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Levon's Obsessions

A gal whose obsessions lie within fat, sugar, carbs, caffeine, and beverages that could strengthen the heart or seal up a womb.

Archive for the category “Food Shows”

The Magic Of The Truffle – Da Rosario Review

From glancing at the Da Rosario booth at the Brooklyn Eats Trade Show this past month, I never knew the rich history that preceded Rosario Safina.  Previously making appearances on the likes of shows like Martha Steward and CNN, and having a resume dating back to 1984 with his truffle introduction into the marketplace.  It made it perfectly understandable that he would be the appointed ‘go to’ truffle aficionado for the finest restaurants.  His exotic line of truffle innovations is what drew me to his display.  That and my obsession with truffle oil.  It was truly a unique assortment of truffle products, and what was even more unique was the fact that it was 100% organic.  He also offers up a vegan friendly line which I’m sure is a pleasant surprise for the anti protein consumers.  Although I do say that with caution due to the secretly high amount of protein in vegetables that I’m sure the meat industry could do without me mentioning.

da rosario - The Best Truffle Hamper

Image From the Official http://www.darosario.com website

Rosario Safino’s wealth of knowledge on truffles, and his method of popularizing and transforming them from elite luxury to staple cooking accessory, has re-positioned this product into regular kitchens and homes at this point.  I know firsthand the magic behind the truffle when it comes to a good gruyere and smoked gouda mac n cheese.  Whether you’re dousing truffle butter in pasta, or drizzling truffle oil over french fries or seafood, it just makes the ordinary dishes a little bit more special.

There was something quite magical happening at the Da Rosario booth at Brooklyn Eats, and it further confirmed my notion that there is some sort of magic of the truffle.. I was completely infatuated with their organic white truffle butter and organic black truffle oil.  It had a superior flavor profile with a very delightful finish. Visions of lobster mac plums danced in my head as I allowed the aftertaste to linger. All things truffle truly do bring excitement to the most basic comfort foods.  I can rightfully say Da Rosario’s products are full of love and full of life.  As is the magical, mystical truffle..

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Taste of the Nation NYC 2014

Sponsoring the annual Taste of the Nation NYC event, I assumed we would have some sort of laborious obligation prior to the event.  Which was perfectly fine given the dynamics.  No Kid Hungry is an ongoing initiative and close affiliate in which the overall objective is to raise awareness, engage the public, and raise money to feed hundreds of thousands of children. We arrived hours in advance to help load in the vendors’ food and materials.  Since that was my heaviest ordering day of the week, I spent the majority of my time taking orders on my laptop in my makeshift office space in the wardrobe room.  Hours after everything was strategically set up, we were given wristbands and asked to stay for the VIP cocktail reception.

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This was bittersweet since I was far from fabulous that day and not at all dressed for the occasion. I had to suck it up and go to the ladies room to primp myself into the most presentable shape possible.  I figured I’d just lurk around the event looking like the overworked journalist in all black and grey, and knee high, flat boots, yet chic and smart looking enough to be present.

There were countless restaurateurs and vendors displaying their trendiest creations possible, in addition to falling into the theme of healthy cuisines.  From the delectable crab puffs at one booth, to Nios‘s seared scallop and crispy pork belly, accompanied with white sweet potato puree, pickled ramps, and fava bean salsa..

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..to Red Rooster Harlem‘s jumbo lump crab salad Ssam with Yuzu mayo and pickled chili..

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There were several notable moments that put a euphoric look on my face like the shrimp on shrimps moment I experienced at Alder NYC‘s booth with
Maine sweet shrimp, green papaya salad, and peanuts on an amazing skin textured shrimp cracker..

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There were other moments where your true food knowledge versus your personal palate were tested.  Like the Quail egg en gelée with American caviar from Balthazar. Balthazar has some of the most amazing pastries in the neighborhood of Soho, as well as countless other locations.  So I was curious to try something on the complete opposite end of the sugary spectrum, which is what led me to the golden speckled egg.

quail

Poached quail is truly an acquired taste, as are certain types of cordials and spirits, as are everything in life that comes on a plate, or in a styrofoam bowl at a $200 – 400 ticketed charity event.  If this were a Paris Fashion Week show, let’s just say this would’ve been the Lanvin finale piece that made every bit of since to the Parisiennes in the tent that watched the entire show/collection and knew the entire story.  To the street pedestrians however, it would’ve left them in a slight state of bewilderment.  Let’s just say after swallowing the egg and wandering off to the next tent/I mean booth, if I weren’t on such a strict diet I would’ve downed the first shot of bourbon in sight..

Other dishes on display included L&W Oyster‘s smoked cantaloupe oyster shooters which were delightful and refreshing..

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..Minton’s North African spiced lamb loin was a pleasure to digest, along with the pleasant culinary staff that I spoke to about their location and their sibling restaurant The Cecil..

..my favorite art piece at The Cecil (artist unknown..)

..my favorite art piece at The Cecil (artist unknown..)

I also had the opportunity to chat with Chef Banks White as well, mainly about distributor stuff. Chatted up to the point of forgetting to take a picture of the savory loin..

Miss Lily’s and their incredible jerk chicken chutney dish was, very Miss Lily’s..  It was was piercing in flavor and colorful.  No different than what I’ve experienced at their restaurant in the West Village. Their staff at the TONNY event were replicas.

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..and this extraordinarily, naturally flavorful and robust dish which was a vegetarian’s sanctuary.  I believe this was the Hamachi Crudo from Bill’s Food & Drink ..

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..situated next to its sibling restaurant The Lion, with their cocktail explosion.

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I was in heaven and hell at this show due to my gluten/glycemic free diet I’m on for the next few weeks.  I did however triumph not having a single cocktail, wine, or shot of caffeine the entire evening.  They looked amazing though..

Overall it was a successful event and I had a great time and appreciation for the limited dishes I was allowed to indulge in.  Anything involving food and passed hors d’ouevres from the top 80 restaurants in NYC, and the notion of donating 10 meals for every dollar raised with the various proceeds and silent auctions, I’m all for it. It definitely warrants my stamp of obsessionista approval, and I definitely look forward to doing it again next year..

 

 

 

 

 

The $2,499 Coffee Maker

So last weekend I had to work in Westchester NY, and had the pleasure of stumbling upon the Bentleys of coffee machines – the new Miele CM5 Countertop Coffee System.  It was dead smack in the middle of the mall where this hugely inflated coffee machine moment went down.  It was a part of the Simon Fashion NOW event at Westchester Mall where all kinds of goodies were being served and sampled from Benjamin Steakhouse, Thyme in Yorktown Heights, local bakeries, and obviously Miele .

Walking around this machine ($2,499 sticker price) was like walking around the new Continental GT Speed Bentley that’s on display in malls that contain a demographic miles away from the one that I fall in.  You inevitably do the walk around, but you do not dare complete a lead sheet.  Well this coffee maker encounter was kind of like that moment.

I was torn between accepting a sample and just walking away.  Did I want to experience coffee paradise, knowing the only other chance of me having that repeat experience would be at another mall event or coffee lovers tradeshow?  Or did I want to just go to the 1 out of 4 Starbucks in the mall and call it a day? I took the sample.  It was heaven.  My final opportunity at coffee heaven, but heaven none-the-less.

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