After a two-year hiatus, Fancy Food was back in NYC this year on a Big Apple scale. Given the enormity of the show, there is no possible way to cover it all – so my strategy was to have a few quality conversations with companies that captured my imagination.
For the full story, please click here:
In January, joyful plate shared an evening of risotto and wine with new friends in Brooklyn. The event had been featured as an auction item at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger’s Fall 2012 annual dinner (http://www.wscah.org/default.aspx). Marianne Vernetson and Maggie Corry were the successful bidders and generous co-hosts. Also attending were Jamie Kiley, Jen Bokoff and David Bone (who was the photographer for the evening). Wines were generously donated by Royal Wine Corp. Michelle Lawton, founder of joyful plate cooked and shared stories of her travels through Italy and a bit of wine 101. Three kinds of risotti were made: asparagus and white wine, chorizo and cremini mushroom with cognac & cream. And a lot of great conversation was stirred up as well.
For more on the history of risotto, how to make risotto, Amarone as the perfect wine for risotto and joyful plate’s curiosity for risotto click here:
And for more of David Bone’s photography, click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycbone.
For the entire blog post, please click here: joyful plate blog: a visit to Nikolaihof Wachau
Copyright © 2013 -joyful plate (R) LLC. All rights reserved. Photographs taken by M. Lawton with permission at Nikolaihof of Wachau. Links are provided for the purpose of providing accuracy. For any edits or corrections to this information please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update information as requested.
joyful plate. We bring the conversation to the table.
Thank you, looking forward to a great 2013!
This series celebrates the Food and Beverage Boutique. Some smart entrepreneurs have developed “big idea” retail/online concepts that make staying healthy a stylish way of life. What these stores have in common: unique products and services with a fresh and engaging tone of voice and a strong sense of community.
Organic Avenue: The “Food of LOVE”. The concept is brilliant and big, and the execution creative and courageous. Organic Avenue is a “lifestyle company and a gateway to a new life” offering all kinds of interesting juicing and cleansing programs, “LOVE easy” (for novices) to LOVE deep (truly cleaning house). The juices are offered in fresh glass bottles and made with organic, cold pressed ingredients with everything from turmeric, cashew hemp “mylk”, purified alkaline water, Irish moss and Himalayan sea salt.
Your Lululemon customer is here for sure, and anyone who wants to browse for the latest raw foods, connect with their community or sign up for special seminars (like Live Blood consultations per their website). E-commerce equipped, consumers can easily create an account to order the cleanse of the week (like a deep juice/beauty skin cleanse). The LOVE SUPPORT “rawk-star” team can guide you to make a choice that’s right for you. Importantly, they show the love to the world by committing to sustainable actions for the planet, for animals and for fellow humans.
It’s the new lifestyle formula for success: an amazing cross-section where health meets spa meets science meets fashion and foodie. It’s all happening on Organic Avenue-in numerous New York City hot spots (including a pop-up store near Bergdorf Goodman) and in South Hampton.
For more trends, including Momofuku Milk Bar, David’s Tea and Chobani click here:
joyful plate SPIN SERIES trends
Copyright © 2012 -joyful plate LLC. All rights reserved. Brand images are the copyright of the original owners. References to products and brands are not an endorsement, rather a point of view on branding trends. Links are provided for the purpose of providing accuracy. For any edits or corrections to this information please email email@example.com and we will update information as requested. Thank you.
Aldo's, Greenport, North Fork. LI, NY.
I have been visiting Greenport for years to visit a dear friend. Whenever I go, I look forward to a coffee at Aldo’s. Everyone knows Aldo here, the mad scientist of coffee and the town eccentric.
In the old days at Aldo’s, you’d be hard pressed to find a seat-bags of beans were everywhere, with random pages from the International Herald Tribune on crates. Today you can sit comfortably in the café or out back overlooking the docks. Thankfully there’s still plenty of highbrow art and just a touch of lovely madness.
