the spice blend or maybe instead of potatoes I’m going to use yuca or manioc ,” Davis said, adding that she tends to “make things traditionally the first time” and from there her recipes begin to shift in another direction. “My mind just starts getting creative [and thinking], ‘How can I make this mine?'” she said. Sometimes she changes the ingredients; other times it’s just the technique. “A lot of times you have something [your] family has always made, but they weren’t necessarily the kind of cook that was really precise about technique,” she noted. “It’s usually about refining that process and getting results that still feel familiar but unique [to you].”
For instance, Davis recently began testing recipes with a sous vide calculator , a tool that allows you to cook food in vacuum-sealed bags placed in a temperature-controlled water bath. The technique promises juicy, perfectly cooked meat (and eggs) with no guessing games of how “done” it is. “I like to know what I’m talking about before I present any recipes because people start to rely on me and ask a lot of questions. And I don’t want to feel like I have to look things up,” she said with a laugh. “[Sous vide] is a fairly new technique for me, but I’ve gotten comfortable with things like steaks. I do a lot of pork tenderloin, and I’ve also done ribs.”
As a black chef, does Davis feel a responsibility to make sure her work gives voice to and celebrates black traditions? “I feel strongly that the black experience isn’t monolithic,” she told me. “My mother’s family is Cape Verdean, so I didn’t grow up only eating traditional Southern soul food. When I started cooking, I felt self-conscious about that because feedback sometimes led me to believe that as a black American I was expected to be cooking a certain type of food. Stewed chicken and manioc, Portuguese kale soup, and jagacida [a Cape Verdean rice-and-beans dish] have an equal place in my heart to a plate of fried chicken, mac and cheese, and collard greens.”
Image Source: A few of Davis’s delicious dishes.
Davis cites Mexican, German, West Indian, and Nigerian cuisines as those that have made a big mark on her. “The ingredients I choose, the techniques I use to prepare food, and the way I season my dishes are a reflection of my background,” she said. “It’s a unique perspective, and I’m OK with showcasing that. My approach to cooking is to allow all of these diverse influences to shape my ideas and point of view. I’m having fun, and my food is always going to be from the point of view of a black woman because that’s who I am.”
Davis makes a point of celebrating a variety of black cuisines across the diaspora and highlighting the many ways that our food traditions are connected. “[There are] so many ways that our food traditions are connected,” she said, telling me that food has given her the motivation to not only re-create the dishes that her grandparents and great-grandparents used to cook in Massachusetts, Virginia, and North Carolina, but to also find out what regions of Africa her family’s history traces back to. “Eventually, I think I’ll arrive at a place that feels authentic, that speaks to something even more personal,” she said. “I’ve barely scratched the surface, and I’m really excited to continue sharing that process of self-discovery as a black cook.” “Cooking is so personal. There are so many different ways of going about it, and ultimately it has to feel right to you.” ADVERTISEMENT
Davis says she relishes in learning new things — and as a self-taught chef, it’s especially important to stay creatively open. “Cooking is so personal,” she said. “There are so many different ways of going about it, and ultimately it has to feel right to you. I’m more of a hands-on cook.” Davis told me she loves working with her Dutch oven because “it’s really involved in the beginning, and then you put it away for three or four hours.” Getting all the aromas and checking up on it every once in a while makes her feel more involved in the process. She “never got into” using a slow cooker — it just wasn’t part of how she learned to cook while growing up. “I shied away from a lot of those recipes,” she said, adding that sous vide has helped show her a modern way of doing things that she never thought she’d be interested in. “Learning to cook with the pressure cooker is the same way,” she said. “I’ve been using Instant Pot and experimenting with sous vide . . . [but] it’s so hands-off that it was really intimidating to not have those cues to know when things are done.”
