I just spent two fun, albeit freezing cold, days in New York City attending the Foodservice Council for Women at the Restaurant Show before and dining at Beyond Sushi with friends, including Big City Vegan (that is Sharon Nazarian) and visiting the Natural Gourmet Institute.
Foodservice Council for Women
We were looking forward to attending the Foodservice Council for Women panel discussion at the International Restaurant School in New York City, so Alice Leung (from Soy Café Philly) and I bundled up and hit the road. Kathleen Wood moderated an all-star panel: Amanda Cohen, chef, and owner, Dirt Candy; Elizabeth Falkner chef, author and artist; Anita Lo, Michelin Star Chef, 3-Stars New York Times, Iron Chef winner, Top Chef winner; and Clare Marin, proprietor, Catskill Provisions.
One of the most inspiring dessert cookbooks for me has always been chef Elizabeth Falkner’s Demolition Desserts. I was thrilled to meet chef Falkner at the show and inspired to hear her say, “find a way to take a dish you don’t like, lemon curd was her example, and make it into something you do like.” If you have her book, you see how she is technically correct and thinks outside of the dessert box at the same time. She advocates plant forward eating, cooking and eating at home and sustainability. Amanda Cohen received the 2019 Beacon Award, and you may know, she says what is on her mind. If you have not read her article in Esquire, I’ve Worked in Food for 20 Years. Now You Finally Care About Female Chefs? – it is a must.
Dinner with New York City friends at Beyond Sushi meant a lot of plates of food and nothing left. I wish Chef Guy Vaknin would bring Beyond Sushi to Philly.
Natural Gourmet Institute
I caught up with my friend Sarah over lunch on the upper west side at Sweetgreen and then decided to go visit the soon-to-close Natural Gourmet Institute, where I’d been both a student and then a teacher from the late ‘80s until three or four years ago. I was in luck, as many of my teaching colleagues, admin staff and former assistants were in. Of course, I took photos in the kitchens with Alice who’d taken my Vegan Baking Boot Camp course. It was NGI Founder Annmarie Colbin’s book Food and Healing that literally changed my life. In the early days, I taught in the CTP and then public classes, which included my two or three times a year Vegan Baking Boot Camp. Did you know that Chloe Coscarelli took a baking class with me, accompanied by her mother? I had to approve her enrollment as she was not yet 18! It is the end of an era to see the physical school close, but NGI curriculum will be taught at the NYC and LA campuses of the Institute of Culinary Education.
Remember to turn the clocks back on Sunday. I’ll take an hour less sleep for longer daylight!