Category Archives: This never would have happened in Finance

The Food Porn Film Industry

In my continuing search to find a paying career within the food industry (operative word being paying – lots of people are prepared to “employ” me for nothing…), my friend’s father was kind enough to let me intern behind the scenes at his latest food commercial shoot. When he called to let me know the details of the shoot, it might have been a little disconcerting had I not known better.  I was told to show up to the basement of a building in Soho at 8:00 AM… What kind of filming was this again?  I feel like that’s how those raunchy American Apparel ads start out.

This is where Food Porn gets made.  Instead of a cheesy porn backdrop (get it? cheesy? haha?), you get a kitchen and a cloth-covered platform.

This is where Food Porn gets made. Instead of a cheesy porn backdrop (get it? cheesy? haha?), you get a kitchen and a cloth-covered platform.

What is Food Porn?  It’s pictures and video of food taken so close that your gut screams that you’re beholding something indecent.  Yet it’s so mesmerizing, so tantalizing, that you can’t look away.  I just can’t stop watching how the perfectly nappant sauce slowly, teasingly, rolls down the side of the chicken breast. You’re so close that every curve and dimple on the food is magnified for your viewing pleasure.

Food Porn: This is the DBGB Yankee burger with cheddar that I slathered in ketchup, dijon, and my favorite, grainy mustard.  More on this burger tomorrow and the whole DBGB experience tomorrow.

Food Porn: This is the DBGB Yankee burger with cheddar that I slathered in ketchup, dijon, and my favorite, grainy mustard. More on this burger and the whole DBGB experience tomorrow.

IMG_4209.JPGI’m a novice (super novice) at Food Porn.  Santi Suarez, Food Porn Director, sits in his Director’s chair (complete with his name on it) at the wayyyy other end of that spectrum.  Who is he?  What has he done?  Well, if you, like me, broke thousands of plastic straws trying to jam them into an orange like Tropicana did, you have Santi to thank for that.  Oh, and I personally hold him responsible for the few adolescent years where I was obsessed with pepperoni, which means he’s also accountable for the fat and acne that came along with that obsession.  And here’s an interesting little factoid: it’s because of Santi’s wife, Bonnie, and Santi’s son, Nick (of Beer Experiment fame), that I decided to try my hand at the culinary world and go to FCI in the first place!  Thanks, guys, it’s worked at real well for me…  Working with him on this particular shoot was Marilinda Hodgdon, an incredibly impressive Food Stylist (cook, jewelry maker, sculptor, construction worker – you name it, she can do it and she has).  Santi said that if I was interested in food styling at all, she was who I needed to meet and see in action.

For some reason, I only have 2 speeds: hyper-buoyant or disdainful-sarcasm… guess which of these two I am most of the time.  Whenever I get excited to try something new, I go straight into hyper-buoyant, which is how I showed up at the ******* studios for the ****** commercial shoot.  Oh, why are those names starred out?  Well, I think that I broke even my own record for how quickly you can step in it on your first day.  I got there at 8AM, but nobody was ready for my help.  There were several confused stares as to who-in-the-hell I was.  I asked if it would be alright to take some pictures as I waited.  Sure, no problem.  So off I went, taking pictures of props here, backdrops there… I even took some pictures of the product being advertised.  And then… I TWEETED about it.  Oh yeah…  I felt like a happy little twitter monkey, finally using this damn technology that all the kids are talking about and that Teach forced me to do under threat of obscurity.  GREAT idea, right?  I’m sure you all already know that it wasn’t, but I’ll just go ahead and spell it out: BAD idea.  VERY BAD idea.

just a normal kitchen, right?

just a normal kitchen, right?