I was curious to know what Davis considers the best and worst parts about being an entrepreneur — and a creative one, at that. Most in her field would admit that it’s not an easy road to take, but the pros have a way of outweighing the cons, and Davis acknowledges as much. “Living in my truth and being able to express myself every day is the best part,” she told me. “Having that freedom to change course when something isn’t working . . . I can wake up every day and decide what I want to create and how to shape this bigger picture that I’m working on.” When it comes to a disadvantage, her answer comes equally as quickly: the lack of stability. “I’m still trying to figure out how to build income consistently. There’s no comparison to my freelance income that I had as an accountant. I’m not there yet. So, yes, it’s a little scary. But you just have to accept that those things will start to come together and keep doing the work.” In recent years, it seems like only a handful of prominent black female chefs have been highlighted in modern media.
You’ve likely heard of Tiffany Derry and Carla Hall , who rose to national fame after competing on Top Chef ; Tanya Holland and Ayesha Curry , both Bay Area-based restaurant owners and cookbook authors; and Sunny Anderson , a longtime fixture on the Food Network. Perhaps most well-known is Barbara “B.” Smith , a former model who, though not professionally trained, has over 30 years of experience in the lifestyle industry. I’m willing to bet that most people wouldn’t be able to add to this list without heading to Google, so I was interested to know if Davis, as a black chef, is disappointed by the lack of representation in the media and in the culinary space as a whole. Spoiler alert: she is. And when I asked Davis what challenges she’s faced as a black woman trying to start her own business, she told me that visibility can be particularly tricky.
“It can sometimes feel like my work isn’t taken as seriously or given the same amount of credit as my nonblack peers’,” she said. “It’s hard when you see others being celebrated for lazy or unoriginal content; it starts to feel like, ‘I’ve done ‘X, Y, and Z,’ but I’m still not being recognized, included, or paid as much. What gives?'” Davis is quick to point out that these feelings aren’t unique to food media. “I experienced the same [things] in my former career and in school before that, as so many other black women have. It’s difficult to prove outright, and it feels uncomfortable to address because nobody wants to come off like a victim,” she told me.
“I have taught myself to cook, taught myself food photography, [and] I can pretty much research whatever I want to know about growing a business,” Davis continued. “But none of that replaces networking, being welcomed into professional circles, getting offered lucrative contracts, or access to funding. If you’re a person like me, trying to break into spaces that lack diversity — and let’s be honest here: the food industry is still remarkably white — you’re constantly stepping out on the faith that you will come across people willing to acknowledge your talent and genuinely wanting to open doors for new voices.”
Davis asserts that black cooks and food writers have a unique perspective to offer in this industry, and she wants to see more of them getting the same chances to tell those stories — and, more importantly, getting paid fairly to do so. “All I can do is keep working and pushing for bigger opportunities and believe that it will eventually pay off, despite the deck being stacked against people who look like me,” she said. Despite her frustration, Davis believes that it’s possible to create a new wave of culinary personalities, to build platforms that are “big enough to share so we don’t have to be so concerned with what the mainstream decides to pick up.”
“It’s opened my eyes to the importance of supporting and amplifying other black creatives — specifically black women — because who else will take care of us but us? If there’s a way for me to bring somebody else to my team when I have an event and put a spotlight on what they’re doing, that’s where I sit. We all need each other,” she told me.
Her open and honest approach to bringing others up the ladder with her is refreshing and inspiring, and it served as a natural lead-in to my next question. What guidance would Davis, a woman who has been able to turn her passion into her livelihood and (as we say at POPSUGAR) “find her happy,” give to someone who is considering switching gears in their career, thinking about going to culinary school, or starting a food blog?
“Don’t quit your day job!” Davis said, laughing. She went on to deliver one of the realest pieces of advice I’ve probably ever heard. “I mean, [I know] I did it. I know some people look at my story and want to go down that path . . . it sounds really inspiring to [begin a new] career and become a cook! But it wasn’t that simple, and I’m still kind of struggling to kind of climb out of that [financial] hole.”
