Tag Archive | Food

Duran New York: Unique European Open Faced Sandwiches!

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All Photos By Tom Szebeni

In NYC, event catering is a big deal business. Those in the position to hire caterers — from administrative assistants  to event planners to television production crews — are always on the lookout for reliable, hassle-free sources of delicious foods that can appeal to a variety of dietary requirements (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free) while coming in at a reasonable price. Having personally accumulated about 25 years of experience working as an office manager and administrative assistant, I know this much  to be true: when it comes to event planning, no matter if it’s for 5, 50 or 500 people, the food is everything.

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Recently, I was invited to join my friend Anne from the LuxeLifeNYC blog for a private tasting at Duran Sandwiches New York, located on Madison Avenue and 27th Street. Duran is a family owned business, originating in Vienna, Austria, and dating back about 50 years! Now, you can get their fine sandwiches in the States! This is cause to celebrate!

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Duran New York is owned and operated by the completely charming  and super friendly Tom Szebeni, a former line producer for European Reality TV who came to the states and missed the delicious, open-faced sandwiches he grew to love while living in his native Hungary. When Tom decided he was ready for a career change, his love of good food and talent for bespoke customer service led him to open Duran New York. Many of the sandwich recipes served at the Madison Avenue location are actually based on traditional Austrian and Hungarian recipes.

Roast Beef with Red Onion
Roast Beef with Sweet Red Onion

We had a lovely time sitting with Tom and being entertained by his engaging stories while sampling a variety Duran’s most poplar sandwiches.

Egg Salad Lobster Salad Sirloin
Image Above By Gail

Above is a photo I took of three of my favorites: Egg Salad, Lobster Salad (especially good with a squirt of fresh lemon juice), and thinly sliced Sirloin with Cranberry Marmalade and White Asparagus. Each one was excellent in its own way, and you can see and taste the quality!

Avocado Salad

We also tasted the Avocado Salad (above) and the Sundried Tomato Salad (below), made with both sundried and fresh tomatoes, pureed to a smooth and creamy consistency along with sweet imported dates – amazing and totally vegan-friendly!

Sundried Tomato Salad

Assortment of 9
I Got Yer Picnic Right Here

Sandwich toppings are served on the most complimentary bread variety, with a choice of White, Pumpernickel bread with sesame seeds, or Whole wheat with oat. All breads are baked exclusively by Tubito’s Brick Oven Bakery of Suffern, NY, and delivered fresh daily to the store.

Cucumber and Farmers Cheese
Cucumber and Farmers Cheese, Perfect for Tea Time

Party Catering Set Up
Duran Sandwiches Get The Party Started

The sandwiches are not only amazingly delicious, but — as you can see by these photos — each one looks like a work of art!

Camembert Cheese
Camembert Cheese

Not only should Admins and PAs be seriously considering Duran Sandwiches as a new option for corporate catering, but being able to choose from a seemingly endless variety of toppings also presents an ideal solution for passed hors d’oeuvres for home holiday entertaining — when you’d rather enjoy time with your guests than spend time in the kitchen.  They’re also terrific to take as a picnic to nearby Madison Square Park!

Duran Sandwiches is located at 62 Madison Avenue at 27th Street in NYC. Call 212-576-1000 (tell them The Worley Gig sent you!) or visit them online at Duran Sandwiches Dot Com!

Duran Smail to Go Box

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Favorite Booth Displays, Products and Packaging From The Summer Fancy Food Show 2016!

SFFS16 Signage
All Photos By Gail

Food bloggers, restaurant owners, gourmet vendors, and other assorted foodies alike kicked off the summer in style with the three-day tour de force that is the Summer Fancy Food Show, which took over Manhattan’s massive Javits Center in its entirety from June 26th to 28th. Summer Fancy Food is the most exciting Specialty Foods Association event of the year, and SFFS16, as it will now be known in food tradeshow history, did not disappoint!

With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, the SFFS is virtually impossible to thoroughly distill. In fact, this was the single largest show ever held at Javits to date! As usual, we arrived with an appetite, a huge empty bag, and eyes wide open for spotting the most striking booth displays, stand out product packaging and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our favorite discoveries!

