So, what the hell is a Masters of Food Studies?

giphy2 Last week, I was accepted into NYU's Masters of Food Studies program, starting Fall 2017. I'll be going part time (not quitting my job) and it will take me anywhere from two to three years to complete. Ever since I shared the news, many people are confused about what the hell I'll be doing, so I wanted to help answer some of the most common questions I've received below:

Q: Will you be bringing me soufflés? A: No. This is not a culinary degree. Cooking is not part of the curriculum, although I'm sure I'll be cooking more on my own due to being a poor grad student.

souffle

Q: So if you're not bringing me soufflés, what will you be doing? A: According to NYU, studying "the ways in which individuals, communities, and societies produce, distribute, and consume food".

Q: Okay, that's pretty vague. Can you be more specific? A: Gladly. The program has three suggested tracks: Media & Cultural Analysis, Policy & Advocacy, and Business & Social Entrepreneurship. I'm most interested in the latter, but I plan to take classes across all areas.

Q: What kind of classes? A: Some core courses include Food & Culture, Food Policy & Politics, and Nutrition in Food Studies. Within the Business & Social Entrepreneurship track, I'll take things like Economics of Food: Consumer Behaviors and Food Entrepreneurship. I'll also be taking some of my courses at the NYU Stern School of Business like Financial Accounting and Foundations of Social Entrepreneurship.

giphy

Q: But it's not an MBA? Or a JD? Or an MD? Wait, what's the point of this? What does someone do after they get this degree? A: Nope, it's not one of the more common graduate degrees that many of my friends and colleagues have gone on to obtain. Kudos to them, but if you've been reading this blog or know me at all, you know that food is my passion and this is where I belong.

People who graduate from the program go into a lot of different fields like food writing, food marketing, supply chain management, operations, nonprofit work, advocacy, and entrepreneurial food ventures.

Q: What do YOU want to do after you get this degree? A: Great question. Right now, I'm really interested in reducing food waste, urban farming, and food policy. There's a hell of a lot of problems in the US food system, and I know I've only scratched the surface of what's out there. I'm sure my interests will change 100 times as I learn more about the issues and what I can do to help solve them.

Q: Cool. Thanks for the clarifications. A: giphy1

 

A Love Letter to Cooking Your Own Damn Food

November 9th, 2016 was a day few Americans will ever forget. And now we're all looking for ways to feel less helpless, less at the whim of a government that doesn't seem to share any of the values of the majority of its constituents. We can and should protest, write letters, make phone calls, run for office, and donate to the charities that need us to keep fighting. But sometimes it feels overwhelming. Every day spent not doing something to resist the new administration feels wasted. And you get deeper and deeper into a shame spiral about your inaction, which makes you do less, and then you feel guilty again, and YADA YADA you get the picture. So here's a radical idea if you're feeling like you're not in control of your destiny:

COOK YOUR OWN DAMN FOOD BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING EMPOWERING.

giphy

Make choices. Go to a farmer's market and speak to the growers about their work. Take home some ugly produce because you're not shallow - you care about what's ON THE INSIDE. Buy organic meat at the supermarket. Yes, it's more expensive, but you vote with your dollars. Organic, local farmers are going to need our help when agriculture gets even more deregulated and garbage meat filled with hormones and poison floods the market. Get a beautiful cookbook, a real one, in print, written by a person that cares about their work and their environment. (Might I suggest Small Victories by Julia Turshen who is a true boss?)

img_0219

Spend a day figuring out an ambitious recipe. Roast a whole fucking chicken. Make something slowly with ingredients you've never used, like this Slow Cooker Coconut Lemongrass Chicken (pictured below). Prove to yourself that you are an effective human, and even if the whole world goes up in flames, you have the control to create something beautiful and nourishing for you and your loved ones.

EFBCDF87-B7DF-4697-BE30-02DC1F6FF9A8.jpg

This is what I've done so far. But I know my knowledge of the food issues affecting our country - food waste, industrialized agriculture, the cost of healthy food, food deserts, unfair wages, and many more - is limited. So I've applied to the Masters of Food Studies program at NYU, and G-d willing, I'll be starting part-time in the fall.

Moving forward, this blog will have a bit more substance. It'll still be snarky and weird and sometimes crude, but there's a time and place for lists of the 22 Best New Cantaloupe Dishes of January 2017 (maybe?), and this isn't it.

The universe might keep throwing 🍆 at us, but let's not be afraid to make a damn good 🍆 parm.

518b01dd-ee73-4b2e-aed3-e8e9aefd2c88

Grilled Cheese and Entrepreneuship: My article in the Cornell Alumni Magazine

In an unbelievable stroke of luck, the Cornell Alumni Magazine let me write an article about my favorite thing in the world: grilled cheese. Spencer Rubin '08, owner of Melt Shop, spoke with me about his adventures in cheese grilling and what it takes to start a fast casual empire. This is what it looks like in print in the July/August issue, out now: Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 8.56.01 PM

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 8

You can read the full article online here: Earl of Sandwich

HELLO I'M WRITING AGAIN!

