International Women’s Day is an initiative for the advancement of women and is of prime importance to the economy, business and society. In the 21st century women are striding through a gender inequality and gaining momentum to better our progressive modern world. But while today can be a call for celebration due to Barack Obama’s Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA. Not every March 8, has been a victory for International Women’s Day.
Beginning in in the early 1900′s, at a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw a booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies, women began to recognize their vital right to equality.
In 1909, with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on February 28. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913. Following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to March 8 and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since.
International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. So what can you do to celebrate and participate?
Salon sYmphoNY 2013
New York-based female performers from across the globe will pay homage to inspirational women from their homelands. International Women Artists’ Salon in collaboration with Art Boundaries Unlimited (ABU) is presenting monologues, poems and songs from Scotland to Sierra Leone will display the beauty of the cultural riches created by women around the world and sustained today by the women and the city of New York. The free event will be held at The Lounge at Dixon Place from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Those interested can find more information here.
Meet And Greet with Human Rights Activist Madeleine Rees
Meet Madeleine Rees, WILPF Secretary General, former high UN official for human rights. Enjoy a private cocktail hour, plus general reception featuring global WILPF speakers. This event will cost you $150 per ticket and is held at Vermillion Restaurant beginning at 5 p.m. You can find more information on Madeline Rees and other activist speakers by clicking here.
Post a Photo of Your High Heels
We all understand how confident and beautiful a woman feels as she slips into a breath-taking pair of heels. Although, every woman who wears high heels whether you admit it or not has been in pain while walking in stilettos at some point in life. To celebrate International Women’s Day, the organization Confidence Is Beautiful is calling all women to post photos of their high heels on Facebook or Twitter and make our stiletto shoes a symbol of a women’s life. For more information on this fun and different activity, visit the Confidence is Beautiful blog.
International Women’s Day Reception: Congo Trauma Survivors
Hear the stories of women who survived a life living in the “the world’s most dangerous place to be a woman.” Celebrate their strength, hear their stories, and discover your part in restoring hope. Come for a social hour at 6:15 p.m., and stay to hear our speakers, the Honorable Ann Marie Burkle, former Congresswoman, House Foreign Affairs Committee and Congressional Representative to the United Nations, and Rebecca Deng, South Sudanese refugee with a passion for rebuilding communities shattered by war. This event is sponsored by She’s My Sister and held at the American Bible Society. Get more information here.
Freedom to Love Celebration
While this event is held on Sunday, it is still a fun and interesting way to celebrate International Women’s Day. The organization Be Wild Woman is asking women to join them in an honoring, blessing and celebrating the empowerment of women. Bring your voice, your heart and your dance. We gather to free women from shame, guilt and pain. Join us for a sacred circle of, love your body, healing, blessing and dance facilitated by Be Wild Woman Healer, Kiana Love and Dj’d by Kenzie. This event will be held in Brooklyn at 2 p.m., for more information click here.
The Hop Craft Beer & Artisanal Fare 458 Main St. Beacon, NY 12508 845.440.8676
We never know what we may encounter in life, but typically as the eastern philosophies go, we are always receiving what we are looking for. I recently had a meeting in Beacon, NY and the party I was meeting with suggested The Hop, I didn’t think much of it, I’m not a beer person per say, but have a building infatuation with beer folks, the makers and the lovers as I have found the more I learn about the craft of beer making the more I understand the almost inexplicable creativity that is involved. Now on this particular afternoon, a few days before my Pretzels Mustard and Beer class I was teaching, I need to buy a few beers to make the mustard starts so as I entered I though, wonderful, I was wandering where I was going to find some “out of the ordinary” beers here in my new woodsy life without knowing anything about where to find beer. At that moment I simply thought, how convenient and that life had given me this gift of ease. I proceeded to have an amazing meeting and connection with another likeminded food education folk and ate a lovely meal, grilled cheese with a bacon and black eyed pea soup, the experience over all was lovely. After the meal I met the owner, who helped me pick out beers for my mustards. What I learned in that tiny moment began to open my mind a bit to the craft of beer making, but still at that time I just simply chalked it all up to what a nice afternoon. I walked out and got in my car and got an email that the place that was supposed to proved all the beers for the tasting for the Pretzels class was out of all of them and that I should find an alternative source. Now for me this was hell, I was in no position to swiftly pick beers for pairing with my lack of knowledge and time was running out. I looked to my left and remembers I was a beer store a really good one, so I walked back in and let the owner know I would now be needing his service to actually choose the beers for my class and they needed to be local! He said, “that is easy”, which I loved. He proceeded to choose beers for me and gave me the run down on all of them and I basically got a quick lesson on some of the most amazing craft beers. We spoke a little bit more at length about his place and I have to admit at that point I know there was more to my experience there than simply just convenience, but I still didn’t really put it all together, remember I am a slow learner.
