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JOURNAL

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COOK SPACE FRIDAY FEELS | Cold Snap Cravings

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New year, new (old) diet “craze". But the resurgence of the Mediterranean diet is a welcome one for us - with its focus on eating locally and intuitively with the seasons, and a healthy appreciation for some of our favorite foods (olive oil ice cream, anyone?), this is an approach to eating that focuses on finding what fuels you, rather than what we need to eliminate. That is something we can truly get behind.

And while the year may be young, the government shutdown is now old, very, very old, as are some practices of an industry that still seems to be tripping over it’s clogs. Despite these things, and the many other rising tides we can no longer afford to ignore, we have hope yet for 2019, as, for at least some of the antiquated modes of “status quo” are concerned, the expiration date feels near.

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And for those of you yet to jump on the bandwagon for the Seize Your Days planner, you have til midnight tonight to get your hands on this coveted tome! Pledge your support through our Kickstarter and get your hands on the new and improved planner now!

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THE NEW SPOT WE’RE SHOPPING

Precycle is the first package free grocery store, empowering customers with information and support to reduce their environmental impact.

AN INDIAN DAL WITH ITALIAN FLARE

Chef Nina Clemente blends her backgrounds to produce a comfort food even health fanatics can crave, proving that influence needn’t have borders.

THE TOP CHEF WE’RE STILL GAGA OVER

Our Founding Culinary Director and Top Chef Contestant Nini Nguyen chats with News 12about the women who inspired her and second chances. Join us for her Cajun Cuisine class on February 21st, just a few spots left!

A MUSING ON THE MIGRATION CRISIS

“When Does a Place Become a Home”, the DUMBO exhibition featuring photography from six international artists and journalists, offers a powerful and poignant insight into what it means to be “displaced”.

HOW WE’RE WANDERLUSTING

With a little help from the NYTimes “52 Places To Go” list, our browsers are jammed full with travel tabs…

WHAT WE’VE BEEN CHAMPIONING ALL ALONG

Further evidence as to why cooking from scratch is better for you

A NEW YEAR’S #GOAL WE CAN ACTUALLY GET BEHIND

How Hannah Bronfman bid farewell to #bodygoals to pursue what actually feels good.

WHAT’S SPARKING JOY

As Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show plays in the background for weekend clean-spiration, we might consider that perhaps the answer is simply buying less crap!

EATS WITH A LITTLE BASIC EQUALITY (FINALLY)

How restaurants are offering free menstrual products in their bathrooms and calling for (slightly) more inclusive spaces at last.

THE SENTIMENT WE’RE CELEBRATING

With all the pomp and circumstance of grammable grub these days, it’s refreshing to remember that “Delicious Doesn’t Always Mean Pretty

INSPIRATION FROM SELF-EMPLOYED SUPERSTARS

How these five women keep themselves motivated and accountable as sole creators of their own career paths

WHEN BEAUTY BAFFLES THE EXPERTS

How the majesty of the animal kingdom has evolutionists questioning their theorem.

THE DETAIL’S IN THE DUMPLING

As we gather inspiration for our upcoming  Asian Fusion Lunar New Year class, these artists are paying homage to their Asian-American heritage through plaster, paint and porcelain.


 

#lifebeyondtherecipe

T H E    C O O K  S P A C E  C R E W

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COOK SPACE FRIDAY FEELS | Taking Care in the New Year

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 T H E   C U R E   I S   I N   T H E   K I T C H E N

After a season of gifting and celebrating, we often find ourselves entering the New Year with our pockets a little lighter (an our pants a little tighter) - and though many use this as fuel to pursue the latest fad diet, we’re using it as an opportunity to fuel our bodies and souls with food that makes us FEEL good. With a month full of classes such as Superfoods & Adaptogens with the phenomenal Katrine Van Wyk and Meal Prep Basics, our goal is to help you kick off your year both happy AND healthy.

Far more importantly, though it’s early days in this brand new year, and withNancy back in the driver’s seat. we have high hopes for a season of more compassion, more change, and little more moral clarity.

The happiest of New Year’s to you all, and we cannot wait to see you in the studio soon for this brand new season!


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THE MEAL TOPPING OUR MEMPHIS BUCKET LIST

We won’t pass up a stop at Global Cafe next time we’re down South, an international food hall highlighting dishes from immigrant and refugee food entrepreneurs creating affordable meals hailing from their home countries.

