Promise of Peace Gardens Presents: Okrapalooza in Dallas

Brussels sprouts—smoked, charred, covered in bacon. It doesn’t matter how they are prepared; they remain the darling veggie. But one non-profit, Promise of Peace Gardens (P.O.P.) gives the spotlight to another veggie: okra. That’s right, okra.

Photo by Allison McClean

September 17th P.O.P hosts its 8th annual fundraiser, Okrapalooza at the dog and kid-friendly The Lot in East Dallas. From 11am – 2pm twenty celebrity chefs will create their best okra dish for guests to taste.

Chef Uno Immanivong (left) Guest (right)
Photo by Allison McClean

The Chefs include last year’s winner, Chef Peter Barlow of Flora Street as well as Chef Graham Dodds, The Statler; Chef Mark Wooton, Garden Café; Chef Thomas Archer, 3015 at Trinity Groves; Chef Daniel Pittman, Luck; Chef Anastacia Quinones; Chef Ryan Barnett, Lark on the Park; Chefs Noelle Hendrix and Nick Amoriello; Chef Uno Immanivong, Chino Chinatown and more!

Five celebrity judges will choose one top chef while guests will award the People’s Choice award. And in case you were wondering if there will be anything else to eat besides okra, Elizabeth Dryer, founder of P.O.P. promises me that we can expect much more!

Okrapalooza supports P.O.P. Gardens and its comprehensive programming aimed at restoring urban communities while making sure that all have high quality nutritious food on their plate. P.O.P. transforms unwanted land into thriving gardens and teaches low-income families about sustainable living. Portions of produce grown in P.O.P. gardens supply a few Dallas-area food pantries.

Purchase tickets online for $50 in advanced or $60 on the day of the event. Entrance to the event includes live music, all food and beer from Lakewood Brewery. Cocktails will be available for purchase. Get the discounted price of $40 by purchasing your ticket in person at North Haven Gardens.

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Macy’s Culinary Council Brings Timothy Hollingsworth to Walnut Creek

BAY AREA FOODIES!

Are you ready to spend an afternoon in foodie heaven with former French Laundry Chef de Cuisine and current owner of Otium in LA, Timothy Hollingsworth? Myself (and the rest of Girls on Food) are so excited to join one of our favorite chefs for a special cooking demonstration at Macy’s Walnut Creek, in Walnut Creek, CA, where he will be sharing a few of his favorite recipes.

When: Sunday, August 27 at 1pm

Where: Macy’s Walnut Creek, Home Department, 3rd Floor, 1301 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Price: FREE! RSVP here to ensure a spot and receive a $10 Macy’s gift card when you check in! 

Before the demonstration I’ll be roaming Macy’s latest in cookware and gadgets for my kitchen. I’m thinking with that $10 Macy’s gift card, I could stock up on some early Halloween kitchen goodies.

Also, with any purchase of $35 or more in the Home department, you will receive a special gift and a chance to meet Chef Timothy for a photo opp! I’m ready for my close-up!

Oh my gosh I can’t wait! Like many Bay Area locals, I’ve been dreaming of dining at French Laundry, so to have him cook for us personally will be such a treat! When Julianne attended his recent Culinary Council demo in LA, I was watching the Girls on Food Instagram stories salivating over his cooking!

Culinary Council is a collection of spectacularly talented chefs, pastry chefs, and food professionals that travel throughout the country and hold various tastings and demonstrations in Macy’s all over the U.S. Check with your local Macy’s to see if any are happening near you!

I’ll be live on my Instagram feed with stories, so be sure you’re following me!

 

 

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Vegan Coconut Yogurt with Roasted Cherries

Stone fruits are my favorite seasonal produce! So juicy and sweet! Not to mention versatile! I’ve spent the summer adding them to salads, cheese platters, cobblers and crisps…. on repeat! And, I will keep going until the final peaches, plums, and apricots fall from the trees!

I say its my favorite season, yet somehow always forget about the smallest member of the stone fruit family. Cherries! Maybe its because they don’t fit the mold? Or maybe because they actually grow in my home state of Washington, but as sure as the sun shines, cherries are a stone fruit – a sweet, juicy, portable one!