I went on my way and that night I had to prepare for the class and one of the things I had to do was re-do all the information on the beers to be used for the pairings and this time I had to do it on my own with no help form beer experts. So I did what I always do and got my google on and what I learned in that process was more than just beer stats, what I learned is that beer makers are some of the most culinary creative people I have seen yet. Now I am still not a “beer” drinker, per se, but the art of the process, the thinking and the evolution of ideas is enough to really provoke me to learn more about craft beer making and the people behind this craft. So I guess in the end the point is that although I originally though it was “convenient” I know believe it is part of my journey in actively seeking inspiration and this lovely place, called The Hop, is the catalyst for my new adventure into learning about the craft! Ideally I would love to continue my journey with learning about beers and writing a cook book on using craft beers in cooking!
Here are the beers and the pretzel pairings which went down REALLY well with the crowd…Thanks John!
For the mustards we used the following beers to make the following mustards
Sweet Maple Mustard*Smutty Nose Robust Porter, was used in this mustard not only to add sweetness to the mustard, but the saltiness of this beer pairs well with the maple and mustard, lending itself to a smoother and more robust but still sweet mustard.
Lavender-Honey Mustard*Chatoe Rogue Mead 19 Original Colonies , was paired with the Lavender honey mustard in order to give the mustard a very distinct raw honey taste. The beer is made with honey from 19 colonies of bees and brewed with only 5 ingredients ,farmed honey, wild honey, tea leaves, champagne yeast and free range coastal water, this purity of beer add to the mustard pure and herbaceousness. The lavender is robust and the honey helps tone it down while still keeping a very yeasty feel..
For the pairing we paired the following beers with the following pretzels
Horseradish Herb Pretzelspaired with *Brooklyn Sorachi Ace , pairs well because of the herbal notes of this beer, this is a saison style beer, featuring a a rare Japanese hop called Sorachi, its noted for its lemon and herbal aroma. This beer will complement the herbs and refresh the horseradish flavors with the hops and lemon.
Appearance: Yellowish gold, almost clear, fine foamy head, tiny bubbles Smell: Citrus and herb aroma, lemon zest Taste: Hoppy and slightly citrusy, light sweetness and some herbal notes, dry and champagne Mouthfeel: Very light mouth feel, dry, lots of bubbles Drinkability: Light and refreshing
New York Street Pretzels with Sweet Maple Mustardpaired with *The Black C , pairs well with the sweet maple mustard and regular pretzel because of the rich maltiness of the beer while still retaining strong fruity notes. The burnt malty flavors bring out the maple in the mustard and the richness of the beer allows for the mustard to taste sweeter.