Don’t try and look for the tweet, I figured out how to delete it… today… days after the fact…  Apparently you just click the little trash can that comes up next to the tweet.  Yeah.  WHAT???  So I used technology without knowing fully what it did or how it worked!  Ok, I made a mistake!  It’s not like I freakin’ used a taser without knowing where the stop button was or anything.  When Santi introduced me as a blogger to the Clients and their Agency for the shoot, I innocently told them that I had just tweeted about their product and… well, I might as well have shot that poor producer with a whole lot of taser juice.  He seemed so nervous and upset by my tweet that I *think* I saw him cry a tear of blood.  I was quickly informed that I was not allowed to mention the product or the client name, nor was I allowed to show any pictures of the product OR any food at all, even if the product was nowhere near it.  Yowzas.  This guy reminded me of an extremely jittery VP I knew from my Goldman days who didn’t seem to particularly enjoy anything outside of money and legal compliance, which meant that now was not the time to make the joke that was about to roll off my tongue.  All this over a ****** of ****** being used to ****** a ****** of ******.

IMG_4137.JPG

Now check out that same little kitchen hanging out in the way back corner of the basement behind wires, lighting, and that giant white bucket that I somehow didn't mind being in my picture until just now.

Luckily, Marilinda had some work for me to do back in the kitchen.  I quickly started putting ****** on ******.  I don’t know for sure that I’m not allowed to write about that, but again, Mr. Jitters has me nervous and the last thing I want to do is piss that guy off any further.  I got to see Marilinda in action, though, using skewers to gently move something into position, a pair of tweezers to remove another food item.  Man, this must be thrilling for you to read, huh?  Move something here, take something away there.  Sheesh.  Let’s just say that Marilinda studied sculpting and was the head cook at a restaurant in NJ by the time she was 16 — she gets food, understands aesthetics, and has the precision of a surgeon.  Respect.

As I put ****** on ******, I struck up a conversation with one of Marilinda’s assistants for the day, Neli, who it turned out I had met on her last day/my first internship day at Gramercy Tavern!  We had bonded over the sous-vide station and then poof, she was out of my life forever until almost a year later when we both happened to be on the set of a ****** commercial!  Small world!  Well, we got to talking and catching up when my first verbal smackdown came from Marilinda’s Chief of Staff.  Her exact words were, “It may not seem like it, but we’re in the weeds.  You can talk, but I don’t want to hear it.”  Awesome.  Even better was the way she moved slowly over to me to calmly say it without any emotion whatsoever.  Just a matter of fact, “I don’t want to hear your voice.”  Hour 4 and I already pissed two people off.  What can you do?  I just nodded, “that’s cool” and went about the random jobs that were assigned to me.  The next day I was on set, I was talking to Marilinda and helped her set up her own, personal blog: www.foodfloozie.com.  She had mentioned the term as something she had coined for herself and her team because, “we’ll do it [food style] for anybody for money.”  I loved it and we got to setting it up right away since no one seemed to need my help beyond opening ****** of ****** once every hour or so.  Well, in talking with Marilinda, I pissed off her Chief of Staff again who asked if I would kindly stop distracting Marilinda.  Ice, ice, baby.  Between Mr. Jitters and Miss Not-so-Snoopy-snow-cone, I felt like I should put on a sweater and get the hell out of the food commercial business ASAP.  I’m just not for everybody…

Food Stylists (aka Food Floozies) at work.  Marilinda Hodgdon is in the back-right of the shot (facing us).

Food Stylists (aka Food Floozies) at work. Marilinda Hodgdon is in the back-right of the shot (facing us).

Thankfully, Santi flashed his super-warm “dad-smile” and let me check out the ins & outs of how he filmed the product.  The insanity, time, and workforce that go into taking 10 seconds of food porn film is staggering.  Take after take has to be reviewed, approved, discussed, etc. before it’s usually nixed and redone…. which means that the food has to be redone… utensils have to be cleaned and reused, etc.  At one point, I’m pretty sure there were 30 people in the studio to film something the size of my left hand (it’s the smaller one) – 10 of which were cramped around a small table with the product on it.  You can throw as many people at this as you want, but the most impressive thing of all was watching Santi & Marilinda work.  Everyone was impressive in how completely in sync they worked: adjusting the light here, the hand model placing something in exactly the right spot every time, reflectors and gels being angled and replaced properly, producers/art directors/script supervisors, etc. analyzing the playbacks and making adjustments & suggestions.  But it was Santi and Marilinda who were able to touch the food, adjust the food, angle the food in such a way to make it look effortlessly organic, even though its setup was anything but.

