Dirt Candy Chef Amanda Cohen Creates A Visionary, World-Class, “Plant-Powered” Burger Joint: Lekka Burger

Chef Amanda Cohen with Andrew Dornenburg at the new Lekka Burger in TriBeCa

“Eating at Dirt Candy can be like going to a child’s birthday party in a country where all the children love vegetables….[Chef Amanda] Cohen is not adapting the vegetarian cuisine of some other culture.  She is inventing her own.”
–The New York Times

“Lekka Burger, which Cohen is opening with Andrea Kerzner, a South African-born humanitarian (who comes from a known hospitality family) focused on reducing the meat industry’s impact on climate change, hopes to rewrite the veggie burger narrative.”

We’ve fallen madly in love…with Chef Amanda Cohen‘s brand-new vegan burger spot Lekka Burger at 81 Warren in TriBeCa, just a 5-minute walk from the Brooklyn Bridge subway stop.

Our hearts are a-flutter over the carrot soft-serve (made with oat milk and a hint of coconut fat, it’s beautifully accented by perfectly-toasted nuts and brownie crumbles), the broccolini Caesar, the “Messy Fries,” and of course the world-class signature “Lekka Burger,” a plant-based burger made with beans, mushrooms, and oils.

There is a bar plus a full wine, beer, and cocktail menu, too, so keep it in mind for evening outings with friends as well as Saturday lunches with the family.

There’s been talk of Cohen opening multiple locations with partner Andrea Kerzner throughout New York City in the years ahead, so we’re putting forth our request for a Lekka Burger in Murray Hill now!

Lekka Burger is at 81 Warren Street (between Greenwich St. and West Broadway) in Manhattan.  646.678.5367.  lekkaburger.com

“The Next Food Network Star” Winner Tregaye Fraser Credits CULINARY ARTISTRY With Changing Her Life

“[CULINARY ARTISTRY] really changed my life because it made me see food in a different way.”
–Tregaye Fraser, winner of “The Next Food Network Star”

Tregaye Fraser, winner of “The Next Food Network Star” Season 12, was interviewed by Lancaster Online about her culinary influences this month, where she credited our book CULINARY ARTISTRY with making her see food in a different way.

“It really changed my life,” she told staff writer Mary Ellen Wright, in conjunction with her visit to the Taste! Lancaster festival.

The 35-year-old chef is an alum of Le Cordon Bleu and hails from Atlanta, where she lives with her husband and two sons.  Her website is www.cheftregayes.com.

Citymeals on Wheels’ 33rd Annual Power Lunch for Women Raises $1.1 Million+

2019 Citymeals on Wheels Power Lunch for Women

Top left: Karen Page with Dana Ivey; Middle left: Table 1; Middle right: Emcee Jane Krakowski; Bottom middle: David Rockwell; Bottom right: Betty Rollin with Karen Page

2019 Citymeals on Wheels Power Lunch for Women

Top left: Karen Page, Andrew Dornenburg, Lauren Vernon; Top right: Lauren Vernon, Karen Page, Barbara Lazaroff; Middle: Liz Neumark; Bottom left: Karen Page, Lauren Vernon, Mariebelle Lieberman, Barbara Lazaroff

Emceed by actress Jane Krakowski (“30 Rock”), Citymeals on Wheels’ 33rd Annual Power Lunch for Women at New York City’s Plaza Hotel gathered more than 300 of the city’s most powerful women on Tuesday, raising more than $1.1 million to fund 160,000 meals for homebound elderly New Yorkers.

Honorees included Grace, Chloe and Wendi Murdoch, Studio Museum in Harlem’s Thelma Golden, and architect/designer David Rockwell.

Samantha Boardman, Margo Nederlander and Lizzie Tisch co-chaired the event, where notable guests included attorney Harriet Cohen, Rotisserie Georgette owner Georgette Farkas, Citymeals founder Gael Greene, actress Dana Ivey, restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff, TV host Sandra Lee, chocolatier Mariebelle Lieberman, attorney Julie Menin, author Karen Page, author Betty Rollin, TV anchor Rosanna Scotto, philanthropist Lauren Vernon, and actress Ali Wentworth.

Citymeals on Wheels is headed by executive director Beth Shapiro.  One hundred percent of every Citymeals donation goes toward the preparation of meals for the homebound elderly.  To donate, visit www.citymeals.com/support-us.

