Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hoboken Food Tour

A class in studio lighting morphed into a class on fashion photography, so I channelled my inner Austin Powers and shot photos like this:

I took advantage of my free time this weekend to examine my town more closely.  

It is easy to ignore the things that are right underneath our noses.  We are apt to jump on that plane to Aspen but to tale an afternoon to look at the food purveyors in our own area, we turn a blind palette.  Yesterday I decided to remedy that situation.

For the past year, a Hoboken food tour has been offered.  This was a chance to glimpse the family owned world of food purveyors that has kept this city well fed for generations.  Despite the 90 degree plus temperature, I signed up.

I could not have been happier with the tour.  the guide Avi had a deep and comprehensive knowledge of the Hoboken food world,  We were given behind the scenes looks of the coal oven at Antique Bakery.  We were treated to the wonderful pizza at Grimaldis.  Most impressive was Tony Lisa's demo of making mozzarella.  He and his brother formed the cheese by hand as countless generations before them have done.  Handmade, artisan and local as it could possible be.

A new cupcake centric bakery and an old coffee purveyor led to the end of the tour.  While I am glad that "Cake Boss" has put Hoboken on the map, I am more happy that people like Tony Lisa and the Antique Bakery people have been producing great food for generations.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Not a Party Till Someone Brings the Liquid Nitrogen

Whew, it has been busy here the last week or so.  When it wasn't busy I was enjoying the wonderful weather outside on my terrace, grilling like a madman.  So I'm taking this respite before the day's ribathon commences to wrap up Aspen and to wish everyone a Happy 4th.

The last event I went to at Aspen was very cool, darn near freezing in fact.  It was a cooking competition between Rick Bayless and Michael Voltaggio,  a Top Chef vs Top Chef Masters battle.  It was very entertaining and it raised funds for Cook for the Cure, a breast cancer charity by auctioning off Rick Bayless' sous chef spot.  The darn near freezing came in when Michael Voltaggio had a giant cylinder of liquid nitrogen wheeled onstage.  It's not a party till someone brings the liquid nitrogen.  He used this to basically make sangria slushies.  Chef Bayless won the Quickfire challenge, but it really didn't matter.  The audience had fun and a worthy cause got a nice bump in their coffers.

Having been grill deprived for most of my adult life, I am compensating now.  Most evenings from May through September find me outside, tongs in hand.  Having found my new religion, I had to find my new bible.  It came in the form of Weber's Big Book of Grilling. I'm sure more experienced grill masters will scoff at such a pedestrian tome, but it has done me no wrong so far.  The apple cider mop sauce baby back ribs are a particular favorite of mine.  The spicy Texas rib eye is no slouch either.

Well, I have ribs to rub and sauces to simmer.  Everyone have a wonderful Independence Day!