I can't even fit all of those people around my dinner table, let alone around 1 small **** of *****.

I can't even fit all of those people around my dinner table, let alone around 1 small **** of *****.

There were a number of eye-opening moments that forced me to look down at my poor little 6.0 Canon Powershot, cradled in my sweaty palm, and whisper, “don’t worry little guy – you’re still pretty awesome in my book.”  My favorite of those moments was watching Santi move the camera to trace the path of the ***** as it moved quickly over the *****.  Oh MAN is that such a great description, right???  Yeah…  Anyhoo, as it moved, he anticipated where it would land and it reminded me of the way a lacrosse player moves his or her stick to anticipate the trajectory of the ball that they are trying to catch and then the way they pull that stick back in towards them to cushion the impact.  It was fluid and graceful and had a way of triggering you into instant hunger.

IMG_4186.JPG

Santi, Food Porn Director, at work getting an obtrusively close shot of the product

Yesterday yielded another great 6 degrees of Gramercy moment.  Ok, until now, I have kept my Gramercy-loving under wraps.  More than anything, I’m embarrassed that I’m not working the line there right now.  Let me tell you something: if there is ANY line in the world that I would want to work, it would Gramercy’s line under the leadership of Michael Anthony.  Basically, he’s superhuman.  Not only is he a ridiculous chef producing food and plating that make me regret not saving more during my Goldman days so that I could eat at Gramercy on a weekly basis, but he’s also the most humble and earnest chef that I have ever met.  Did I mention that he and his team at Gramercy also do volunteer work at a local school?  I’m going to start a list of people that I don’t want to stand next to because it makes me realize what a bad person I am – Michael Anthony’s going to be at the top of that list.  So when yesterday, I met the woman handling post-production of the ****** commercial and she said her name was Mindy, I was already thrilled!  I met another Mindy!  How awesome is that?  Do you know how rare it is for me to find anyone else named Mindy besides the girl who played Natalie on The Facts of Life??? This Mindy is pretty rocking, too, and definitely wins in a Mindy-off.  Besides being an artist, she basically pulls together all the elements of commercials that involve some sort of CGI and special effects!  Luckily, I refrained from asking her about the graphics in Lord of the Rings, with which I’m mildly obsessed.  I’M A GEEK – WHAT? And then when she told me that her husband was Michael Anthony, I just couldn’t refrain and I literally blurted out, “SHUT UP!”  Yup.  That’s actually what I said.  I promise, once upon I time, I could converse like a normal civilized person.  I don’t know what happened…  Well, I obviously couldn’t hold back and let spill how incredible I think her husband is and she, too, thinks he’s superhuman.  Wow.  A Mindy AND another Gramercy connection.  I should have bought a lottery ticket, but I spent all my money on peking duck and noodles.

IMG_4179.JPGLast night, after the shoot, I went to take a picture of my peking duck and wonton noodle soup takeout and had a moment of sadness at the way it looked.  The wonton just weren’t glisteny enough – Marilinda would know how to combat that deep-yellow drying that came from the wonton being steamed then packed separately from the liquid so they wouldn’t get too mushy.  Where was the steam?  At Santi’s shoot, there would definitely be steam wafting from the top of my takeout, coiling seductively over the bowl the way it only does in a Food Porn Flick.  As the sun started to set and the light from my northern window started to wane, I did think of one makeshift, DIY thing that I could try!  I quickly covered a small, plastic cutting board in aluminum foil and angled it to naturally light my bowl o’ noodles.  Not bad, not bad.  Besides, I’m not movie-scale Food Porn, I’m that free, internet Food Porn that you don’t need to pay anything to see.  I know, I know – you’re just checking my site out for the articles, anyway.

Santi adjusting ***** that I have cropped out for fear of pissing off Mr. Jitters

Santi adjusting ***** that I have cropped out for fear of pissing off Mr. Jitters

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under This never would have happened in Finance

The other blog in my life

I know, I said I was going to post on ramen today… but instead, I worked on a particularly GREAT post for Cooking Issues with Dave & Nils.  It’s all about how to saber a champagne (or other sparkly bubble) bottle.  Once you learn how to saber, you will never be able to open a bottle of champagne/sparkling wine traditionally without sighing a little for the lost chance to snap the cork off that bottle.  Don’t believe me?  Just watch the video (our first on Cooking Issues) and tell me that it doesn’t make you want to run out and by the cheapest bottle of sham-pog-nay that you can find.  Happy sabering.

