Posts from February 2010

2 Days to Go before Greener Gadgets 2010...Design and Sustainability on the Menu

Even though in 2009, I could not stay for the whole event, I enjoyed this conference well enough to register for Greener Gadgets 2010 , February 25th in New York.

This year's program has a strong focus on design, recycling and sustainability.

After all, good design in electronics and even people powered gadgets, kitchen utensils and even homes can make them easier to upgrade, fix and in general helps extend their life.

Parts that need to be discarded should be made easier to recycle, reducing the use of potentially hazardous materials in the manufacturing process being part of it.

One of the speakers on Thursday, Leonardo Bonnani who teaches 'radical sustainability in product design' at MIT founded SourceMap will helps us common mortals 'know where things come from and what they are made of'. The project looks at products, food and travel.

Keynote speakers for the event will be Robert Fabricant , Vice President of Creative for frog design looking for new areas that could use their expertise and Yves Béhar the founder of fuseproject, an 'integrated design agency dedicated to the development of the emotional experience of brands through storytelling' (sorry for the mouthful).

Architecture and women will not be left out with the participation of
Ellen Honigstock whose Toeprint Project finds 'sustainable strategies for existing buildings' one action at a time.

Many other women will share their concerns and knowledge on Thursday.

These are only a few things that titillated my brain and my interest.

I will surely find more to share during and after Greener Gadgets 2010 right here.

Food for thought on Green Day # 116

Previously: Natural Wine Week is Coming to Town, New York, March 6-March 11, 2010

Happy Monday, Making Peace with Your Office Life, Is it Possible?

Having just gone through one of these rough around the edges weeks, I thought I should start the new one with a positive outlook.

I found some of that in Making Peace with Your Office Life by Cindy Glovinsky to be published by St Martin's Griffin on March 16, 2010.

Cindy went from writing poetry to practicing psychotherapy and still writes fiction.

With Making Peace with Your Office Life she wants to help those of us who dread the next day at work because we feel things are slipping due to bad organization, lack of chemistry in the team, poor spelling or any other issues.

The subtitle for her tome is "End the Battles, Shake the Blues, Get Organized, and Be Happier at Work", a whole program.

She also writes The Office Misfit's Survival Blog.

Her work reminded me of Francois Basilli's Thanks God It's Monday approach.

Will you be singing Happy Together after reading it?

Let me know.

Happy Monday for Monday Work Etiquette # 130

Previously: Forget about Overnight Success, Nice Guys Finish First writes Barrie Bergman

Darn, Could Have Been Rubbing Shoulders with Charlie Trotter at Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2010

It would have been a nice change of scenery to spend a few days in the Gulf for Gourmet Abu Dhabi 2010 which just closed its doors on February 19.


I could have been rubbing shoulders with Charlie Trotter, Alain Passard, Yvan Marclay and Pierre Herme and I might even have found time to get a tan.

It was only the second edition of Gourmet Abu Dhabi.

Besides the star chefs, it also featured a number of food and wine events with producers from Dominio de Pingus (Ribeira del Duero) to Pio Cesare (Italy) and Domaine Michel Gros (Burgundy) as well.

Thanks to Janell of The Rambling Epicure for bringing this event to my attention.

Should I put the 2011 edition of Gourmet Abu Dhabi on my to do list?

Cuisine d'Auteur, Omnivore Festival 2010 in Deauville, February 22-23

I was struggling to find a word or two to express what the Omnivore Festival is about until I read the wrap up notes by kindred spirit Paolo Marchi of Identita' Golose another creative food festival which just took place in Milan sporting the words cucina d'autore.

That's it I thought, cuisine d'auteur it is as there is film d'auteur for the movies.

The founder of the Omnivore Festival, Luc Dubanchet, believes that rather than behave like French cuisine is in danger of extinction under threat from foreign influences, it is healthier to recognize that talent in the kitchen is not limited to the hexagon.

He calls his vision 'jeune cuisine' , young cuisine would be a straight translation but fresh blood captures his ideas better.

The guitar driven sneak preview for Omnivore 2010 below gives you a feel for what might happen.


This is the festival's 5th Edition.

Unfortunately for many of you Program (and website) is in French Only.

Choose from Le Programme Salé (the 'regular' meal) and Le Programme Sucré(desserts).

On the Salé side, I noticed Carlo Mirarchi of Roberta’s in Brooklyn (NY) serving from delicious pizzas to pickled pig's tongue next to Grégory Marchand of Frenchie (Paris) which the program describes as haute couture cuisine for the price of pret a porter and fussy free.

I also noticed some names like Inaki Aizpitarte who took part in Le Fooding d' Amour in NY last September.

I will not go through the whole list of chefs which includes Arnaud Daguin of Hegia, an amazing (and expensive) oasis of peace in Hasparren (Pyrenees Atlantiques) with just 5 rooms.

