Yogurt with Seeds. Passion Fruit. Pistachios. Manuka Honey and Black Salt

Yogurt with Seeds. Passion Fruit. Pistachios. Chilies. Manuka Honey and Black Salt

Passion fruit is my go to winter fruit to make me feel as though I am someplace tropical.

2 1/2 cups Greek Yogurt

1 whole passion fruit, halved. Scoop out the fruit>

1/2 cup mixed seeds—Sunflower and Pepitos 1 tbsp. 

1/2 cup chopped Pistachios

4 tbsp. Manuka Honey 

1 tablespoon coconut oil

In a cast iron pan over low heat, toss the seeds in 1 tablespoon of coconut oill and a pinch each of crushed chili flakes and kosher salt. 

Divide the yogurt between 2 bowls
Scoop 1/2 of the passion fruit into each bowl. 

Top with the warmed seeds, pistachios, and drizzle with Manuka honey. Finish with the lightest hint of Black Crete Sea salt. 

Serves 2

winter's bone. bone both with horseradish. fermented black garlic and persian lime.

Here on the East Coast, we are the midst of our first winter storm of 2016. Nothing feels better on a snowy day than a good bowl of hot broth or anytime for that matter. I make mine in big batches and freeze it so it can be ready for the next storm! Below is a recipe I developed for Toast UK. It is a rich dark beef bone broth with hits of horseradish and smokey fermented garlic and just a touch of Persian lime. Enjoy wherever you are! xx

 

WINTER'S BONE. BONE BOTH WITH HORSERADISH. FERMENTED BLACK GARLIC AND PERSIAN LIME.

 

 

 

 

3 lbs. of Beef shin bones

3 lbs. meaty bones such as beef shank or short ribs

2 tablespoons Sicilian oregano

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400

 

Place bones on a large roasting tray

Sprinkle with Sicilian oregano

Generously salt the bones

Drizzle with olive oil

Roast bones for 1 hour turning midway through.

Remove bones from oven and cool.

 

When the bones are cooled, place in a large stock pot. I used a 7 quart Staub pot.

Add remaining ingredients

2 medium yellow onions, halved with skins on

4 whole heads black fermented garlic

2 whole heads garlic

2 whole Persian limes

2 cups chopped horseradish

1 celery root quartered

1 parsley root quartered

1 bundle of aromatics like thyme and parsley

1/4 cup juniper vinegar or apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp. kosher salt

20 cups filtered water

Add the water and allow the stock to come to a rapid boil, then lower heat to a bare simmer for 12-24 hours.

(don’t be afraid to add more water along the way if need be.)

Discard bones and other large debris and pour through a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth.

makes 10-12 cups

Add salt to taste.

images ©Andrea Gentl/Gentl and Hyers 2015

 recipes ©Hungry Ghost 2015

EXPOLORING THE Q'EROS NATION OF PERU APRIL. 2-10 2016 REGISTRATION THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016

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EXPLORING THE Q'EROS NATION OF PERU APRIL 2-10 2016 REGISTRATION THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016

 

 

We’re launching our new workshop series, This is The Wanderlust, in the Andes Mountains of Peru! We’ll trek to the indigenous Q’eros Nation in collaboration with Hannah Rae Porst of Willka Yachay from April 2 to April 10. The Q’eros people are the wisdom keepers of the Andes. They are subsistence alpaca herders, potato farmers, weavers and musicians who live among the clouds in remote villages at 14,500 feet in the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcanota range, the highest mountain chain in Southeastern Peru. Considered to be the last Inkan community, the Q’eros strive to preserve their indigenous ethnic identity.