She stresses the importance of maintaining your creative side in your free time as much as you can: take jobs on the weekends, stay consistent with blogging, take photos of your work, and generally fine-tune your craft. “I think that’s a more realistic way to blossom and, more importantly, to figure out if it is really something that you want to do,” Davis told me. “There are some realities about working as a chef that I wasn’t prepared for. It’s one thing to cook and blog from home, and it’s quite another to be on your feet for 12 hours a day when you’re cooking for another person or for an event. It’s not for everybody. So I would say, just take your time: explore all of your options, save money if you can, and don’t be afraid to start small.”
Before we wrapped up, I couldn’t help going back to our prior conversation about Dutch ovens, sous vides, and slow cookers. I told Davis that I grew up learning slow-cooker recipes but have only recently become obsessed with using one; I feel like it teaches me patience. “Slow cooking is a good exercise in that for anybody . . . just learning to leave it alone, let it do its thing, and knowing it’s going to come out all right in the end,” she said. I chuckled, recognizing the obvious metaphor for life in her cooking advice — and knowing that she did, too.

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Where To Go Next: 14 Best Places To Travel In The US In 2019

Where: Fort Lauderdale, Florida Chosen By: Sarah Funk is a travel show host and blogger . She is frequently seen on Travel + Leisure and has been to over 40 countries.
Why: Greater Fort Lauderdale is having a modern-day renaissance. The beach town has transformed into a luxurious getaway for the hip and young. Its sandy shores are crowd-free, with swaying palm trees and miles of peaceful beaches like Pompano and Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. Sophisticated hotels such as the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach dot the beaches and new luxury hotels are on the way, including the Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences, slated to open in 2020. Millennials can also find a place they will love at the W Hotel or Plunge Hotel. Fort Lauderdale’s culinary scene is a masterpiece, with upscale eateries serving dishes from around the world and new high-end restaurants continuing to emerge. Have a meal at Valentino Cucina Italiana, Louie Bossi’s or Monkitail and your taste buds will thank you. In addition, the city is riding a wave as a craft-beer destination with 15 nano- and micro-breweries and 32 craft brew pubs easily accessed with the newly created Greater Fort Lauderdale Ale Trail . In June 2018, the area’s first LGBT+ Visitor Center opened in Wilton Manors, a gay-centric district with the destination’s largest concentration of gay residents and businesses. The destination is also gearing up to host the first-ever Pride of the Americas, a festival celebrating the LGBT+ community that includes a human-rights conference focused on Central and South America. Everyone will find something they adore here, from exceptional shopping at Sawgrass Mills to world-class art at Art Fort Lauderdale to a wide selection of museums and outdoor activities. You’ll even find under-the-sea-poker tournaments. Fort Lauderdale is a spot that should be added to everyone’s bucket list.
Just off Santa Fe’s Plaza at the New Mexico Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Travels with Darley
Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Chosen By: Darley Newman is a globe-trotting TV host, writer and producer of Travels with Darley and Emmy Award-winning Equitrekking on PBS and Amazon Prime.
Why: Santa Fe never goes out of style, but with an ever-growing adventure travel scene, a slew of special events and restaurants and spas that nurture the body and soul, it should be on your 2019 travel radar. Authenticity continues to resonate as a hallmark of experiences in Santa Fe, from walking trails once trod by the ancestral Pueblo people to the red chile peppers of Chimayo cooked up at James Beard Award-winning Rancho de Chimayó . In 2019, travelers who like to get active may enjoy joining the 34th annual Santa Fe Century , a spring cycling event open to all levels of riders along the Turquoise Trail, or heading out into the Santa Fe National Forest. Santa Fe’s Margarita and Chocolate Trails are there to replenish you after your adventure vacation.
The skyline of Nashville, Tennessee. Getty
Where: Nashville, Tennessee
Chosen By: Nneya Richards is a speaker and travel blogger at ’N A Perfect Worl d, a curated intersection of travel, food, fashion and geopolitics inspired by the global-citizen lifestyle of the millennial. Nneya aims to empower young people, especially those of color, to travel, as she believes it is through exploring the world that we will bridge cultural gaps and misunderstandings. You can read tips on solo travel from Richards and other travel experts here and get her advice on how to get paid to travel the world here .
