Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Little Taste of Turkey

So I'm back from Turkey, refreshed and revived -- though a vacation from my vacation might be in high order. While I'm getting back into the swing of hectic NYC life, here's a pictorial taste of my travels...

the delicious meze plate at Antiochia in Istanbul, amazing food, chic neighborhoody resto

a bounty of ikat prints at the infamous Grand Bazaar, the owner of this shop sells fabric to Donna Karan

the morning spread at Padma hotel in Alacati, homemade jams, spreads etc... possibly the BEST bfast I've ever had

Istanbul's historic Spice Market: more spices, nuts, dried fruit & teas than I could ever imagine

some of fresh produce displayed on nearly every street corner in Istanbul

the massive (& gorgeous) wooden table at Macakizi hotel in Bodrum, perfect for relaxed beachfront dining

a super cool lamp for the high-concept design store/firm Autoban in Istanbul

me and my traveling partner-in-crime Lauren at a cute cafe in Alacati

there's no better to wind down a sunny afternoon than with a glass of rose` & some light snacks

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Favorite Finds: Inspirational Ikat

In my frenetic, last-minute preparations for my trip to Turkey tomorrow, I figured a bit of graphic, colorful inspiration would be an appropriate adieu. The ikat trend was all over runways this season and I've scouted some great pieces that translate the trend to the table for a cool, fun dining experience with a touch of exoticism.
Fingers crossed that the airspace ash currently affecting Spain, Morocco and of course Turkey will subside and our flight takes off on time tomorrow. Until then, I'll be tying up loose ends at work and dreaming about exploring Turkey's incredible spice markets, shopping it up at Istanbul's infamous Grand Bazaar, wandering through breath-taking mosques and historic sites, delving into Turkish cuisine face-first, relaxing at the baths and taking in all the other sights, sounds, smells and tastes that everyone and their mother has been raving about to me upon learning of my travel plans. And not to worry, I'll be documenting my experiences along the way...stay tuned and bon voyage!
1. Ikat napkins | Anthropologie, $8 each
2. Vintage Uzbek ikat porcelain teapot | Distant LA, $94.99 *featured in May 2010 Elle Decor
3. Java platter | Home, James! East Hampton, $150
4. Ikat fabric table runner | Sheherazade, NYC, $25
5. Ikat plates | Dandelion SF, coming soon
6. Ikat bowl | Anthropologie, $14 each

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

La Paloma :: A Classic Cocktail for Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo (a day early)! I'm dreaming of an icy, salt rimmed margarita right now, and it's not even 3pm -- I get a little excited sometimes (often times) about the combo of fun holidays and great food + drink. In the spirit of all things Mexican, I'm gearing up for a cocktail or two tomorrow -- obviously made with all-natural, fresh ingredients, none of those syrupy, sugar-bomb mixes...come on, this healthful indulgence at its finest. As tasty as a margarita on the rocks is on, I've got my heart set on a well-crafted Paloma, a genius creation of tequila, lime juice, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, club soda for some fizz and bubbles and a salted rim. Mayahuel, a super-cool spot in the East Village devoted strictly to tequila drinks rocks out an incredible take on the Paloma by using jalapeno-infused tequila. Deliciousness with a kick...and I'm in love. If you can't get your hands on jalapenos, here's a quick recipe for a basic Paloma cocktail, tried and true. Happy sipping!

2 oz silver tequila (like Herradura Blanco or)
1/2 oz fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
2 oz fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
dash of agave nectar, about 1 teaspoon
club soda
salt for coating the rim

Place tequila, juices and agave nectar in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake well. Pour over ice in a 10 ounce Collins glass (tall and thin) that's rimmed with salt. Top with club soda and garnish with a slice of lime.

And the winners are...2010 James Beard Awards

Votes are's a quick recap of last night's fete celebrating the 2010 James Beard Awards. Congrats to one of my personal favorite chefs, Tom Colicchio for walking away with the Outstanding Chef award for his New York restaurant, Craft. Something new to add to your bookshelf and cookbook collection, check out Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller, which received an award in the General Cooking category. And if you're in NYC, Marea and it's Italian seafood cuisine is gaining ground as best new restaurant of the year. Keith McNally snagged the Restauranteur of the Year award for Minetta Tavern (though good luck getting a reservation or getting past the fashionably discerning eyes of the hosts. And if you happen to be among the lucky few who's got an 'in' there, I'm envious. Share the love please!).


Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio (Craft, NYC)

Outstanding Restaurant: Daniel (NYC, Chef/Owner: Daniel Boulud, Owner: Joel Smilow)

Rising Star Chef: Timothy Hollingsworth (The French Laundry, Yountville, CA)

Best New Restaurant: Marea (NYC, Chef/Partner: Michael White, Partner: Chris Cannon)

In addition, special achievement award honorees included:

Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America: Leah Chase (Chef/Owner, Dooky Chase Restaurant, New Orleans, LA); Jessica B. Harris (Author and Historian, CA); Paul C.P. McIlhenny (President/CEO, McIlhenny Company, Avery Island, LA); David Rockwell (Founder/CEO, Rockwell Group, New York, NY); L. Timothy Ryan (President, Culinary Institute of America, New York, NY); Susan Spicer (Chef/Owner, Bayona, New Orleans, LA)

America's Classics: Al's French Frys (owners: Bill Bissonette and Lee Bissonette, South Burlington, VT); The Bright Star (Owners: Jimmy Koikos and Nicky Koikos, Bessemer, AL); Calumet Fisheries (Owners: The Kotlick and Toll Families, Chicago, IL); Gustavus Inn (Owners: JoAnn and David Lesh, Gustavus, AK); Mary & Tito's Cafe (Owners: Mary Gonzales and Antoinette Knight, Albuquerque, NM)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Ariane and Michael Batterberry (Founders, Food & Wine and Food Arts)

Humanitarian of the Year: Wayne Kostroski (Founder, Taste of the NFL)

The Book, Broadcast Media and Journalism awards categories were presented on Sunday, May 2, 2010, at the annual Media & Book Awards dinner at Espace in New York City. Highlights included:

Cookbook of the Year: The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews (Chronicle Books)

Cookbook Hall of Fame: A Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden

M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: Francine Prose, Saveur, "Faith and Bacon"

Television Show, In Studio or Fixed Location: French Food at Home with Laura Calder, Host: Laura Calder, Network: Food Network Canada, Producer: Johanna Eliot

Television Show, On Location: Chefs A' Field: King of Alaska, Host: Rick Moonen, Network: PBS, Producers: Heidi Hanson and Chris Warner

TV Food Personality: Andrew Zimmern, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Network: The Travel Channel

Newspaper Food Section: The Washington Post, Joe Yonan

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Reviews: Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly, "Sauced," "Hot Birria, Cold Cerveza," "Hare Today"

Website Focusing on Food, Beverage, Restaurant, or Nutrition:, Jane Goldman

Food Blog: Serious Eats, Ed Levine,