Choice Streets- NYC Finest Food Trucks Feature

Hello Readers;

Check out my feature, “Choice Streets- NYC’s Finest Food Trucks” on Mobile Food News!

New York, NY

Village Voice hosted their first year of Choice Streets, a food truck version of Choice Eats at the Intrepid Museum on Pier 86 last Tuesday. This event highlighted some of NYC’s finest gourmet trucks from savory to sweet……”

To read more, check out the link……http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=25721

Thanks,

Isaiah Kelsey

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Meatball Obsession: Get Your Fix On!

New York, NY

If you’re searching for a Italian fix on the go Meatball Obsession has what you’re looking for. I discovered this small meatball shop right off the NJ Path Train as the savory aromas drew me up the steps quickly.

Meatball Obsession offers large grandma-style meatballs with the option of pork, beef, or turkey in a homestyle marinara sauce. You can order these meatballs in 1-3 quantities with prices ($4, $7, $10) , which comes with toasted focaccia breadsticks that you can dip into your hearty sauce. For a small additional fee you can add toppings such as mozzeralla pearls, crispy pasta, or shredded cheese.

These meatballs can be served as not only just a quick bite but a meal as well. If you don’t have time to stop pass they will deliver for free starting April 30th with a minimum $10 order. Delivery zones range between 5th Avenue to 7th Avenue and 18th Street to 8th Street. You can place an order at http://meatballobsession.com/or call at 212-260-8646. Meatball Obsession is open daily 7am-11pm, located at 510 Sixth Ave. [at the corner of 14th St].

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Get Your Taste Of Italy On The Go!

Isaiah Kelsey                                                                                                                                                    

All Star Holiday Recipes: 2nd Course with Chef Shehu

Next course will be from Chef Shehu Fitzgerald of Food Network’s Chopped. I interviewed Chef Shehu earlier this year about his time on the show, his victory, and his career path.  He has provided with the second course simple yet flavorful dish.

                                                                


Pepper Seared Sea Scallops with Vanilla Bean Carrot Puree

10ea U10 Sea Scallops
2 Vanilla beans Split in Half
4 lg Carrots peeled & slice thin
6tbsp Sugar

Method Of Preparation:

To Prepare The Puree: In a sauce pot cover carrots & vanilla beans with water.. Bring to boil and cook till soft .. Strain (save carrot stock). Scrape beans and put seeds and carrots in a blender with sugar & Puree till smooth. Adjust thickness with carrot stock. Set aside.

Season scallops with peppercorns and salt ( more pepper the you use the spicier the scallops).  In a sauté pan over medium to high heat sear scallops to golden on both sides and finish in a preheated oven 5 mins or till done.

Arrange Scallops and Carrot Puree on plate and serve.

To learn more information about Chef Shehu Fitzgerald, check out my article with him http://wp.me/p1jfSV-6Y You can also follow him on Twitter @iLLCH3F

Next Stop to Brooklyn With Tips with Chef Roble –> http://wp.me/p1jfSV-ga

A Sweet Inspiration with Ron Ben-Israel

Sweet Genius premiered on Food Network this fall, putting Pastry Chef Ron Ben-Israel in the forefront as the host of this whimsical pastry show. The premise of this show to test the inventive ability and imagination of America‘s Up and Coming Pastry Chefs. Each round the chefs are given an inspiration, surprise ingredients, and a certain amount of time to create a dessert. The rounds consist of making a frozen, baked, and chocolate dessert with the oddest ingredients like cheese puffs, black garlic which pushes the chefs to think widely outside their comfort zone. The winners from each challenge advance to the next round, the winning chef receives a $10,000 cash prize and crowned Sweet Genius.

I was given the opportunity to speak to America’s Sweet Genius and Wedding Cake Extraordinaire, Ron Ben-Israel, check out my behind the scenes interview with him.

The Beginning

Urban Foodie: How did you get into baking and who was your inspiration?

Ron Ben-Israel: My mother as well as family and friends introduced to many desserts in Europe. I developed my first love then.

UF: Did you always to become a pastry chef?

RBI: I attended an art school for drawing and sculpting actually, which later turned into dance. I practiced modern dance for about 15 years but it wasn’t until I traveled to Toronto, Canada where I fell in love with a Chocolatier who introduced me to it. Since then it was no turning back, which at the time I decided to hang up my shoes and retire at the age of 30 to pursue my new found passion full-time.