6 Comments

Filed under This never would have happened in Finance

Banh mi with a side of enlightenment

I dragged my congested self out of bed on Saturday to be part of the Food Panel discussion at the Vietnamese in NYC minifest called “Hay Qua.”  Immediately after the event, I had to drag myself back to bed, but not before getting an awesome Banh Mi lunch with a side of inner peace and enlightenment.

I thought I was about 10 minutes late, but it turned out I was almost an hour early.  I forgot that these were my people – punctuality is for the workplace, and Hay Qua was not work.  And classic Vietnamese, it didn’t get crowded until lunchtime when the Banh Mi arrived – we love to eat and if we pay to eat, you better believe we’re going to be there to eat our money’s worth.  An Choi, BEP, and Nicky’s all provided Banh Mi to sample.  I’m not going to lie, I sampled a LOT.  All 3 provided ridiculously delicious, grill chicken and pork garnished with pickled veg tastings.  I’d love to pick a favorite, but in all honesty, I can’t.  Being under the weather, my sense of taste is a little under right now and I don’t think it would be fair.  You know the only solution, right?  A banh mi crawl.  You take a day and travel the boroughs sampling banh mi while taking tasting notes.  It’s the only fair way.  I also don’t like comparing food when it’s prepared en masse.  I want individual attention lavishly garnered on my banh mi; pickled carrots and daikon lovingly hand-placed on crusty baguette.  Hot summer days naturally compliment tropical Vietnamese cuisine, meaning that now is the time to take on this mission.  Who’s with me???  (Yes, Nick – I see you.  Put your hand down.  We’ll get you that banh mi tasting badge)

Overall, I was the least-impressive participant by far, but I’m used to that.  I was lucky enough to sit sandwiched between Thu Tran of Food Party and An Nguyen Xuan of BEP.  If you haven’t seen Food Party, you need to.  It’s beyond description, but if I had to try, it’s a little like Japanese Pop Art meets Sesame St. meets Japanese game show meets Martha Stewart meets Rachel Ray meets chemical-aided hallucination meets The State (the old MTV sketch comedy troop that rocked the 90s).  Basically, it’s crazy amazing and Thu is the genius that drives it.  If you have seen Food Party and like me, have wondered what she’s like in person, let me tell you: she does not disappoint.  She’s hilarious without effort.  The girl is REAL.  She does and says exactly what she wants and thinks in that particular moment.  She’s also humble and reserved.  Once she gets on topic though, get out your tissues because she’ll make you laugh so hard that you’ll cry.  An is also hilarious.  He rocks a French-Vietnamese accent, is light-hearted and funny, and doesn’t stop smiling (probably because he’s constantly making himself laugh).  Sitting between these two felt like being at a bar, just chilling with good people.  We could have been anywhere – we just happened to be on a small stage talking to a roomful of people.

Tuan Bui of An Choi was the tallest Vietnamese dude that I have ever met.  I don’t know how tall he is, but he’s like a one-man Vietnamese National Basketball team.  He was thoughtful and well-spoken and has such a classic, well-groomed manner that I instantly felt like a putz.  He, too, left Finance to get into food and has done so pretty successfully with An Choi.  My confession is that I’ve never eaten at either An Choi or BEP, but meeting both Tuan and An has made me confident that they’re doing Vietnamese food justice.  I’m excited to go try their current menus and then constantly go back to see how they continue to expand!  Also on the panel was Yen Ha of the Lunch blog.  This lady is no joke.  Besides her impressive food blog, she’s also a partner in her own architecture firm.  On top of all this, she is simply graceful and elegant.  Her quiet confidence is so intimidating that I could only muster a “hello, nice to meet you.”  I consciously decided that “less is more” with her and wouldn’t subject her to my diatribe of nonsense the way I torture all of you.

