One of West Africa’s Most Accomplished Chefs Opens an NYC Restaurant Soon

“Former Le Grand Dakar chef Pierre Thiam — who strives to be an ambassador of Africa’s culinary history — will open a Pan-African restaurant in Harlem’s Africa Center next month, where he’ll showcase his native cuisine in fast-casual format.

Teranga, which translates roughly to “hospitality” in Wolof, a language spoken in Senegal, will focus on Senegalese cuisine, as well as foods from Nigeria, Mali, the Ivory Coast, and Guinea in bowl-like formats.

The menu is molded by West African ingredients like sorghum and millet paired with dried fruits for breakfast, as well as fonio, a grain that’ll be served within salads and bowls during lunch and dinner, Thiam told the Times in August.

Vegetable and protein bowls like grilled chicken and caramelized onions over Liberian red rice will also be available, plus other vegetarian options like a sweet potato and black-eyed pea stew. Drinks range from hot and cold African coffees, teas, and juices. The menu is gluten-free; see it in full below.

The location of Thiam’s new restaurant within the cultural center makes sense, as he is a vocal advocate for Africa’s culinary history and even appeared in a 2016 episode of the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown in his native Senegal. The restaurant will take up a 2,000-square-foot space in the center, overlooking Central Park.”

Read more here.

Hass Avocado Board reports strong US sales growth


“The Hass Avocado Board reported that retail avocado sales for the month ending Sept. 9 grew 8.6% compared with year-ago levels. That was more than double the gain of total produce sales, which were up 3.7% for the period compared with year-ago levels, according to a news release.

The board said the Northeast topped the regional rankings in dollar growth rate at 16.2% higher than the same period a year ago. The Northeast was boosted by the three fastest growing markets: Pittsburgh (+42.6%), Albany (+36.2%), and Northern New England (+26.6%). The board said Northeast dollar growth was driven by a significant gain in volume (+42.7%), despite a decline in average selling prices(-18.6%).”

Read more here.

7 New Restaurants at the Jersey Shore

A bone-in, rib-eye steak topped with seared scallops at Prime 13 Wood Fire Grill and Bar, which has locations in Point Pleasant Beach and Brielle.

Prime 13 Wood Fire Grill and Bar, Brielle 

“Earlier this month, two Jersey Shore restaurateurs came together to open the second location of Prime 13, a steakhouse in Point Pleasant known for its prime rib and 40-ounce rib-eye for two.

The restaurant opened in the space previously occupied by Brielle Ale House, owned by Chris, Frank and Matt Gullace. The brothers run the bar, and Gerard Tortora, owner of the Point Pleasant Beach restaurant, leads the kitchen. The menu is similar to Point Pleasant Beach: wood-fired filet mignon, dry-aged strip steak and rack of lamb with the option to add seared scallops, lobster tail and foie gras ($29.99 to $76); seafood dishes, and cocktails, plus 10 beers on tap, more than a dozen bottles, and nearly two dozen wines.”

See more here.

Ravi DeRossi Turns an Empire Vegan

18712231573_877fb3734a_o.0.0.jpgRavi DeRossi, the restaurateur behind Death and Co, Avant Garden, Mother of Pearl and 12 other bars and restaurants around the city, is making a serious push to turn all of his operations fully animal-free. He’ll be starting by expanding the already vegan Avant Garden into multiple spinoff concepts, as well as closing the charcuterie-focused The Bourgeois Pig and reopening it as vegan wine and tapas bar LadyBird. All of his restaurants are in for some sort of shake-up, and it seems his mixologists won’t be safe either, as cocktail and beer lists will be purged of the often ignored animal ingredients that are sometimes used in drinks.

DeRossi himself has a long history with veganism, and feels passionately about the environmental and animal welfare impacts of factory farming. Before becoming involved in the hospitality industry, he spent many years living completely meat-free. As he describes to Eater, “You don’t realize that the average restaurateur does three times more destruction [to the environment] than the average person,” and, “If we’re going to do something to help this planet, it needs to start. It needs to be me not just preaching, but me just doing it. I’m in the position to do it.”

