Chef Seamus Mullen’s Blueberry Almond Smoothie

Pardon the ugly phone screen shot but I’m not in front of my computer and just had to blog this *now*. Otherwise I procrastinate. And once I put it off I forget. Which usually means I never ever post it. Okay, I’m done with the justifying.

At any rate, I really love Instagram and every food enthusiast should too, It’s the best source to find recipes, new restaurants, take a peek at the inner workings of restaurants, see private lives of our favorite chefs and other food industry people. I really, really love it when chefs post recipes of what *they* eat.

Back when I lived in NYC, Boqueria was a super popular tapas place. In 2012 (I believe – too lazy to google), the head chef Seamus Mullen opened his own restaurant Tertulia in the West Village down the street from where I lived. I used to go at least once a week.

The other day I downloaded the Google Photos app for my phone, which pulled up all sorts of gems. This Tertulia photo was one of them ↓

I posted it on Insta and since my photos are geo-tagged I was able to pull up other (recent) photos from Tertulia and somehow ended up on Chef Seamus’ Instagram. From there, I noticed a post for a smoothie and when I clicked on the photo, saw he wrote the recipe in the comments.

So here it is:

Chef Seamus Mullen’s Blueberry Almond Smoothie

1 c. frozen wild blueberries
1/4 c. almond butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 avocado
2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 handful of dark leafy greens or parsley
Pinch of sea salt
Some ice cubes

Throw above in a blender. Done and Done.
Chef Seamus also mentions he preps this the night before.

You’re welcome.
Follow his Instagram here

359 6th b/w W. 4th and Washington Place
NY, NY 10014

It’s next door to Soto and around the corner from Dan Barber’s Blue Hill and Mario Batali’s Babbo. Damn, I lived in an amazing neighborhood and miss NYC so much.

Waldorf Salad

Before leaving my beloved Manhattan to move to Tokyo, I had to stay at the Waldorf Hotel and try the iconic Waldorf Salad. It was one of the many quintessential New York things I did before moving away. It’s funny how I lived in SF, LA and NY but was rarely a tourist in my own city.

The hotel itself is old and crumbling with gaudy, outdated decor. The rooms are old and the bathrooms are small and almost motel-like. For a luxury hotel, it sure didn’t seem like one. To be frank, I didn’t like it at all. (The Waldorf Towers though, are stunning.)

The salad is served in the cafe like dining room right next to the lobby. I think it’s called The Peacock Lounge (sorry, too lazy to Google). I of course order the salad and was eager to finally taste this legendary dish I grew up reading about in many books and magazines.

It was weird.

I was a bit taken back by the peas but then again, I have a strained relationship with peas. We also ordered the tartare. It was also weird. Both had a lot of mayonnaise.

Eating the Waldorf Salad and staying at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel is one of those ‘things to do only once in a life’ experiences 😉

Note to self: be a never ending tourist.

Restaurant Hacks: WD~50 (RIP)

wd~50 in NYC was one of the very first U.S. restaurants that served molecular gastronomy. Sadly they closed in 2014 but memories of the Clinton St. icon still lives on. Chef Wylie Dufresne owner and chef of wd~50 is still one of the highly respected chefs of the world.

I was looking through photos from one of my U.S. iPhones and came across these I took on one of my many visits. In 2011? 2012? ish, the exact year eludes me, but I learned through a restaurant industry friend that you can sit at their bar and order two dishes from their prix fixe. The tasting menus were regularly priced $225 (not including alcohol). The bar was $25 for two dishes, $15 for additional plates. Seriously, best deal ever. 

After I learned this, I ate through a lot of their tasting menus that way — ghetto, I know. But wd~50’s food was very intense and there was no way I could eat 11-12 courses of heavy food.

Anyway, the point of this post is that if you search and ask enough questions, there are many fine dining establishments that offer similar deals.

Some may argue that dining should be an experience and how diners like me ruin Chef’s visions, etc., etc., but what Chef Wylie did, was make his food accessible to picky eaters who wanted to taste his food and also to those who couldn’t afford to indulge in expensive meals. And if you don’t like it — don’t do it!

Sigh, things like this makes me really miss the U.S.
If you happen to know deals like this in and around your city, do please share!

More food photos after the jump — in case you’re interested.

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New Trend Alert: Dehydrated Olives

One of the things I love about Instagram is how people in the food industry has embraced it. Even from far away Tokyo, I can keep up with what some of my favorite chefs and restaurants are up to.

Today I stumbled onto Boulud Sud’s Insta. Boulud Sud is Daniel Boulud’s Mediterranean inspired restaurant and they have the loveliest crudité for spring:

Spring vegetables on a bed of whipped feta mousse and dehydrated Niçoise olives.

Which reminded me of the zucchini salad I had at L’AS, Tokyo the other night:

Wispy cylinders of zucchini, dehydrated olive crumbles, anchovy powder. Amazing.

I’ve also seen dehydrated olives used in other dishes from other places around Tokyo. Are they making a comeback? Or is this a new trend?

Either way, I will back it, as dehydrated olives are super delicious. You almost don’t need to dress the salad because the taste is so concentrated and rich.

If you’re ever in New York by the way, Daniel Boulud’s establishments have fantastic food, definitely worth the money. Daniel is especially recommended — I’ve been a few times. Frequently during the phase I was dating bankers and management consultants. Don’t judge me, I would date them mainly for free meals at absurdly priced establishments: Per Se, Masa, EMP, Daniel, etc., etc. Stopped when I started to feel like Marie Antoinette, eating ridiculous meals with other people’s hard earned money… and taxes, in the case of bankers 😉

Ahhhhhhh missing NYC 😦

Boulud Sud
64th b/w Broadway and Central Park West

Instagram photo via here

Phone Food Photography

People constantly ask how I take my photos, the camera equipment situation, the apps I use to edit so I decided to share.

I only use my iPhone.
I never use the flash.
Basic photography knowledge is a must (composition, editing, lighting, angles, etc.)

Nowadays a fancy camera is unnecessary for food photos. I’ve collected random photos from FB and Insta and decided to dump them here to show you. Brace yourselves for food porn overload. NSFHP (Not Safe for Hungry People)

Petto di Pollo al Pangrattato  (Herb panko crusted free range chicken breast with gregola pasta and mushroom carbonara, white truffle oil)
Petto di Pollo al Pangrattato at Basta Pasta, NYC
(Herb panko crusted free range chicken breast with gregola pasta and mushroom carbonara, white truffle oil)

Can you believe that photo was taken by an iPhone? It’s edited with Snapseed (brightness, saturation, contrast, warmth and the blur effect called bokeh, is achieved with tilt shift). Get the app here.

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