Posts tagged with "cook"

Kia Damon illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Chef Kia Damon: Culinary Compassion In The Kitchen

By: Emily Bunn

This Women’s History Month, 360 Magazine sat down with Chef Kia Damon. Kia is the founder of Kia Feeds The People (KFTTP) and is a cofounder of Auxilio, both of which are non-profits aimed at combating food apartheid. We dished with Kia on how she discovered her passion for cooking, pathways towards increased Black and QTPOC representation in the culinary industry, and her upcoming video release with EFFEN Vodka and Queer Foods, which can be viewed here.

When did you first begin cooking? When did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally?

“I started cooking in my early preteens. I have younger brothers as well, so once we were too old for day care, I had to step up as the older sibling to make sure we ate, especially more so during the summertime because I have working parents. But, it wasn’t until some years later when I started cooking independently for my own health reasons that I truly saw my strengths in cooking and realized that cooking professionally wasn’t a world that was so far away for me, that it was actually extremely attainable and extremely real. So I took the plunge, and to this day some of my family’s still very surprised, because I was definitely burning pots of rice, and they were like ‘this girl has no talents for the kitchen.’ Now I’m cooking and they still can’t believe it.”

We all know foods brings communities together. Are there any experiences you’ve had with community members through Kia Feeds The People that have stuck with you?

Yes! Honestly, the most connective part was before I even started cooking with KFTTP people when I was looking for guidance from a lot of my friends in the cooking community. Because KFTTP was birthed in a really tumultuous time, I felt like I couldn’t quite gather my thoughts and my feelings. I just felt so emotionally charged and stunted that I felt like I couldn’t even work or think or move because I felt so emotional about everything. But being able to lean into my friends and my chosen family who see me for who I am, who know me intimately and know my heart, they were able to guide me to where I am now and toward my mission for KFTTP. I’m super grateful. These are people that I’ve been able to cook with before, these are people that I’ve literally eaten with before–we’ve shared food out of deli containers at 3am–I’m very grateful for them. And I definitely could not have got to this place without them.”

Are you looking to expand KFTPP outside of Brooklyn, or just focus on this specific community?

“Because I am a Sagittarius, I definitely am looking to expand and looking to grow. I definitely have to make sure I build and flesh KFTTP out as much as possible in Brooklyn before I start thinking about moving other places. But I do have visions, not necessarily to just expand Kia Feeds The People, but to collaborate with other mutual aid organizations and non-profits that already exist in other cities, so that I can support them and [they] have more coverage where they are. I’m not the only one who’s doing this kind of work and it is definitely a collaborative, lifelong mission, so I want to lend hands to the people who are already in this game.”

What do you think is the biggest obstacle facing overcoming food apartheid?

Personally I think the biggest obstacle is still convincing people that it exists, because we live in such a individualistic world. If something doesn’t affect the next person, then they’re more likely to ignore it, you know. That’s why I think COVID really shook things up, because a lot of us were collectively put on our butts. you know. We’re like “whoa, wait a minute, is this one thing that is really proactively affecting us.” But regarding food apartheid, a lot of people are still familiar with it in terms of a “food desert.” Food desert is a word that’s been used for many years to describe this situation, and a “desert” implies that it is natural, because the world naturally created deserts. When you apply “food desert” to that idea, it implies that this place without food, this place without access to meals, is natural and that’s just the way that it’s supposed to be. But it’s completely unnatural, it’s completely systematic, and [after recognizing that] then we can start looking at it as something that is created by is created by systems. Then, we can put some realness to it and find how all of us are truly affected by them. So I think right now, it’s making sure people know what food apartheid is, and that it actually exists.”

Do you have a favorite meal or cocktail to prepare when you’re bringing family or friends together?

“My favorite meal is red beans and rice. I love a good pot of Louisiana-style red beans and rice, because honestly that–with some corn bread on top and so hot sauce– that really is the whole meal. You think you would need something else on the side but that’s really it. It’s so fulfilling, it’s so delicious, and I definitely try to bring it out when I get to be with my friends and family.”

The culinary world is a male-dominated industry. How can the culinary industry work to become more diverse, and have more Black, QTPOC chefs?

“I think it’s a starts with actually investing in the lives and careers of these black/brown/trans/ LGBTQ chefs because they exist. I know they exist because they’re my friends. And what happens is that maybe they’re put in positions of leadership or maybe not, but they’re they’re not given the same care, support or investment in their skills and education and their needs. You could put someone in a line chef position or position of leadership or whatever, but if there’s no follow through to make sure that they have what they need to be supported in those positions, they’re usually set up for failure, or set up to be harmed in some way. Or maybe a small business that’s LGBTQ or Black has a good profile, [but they may not be] getting access to grants or money. You have to have the follow through. It’s not that we don’t exist, it’s that we’re not properly supported when we are put at the forefront. That’s when it gets tricky and that’s when we’re left open to harm and failure.”