Brewery: Sloop Brewing, Poughkeepsie
Serving: Bottle, 1 pint
Style: Indian Pale Ale
Appearance: Dark Brown with creamy tan head Smell: Raisinish and with a slight tart cherry tone, burnt Taste: Very strong tasting and predominant strong or even burnt malt tones, hoppy finish
Mouthfeel: Full bodied, dry finish Drinkability: Very tasty beer
Brewery: Brewery Ommengang, Copperstown, NY
Serving: 750 ML
Style: Quadruple Ale
Appearance: Amber caramel color with a very frothy beige head Smell: Candied Fruits, raisins and dates Taste: sweet and warm, bready and malty with burnt sugar and cherry tastes Mouthfeel: Fuller body, decent carbonation, sticky and heavy, finishes hot (boozy) and sweet Drinkability: An extremely interesting and complex beer that most people enjoy
Chocolate Nutty Pretzels paired with *Miles Davis Bitches Brew , amazing beer and truly a perfect pairing with a dessert or sweet and savory type of dessert. The beer was made in honor of the 40th anniversary of the original release of Bitches Brew, Miles Davis’ 1970 paradigm-shifting landmark fusion breakthrough album, the beer is a bold, dark beer that’s a fusion of three threads of imperial stout and one thread of honey beer with gesho root. Sweet and earthy and chocolate tones while pairing exceptionally with salt. (
Brewery: Dog Head Craft Brewery
Serving: 750 ML
Style: Imperial Stout
Appearance: Jet black, dark tan head Smell: Coffee, dried fruits, slight sweet burnt smell, a little licorice root Taste: Slightly metallic yet sweet, bittersweet chocolate and coffee, vanilla and again licorish root a little milk chocolately, boozy.
Perhaps one of the best examples of visionary thinking in my life today is that of Koppert Cress. Koppert Cress is a cress company with greenhouses in Cutchogue & Riverhead, the tip of Long Island. Their “mothership” hails from Holland, which as you may or may not know has a long history of produce and flavor ingenuity not to mention some of the most visionary greenhouses and agricultural practices on the planet. In all fairness I have to divulge that this is a new client for the Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center’s new produce sales and marketing division, so its our job essentially to promote them and share with as many folks who will listen how cool these folks really are. That being said my blog is the one place I can do whatever I want in life (until I get more readers that is) so I am essentially always honest and straightforward, which my few readers can certainly attest to. The products that Koppert Cress produces are mind blowing. Its sometimes hard for me to wrap my mind around it as it’s a bit out of my cooking element, so since many of these flavors and products are new to me, as a cook I feel like I am in the infancy stage with them. Which I have to admit, is pretty exciting.
I had often thought of micro greens ( we call them cress) as kind of a waste, typically reserved for the hoity toity kind of crowd and restaurants, where there is often a lot of foam served. But It didn’t really dawn on my until recently, especially as I (finally) read “Ferrnan Adria’s The Inside Story of El Bulli”, Where I am finally starting to understand how important this kind of cooking and visionary thinking is to regular eating and cooking. It’s funny how closed minded we can be in certain aspects of our lives, without even realizing that we are.
I can say that without hesitation my mind exploded with openness at my first farm tour a few months back. I was walking though greenhouses many of them glass and really nice, (I have walked through greenhouses all over the world, some of the highest tech ones and some low teach, I have seen it all when it comes to greenhouses) and I’ll admit I was thinking to myself, yeah okay greenhouses and plants, let’s go, let’s see what you have. Then we began to taste and the real transformation in my head to place, instantly. The offerings were incredible. I put a baby tree in my mouth at one point and felt like I was eating the forest in the Himalayan mountains, that was the Tahoon Cress. A indescribable sweet sensation occurred when I popped the tiny Dulce Buttons into my mouth. I instantly got excited as Im a huge fan of processed sugar alternatives and immediately thought about making syrups for cocktails with these little creatures, their leaves and stems are also sweet. The sour cucumber taste of the Pepquino brought a rush of ideas for salads like I had never imagined. The Salty Fingers, I will admit stumped me but no doubt the electric sensation in my mouth that was prompted by the touch and taste of the Sechuan Buttons on my tongue, made me feel instantly like I too, could create visionary dishes like Ferran Adria and El Bulli. Ok, so I wont go that far, but you get the point. The point is ultimately what I continue to make through all the themes of my blogs, openness to everything leads way to deeper respect and appreciation for all. Visionary thinking is part of the journey to move ahead and appreciate and respect the traditional ways, while making small and sometimes large shifts to compensate for what it is today.
