Ladies and Gentlemen: It’s finally Summer! So, consider this clip starring legendary actress and sex-goddess Raquel Welch performing the classic medley from Hair, “Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In” to be my official launch of what I hope will be a Summer of kick ass videos, as well as a salute to this being Pride Day here in NYC! Certainly there has never been a more appropriate time to open ourselves up to this song’s lyrical prophecy of “Harmony and understanding, Sympathy and trust abounding” etc etc. I’m sure you will agree.
But just where the Hell did this video come from, you may ask; and understandably so. A little bit of digging around on the Google reveals that this performance was originally filmed to endorse the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, believe it or not; though its very ‘70s variety-show-feel makes sense when you know that it eventually became part of Raquel! — a multimillion-dollar, made-for-TV song and dance extravaganza, starring Welch and many other uber-hot celebrities of that era. Raquel! was filmed in various exotic locations around the world, and aired on CBS in April of 1970. It’s all been immortalized on DVD somewhere, if you can find a copy. Just in case you’re curious, the Signs of the Zodiac costumes were designed by Bob Mackie.
As a location for what could be called Raquel Goes to Burning Man, Teotihuacan never looked better, nor is there a more appropriate setting for Raquel and company’s obscure mystical rite (see if you can identify the solar and lunar pyramids)! Ah, the Seventies; creativity was so unrestrained in those days. It’s all pretty silly, but when you’re feeling it, who gives a shit?
Here’s another fun fact, though Raquel was occasional known to sing, here it’s actress and singer Tina Cole (My Three Sons, The King Family Show) who is actually singing most of the song, while Raquel expertly lip-syncs. Nevertheless, there is no denying that Raquel has the moves. Happy Gay Pride Everyone! Enjoy!
This fun ceramic sugar skull wall trophy was created by the Mexico City-based Ceramica La Mejor; a high-end commercial ceramic production company that makes all kind of cool stuff. We visited their booth at ICFF and took a few photos of one of our favorite pieces for our Pink Thing of the Day!
Here he is again, hanging around with all of his colorful friends! Find out more about Ceramica La Mejor at This Link!
Zengo Serves Gorgeous Food in a Gorgeous Setting (Photos By Gail, Cocktail Photos Courtesy of Burke Communications)
Foodie Fans of The Worley Gig know that one of our very favorite dining destinations is the Asian-Latin fusion restaurant, Zengo, conveniently located adjacent to Grand Central Station. While the menu is consistently delicious, Zengo is dedicated to continually changing things up. And in this case, change is good!
Every few months, Chef Richard Sandoval and his culinary team at Zengo research and develop new recipes featuring the cuisine and spirits of one Latin and one Asian country. The result is a menu of specialty plates and cocktails that showcase the flavors and techniques from each region. The featured new dishes are marked with a special “TK” symbol on the menu, noting that they are exclusive and available for a limited time. The current “Test Kitchen” menu, unveiled at Zengo in January, is dubbed “Japan to Mexico,” for which Chef Sandoval drew inspiration from the rich and flavorful street foods of Japan and Mexico to create the new Test Kitchen menu.
Recently we were invited to enjoy a Tasting of the Japan to Mexico Test Kitchen Menu and were wowed once again by the Chef’s finely honed skill at blending and accenting the flavors of these two distinct cuisines. Here’s a review of what we ate:
It’s always fun to start off a meal with a potent and refreshing cocktail and Zengo features two new ones for Japan to Mexico. The Calamansi Old-Fashioned is made with Japanese whiskey, fresh Calamansi juice (similar to Orange Juice) and Agave Bitters. Surprisingly, this tastes like a fresh Blood Orange cocktail with no overpowering Whiskey taste and not one hint of bitterness. Delicious!
Also on the cocktail menus is the Shiro Margarita blending Nigori Saki with 100% Agave Blanco Tequila, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and house-made sour mix. The Shiro Margarita is light and tart and will brighten the taste of whatever you are eating. These go down very smooth!
Next up on our selection of TK small plates was the outstanding Octopus Aguachile Tiradito: an unbelievably tender Octopus carpaccio flavored with Ginger Green Chile broth and White Soy, tossed with crisp Asian Pear and luscious, ripe Avocado and garnished with sprinkling of Nori and Sesame Seeds. This was the most delicious and visually appealing presentation of Octopus I have yet tried — and that includes the Octopus and Chickpea Salad at MP Taverna, which is just insane.