As for the Sucré track, I would like to taste the Skyr (vikings yogurt) by Hakon Mar Orvarsson of Reykjavik and see what emulsions Roger Van Damme of Het Gebaar (Antwerp) comes up with in 'Emulsion Fire'...

Sounds like a 48 Hours treat for the senses.

March 5, Late Night Show for Alan Fletcher: 50 Years of Graphic Work and Play, Manchester, UK

Going through my pile of newspapers before recycling day, I re-read a review for Alan Fletcher: Fifty Years of Graphic Work (and play) which was to close on March 4th.

I failed to notice until now that the exhibit was in Manchester (UK) at CUBE (Center for the Urban Built Environment) which looks at the confluence of art, design and architecture.

The thing that caught my attention first in the review was actually the poster below, Art of surprise, 1993 (from the program pages).

Cage Poster exhib main

In the age of navel gazing (Twitter, Blogs, Facebook and the like) something worth thinking about.

I learned from the program notes that the show was opened on January 21st by Peter Saville, famous for his album covers for New Order and Factory Records.

Peter Saville worked with him at design firm Pentagram and describes Alan Fletcher's approach this way:

"Alan was ever-aware that what touched him had the potential to touch others. His open-minded panoramic view of the world always allowed him to see when something was good, regardless of its provenance."

A first, "this comprehensive exhibition includes original sketches, posters, objects and archive footage spanning Fletcher’s work from his student days at the RCA to the playful and more personal work he created after leaving Pentagram in 1992. "

Seems like they are extending it for a day with the following:

"Emily King will be giving a talk on Alan Fletcher: Fifty years of graphic work (and play) at 12:30pm on Friday 5th March at the University of Salford's Allerton Theatre. Emily is a renowned curator and editor of graphic design publications including Frieze and Wallpaper, and author of Restart: New Systems of Graphic Design"

In addition, on the same day, March 5th, CUBE will be having a late night opening, where visitors will be able to view the exhibition until 8pm.

Can't make it to Manchester, Wallpaper Magazine has a Gallery of 13 of the Pieces on display at this retrospective for us all to see.

Peter Gordon on Breakfast New Zealand Style before UK publication of Fusion

New Zealand born Peter Gordon which some call the pope or godfather of Fusion cuisine, starts Morning Glory (FT Week-End, February 20-21) with theses words:

"I’m at Heathrow on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Waiting to board my 24-hour flight to the other side of the world my thoughts turn to food: I’m already planning where I’ll go for breakfast once I arrive in Auckland. Long-haul flying and traveling always have this effect on me."

I guess it can be a way to dull the dread (or should I say boredom) of being on a plane for so long.

Peter Gordon in his piece shares the recipe for one of his own creations Banana and pecan French toast with lardons. He also notes the contrast between New Zealand's morning combination of sweet and spicy, meat and fruit and fish or egg adventures and a traditional British Breakfast.

He also mentions his favorite breakfast spots in Auckland as Dizengoff in the suburb of Ponsonby and Gala in Mount Eden.

In Wellington, Cafe L'affare gets his vote.

Peter Gordon covered the topic of Breakfast (and Brunch) in another article also titled Morning Glory written for Waitrose Food Illustrated in December 2007.

Many more recipes in that Morning Glory 2007.

Not everyone will go for his Mackerel Eggy Bread with Bacon, Watercress, Radishes and Saffron Aioli maybe because Mackerel is not fashionable. I would give this flavor mix a try (picture below from Waitrose Food Illustrated)


He traces his fondness for breakfast and brunch to his childhood and looks at the cons and pros of a rich meal to kick off the day.

"It seems that what most of the great brunch dishes have in common is a lot of butter, eggs and calories. But that’s OK, because, in theory, you have the rest of the day to burn it off and eat healthily. There’s also something really lovely about having friends round for brunch, rather than dinner, because you have the whole day ahead to hang out with them and it’s still daylight when they leave."

Peter Gordon most recent book was originally published as A Culinary Journey in New Zealand (October 2009) and will be released in a slightly revamped UK edition as Fusion, A Culinary Journey by Jacqui Small on March 4, 2010. I am not sure if a US edition is planned.


He describes the essence of the book in the following sentence:

"In this book alongside the recipes I also delve into the history of ingredients from all over the world, their travels and final integration into foreign cuisines around the globe. Food is on the move and it's always been that way - to force it to conform to political boundaries smacks just a little of culinary fascism."

Breakfast in the Antipodes.

Eat Like a Venetian versus Eat like a local in Venice, 2005 vs 2010

I agree wholeheartedly with the admonition by Gavin McOwan in Eat like a local in Venice (Guardian, February 13, 2010) "Don't spoil your visit to Venice by eating in over-priced tourist traps – follow the locals' lead and graze on bar snacks in back-street osterie"...

Same thing applies to most cities and countries around the world.

Since I have never visited Venice, I went looking for similar stories and found Eat Like a Venetian by none other than Gael Greene (Travel and Leisure, October 2005).

The main difference between these articles almost 5 years apart is that where Gavin McOwan focuses on places that will not break the bank.

