What a whirlwind weekend! LA to NYC and back for the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference. The weekend was filled with sessions about food writing, making new friends, and of course eating my way through the city.
It was cold and mostly rainy, but I didn’t mind. Long walks through a misty Central Park gave me time to collect my thoughts. I thought a lot about all of you, and how to make this site more engaging and helpful.
I took most of the photos over the weekend with my iphone since the weather wasn’t favorable. It’s always fun to see what kind of photos I can capture with my phone.
I had dinner with a few of my favorite people. The first night, I enjoyed Wong with Gaby, Aida and a few new friends: Brenda, Leslie, and Andrea. My two favorites at Wong were the typhoon lobster and duck ice cream. I know – duck ice cream! It sounds odd, but a very mysterious sweet flavor drew me in. The next evening I spent with Katie. We ate at a great little restaurant in Soho called Hundred Acres. The spinach salad with Meyer lemons, hazelnuts, and jalapeño vinaigrette was our favorite. A couple of nights later, Andrew (we met last year on this trip) and I went to Empellon Taqueria. Next time you’re in NYC, make a reservation and order the tuna with pickled potatoes and chorizo mayonnaise, and the watercress with apple pineapple. The food was outstanding and almost everything on the menu was gluten free. Later in the weekend, I had dinner at Prune with Annie and Andy, my favorite New York couple and long-time friends. Bone marrow (a must try), lamb, shrimp, lentils and beets followed by chocolate semifreddo. I had no trouble ordering because almost all the options were grain free and made with the freshest of ingredients.
I also spent a few nights at the Four Seasons New York. What an incredible hotel! “Incredible” is really an understatement. I’ll fill you in on the details on an upcoming post. On the final day, the clouds parted and sunshine filled the city. I went to the Hearst Tower for a tour of the Food Network Magazine offices. (A piece of advice – if you ever visit this building, make sure to get thorough instructions on how to use the elevators. There were no numbers inside, and no clear markings. I got a bit confused, then a little lost, then starting feeling like I was in some strange sci-fi movie. Thankfully, I found a helpful stranger at Good Housekeeping who sent me on my way with the key to success.)
As always, when I got home I needed some nourishing comfort food to rejuvenate after travel. As soon as I walked through the door, I had a bowl of chicken soup and started the next morning with a berry and spinach smoothie. I completed the day with cottage pie. Did you know “shepherd’s pie” uses lamb – “cottage pie” is the same dish, but with beef? Instead of potatoes, I steamed cauliflower and creamed it with butter, cream and cheese in the food processor until velvety. The substitution helps keep the glycemic index lower. Hugging Pete and the kids upon arrival was the best part. Oh, how I love my family. Whirlwind trips make for good stories, but it’s always best returning home.