Zengo is famous for its excellent sushi and vegetarian maki rolls and they’ve come up with another excellent offering in the Achiote Shrimp Tempura Roll – a Tempura Fried Shrimp with Avocado, Jicama Chile Lemon, Charred Scallion and dressed with a light Chile Toreado Aioli. I enjoyed dipping pieces of this roll in the dressing from the Octopus dish!
Elevating Mexican Street Food are the Terikayi Pork Belly Gorditas “Sliders” – Fried Pork Belly with a sweet Teriyaki glaze, nested on a crispy Masa cake “Bun” with Oaxaca cheese, Guacamole, Caramelized Pineapple and Pickled Chiles for just a little bit of heat. If you’re a Bacon fan who’s looking to try something new and different, you’ll want to give this a try.
In the realm of hearty entrees, Zengo adds the Kabayaki Glazed Lamb Shank Barbacoa – fork-tender lamb marinated in a Ginger, Chiles and Tamarind glaze, served atop a bed of fragrant Arroz Verde and garnished with tender-crisp Pickled Carrots. The bones in this look intimidating, but the meat literally just falls away as soon as you prod it a bit with your fork. I loved the contrast of textures and flavors in this delightful dish.
And last but not least we sampled an unusual take on a traditional dessert, the Avocado Panna Cotta – Fresh Avocado Custard, served with tangy-sweet Tropical Fruit Salad and garnished an added crunch of Chocolate Cookie Crumbs. The mildly sweet true-Avocado taste of the Panna Cotta gets a kick from the chopped fruit and syrup accompaniment and the unexpected crunch of the cookie morsels add a fun texture to this not-overly-sweet ending to a fine meal.
Please note that all food photos in this post are representative of a group tasting presentation and expect the dish may look somewhat different when ordered for just one person.
Zengo is located at 622 Third Avenue (at the corner of 40th Street). Dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 5:00 PM onward. Lunch is served Monday – Friday from 11:30 AM -2:30 PM. For reservations, please call 212-808-8110 or visit their website at This Link. The Mexico-Japan menu is featured through March 31st, 2013 at all Zengo locations including New York City, Denver, Santa Monica and Washington D.C.
As someone who has literally grown up hearing Carlos Santana’s music since I was a small child, it is exciting to see him continually harvesting personal and financial success through diversification into projects that transcend the scope of music. Carlos’s latest endeavor is a partnership with the respected Tequila brand, Casa Noble, a company on whose board he now sits as a part owner.
Carlos Santana Speaks to Guests at the Casa Noble Tequila tasting at Midtown’s Core Club (Photo By Anne Raso)
Regarding the partnership, Carlos explained that he and the company share many core values. “Passion, dedication and integrity is what attached me to Casa Noble Tequila,” he said, adding, “I feel at home.” Santana also revealed that Casa Noble and his family have the same origins; with roots dating to the 1700s in Jalisco, Mexico. “When I visited the distillery,” said Santana, “I immediately felt spiritually connected to the [CEO, Jose] Hermosillo family and Casa Noble. Together we celebrate the gift of life and all of the blessings that come with it. Together we can all make a difference in the world.”
Last evening, Casa Noble and CEO Jose “Pepe” Hermosillo held a private tasting event at midtown’s Core Club to formally introduce Carlos’s alignment with and contribution to the brand, and to taste some delicious, triple distilled Tequila.
Three varieties were featured at the Core Club reception: Crystal (the Casa Noble version of the clear Silver or Blanco tequila variety), Reposada and Anejo. I must say that the deep amber Anejo variety scored as a favorite with the guests, owing to its butterscotch, vanilla and chocolate notes and an almost brandy-like essence. In a word: Smooth!
All Casa Noble Tequilas come in beautiful, hand blown glass decanters and are certainly Tequilas that anyone would be proud to serve or give as gifts to your finest friends and guests.
Read more about the Casa Noble brand and its partnership with Carlos Santana at This Link.
Tiny Bottles of Casa Noble Tequila Were Given to Guests to Take Home
One week ago today I was on holiday in Tulum, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula, enjoying the most delicious fish tacos I have yet eaten. The vast Mayan Ruins which we explored were ancient and awe-inspiring, while the beach below us was a stunning white sand with crystal blue waves, but it is the fish tacos, my friends, that I will be talking about for the rest of my life. Fish Tacos!