Kate Weiser Chocolate

Kate Weiser Chocolates are miniature works of confectionery art, and they taste just as good as they look!
Kate Weiser Chocolates

Key Lime Pie Bon Bons, Anyone? They are almost to beautiful to eat! Check Kate Weiser out online at the hyperlink above!

Gelarto Display 1

Continuing with foods that are stunning to behold, check out this display featuring Gelarto Italian Ice Cream!

Gelarto Signage

Gelato master Luca Grassi has been carefully crafting this award winning gelato in Turin, Italy since 1986 ! You can taste the quality ingredients in every mouth watering bite.

Gelarto Display 2

We couldn’t help but linger at the Gelarto booth; with so many luscious gourmet flavors, we had to sample a few!

Danas Bakery Macarons

Feast your eyes on this colorful tower of gourmet French Macarons from Dana’s Bakery. We tried the strawberry (pale pink, third row up from the bottom) and immediately declared this Macaron to be the Best Ever!

Goodie Girl Cookie Display

Oh my! The deluge of psychedelic colors coming from the Goodie Girl Cookies display gave us acid flashbacks! Located close by in New Jersey, Goodie Girl makes tiny, delicious gluten-free cookies that will knock your socks off. We are especially partial to the Midnight Brownie variety. Mmm…Brownie…

Shira of Goodie Girl

Meet Goodie Girl owner and founder, Shira Berk. She’s fabulous. And dig that crazy dress! What a vision with a vision she is.

Frisa Rep Damir

We also ran into a few men bringing their vibrant fashion sense to the tradeshow floor, including Damir Redzepagic from Frisa Beverages.That suit is just amazing, and Damir is fairly easy-on-the-eyes as well.

Frisa are the makers of very tasty non-alcoholic, ultra-premium European botanical sparkling beverages that offer unique flavor profiles including Black Currant Rosehip, Elderflower, and Ginger Hibiscus. Frisa is kosher, and has ony 100 calories per bottle. Sadly, we did not get a good, close-up photo of the bottles, as we were visually distracted by other things. But we can tell you that the Elderflower variety is just fantastic tasting. We are going to try to do a separate review of Frisa Beverages in the near future, so stay tuned to the blog!

Frisa Display

Attention all Amateur Mixologists: the Wild Hibiscus Flower Company has introduced a line of 100% natural flower extracts that can be used to create all sorts of cocktail magic. The Rose + Hibiscus variety is a top favorite of professional bartenders. With the hibiscus flower’s  mixed-berry-esque  taste, this unique product can be used like bitters, with just a few drops per cocktail adding a vibrant pink color (are we thinking Cosmos? Sure we are!). It also goes particularly well with mescal, or added to a glass of Champagne.

Even more exciting; B’Lure, a bright blue extract made from Butterfly Pea Flower magically changes the color of clear drinks from blue to purple with just a squeeze of citrus. We saw it demonstrated right before our eyes! Fancy!

Hibiscus Flower in Champagne

And check out these Preserved Hibiscus Flowers that you can add to a glass of Proseco! Visit Wild Hibiscus Dot Com for recipe ideas and more product information!

Art Pop Neon Logo

For the second year in a row, top accolades for Best All-Around Booth and Signage goes to Pop Art Gourmet Popcorn of Salt Lake City!

Art Pop Booth
Mike, Co-Founder of Pop Art, is on the Right

If you read our rad recap of SFFS15,  you may recall that Pop Art won this distinguished honor courtesy of their Popcorn Disco Ball! This year, they took that idea a few steps further, creating an entire booth shaped like a halved Disco Ball! Amazing! No other booth even came close to being so impressive. Also, check out that eye-catching Neon Sign!

Art Pop Feta Cheese Mash Up

Pop Art has just launched its gourmet Mash-Ups, a blend of two popcorn flavors in one tempting bag of yum — Feta Cheese & Honey Caramel being an example of a Mash-Up that makes our brains explode with delight. Visit Pop Art online at Pop Art Snacks Dot Com!

Tasty Mayo Signage

Over at the Foods from England Pavilion (or whatever it was called; you get the idea) we found a few fun products including Farraday’s Tasty, a family-owned business that specializes in gourmet Mayo, Relish and Chutney products. We love their slogan: The Lake District in a Jar!

