Not My Day Job 2014

On Sunday October 26th the Epicurean Group is presenting Not My Day Job 2014, an event that celebrates art, talent and taste. The event will be held from 1PM-5PM in the Prince George Ballroom at 15 E 27th St in New York City.  The event gives hospitality professionals a platform to show off their talents outside of their “day jobs.” It will be an opportunity to watch some of New York City’s most notable restaurants showcase culinary skill and cocktail flare alongside side performances and artwork by talented NYC restaurant employees.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc), a nonprofit leadership organization founded in 2001 for the East 4th Street Cultural District. FABnyc drives community development and sustainability initiatives while preserving the rich historical heritage and creative vibes of the Lower East Side. A few restaurants participating in the event include: Mile End, The Wren, Scarpetta, Colicchio & Sons, Locanda Vini e Olii,Ward III, The Rum House, Yunnan Kitchen, Shake Shack, dell’anima, L’Artusi, L’Apicio, Anfora, The Gander, and more!

Tickets cost $60 plus a $4.29 processing fee. There is an industry perk, which is promo codes made available for restaurant staff. To register for the event, click here


Gourmet Food Hotspot in Sunset Park

The industrial loading docks of Sunset Park, Brooklyn are transforming into a hotspot for gourmet food producers. Li-Lac Chocolate and Blue Marble Ice-Cream are a few companies who lease kitchen and retail space in Industry City, so guests can come visit the factory, see how the products are made, and buy them fresh! As manufacturers seek out more affordable spaces for their production, Sunset Park seems to be the next place that will be undergoing a food revolution.

Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball says,“What’s great is there’s a real interest in understanding what you’re eating, where it’s made, what’s in it and watching it happen.” Industry City employs 2,400 people and are expecting that number to rise to nearly 15,000 by 2023; similar foodie patterns have been seen in Dumbo, Harlem and Greenpoint recently. Master chocolatier Jacques Torres also recently moved his factory to Sunset Park where the candy is all dipped and hand-made.

Liddabit Sweets recently opened on Industry City’s ground floor and co-owner Liz Gutman explains the appeal, ““We taught classes at ICE [Institute of Culinary Education] and Brooklyn Kitchen, but we never had enough space to teach our own.” Gutman plans to offer a Candy 101 class in December and a couples chocolate class in February for Valentine’s Day. The extra space also led Gutman to feel inspired to experiment with some savory items!

To read about more manufacturers leasing kitchen and retail space in Industry City, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, click here

Crumbs Bakery Is Back!

Crumbs filed for bankruptcy earlier this summer upsetting cupcake lovers across the nation. Come next Tuesday Crumbs will be reopening! A grand reopening celebration will be taking place at their 1385 Broadway location in the Garment District which has recently been repainted for the event. There are twenty five over locations including L.A, Chicago and Boston that will be having celebratory opening blowouts over the course of the next 20 days.

One of Crumbs Bakery’s new partners, TV host Marcus Lemonis, is eager for the relaunch to showcase his new bagel-croissant hybrid which is meant to encompass the “new, modern Crumbs experience.” This new fusion pastry coined “baissant” with be found in stores next to the “Crumbnut,” a reinterpretation of the Cronut. The idea of introducing these new pastry mash-ups was to diversify the product mix beyond just the scope of cupcakes. There will also be some new cupcake flavors though such as salted caramel and key lime. A few other new non-cupcake offerings will include frozen desserts, cookies, gluten-free options and Crumbs chocolate bars.

To read more about the reopening of Crumbs and it’s new product mix, click here

Shake Shack Maddison Square Park Closing for the Winter

This Columbus day will be the last day of operations for the Shake Shack in Maddison Square Park until next year. The ten-year old kiosk will be closed for renovations until reopening mid 2015 according to Danny Meyer’s restaurant group. Edwin Bragg, a Shake Shack rep has said that the renovations will take up to five months to complete. The last day of the Shack in the park will, however, go out with a bang!

