Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Fresh Take on Summer

Walking down the streets of New York with a breeze that blows at a higher temperature than what the actual thermometers read, we are brave souls living and moving through one of the most intense city heats.
Now, Imagine something fresh…

The next Worth Kitchen dinner party will be all about bringing in the fresh. We will make you think, imagine, and feel freshness all around you and in everything you eat. Also to play a part will be the freshest wines paired up with a 5-course meal.

Make sure to join us on Thursday August 4th at 8 PM where 25 perfect strangers will attempt to fight the heat.

Buy your tickets here 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two Weeks to Training

So after a very busy day yesterday, I dropped by the construction of Sidewalk (no pictures, sorry I will have some up soon!) and the kitchen equipment had just arrived. Very exciting.

Friday I have my final tasting with the owners, GM and cooks. So far it has been very interesting to see what happens at the tastings. In the last one I had, about 4 weeks ago, I did a lot of last minute improvising. To be totally honest, I do not think it worked as well. So for the past 4 weeks, I have been cooking non stop. Experimenting and getting the recipes down perfectly. From very simple chicken wings, to much more elaborate pastas and others. The final menu is due next Tuesday.

Here was my take on the chicken schnitzel with a beet & feta cheese salad and french fries. It came out delicious, but only after 4 tries to get it all right.
This version was done with pank bread crumbs (I ran out of the other normal bread crumbs)
And this, at the end of the day, is the basic menu staples. You can also expect some very fun dishes. Plus my own version of pulled pork with a homemade BBQ sauce... Its going to be awesome.

In two weeks I begin to train the kitchen staff on all my recipes. We have two weeks of hard work to get it all straight before our soft launch. By beginning of next month expect me to be going insane. How crazy is this. I am loving it so far.

If any of you are around NYC during August, please stop by and let me know what you think. Its my official cherry pop in the NYC restaurant circle, so I am as nervous as I am excited.

Any other proper tips, recommendations or ideas? Let me know.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A year later... Where are we now?

Working hard with my amazing partner, best friend and wife! What an amazing first year of marriage it has been!
In May of 2010, Tamy and myself begun an amazing and totally unpredictable experiment which turned into Worth Kitchen. We promised you one full year of dinners at our house and we completed that promise plus we added awesome dinner parties for up to 60 people.

Here are some quick stats for you number lovers:
We have had about 252 people at our house. Out of that 252, about 75% were total strangers
I cooked 151 different dishes (most were a great succes, but not all!)
Created 48 different menus
Generated about $1,560 for various charities through some of our dinners

The year has been crazy!

It started as a hobby, but here I am one year later doing this for a living! Who would've thought?!?!
So It is now my responsibility with all of you to share what has been going on in my life and with Worth Kitchen the last couple of months and since our little Department of Health visit...

As of recent I am working with an East Village legend, Sidewalk Cafe. This place is a live music institution, one of those places that still has the '80s East Village grit, in a good way. As of March 2011, Sidewalk closed for serious renovations. I was approached with the amazing opportunity to come in as a consultant chef and develop the menu for this restaurant. You see, they want to step into a very new direction as far as the food is concerned. I took this as an fantastic opportunity to be able to practice more seriously in the restaurant industry before I took the huge risk of opening a Worth Kitchen restaurant. The menu at Sidewalk Cafe is taking shape and the food that will be coming out is something that I will be very proud of! (I call it "what happens to American food once it has gone the NY treatment") We will also be hosting an event at the Sidewalk Cafe soon enough, so please send me an email so I can send you an invite. Least to say, I am very excited.

And following that... well I guess you have to wait and see. I will be posting regularly from now on. Focusing on the adventures of creating a menu and launching a restaurant. Also, I will be tweeting for Sidewalk Cafe for a while, so follow me on my adventures here.

I know I have said it many times, but Thank You. Thanks to all of you for believing in what we do together and joining us on this amazing road.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Intimacy of Dining

Image courtesy of Tom Ajello via Instagram
During our latest dinner, at one point, Tamy and myself took a step back and asked, how did this work out so well?

Well, previous to this night we had come to the agreement that we needed to bring the dinners back to its roots. What was it that made our original dinners so amazing? It wasn’t just the idea that you were entering a stranger’s apartment to have a dinner with unknown people, but it was the idea that you were going to enjoy a great meal in an intimate setting with strangers. Well, this time around we decided to try something new. Instead of having a dinner for 50 people (as we have had done various times in the past) all seating in 6 different tables, we invited 26 guests and sat them all in one long table. The results were amazing.  Finally it felt as if we could somehow interact with all the guests easily and the feeling was very intimate, almost as if everyone got a chance to meet each other.

We never influence the interaction that all the guests are having amongst themselves, but we can definitely add the catalyst for the best interaction. The more intimate settings helps to break down the social barriers easier. Even though we love having the dinners for 50 or 60 and will continue to have those in the future, we loved having these intimate dinners and you can expect many more to come your way!

Next dinner, July 28th... stayed tuned for much more information.