Why: Always a Mecca for the music industry, this Tennessee city has been bubbling even more so over the last few years, making a name for itself in not just music, but art, innovation and fashion. This, coupled with the building boom generated by the publishing and healthcare industries, makes Nashville an easy shoe-in for that next hot American city. A bachelor and bachelorette party epicenter, Nashville is no stranger to tourists outside of the music industry, but that Southern hospitality with a twist of rock and roll is attracting a new breed of cool kids with boutique hotels like Dream Hotel , scheduled to open in February 2019, leading the way. Even former Hills and Laguna Beach star, Kristin Cavallari — reality TV junkie, anyone? — has traded in SoCal’s palm trees for the rolling hills of Nashville. Her reality show, Very Cavallari, airing on E! this past summer, takes place in the city. And it’s not just the flashing lights of Lower Broad’s honky-tonks drawing the crowds: Explore cool neighborhoods like Germantown and be sure to stop at Nashville staple, Monell’s , and bring back some biscuits!
Old Linden Hotel in Fort Collins, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Tim O’Hara
Where: Fort Collins, Colorado
Chosen By: Olivia Balsinger has utilized her global perspective to manifest her career as a travel and broadcast journalist. Olivia has visited 96 countries, has been published in multiple international print and online outlets for travel and lifestyle, was honored as InterContinental Group’s Latin America “Journalist of the Year” (2017) and has been a panelist or host for major travel conferences like New York TravFest. She is also a matchmaker/relationship coach and can be seen on Bravo.
Why: Fort Collins, nicknamed FoCo, is a happening new travel destination whose energetic art scene and entrepreneurial spirit makes the hour-long drive from Denver well worth it. I strolled its streets as if it were a movie scene. An invigorating creative spirit permeates its quirky, niche culture and spreads across to the pristine natural landscape that frames the area. FoCo nurtures a large “maker” culture, offering delicious brews that utilize the freshest of local ingredients in hot spots like New Belgium Brewery . It’s also a hip place that continues to grow as a hub for artists and creatives, who value the significance of community as much as the solace of the natural environment. For example, at Farm Fusion , I enjoyed farm-to-table delicacies and learned how they are made with interactive instruction. Similarly, at the newly opened Ginger & Baker , I participated in a demonstration dedicated to spreading the enjoyment of healthy, local food. FoCo is also packed with ample adventure — hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting — within minutes of town.
An outdoor stove at Scribner’s Catskill Lodge. Photo courtesy of Erin Lindsey/Instagram @EscapeBklyn
Where: New York
Who: Erin Lindsey is the creative force behind Escape Brooklyn , a travel resource for New Yorkers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City. A resident of NYC for 10 years, she recently moved to the Catskill Mountains and spends most of her time discovering (and sharing) the best getaways from NYC.
Why: New York City has always been the show-stealer of New York State; and in 2019, as hosts of the World Pride Celebration — along with the expansion of MoMA , the opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum and the unveiling of the new retro-chic TWA Hotel at JFK — that’s not likely to change. But outside the Big Apple, New York’s mid-size cities of Rochester, Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo have all been burgeoning as of late, too. Explore the “crown city” of Buffalo, with its $50 million restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin house , its parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (of Central Park fame) and its wing-centric food scene. Or catch an event at the newly opened National Comedy Center , an hour away in Jamestown. Meanwhile, more rural areas like the Finger Lakes, Adirondacks and Catskills are ripe with newness. Destination hotels, shopping, restaurants, breweries and distilleries are popping up everywhere, which can best be seen 90 miles from New York City in Sullivan County. It’s also the home of Bethel Woods – a.k.a., the site of Woodstock – which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer with tons of events. While visiting the region, don’t miss culinary highlights like The Heron , Northern Farmhouse Pasta or The Kaatskeller . The best lodging can be found in a Red Cottage Inc. luxury vacation rental, at any of the four boutique hotel options from Foster Supply Hospitality or at Scribner’s , a Catskills classic that just reopened after a major overhaul.