Koppert Cress is soon to be making a move to get these visionary creatures to your local grocer, so that you too can play El Bulli right in your own kitchen!
If you would like more information on Koppert Cress or any of their products please contact me at Nissa@ger-nis.com
There is a running joke that I travel out of the country more than into Manhattan. This is partially because work has been constantly pulling me out of the country and partially because I tend to stay in Brooklyn where I feel I am more often satisfied by their consistency in everything I want and need in either a restaurant or a bar. Now take in mind at 39 years of age going to a bar has turned into something a little different than when I was 29. The need for an excuse to go to a bar at 29 was nonexistent, we just went and we didn’t particularly care who was there, what we drank or what the ambiance was, drinking at 29 was simple. At 39 I put a little more stake in where I go and more importantly what I drink and in what ambiance. There have been too many times I have been disappointed in jaunts in the city. As a busy person I have little time to waste and take my free time seriously and like to be insured a good time, especially while drinking and eating. I am less adventurous in my home city about trying new places, especially in Manhattan. When one has to journey by cab or subway in the middle of the night, half in the bag, it is important that they can say that they had a good time. For me more often than not I leave the city disappointed, the scene, the energy, the cocktails, and the crowds all seem to place a very distant second to the amazing feed lots and wateringholes we have in Brooklyn. So on a recent journey all the way into Manhattan; deep into Alphabet City I discovered a gem by pure accident really. Louis 649.
With its history of live jazz, housing some of NYC’s best jazz musicians and its artisanal spirit, I immediately felt like Louis 649 was my kind of drinking hole and the kind of place that us Brooklynites would expect to find in our own backyard. It is cozy and quaint, which is a compliment and not just a polite way of saying it’s small. It boasts a casual environment with high end premium libations, which I have come to have a great taste for with age. It is the perfect size for mingling alongside what appears to be like-minded folks and with its economical prices, it makes good sense on the pocket book, which is a bonus. They offer some of the most creative artisanal spirits made throughout the country and I am a big fan of these artisanal spirits makers and an even bigger fan of those who support them, especially when it is easy and cheap not to. A well selected offering of liquor, wine and beer is a must for me. This is the kind of artisanal “spirit” we find every day in Brooklyn, which is just another reason I was impressed. I felt at home instantly.
Since I am a big fan and proponent of education and specifically educating in unique and almost subliminal ways, I was pleased have my first experience be on one of their infamous Tuesday Night Tastings. The Tuesday Night Tastings have apparently been a big draw for years and have outlasted even the amazing live jazz, which had to become less regular because of noise complaints from the neighborhood. Tuesday Night Tastings are one of the only places in the whole damn city, where you can get a free tasting of some of the most highly coveted spirits on the market today, as well as receive a lecture and Q & A session with the folks behind each of the brands featured in the tastings. Tuesday Night Tastings start at 8PM each and every Tuesday and in my opinion is one of the most happening places to be in terms of multifunctional fun. Where else can you surround yourself with good folks, taste amazing premium spirits and receive top notch education all for free?
They also have an amazing menu despite the fact that they have no real kitchen. The feature some of the city’s top artisanal food makers, such as Saxelby Cheese and Ricks Picks. It’s really a perfect place to have a few drinks and a bite and learn a thing or two about the spirits world! Great staff an pretty place!
**Since this was written we had the Ger-Nis’ Herbalicious Birthday Bash at Louis 649, on one of their Tuesday Night Tasting’s. The owner Zachary Sharaga, allowed me to take a wild idea (coloring outside the lines) of bringing all our Brooklyn buddies into the city with us, including our jazz friends. We featured tastings of New York Distilling Company & Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters and five top mixologists donated herbalicious cocktail recipes for a contest, which inevitably Mr. Sharaga won with his, “ Herbal Zaiquiri”. The Dan Aran trio softened the air with their sweet music and our friends and fans were there to wish us a well on our night. One Girl Cookies, Underground Eats and Jacobs Farm gave out amazing treats for the event. The night was an amazing good time, everyone had fun and we cannot thank Mr. Sharaga enough for his beautiful hospitality and willingness to let us “color outside the lines”.