On my last visit I woke up early and biked over for a quick espresso. I asked Aldo to recommend a strong blend. His response: “That’s not the way to ask for coffee”. This humbled me. I should have known better. That’s the equivalent of someone asking for “oaky” wine. I reminded him that we met years ago, and that my background was in food and wine. That’s when this quick hello turned into a full-blown interview and I morphed into Michelle the food journalist. When you’ve been in business for a while you recognize an expert when they tell you “I’m not an expert, but….”. That usually translates to “pay attention, this humble genius is going to rock my world and touch my heart with his knowledge”.
Aldo has been in Greenport for 34 years since 1978. I asked what got him into the coffee business. His answer? Necessity. He is an Italian who grew up in the South of France. When he came to Greenport two essentials were missing. The first: good bread. The second: good coffee.
Today, people come to his cafe daily; in fact some highly caffeinated people are coming 2-3 times a day. People travel from literally all over the world to have his coffee. Some save their moment all the way from JFK for 3 hours East to Greenport to have a cup. His doctor walked in while we were chatting. He checks in on Aldo regularly, as do many people. They bring him wine, eggs, plants, flowers….they can’t wait for his molto gentile greeting, “Buongiorno!”. Yes, the coffee is wonderful, but a big part of the thrill is to exchange a few words with him. He thinks they just want to keep him alive so they can be guaranteed a good cup on the North Fork.
A regular customer walked in who requested four bags to travel with. His better judgment was to refuse for fear the beans would not stay fresh, but she was persuasive. In fact, Aldo only uses an espresso machine to make coffee. It’s not an elitist thing, but he insists on giving his customers a fresh cup every time.
We then walked from the café to the roasting room, where my lesson continued. He opened some bags…. from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Sumatra and Yemen. “With Yemen, you get a big mix…some little, some big, some flat, some round, they look like debris in a way, but it’s the combination that makes it more complex and interesting to me”.
He went on to explain the beauty of the Yemen beans. The cherries stay on the tree for a long time to ripen, which makes them less bitter and acidic. It’s the variety and ripeness that bring the complexity in the cup. Yemen has a wonderfully earthy bouquet that reminds him of aromas of sheep or dried grass in Provence. “These smells are not something I read about, I lived it”. When he first discovered Yemen, he noticed how smooth and pleasant it was. He couldn’t understand why it was so delicious and nearly sweet. Sometimes like sweet chocolate.
“You don’t have to look for aromas, they just come to you. This is the connection between smelling and the palate. The whole experience is in the discovery. It’s about making a connection with all items on sensory level. Like fermented compost…cooks are smelling fermented things all the time. That’s how you tell the connection between smell and taste”.
It was then realized I was speaking with a man who lives life completely by his senses. Our conversation took a detour from the ripening of Yemen cherries to botrytis (the “noble rot” necessary for sauterne-style wine) and eventually to ripe fruit. An Italian man growing up in the South of France knows his fruit: like Bartlet pears- “when they are ripe they have a gorgeous perfumy essence”. When you buy cantaloupe, you need to wait a few days to get it perfectly ripe. Bananas also have an incredible fragrance. “When you caramelize them for curry sauce, it’s the developed fruit that make the flavors extraordinary. You try to catch the spirit of the fruit itself. That is what cooking is all about”.
And you realize this when you taste his scones. “Most people don’t like scones because they’re too heavy and too dry. The English hide them with clotted crème”. He insisted I taste his scone. “Eat the lips”, he said. “You never forget that first kiss” (of the scone). And he was right: this was different, more seductive, more Southern European. The scone was not doughy at all-it was crispy on the rim and indulgently buttery. It melts in your mouth. He insists fresh bread should be eaten cold, because the flavors come together as the bread cools down. “Grocery stores make bread with crust that looks good, but inside it’s too doughy. They charge $5 for something that looks like bread. “Good bread should not be a luxury”. And, that’s why he has always made his own bread.