Roadhouse Pub & Eatery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of Fine Dining Restaurant Group
Where: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Chosen By: Jenn Rice is a freelance culinary arts and travel writer for digital outlets such as Vogue, Domino, Sunset, Food & Wine, Extra Crispy and more. She spends the majority of her time galavanting around the globe in search of interesting bites and chefs, lesser-known wine regions and up-and-coming cities and destinations.
Why: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has it all — the country’s most applaudable terrain and magnetizing attractions. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort ’s RPK3 is set to be Teton Village’s most happening aprés spot, with craft punch and savory bites. If vino is your jam, the team at Enoteca showcases interesting finds from around the world. During the 2018-19 ski season, the husband-wife duo behind nearby hot spots Streetfood at the Stagecoach and Butter Cafe will open a pop-up coffee shop in the Aspens . Jackson Hole Food & Wine ’s slopeside winter fest (February 28 to March 2) returns with guest chef Richard Blais, local Teton Village chefs and celebrated mixologists, winemakers and tastemakers from near and far. If you’re in town, grab a spicy Mexican hot chocolate from Coco Love , helmed by master chocolatier Oscar Ortega, and peruse local photographer Tuck Fauntleroy’s Waterline series, capturing remote Yellowstone rivers during a precise window of time during spring, at Tayloe Piggott Gallery . Also keep an eye out for pop-ups from Hide Altitude : Their cowhide bags should be on everyone’s must-get list. It will be hard to leave without a stop by Mursell’s Sweet Shop for confectionaries from around the world, MADE for handmade curiosities and Persephone Bakery for a kouign amann . Save room for a meat-filled sandwich from Sweet Cheeks Meats and a few cold ones at the Roadhouse Pub & Eatery — a new gastropub-meets-test kitchen where beer fanatics get the chance to test new brews before anyone else. Where to stay? Featuring artwork by local artist Amy Ringholz, Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole is a solid bet if you’re seeking a snowglobe-like stay and shredding in a pair of the resort’s exclusive Sego skis. Or check out the Anvil Hotel , a hip boutique hotel in the heart of town with a mercantile selling warm-weather goods, spiked hot chocolate libations from New York City’s Death & Co., whiskey tastings, cookie classes with Lady in the Wild West and Glorietta, an Italian trattoria that’s arguably the best eatery in town.
ARTivity on the Green in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Winston-Salem
Where: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Chosen By: Becca Ingle is a local North Carolina native and family travel blogger. She is the founder of BeccaIngle.com , where you can read all her travel guides. Follow her on Instagram (@BeccaIngle).
Why: There is nothing like Southern hospitality, and you will definitely find that in the heart of Winston-Salem. The walkable downtown continues to grow, with more than $1.5 billion invested into downtown revitalization over the last decade. Visitors can enjoy a taste of Winston-Salem, thanks to seven craft breweries in a one-mile radius, more than 80 locally-owned restaurants and cafes (many of which are women-run) and an array of live music venues, eclectic art galleries and innovative cocktail lounges. In 2019 the largest National Black Theatre Festival returns (July 29 to August 3), along with the Academy Award qualifying Riverrun International Film Festival (April 4-14) and the Winston-Salem Open (August 17-24.) The Yadkin Valley Wine Region has more than 45 wineries located both downtown and within 15 minutes to an hour’s drive away. With styles varying from French hybrid and Italian, to North Carolina’s native muscadine, there is a wine for every palate, whether amateur or aficionado. While in town, take a short drive to Divine Llama Vineyards and have a picnic. Make sure to bring a bottle of their “in a heartbeat” wine home — you’ll be craving it. History buffs will appreciate the 250+ years of history that Winston-Salem has to offer, including sites like Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Old Salem Museums & Gardens . Stay at The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel , situated just steps away from all the action. The chic rooms, Art Deco entryway and basement equipped with bowling, basketball and an adult-sized slide will only add to the charm that you’re bound to find in Winston-Salem.
