A Goodbye to Great Jones Cafe, a Vestige of Downtown NYC’s Old Magic

“The Jones it was reliable, it was cheap-ish, it was good (with flashes of comfort food greatness), and there were always seats or would be seats soon, whenever you went. It was the sort of spot where you were more likely than not to be elbow-to-elbow with the sort of ambiguously and stratospherically cool people who made New York a place worth moving to. It was old downtown long after old downtown was gone, not that I was ever really here for it, having arrived to the city in 1998. It wasn’t a scene to make, but the scene was a pleasure to try to blend into.”

Read more here.

How to Survive Year 1: A Reflection With 2018 JBF Best Chef Nominee

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“What advice would you give other chefs looking to open their own restaurant?
Can I say “don’t do it”? Is that allowed? In Chicago, and across the country, every day there are new restaurants opening. Whether you are a chef or ops/FOH person, you better make sure you have a strong partner doing it with you. I would never recommend doing it without that. And be really f**king sure there is nothing else on this planet that you could do with your time. You should only open a restaurant if there is nothing else that is going to make you happy. It’s so hard and it’s so uniquely challenging and the competition is fiercer every day for guests and also for team members. The craziest thing is when you see somebody open a restaurant that does not have a chef partner and then you watch chefs go in and out; anyone without a strong partner is probably doomed for failure.”

Read the full interview here.

Street Vendors Say Proposal To Oust Them From WTC Site Is Islamophobic

The City Council is considering legislation that would expand the restricted vending area around the World Trade Center site, displacing 22 street vendors who say the proposal is racially motivated. City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who sponsored the bill, insists she supports street vendors, but that the bill is about public safety—the NYPD maintains that street vendor carts could conceal explosives and often contain flammable gases. At a hearing last week, Oleg Chernyavsky, the NYPD’s director of legislative affairs, asserted that a proliferation of food vendors “can soften an officer’s vigilance when similar looking equipment being used to hide explosives is placed near the vendors who legitimately ply their trade,” Patch reports.

The Street Vendors Project, an advocacy group which has 1,800 vendor members, has taken issue with this claim.

To read more click here.

New York City’s Essential Barbecue Restaurants

New York City has come a long way from the days when red sauce-slathered grilled baby back ribs were considered barbecue, even moving beyond the phase of pan-regional barbecue restaurants peddling a hodgepodge of styles. Now New York City has a number of restaurants drawing inspiration from specific regions — Texas, Kansas City, Carolinas, etc. — as well as some establishments that are developing an exciting new style.

To read more click here.

Spanish Food Hall Will Be Open Next Spring

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“Mercado Little Spain in his first New York project and a collaboration with Spain’s most famous culinary siblings Ferran and Albert Adria.

Read more here.

How Rice Pudding Gave Me Courage

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Our son was still only crawling when Marie-Cécile, a young Frenchwoman, became his babysitter. That she stayed with us for years explains why he has a near-perfect French accent and why I know the lyrics and accompanying hand motions to nursery songs from the 1960s. It’s also why I know the expression au pif.

The first time I heard the words (pronounced “oh peef”) was when I asked Marie-Cécile how she made the rice pudding that was cooling on the counter. “Au pif,” she said, bouncing her index finger off the tip of her nose as though she were playing charades. Encouraged to give a definition, she shrugged her shoulders and shook her head slowly.

Read the full article here

Have you put an egg in your coffee lately?

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Photo credit: Eater.com

Coffee. Everyone’s favorite morning beverage. Have you ever tried your coffee with an egg in it though? Chances are you haven’t unless you’re from the Midwest. Egg coffee was a technique born by Scandinavian immigrants of Northern Minnesota out of necessity. There was lousy water, weak coffee, and long days of work. According to U.S. Census data, Minnesota is home to the largest population of Scandinavian-Americans in the country and  their culinary influences can be found all over the Twin Cities and beyond. For those early immigrant farmers, the solution to bad coffee was cracking an egg into it. To read more about the process making coffee with eggs click here.