What are you most excited about regarding this video release with Queer Foods and EFFEN Vodka?

“I’m very excited for mom to see it first of all, I love my mommy and she is my number one fan. And she’s a Gemini, so I’m always looking for her approval. But I’m also excited to get to Kia Feeds The People and Queer Stories in front of the world. I feel like we can’t tell enough queer stories, there’s always someone’s story out there. Even though there’s this myth out there that there’s already enough representation, or that maybe it’s too much to keep talking about queer people, that’s actually far from the truth. I’m proud and honored that EFFEN Vodka wants to support what I’m doing and wants to get my story out there. My story is the story of a lot of other Black and brown and trans people’s stories, and it also feels good to partner with someone who sees me and wants to invest in my story and invest in supporting other diverse artists, both in their representation and practice. It just feels good to be seen, and I’m excited for everyone else to see me and to be seen. Just look! Everyone just look! I want everyone to look and feel pride in who we are.”

How can readers donate to Kia Feeds The People?

“You can head to my GoFundMe if you’re not in the city, or if you’re in Brooklyn you can come to a pop up. Please donate to my GoFundMe, I have it on my Instagram page. Share it with your friends, let them know what’s up. Or if you are in Bed-Stuy, you can find me at a pop-up– I have a few coming up in April, so I’m going to be all over the place. Come get some food or throw some money, either way I’ll be very grateful.”

To learn more about Kia, visit her website.

Kia’s EFFEN Rosé Vodka Grapefruit Cocktail

Ingredients: 

  • 2 parts EFFEN Rosé vodka
  • 1 oz of lime juice
  • ½ oz of cane syrup
  • 2 or 3 parts grapefruit juice

Mix the grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup, EFFEN Rosé vodka and a spoonful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir and taste. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with grapefruit, and thyme. Drink responsibly + enjoy!

Kia’s Gumbo Recipe 

Ingredients

  • 8 oz andouille sausage
  • 1lb Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 cups sliced okra, fresh or frozen
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp Creole seasoning
  • 1 tbsp of fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp Ground sage
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh parsley

Directions

  • Season the chicken thighs with 2 tablespoons of creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Season well on both sides. Heat a skillet or cast iron to medium heat with enough oil to cover the bottom. When the pan is hot, sear the chicken in batches. Brown the chicken on both sides and set aside. The chicken does not have to be cooked through just yet.
  • In a large pot add the oil and heat to a medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk until it begins to cook. Lower the heat to medium low. Keep whisking the roux over a controlled and steady heat until the flour begins to darken into a deep brown. This takes about 30 minutes, so pace yourself.
  • Turn the heat down on the roux and add in your onion, bell pepper and celery. Stir into the roux, season with a few pinches of salt and sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add in your minced garlic and fresh thyme. Stir for another 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the chicken stock while whisking the roux. Do this part slowly because the roux will begin to thicken. Take your time and continue pouring in the stock until it’s completely incorporated.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, meanwhile slice the sausage in ¼ inch rounds on a slight bias. When the pot begins to boil, reduce to a simmer and add the chicken and sausage. Let the gumbo cook on low for an hour. You want time for the flour taste to cook out.
  • After an hour, add the remaining two tablespoons of creole seasoning, smoked paprika, ground sage and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Stir and add your sliced okra. Cook for another 10 minutes, add salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste then serve with rice and chopped parsley.
  • Enjoy!
Kia's EFFEN Rosé Vodka Grapefruit Cocktail Photo credit: Solène Michel  Recipe credit: Kia Damon, Kia Feeds The People for use by 360 Magazine

Photo credit: Solène Michel Recipe credit: Kia Damon, Kia Feeds The People

Kia Damon image shot by Elina Street for EFFEN Vodka and Queer Foods for use by 360 Magazine

Photo Credit: Solène Michel 

Groceries by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

TASTING HISTORY COOKBOOK

SIMON & SCHUSTER’S TILLER PRESS TO PUBLISH ‘TASTING HISTORY’ CREATOR AND HOST MAX MILLER’S DEBUT COOKBOOK BASED ON MILLER’S HISTORICAL RECIPE YOUTUBE SHOW

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The Food and History Show Celebrates Its One-Year Anniversary with a Special Episode on the Medieval Dish Cockentrice. Watch Here.

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Simon & Schuster’s Tiller Press announced that it will publish a historical cookbook by Max Miller based on his popular YouTube show, ‘Tasting History. The untitled cookbook, slated for publication in 2022, will feature some of the show’s most popular and unusual ancient recipes.