We’ll start our journey in Cusco, meeting at a beautiful colonial Bed and Breakfast to acclimate and introduce ourselves to one another before an evening meal. The next morning we’ll visit the markets, the bohemian art district and the spiritual center of the Inkan Empire. After a day of exploring, photographing and accustoming ourselves to the altitude and the sheer exuberance of the place, we’ll hit the streets for an evening photo demonstration. Cusco is luminous. We leave for Q’eros after breakfast. It’s a demanding, astounding and exhilarating journey. We’ll photograph along the way before stopping in a small village at the foot of sacred mountain Ausangate, where we’ll meet and photograph local weavers and participate in a Despacho offering by an Andean paqo. We’ll show you how to work with available light and a few improvised tools for location shooting and travel photography. We will take an early evening visit to local hot springs where you’ll have a chance to relax before an evening lecture and watching cloudscapes.

After leaving Apu Ausangate we ultimately make our way, led on horseback, to the remote hamlets of Q’eros, where we’ll stay with local villagers in cozy stone huts with thatched roofs. We’ll sleep on earth floors covered by llama and alpaca pelts, far removed from modern day amenities. One night we’ll camp out under the deep Peruvian night sky and try our hand at photographing more stars than we’ve ever seen before. Q’eros guides, cooks, wranglers and families will smooth our way, and share their lives and love.

Other photographic opportunities over the course of our time in the villages will include: trout fishing with nets, alpaca herding and shearing, a natural plant dye workshop, weaving demonstrations, earth oven cooking, gathering native medicinal plants, coca leaf readings, optional visits to Andean Paqo healers, and portrait photography with home visit families. We will also photograph hat making artisans and an intimate textile market where Peruvian weavers come together in the fields to display and sell their timeless work. This workshop will be a combination of photographic demonstrations as well as shooting with us side by side. We will teach a hands on holistic approach to travel photography, covering still life, reportage, landscape and portraiture. We will immerse ourselves in the culture of the mountains by connecting to the people as well as sharing creatively and learning with one another.

This workshop will be a creative reboot for those with a strong sense of adventure. This is a land of footpaths, far removed from the world as you know it. Lack of internet, roads and outside communication will only enhance our experience.

Workshop registration will be announced February 1st, 2016. This workshop is limited to 12 participants. Please see below to put your name on a mailing list to receive the announcement via email.

Most dietary preferences can be accommodated by our local cooks.

Hannah Rae Porst

Hannah Rae Porst, founder and director of Willka Yachay, has been living in Cusco and working with the indigenous people of the Q’eros Nation for five years. She founded Willka Yachay (Quechua for sacred knowledge) to develop education that enables young Q’eros to know their history and rights, preserve their culture and language, and develop their communities sustainably. Hannah has been leading mountain expeditions to Q’eros since 2012. She is a graduate of Bates College. @hannitarae

Willka Yachay

Willka Yachay is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping indigenous communities thrive in the modern world. We are empowering the next generation of the indigenous Q’eros Nation of Peru to become leaders who elevate their standard of living, guide their community toward sustainable modernity and revitalize their cultural identity. Together with the Q'eros, Willka Yachay builds and sustains culturally and ecologically based schools high in the Andes. Willka Yachay currently supports nine schools: three pre-k, four primary schools, one high school and one adult school. Willka Yachay collaborates with Q’eros parents and elders, acts as a school system administrator, creates and coordinates curriculum development, hires and supports culturally sensitive teachers, provides all supplies, nutritious food and educational national and international field trips. Willka Yachay also implements solar light, music and cultural preservation, food security, and mother and infant care projects, as well as the first health center and weaving cooperative in the Q’eros Nation.   

www.willkayachay.org, @willkayachay

WORKSHOP PRICE 5000 USD

THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016. IT IS CAPPED AT 12 PARTICIPANTS. ALL LODGING, MEALS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND GUIDES ARE INCLUDED, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF AN OPTIONAL SESSION WITH AN ANDEAN PAQO HEALER AND TRAVEL INSURANCE. AIRFARE TO AND FROM LIMA AND CUSCO IS NOT INCLUDED. FULL PAYMENT IS REQUIRED FOR THIS CLASS TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT. THIS WORKSHOP IS NON REFUNDABLE.