HOW WE’RE EATING THIS YEAR

On advice from the fabulous Alison Roman, we’re spending more time at the table with the one’s we love, focussing more on making magic out of simple things without the stress and anxiety of attempting michelin meals in our own homes.

THE DOUGH WE’RE DIPPING

While many are likely giving up the gluten as they enter the New Year, we’re expanding our biscuit repertoire with this recipe for buttermilk rusks, the perfect accompaniment for many mugs of tea in our foreseeable future.

WHAT’S ON OUR BOOKSHELF

Seeing inspiration from the phenomenal Jose Andres through his book “We Fed An Island” charting his experiences working to rebuild Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

WHAT WE’RE CUTTING FROM OUR DIETS IN 2019

We’re chucking the cling film instead of the booze for a better January for all.

THE TONICS WE’RE TRYING

The restaurateur behind Cosme and Atla shares recipes from her grandmother for sustaining her through the Winter months

TOURING WITH A TOP CHEF TALENT

Padma Lakshmi takes us through her favorite haunts in the five boroughs.

THE FOOD THAT’S FUELING US

Gaining inspiration from Bon Appetit’s Feel Good Food Plan as we enter our month of wellness, particularly in anticipation of our Meals for Mental Healthclass with the wonderful Seamus Mullen and Laura Camilleri where we’ll explore the ways in which acts of meditation, nutrition, and connectivity (just to name a few!) all contribute to a healthier state of mind.

COULD TOURISM BE TROUNCING TRADITION?

La Boqueria, Barcelona’s largest and most famous market, is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate for the locals who rely on it.

THE PODCAST THAT HAS US HITTING THE BOOKS

This American Life’s recent episode “The Room of Requirement” on the transformative capacity of the library space will have you tearing up and tearing through your favorite old tomes.

THE TROUBLE WITH TIPPING

How the restaurant industry is navigating the trying transition to a more idealistic mode of operation.

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

Pre-Gaming this Sunday’s Golden Globes with a little supreme inspiration withOn The Basis of Sex, based on the life of our favorite, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg


 

#lifebeyondtherecipe

T H E    C O O K  S P A C E  C R E W

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2018 - THE TAKEAWAYS | Musings from Michelle

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M I C H E L L E M A N N I X

Founder

A few things you can do to jump start your path to cooking more  - and from a place of confidence and instinct in 2019

1. I think the best place to start is the mindset. By getting clear (and realistic) on what relationship to cooking and food you want to have in your life - from there you can establish the priority it will take in your life and you can begin to develop your own culinary expression based on the foods that you want to be eating and the skills, tools and time you need to make it happen.

2. Let go of recipes. Not completely but as a way to get to know the process of cooking more intimately so you can begin to understand the process of developing and building flavor.  Use them as a starting point, reference and source of inspiration. How do I do that you may say? Think of something you love to eat, cook already - where you use a recipe, or something you’ve always wanted to cook.  


3. Pay Attention. To everything.  Then do something with the information.  What do you order in restaurants? What flavors do you like and why?  How often are you ordering out? How does that make you feel physically and emotionally? Use. What. You. Have. Use your common sense.  If you need something to start with...Boil noodles, add butter, parmesan and pepper.  In many restaurants in NYC that’s a $17 bowl of cacio pepe. In my house its 15 minutes of meditative time in my kitchen, a warm bowl of goodness that is cheap AF.  Sprinkle on some bacon, parsley and add a glass of wine and its notched up a whole other level. Eat it out of a pan with absolutely no guilt what. So. ever.

4. Start to develop your style.  Your own culinary expression.  We do it with everything else - our clothes, our apartments, our music - why don’t we look to ourselves more for our inspiration and expression.  What do you like to eat and why. What food systems do you want to be and are currently supporting?

5. Get in shape.  We mean your skills and your mindset.  Practice.  Just like anything else you only get better by doing.  So start one meal, snack at a time. See it as a fun process in the ever evolving journey of developing your skills, palate, understanding and JOY in cooking and feeding ourselves and others.   There is no shortage of videos, tips, recipes - what we need more of is pushing ourselves to figure it out. Use what we have, what we like and what is in season. And most importantly to make it a priority and to do it for ourselves, each other and the planet.