Gael Greene first mentions Fiaschetteria Toscana ($168 for two in 2005) as a favorite except for excess of salt at times.


Author says she is shocked at how Da Fiore went in 20 years from nice and simple wine bar to pricey ($240 for two in 2005).

Both pieces are in agreement on a number of places starting with Ca d'Oro famous it seems for their pork meatballs (polpette). Gavin McOwan prices one of these and a glass of house wine as 1 Euro a piece.

Also good for your wallet they say is La Cantina. No menu, the staff tells you what's in that day. I noted the 30 wines offered by the glass. Time Out notes that dishes are 'piled high with food and topped with crostinis'.

I guess I now have to ask some of the wine makers from the area what they favorites are.

Art and Rugby, D' Artagnan 25th Anniversary Celebration in New York, More than Foie Gras

Visiting chefs natives of Gascony all listed in The Gascons Are Coming will be adding some of their dishes to the menu of a number of New York establishments.

Participating restaurants include:
Adour, Bar Boulud, Bar Tabac, BLT Fish, Craft, Corton, Daniel, David Burke Townhouse, Eleven Madison Park, Fishtail, Jean-Georges, Jules Bistro, Le Bernardin, Le Cercle Rouge, Le Singe Vert, Mercer Kitchen, Per Se...

You would be mistaken to think that D' Artagnan 25th Anniversary celebration is all about Foie Gras, Armagnac and Pâté.

On Saturday, February 20, you can meet Three Musketeers of Art, painter Michel Calvet, multi-media artist Nicole Peyrafitte and rugby man turned sculptor Jean-Pierre Rives.

Michel Calvet serves life in big helping on his canvas as in Le Combat ("the fight" below, from his site).

Nicole shares her cross-cultural take in shows like La Garbure Transcontinentale.

As for Jean-Pierre Rives sculptures, they turn metal into poetry.

There will be a ribbon cutting for these artists at DAG HAMMARSKÖLD Plaza, Sculpture Platform (near the UN) , 47th Street and Second Avenue, South East Corner, at 5PM Saturday.

Want to see what sport for real men is, D' Artagnan invites you to see Rugby in action in Central Park on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 1PM.

Whatever the weather is, Gascon rugby players will match up against a New York team made up of some of our favorite chefs. Watch your hands, boys, some of these Gascons are retired professionals: Bonneval, Cadieu, Califano, A. Costes, Debros, Jordana, Labit, D. Lacroix, N'Tamack, Portolan, Jean-Pierre Rives, Soulette, Tabaco, Tournaire & Verger. Some American footballers will join in the fray.

If nothing else, I hope this helps those of you still making plans for the week-end in New York. Best of all, both events are Free.

Don't worry, you will not be drawn into a duel.

Wine Under, Stairway to Wine Heaven at Bar Vins Sur Vingt, See for Yourself

You have to give credit to the people of Bar Vins Sur Vingt for using their space creatively.

They took their wines underground and turned a staircase into a cellar.

Staircase to heaven

I wonder if anyone came up with the same plan for their house cellar.

Great for small spaces.


Bar Vins Sur Vingt (wordplay on 20/20) is a tapas and wine bar located in Camps-la-Source near Brignoles, region of Provence- Cote d'Azur.

No website that I know of. You can find them as Bar Vins Sur Vingt on Facebook.

Savor Dallas, Food and Wine Extravaganza, March 5-6 2010

2010 marks the 6th Edition of Savor Dallas.


This Food and Wine Extravaganza takes place March 5 and 6, 2010.

It came to my attention while visiting Destination Riesling which will be showcasing some of its producers at the event.

Having never attended this festival or paid attention to it, I went looking for what it stood for.

One of the founders, Jim White, tries his hand at describing his labor of love in Touring Savor Dallas (February 7).

Here are a few of his thoughts:

"For us, it's homage to the great, and hard working, chefs and restaurateurs of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We put it together to help showcase them. We know, too, that we want it to be a collection of the top wines and spirits in the world. That's why Vicki works fastidiously to keep the entry point for wines poured at Savor Dallas over $15 retail. You'd be surprised how many wine events around the country don't control this. We prefer quality over quantity. Our friends tell us Savor Dallas is the best wine and food event they've ever been to. But you know friends."

Taking a quick look at the program, the Arts District Wine Stroll combining wine, local food and arts and a chance to mix and mingle appealed to me.

It involves, the Dallas Museum of Art at Seventeen Seventeen Restaurant, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Nasher Sculpture Center--and brand new for 2010: the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre, in the just completed AT&T Performing Arts Center (AT&TPAC) on March 5th from 5 to 7 p.m.

It is also a chance to bestow the Lone Star Awards. I noticed Renie Steves of Cuisine Concepts, a lovely lady I met at Vino 2010 in New York, as one of the 2009 Winners.

The rest of the program is a combination of seminars, grand tasting, silent action and the like.

I will let you explore that in detail.