On ‘Tasting History,’ Miller recreates historical recipes from the Medieval and Renaissance Eras, Ancient Greek and Roman times and beyond, and spotlights traditional foods from around the world. The show’s popularity has exploded since the channel’s inception in February 2020. Amid nationwide stay-at-home-orders, ‘Tasting History’ has amassed over 570K+ subscribers and 23M+ total channel views, with viewers tuning in faithfully each Tuesday for their latest culinary history lesson, and perhaps to catch a glimpse of Max’s beloved feline companions, Jaime and Cersei.

“Here at Tiller Press, we love to discover emerging voices. Max’s voice has exploded with his ‘Tasting History’ show and we are thrilled to translate that voice to the written page, complete with his recreated recipes and the history behind each one,” said Anja Schmidt, Executive Editor, who acquired the title.

As today marks the channel’s one-year anniversary, Max will celebrate in true ‘Tasting History’ fashion with a special episode that will focus on the history behind the legendary medieval dish called Cockentrice, which consists of a suckling pig’s upper body sewn onto the bottom half of a capon. The full episode can be viewed here. 

For more information visit his Youtube and follow Max on Instagram.

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ABOUT SIMON & SCHUSTER

Simon & Schuster, a ViacomCBS Company, is a global leader in general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages, and in all printed, digital and audio formats. Its distinguished roster of authors includes many of the world’s most popular and widely recognized writers, and winners of the most prestigious literary honors and awards. It is home to numerous well-known imprints and divisions such as Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Gallery Books, Tiller Press, Adams Media, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, and proudly brings the works of its authors to readers in more than 200 countries and territories. For more information visit our website.

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ABOUT ‘TASTING HISTORY’ 

‘Tasting History’ is a food and history show hosted by Max Miller on YouTube that explores the recreation of culinary delights from the Medieval and Renaissance Eras, to Ancient Greek and Roman times, and spotlights traditional foods from around the world. Since the channel’s inception in February 2020, ‘Tasting History’ has garnered over 570K+ channel subscribers, and over 23M+ total views. For more information, visit his Youtube, and follow Max on Instagram and on Twitter. Miller is represented by Jeremy Katz at The Katz Company and Innovative Artists.

apron, food, vegetables, veggies, illustration, cooking, cookwear

Your Guide to BBQ Smokers for the Best Barbeque Cooking

Section 1: Introduction

Do you want to take your barbeque to the next level? You can do that with the right BBQ smoker. Though you can always cook a flesh on a standard grill, your meat may lack the texture and flavor that comes with smoking.

Getting a BBQ smoker can be a bit stressful for some people because of the numerous brands to consider. All of them come with a wide range of features making it difficult to make a pick. This short guide examines the main types of smokers on the market today, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to maintain them.

Section 2: Basics

Section 2.1: Meaning of smoking?

When you surround the flesh in a flavor-filled chamber over a period while keeping the temperature low, then you’re smoking the meat. This act will cause the beef to have the same flavor as the smoke and, in turn, removes traces of moisture, helping the meat to last longer.

Section 2.2: What is a smoker?

A smoker is an appliance for cooking in a controlled, smoky environment for making barbeque. It produces smoke and holds it around the meat for absorption. 

There are various ways to smoke under slow heat using many smoker/grill types available today. You can purchase charcoal smokers, gas smokers, wood smokers, pellet smokers, and electric smokers. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages, but the most crucial factor is the type of meat you’re smoking.

Section 2.3: Types of Barbeque smokers

Vertical water smokers

This type is otherwise called a bullet smoker, and most beginners start with it, typically the Weber Smokey Mountain. They’re cute and compact with a small footprint to fit onto the most insignificant of patios. 

  • Advantages

They’re one of the most inexpensive types of smokers and are easy to use. It can be easily transported in a truck and does not take up much space on the patio.

  • Disadvantages

It has a small cooking capacity. The water pan can get greasy and will have to be cleaned after every cook.

Offset smokers

An offset smoker has both a firebox and a cooking chamber. The two-part design makes lighting and heating less stressful.

  • Advantages

They’re cheap and straightforward with lots of space for food.

  • Disadvantages

The temperature is hard to control and requires skill.

Box smokers

This is cabinet or vault with a heat source at the base and a rack on the top. It conserves more heat because of the unique position of the heat source.

  • Advantages

Though good ones cost a lot more, they do produce large amounts of great barbeque in a highly controllable environment. These smokers can be the most dependable and easiest-to-use smokers on the market.

  • Disadvantages

Most box smokers on sale are less efficient, lack insulation, loses heat quickly, though they’re more expensive than vertical types.

Drum smoker

These types of smokers are now being used in barbeque competitions. This vertical-style smoker is effective and efficient. The cylindrical design does an excellent job by trapping heat and radiating it evenly throughout the entire inside of the barrel.

  • Advantages

These types of smokers are usually cheap. It gives the meat a unique flavor and holds consistent temperature for long periods.

  • Disadvantages

They require some skill and practice and also run hot.

Smoker ovens

They are like ovens in the home such that you might want them indoors, but it’s best to use them outside.