“Love Never Ends”

“Love never ends.”
–1 Corinthians 13:8

Today, we posted on Instagram and Facebook:

Our hearts are joyful that in a spirit of reaffirmation and recommitment, we were married — again! — in a private church ceremony yesterday, on the heels of a challenging year. For months, we’d been struggling to rebuild our relationship, one day at a time. On social media, we’d share our happier moments while suffering the agonizing ones privately. Turning to God, individually and together, we’ve discovered renewed faith, hope, and love. “No one has ever seen God. But as long as we love one another, God will live in us and his love will be complete in us.” (John 4:12)

Within minutes, we were enormously touched by the expressions of love and congratulations that ensued.

While acknowledging its difficulties (“To love someone is not for the faint of heart,” commented one chef on Facebook), everyone still seems to be rooting for love to triumph.

We are, too.

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

“Love never ends.”

–I Corinthians 13:4-8

The Inn at Little Washington Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary at George Washington’s Mount Vernon By Honoring 40 of “America’s Culinary Pioneers”

Our readers are well acquainted with our love of the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, which we have been writing about as our single favorite property in America for more than half of the years it’s been in existence.

This we know as it was announced that the Inn is celebrating its landmark 40th anniversary this year — including with a once-in-a-lifetime dinner on Saturday, June 16th, at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

If you haven’t been in the loop about the festivities, you can read about them at http://theinnat40.com.

And as we were honored to be invited to be a part of this weekend’s celebration, you can also keep an eye on our social media feed at Twitter.com/KarenAndAndrew, Facebook.com/KarenAndAndrew, and Instagram.com/TheFlavorBible for all the latest.

The Inn at Little Washington is located in Washington, Virginia, just 1 hour and 15 minutes outside Washington, DC. http://www.theinnatlittlewashington.com

Our Own Enthusiasm for Wine Enthusiast‘s “Wine of the Year”: 2015 Gary Farrell Russian River Chardonnay

“This year’s top spot goes to a Russian River Valley Chardonnay, the first No. 1 white wine in over 10 years! For its display of excellent quality, competitive pricing and wide availability — a veritable triple threat — the Gary Farrell 2015 Russian River Selection Chardonnay [$35] could not be overlooked as the top wine this year.”
Wine Enthusiast magazine

“Our Russian River Selection is a symphony of vineyards in the Russian River Valley, and we are grateful to these fine growers for their dedication to quality. Their hard work affords us the opportunity to make beautiful, refined wines.”
Theresa Heredia, winemaker, Gary Farrell Winery 

As wine writers, we’ve had the pleasure and privilege of being hosted for wine events all around the world.  The vast majority of them have been exclusively for wine journalists.

But the other night, Gary Farrell Winery‘s winemaker Theresa Heredia and general manager Nancy Bailey were in Manhattan and we were invited along with a fellow wine writer and her guest to attend an event primarily focused on consumers.  Where else could we meet hip-hop artists and video producers — not to mention an entire lacrosse team — as they enjoyed some of their first wines from California’s Russian River Valley?

As opposed to diving into the science and technical specifics of the winemaking process, it was refreshing to see the Gary Farrell team playfully making their wines accessible to a broad audience.  The key characteristic of Gary Farrell’s Russian River Pinot Noir, which was described by the team as “the sexiest varietal known to man”?  “FOG!”  “Pinot Noir is very expressive of place,” it was explained.  “Fog puts the fruit in the fridge for the night — and that change of temperature from day to night is the secret of Russian River Pinot Noir.”

Heredia, who assumed her position at Gary Farrell in 2012, credited her approach to winemaking to everything she learned “at the University of Joseph Phelps.”

In addition to the award-winning 2015 Russian River Chardonnay, other standouts of the evening included the 2014 Gary Farrell Olivet Lane Vineyard Chardonnay ($45), the earthy-noted (with hints of mushroom, soy sauce, and tobacco) 2015 Gary Farrell Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir ($80), and the black-fruited 2014 Gary Farrell Maffei Vineyard Zinfandel ($50).  While the minty-noted Zinfandel was paired with a bittersweet chocolate dessert, it could have held its own against any savory mushroom or meat dish with ease.

Gary Farrell Winery is located at 10701 Westside Road in Healdsburg, California’s Russian River Valley, and produces small lots of Burgundian-styled, varietally expressive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  garyfarrellwinery.com.