So yes there is wild game in New York City and right here in Brooklyn is the best! A small restaraunt serving seasonal and local fare with an amazing wine menu to boot. They are an extremly popular place with the locals and tend to have a wide variety of wild game meats on thier menu and even have a Wild Game Festival. This place is certainly worth the visit and it’s simple Brooklyn feel is perfect for a wild game dinner, the Herb Crusted Elf Chops are divine!
One of the greatest failures that exist in “my” world is the lack of consciousness that still fills our neighborhoods in regards to healthy eating and living. Children are crucial in this quest for creating healthier people and a heather planet. Educating children about sustainable food systems is at the core of our existence, we understand that the little ones turn into big ones and so on and so on. We are always happy to encounter more local folks on that same path. We recently discovered Butterbeans and we think you should too!
Butterbeans is essentailly a healthy lunch company, offering healthy lunch programs in schools all over NYC. They not only offer amazingly healthy school lunch options for exceptionally reasonable prices, but they offer the schools wellness education programs both in and out of the classroom. they use local, organic seasonal goods and pack nutrition into every bite! Their meals are filled with whole grains, legumes, seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, sustainably raised meats and poultry and are well balanced in colors as well as raw versus cooked ratios. their lunches and thier mission are making up for the failure that we have currently in schools when it comes to food.
Check them out, pass the word on and lets get them into more schools here in our own backyard, lets make Brooklyn’s food failure a success in the upcoming year!
As I repeat often, the uncanny nature of timing, seems to present itself yet again. Tamar is a soft and quiet woman at first glance, uber talented and quiet lovely in general this magical women and friend, has a new book out that has a direct role in my recent life changes, outlook and direction. Sure its sounds dramatic at first but back to the uncanny nature of timing, time is everything and Tamar’s book came about at a time for me, when I needed not only to read it but to understand, witness and see another woman move the process of book writing which I am about to do. A woman who I think has immeasurable passion for what is essentially the lost art of cooking. She is an incredible writer with extreme eloquence in her prose, which for me is also fascinating as the idea and recognition that a great food writer is essentially also an excellent cooker! She exudes patience in her writing and cooking which has been fascinating to watch and see in her book. Her book is not your everyday book, which for me was extremely alluring, her recipes or one could say lack of them also sparked a great deal if curiosity and fervor in me and the simplicity of the cooking and the techniques were like a revealed secret that has been locked up for way too long. This book and this woman have captured the real spirit of the kitchen while pairing it with life and the learning one receives while out there learning. Her exotic world travels seep into all angles of the book and fit comfortably in even the most conservative of recipes or techniques. Her book both inspired and allowed me to see the kitchen differently, again the timing of my eyes viewing differently due to my own recent growth, fits perfectly into this path she has laid for me with the basics that we so often forget. Her book for me was essentially a metaphor for life, in that it is relatively simple but does require a few tricks, techniques, order, creativity and above all a bit more salt and oil!
Her book came to me at a time I am embarking on my own book which I can only hope shows my readers who I essentially am as much as hers did for her. I am quite a busy lady and find myself getting bored easily with many of the food books and cookbooks out there on the market these days, most are regurgitated versions of the same thing, most come from a place where money was the object of desire not passion for food, so I found her book refreshing and wished it was longer. She proves that being incredibly talented and creative both in and out of the kitchen is possible with focus, determination and above all a graceful patience that I am extremely envious of!
Buy the book, it is incredible and essential for every foodie’s library!
