Archive for the ‘World Food’ Category

Food on foot in New York

Whenever we travel to a new place, we’re always keen to try out a few local food treats if we can, so on a recent trip to New York we decided to hook up with a local company running Food on Foot tours to get a little off the beaten track.

Food on Foot run a whole range of different food tours and ours took in the East Village with a three hour walk that gave us a flavour of neighbourhood food away from the tourist hotspots.  Meeting under the entrance for Grand Central Terminal (it’s not a station – we’d done that tour the day before!) our group of about 30 from nations around the world slowly came together and we set off on for the subway in pursuit of tour leader Corey. He reckons he’s the only foodie tour leader brave enough to take a large group on the subway – thankfully we didn’t let him down and the whole group made it to the right stop without mishap.

Corey’s strap-line is that he’s a ‘real New Yorker taking you out for real New York food.’ His tours aren’t about gourmet tastings, but about getting to the heart of real New York street food.

Clearly, we’re not going to reveal his route and stops as that would spoil the tour- part of the fun is in not knowing where you’ll go and what you’ll try.  We did six stops though, sampling both savoury and sweet treats at small local establishments that we’d never have otherwise found, let alone tried.    At each stop, Corey told us about the food they specialised in and why he’d included it, then gave a recommendation for what to try.  In between, he sprinkled in a few interesting facts and snippets about New York’s history and culture; giving us little insights that weren’t in the guide books.  It was turning into a great little tour.

New York is famous for its New York style pizza, which apparently originated back in the early 1900’s, but Corey reckons that really good New York style pizza is now getting hard to find, so he wanted to make sure we tasted some on this trip. We’re not big pizza lovers – we eat it occasionally, but can definitely live without it – so we admit to being a little bit tepid about this stop.  We have to say though that the slice we went for was fabulous – most definitely the best pizza we have ever tasted.

At the final sweet stop, we plumped for a ‘New York Italian’ ice cream which was the perfect end to the tour and a thoroughly enjoyable three hours.  It was a good six hours before we could eat anything else!

Spicing up Manhattan

First Frankie went to Hollywood, now The Cinnamon Club goes to Manhattan.  In a true fusion of continents, it will be a case of India-meets-London-meets-New York when Westminster restaurant The Cinnamon Club – headed up by executive chef and CEO Vivek Singh – pops up at Desmond’s NYC between 7th – 11th February.

Desmond's restaurant in Manhattan, New York City

Housed in a 1920s bank on the Upper East Side, Desmond’s is a firm favourite with the great and the good and serious foodies. At the helm is celebrated British chef and co-owner David Hart – formerly of Soho House and Claridge’s – whose restaurant will act as the perfect backdrop to Vivek’s modern Indian cuisine.

A little bird tells us that dishes may include seared breast of Long Island duck with Hyderabadi-style sesame and tamarind sauce, and 8 oz steak of US beef with slow-cooked onion sauce and stir-fried morels, but you’ll need to head there to find out for yourself!

Everything will be served from Desmond’s open-plan kitchen beneath a stunning arched dome ceiling, with diners enjoying the plush surroundings of the restaurant whilst sipping the signature Cinnamon Bellini.

Both restaurants and chefs are dedicated to delivering food that is fresh and creative and are known for their stunning presentation, so it’s sure to be a match made in heaven for lucky customers who book a table for the pop up event.

Reservation enquiries can be made by telephone on  +1 212 207 4949 or by email to info@desmondsny.com

If you don’t have time to jet off to New York City for the pop up, The Cinnamon Club have some fabulous December offers back at their London base.

UK Sustainable Livestock Bill fails

Despite having support from some of the UK’s top restaurants and Friends of the Earth, MP Rob Flello’s Sustainable Livestock Bill failed to get through UK Parliament on Friday.

According to Friends of the Earth, The Bill – which had support from six of the UK’s top ten leading restaurants – would have helped to stop UK meat and dairy production destroying vast swathes of South American forest and wildlife. Backing the bill, were restaurants Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (Great Milton, Oxfordshire), L’Enclume (Cartmel, Cumbria), Restaurant Nathan Outlaw (Rock, Cornwall), Restaurant Sat Bains (Nottingham), Pied-à-Terre (London) and The Square (London). The Bill was also backed by leading restaurant Latymer (Bagshot).

British factory farms rely on massive quantities of cheap soy imported from South America to feed their animals, but to produce enough soy to meet this demand, swathes of rainforest and grasslands are being destroyed every year, with disastrous consequences for local people and wildlife. Friends of the Earth claim that 90 per cent of the South American Atlantic Forest – home to 20,000 plant species – has already been destroyed, much of it for soy farming. Soy plantations in South America are dependent on, and driven by, factory farming in the UK and Europe.

A recently conducted opinion poll, has revealed that 62% of people believe that food companies should be more responsible for the impacts of their livestock products and 59% of people said they would be prepared to eat better quality meat to protect the environment.

With global meat production set to more than double by 2050, it is clear that action must be taken to prevent further destruction of our natural environment and this means farming of meat and dairy in a more planet-friendly way and producing less of it, says Friends of the Earth.  As the UK population presently eats more than three times the amount of meat recommended by the World Health Organisation, this would make a shift in attitudes and diet essential, with the public taking positive action to choose a healthier diet, lower in meat and dairy.

The UK Government has conceded that issues raised by the Bill do need to be addressed and it has committed to attend a conference on the issues next year and to produce a report.

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said:

“The massive level of public support for this law shows that people in the UK don’t want the food they eat to trash the planet. By failing to support the new law, the Government has dealt a blow to the people who want to keep the rainforests off their plates – and the farmers that want to rear animals that are born, bred and fed British.

“This is not the end of the fight – we will keep working to make sure the Government keeps the promises it made today,” he concluded.