Closing Out Women’s History Month, A Salute to Women Who Create Exhilarating Movement — And Who Make A Difference

Top left: 92nd Street Y’s Christine Chen, MacArthur Fellow choreographer Elizabeth Streb, and Karen Page — at STREB Lab’s SEA

Elizabeth Streb‘s cavernous Brooklyn space is known as SLAM (Streb Lab for Action Mechanics), which is also a frequent move that occurs at one of her shows. For the month of March, her fearless team of action heroes, as they’re called, will navigate intimidating industrial contraptions and fling themselves from unnatural heights, seemingly defying physics with the pep of cheerleaders [in] the hourlong show, ‘S.E.A.’ (‘Singular Extreme Actions’)….”
The New York Times

Women’s History Month Salute #1:  Elizabeth Streb of STREB

Thanks to the 92nd Street Y’s Christine Chen — with whom we’ve had the pleasure of working on a number of programs around our and others’ books — we attended Sunday’s performance of Elizabeth Streb’s ‘S.E.A.’ at SLAM in Williamsburg.  Check out our Instagram posts at instagram.com/theflavorbible for a video and more photos.  One post read:

“Ever wonder what happened to all those kids who didn’t listen when their parents told them not to jump on (or off!) their beds??  Now you know….Still EXHILARATED to have witnessed our first live @strebslam performance — choreographed by MacArthur Fellow / choreographer / creativity daredevil Elizabeth Streb on Sunday, thanks to an invitation from @92ndstreety’s lovely and multitalented Christine Chen (who was a member of @strebslam for 4 years)….This show ‘S.E.A.’ is amazingly artful and entertaining and thrilling and should NOT be missed….Luckily, it’s been extended two weeks, so catch it before it closes April 8th!  #nyc #newyork #newyorkcity #brooklyn #williamsburg #greatpopcorn”

Four shows remain:  Saturday, March 31 at 5pm; Sunday, April 1 at 3pm; Saturday, April 7 at 5pm; and Sunday, April 8 at 3pm.

Get your tickets here:   http://streb.org/seaanhrofaction/

8 Dance Performances to See in NYC This Weekend

Our guide to dance performances happening this weekend and in the week ahead. BALLET NACIONAL DE ESPAÑA at New York City Center (March 2-3, 8 p.m.; March 4, 7 p.m.). The flamboyant Ballet Nacional de España returns to Midtown for the first time in nearly two decades to open this year’s Flamenco Festival at New York City Center.

Top left: Jody Oberfelder surrounded by the cast of “Zaubernacht”; Bottom left: Jasper Oberfelder-Riehm, Karen Page, and Yana Oberfelder-Riehm, above Jody Oberfelder; Bottom right: Andrew Dornenburg, Mary Madsen (aka the “Witch”), and Karen Page

“Now, the ‘Zaubernacht’ (‘Magic Night’) music as [Kurt] Weill wrote it will be heard in New York for the first time since 1925, in a new production with choreography by Jody Oberfelder and with Gary Fagin conducting the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Lower Manhattan.”
The New York Times

Women’s History Month Salute #2:  Jody Oberfelder of Jody Oberfelder Projects

We served on the committee for Jody Oberfelder‘s March 14th gala celebrating the premiere of “Zaubernacht” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan — which turned out to be a magical night indeed.

Our Instagram post after the event read, “Congratulations to dancer-choreographer Jody Oberfelder on the historic premiere of her dance piece set to Kurt Weill’s “Zaubernacht” tonight as previewed in The New York Times — and kudos to the ace catering team of Jasper [Oberfelder-Riehm, who cooks professionally with Chef Bill Telepan at Oceana] & Jana [Oberfelder-Riehm, who’s back in Manhattan after a stint in pastry under Portland chef Vitaly Paley] & Penelope [Simons] & Associates, who nailed it!  We also had fun congratulating Mary Madsen, who reprised her scene-stealing role as the “Witch” for us over cocktails….Hats off to the entire amazing cast!  #nyc #newyorkcity #dance”

Kurt Weill’s Music for a Magical Dance, Lost and Now Found

I saw video of a performance that was done in London. I was like: Oh god, I don’t want to do this piece. They followed it note for note and had a dancing stove. It was really cutesy. I tried to invent some new characters. It’s very much a mash-up of different fairy tales.

STREB is dedicated to bringing the audience and community into the artistic process by breaking down barriers to participation and access with new approaches to creation, education and presentation. Built on the organizing principle, Extreme Action — as developed by choreographer and action architect Elizabeth Streb — the company’s mission is to create opportunities for artistic discovery and connection for a constituency whose diversity represents the breadth and complexity of society at large. streb.org

Jody Oberfelder Projects creates art that connects to and illuminates everyday life. Whether on a proscenium stage, in a film, or installation, her work transforms an audience’s experience from passive voyeurism into intimate engagement. Jody Oberfelder‘s body of work serves up tangible, visceral experiences of presence that allow the opportunity for audiences to insert themselves into the art.  jodyoberfelder.com