THERE IS A THREE DAY MACHU + PICCHU SACRED VALLEY EXTENSION WITH HANNAH RAE PORST APRIL. 10-13 COST + 1400 USD PARTICIPANTS INTERESTED IN THE 3 DAY EXTENSION CAN EMAIL HANNAH DIRECTLY AT hannah@willkayachay.org

 DUE TO THE REMOTE NATURE OF THIS WORKSHOP WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THEAT EACH PARTICIPANT OBTAIN THIER OWN TRAVELER'S INSURANCE.  FURTHER INFORMATION ON TRAVEL INSURANCE WILL BE IN THE INTRODUCTORY PACKAGE. ALL PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ASKED TO SIGN A LIABILITY WAIVER.

THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2015

We are pleased to announce our upcoming photographic workshop in Andean Mountains of Peru through our newly launched workshop series This Is The Wanderlust in collaboration with Hannah Rae Porst of the Willka Yachay Organization in the beautiful Q’eros Valley. The expedition will take place2-10 April 2016.

 

ABOUT THE Q'EROS

The Q’eros people are the wisdom keepers of the Andes. They are subsistence alpaca herders, potato farmers, weavers and musicians who live among the clouds in remote villages at 14,500 feet in the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcanota range, the highest mountain chain in southeastern Peru.Considered to be the last Inkan community, the Q’eros strive to preserve their indigenous ethnic identity. Q’eros live a hardworking life at one with nature. They perform offerings to Pacha Mama, Mother Earth, and to the Apus, mountain spirits. Worldview concepts of ayni, the importance of reciprocal sharing, and animu, awareness of an animated essence in all things, shape their interactions with each other and their environment. Those who are invited to travel to their out-of-this world beautiful valley and meet them carry luminous images home.

THE JOURNEY

 We will start our journey in Cusco, meeting at our Colonial Bed and Breakfast to acclimate and introduce ourselves to one another before the evening meal.The next morning we will explore the markets, the bohemian art district and the spiritual center of the Incan Empire. After a day ofexploring, photographing and acclimatizing we will hit the streets for an evening photo demonstration. The next morning after breakfast, we will make our way towards Q’eros, photographing along the way before stopping for the night in a small village at the foot of the sacred mountain Ausangate where will we participate in a Despacho offering and visit and photograph local weavers. We will show you how to work with available light and a few improvised tools for location shooting and travel photography. We will take an early evening visit to local hot springs where you will have a chance to relax before an evening lecture.

After leaving the sacred mountain we will make our way, led on horseback, to the remote hamlets of Q’eros, where workshop participants will pair off to have home stays will local villagers in centuries old cozy homes. You will sleep on the earthen floor on llama and Alpaca Pelts far removed form modern day amenities. We will camp out all together one evening under the vast Peruvian night sky and try our hand at photographing the stars. Other photographic opportunities over the course of the next few days will include: trout fishing with nets,natural plant dye workshop, alpaca herding and shearing, earth oven cooking, optional visit to Andean Paqo healer, portrait photography with home visit families and gathering native medicinal plants. We will photograph hat making and artisans and a visit to an intimate textile market where Peruvian families come together in the open fields for you to peruse and purchase their beautiful work.

This workshop will be a combination of photographic demonstrations as well as shooting with us side by side. We will teach a hands on holistic approach to travel photography, covering still life, reportage, landscape and portraiture. We will immerse ourselves in the culture of the mountains by connecting to the people as well as sharing creatively and learning with one another.

 

This workshop will be a creative reboot for those with a strong sense of adventure.This is a land of footpaths, far removed form the world as you know it. Lack of internet, roads and outside communication will only enhance our experience. 

Workshop registration will be announced February,1st. 2015. This workshop is limited to 12 participants.  Please visit www.thisisthewanderlust.com to subscribe and get your name on a mailing list to receive the announcement via email.

 

*Dietary restrictions can be accommodated by our local cooks. 

winter chicken soup. turmeric. spruce.citrus. ginger.magic soup.