UF: How did your pastry career begin?

RBI: It began by me interning at several different bake shops, learning from the bottom up. I later met Betty Van Norstrand, known as the “Queen of Decorating”, who specialized in cake decorating and sugar art. She took me under her wing and became my mentor in which I owe many credits to. I was always fascinated by her art and she told me to find my own way of doing things.

SOHO Wedding Cake Boutique

UF: You’re wedding cake boutique is referred as the Manolo Blanc of Wedding Cakes. What do you think makes your boutique stand out from so many others?

RBI: Well at the time I started out, I was the “new kid on the block”. I was rebellious to the standardized techniques of how all cakes were being designed. Techniques such as basket weaves and icing festoons were done to excess,while I wanted to decorate with confectionery lace that matches the bridal dress.

UF: What has been your greatest achievement thus far?

RBI: Every day and every week is an achievement for me. We’re always so busy.

UF: When are you the busiest throughout the year?

RBI:  We work 365 days a year, our busiest wedding season is September through November and April through July. We also do event as well as special occasion cakes that keeps us busy during the meanwhile.

Sweet Genius

UF:  I love your show, it’s very inventive and whimsical, what do you think sets your show apart from shows such as Chopped or Iron Chef?

RBI: Sweet Genius is strictly pastry, no panels of judges, and very inspiring to other pastry chefs.

UF: What do you hope your viewers get out this show?

RBI: I think the premise of this show, is simply for the pastry chefs be inspired to make and do whatever comes from their imagination.

UF: Ron, with my strong pastry background you have inspired me to possibly jump back into the kitchen. If  I were to consider being on the show or any other pastry chefs that might be interested, how would we sign up?

RBI: Be inspired, that would be great! Go to sweetgeniuscasting.com

UF: Thank you for time Ron, its been a pleasure!

It was a pleasure speaking with Ron, he is great guy and down-to-earth as well. He was the middle of making a cake for 550 guests with very specific flowers, as he makes most the cakes his self .

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Photo Credits: Ron Ben-Israel Cakes

Check out Ron Ben-Israel All Over The Web!

Facebook- Ron Ben-Israel Cakes #Like

Webpage- http://www.weddingcakes.com

Twitter: @rbicakes #Follow

Thank You For Reading! Happy Thanksgiving! Look Out For Many More Great Articles & Subscribe!

– Isaiah Follow Me- @Urban_Foodie14

Party Up This Halloween Weekend!

 Check Out Some Events That Caught My Eye!

                    

Party Up! 

La Roux at Hudson Bar                                                                                          When: October 30th, 10pm                                                                                                         Where: Hudson Bar, 356 West 58th Street at Columbus Avenue; (212) 554-6000            Features: Dance Party w/ La Roux’s 2 Hour DJ Set.                                        For Reservations and tickets email: hudsonhalloween@morganshotelgroup.com

Veuve Clicquot Presents Yelloween: A Nightmare on 13th Street         When: October 31st, 8pm                                                                                                             Where: Bagatelle, 409 West 13th Street at 9th Avenue; (212) 675-2400                           Features: Get bubbly with a champagne toast! Reservations required: reservations@bistrobagatelle.com

NYC Official Bar Crawl                                                                                        When: October 29th, 12-9pm                                                                                                       Where: Go to website for more information, barcrawls.com                                          Features: Barcrawl.com haunts the most scandalous NYC bars, pubs and saloons featuring New York’s sexiest and wicked bartenders, insane drink specials, music and freaky entertainment. All for $10 (+tax)! Includes wristband, cup, and drink specials at each stop.

March On!

Village Halloween Parade                                                                                           When: October 31st, 6:30-10:30pm                                                                                              Where: Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to West 21st Street

Nightmare In Times Square!

Madame Tussaud’s After Dark: The Haunting                                                            When: October 20-23 and 27, 30, 2011; 9PM until midnight                                                Where: 234 West 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues                                      Getting There: Take the A,C,E or 1,2,3 to Times Square                                       Tickets: $23.95 per person and available online                                                                       Details: For eight nights only, the restless souls of Madame Tussauds New York will come alive to haunt the living that dare to enter “After Dark: The Haunting.” The famous wax museum will be transformed into a haunted experience featuring special effects and “living” wax figures lurking in the shadows.

Craft & Carve!