Tasty Mayo Display

You know how much we love mayo, right? So, imagine what it was like to taste Faraday’s Tasty Wasabi Mango Mayo. Holy Green-Headed Cow with a Globe on its Noggin — that is tasty!! Explore the world of Farraday’s Tasty at Stay Tasty Dot Com.

Mr Kipling Cakes Signage

British Comedian Eddie Izzard once asked the burning question: Cake Or Death? And the answer is: “Cake, Please!” Especially when the cake is from Mr. Kipling!

Mr Kipling Cakes Display

Look at all of those delicious tiny cakes. Just look at them. Imagine the Mad Tea Party you could host with that kind of a spread? Get all the sweet stuff you need to know at Mr Kipling Dot Co Dot UK!

Jelly Belly Baking Mixes

Jelly Belly Baking Mixes: It is a Thing.

Chuao Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

Description of Chuao Potato Chip Chocolate Bar: Creamy milk chocolate, a sprinkle of sea salt and that irresistible potato chip crunch. The Potato Chip Bar combines two of the most crave-able creations on the planet for total taste bud domination. Yes, Please!

Cookie Pop

Yes, it exists: Cookie Pop Oreo Flavored Popcorn.

Mud Jelly

We do not know exactly what Juice Mud Jelly is, but we bet it comes from Asia! Fruit with a face on it gets a thumbs up for inclusion in the SFFS 16 recap!

The Matzo Project

The Matzo Project wins this years favorite product buzz phrase, because Would It Kill You to Try Something New?  We tried the Cinnamon Sugared Matzo. It was, not surprisingly, delicious!

Everything Dog in a Blanket

Everything Dog in a Blanket: Sold!

Mackies Haggis Crisps

Mackies Haggis Potato Crisps. They taste like Haggis!

Volcano Popping Candy

Aw, look at these crazy little monster dudes that are the mascots for Volcano Popping Candy! How cute are they? So darn cute.

Petitpot Signage

And while we’re on the subject of cuteness, surely it does not get much more adorable than tiny, smiling faced-jars wearing a striped sweater and a beret! Le Squee!

Petitpot Display

PetitPot Pot De Creme is delectable french pudding that tastes simply divine, and comes in a jar, for easy access snackin’. PetitPot Pot De Creme comes in lots of yummy flavors and is made, of course, with lots of care and high quality ingredients. Visit their Website for more information!

Brooklyn Bean Roaster Holiday Coffee

Do you like delicious flavored coffees and do you also own a Kurig? Brooklyn Bean Roastery unveiled lots of sensational holiday coffee flavors with colorful and clever theme packaging to match!

Brooklyn Bean Roaster Coffee

Visit them online at Brooklyn Beans Dot Com!

Todds Inner Beauty Sauce Signage

Every year, we always find the most hilarious signage and packaging among the many exhibitors in the Hot Sauce aisle and SFFS 16 was no exception. Todd’s Inner Beauty Hot Sauce has an angry Tiki God on the bottle.

Todds Inner Beauty Sauce

He is angry, so he is hot, get it? And what a fun name this sauce has!

Spyce Sauce

Spyce Sauce — which, REALLY spicy — gave away this crazy little mascot guy at their booth. Super fun.

Blairs Death Sauce with Toys

Blair’s Death Sauce stayed on-theme by decorating their display with fun Chili Peppers with Horns and  Devil Duck Toys!

Blairs Death Sauce with Samples

We wanted to steal this excellent coffin-shaped platter! Bone Appetit indeed!

Casa Maya Salsa Display

Casa Maya Salsa embraces it Mexican heritage with a label that proudly boasts a colorful Sugar Skull on each jar. Their booth was no-frills but nevertheless a minor work of art, because you can never have too many skulls.

Terrapin Farms Bacon Jam

Bacon and Jam Mash-ups also continue to be on-trend, and we tasted a couple of good ones. Terrapin Ridge Farms Hot Pepper Berry Bacon Jam covers all the flavor-profile bases for an artisan condiment that says “You must have me in your pantry!” right on the label. Well, it doesn’t really, but it should.