When the new year rolls around. I am ready to eat a little cleaner. The holidays are inevitably debaucherous and while I love it and fully partake, this year I felt more than ever the need to start the year off a little lighter. I cut out wheat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, you might ask what else is there? I asked myself that too but after ten days at this I am pleasantly surprised that I don't feel deprived at all, well, almost at all! I will admit to missing cheese. Pecorino is my Kryptonite.

 

I was recently asked to develop some recipes for Toast, one of my favorite UK companies for their blog Toast Travels. I decided to go with a warming chicken soup. I make bone broths and stocks on a regular basis and always have, maybe it came out of a  moderately Hippy upbringing along with growing up in a New England waste not want not family or perhaps it's my Southern Italian Grandmother, who like the New Englander's, carried that same credo. At any rate, no chicken carcass goes unused in this house ever! What I love most about soups and broths is that they are so damn easy and adaptable. They are most forgiving as you can add a little more of this and a little less of that and put your own twist on it. Soup is magic, and I have been playing at making soup since I first heard the folk tale Stone Soupas a child . When you give a kid a pot and a wooden spoon to play with they generally tell you they are making soup.  They do so with big sweeping gestures of the wooden spoon turning 'round in the pot andthey do so as they collect everything but the kitchen sink and throw it all into their make believe soup. As adults, we do the the same. Soup is a food we more often than not associate with comfort and childhood and home and a little bit of magic.

This one is a twist on a classic chicken soup,with copious hits of ginger, sumac, winter citrus, spruce, turmeric and chili. It is a powerful soup and will warm you to you bones.

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Chicken Soup with Citrus SpruceTurmeric and Ginger

 

This soup is a bright healing broth with notes of citrus and ginger.

Clean roasted chicken carcass, reserving any meat to add to the finished stock.

 

In 7 quart pot, place all the following ingredients:

 

1 carcass of a large roasting chicken.

3 whole heads of garlic skin on

1 whole yellow onion halved. skin on

1 red onion, halved with skin on 

3 cups coarsely chopped ginger

1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

2 tablespoons kosher salt

5 cups chopped celery (leaves and stems)

3 large carrots cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh turmeric

1/2 lemon

1 satsuma orange halved

2 1/2 cups chopped parsley

1 bunch fresh thyme

2 small whole chilies

1 teaspoon sumac

1 cup loosely packed spruce

 

20 cups filtered water

 

Set to simmer on medium heat. When the stock comes to a boil, lower the heat and leave in on a bare simmer for 7 hours.

Add more water if need be.

 

Discard the debris and strain through a fine mesh strainer or a colander lined with cheesecloth.

 

Add pieces of roasted chicken and fresh celery if you wish.

 

Makes 10 cups broth.

 

images ©Andrea Gentl/Gentl and Hyers 2015

 recipes ©Hungry Ghostl 2015

lens and larder collaboration in the wilds of connemara ireland.

We just returned from Ireland where we put on a visual storytelling and classic european still life workshop at the beautiful Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara Ireland. We focused on the terroir of Connemara and shot everything from  foraged seaweed to locally caught game birds to the honey man. Our final day we set a banquet of roast lamb and oysters and local cheeses. Thank you to our gorgeous and organized hosts Imen McDonnell from Farmette and Cliodhna Prendergast from Breaking Eggs and to Susan Spungen our food stylist and partner in crime and to all our students who traveled near and far to attend. It was a whirlwind of information and activity. Special thanks to Claire Davey from America Village Galway for sharing with us her incredible tinctures and teas and her beautiful meditation in the woods and for plying our spirits with her wild cocktails. Thank you to Gerard Coyne of Connemara Bee Keepers and to John Malone of Malone's Butchers in Clifden and to Shane Bisgood , Chief instructor of the Connemara Shooting School, for letting the students "shoot" him! Trish Deseine I was blown away by by your new book Home on Irish Home cooking and Helen James it was  so great  to catch up after all this time!  Thank you to Aran Sweaters and 31Chapel Lane for the lovely gifts four our students! We left with more than we came with. Not the least the good friends we made along the way. We feel our adventures with out Irish friends have just begun. A huge thank you to Patrick O'Flaherty of Ballynahinch Castle. We know we trashed the place and you  and your amazing staff were ever so gracious about it! You kept us entertained and feeling at home. xx

 

 

We wanted to share a few photos from the two day workshop. 