A bartender at The Horse Inn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of Jenn Foster/Premise Studio
Where: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Chosen By: Karen Loftus is a luxury travel, lifestyle and adventure writer. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Architectural Digest, Robb Report and American Way , among others. She is a women’s travel expert and consultant. The once international comedian speaks at conferences and events around the world about the influence of women in businesses and women’s empowerment. She recently launched an all-women’s travel company, Women’s Adventure Travels . Her bespoke adventures celebrate women of distinction and influence and are geared for women with a sense of humor and a sense of adventure.
Why: With close proximity to Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and New York, this hip little city is on the radar of everyone from foodies to families and is perfect for a weekend retreat. New openings are popping up all over the city, alongside the classics. High-end diners will have over 400 wines to chose from at the newly opened Amorette , where the tower of charcuterie is sure to impress. For true Lancaster lure, the Central Market is a must, as the longest continuously running farmer’s market in the U.S. The ethnic diversity in the city is reflected in the stalls, alongside Amish fare. Shot & Bottle , another new outpost in Penn Square, is a top spot celebrating Pennsylvania spirits and craft brews. For cultural bites, head to Queen Street. On the first and second blocks of North Prince Street (also known as Gallery Row), you’ll find the Freiman Stoltzfus gallery and other world-class artists. The 300 block of Queen is lined with chic boutiques, including the newly reopened Telltale Dress — one of the best curated vintage shops you’ll find anywhere. For mid-century modern madness, head to Space’s new space, just off Queen. For a cinematic spin, Zoetropolis ‘s new theater is abuzz, with a restaurant and bar on the horizon. Top off your tour with a classic cocktail and classic ambiance at The Horse Inn . It’s not trying to be a speakeasy. It actually was a speakeasy, horse stalls and all. Chic sleeping can be done around the corner at the Cork Factory Hotel .
The colorful Saguaro Palm Springs in Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Silberman @lindsaysilb/Instagram
Where: Palm Springs, California
Chosen By: Lindsay Silberman is a New York City-based magazine editor and influencer. She covers luxury travel, beauty, and fashion on her blog and on Instagram (@lindsaysilb), where she’s created a community of more than 136,000 followers.
Why: Palm Springs has been a preferred escape for jet setters since the Golden Age of Hollywood, and though the city has preserved much of its Rat Pack-era charm, there’s also plenty of newness happening. Come 2019, the Instagram sensation Desert X — an art show that is, quite literally, in the desert — will return on February 9 and run through April 21, much to the delight of art-lovers and selfie-takers. There’s also a fancy new hotel coming to town: Hyatt’s Andaz is set to open a 150-room property, with bungalow-style suites and two outdoor pools. Meanwhile, many of the classic spots — like the piano bar at Melvyn’s Restaurant , where Frank Sinatra was a regular — remain seemingly frozen in time. I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Photo courtesy of South Dakota Department of Tourism
Where: South Dakota
Chosen By: Katie Jackson is a Montana-based travel writer whose work has been published by The New York Post, USA TODAY, Fox News and The Sunday Times . Cash poor but experience rich, she often flies discount airlines to destinations so far away she spends half of her time jet-lagged. Follow her misadventures on Instagram .
Why: South Dakota unexpectedly blew me away when I road tripped across the country. The wonderfully tacky roadside attractions along I-90, which can easily turn a two-day trip into a week, include the world’s largest corn palace, the world’s largest log chair, a 50-foot-tall Indian woman, upside down firetrucks, a deer made of car parts and a huge fiberglass horse with “Rushmore heads.” Of course, it’s sacrilegious to visit this midwestern Mecca of oddities without seeing Mount Rushmore. Try to time your visit to catch the flag lowering ceremony that takes place around sunset. In July, the Black Hills Roundup will host its 100 th annual rodeo, and in August, the Black Hills are alive with the sound of Sturgis . Also, don’t miss the old western town of Deadwood where Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane are buried. Book a room at Deadwood Mountain Grand , the state’s most luxurious property, and ironically, a former slime plant during the Gold Rush.