TBJ Signage

Does The Bacon Jams (soon to be known as TBJ Gourmet) have the best brand mascot in a guitar-playing, shade-wearing pig? Maybe.

Bacon Jams Display

One thing that’s certain is this: they bring the total bacon convenience in the form of their “No Fry, On the Fly” gourmet bacon spreads. Kick Out The (Bacon Jams) at This Link!

Way Better Chips Display

Let’s see, what else did we eat at SFFS 16? Oh Yeah! Way Better Snacks —  a brand we have mad love for already  —  had this for us to nosh on:

Way Better Chips Taco to Go

It’s a Taco To Go: all of the Taco ingredients you crave, tossed in an easy-to-carry half of a chips bag! Way Better Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips brought the crunch!

Frontera Salsa Taco

And here’s a more traditional, Spicy Beef Taco, which we picked up at the booth for Chef Rick Bayles’ Frontera Salsa! He is very handsome.

Frontera Salsas

Get product information and recipes at Frontera Fiesta Dot Com!

Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes

Do you like Pancakes and also Dessert? Then you might be interested in Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes — which are appropriate for either option.

Chef Making Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes

Check out the Chef making Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes right in the booth! She had mad skills.

Belgian Boys Mini Pancakes

We ate them, and we would do it again.

Graeters Ice Cream

And now, as we wrap up another year of food, folks and fun at the Summer Fancy Food Show, we’d like to give a shout out to Graeter’s Ice Cream.

Graeters Ice Cream Booth

They did not have a fancy booth but, gosh darn it if they didn’t serve the Best Ice Cream of the Show!

See you next Summer, SFFS!

SFFS Entrance and Signage

Summer Food Fête 2016: The Recap!

Columbia Crest Wine Display
Columbia Crest Wines Hosted the Bar at Summer Food Fête 2016! (All Photos By Gail.  Click on any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

Ah, Summer foods; we love them. Food Fête is the place to find out what’s new in seasonal food trends, and its most recent Summer event, which took place in late June (in tandem with the Summer Fancy Food Show) was no exception. Please enjoy our findings and recommendations!

Columbia Crest Wines

Columbia Crest Wines added additional festive cheer to the event by supplying wines for the open bar. One of the Northwest’s largest wineries, Columbia Crest, is acclaimed by critics and consumers alike for crafting wines that are food-friendly, approachable, and that consistently over-deliver in quality.

Cheese and Fruit Display

Featured varietals included the 2013 Merlot, 2014 Unoaked Chardonnay, 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2014 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon. Attendees at Food Fête also received recommendations and tips for wine / food pairings, which always come in handy for summer entertaining.

Columbia Crest Wine Signage

Find out more about Columbia Crest Wines added at This Link!

Grapes from California Display

Speaking of grapes, it’s always fun to have Grapes from California in the house. Not only are fresh grapes an ideal simple snack, but these folks always have innovative and delicious recipes to share. This year we were treated to a taste of Fresh Grape Salsa.

Grape Salsa on Chips

You can whip up a batch of this sweet and tangy salsa to accompany a bowl of chips, or you can serve it as a topping for meats or even tuck it inside a grilled cheese sandwich!

Grape Salsa

Everyone got a jar to take home and enjoy! Get more recipes for and information on Grapes at This Link!

Cypress Grove Cheese Display

Cypress Grove Chevre has an inspiring backstory in which Mary Keehn, a single mother of four — and self-proclaimed hippie from Humboldt County, California — started a small, artisanal goat cheese making business that has blossomed into a venture boasting 14 cheeses across three distinct product lines! Cypress Grove’s model dairy has also received a 100 Percent humane certification score from the American Humane Association; and when cheese-makers care that much for their animals, you can taste it in the cheese!

Cypress Grove Cheese

Cypress Grove Chevre is award-winning, good for you, creamy and delicious. We enjoyed a sample one of their newest varieties, Truffle Tremor (you can see the little flecks of black truffle right in the cheese. Find out more about Cypress Grove and get amazing recipes at Cypress Grove Chevre Dot Com!