For my first published article since October, click here for a review of Brod Kitchen's smorrebrod - open faced Danish sweet and savory sandwiches. They didn't have as much cheese as I like but I made an exception because this one has Nutella, hazelnuts, dates, and mint. nuttela

Now that I'm no longer working my day job in food, I need to get my fix elsewhere, so expect more of these soon.

A Fried Oreo and A Life Change

This is a tough one to write.

After some of the most wonderful times with the most extraordinary people, today is my last day at Cater2.me. I'm moving to a really awesome opportunity at CommonBond, a start-up that is changing the way grad students get and pay their student loans. My role will be helping borrowers make sense of the system, so instead of making people happy with meals, I'll be making them happy with large amounts of money, which some people like even more than food!

Even though this is a step forward for my career, I'm incredibly sad to be leaving behind such an amazing group of people. And even more than the people, I'll miss all the free food.

JUST KIDDING JUST KIDDING PEOPLE > FOOD

For my final days, one of my favorite catering managers, Jason from Papaya King (yes, that Papaya King!), came by with farewell fried oreos, because there's no better way to say goodbye than with obscene carnival cuisine.

picstitch

That is a FRIED STRAWBERRY OREO.

Thankfully, my new company uses Cater2.me's services, so I'll still be getting awesome lunches once a week. I'll keep posting pics and writing about ludicrous food news and trends, so stay tuned.

To the next adventure!

The 10 Most Insane Things At Dominique Ansel's Wonderland Party

This weekend I attended Dominique Ansel's Wonderland Party, a 3 hour dessert buffet put on by the NYC Wine and Food Festival. I went by myself, brought a fancy borrowed camera, and did my best to pretend I knew what I was doing. After dropping several pastries on myself, sipping huckleberry kombucha from a tiny bottle that said "Drink Me", and interviewing Mr. Ansel the Cronut King himself, I produced this article for the Village Voice: The 10 Most Insane Things at Dominique Ansel's Wonderland Party

I also met Zac Young from Top Chef Just Desserts, who was super fabulous and definitely wins the award for most edible glitter on one table.

FullSizeRender

LGBM 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! And Africa Sneak Peek

LGBM 1 YEAR OLD One year ago today, I started this little experiment in food, bad GIFs, inappropriate language, and general lunacy. Thank you to everyone who has ever read a post, or told me they read a post, or even LIKED a post. I am incredibly thankful to all of you and have had the best time watching this project blossom into something I'm actually proud of. If you want to reminisce about the good old days, scroll down to find the "Old Stuff" header on the right hand side where you can browse old posts and see how LGBM has evolved.

Other big news, I'm back from Africa. I have content coming out of my ears so its going to take me several weeks to get all of the posts out, but for now, here is some sneak peek footage of my dad trying crocodile in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4FM_-85dsI?rel=0]

And I also wanted to apologize for verbally shitting on biltong in my first Africa post (found here). The dried game meat isn't really that bad.

biltong smile

#TBT - When Mario Batali Told Me Dominique Ansel Wasn't Wearing Underwear

This past weekend I attended another event by (RED)'s Eat (RED), Drink (RED), Save Lives Campaign, but this one was at my favorite place in the world, Smorgasburg. Mario Batali and Dominique Ansel judged a competition, which I wrote about for the Village Voice. Check it out here: Have a Taste of the Smorgasburg (RED) Dish Competition

photo (4)

I interviewed Batali and Ansel before the festivities, and here's part of the interview that didn't make it into the article:

LGBM: I asked you last time I met you if you were going to wear red Crocs on the launch date for (RED). Did you actually wear them?

Batali: I did!

Ansel: You can wear red underwear.

LGBM: What are you wearing that's red?

Batali: He's commando, I'm pretty much gonna bet...

Ansel: I can't show you.

LGBM: Ok, maybe next time!

Thus, in conclusion, I basically asked Dominique Ansel to show me his cronuts. Smoooooooth.

My Fox Business Network Debut - Getting Too Excited About Waffles on National TV

For one of my last assignments at my old TV job, my co-worker Marisa and I went to legendary Brooklyn soul food joint Pink Teacup to interview the staff for a possible reality show. While this wasn't normally part of my responsibilities, I obviously tagged along so I could get a taste of their famous chicken and waffles. A Fox Business Network crew was also in the restaurant to talk to the owner about "government intrusion on small businesses" (predictable). Unbeknownst to Marisa and I, some important moments of ours were captured in FBN's piece. Look how hard I'm concentrating at what this guy is saying:

pink teacup 2

Listening to these people talk about their insane lives was great and all, but the real highlight came when the owner delivered me my piping hot waffle. Thankfully, this moment was captured for all to see:

pink teacup writing

You can watch the full story here, though I'm not sure I recommend it:

Government Intrudes on Brooklyn Restaurant Owner

Marisa recently went back to Pink Teacup to follow up without me, and two separate staff members who didn't hear each other asked, "Where is the little girl who was housing that waffle?"