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Alex’s Media Field Trip to Park 101 and Barrel Republic in Carlsbad, CA

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be included in a media field trip up to Park 101 and Barrel Republic in Carlsbad! Getting up to North County is not a thing I do very often, especially if I’m going to want to try some signature cocktails, so this was the perfect opportunity to see what Carlsbad has to offer!

Tamarack Sunsetter

We started the day by hopping onto the Coaster for a quick 1-hour train ride up to the Carlsbad Village station, and after hopping off the train just took a short walk right over to Park 101. We were greeted by a gorgeous spritzer, the Tamarack Sunsetter, and then given a tour of this new space.

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Zatar Dallas - Lebanese Food

Lebanese Tapas in Dallas: Zatar

In the not so distant past, a craving for any type of ethnic cuisine besides sushi or Mexican food would typically require a trip to the suburbs. But in the last few years, Dallas-proper has been the lucky recipient of a few establishments that fall outside the realm of New American or Southern cooking–not that there’s anything wrong with that!

Enter Zatar (Lebanese oregano or spice blend), a Lebanese tapas restaurant in Deep Ellum with an attached hookah lounge. The first time we visited, you’d never know that Zatar was then only 4 days old as they operated like a well-oiled machine with Chef Mo Khazem providing the most palate-pleasing food I’ve tasted in a long time. Even more impressive, this is the first restaurant for Lebanese owners and partners in life, C.K. Khoury and Mark Mansour, who modernized a few of the traditional recipes—the beef shawarma flatbread—in order to make their cuisine more accessible to Americans.

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The Badali Bar and Cucina in Toronto

In Toronto, its not hard to find an Italian restaurant. It seems like everywhere you look, there’s something Italian for everyone. It’s a not exactly a tough problem to have but the biggest problem for me has turned into finding an Italian restaurant I really enjoy. Growing up in an Italian household has set my tastebuds to a different level when it comes to this cuisine. I like my cheese cut from a wheel, I like my bread crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, and there’s always room for antipasto. The Badali Bar and Cucina, hit my expectations on every level. From the first sip of my cocktail to the crunch of my cannoli.

Badali Bar and Cucina
156 Front Street West Toronto, Ontario
http://www.joebadalis.com/

My initial impression was that this is a beautiful establishment. The sign entering is painted brick, there’s tons of wines and alcohol displayed through the restaurant and a lovely brunch area was set up as we arrived. The one thing I noticed as we entered, it looks quite small on the outside, but is actually huge on the inside. In the heart of the entertainment district, close to sport stadiums and the CN Tower, the location couldn’t be better.

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Pop-Up Italian Style: SAOR Project in LA

A trend in the Los Angeles foodie culture is the concept of the pop-up restaurant which offers a limited time dining experience in a temporary space with a specific focus on a particular type of food.

SAOR Project, started by Gianluca Zago and his wife Alessandra Manias, take the pop-up concept and aim to make it more of a permanent fixture, with monthly intimate meals and special dining events celebrating the best of classic Italian cuisine.

SAOR PROJECT
Private Residence, Sherman Oaks
https://www.saorproject.com

I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the experience. But the word “experience” definitely sums up the evening. This was one of the most memorable dinners I’ve had in a very long while, and not just because of the excellent food.

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Brittaney’s Summer Pops

It’s been over 50 days without rain in Seattle and I’m constantly trying to find ways to stay cool! What better way to beat the heat than to make some popsicles?

I bought a popsicle mold last summer and have had so much fun trying different recipes and this one is definitely my favorite.

It’s healthy, and so simple to make!

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Clucking Around in Lewisville, TX: Prohibition Chicken

Prohibition Chicken is the collaboration of Josh Babb and Sean Clavir (formerly of Musume, The Chop Shop and Chop Shop Live) and Chef Roger Kaplan (Restaurant Innovations). In addition to its great location, they chose Lewisville for the restaurant’s site because it lends itself to the old country vibe they were seeking.