Sahadis (Finest Middle Eastern Grocer In Brooklyn!) 187 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11201 718-624-4550 www.sahadis.com
Middle Eastern cooking is exquisitely easy for the most part and specializes in fresh produce with the use of a lot of spices. Spices that can be hard to get for the average persona and we can’t all smuggle our spices in after our worldwide journeys. I have given a lot of my Israeli and Middle Eastern recipes to friends all over the country and many are not as lucky as we are and have some problems finding what basic ingredients here are in Brooklyn and NYC. At Sahadis they have truly everything you need and you can often find chefs and specialty food makers shopping there for some hard ot get items. Whether it be prepared foods or ingredients for fresh, they have it all, whether cooking homemade delicacies from scratch or partaking in delicious prepared foods a trip to this clean and stylish gourmet marketplace, which was founded in 1948 and is stocked to the rafters with everything you could ever need from the Far and Middle East is an experience not just an errand. In addition to coffee, cookbooks, nuts, dried fruits, candies, jams, a plethora of spices and canned specialty foods (among them, grape leaves, Imam Bayeldi and roasted peppers), the grocery offers a selection of freshly prepared foods that are authentic and delectable. For holidays and other special occasions, shoppers can pre order these delicacies and special orders are also a norm here. One of the spices I am often running to Sahadis for is sumac! Loads of fresh olives and fresh baked Middle Eastern sweets this spot is really a place for all.
As we have witnessed in all the sections of this month’s blog, authenticity of Italians and food go hand in hand. Witnessing this food artistry mastery for myself was inspiring on many levels as I have shared and for me most importantly it has allowed me to seek out the similar in my own surroundings, wherever that may be. I first learned of The Italian Culinary Academy through an instructor who taught for Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center and I was fascinated by this place as most the culinary schools that I had known about, heard of and experienced were about technique not about authenticity, tradition, culture and the artisanal spirit that is so often found in authentic cuisine. Italy exudes this and The Italian Culinary Academy actually believes in teaching it. I was elated to know that there is a place that can evoke the yearning to dig deeper into food and get to the roots of the cuisine that is being studied, first hand and through immersion. I am fluent in Spanish, have been since I was 12 years old and I have retained it and I can read and write and speak at a pretty advanced level. I learned Spanish by the immersion method, or shall I say, when we were on the lamb in our custody and kidnapping expedition, “Flight & Fight For Family Freedom”, we were plunked into Central America for three and a half years. No Spanish speaking abilities before that and no cultural knowledge, just some kids for So Cal! It was intense to say the least and it was the late 80”s so the Iran Contra thing didn’t make it any easier, but we (my brothers and I) emerged from it with the kind of cultural knowledge that you can’t learn without existing in it. I have traveled throughout Central America, Mexico and South American ever since and thus retained and built upon that original immersion, as is what happens, so as a believer in the immersion method I am elated to see a culinary school out there that believes in it.
The Italian Culinary Academy not only gives its students the Italian style cookery skills both modern and traditional, but it embeds in its students the details of the history and traditions that shaped the cuisine itself.
“The Italian Culinary Academy at The International Culinary Center in New York City offers aspiring Italian cooks at all levels the most well-rounded and authentic Italian culinary training available anywhere. Designed and overseen by acclaimed author, restaurant owner, and Master Chef Cesare Casella, our programs offer several exhilarating Total ImmersionSM schedules — including an exciting option to train in Italy.”
“Our Italian Culinary Experience program offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to train on both sides of the Atlantic, learning in our kitchens in New York City and at ALMA in Parma, Italy. This 29-week course also includes Italian language training and a chance to put your new skills to the test during an internship in the kitchen of one of Italy’s top restaurants — making it ideal for anyone who wants to eat, drink, live and breathe Italian cuisine, language, and culture. Students can get a smaller — but just as delicious — taste in an 8-session Essentials of Italian Cooking class.”
This unique one of a kind culinary school is designed to create top chefs with the skills they need to succeed in a saturated market, especially when it comes to Italian cooking and specialty. Students emerge form this school not only experts in Italian cuisine, the techniques, history, and tradition but they have more opportunities than the average culinary graduate as they are equipped with more than just technique, they are equipped with passion for their art and the back up to prove it!