Vega

Since 2001, Vega has been a groundbreaker in the plant- based, natural health and performance products industry. From Whole Food Health Optimizer, they’ve expanded to create a range of clean, plant-based nutrition products to help you be better — on your own terms. Whether you want all-in-one nutrition, or only protein and greens, Vega has a nutritional shake for you. You can shake-and-go, or blend up a smoothie to help you start your day better. At Food Fête, everyone had the chance to sample Vega’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie, made with frozen strawberries, banana, coconut milk and Chocolate Protein & Greens powder! You can get lots of information on the Vega product line, plus tons of tasty and healthy recipes at My Vega Dot Com!

Organic Valley Display

Any steak aficionado can tell you that grass fed beef is the way to go, and it just follows that dairy products sourced from grass fed cows also taste way better! Organic Valley is an organic farming cooperate dedicated to bringing its customers healthy and wholesome foods that are farmed in a sustainable way. Their “Grass Milk” (terrific in your morning coffee), yogurt, butter and cheese are all farm fresh and delicious. Find out more about Organic Valley’s products, and meet some of their farming families, at Organic Valley Dot Coop!

Dole Booth Display

Eating lighter in the summer means that salads can be a excellent choice for dinner. Dole, a company once synonymous with Pineapples and Bananas, has been in the bagged salads game for a few years now, and they have introduced three new Salad Kits varieties to make your summer dining even tastier, not to mention (but you can see I am about to) super convenient! Each Kit contains fresh greens and flavorful toppings, tossed with Dole’s own signature dressings, to create distinctive salads that complement any cuisine, or with the addition of a protein such as Tuna or Chicken, stand on their own as a light meal.

Dole Caesar Salad

Dole’s Caesar Salad Kit contains Romaine Lettuce, Dole’s own Caesar Dressing, Garlic Croutons, and Parmesan Cheese. At the show, the folks at the booth were throwing the Romaine leaves on a little Foreman grill, fun!

Dole Ranch Salad

Dole Country Ranch Salad Kit contains Romaine, carrots, red cabbage, white cheddar cheese, Dole’s Country Ranch buttermilk dressing, roasted sunflower seeds, and cornbread croutons. This one is especially yummy, and is sure to please the entire family!

Dole Tuscan Salad

Dole Tuscan Salad combines sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and savory seasoning with two heads of fresh mini Romaine and tops them with Dole’s signature Italian Herb Dressing. These Salad Kits will be available in stores starting August 15th! Find out more about Dole Salad Kits at This Link!

Brio Ice Cream Display

Ice Cream lovers did not leave the show disappointed. Brio Ice Cream was created by twin brothers Ron and Arnie Koss who, back in the 80s, created Earth’s Best Baby Food, the first organic baby food brand in the US. Now, the Koss brothers have transformed ice cream into a healthier food with Brio; a totally new way to look at ice cream that scores on both the delicious and nutritious scales.

Made from calcium-rich, pasture-raised, organic whole milk, it’s a luscious way to add protein and omegas to your day. Brio is filled with antioxidants and probiotics, yet it has 35% fewer calories and 50% less fat than super premium ice cream brands. Crazy!

Brio Ice Cream

If you think that looks good, wait until you taste it! Everything you could ever want to know about Brio Ice Cream can be found at Brio Loves You Back Dot Com.

Nada Moo Ice Cream Display

Nada Moo Ice Cream brings the flavor to the table for those frozen treat fans who need to go dairy-free, with their top secret, extra creamy, dairy-free coconut milk base. Nada Moo comes is some insanely decadent flavors like Snickerdoodle Dough, Chocolate Cherry Fudge Brownie, Pistachio Nut, Salted Caramel, Creamy Coconut, and Bananas for PB & Chocolate – to name but a few – all made with certified non-GMO ingredients.

Nada Moo Ice Cream
Trump Sucks! Ice Cream for President!

Get your Nada Moo on at This Link!

Stemilt Booth Display

Washington State’s own Stemilt Growers had some delicious, just-picked apples to share with us, as well as a new Apple App!