And so, to understand Aldo, you need to taste his coffee. You need to taste his scones. But don’t’ break the scones (as I was corrected) take the whole quarter of the scone into your mouth. Enjoy every morsel. That’s living.
That’s living…Aldo style.
Michelle Lawton, joyful plate
Our plates have been very full this spring…looking forward to some R&W in August (translation: relaxation…and writing!). Stay tuned for food, beverage and lifestyle trends to help you stay cool summer into fall. And for daily inspiration, visit http://www.facebook.com/joyfulplate…Please “LIKE”!
(Picture taken at JCrew, South Street Seaport summer 2012)
The best way to survive New York City in the winter is to leave it now and then…so the past few months I’ve been on the food and beverage circuit touring Fancy Food in San Fran, Miami SOBE fest and last week the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA. Here are some brands that caught my eye in my one day tour of Expo West.
First, a few comments on a macro level: A few of the trends mentioned by joyful plate in the Fancy Food show 2011 trend recap still apply: Demonstrations are reaching a new height of BRAND THEATRE: brands typically put on their best dress for trade shows, but this year’s level of performance seems to go way beyond creatively, offering a whole new kind of star quality to the experience. HEALTHY INDULGENCE is alive and well: insightful brands are delivering doses of it -with healthy products offering gourmet taste and gourmet products gone fresh, local and organic. Brands are flirting with a NATURALLY CHIC tone, dialing up the emotion without sacrificing functional credibility. After all, food is fashion! And finally, some creative natural brands are bringing the outdoors in with GARDEN FRESH design-a lifestyle trend we’ve seen for years in restaurants, home decor and clothing.
BOOM CHICKA POP
This was love at first sight and bite-what a fun, fantastical name and package that is altogether NATURALLY CHIC. “The name BOOM CHICKA POP represents just what snacking should be—light, tasty without taking itself so seriously”. It is free of gluten, GMOs and preservatives and is made with just popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt- and, it has only 35 calories per cup and is a good source of fiber. BOOM CHICKA POP will be available in June 2012 at leading grocery stores across the country. It can also be found online at: BOOMCHICKAPOP.
Chobani‘s enormous success clearly gave them the confidence to show off their sense of BRAND THEATRE. Their tagline “nothing but good” absolutely applies to the Panko Coconut Scallops with Chobani Chutney I tasted in their experiential Chobani Kitchen. And, I fell madly for their backdrop messaging, ‘It’s crazy to love a yogurt this much” (Created by Leo Burnett campaign : apparently it is just breaking in Australia and Canada).
CRAZY FOR COCONUTS
The industry has gone coo coo for coconuts…in water, frozen desserts, even baking sticks like kelapo. And no wonder, coconut’s taste profile is rich and sweet and a perfectly pure form of HEALTHY INDULGENCE.
The folks at Dang, San Francisco hear “Dang, That’s Good!” all the time when someone tastes their coconut chips. They start with the best coconuts from Thailand, slice out the nutritious Copra (dried Coconut meat) and toast them with a touch of sugar and salt. I’m saving mine to top my next red curry. And, check out this new beverage intro, Coco Cafe (joint venture with Vita Coco): Fair trade certified, rich and delicious, Coco cafe provides natural hydration & natural energy. More on the deal here.
The lovely ladies at MetroMint posed for this picture while I sampled their all natural, no sugar, no preservatives, no sweeteners and zero calorie water. Everything about Metro mint branding is pure and simple and NATURALLY CHIC.
thinkThin Products made a big impression at ExpoWest. Their website recap recreated the experience well: “along with impressive outdoor and indoor booths, thinkThin had 12 models walking around the convention center, posing statuesque in front of the booth and giving people thinkThin protein bars, the #1 weight management bar in the natural channel”. Brava! THINK THIN for your sense of BRAND THEATRE and NATURALLY CHIC style and confidence.