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the perfect palette.

 Above; featured colors of Ralph Lauren Paint include; Pasha Pink, Istanbul, Sea Orange, Black Watch Navy, Hotel Du Cap, and Chamois. Choose your own palette from over 1000 different colors and many different finishes.

 

 

Yesterday I took part in a really interesting discussion about photography, design, color and visual story telling, it took place at the Bon Appetit kitchen in One World Trade, here in New York City. The event was a partnership with Local Creative Brooklyn, Bon Appétit and Ralph Lauren Paints.

The idea, was to bring together a group of creatives from across many disciplines, to spark a conversation on a bright day in a beautifully curated space, where every detail was considered. A perfect palette of color was chosen by the Bon Appétit  team from the deck of Ralph Lauren Paints. Color swatches in hand, they set to making beautiful food and cocktails inspired by these colors. A beautiful table was set with plates and napkins and glasses that played off the chosen palette. Taylor Patterson, the brilliant and artful mind behind Fox Fodder Farm chose flowers and botanicals to create stunning arrangements inspired by the same dictated palette. Her gorgeous flowers were both muted and bright all at once. 

After a brief frenzy of instagram and iPhone snapping we sat down to lunch and broke off into groups to chat about aesthetics, color and trends. At our end of the table we spoke about what is visually over used in this maker driven culture. What are things we are seeing too often via social platforms? What are the new trends? Where will be five years from now and does the new generation of 18 year olds care about finding the perfect spoon or bowl? Someone at our end of table referenced a philosopher, and she sort of summed up our thoughts on the day. In her book,  On Beauty And Being Just,  philosopher Elaine Scary discusses the nature of beauty. She argues that beauty begets beauty and it constantly provokes copies of itself. We came to the conclusion together that beauty does beget beauty and it definitely churns the wheel of repetition. In this overly saturated image driven age every photo that is taken and put out there for our viewing has an agenda in the visual realm. Nothing is without purpose or motive.

We talked briefly about styling tips yesterday and how to see light and color. What makes a good photograph?

A good photographis all about light and color. 

For me color is mutable, What looks grey one day can be white the next or even green or blue depending on the kind of light that fall across it and the time of day. Inspiration for me has always comes from traveling, a big part of that inspiration is color. I find that I like to bring brighter colors into my work after traveling. New York is a muted city, and while I find beauty here I don’t find intensity of color.  Mexico City, India and Bhutan were all places of great color and light inspiration. The light in these countries is sharp and direct and the colors are almost oversaturated, pairings of neon pink and yellow are not unheard of, orange and blue mixed with patterns and black, always black.

The colors used in yesterdays collaboration were soft and bit desaturated,  a little dusty like an old plaster wall with stories to tell. As New Yorkers we probably play it pretty safe with color, black is our uniform after all.  We have to remind ourselves of the world of color and shade and tone that is out there.

 

 On the color front, the Bon Appétit team brilliantly paired the Ralph Lauren Paints colors with food and styling. Pasha Pink became  Crisp and Co. Pinot Noir Pickled beets, Sea Orange became Empire Mayonnaise Sriracha, Istanbul was Bees Knees Spicy Honey, Chamois, The Chili Lab “The Grove Blend” Chili Butter, Black Watch Navy, APPRVL Napkin Set, Hotel Du Cap, Suite One Studio salt dish.

After lunch we were encouraged to “paint” a donut or a petit fours with the same colors that played throughout the day, and then we ate them and they were delicious.

I was asked to create a photograph that was my take on the day. I started to document the scene and the people at the event but then I kept coming back to Taylor’s florals. They encompassed everything that we talked about throughout the day. She works with color much like a painter, the hues of Pasha Pink and Istanbul washed across the marigolds in varying intensities. I decided to deconstruct one of her arrangements in an effort to peel it back to color, form. In doing so I created my own unique take on the day, my visual storytelling became about deconstruction and emotion.