Apple App

There’s an Apple for That is Stemilt’s fun new app (seen in the photo above) for when you’re asking yourself Gala? Pink Lady? Granny Smith? Each apple variety has its own unique flavor, texture, color and cooking properties. With There’s an Apple for That, you can discover which variety will work best for your next recipe or food pairing!The best part is, you don’t even need a mobile device to use it! I typed “Pork Roast” into the “What Are You Cooking” search entry using a regular desktop PC and was instantly connected to dozens of ideas for cooking pork with apples! So Cool!

There's an Apple for That

Get fruity with Stemilt Growers now at Semilt Dot Com!

Blue Plate Greek Yogurt Mayonnaise

Do you like mayonnaise? I sure do, because mayonnaise is awesome. I like to use it instead of butter or margarine to grill the bread for a tasty grilled cheese sandwich. But maybe you are thinking that you wish mayonnaise had less fat, and if that is that case, then I have some good news for you. Blue Plate Light Mayonnaise is the first mayonnaise in the condiment aisle to include Greek Yogurt! This means that it’s half the fat of regular mayonnaise without sacrificing taste!

Charred Broccoli Salad

This exciting Charred Broccoli Salad includes crunchy almonds and sweet dried cherries, and is seasoned with yellow curry powder and ginger before being tossed with a light dressing of olive oil and Blue Plate Light Mayonnaise with Greek Yogurt. What a knock-out side dish for your favorite dinner! Get this and more recipes at This Link, and find out where to buy the Blue Plate Mayonnaise family of products in your neighborhood at Right Here!

Cheryls Harry and David Popcorn Factory

Next time you’re looking for a thoughtful gift to send to a friend or loved one, keep in mind that the 1-800-Flowers family also includes terrific vendors like Cheryl’s Cookies and Brownies, Harry and David‘s gourmet gift baskets & towers, and Popcorn Factory‘s delicious popcorn treats! If you’ve never tried Cheryl’s Cookies, you are missing out. At Food Fete, Cheryl’s introduced a fun Cookie Decorating Kit that includes one dozen fresh baked and individually wrapped Cheryl’s Sugar Cookies, two tubs of Cheryl’s legendary luscious buttercream icing, and assorted sprinkles for a custom-decorated cookie experience that will delight the little ones and keep them busy without making a mess.

Harry and David

The Harry and David catalog has been around since I was an egg. Take a look at this cool New York-Inspired Gift Basket filled with extra-thick New York-style cheesecake, chocolate babka, artisan Dulcet cheese, smoked salami, and more! This eclectic assortment also features a New York dishtowel and yellow taxicab cookie. Perfect for anyone who wants to take a bite out of the Big Apple.

Popcorn Factory

The Popcorn Factory has a seemingly endless variety of gourmet popcorn flavors in an equally exhaustive list of themed gift tins and canisters to please anyone on your gift list. Visit This Link, and then just scroll across the tabs at the top of the home page to visit any of these vendors! One-stop shopping indeed!

Bumblebee Seafood Display

We want to give a shout out to Bumble Bee Tuna for reminding us that there is a huge difference in quality and taste when it comes to canned seafood, and that Bumble Bee solid white albacore looks as delicious as it tastes! Find out more about how not all tuna is created equal at This Link!

Clover Dairy Display

We made some new friends with folks at Clover Dairy, who were promoting their new line of organic Greek yogurt, which is carefully crafted in authentic Greek tradition using fresh Clover Organic Nonfat Milk and the finest premium organic fruits. Silky smooth and mildly tangy, this yogurt has a thick, creamy texture, is packed with calcium and live cultures, and comes in six delicious flavors — with no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Clo the Cow Mascot

Based in Petaluma, California, Clover Diary  is currently celebrating the brand’s one hundred year anniversary! We could not help but fall in love with Clover Dairy’s adorable cow mascot, Clo, who you can see here dressed in her shiny silver spacesuit as she celebrates the new Moolenium! Hee! Find out more about the Clover Dairy family of organic and natural dairy products at This Link!

Artisan Seasons Display

Simply Artisan Reserve, a Litehouse brand cheese, has discovered an ingenious use for the tiny cheese crumbles that occur naturally in handling and packaging the cheese, and has introduced Simple Seasons; shake-able cheese crumbles to top salads, dress up snacks, flavor meats and add to anything else that strikes your culinary imagination!