I've never been more proud.

LGBM Approved Content: Weird Stuff Mandy's Eating

One of my favorite writer ladies and high school friend Mandy Oaklander is kicking ass as a Senior Writer at Prevention Magazine. Even though Prevention promotes healthy eating, which is not always my jam, Mandy has a new web series where she eats weird shit like bugs and meat bars, which is pretty awesome. Watch her eat cricket sushi below: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnSzXR3inKY?list=PLzB7BYtdwWf5lnayFgd4aYN9z7Bj1-mmL]

Mario Batali Hates AIDS and Loves Orange Crocs

Last night I went to a launch event for EAT (RED). DRINK (RED). SAVE LIVES, a partnership between the culinary community and the HIV/AIDS-fighting (RED) organization. I wrote an article about it for the Village Voice, which you can read here:

Mario Batali and Pat LaFrieda Want You to Dine Out and Save Lives With (RED)

photo 3

Mario Batali is spearheading the campaign. I got to interview him which is definitely one of the highlights of my life in food.

photo (2)

You might not recognize this man's face, but you'll definitely recognize his meat. NO NOT THAT KIND OF MEAT THIS IS STILL NOT A PORN SITE! This is Pat LaFrieda of Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors.

photo 1

Mario's orange Crocs with red socks. This is real life.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

BIG LIFE NEWS! logo-503dff32f26c9ddd0b1558b756b231f6

Today is my last day as a production coordinator for reality TV company Big Fish Entertainment. For the first time in my career, I'm leaving the TV world and following my heart and my passions to the food world. As of 5/5, I will be working at Cater2Me, an office catering startup that is revolutionizing the office meal by connecting local, artisan food vendors with big corporate offices to make meal magic. I couldn't be more excited to be working on something so near and dear to my heart. So if you're an awesome food vendor who wants to sell some product, let me know! And if you work in an office that needs a catered meal from time to time (I'm looking at you EVERYONE), hit me up and I will set up you and your co-workers with some crazy good grub and you will be the office hero.

tumblr_lrmio0zT0F1qclui7o1_500

(It'll look like this)

Since I don't start until 5/5, I'm taking all next week off as a New York City staycation. What food experiences would you have if you had a whole week to blow in NYC? I've already got "wait on the cronut line" because I've never had one, but the rest of my week is open. Other lines I should wait on? Can't-miss weekday lunches? Leave suggestions in the comments! Thanks all!

cronuts and

99 Essential Restaurants - Behind the Scenes

Thanks to the Village Voice, I spent a week in February eating out every night so I could contribute to their 99 Essential Restaurants in Lower Manhattan list under a tight deadline. Many thanks to all of those who braved the clearly painful (jk) meals with me. See below for some behind the scenes food porn from my week of gluttony. Southern Breakfast at Clinton Street Baking Co. - Click to Read the Review

Image

Get it here:

Clinton Street Baking Co. - 4 Clinton St, NY, NY, 10002 - 646-602-6263 


Crème Brûlée Doughnut at Doughnut Plant - Click to Read the Review

Image

Get it here:

Doughnut Plant - 379 Grand Street, NY, NY 10002 - 212-505-3700


Pepperoni Pizza at John's of Bleecker St - Click to Read the Review

Image

Get it here:

John's of Bleecker Street - 278 Bleecker St, NY, NY 10014 - 212-243-1680

It's Business Time

Welcome to my new website! I transferred over from Tumblr to Wordpress, bought my domain name, and managed to get my old Tumblr address to forward directly to this new site by some miracle of god. Take a look around and leave some internet troll comments if it pleases you. Also, BIZNASTY CARDS: photo (24)

I love them so much I'm crying.

Headed to Village Voice's Choice Eats tonight with these babies and then going to the Cherry Bombe Jubilee on Sunday. Everyday I'm hustlin eating.

THE RETURN OF SARGE'S (AND THE BEST BLINTZES IN THE WORLD!)

image Many months ago, I wrote about the imminent return of my neighborhood favorite spot - and also home to the best cheese blintzes - Sarge’s Deli, which burned down in a fire November 2012. Well I am proud to be the first to report….

SARGE’S DELI IS OPEN AND THE BLINTZES ARE BAAACCKKKK!!!!

READ ALL ABOUT IT ON VILLAGE VOICE’S FORK IN THE ROAD BLOG HERE: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2014/03/sarges_deli_reopening.php

Get it here:

Sarge's Deli - 548 3rd Ave, NY, NY 10016 - 212-679-0442