  • Advantages

This one can smoke more meat at a time, making it ideal for commercial applications.

  • Disadvantages

It is not suitable for indoor use because of carbon (II) oxide poisoning.

Kamado Grill

Looking for a slow cooker, Kamado Grill is an ideal choice. It has high-quality insulation and functional vents.

  • Advantages

They are durable, attractive, and can heat up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit and over.

  • Disadvantages

They are comparatively expensive and have space limitations also.

Pellet grill

Wood is the primary fuel for the pellet grill. High-quality wood generates light and cleaner smoke with a significant amount of energy.

  • Advantages

You can use it as a grill or smoker. The smoke is more suitable for smoking though you can still use it for grills.

  • Disadvantages

Pellet grills come at a relatively higher cost. They sometimes have several moving parts, making them difficult to maintain.

Section 3: Techniques/Tips to improve

Section 3.1: Tips on how to maintain your smoker

  • Ashes can form a byproduct that promotes rusting. You can let ashes cool before you sweep and dispose them in the airtight metal container.
  • Meathead Goldwyn mentioned that grill grates and influx of carbon on the lid doesn’t improve food flavor.

Section 4: Correcting Common Problems

Section 4.1: Common meat smoking mistakes to avoid

Smoking meat is a great way to enhance, but there are some common pitfalls beginners should try to avoid.

  • Incomplete preheating of the smoker

Whatever recipe you use; it will tell you how long it takes to smoke a particular piece of meat. You’ll also be given a simple preheat temperature so you’ll have to warm up the smoker first. Though it makes the process longer, it will provide you with the ideal cook and smoke temperature to get the perfect flavor.

  • Opt for a lighter fluid

The most convenient way of doing this is to use a chemical to initiate the fire.

  • Using high density or much wood

If the wood is much, vast clouds of smoke will be produced, but a single stream of smoke can effectively flavor the meat. A considerable amount of smoke can overpower the flavor of the flesh and even render the meat inedible.

  • Starting too fast

The best way to smoke meat is to start slowly and gradually increase the temperature.

  • Wood quality is poor

Don’t use non-seasonal wood, green, or wet wood. Greenwood is reserved for seasoned professionals who know precisely how to use it. If you’re a beginner, greenwood can cause the meat to become bitter.

Section 5: Analysis of Best Practices in the Industry

  • Smokers come in a range of different sizes
  • An offset smoker is the most traditional type of smoker and is completely wood-fired. The firebox is by the side where you build your smoke.
  • There are pellet smokers too. Fill it in with compressed wood pellets. They’re available in a different range of flavors. An electronic spark ignites them, moves in through the unit, and you can set the temperatures.
  • For the Kamado smokers, the ceramic provides excellent induction of heat.
  • The water or bullet smoker has a charcoal pan at the bottom. There is also a water pan to regulate moisture within the chamber.
  • For vertical smokers, the charcoal is placed at the bottom with a water pan in the middle. You can control your airflow on both sides.

https://youtu.be/6Gk2e9BUDpc

In the above video, Jess Pryles, the original hardcore Carnivore, tried to explain many of the different types of smokers out there.

Section 6: Tools you can use

  • A good smoker
  • Thermometer
  • Digital meat thermometer
  • Tongs
  • Spatula
  • Meat Claws
  • Gloves 
Ocaso Festival, Costa Rica, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

OCASO 2020

“Be prepared to be teleported into a quantum realm of whimsicality.”360 MAGAZINE

By Vaughn Lowery × Sam Berman

At the peak of the year, music, beats and dancing brought together a crowd of 10,000 attendees to Costa Rica for 2020’s Ocaso Underground Music Festival – the world’s largest rave in the jungle. Even the leatherback turtles, howling monkeys and crocodiles were head bobbing.

The Ocaso Underground Music Festival, which engaged on January 9th – 13th, united travelers, ticos and seasoned ravers alike to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, off the coast of the Pacific Ocean for five days of electronic music bliss. The jubilee was established by founder Devin Ellis in 2018; and it just culminated its fourth semester, with plans to return in January 2021, proving a successful run for one of the most emerging EDM festivals on the planet. 

What makes this carnival so sui generis, aside from a stellar bill of DJs including Maceo Plex, Äme, Doc Martin, Justin Martin, Magdalena, Shiba San, Seth Troxler and Artba, might just be the visually striking and lushful setting of CR. The grounds, known as the Lesenda Retreat, centers around a trilithic stage composed of metal trusses for performers, complete with a towering geometric visual screen synchronized to the music, pulsating lasers, fog machines, pyrotechnics and go-go dancers. Apart from hypnotizing technical components conjured up by architectural wizards, the surrounding landscape and warm weather provided a tranquil atmosphere to enjoy the fiesta in, enhanced by art installations sprinkled throughout, providing a truly remarkable habitat. 