Artisan Cheese Sprinkles

Simple Seasons is available in Feta and Blue Cheese varieties. All cheese, all natural, all the time.

Cheeses Napkins

Also, how awesome are these napkins? Answer: so awesome. More info on Simple Seasons from Simply Artisan Reserve can be found at This Link!

Lemongrass Kitchen Packaging

Do you like Vietnamese and  Thai foods but are too lazy tired after a long day to make these dishes from scratch? Or maybe there are no good Pan-Asian take out places in your hood? I feel you on this. Lemon Grass Kitchen presents a line of frozen entrees based on recipes created by award-winning cookbook author, Chef, and restaurateur Mai Pham, whose family came to America from Saigon in 1975!

Lemongrass Kitchen Pad Thai
Chicken Pad Thai

Lemon Grass Kitchen is the only frozen entrée focused exclusively on southeast Asian flavors. Each package includes a flavorful, better-for-you alternative to take out, made with authentic seasonings and fresh ingredients like Rice Noodles, Tamarind, Cilantro, Thai Basil, Fish Sauce and Ginger. Varieties include favorites like Lemongrass Chicken Stir-fry, Chicken Pad Thai, Korean-style Grilled Chicken, and Beef and Broccoli Noodles. Read more about Lemon Grass Kitchen Entrees and find out where you can buy them in your area at Lemon Grass Kitchen Dot Com!

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Curious Feast: 100 Food Art Postcards!

Curious Feast Cover Shot
All Photos By Gail

Here at The ‘Gig, where we only write about things that we love, we especially love to write about Food and Art. And on the rare occasion when the two worlds collide, it is an act of pure kismet which we simply must share with you. In this case, we recently received a review copy of Curious Feast: 100 Food Art Postcards, which — if you love food and art — is the most fantastic thing you can imagine owning.

Food Art Cards By Alex Proba
Cards By Alex Proba. Tell Me That The Donut Doesn’t Remind You Of an Anish Kapoor.

Curious Feast includes a set of 10 postcards each by 10 different artists, all packaged in a collectible, full color postcard box format, to keep them clean and organized. Each featured artist specializes in food-related art, whether it’s a realistic bowl of Ramen, a surreal mashup of different foods (See above photo), a sculpture that looks good enough to eat, a joke (like spaghetti western — HA), or a hand-written recipe.

Ramen Art Cards by Michele Humes
Ramen Cards by Michele Humes

Artists included in Curious Feast are Naz Sahin Ozcan (curator), Alex Proba, Brest Brest Brest, Caren Alpert, Melinda Josie, Patricia Curtan, Michele Humes, Mimi O Chun, Wijnand Warendorf, and Joel Penkman. If these artists are new to you, this set provides an ideal introduction to their work.

Food Art Cards By Joel Penkman
Cards By Joel Penkman

I realize that Christmas is still a few months away, but Curious Feast would make the best gift ever for the Art Foodie in your life. You know I’m right. Curious Feast: 100 Postcards by 10 Artists (from Princeton Architectural Press) is available now at Amazon Dot Com!

Curious Feast End Shot

Cheese That Looks Like a Cake

Cheese Cake
Not a Cheesecake (All Photos By Gail)

The French Cheese Board opened its first US concept store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood in Mid-May, and we attended the opening party; because, free cheese! At this boutique storefront, which is located at 41 Spring Street, Certified Cheese Masters will showcase their knowledge of flavor chemistry and cheese and beverage pairings. The flagship location will also serve as a customizable venue for cuisine, art, lifestyle, education, and more. The FCB plans to leverage its partnerships with industry and pop culture influencers to create private events in year-long programming.

Sweet Cheeses

They also try to make the cheese displays look like art, or sweets, which is fun. However, you can tell by the way it smells in there, that they are selling cheese. Just giving you a head’s up on that.

Cheese Art
Cheese Art

The mission of the FCB, the umbrella organization for French dairy products, is to create awareness about the variety of cheeses from France available on the U.S. market. The organization also provides a platform for information, communication and exchange of ideas between French cheesemakers, researchers of the French dairy sector, artists, designers and chefs.