Pumpkin Carving/Decorating Contest                                                                             When: October 30th, 2011, 3pm                                                                                                     Where: 401 East 20th Street, New York, NY 10011                                                                    Details: Petite Abeille will host the “Pumpkin Carving/Decorating Contest”. The winner will be awarded with the world’s largest bottle of beer courtesy of Belgium’s celebrated Saint Feullien Triple. To join and win the special beer bottle, participants should bring their carved/decorated pumpkins to Petite Abeille’s East 20th Street location, 401 E. 20th at the corner of 1st by 3pm for judging. There’s no purchase necessary to participate in the contest.

Stay In & Watch Movie Marathons!

Pop Some Popcorn, Grab Halloween Candies, Drinks, & Some Of Your Closest Friends!

  • AMC Halloween Fest
  • SyFy
  • FEARnet

Enjoy & Be Safe!

“Rocco’s Dinner Party” Chef J.J. Johnson Prize Winning Recipes

Executive Sous Chef, Joe Johnson took home the winning prize of $20,000 on the new Bravo Series, “Rocco’s Dinner Party”. His prize winning recipes have been highly requested across the web since the show aired and I have them to share!

Prize-Winning 4-Course Meal Recipes

First Course: Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp

  • 2# rock shrimp
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1ea lemon zest
  • 1/4# butter

Grits 

  • 2qts milk
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 2 springs Thyme
  • 2 springs Rosemary
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 garlic
  • 1/2 pint of white grits

Jalapeno Emulsion

  • 1ea jalapeño
  • 2 bunches of scallions
  • 1/2-cup evo

Method Of Preparation

Shrimp

Marinate the shrimp with bunch cilantro and a lemon zest. Once the grits are cooked sauté shrimp in pan for.

Grits 

Steep the milk with jalapeno, thyme, rosemary, shallots, garlic.  Once it comes to a simmer strain. Add milk back to pot bring to simmer and stir in grits. Cook grits for 20-30 minutes.

Jalapeno emulsion 

Blend Jalapeno with no seeds, 2 bunches of scallions and Evo. Season Salt and pepper to taste

Second Course: Wild Mushroom Salad

  • 3# wild mushrooms
  • 3# blue foot mushrooms
  • 2 bunches frise
  • 2 bunches hydro Mache
  • 3 red onions
  • 1/2-cup ricotta salata
  • 1/4-cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 bunch Parsley leafs
  • 1-cup oil
  • 1Tsp Dijon
  • Salt & Pepper

Clean blue foot mushrooms and oyster mushroom. After cleaning let air dry for 15mins. Once one drying roast in 350-degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Once done cool. Clean fresh frise and hydro Mache. Once clean put into mixing bowl.
Shave ricotta salata on cheese grater. Shave red onion on Japanese Madeline or julienne very fine. Soak onions in water to pull out some taste. Pick parsley and only use leafs

Sherry Vinaigrette

Place 1/4-cup sherry vinegar in blender. 1 tsp Dijon, 1 shallot. Start blending. Add one cup of oil gradually into the blender once all oil is add stop blending. Season to taste with salt & pepper.Add all ingredients to the bowl and mix. Add dressing to taste.

Third Course: Braised Oxtails

Caramelized Brussels sprouts, carrot ginger purée, blood orange vinaigrette

Serving 8-10

  • 10ea 3inch cut oxtails
  • 4qts veal stock
  • 2qts chicken stock
  • 1qt water
  • 3ea carrots
  • 2ea onions
  • 1bu celery
  • 3ea cinnamon
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 2 whole lemons
  • 3 whole oranges

Small dice carrots, onions, celery. Add to a large round pot and sauté vegetables. Once vegetables are sauté deglaze with trade Joe’s merlot. Reduce down by half, and add in veal and chicken stock. Bring to a hard simmer add in bay leafs, half lemons and oranges, peppercorns, cinnamon. Once you simmer for 20 minutes add in oxtails. If the liquid is not covering the oxtails add water to top off. Wrap with ammonium foil add place in over at 350 for 2 ½ hours.

Carrot Ginger Purée

  • 4ea carrots
  • 1Tsp fresh Ginger
  • 1/2# butter
  • 3 cups water

Peel and dice carrots. Peel Ginger and dice. Add Ginger and carrots to a medium size pot with water, butter and salt. Cook until very soft. Add carrots Ginger and half of the water to blender. Blend until smooth. You might need to add more liquid to it.