Let’s talk about the sound! Imagine being at the On The Run II tour with Beyoncé and Jay-Z, state-of-the-art subwoofers and tweeters pinging throughout the venue, delivering clean and crisp vibrant instrumentation. Of course, this added fan excitement to every set.

Viewers were able to use tokens for transportation, food and drinks, providing added security from petty theft and loose cash. Overall safety was key with tons of guards at every entrance alongside of roaming escorts. We all wore sparkly color-coded wristbands to identify our level of participation – GA vs VIP. Staff members wore official reflective tanks and shirts to be easily accessible.

A short 15 minute-bus drive on a vintage yellow school bus brought participants to the festivities. Guests were offered an assortment of carte du jour options to replenish their prance-exhausted bodies with a number of locally and globally known chefs preparing flatbread pizzas, gyros, keto bowls, tacos as well as protein shakes.

Saturday was the most distinctive night of the event, with people from all over the globe, dressed in their most eye-catching ensembles, echoing the avant-garde fashion of other fairs such as EDC, Ultra, Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella. Ocaso brought a parade of colors infused with futuristic and organic elements blended seamlessly into garbs straight out of an alien planet, welcoming and embracing all. 

The festival wrapped with a pool party at base camp, the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas. After a five-day outer body experience of infectious dance music, a sort of culinary delights, cozy lodging options, and the beautiful backdrop of the rugged rainforested, Central America, this is one masquerade which many should add to their list. 

Missed out on the fun this year? Don’t fret, as the festival plans to return the weekend of January 7-11, 2021. Ticketing packages from this past year ranged from $19.00 to $59.00 for single day passes, a two-day Friday and Saturday pass for $89.00 and a 5-day-full-weekend pass for $119.00, a great deal for those who can’t get enough from just one night. So ravers, start planning your next vacation, because this is an experience any party animal should dive into. 

For additional information visit Ocaso Festival.

Local Guide

Besides the #RaveInTheJungle, The city of Tamarindo itself possesses a plethora of thrilling activities: ziplining, horseback rides on volcanic trails; ATV tours; surfing and dolphin-watching sailing tours.

If you are seeking additional dining/nightlife options outside of the fête, be sure to check out the following:

Pacifico Club (http://www.pacifico-costarica.com/beach-club/), Sharky’s Bar (http://sharkysbars.com/), Long Board BBQ, Chinese Food (directly across from Vista Villas) and Bamboo Sushi Club.

Just down the road was the luxurious Tamarindo Diria hotel, which features a lobby side pool/hot tub, an array of cabanas with an outside bar/dining deck as well as private beach access to make any jovial attendants experience an unforgettable rave-cation.

Nick DiGiovanni, MasterChef, 360 MAGAZINE

Nick DiGiovanni

Nick DiGiovanni is a 23-year-old recent grad of Harvard, who was the youngest contestant to ever compete in the finale of MasterChef. He started cooking when he was only eight years old, and started working in restaurants in high school, including an internship at Benu, a Michelin three-star restaurant in San Francisco. He ultimately decided to forego culinary school for Harvard, before deciding to leave for a semester to compete on MasterChef and ultimately make it to the finale.

During his time at Harvard, Nick created the first-ever food concentration called Food & Climate, to figure out ways to address the environmental crisis through food. That then led to the start of a new business venture called Voodles that would help revolutionize the way kids eat vegetables. The veggie based pasta is organic certified, kosher, gluten free, vegan & non-GMO and will be available online by 2020. 

Lokal Eatery & Bar, Vaughn Lowery, Jersey City, New Jersey, 360 MAGAZINE, Abraham John ARCHITECTS, Mona Panjwani, Walter Donadio

Lokal Eatery & Bar

By Vaughn Lowery

Jersey City officially opened up one of the swankiest restaurants on their waterfront with magnificent views of Manhattan. Mona Panjwani is the proprietor and visionary of this establishment. After 12 days of having their doors opened, they have built a team of individuals who are personable, approachable and possess a strong sense of ownership. Literally a recipe for prosperity.

With sufficient space, Lokal Eatery & Bar can comfortably sit up to 200 customers and is the perfect destination for a rehearsal dinner, trunk show, celebratory engagement and/or corporate gathering. Towards the rear, there’s a semi-private area with its own seating, lounge and sound system to drown out the clutter of what’s taken place in the main arena. “Lokal” murals, perfect for social engagement, are sprinkled throughout the spot which were constructed by a local commissioned artist. Adding an element of youth and elegance similar to its milieu. Overall the architecture and intent of this eclectic eatery have an industrial yet modern feel. Iron gates frame the bar and above the 30-foot island hangs a custom lighting installation.