I was wowed by DaiyaFoods sense of BRAND THEATRE and displays created for their Deliciously Dairy Free products. Their design look feels GARDEN FRESH- setting an expectation for an all together new eating experience. The melty goodness of their grilled sandwich “stretched my imagination”, offering some real HEALTHY INDULGENCE. Daiya is a company from Van Couver but you can find their products at retail and used in restaraunts here: Daiya Foods Where to Buy.
Gardein encourages you to “Cheat on Meat” with their beefless burgers and crispy tenders. One taste of their burger could have fooled me, they tasted great and I loved the look of their GARDEN FRESH package. I googled Gardein and learned that it’s also a Canadian company but you can find their products at retail and used in restaraunts here: Gardein store locator.
This tart cherry juice from Cheribundi was absolutely delicious: and it’s great to know it’s a super fruit: their materials say it can help you with aches and pains, trouble sleeping and slow muscle recovery.
Nurtur me has a sweet line of products to “feed your baby better from the ground up”: Dried organic fruits and veggies in convenient packages. And smart branding too “see the “nm” logo and brand mark) with a GARDEN FRESH look and feel to design.
Plum Organics raised the bar years ago for branding, and it keeps going higher and higher. For babies and tots, Plum promises “to make only the most nutritious foods that inspire a joy of eating”. It was certainly a joy to visit their display at Expo West, and very entertaining with a live DJ sharing fun for all.
Copyright © 2012 –joyful plate LLC. All rights reserved. Photographs were taken by joyful plate at the Natural Products Expo West 2012. Brand images are the copyright of the original owners. References to products and brands are not an endorsement, rather a point of view on food and beverage branding trends. Trend names and imagery have been used to support these insights. Links may be provided for brands mentioned for the purpose of providing accuracy. For any edits or corrections to this information please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update information as requested. Thank you.
Beannacht La Fheile Padraig!
Over the years my generous mother in law has given me many beautiful books from Ireland. Yes, Ireland is the country that has produced Joyce and Beckett, but the books she sends me (and knows I will read!) are cook books. Yes, cookbooks. Many people mistake Ireland for a country of simple boiled meat and potato pub food. Nothing could be farther from the truth- especially today, with Ireland’s international profile.
Some of the most lovely food I’ve ever tasted has been when travelling through Ireland. I’ll always remember our breakfast at The Quay House, Clifden, (Connemara), fish stew at Morans Oyster Cottage (County Galway), the galley head prawns at the now closed Chez Youen in Baltimore (now see the Lookout Restaraunt for special fish dishes) and our magical visit (and view) many years ago at The Glebe Gardens, also in Baltimore, County Cork.
So to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, I’d like to share a list cookery books given to me that showcase the culture of cooking in Ireland. First on the list is a cookbook from Avoca, my favorite place to drop by in Dublin or Enniskerry. Avoca is a Irish lifestyle store that was founded in the 1920′s but has connections as far back as 1723 to a County Wicklow town of the same name. Upstairs at Avoca, in a bright airy café set amongst Dublin’s rooftops, they serve one of the best breakfasts in town-where you can indulge in gorgeous pancakes with mixed berries and clotted cream (in case you need a break from the ubiquitous full Irish). Next on the list are cookbooks from Darina Allen-Irish chef, food writer, TV personality (I am still dreaming of visiting Ballymaloe Cookery School …Ireland’s foremost cookery school…an icestorm prevented us from getting there a few holidays back). And last on the list for a bit of fun is a cookbook from Carluccio’s-a great Italian restaraunt and food shop in Dublin. My inlaws know I love to cook Italian and surprised me with this risotto tea towel from Carluccios, Dublin over the holidays. Make sure to visit on your next trip there.
A year at Avoca photo: Avoca. ie.
Copyright © 2012 –joyful plate LLC. All rights reserved.Photographs by M. Lawton.