Destination Dining: Saffron Fine Indian Cuisine!

Cover Shot
All Photos By Gail

For fans of authentic Indian food, New York City is blessed with several key neighborhoods where an abundant selection of terrific restaurants are available for your choosing. 6th Street in the East Village and Curry Hill (East 20s at Lexington Avenue) are convenient destinations for downtown residents who don’t want to travel outside Manhattan to get their fix of favorites like Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Vindaloo. But the Upper West Side also boasts its share of excellent Indian restaurants, and one of those is Saffron, located at 75th Street right on Columbus Avenue — one of the best locales for prime people-watching in the city!

Saffron Interior

The Gig was recently invited to dine at Saffron as part of a media dinner, where we had the opportunity to savor many of Saffron’s excellent, multi-regional dishes, be pampered by friendly, attentive service, and enjoy the great street views! Owned and operated by Raju Brahmbhatt, who is already an established successful restaurateur, each menu item at Saffron was personally developed by him to showcase the depth and breadth of authentic and diverse Indian cuisine, characterized by the use of exquisite spices, herbs, vegetables and exotic fruits. Here are a few of the dishes we enjoyed!

Onion Kulcha

Saffron
features an extensive selection of Indian breads, including this still-warm-from-the-oven Onion Kulcha; a soft white bread stuffed with fragrant chopped onion.

Poori

We also enjoyed this freshly prepared Poori, a puffed, quick-fried whole wheat bread. This one is always greeted with smiles when it arrives at the table.

Ginger Tikki Chicken

Ginger Tikka is made with boneless chicken marinated with fresh ginger, garlic and spices, and cooked in a clay oven. A tender and juicy people-pleasing dish!

Shrimp Balchao

For seafood lovers, Shrimp Balchao is a classic Goan dish with succulent shrimp in a spicy chili sauce.

Lasuni Gobi Cauliflower

Lasuni Gobi is a dish of battered and fried Cauliflower, served in a garlic sauce. Saffron has seemingly endless varieties of creative, vegetarian-friendly dishes.

Aloo Gobi Mutter

Aloo Gobi Mutter is another popular Indian vegetable medley of lightly spiced potatoes, cauliflower and green peas, cooked in a ginger and tomato sauce. All of these dishes are ideally portioned for sharing, so a small group of friends can enjoy an eclectic feast by ordering just a few items!

Basmati Rice

Peas and Carrot Pulao is the favorite Basmati Rice dish with Saffron’s special touch of, well, saffron!

Fish Tikka Jalfrezi Salmon

Another standout entree, for Salmon lovers especially, is the Fish Tikka Jalfrezi; tandoori Salmon Tikka sauteed with onion, bell pepper and special seasonings in a tangy tomato sauce — the best salmon dish I’ve yet tasted in any Indian restaurant. Highly recommended!

Palak Paneer

No Indian feast is complete without Paneer; a traditional Indian Cheese that is one of our favorites. The Palak Paneer pictured above combines  cubes of this delcious homemade cheese with spinach, garlic and herbs.

Indian Ice Cream Cake

Although we were all surely stuffed and satisfied by the end of the meal, Saffron did not skimp on serving two excellent Indian Desserts. The Indian Ice Cream Cake is light and luscious, with its three flavors of ice cream including pistachio, cherry and vanilla, layered on top of a moist, spongecake base. So good!

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is a light pastry dumpling (not unlike a doughnut) served with a honey syrup. Sweet and a little decadent! What a fantastic evening!

In addition to its full dinner menu, Saffron also offers a variety of lunch options. Monday through Thursday, enjoy a special $9.95 lunch menu (Noon – 3 PM), or pick up a boxed lunch to-go for just $8.95. A weekend buffet lunch (Friday through Sunday, 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM) offers a fifteen course, all-you-can-eat entree selection for only $14.95  —  a unique alternative to the usual Sunday Brunch!

Saffron Indian Cuisine is Located at 320 Columbus Avenue, at the corner of West 75th Street, in Manhattan. Take the 2 or 3 Train to 72nd and Broadway, or the C Train to 72nd and Central Park West. Order online or make a reservation for dinner at Saffron NYC Dot Com.

Saffron Exterior