I finally got to meet the lovely Tam Ngo as well!  Oh, did you know that being an amazing food writer and photographer is something she does in her spare time when she’s not practicing law or sitting on the board of Open House New York?  Yeah.  Talk about impressive.  Oh, and she’s stunning.  Girl’s able to eat a LOT (judging from her food pics) without gaining an ounce.  Damn.

And you’d think that with all of this, I would have left Hay Qua feeling pretty self-conscious and down on myself… Full (of banh mi), but still down…  Yet I didn’t.  I actually left feeling… content.  The theme of the day was one of savoring the now, heralded by Phong Bui (artist, scholar, and publisher of the Brooklyn Rail).  With a buddha-like grin (and haircut), Phong gave an hour-long, reference-filled, speech that helped everyone in the room find a little more peace and acceptance with where each of us is in our lives at this moment.  For me, it helped me actually laugh a little at my current predicament and find nothing short of amusement with all of my recent… pitfalls.  Phong, too, was a career changer who saw a piece of art that changed his life forever.  Yet he admits that he still doesn’t know where exactly he’s going (although his path thus far is pretty damn incredible).  As someone who’s constantly asked “what’s your end-goal,” this rang so true to me.  Is it OK to not know where you’re going, but to just enjoy the journey?  If there is a destination point, what happens when I get there?  Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be the type of person who has a goal or a target and just sets off to achieve it… but I’m not.  I guess, like my friend Annette, I’m a wanderer, hungrily eating all of the experiences that my haphazard, hazard-filled life has to offer.

8 Comments

Filed under This never would have happened in Finance

Disasters in the press

Check it out – I got a little mention in Serious Eats! Thanks again, Tam!

And just a reminder that if you’re free this Saturday, please come check out the Hay Qua mini-fest! Don’t worry, besides me, there will be actually talented and entertaining speakers! Plus, there’ll be a banh mi lunch! What’s better than that? In fact, depending on how many banh mi they let me have, you may never hear me speak at all – I’ll just hang back and stuff my face until the whole thing is over.

You know what’s funny? I grew up eating banh mi while other kids were eating turkey sandwiches. I always felt bad that my sandwich smelled “so bad” in comparison. I mean, it never smelled bad to me, but the kids around me didn’t seem to share the same appreciation for fish sauce that I had. It’s kind of vindicating to know that people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities love banh mi now. Who knows, maybe those same kids that used to make fun of me grew up to love banh mi! Or maybe they just grew up into even bigger jerks… I’d put my money on the latter scenario… if I had any.

3 Comments

Filed under This never would have happened in Finance

Whoa – I think a little of this LA luck is rubbing off on me

Just when everything around me seemed to be swirling and conspiring to make me hole-up somewhere and take up agoraphobia as a hobby, I received a divine message not to take the leap back under my covers…  from Facebook.  I’ve been asked, and have accepted to be, a speaker for a Vietnamese conference called Hay Quá (roughly translated into “pretty neat.”  It’s purpose is to bring together “the most creative vietnamese americans in new york.”  Stop laughing.  No, really, stop laughing.  It turns out that a real blogger, Tam Ngo of Serious Eats, reads my blog, actually likes it, and suggested that I be invited to be part of a food panel (no doubt to fill a last minute cancellation, but beggar bloggers can’t be choosers).  Rock on, Tam, and thanks for being my fourth reader right after mom, husband, and Chef Hayley’s mom!

Unfortunately, I got so excited about being asked, that I went immediately to the blog and started reading about the other speakers.  Oh fudge.  Double fudge.  The other speakers are actually super creative.  They’re not just sitting here typing about all their crazy misfortunes, they’re actually out there doing things like, oh you know, running restaurants, making documentaries about changing the world, singing while playing an instrument (so impressive and so different than karaoke), etc.  And me?  Hi… uh, my name is Mindy Lvoff… I know my last name’s not Vietnamese, but I changed my name from Nguyen because I got married and… well you probably don’t care about that… I write a blog about food… well, it’s not really all about food, but… um… it’s really more about what a train wreck I can be… which only Hayley’s mom and my mom seem to find amusing… and… uh…  oh and Tam seems to like it for some reason – thanks, Tam, bet you’re regretting the decision to invite me right now… and… hehe… uh… hi?