The lights of the National Aquarium and Inner Harbor of Baltimore, Maryland, reflected in the waters of the harbor. Getty
Where: Baltimore, Maryland
Chosen By: Laura Itzkowitz is an award-winning freelance journalist who writes for Travel + Leisure , AFAR , Architectural Digest , Vogue , and other publications. Based in Brooklyn, she constantly travels the world covering emerging destinations, luxury accommodations, eye-catching art and design and mouthwatering food and wine.
Why: Like Detroit and Buffalo, Baltimore is one of those underdog cities that’s gotten a bad rap, but seems to be on the brink of a renaissance. Three boutique hotels have opened within the last few years, which — for a city without world-renowned tourist sites — is pretty major. The newest of them — Hotel Revival, a Joie de Vivre Hotel — opened in May in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, where the infamous socialite Wallis Simpson grew up at the turn of the century before marrying Price Edward and becoming the Duchess of Windsor. It’s less than a mile from the 18-room Ivy Hotel , the only Relais & Châteaux property in Maryland, which is housed in a restored 1890s mansion and boasts one of the city’s most lauded restaurants. But perhaps the splashiest opening was the Sagamore Pendry , which opened last year in the 1914 Recreation Pier in Fell’s Point with a chic design, a pool overlooking the harbor, and dining by acclaimed chef Andrew Carmellini. Foodies have plenty to be excited about too, from the new Guiness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House to the many black-owned restaurants like modern soul food favorite Ida B’s Table and the Land of Kush , a beloved vegan spot. I’m excited to visit in a few weeks and see what all the buzz is about.
A view of the St. Michaels Church from Broad St. in Charleston, South Carolina. Getty
Where: Charleston, South Carolina
Chosen by Elisabeth Barker, is a luxury hotel expert at Travelzoo and travel influencer known as “Skirt & a Suitcase.” Follow her on Instagram .
Why: Southern hospitality is at its finest in this coastal town. For centuries, Charleston shaped the country’s history and today forges trends in cuisine, art and hospitality. A recent multimillion-dollar makeover of The Gibbes , the South’s oldest museum building, expanded galleries and unveiled new 3D technology to enhance accessibility for the visually impaired. A perennial on Travel + Leisure ’s World’s Best list, The Vendue completed its final renovation phase in 2018 and future hotel guests can look forward to perusing hallways lined in buyable art, sampling Low Country cuisine and sightseeing from the multitiered rooftop bar overlooking Charleston’s steeple-filled skyline. The small city’s diverse heritage serves up a huge foodie scene including African fare, barbecue and seafood, but next year we will be lining up on East Bay Street to suck down fresh oysters, clams and crab claws when the high-end 167 Raw seafood counter opens its second location. Nonstop service to Charleston from Denver, Baltimore and Houston was introduced this year and in April 2019, British Air’s new nonstop flights from London Heathrow will begin touching down in Charleston, offering the first direct route for English travelers to visit their former colony.
The Estate at Kingsmill, a new private mansion that sits on a bluff overlooking the James River at Virginia’s Kingsmill Resort. Photo courtesy of Kingsmill Resort
Where: Colonial and Greater Williamsburg, Virginia
Who: Charu Suri is a freelance travel writer who regularly contributes to Architectural Digest, The New York Times, WSJ, Robb Report and Sherman’s Travel, among others.
Why: It is going to be a big year for this historic area: 2019 will mark the 400th anniversary of the first representative legislative assembly in the New World, the arrival of the first recorded Africans to English North America, the recruitment of English women in significant numbers and the first official English Thanksgiving in North America. There’s a lot to check out, including Casa Pearl , a new restaurant headed by a female chef, thrill attractions opening at Busch Gardens, a 7,000-square-foot estate rental debuting at Kingsmill Resort , as well as new programs at the Jamestown settlement. The timely exhibit, “Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” opened on November 10 to set the tone for the upcoming year. You’ll also find a fun element to the commemorative events at the Williamsburg Tasting Trail and spas. It’s a destination that is truly family friendly.
