March 29, 2010

Did I mention that I'm going to be on a Japanese game show?

Did I mention I'm going to be on a Japanese game show called Clash of the Foodies? Well I am...

Fingers crossed my future career as a Japanese game show contestant isn't like Chris Farley's experience...

Live Game Show
4:30-5:20 pm

Colorful teams of showbiz stars, wrestlers and food experts across the city, featuring cabaret superstars Kenny Mellman (aka Herb of Kiki & Herb), Bridget Everett, and Neal Medlyn of Our Hit Parade, pro wrestler extraordinaire Queen of Squeeze Amazon Annie & Her Lobos Locas and daring bloggers squad The Taste Buds will gather to compete in a live game show that will challenge all five senses. It'll take stamina, lightning-fast reflexes and a connoisseur’s palate to emerge victorious!  Hosted by culture clash comedian, Kenji America. Tickets are released at 12:30 PM.

March 27, 2010

Counter Space, a new kitchen design exhibit, invites us to dinner on September 15, 2010

Example of the "Frankfurt Kitchen" design.

One of my goals this summer is to make my first trip to Washington, D.C. to see Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian. However, if I don't end up making the trip, I'll have a nice substitute as of September 15, 2010, when the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York opens the exhibit Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen. Here is how the folks at MoMA are describing the new exhibit:

Counter Space explores the twentieth-century transformation of the kitchen and highlights MoMA’s recent acquisition of an unusually complete example of the iconic “Frankfurt Kitchen,” designed in 1926–27 by the architect Grete Schütte-Lihotzky. In the aftermath of World War I, thousands of these kitchens were manufactured for public-housing estates being built around the city of Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany. Schütte-Lihotzky’s compact and ergonomic design, with its integrated approach to storage, appliances, and work surfaces, reflected a commitment to transforming the lives of ordinary people on an ambitious scale. Previously hidden from view in a basement or annex, the kitchen became a bridgehead of modern thinking in the domestic sphere—a testing ground for new materials, technologies, and power sources, and a spring board for the rational reorganization of space and domestic labor within the home. Since the innovations of Schütte-Lihotzky and her contemporaries in the 1920s, kitchens have continued to articulate, and at times actively challenge, our relationship to the food we eat, popular attitudes toward the domestic role of women, family life, consumerism, and even political ideology in the case of the celebrated 1959 “Kitchen Debate” that took place between Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.

Featured alongside the Frankfurt Kitchen is a 1969 mobile fold-out unit manufactured by the Italian company Snaidero. These two complete kitchens are complemented by a wide variety of design objects, architectural plans, posters, archival photographs, and selected artworks, all drawn from MoMA’s collection. Prominence is given to the contribution of women throughout the exhibition, not only as the primary consumers and users of the domestic kitchen, but also as reformers, architects, designers, and as artists who have critically addressed kitchen culture and myths.

This exhibition is organized by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Aidan O’Connor, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.

For more reading on the "Frankfurt Kitchen" design, check out this 2006 article from The New York Times that touches on the subject: Kitchen Aide by Caroline Roux.

March 25, 2010

What happens when you spend an afternoon eating cookies?

This video, that's what! Gimme Jimmy's in New Jersey recently sent me some of their cookies to sample and review and I decided this would be a great opportunity to put a few more miles on my Flipcam. Ever wondered what I look like eating? Watch this - mystery solved!

Gimmee Jimmy's Cookie Review: The attack of the mall cookie! from Mary Ann Porch on Vimeo.

March 22, 2010

Molly Wizenberg a.k.a. Orangette is coming back to New York!

Around this time last year, I was fortunate enough to see Molly Wizenberg, the blogger behind the fantastic site Orangette, a Bon Appetit columnist, and the author of A Homemade Life, at one of her New York City readings.

Well, I'm happy to report that Ms. Wizenberg will be back in my fair city promoting her book once more and giving was is sure to be a delightful reading. Whether you were at her readings in 2009 or missed out, I suggest you spin by Posman Books in Chelsea Market at 7 p.m. on April 6th.

What: Molly Wizenberg Book Signing/Reading
When: Tuesday, April 6th, 7:00 pm
Where: Posman Books at Chelsea Market, 75 9th Avenue, New York NY 10011
Free event, open to the public

March 8, 2010

French Revolution: Move Over Cupcakes and Make Way for Macarons

Behind the Burner: French Revolution: Move Over Cupcakes and Make Way for Macarons 
This post originally appeared on Behind the Burner on March 5. However, I thought I'd share it on my personal blog too AND call out that the photo was taken by my BRILLIANT friend Brian Witte.

If the cupcake has dominated the dessert scene in recent history, it's about to face what pastry lovers might call the next French Revolution: the French macaron is positioned to be the new IT dessert. Unlike the cupcake that proved to be a viable business venture only in the last 10 years, the French macaron has being pulling its weight as a delicious morsel since its first incarnation during the Renaissance.

Although food historians debate just how French the French macaron is—some contest that the macaron debuted in Venice and was brought to France, along with her pastry chefs, by Catherine de Medici in 1533—there has never been an argument about the popularity of this traditionally tea time snack and/or dessert.

But is 2010 the year for the macaron? Are we going to see a food truck dedicated solely to the treat? Will CupcakeCamp be replaced by MacaronCamp? It remains to be seen, but much to the chagrin of macaron purists, versions are popping up everywhere, from Whole Foods to McDonald's. Tip: For those whose palates have never tasted the deliciousness of this meringue-based "sandwich cookie," New York City has long been a haven for impressive macaron menus.

Madeleine's Patisserie in Chelsea serves up over 15 different flavors of fresh macarons daily. Flavors include Champagne, cassis and pistachio amongst others. Brooklyn's Almondine is famous throughout the borough for their macaron selection where pastry chef Hervé Poussot is known for his intense flavoring.

For those that are already die-hard fans, Macaron Café sells boxes holding as many as 20 macarons and have named them the Queen Catherine de Medicis Box, in honor of the patron saint of macaron creation. For New Yorkers working in Midtown, or for those not afraid to visit tourist trap areas, La Maison du Chocolat and Bouchon Bakery are conveniently located in Rockefeller Center and Columbus Circle.

Notable macaron shops in New York:

Madeleine's Patisserie
132 W 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011

85 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Macaron Café
161 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018

La Maison du Chocolat
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

Bouchon Bakery
10 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019

Photo credit: Brian Witte

March 1, 2010

Hot Chocolate Withdrawls

Today is the first time in the last 28 days that I haven't had a sip of hot chocolate. It actually feels pretty good, at least my wallet thinks so.

If you haven't been following, be sure to check out my site - Hot Chocolate MAP - which follows my journey throug the 28-day hot chocolate festival at New York's City Bakery. You can read all about the various flavors I sampled during the month of February, as well as view photos from the City Bakery and my list of the top 5 flavors. I've included the video here too.

Even though the festival has come to a close for 2010, the City Bakery always has their original hot chocolate recipe on the menu. I suggest you stop by and give it a shot before we welcome warmer temperatures here in New York City.
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