Oh yeah, that’s going to be a grrreat discussion.  Maybe I’ll provide comic relief by tripping and falling while trying to take my seat or something.  I really shouldn’t joke about that kind of thing, huh?  If you’re interested, Vietnamese or not, please come and meet some actually talented Vietnamese-Americans that I’ll be sitting next to!  I heard they’ll be banh mi there…

7 Comments

Filed under This never would have happened in Finance

Brooklyn Beer Experiment findings: people love beer more than orphans

First, remember how my phone would crap out every Sunday and only let me type “hlhlhlhlhl?”. Well yesterday, my first Sunday off work in 2 months, it was absolutely fine. Curiouser and curiouser…

That's right, they had beer mug-shaped balloons.  Awesome.

That's right, they had beer mug-shaped balloons. Awesome.

Maybe my phone was just too happy to get ornery on me. Why? How could you NOT be happy eating beer-inspired savory and sweet dishes, then washing them down with home-brewed craft beers? I kept up my tradition of working for free by rolling plastic flatware in paper napkins at the door, and have the blister to prove it. It’s harder than you think, ok??? We weren’t the only ones there to help our friend Nick (thank God) – he actually had a small army of friends and family making sure everything ran smoothly. It’s really a testament to him. For comparison, I wanted to sell holiday cards last year made by orphans in Vietnam to help keep their center running, and couldn’t get any of my friends onboard. Nick can rally an army for beer, I hear crickets when it comes to buying a $5 pack of holiday cards… FOR ORPHANS!

Nick Suarez: the Big Cheese himself

Nick Suarez: the Big Cheese himself

Anyhoo, I didn’t get to try all of the food, but there were a few that I tried and enjoyed immensely. The “Half Pints” were two lovely ladies from the pastry kitchen at Jean Georges WHO WERE ROBBED. They should have won something, if not everything, for their delicious pretzel-scone sausage mini-slider with a smokey beer gel, carbonated and served out of ISI Whips. I can’t really complain because I didn’t vote (I was volunteering, didn’t feel right about voting), but I’m still shocked that neither the judges nor audience sent the love their way. I’m sure they’ll get over it because they know, deep-down inside, that they’re better than us all and could bake us under the table. That must be a great feeling to know that you’re the best at something… never experienced it myself, but I imagine it’s something like eating cheese for every meal and never gaining weight.

The Pretzel Scone Slider that was robbed.

The Pretzel Scone Slider that was robbed.

Now, this may sound like foul play, but I swear that Nick’s mom, Bonnie Suarez, won 2nd place fair and square for her “You can have your brew and eat it, too!” Not only that, but I have the inside scoop that she was 1 vote away from winning 3rd in the audience’s pick category (inside scoop because I counted the votes). Besides having a great name, she had a dual-component dish: the first was a kick-butt (I keep having to go back over my posts and censor out expletives) curry-chicken salad topped with spicy, pickled raisins. The chicken was perfectly tender and the dressing had just the right balance of curry. And those raisins… oh, those raisins… Tomorrow’s post will tell you more about those damn, delicious, raisins. Ok, back to what really put Bonnie over the top – her homemade beer bread. So tender, a little molassessy, with that delicious hoppy-yeast aftertaste; this bread was so delicious that I wanted to take it home and toast it and have it with creme fraiche and cured salmon for breakfast. It was so delectable that I wanted to have it cold and dense, slathered with peanut butter, and topped with honey and sliced bananas for a snack. Now, just thinking about it, I have a craving to cut it up and make buttery, crispy croutons out of it. If she decides to ever sell that bread, I will post about it for a week (I know, I know, this paragraph is basically a week long already).

Bonnie's winning entry - it looks good, it tastes even better.

Bonnie's winning entry - it looks good, it tastes even better.