Nestled in the heart of a rising luxury neighborhood within JC, this venue is destined to become one of the area’s most popular draws. Executive Chef, Walter Donadio, has managed to fabricate a tantalizing menu of appetizers, small plates and entrees which are certain to keep you coming back. Some of his best infused tapas and items include succulent scallops, rock shrimp, sauteed mushroom bowls as well as a vegan surf and turf packed with savory lentils. Most of their components are locally sourced and fresh from the Garden State – right down to the blueberries featured in some of their signature drinks.

Often times, you inflict a new place and the waitstaff is uncertain on what to recommend. That’s not the case for Lokal. Many of their squad members were well-informed on what they offer and even had ample recommendations for their handcrafted cocktails. Our favorites were their Elliott Stubb (reminiscent of an old fashioned) and Jerry Thomas – cucumber water iced cubes make this drink refreshing.

The future is bright for Lokal Eatery & Bar. And, with a strong location, menu and bar, it’s set to be one of the most prestigious brunch/dinner spots for global foodies, making it a firm contender for three Michelin stars and a James Beard Award. Subsequently, it’s extremely apparent that Mona and her crew are meticulous and pay close attention to details.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

*Brunch is Saturday & Sunday from 11am-3pm. A perfect place to relax and kick back with friends as well as family before the week starts. If you eat meat, be sure to try the lamb burger. The Bloody Mary and Margarita are sure to get almost any party started.

**Happy Hour is daily from 5-7pm.

ABOUT TEAM LOKAL:

CHEF: Walter Donadio will serve as Lokal’s Executive Chef.

Donadio is a Michelin star kitchen trained chef with over 17 years of versatile culinary professional experience managing the provisions of fine dining for hotels, restaurants and country clubs. His experience spans the globe from various chef positions at Richy’s DMCC and Café Habana in Dubai to The Smith, Nobu Fifty Seven, Le Circ and Brasserie in New York, along with supervising kitchens at Hilton and Marriott in New Jersey. Passionate about food since growing up in his grandmother’s own restaurant, he loves combinations of flavors from different cuisines and is always searching for the perfect balance. He is a graduate from the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center).

OWNER: Mona Panjwani

Panjwani opens Lokal as an events industry vet in the Northern New Jersey region. She launched an events production company in 2014 and came across the idea to create Lokal more recently while seeking a venue for her own company. The gorgeous waterfront eatery in Jersey City – which will primarily serve as a full service restaurant and bar is also complete with event and private dining spaces – combines all of Panjwani’s skills, passion, experience and goals into one. Panjwani is a member of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, Hudson County Women Rising and LadyDrinks South Asian Women Entrepreneurs Networking Professionals. She has been a Jersey City resident for a decade.

ARCHITECT: Abraham John ARCHITECTS

A multidisciplinary architecture, interior design, landscaping and urban planning firm founded in 1967. Abraham John & Alan Abraham are the Joint Principal Architects of Abraham John Architects. Abraham John Architects’ design approach is to re-connect architecture with nature, make optimum use of space, natural materials, lighting & landscape to reinvent and transform living environments and urban spaces. The firm works at multiple scales and with various organizations right from private clients to corporates & NGOs allowing itself to experiment and diversify its work.

LOCATION: Crystal Point Condos

2 2nd St, Jersey City, New Jersey, 07302

PHONE: +1 201-222-6800

Lokal Eatery & Bar, Jersey City, New Jersey, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, waterfront

Lokal Eatery & Bar Joins Jersey City Waterfront

Eat, Drink and Stay Local at New Restaurant

Local bites meet big city sights as Jersey City welcomes its newest waterfront addition with the opening of Lokal Eatery & Bar. Keeping to its namesake, Lokal’s food and cocktail menus spotlight fresh ingredients sourced from the Garden State. The 6,000 square-foot spacious new restaurant also boasts panoramic Manhattan skyline views.

“Our mission at Lokal is to showcase the best the state has to offer and provide a place that reflects the culture of Jersey City,” said Mona Panjwani, owner of Lokal and Jersey City resident for over a decade. “We recognize the changing spirit of the area and are excited to create a hub that makes locals feel welcome. That, coupled with good food and drinks, contemporary design and gorgeous views, we are certain staying local will not disappoint.”

At the helm of the kitchen, Executive Chef Walter Donadio takes his nearly two-decade career of working in Michelin star kitchens around the globe to design a Modern American menu with options for everyone. Utilizing ingredients from the state as much as possible, the fare includes small plates made to be shared tapas-style—including crispy oysters, pan seared scallops, homemade hummus, mushrooms al ajillio and rock shrimp—a flat bread section and more. There are various vegetarian and vegan options.

Behind the beverage program is consultant Tess Sawyer. Taking her experience from creating innovative drinks at renowned NYC cocktail lounges including The Up&Up, Mother’s Ruin, Holiday Cocktail Lounge and The Happiest Hour, Lokal will offer a robust list of craft cocktails, including the signature Elliot Stubb, made with honey from New Jersey, yuzu juice, lemon juice, aquafaba, vermouth, and blueberry, which is the state fruit and the state’s most lucrative crop. Several spices in the other cocktails are locally sourced as well. Lokal will also offer an extensive wine program.