6. Get your space and ‘tools’ in order.  Make sure you either sharpen your knife or  get a good one and know how to hold it. From there I don’t think you need much more than a cutting board, a couple pans, Olive/Canola oil, salt and pepper and the mindset of possibility and fun - to begin cooking anything.  I’m so machine, extra tools averse that I’ll avoid those dishes that ask me to use them. It takes me out of the flow I get into when I lose myself in the process of throwing something together and building and developing flavor as I go.  Go through your cabinets. All of them. Your freezer and refrigerator too. Make it a fun exercise in not only building awareness but in building your culinary muscles with the creativity you will have from using things up. Identify patterns in what you buy and why.  Find ways to use them both new and old. Organize your pantry. Use it up and find the joy in creating, being resourceful, frugal and in the feeling you get from cleaning out anything and starting fresh.

2018 - THE TAKEAWAYS | Eliza's Aspirations

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E L I Z A Z W E I G

Studio & Event Manager

Since I started working at Cook Space in June of this year, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to taste as you go and adjust along the way.  

As someone whose home cooking skills have previously consisted of Top Ramen and scrambled eggs, this was actually a mind-blowing realization.  I’ve always been able to follow a recipe, but until I learned to rely on my own palette and intuition to guide me, the outcome was only suitable for the person who was dictating the recipe. Not for me. Maybe I like it saltier, spicier, sweeter.  That’s okay, because I’m the one eating the dish at the end of the day.  And you know what? My food has already started tasting better.  I’m not making anything more complicated, but I must say that it’s f-cking delicious.  

Being able to trust my gut and to pay attention to my instincts has always been something that I’ve struggled with.  I’ve always been easily influenced by outside opinions and would frequently question myself despite my frustration when most of them time I was right all along.  I’d previously chalked this up as personality quirk, a debilitation I’d have to live with as part of being me.

But in the tangible act of allowing myself to trust my intuition inside the kitchen, I’ve given myself permission to trust my intuition outside of the kitchen as well.  It’s been a liberating experience, to say the least and I have a feeling 2019 will be my most delicious year to date.


2018 - THE TAKEAWAYS | Tom's Tips

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T O M   C O U G H L A N

Culinary Director

  • Make the most of passive cooking to do your active cooking. If some takes a long time to roast or braise, get it cooking while you get everything else ready. This way everything is done at the same time.

  • If it grows together it goes together! If ingredients come from the same place, at the same time of year, they almost always will taste good together.

  • Shake your garlic to peel it. The easiest way to peel garlic is take a whole bulb and press the top down just enough to break it apart. Place the whole thing in a container, or two bowls held together, and shake it really hard, like your shaking a cocktail. This should remove about 80% of the garlic skin from the cloves on the first shot.

  • Toast bread with other herbs and spices. One of my favorite dishes we came up with this year was “ginger bread” in our Market-to-Table class. We melted butter with grated ginger and herbs (similar to how you would make garlic bread) and toasted it in the oven. It was great and I plan to make “ginger bread” again!

  • Baking powder for crisp. It increases the pH which helps foods to caramelize better and get crispier.

  • Grandma hands for soft food. Does your grandma make the softest pasta or cookies? Its not because she got hands like a plumber. So be delicate when you mix and knead for a softer final product.

  • Vodka and seltzer for a flaky pie dough. Alcohol has a lower boiling point then water so will evaporate faster adding to a flaky dough. Seltzer water already has air in it so also will help for a flakier dough.

  • Pie dough should look like crumbled parmesan cheese. I don’t know who decided that pie dough should look like peas after you add the butter and water but I have never gotten one to do so and my pie doughs never came out right. Until an instructor here said it should look like crumbled parmesan, some big, some small, that I finally made a good pie crust!

  • Vegan Shepards Pie. We made a vegan shepherds pie for our vegan class which is a huge hit and a favorite of mine. We used coconut milk and oil to make the mashed potatoes and a mix of root vegetables, beans, onion, garlic, tomato paste, and spices to make the filling.

  • Roast that Jack-O-Lantern! Who said carving pumpkins can’t be delicious? Rather than letting it root on your porch, after carving a beautiful jack-o-lantern season it with salt and coriander and rub the inside with butter and roast it in the oven. Save those seeds to toast off as a snack as well!

  • Take something major away to increase your creativity! Do you always use garlic in a dish? Immediately grab black pepper and lemons for a dish without even thinking? Then take them out of your pantry. Use other spices, try some vinegar, replace garlic with ginger or turmeric and you’ll immediately add some new tricks up your sleeve.