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 orange zest
  • 2# Brussels sprouts

Cut Brussels sprouts in half. If you have a fryer turn it to 350 if not get a deep sauce pot and add fryer oil to it. Bring oil to 350 place Brussels sprout into oil until golden brown. (Be careful the Brussels sprouts will pop) after golden take out of oil, place into bowl and add orange zest and salt. You might have to repeat these steps a couple times.

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

  • 6ea blood oranges
  • 2ea shallots
  • 1/2 Tsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup walnut oil

Peel and section blood oranges. Once you have segmented all oranges squeeze out the juice in each orange. Julienne shallots. Place shallots and blood orange segments in bowl. Add 1/2 spoon of champagne vinegar and cup of walnut oil. It will be broken vinaigrett

Fourth Course: Banana Bread Pudding

Spiced Candied Walnuts, Chantilly Cream 

  • 1 loaf of brioche
  • 1 loaf of challah bread
  • 8 green tip bananas
  • 2 cups 60% chocolate
  • 1-quart heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2Tsp vanilla extra

Place heavy cream in small saucepot with cinnamon sticks, nutmeg. Bring cream to simmer for 5 minutes then strain into bowl. In a separate bowl add eggs, Vanilla, and chocolate. Once all is in the bowl add little heavy cream at a time until the chocolate is melted once all chocolate is melted add in small diced bread mix all together.

Season with sugar and pinch of salt.

Spiced Candied Walnuts 

  • 1 Bag Walnuts
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ¼ Tsp Cayenne

Put Walnuts in cold water and bring to boil. Once they come to a boil strain out water and place walnuts in 350-degree fryer until golden brown pull out of fryer. Take fired walnuts place into bowl with sugar and cayenne pepper and toss. Once nicely coat place on a sheet tray.

Chantilly Cream 

Method Of Preparation
Whip into soft peaks. Assemble.
If you any questions about making these recipes, feel free to reach Chef JJ via twitter ( @chefjoejohnson ) or his website chefjoejohnson.com
To read more about the show and to see the brief interview that I had with both chefs, Chef DiSpirito & Chef Johnson check out this link! http://wp.me/p1jfSV-9A

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You’re Invited To Rocco’s Dinner Party!

Last night Celebrity Chef, Rocco DiSpirito debuted his new series, “Rocco’s Dinner Party” on the Bravo Network. The concept of the show is there are three chefs who are given the opportunity to cook in Rocco’s loft for a dinner party that he’s throwing for some of his high-clientele friends. There are two rounds, within the first round one chef is eliminated and the remaining two chefs are left to battle it out for $20,000.

In this week’s episode, DiSpirito’s theme was a Speakeasy and both remaining chefs, J.J. Johnson & Geof Johnson collected their ideas, met with celebrity event producer, Jes Gordon for designing their dining room, and  began to battle it out for the prize. DiSpirito’s guest list included Chef Marcus Samuelsson [Top Chef Master, owner of Red Rooster], actor Michael Williams [The Wire], Host Kelly Choi [Eat Out New York], to name a few. After they prepared a 5-course meal for DiSpirito and his guests, it was decided that Executive Sous Chef J.J. Johnson was the winner.

I had an opportunity to speak to “Rocco’s Dinner Party” 1st Winner, J.J. Johnson:

What would you do differently while cooking in this competition?

“I would have definitely cook the grits better, lol. That is what would’ve done.

How has this opportunity changed your life?

“This opportunity gave me the chance to showcase my talents to two outstanding chefs that had 3 stars in the New York Times.”

What do you intend to do with the prize money of $20,000?

“With my winning, I plan to donate some of winning to my father’s AAU [Mountain Basketball] to enter in large program this summer. Secondly, I plan to invest in juice product, Oatmeal Juice. Lastly, the rest will go into my savings account.”

I had a some last words with Celebrity Chef DiSpirito as well:

What gave you the idea to create a show like this?

“I wanted to celebrate why we cook not just how and Bravo was very supportive, then a lot of great brains worked it out.”

Between both chefs, what was the tie breaker?

“The guest reaction to JJ’s oxtails was the knock out punch, then the bread pudding was 8, 9, 10 this fight is over!”

Recap: I trully enjoyed this show because it brings the essence of cooking and enjoyment of entertaining guests into one. I’ve been searching for a new favorite show and I believe I just found it.

Tune in to “Rocco’s Dinner Party” on the Bravo Network, Wednesdays at 10pm

Photos Courtesy to The Bravo Network