To read more, click here.

Two Hands to Open a Restaurant in Tribeca

largerGiles Russell and Henry Roberts, owners of Two Hands, is planning to expand their coffee shop to Tribeca, but as a full-service restaurant. Two Hands, located between Little Italy and Chinatown, boasts a unique design and sense of community. Russell and Roberts built Two Hands as a beachy, bright atmosphere with a laid-back lifestyle advocating people to hang out and have a coffee without feeling any pressure. They are hoping to carry this laid-back atmosphere over to their full-service restaurant. “This will hopefully be the same, with just a few more people, and some more food and cocktails” Russell says.

The restaurant will seat 50 people, and at night the espresso bar will be a cocktail bar. The breakfast, lunch and inner menus are all health conscious with vegetables, but will not be strictly vegetarian. There will also be a few Australian-style meat plates, like the Australian-style burger.

Russel and Roberts are hoping to redesign Church Street from being too commercial and industrial to being an area where people can comfortably get food and be with friends.

To read more, click here.

NYC Vegetarian Food Fest

Sarah Gross and Nira Paliwoda are the founders of U.S. Veg Corp, an event production and marketing brand focused on the growing vegetarian and green markets. U.S. Veg Corp provides offline and online opportunities throughout the year to target a passionate audience interested in a vegetarian and eco-friendly lifestyle. Nira and Sarah are active members of the local vegetarian and green movement. Their involvement with the community ensures that the events they put on address the latest issues concerning the vegetarian market and the most of-the-moment technologies.

The NYC Veg Food Fest will take place this year on March 14th & 15th from 11AM-6PM at The Metropolitan Pavilion on 125 West 18th St. Purchase your tickets now to attend and get yummy food samples, engage in fun activities and listen to inspiring speakers. For a list of this year’s exhibitors click here. Tickets for a 2-day pass are $50, while single day passes cost $30. To purchase tickets to the festival, click here.


Menu Innovation With Meatless Sandwiches

There is no doubt that there is an abundance of sandwich options in New York. It is common to find meatball subs or great deli meat combos, however the vegetarian options are definitely less popular. There are many grilled cheese options and quite a few vegan sprout/tofu/hummus combinations but it is rare to find a meatless option that is truly enticing and interesting. Some establishments, however, have incorporated great satisfying meatless sandwich options into their menus and are watching as even meat lovers opt for the vegetarian counterparts. Here are a few sandwiches around Manhattan that are creating a buzz:

  • PARM: 248 Mulberry St., New York
    •  The eggplant parm sandwich at Parm is served with thin slices of fried eggplant, marinara sauce, and melted mozzarella. It is available either on a roll or hero and is delicious.
  • TAÏM FALAFEL AND SMOOTHIE BAR: 22 Waverly Place, New York
    • Taïm is known for their amazing falafel, however their sabich, an Iraqi and Israeli breakfast sandwich, is also a star product. The sabich has sweet fried eggplant, slices of hardboiled egg, hummus, cucumber, tomato salad, cabbage slaw and a pickled mango sauce all stuffed into a delicious warm pita.
  • NUM PANG SANDWICH SHOP: 75 9th Ave, New York
    • The cauliflower sandwich at Num Pang Sandwich Shop has roasted cauliflower, spicy eggplant spread,cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro and a chili mayo sauce. It is a great meatless alternative to the traditional bang mi.
  •  MEAT HOOK SANDWICH: 495 Lorimer St., Brooklyn
    • The vegetarian sandwich at Meat Hook Sandwich in Brooklyn airs on the heavier side as it incorporates all the vegetarian toppings including cheese, fried onions, hash browns and caponata amongst others…
  • SHAKE SHACK: 11 Madison Avenue, New York
    • Shake Shack cleverly offers a vegetarian option that is not limited to a veggie burger made of beans or other vegetables made into a patty. The Shroom Burger is a portobello mushroom that is stuffed with cheese and then deep fried, topped with lettuce, tomato and the delicious Shack sauce.

These sandwiches stand up to their meaty counterparts delivering great flavor and texture. To read more about meatless sandwiches and to find one near you, click here