The chain has been collaborating with big name chefs throughout the summer to create limited-edition hamburgers which have created long lines wrapped all around the park. This Monday, Italian Chef Massimo Bottura will also be leaving his mark on the Shake Shack burger. Bottura collaborated with Shake Shack’s culinary director Mark Rosati to create the “Emilia” burger. This burger will have Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese directly mixed into the LaFrieda-blend beef patty, and two round of pork-filled cotechino finished with a bright salsa verde and delicious balsamic mayonnaise on top for $8.95.

Make sure to enjoy the “Emilia” at Shake Shack on Columbus Day! To read more about the collaboration with Italian Chef Massimo Bottura, click here

Kappo Masa Opening on UES

Larry Gagosian is a globally known art dealer who is very important in his field. He owns a chain of his own galleries of which the flagship gallery is found on Maddison Avenue and 76th Avenue. Larry always believed that upper east side area neighboring his Gagosian Gallery needed more restaurants. Gogosian then had an idea: to open a restaurant within the gallery. “I had an idea for a restaurant in this building.”

Gagosian proceeded to asking a chef at whose restaurants he is a regular: sushi master Chef Masa Takayama from his restaurant Masa near Columbus Circle. After Gagosian proposed to begin a partnership, Chef Takayama agreed and the deal was done! The lower level of the gallery was transformed into a stylish dining room with textured oya stone walls and some interesting art pieces. “This is not going to be an extension of the gallery,” Mr. Gagosian said.

The open kitchen will serve raw and cooked items for a large, seasonal menu of sushi; sashimi; and grilled, steamed, braised and fried dishes. Many of these dishes will often offer luxurious ingredients such as caviar or white truffles which will be served on dinnerware that has been designed by Chef Masa Takayama. The presentation of the sashimi is very inventive as it is displayed on frozen blocks of glass. Bamboo Bento Boxes will be served at the lunch hour. The restaurant within an art gallery will open tomorrow at 976 Madison Avenue (76th Street), 212-647-2942.

To read more about the partnership and new restaurant where art and sushi collide, click here

Queens Restaurant Week

This year’s Queens Restaurant Week will take place October 13th through to October 30th. Over 100 restaurants in 30 neighborhoods will be participating in Restaurant Week offering great prix fixe menus. The most common price points are $14 lunch menus and $28 three course dinners; tax and gratuity not included. Here are a few of the participating restaurants in the borough:

  • Penthouse 808 at the Raven Hotel is a great spot to enjoy rooftop dining with great views of Midtown Manhattan and the East River
  • Dutch Kills Centraal offers a $28 three-course dinner with a brand new chef. This gastro pub concept is local, organic and has a modern flare.
  • The Astor Room in Astoria offers a truly continental menu with great cocktail options as well. Enjoy live music with your dinner at this location.
  • Il Falco in Long Island City is a participating Italian restaurant offering a great Italian dishes

To view a list of the participating restaurants for Restaurant Week and to find out more about their deals running through to the end of October, click here

Chobani Connects with Customers in NYC

The Chobani location on the corner of Prince and West Broadway serves primarily as a test kitchen for the brand more so than it does as a major sales point. It is a perfect location to gain insight into what the young and trendy crowd in the neighborhood want and think of the brand’s creations. The savory menu items include plain yogurt with toppings such as red pepper harissa, olive oil, mint, and feta cheese to name a few, while the sweet dishes include toppings such as figs, honey and pistachios. All Chobani yogurt menu items range in price from $4.75 to $9.95.

The market research obtained from customers different tastes and preferences at this location have proven to be very valuable to the brand, so much so that they intend to open ten more similar outlets within the next year in San Francisco, LA, and Chicago amongst other U.S. cities. Peter McGuinness, Chobani’s chief marketing and brand officer states that the location is, “an inspiration and incubation center…we often have discussions with our guests at the cafe.” These conversations about the customers’ preferences have led to new menu items, such as the smoked-salmon sandwich made with mint and lane. McGuinness has observed that, “Everybody who leaves the cafe says they are more likely to buy our product at the grocery store.” So far sales at this Chobani cafe have increased 55% from last year.

Many dishes from this outlet are transitioning into supermarkets such as the pumpkin-spice yogurt, introduced as a seasonal flavor at the store; it has become Chobani’s fastest-selling item ever.To read more about how Chobani is connecting with their customers via a pseudo test kitchen in SoHo click here


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