 

The perfect palette is vibe, it can be anything you want it to be. you only need to “see” it.

 

Ralph Lauren Paints are available at Home Depot.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE LUMMI ISLAND

A few weeks ago we headed to Lummi  Island off the coast of Seattle to teach a photography workshop. The premise was visual storytelling and reportage with a heavy dose of wild and gathered ingredients as our base for inspiration.It was our first workshop and we thank all those involved for their patience and inspiration. it was a lovely weekend, with students from the United States, Portugal and Dubai! It was completely pulled together and organized by Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle and Vanille. The spark to this this idea started a couple years ago  with a quick conversation with Aran and the timing finally seemed right!The stars aligned with all our schedules and we forged ahead. Aran was the perfect co-partner and host! She and local Seattle based photographer Charity Burgraff kept us well fed and all the pieces moving in unison. ( look for Charity's new book  Sea and Smoke a collaboration with Chef Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn out this October, it is gorgeous and SO very inspiring!) Charity thank you for so graciously sharing the island with us!

We were't sure what we would find for wild foods once we got to Lummi but luckily it was bountiful. We gathered rose hips and roses and herbs for the weekend from Riley Stark's Nettles Farm where some of the students stayed. He had one of the most fragrant and wild gardens I have been to in quite some time! there was something extraordinary about the way the scents hung in the crisp salty air. Riley's farm and all it's beauty will stay with us for some time. a day or so into the workshop we started brainstorming dinner plans and realized we could grab a couple chickens  from Riley who raises the most beautiful organic Poulet Bleu. We added some wild oregano, whole quince thyme, rose hips, fennel blossom, olives, and local salt from Jim Henken's shop Marine Area7 and voila, dinner was born. the chickens were braised then finished off in the oven.

 

Everything we made to eat that weekend was in some way seasoned with things we gathered from Jim's farm. We had a huge basket of gathered edibles that we kept returning to for a little snip of this or that.My favorite seasonings of the weekend were the fennel blossom, the wild oregano and the celery seed. we there together a salad on our last night that was mediterranean inspired but whole from the island.we used Riley's organic perfectly ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced onions from the farm, whole large caper berries,  crushed green olives, fennel blossom, celery seed,  wild purple oregano and blossom,local sea salt, a good dose of cold pressed super green olive oil, wild mint and tiny bit of wild mustard blossom.

 

I will try to recreate it soon and post a recipe. It was one of my favorite salads of summer.

 

The workshop itself was held at the beautiful Lummi Island home of Seattle based Photographer and shop keeper (Marine Area7). Thank you Jim for letting us take over your very special space! Jim not only went crabbing for us once but twice! We were really spoiled with those dinners!

Jim's house is filled with luminous light and as you can imagine being the proprietor of the new Seattle based shop Marine Area 7 it was filled with props and surfaces that were spot on. I was coveting my share of goods for sure! Jim, I am still dreaming about that smoked salmon you made so effortlessly in that beautiful smoker! If you haven’t checked out his shop which he runs with his wife you must do so!

 

We met up on our last day with Rob Gold, sous at the Willows Inn to do a little woods and beach gathering. We found black berries, sorrel, pine, German Chamomile, Rose hips and so much more! On the beach we gathered sea lettuces for our poached egg dish. We quickly blanched the seaweed and added pea blossoms mustard flower and dill and fennel fronds and put an egg on it, hit it with a drizzle of olive oil and some pine salt and breakfast was done. thank you Rob for letting us point all this e cameras at you!

At night we snuck away to The Willows where we drank dark  smokey house roasted tea and had amazing wine and local cheese. Next time We will return for a proper stay there! Thank you Blaine!

We left the island full, happy and exhausted! So glad to have met all of you involved. Keep pushing yourselves!

 

 

 

 

Tammy at Running with Tweezers pulled together the list below if everyone's work sites!