Designed by award-winning Abraham John Architects, the dining area accommodates approximately 200 guests. There is a large bar area, an indoor lounge section, plenty of private dining spaces and an airy outdoor patio which will expect to open by next spring. With floor to ceiling windows, the jaw dropping views of the Manhattan skyline are a stunning backdrop no matter where you stand. The overall design and concept were created and executed by restauranteur Hemant Phul.

Another fun addition, Lokal has a selfie wall in the back lounge area, and another designated wall to showcase accomplished artists from the neighborhood. The first iteration, on display now, was created by Dominika Zajdel.

The timing of Lokal’s opening is fitting—Jersey City has been experiencing a revitalization, becoming a culinary hub drawing in locals and tourists alike.Conveniently located just steps from the Newport PATH station, Lokal gives Manhattan dwellers the perfect excuse to cross the Hudson River and New Jersey residents a new reason to explore the beauty of their own backyard. While Lokal has private dining spaces for special occasions, the restaurant aims to become a neighborhood mainstay where, true to its name, locals feel welcome.

Red Wine, 360 MAGAZINE

CHEF CHARLIE PALMER IS CULINARY ADVISORY AT WING & BARREL RANCH, SONOMA’S NEWEST WINE COUNTRY EXPERIENCE

James Beard Award-winning chef to create the ultimate taste of Sonoma 
in conjunction with club’s extensive wine list and natural bounty

Set amid the beauty of Northern California’s Wine Country, Wing & Barrel Ranch — an exclusive members-only sporting club for the discerning outdoor and wine enthusiast — is excited to announce that James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Charlie Palmer is leading its menu creation and concept as Culinary Advisor.

Chef Palmer brings his signature “Progressive American Cooking” to the Ranch’s rustic elegance. Owner of 13 acclaimed restaurants across the United States, Palmer has chosen Sonoma County as his home, designing a full-service menu for Wing & Barrel Ranch that emphasizes the fresh, seasonal foods that reflect the bounty of the land he knows so well. 

Located on a superb parcel totaling nearly 1,000 acres, Wing & Barrel Ranch is hailed as “the best of the best” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “an outstanding club” by Cigar Aficionado. The Ranch is currently building a new clubhouse that will offer a luxurious dining experience to members and their guests. Similar to other private clubs in that memberships are non-equity, inheritable, and transferable, Wing & Barrel Ranch has just a few memberships remaining.

In addition to Chef Palmer’s outstanding dining program, Wing & Barrel Ranch amenities include seasonal bird hunting, year-round sporting clays, Vintner Member gatherings, customized shooting instruction, travel programs, dog training and boarding, and an exclusive cigar program. Paired with world-class wines from our Vintner Members, year-round member activities showcase the most exceptional culinary bounty and wines from this region. 

“I’m delighted to pair my love of robust flavors and straightforward classic cooking with the outstanding outdoor experience that Wing & Barrel Ranch offers,” says Chef Palmer. “Growing up in rural New York, time spent outdoors was an integral part of my family’s life, including hunting and fishing. As an avid outdoorsman, I really appreciate how food and wine complement the pleasures of a good day spent in nature.”

Wing & Barrel Ranch co-founder and CEO Darius Anderson is delighted to welcome Chef Palmer. “I’m proud to be able to share this amazing land with a chef and restaurateur of Charlie’s stature and abilities,” Anderson says. “Adding his level of fine dining to the opportunity to shoot with renowned local Vintners makes for a magical mix for Wing & Barrel Ranch members.”

The new Clubhouse at Wing & Barrel Ranch is slated to open in the summer of 2020, serving as the heart of all member activities and as a gathering place for family and friends. Limited memberships remain and are expected to sell out quickly. For more information, please visitwingandbarrelranch.com/membership.

About Wing & Barrel Ranch

Wing & Barrel Ranch was founded in 2013, with improvements to the facility lasting through 2016. In June 2019, an additional phase of development began with the building of a formidable clubhouse, complete with The Trap Bar, an elegant dining room, premiere shooters’ pro shop, private meeting rooms, locker facilities, enclosed cigar room, and an expansive deck overlooking Sonoma Creek. While the clubhouse project is underway, an interim clubhouse is currently being utilized. The property consists of nearly one thousand acres of agricultural land in Sonoma, and is located off of Highway 37.

Bon Appétit, Condenast, 360 MAGAZINE, Best New Restaurants

Bon Appétit

The renowned list ranks the country’s best in the October issue and on bonappetit.com; Meet the winners at the Hot 10 Party in Brooklyn this fall
 

Bon Appétit has unveiled the Hot 10: America’s Best New Restaurants 2019. The annual list is now available in the October issue and on bonappetit.com.
 
