The Definition of Hospitality

Sean Brock (left) and Kevin Mitchell (right)

Food history is hands down my favorite subject. It’s amazing how a meal can shape a culture, and that’s what we’re faced with when the people of Charleston sit down for the recreated Fuller Dinner. The delicious and historical dishes against the rich and conflicted backdrop absolutely make this event worth writing about, definitely beyond the dime-a-dozen new restaurant openings in NYC. I wish I could find something as cool as things happening near me, but I think I might have to drive down to Philadelphia to get anywhere close.

We Are Chefs

“Yes.” That was Kevin Mitchell’s answer when he was approached by food historian Dr. David Shields to take on the part of 19th century African-American chef Nat Fuller and reenact an 1865 iconic biracial banquet that took place in Charleston, South Carolina. A year later, along with key Charleston community members, Mitchell and Shields pulled off one of the most significant post-Civil War events to happen in the South—again.

Chef Nat Fuller
Nat Fuller was born in 1812 on a plantation on the Ashley River in Charleston. He was sold several times before he was bought by William Gatewood, a 20-year-old lottery agent from Virginia. At age 15, Fuller began his training as a butler and a gourmet cook, because Gatewood was interested in increasing his social standing in Charleston. Fuller apprenticed under some of the best cooks in the area. He had a talent for cooking and became…

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Budlet’s Florida Water review and NYC rent hikes

Review’s at the bottom! I got a little carried away with the opinion part.

Florida was a fun find while browsing NYC’s famous (opened in 1971) Pearl River Mart before its depressing brick and mortar close in December because of a giant rent hike at the end of this year’s lease. Pearl River Mart houses tons of Asian/Chinese clothing, plateware, mugs, teapots, cooking utensils, chopstick designs, a small selection of instant noodles, various sauces, and Asian snacks, as well as a tea balcony, a bunch of random knick-knacks downstairs, and plants.

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Coke chicken and papas bravas

Dinner for Mr. Chokkattu’s family and my first attempt at a foodwishes recipe!

The chicken was alright because we had to replace some ingredients, but the potatoes and the sauce were great!

Link to his blog post here.

Link to the chicken recipe here (try not to darken the sauce too much…not that I know from experience.)

Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce

I’m making Julian try this. His family can thank me later.

rachel eats

Even with the inevitable post holiday – back to school feelings it is nice to be easing back into the ebb and flow of our daily life, especially where food is concerned. This is one of our favouries, simple, judicious and delicious.

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato sauce with butter and onion

This sauce never ceases to surprise and delight me, a bit of soft red alchemy.  Just three ingredients, a large tin of plum tomatoes – San Marzano if you can find them – a thick slice of butter and a yellow onion, peeled and cut into two. You simmer this trio together – slowly and steadily for about 45 minutes, a stir here, blip blip, a squash there – and something almost magical happens, the three ingredients come together into thick, soft red, full flavoured, velvety sauce, luxurious and simple at the same time.

The flavour is rather surprising…

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