Thank you Tammy! I snagged it from your post. Check out everyone's work when you get a moment.

And huge thank you to Monique Baron photographer and assistant/tech extradorniaire for  filleting salmon and pulling together power points and for the Capture One tutorial.

xx

Below are a few of our favorite moments.

 

 

 

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MEXICO CITY WANDERINGS.A BRIEF RESPITE IN MEXICO CITY. THINGS NOT TO MISS.

 

My thoughts on Mexico City were terribly outdated.  I thought of it only as a gritty, polluted and dangerous city. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Though it was virtually impossible to ignore the buzz these past few years, especially living and working in New York,  I had remained a skeptic.

What changed? I spent a lot of time in Mexico last year working on various projects and it seemed all roads led to Mexico City.  Everywhere I went, people were talking about the food, the culture, the art galleries, the hotels and the architecture. This city of 19 million actually has more in common with New York and Paris and Istanbul than any place it may have been formerly compared to and there is no doubt that it is having a moment. 

 

Last month I headed down there with my friend chef Camille Becerra to see what it was all about.

 

We left New York on the red eye out of JFK at 1am on one of the hottest nights of this New York summer on Aeromexico. We arrived in the D.F just four short hours later ready to take the city by storm.  We were pretty much up for anything and wanted to taste and see everything. Armed with a massive list culled from friends we set to task. Our first stop was the super cute Stella Bed and Breakfast where we were met by Sylvia who graciously fed us a beautiful breakfast of fried eggs and tortillas while the light slowly came up in the Roma neighborhood where we were staying. Needless to say, in the days that followed, we ate our way all around town, meeting up with some local food writers, stylists and bloggers.

The way I normally travel is to first do a bit of preliminary research myself, then I speak with friends and friends of friends and begin to cull a list.

 

I use Foursquare when I travel to keep track of the places I have been, to make and edit lists and to share them with others easily. I find it is a great starting point to my general list. I follow a few of my well traveled friends and we are always sharing and updating through Foursquare. If you are not onto it yet for travel, I highly recommend it.

 

Below is list of a few of our favorite spots. This makes for one long beautiful eating day! Do not miss these! 

 

Breakfast at La Fonda Marguerita

 

 

For Breakfast, La Fonda Marguerita. It is important to remember that breakfast and lunch are traditionally the main meals of the day in Mexico. So f you are thinking of saving some amazing little taco spot you read about for late afternoon or an evening meal, check first that it is open! We missed a few places before we got hip to this idea.

La Fonda Margarita was recommended by a friend who lives in Mexico City. It is a tiny local spot where they cook most of the night. They open the doors really early, maybe even as early as 5am. though I would call to check on that because time is a bit slow in Mexico. They cook  solely over charcoal, giant giant pots of bubbling goodness, many hands taking turns to stir. We went at 8am and just missed the line and the rush that followed. What did we eat?   We ate Copious bowls full of stewed pork,  simmered for hours over the fire.  We were drawn right away to the pork in  salsa verde and   to another dish of chicharron stewed with tomatoes and chilies, after which came the  most perfectly fried eggs, atop delicious homemade tortillas. Coffee is served hot and sweet and black.

If I could have, I would have eaten every breakfast here. It is great place to go before heading out to the morning markets.

 

 Adolfo Prieto 1364, Benito Juárez, Tlacoquemecatl del Valle, 03100 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

+52 55 5559 6358

 

 

Mid morning coffee at Rosetta Panaderia

Delicious coffee and absolute best Guava pastry. I am kind of a Guava freak. I had them at many places including Ideal but Rosetta Panaderia was the best.

Same owners as the Rosetta restaurant nearby.

 

Calle Havre #73, Cuauhtemoc, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico
+52 55 5207 7065

 

Lunch at Contramar

A long luxurious lunch at Contramar that turns into late afternoon day drinking, is often recommended by highly trustworthy people. .You will find this place on 99 percent of the must do's of Mexico City. We had a short lunch only because we weren't feeling it. We didn't love it, it felt really "New York" and that isn't what I look for when I travel. It is like going to Paris and only searching for "Tres Brooklyn" Many people are looking for familiarity and comfort when they travel, so if that is you, then why not? It is a fabulous spot for people watching and the tuna tostadas are highly recommended and they are said the copied around Mexico City. Personally, I felt they lacked any depth. Judge for yourself and report back.

