hiroko’s ramen

A homemade ramen lunch made in Hiroko’s Kitchen.  Will ask her to share her recipe if anyone is interested, just holler at me


pork with egg

a dollop of soy paste

soy paste stirred in with homemade broth

a visit to eli’s greenhouse(s)



Notorious for his pricey produce and a mean Health Loaf, Eli Zabar has an iconic presence in the Upper East Side as the czar of his empire of gourmet retail stores, restaurants, and bakeries.  Radishes and Rubbish took a trip uptown to visit his greenhouses atop Eli’s Vinegar Factory.  In a neighborhood where real estate reigns supreme, Eli Zabar decided to convert his precious rooftop space into a growing ground for produce, which he then sells and serves at his namesake establishments.  While recent growth and interest in vegetable gardens and greenhouses has spiked, spurred by a growing global awareness of social and environmental concerns about harmful industrial agricultural practices, this is not something new for Eli Zabar, who has been somewhat of a trailblazer and early-adopter of urban farming.

Written up in the New York Times in ’93 for his “want not, waste not” philosophical approach to running his businesses, he boasts at the multitude of ways unsold produce are recycled and reused, tomatoes reincarnated into sauce, Parmesean used to top the pizza.  It was no surprise that two years later Eli decided to take his passion for food a step further by building greenhouses above his Vinegar Factory.  Harnessing the heat from the furnaces that expel heat exhaust from the ovens where Eli’s wholesale bakery operates, he supplements the natural light that shines through the frosted plastic roof.

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good fork, good food

Another year, another birthday.  Enjoyed dinner at the Good Fork in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

the good fork


panko-crusted shrimp, brussels sprouts, grapefruit, pickled onion


pork and chive dumplings

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fish for breakfast

fulton fish market

Leaving my apartment at midnight, passing sleepy passerbyers eagerly on their way home, my night was just beginning.  Part of Radishes and Rubbish, a series of visits to local food producers (hence the radishes) and waste management sites (rubbish) sponsored by a Green Grant from the NYU Sustainability Taskforce, one of the most recent trips was to the new Fulton Fish Market in Hunts Point, Bronx. Leading the excursion was Dave and Kate, chef and sous chef of Mario Batali’s Esca, and Sean from Sea 2 Table, a distributor that seeks out locally and sustainably managed fisheries needing better access to direct markets, serving as a liason between fishermen and chefs.

Upon our arrival, after an hour ride from the East Village, we waited anxiously outside of the big walk-in refrigerator of a building, the nocturnal workmen passed by, giving us all curious glances as they went about their own business. Men on forklifts whizzed by, narrowly missing us, as we ventured inside, cameras in tow. The market itself consists of a sterile white, refrigerated warehouse space, which is then divided into stalls that form along the two sides of the lengthy, rectangular space. Frozen and fresh fish are displayed out front, nestled within ice shavings. Men with machetes and sharpened knives skillfully hack away at the fish, more forklifts speed by. Invited by some burly fish butchers to come watch them work, we observed with intrigue as they worked a streamlined assembly line, starting with the first man cutting a whole fish to the last man slicing clean fillets.

salmon fish

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asia society


yeast beast

I was at the Brooklyn Kitchen (March is Bread month) last week and got a copy of the Tassajara Bread Book.  Thus began my foray into the world of yeasted bread.  I decided to make the basic Tassajara Yeasted Bread with some cinnamon and raisins.  Either the yeast was overactive or I am exceptionally good at kneading / punching the dough, because my loaves were so monstrous, but so delicious with a schmear of Bonne Maman Four Fruit Preserves.  To look at more photogenic loaves, check out Kayrock’s Kitchen 18.

My first attempts at breadmaking:

loaf closeup

bread slice

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Scanwiches.com, high quality sandwich imagery for your education and delight.

banh mi

Banh Mi So 1: Number 6, Grilled Pork and Vietnamese Salami

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