Posts tagged local food
On Letting Go: I Am Opening a 2nd Location!

In early November, I had had enough of it all. I had been searching for a full year for the right 2nd location- and the process had gone from being exhilarating and exciting, to utterly depleting. I had pushed myself, as I always do: going really fast, just go, go, go. 
And so by November, I gave up. 
Right at that moment, when everything about my project softened in me, well, the location came.
And of course, it had been there all along. 

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Leading a Kitchen: Standing at the Pass... Spring Menu (R)Evolution

Recently, I found myself standing by the kitchen pass  after an epic dinner at ICI (now Maison May), feeling like the stars had aligned. 
I was overwhelmed by a delicious feeling of raw empowerment & accomplishment. Looking at my two co-chefs, Armando & Robert, I felt like a football coach on the night of the Super Bowl, after the quarterback scored the winning touchdown to lead the team to victory. 
The food had exceeded my high expectations,  
I felt like my vision had been met, yet I had not set foot in the kitchen or cooked a thing. 
How does that happen?  

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Getting married... in Brooklyn!

ICI (now called Maison May Dekalb ) has grown into much more than a delicious farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of Fort Greene and has, in recent years, become the top destination for thoughtful, intimate boutique weddings in New York City. I’m still in awe over this success, and wanted to share some of the philosophy behind it all.
I sat down with Lauren Berg, to pick her brain. She is our beloved event coordinator, and a large part of her duties includes ensuring that every wedding held at ICI (now called Maison May Dekalb )will exceed expectations.
Here, she gives us a few pointers on how she makes it all work so well.

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Cook, Connect, Build & Restore

Eating local food in Brooklyn certainly constitutes something quite different than what I was doing growing up in Provence, where all senses were easily activated in a rush of colors, smells, tastes.
However, in navigating the NYC landscape for the past 2 decades and learning how to source local food here, I managed to find a similar kaleidoscope of senses, and, more importantly, realize the impact on our community.
And along the way I developed a strategy to feed my family in a conscious yet efficient way & cook, connect, build & restore.

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Braised Pork Shoulder, Chimichurri & Creamy Grits

I love this dish because it is comforting, disarmingly easy to make and is best cooked the day before so when your guests arrive, you do not have anything to worry about and your kitchen is clean… And I always do a batch of garlicky sautéed collard greens on the side so I do not feel like I splurge too much...
Have your guests leave with some left over pork, perfect in a sandwich the following day:  spread horseradish mayo on ciabatta & add a few pickles and serve with bitter winter greens.

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Where I Am Now - Possibly Who I Am - For Now

I think we’d all like to think ourselves as more than just the sum of our parts. Take me, for example: you could label me as just a female entrepreneur, or a (single) mother, or a restaurateur. I’m French, I’m a New Yorker. But to me, all of those things are so deeply intertwined to make me, you can’t think about one without the other. If I’m just a female entrepreneur, I’m a bitch. Just seen as French, oh, oui, oui, we get it. A single mother first and foremost? It’s oh, poor you.
It’s taken me a long time to realize who I am as a whole, and to free myself from living solely toward others’ or my own, expectations based on any one part of who I am.

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