 

Delegación Cuauhtémoc C.P. 06700. México D.F.. RESERVACIONES 55 5514 9217 · 55 5514 3169

 

Sunset drink on the rooftop of Hotel Condesa D.F

Take a late afternoon stroll around the Condesa Neighborhood, one of the D F.'s hippest area's. Stop into the Hotel Condesa and head straight to the rooftop for a sunset cocktail. I highly recommend the Hibiscus Margarita with Hibiscus salt. Found around on the plush cushions and watch the lights come on over this low flat city.

 

Dinner at  Quntoni

 

Quintonil is all about beautifully presented, thoughtful, modern Mexican food.  The flavor combinations are new and exciting. They are well known for their cactus ceviche. It was perfect and swimming in the most delicious herby green broth. The portions are not big. We mostly ordered seafood and it was super fresh.  Order a few things to share. The service was excellent. Oh, and the house cocktail... Mescal and worm salt. YES! THANK YOU.

reservations are a must.

 

 Newton 55, Polanco, 11560 Federal District, Mexico

+52 55 5280 1660

 

 

Late night post mescal bar tacos at Los Parados.

This is an absolute.

First a few words about the Mescal bars. You must experienceat least one. Mescal is an essential part of the experience.

 

Bosforo Mezcaleria

 

Bosforo, located in the historic city center is a tiny hole in the wall place. Try many different wild sourced mescals.

Tiny bites available. The night we were at Bosforo there was a small gathering of Mescal makers there to talk about their work. I learned a lot even though the lecture was in Spanish! Thank god I am visual person, have studied Italian, between this and photos, I got the gist. I honestly had no idea that some  Mescals are aged with rotten fruit and even raw chicken and sometimes turkey, rabbit or deer meat.This type of Mescal is called Pechuga. Some Wild  hunted agaves take as much as 25 years to grow. Who knew? I have much to learn here and I need to investigate this subject further. I tried Pechuga and it did have a distinctly different taste from the other Mescals, more funky for sure.

 

 Luis Moya, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

 

La Clandestina in Roma Nord.

 

Small, great location over fifty different Mescals. All locally sourced from Oaxaca.

Av. Alvaro Obregón 298 (Sonora), 06100 Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico

 

 

Once you have sufficiently imbibed head to the late night taco stand called Los Parados.

Los Parados actually translates to "standing", there are no seats here at this swift shop where they move hundreds of tacos an hour. We were three people and we probably had at least 15! Tacos from Mexico City are not like their overstuffed American cousin. They are small and discreet but pack major flavor.

There are many kinds to choose from. There is a taco master at each station and they move swiftly. My suggestion is to go for one of each.

 

Los Parados

Monterrey 333 Col. Roma

06760 México, D.F.

+52 55 5264 7138

leave there sated and happy and grab a taxi or an uber, both easy to find and roll into bed.

 

Tomorrow will be another day and there is Casa Azul to see and the Frida and Diego Studios, there is a cocktail to be had at the Sant'Angel Inn and the Markets... so many Markets! Museums, Galleries and The Barrigan House. You will barely scratch the surface of this amazing city in a week.

 

Historic city center

 

 

 

Flower Market

Fruit along the exterior of the Flower Market

Rosetta Panaderia

Churros from The Roma Nord  specialty food Market

Flea Market finds

Shrine at Casa Azul

Luis Barragan House

Breakfast at Fonda Marguerita

Breakfast at Fonda Marguerita

Herbs and flowers at Mercado Sonora

Street Food stall at Mercado Sonora

Fruit at Mercado Coyoacan

Casa Luis Barragan

Overgrown garden at Casa Barragan

Ideal Panaderia