The desserts were incredible and made me feel silly for never having used beer as a sweet ingredient before. The Black & Tan Bread Pudding by Rachel Crawford was unbelievably good. How good? My husband ate the entire sample that I brought back to the napkin-folding area to share and photograph. Usually my husband’s pretty considerate, but damn, he didn’t even pause to ask me if I wanted some. He just asked me after-the-fact: “oh… did you want any of that bread pudding?” He did run in and get me another sample after I stared at him like I was trying to light his hair on fire with my eyes for several minutes. I wasn’t disappointed – warm, perfectly balanced, not overly sweet, yummy yeastiness, incredibly tender, and topped with fresh whipped cream that was starting to melt down the sides of my delicious bite.

Rachel Crawford's winning Black & Tan Bread Pudding.  Nice touch: she added a recipe card.

Rachel Crawford's winning Black & Tan Bread Pudding. Nice touch: she added a recipe card.

Rebecca Lando’s Beeramisu was also a smash hit.  Not only was it creamy and made with FIVE different beers, but it won Johnny Iuzzini’s (the pastry chef from Jean Georges) pick for best dessert of the day.  Rebecca – you can basically die a happy chef now.

Rebecca Lando's Beeramisu: delicious and impressive - it won Johnny Iuzzini's illustrious pick for dessert of the day

Rebecca Lando's Beeramisu: delicious and impressive - it won Johnny Iuzzini's illustrious pick for dessert of the day

Other notable confections:

Beer Smores (I *believe* it was a beer ganache that made this treat so crazy satisfying) by Mark Sopchak of Brooklyn’s Whimsy & Spice. Basically, he brought all the best parts of the campfire together without the bug bites or my cousin peeing on my tent in the middle of the night.

Beer Smores

Beer Smores

Milk Stout Ice Cream with chocolate-covered pretzels… Stout ice cream actually sounds pretty natural, doesn’t it? But what put it over the top were the crushed up chocolate pretzels inside. I loved the tiny little crunch of biting into cold chocolate and the surprise of salty pretzel. Yummm. Here’s the terrible part – I forgot who made it. I think she told me and then I wrote it down in my blackberry, but now it’s gone. No longer in the blackberry. I think both my blackberry and me were distracted with ice cream (lactardation be damned!) and all pertinent information fell out of our microchips. I also neglected to bring a spoon the first time (yes, I went back twice and still don’t have her information) and tried to squeeze ice cream out of the little plastic cup… which then cracked under the forced and ice cream dripped down my leg. Whatever, that’s why I wore shorts (black ones) and sneakers and at least I got ice cream! 

yummmmmm.

yummmmmm.

Overall, great day, great event. Just makes it harder to leave the weekend behind…

 

Chris Munsey serves up his brew: "Mad Elephant"

Chris Munsey of Murray's Cheese serves up his brew: "Mad Elephant"

 

An ounce of Mad Elephant - no blue face mask needed.

An ounce of Mad Elephant - no blue face mask needed.

8 Comments

Filed under This never would have happened in Finance

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both, and there you have…

…if you don’t know how the rest of that song goes, please immediately go online and watch a few episodes of “The Facts of Life.”

Today had all the makings of a typical disaster… and now that I’m writing this post, I’m almost guaranteeing that it will end in disaster as well. After trying to take a cab to work to save time, just to get stuck on the FDR behind an accident, forcing me to get out of the cab on the FDR and walk to the nearest subway stop, I arrived at school wishing the world ill.

In the midst of photographing and taking video of Chef Nils for his upcoming debut on Top Chef Masters, I got a text from my friend who works in high-fashion. It said, “In my office, I just overheard someone saying, ‘that model has fat knees.'” I love receiving random-rumination/just-overheard texts in general, but the content of this one put it over the top. Any model that is working for his label is definitely crème-de-la-crème, so I’m pretty sure that the “fat” on her knee is just her patella, and is therefore physiologically necessary.  How rough is it when someone tells you that you need to drop a few bones cuz you look fat?

So I replied back to that text: “In my office, I’m putting more fat on my knees by eating the steak and vinegar-infused french fries that we just made.”  Which was an awesome text because it was true.  And my office is a cooking school.  Yes, I’m poor as dirt, but somehow that little text managed to put everything in perspective.

 

i also get to work for this guy.

i also get to work for this guy.

1 Comment

Filed under This never would have happened in Finance