Taking the coveted top spot is Los Angeles’ Konbi, a 10-seat countertop space from two chefs inspired by their travels to Tokyo. It joins past winners like Oklahoma City’s Nonesuch (2018), New Orleans’ Turkey and the Wolf (2017), and Atlanta’s Staplehouse (2016).
 
“This is a more casual and truly fun bunch of restaurants than ever before,” said Julia Kramer, Bon Appétit‘s deputy editor who traveled to more than 30 cities and ate in over 200 restaurants to compile this year’s list. “These places are driven by passion and purpose, and are serving exceedingly delicious, deeply personal food that defines what it means to eat in America right now.”
 
Other noteworthy spots on the list include Dallas’ Khao Noodle Shop featuring authentic Laotian dishes (No. 2), Detroit’s Ochre Bakery serving only breakfast and lunch (No. 4) and Matt’s BBQ Tacos, a taco-slinging truck parked in Portland, Oregon (No. 9). Bon Appétit also crowned Dallas the Restaurant City of the Year, and its editors picked up a few new obsessions, including wine bars where you can take the wine with you and bartenders who have rebranded the mocktail into the drink you want to order. Read more in the October issue on newsstands and on bonappetit.com now.
 
For one night only, Bon Appétit will bring the Hot 10 chefs together to serve the bites and drinks that won us over this year. Tickets for the Hot 10 Party on October 19 in Brooklyn, NY are on sale now at BAHot10.com. Event partners include Talbott Vineyards, LaCroix Sparkling Water, Field Roast and Corto® Olive Oil.
 
About Bon Appétit
Bon Appétit is where food and culture meet. The award-winning No. 1 food lifestyle brand covers food through the lens of cooking, fashion, travel, technology, design and home. As the leading arbiter of taste, its home-grown talent and tireless dedication to recipe testing separates it from the competition by miles. Bon Appétit has been named to Advertising Age’s A-List for eight consecutive years, including Magazine of the Year 2013 and 2017, Brand of the Year 2015, and Digital and Video recognition in 2019, and has been named to Adweek’s Hot List every year since 2012, including Hottest Food Magazine in 2013, 2017 and 2018. Bon Appétit has also been nominated for 32 National Magazine Awards in the past six years, including wins in 2014 for General Excellence and Photography, and in 2017 for General Excellence. For more, visit bonappetit.com and follow @bonappetitmag.

Chef Raffaele Ronca

Introducing Winner of The Food Network’s “Chopped,” Chef Raffaele Ronca, Naples-born chef  who left his beloved hometown at the age of 19 and headed for NYC to be more accepted as a gay man. Raff, who initially wanted to be an actor, quickly found success in his “day gig,” working behind the bar and, ultimately, in the kitchen of NYC’s most popular restaurants. His passion for cooking and entertaining eventually eclipsed his desire to pursue acting and led to a lifelong career. His time on the popular Food Network show allowed him to revisit his love of acting, and brought his career to a whole new level. Shortly after his win, he opened Rafele NYC’s West Village, the epicenter of the gay rights movement. The restaurant, Rafele, offered guests an authentic Italian experience and was an immediate success. Just last year, he opened a second location in Rye, New York.

Chef Ronca wholeheartedly believes in giving back to the community and supporting LGBTQ youth. He often donates his time and gifts by appearing at and cooking for various LGBTQ charities, including the Rainbow Railroad, an organization dedicated to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals escape violence and persecution in their home countries.

Chef Ronca can speak on:

  • General features and profiles
  • World Pride themed cocktail, the Espresso Yourself Martini
  • Rainbow Railroad and supporting LGBT youth

More on Chef Raffaele Ronca:

Born and raised in Naples, Italy, Raffaele Ronca comes from a family of butchers and fishermen who collectively inspired his lifelong passion for food and flavors. With his family also in the restaurant business, Raffaele embraced cooking and culinary explorations as integral parts of not only his Italian culture, but also his heart and soul.

Working in his uncle’s restaurant in Naples and helping his mother make fresh pasta daily, Raffaele learned to respect the beauty and taste of fresh ingredients, as well as the time it takes to select and prepare them for fine dishes.

Immigrating to America at the age of 21, Raffaele worked steadily at some of New York’s most authentic Italian restaurants, including as the executive chef at Palma, chef du cuisine at Bellavitae and manager of food and wine at Caffé Torino.

Today, Chef Raffele Ronca is a winner of the hit Food Network show “Chopped.” He is also a collaborator with the James Beard Foundation, and his signature Buffalo Ricotta Cheesecake has been featured twice in Food & Wine magazine as one of the top cheesecakes in America, in addition to having received other impressive culinary accolades.

Chef Raffaele’s second restaurant, Rafele Rye, will make its debut in Westchester County, NY, in the spring of 2018.

For more information, please visit Rafele.com and contact janegoeypr@gmail.com.