Prohibition Chicken
201 W. Church Street, Lewisville, TX 75057
www.prohibitionchicken.com

The dining room is wonderfully rustic yet chic. The walls are covered in wood and the comfy booths are covered in flour sacks.

Rustic interior with natural lighting. Check out the phone booth door leading to the speakeasy.

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Why I Paid $900 to Dine at Saison

Acquiring Michelin stars has been a hobby of mine for quite some time, albeit a costly one for both my wallet and my waistline. In the midst of planning my annual trip to San Francisco, I decided it was a great time to add a few Michelin stars to my list seeing as the Bay Area now has as many three star restaurants as New York City. Poring over the Michelin Star list, note that there are 54 restaurants that received stars in 2017, I knew that I wanted a dining experience that was a departure from the typical pomp and circumstance of a three Michelin star restaurant and one whose menu pushed my gastronomic boundaries. I found both at Saison.

Saison

178 Townsend Street, San Francisco, California 94107
Website

Approaching the door of Saison, I was reeling with excitement to see what was on the menu (would it be? Black bear, antelope or perhaps a different exotic game?) and I couldn’t wait to immerse myself into this dining experience. It’s hard to imagine that seven years ago Saison was a “pop-up” restaurant operating in the back of a cafe and now they are arguably one of the best restaurants in the world.

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Burger City Grill in Torrance, CA

Do you ever wonder where the word burger derived? I decided to look it up and sure enough Hamburg, Germany is the home of the first hamburger, made from a Hamburg steak (this blend consists of three muscles: chest, shoulder, and back). German immigrants in New York brought the steak into restaurants, then it naturally took a turn during the Industrial Revolution and became more Americanized. It was served first to industrial workers as a “steak” from a food cart. Workers found it hard to eat while standing so this unknown innovator decided to put the meat between two slices of bread. How ingenious, right?

My milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard…

Growing up burgers have always been revered as America’s favorite food. I grew up first with Mc Donald’s, In-N-Out, Carl’s Junior, Jack In The Box, Burger King and Fat Burger. I thought those were the best back then. Then over the years Umami, Fuddruckers, Five Guys, Smashburger, Steak N’ Shake and Shake Shack emerged and elevated the burger game.

Now there’s a new player in Southern California that has been around for seven years, Burger City Grill. I went to their newest location in Torrance, which has been open since January 2017. What’s great about this fast food restaurant is that you have the choice to build your own Hamburger or to choose from the preset menu. Always good to keep options open.

 

Burger City Grill
3605 Artesia Blvd, Torrance, CA 90504
http://burgercitygrill.com/

After a carnivorous trip to Texas, I laid off meat for a week to be sure I would really savor the burgers here. So, when I took that first bite of that juicy burger, it was extra special.

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Can a Plant-Based Dinner at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s abcV Satisfy?

I came into my dinner at abcV a bit hesitant. Eating a complete meal (in ABC, a home decor shop) with just veggies? Especially when my favorite meal is dinner? I didn’t know just how impressive a vegetarian meal could possibly be. Restaurateur and Chef Jean-George Vongerichten is the genius that teamed up with ABC Carpet CEO and Creative Director Paulette Cole to change your outlook on what a dinner focused on the vegetables can look like. With the right pairing of flavors, experimenting with spices or roasting vegetables in butter, the team at abcV knows exactly how to make you forget about meat. You will be too preoccupied with the creamy green chickpea hummus and raving about how the roasted beets are the best ones you’ve ever had to even miss chicken or beef. abcV is a place meant for sharing plates so definitely bring a friend or two. I also suggest that you take a chance and forgo the cocktails for one of the juices or tonic drinks both of which are refreshing and pair excellently with dinner. No matter which way you decide to conquer this vegetarian menu, you will leave feeling full, satisfied and so excited to come back to try the rest of the menu. 

ABCV
38 E 19TH ST, NEW YORK, NY 10003
WEBSITE 

Green chickpea hummus, Thai basil, fresh pita or crudité

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