Tourists, a new design hotel in the Berkshires. Photo courtesy of Tourists
Where: North Adams and Williamstown, Massachusetts
Who: Christina Pérez is a travel writer who writes about travel, food, style and other worthy pleasures for Vogue, Bazaar, Departures, Elle and other publications. Follow her on Instagram @christinalperez .
Why: Nature lovers and culture fiends have long had plenty of reasons to visit this little corner of the Berkshires: the stunning beauty of the Hoosic Mountain range, the sweeping views from the top of Mount Graylock and the fantastic arts programs of MassMoca and nearby Williams College . But until very recently, there have been surprisingly few lodging options to match the area’s creative vibe. That’s all changed with the opening of Tourists , a design-minded boutique motel offering 48 super chic rooms and a minimalist-rustic aesthetic. And with James Beard Award-winning chef Cortney Burns set to open a locavore restaurant on the premises in 2019, the hotel — and the area in general — is sure to secure a new status as a must-visit foodie destination, too.
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The trouble with our obsession with ‘authentic’ Chinese food – Page 2

Quote: : ↑ Feb 3rd, 2019 11:13 pm The other reason why they don’t consider it authentic is many of these restauranteurs also noticed let’s say, their local market likes sweeter food so they specifically tailored their menu to that knowing that will drive sales. Funny you mention this. My wife’ family from Austria say the Chinese food in Vancouver (at non-Chinese market outlet) is sweeter than in country Austria. That goes with North Americans having more of a sweet tooth that the Europeans (except for the British).
Or they know that Westerners were squeamish about certain ingredients that were available, so substituted it. That means it really isn’t authentic in terms of ‘ohh, that was the only ingredient available so we started using that’. Seen tortillas used in the place of spring roll wraps in Belize. A lot of groceries and (obviously) Chinese restaurants owned by Cantonese (ToiShan?) immigrants. Yes, substitution for reasons you mention is a huge factor.
Sometimes, adaptation to the local market is a good thing. There’s been Chinese emigration (apparently mostly Hakka) to India and the Indian-style Chinese food that came about has become a regional cuisine of its own (at least 2 outlets in the Vancouver area to service the Indian market).
Basically, ‘authentic’ to increasing sales, profit and taking the local market as ‘fools’ in some cases. I wouldn’t say that. Some people do want the dish to be “authentic” so it tastes like it is supposed to. Too many thing dummed down or whatever. Call it something else if you want to, but don’t call a dish something it isn’t. My wife is Austrian by descent and loves her Schnitzel. By (legal) definition in Austria, Weiner Schnitzel has to be made using veal (unless it is explicitly labelled in the name as made from something else such as pork) but you see it everywhere in North America made with pork.
I see a lot of Chinese immigrants where I am opening restaurants that they have no previous exposure to – let alone expertise – and it was because it seemed like a good idea. Brazilian churruscharia, Thai restaurants, Malaysian food (could go on about this but the H.K. Chinese seem pretty easy to fool). This is over the past 30 years and I’ve largely given out going to eat locally – other than at A&W. Almost too cheap to shop through RFD

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Diet-Friendly Indian Wraps – Amy’s Kitchen’s Indian Samosa Wrap is Vegan and Lactose and Nut-Free (TrendHunter.com)

References: amys Amy’s Kitchen is a frozen food brand specializing in health conscious and tasty options like this diet-friendly Indian Samosa Wrap. The sandwich is ideal for on-the-go enjoyment, is conveniently frozen and ready to enjoy in mere minutes. Consisting of organic, spiced potatoes, tofu and peas, the Indian Samosa Wrap boasts ingredients wrapped in a soft-baked wheat tortilla. Targeting consumers adhering to diet restrictions, the frozen wrap is dairy and lactose free and boasts no tree nuts. Additionally, Amy’s Kitchen’s signature samosa wrap is corn-free, vegan-friendly and certified Kosher. While traditional samosa recipes can feature meat ingredients, traces of nuts or dairy, this convenient snack option is a health-conscious alternative. The product follows an authentic recipe that draws inspiration from traditional Indian cuisine and is an affordable and convenient option for those on the go.

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