The Top 10 Most Popular Village Voice Food Stories of 2015
In New York, there's no shortage of dishes and drinks, legendary chefs, and fascinating stories from the kitchens of your favorite eateries. As we count down the hours to 2016 (with a glass of bubbly in hand, natch), here are the tastiest tidbits from the Voice's restaurant coverage in 2015:
10. Luksus Will Take Its Michelin Star Back, No Questions Asked
People swipe stuff from bars all the time. Pint glasses with fancy logos, delicate stemware, Spuds MacKenzie posters, coasters, and self-worth are pocketed every night. Some bars and restaurants screw stuff right onto the walls, but Daniel Burns, chef and partner of Tørst and Luksus , the Scandanavian restaurant and bar in Greenpoint, didn't think he had to take extreme measures when it came to a simple plaque noting a prestigious achievement by his restaurant: the awarding of a Michelin star. Read more about Luksus's missing Michelin star...
9. Two Entrepreneurs Set Out for War-Torn Yemen in Search of a Brew That Could Change Coffee Drinking Forever
The small fishing boat carrying two Americans and a local captain bounced and skidded across the choppy waves of the Red Sea. As they sped away from Yemen toward the African nation of Djibouti, Andrew Nicholson and Mokhtar Alkhanshali kept a close eye on the heavy suitcases they had tucked away beneath a protective blue tarp. Inside was the cargo they had driven for seven hours, past Houthi rebel checkpoints and Saudi Arabian airstrikes, to bring back to the United States: ninety kilos of Yemeni coffee beans. Facing violent waves and a waterway stalked by Somali pirates, Nicholson and Alkhanshali could only hope their cargo would end up in American coffee drinkers' cups, and not at the bottom of the sea. Read more about Andrew Nicholson and Mokhtar Alkhanshali's quest for Yemeni coffee...
Courtesy of Misen
8. Brooklyn Whiz Kids' Chef's Knife Is Blowing Up on Kickstarter
A newly launched online kitchenware company, Misen — pronounced meez-en (as in mise en place) — sparked into being with an intent to create affordably priced, essential cooking tools "to get people back into the kitchen." It's the brainchild of Brooklyn-based co-founders Josh Moses and Omar Rada, along with Peter Müller, an industrial designer from Chicago. The trio of self-described avid home cooks, designers, and entrepreneurs launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $25,000 to finance the manufacture of their first product: a professional-quality eight-inch chef's knife. It took them all of one hour to reach their goal. Read more from our interview with Josh Moses...
Courtesy of El Rey
7. These Vegan Chicharrones Converted Carnivorous Chef Tracy Obolsky
"I was a little nervous when I saw that most of the menu was vegan. I’m slightly anti-vegan, being a pastry chef and all. But I’d been hearing about these vegan chicharrones, and I couldn't quite believe they'd be as good as people were saying they are." Read more about Tracy Obolsky's venture into vegan territory...
6. At Nearly 80, Jacques Pepin Keeps On Educating and Entertaining
With photos of his family and their gatherings, Jacques Pépin's new book outlines his idea of a great get-together. He talks about his entertaining ethos: "The first requirement for anything I serve at my house is that it taste good. No compromises!" He explains his favorite game, boules (bocce), and what to drink while playing — Pernod or rosé. Pépin recalls foraging with his parents and older brother in Bourg-en-Bresse and describes how he's continued the tradition with his daughter — and, now, granddaughter — in Connecticut. It's all enough to make you wish you were part of the Pépin brood. Read more from our interview with the legendary Jacques Pépin...
5. The Best Bacon in NYC Could Be at This Queens Butcher Shop
One of these fine types of bacon is a crusted slab known as "white bacon" or slana. Pure fatback (all fat, no meat), it's heavily salted and smoked (the store advises that the salt should be washed off before eating). You wouldn't typically describe bacon as "delicate," but this diaphanous specialty is just that, more akin to the buttery richness of fresh sea urchin than something on a BLT. Read more about this shop's incredible bacon...
4. NYC Enacts Styrofoam Ban; World Does Not End
On July 1 New York implemented a controversial citywide ban on Styrofoam. Pursuant to Local Law 142 of the city's administrative code, the new policy does away with single-serve foam cups, beach coolers, takeout containers — even those pesky packaging peanuts. Because these items can't be recycled, Mayor Bill de Blasio's office estimates the ban will remove up to 30,000 tons of annual waste from landfills and waterways. Sounds like something we can all get behind, right? Not exactly. Read more about NYC's new styrofoam ban...
3. In the Per Se Kitchen With Executive Sous-Chef Matt Peters
This legendary restaurant in a shopping mall has secured iconic status as one of the most unimpeachable homes of high-level cuisine, committed to creating a dining experience unlike any other. In the morning, the mall is dead, but the chefs have been cranking it out since before sunrise. Read more about our behind-the-scenes look at Per Se...
2. GMOs are Haunting in New Thriller Consumed
Consumed is the first dramatic film to present the GMO debate onscreen, pitting those who believe that GMOs in our food are extremely safe against those who believe they’re contributing to chronic health issues. Offscreen, in real life, no long-term studies have been done with enough clarity to shut down either side. Small farmers fight huge farming corporations. Health companies fight food producers. Politics and economics muddle research. Of course, this kind of material runs the risk of being snore-inducing when projected onto the big screen. But filmmakers Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones were prepared for that. Read more from our chat with the filmmakers...
Courtesy of the Key Group
1. Here's the Recipe for Junior's Original New York Cheesecake
Over the years, Junior's has changed quite a bit, but its soul has remained the same. And its famous cheesecake recipe, painstakingly developed by Allen Rosen's grandfather in the mid 20th century, is exactly the same, though new toppings have been added and some older ones have changed. Read more about Junior's and cop their cheesecake recipe...
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