MAISON BERGOGNE + FISH AND BiCYCLE.

On a recent trip  to Delaware Country we took a little detour off Route 17 and skirted around to the tiny town of Narrowsburg in Sullivan Country to visit with Laura Silverman and her business partner Juliette Hermant. We have known Laura  for some time and are long time fans of her blog, Glutton For Life. It was our first time meeting Juliette and what ensued was a charming and organic few hours of cocktails, foraging talk, and portrait making! The two are partners on the up and coming Fish and Bicycle bar and restaurant, which will be housed within Maison Bergogne, Juliette's incredible antique, found objét and salvage shop, an old bus depot. It is a little Vide-Grenier, a little French Flea and a whole lot of Catskill's. Juliette's perfect curations and curios perfectly match Laura's insanely delicious cocktails.

I can't wait to visit with these ladies again soon and wait... did i mention their personal style? 

style goals. see below.

xx

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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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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

modern nomads. dara artisans.

We recently worked on a super fun collaboration with Dara Artisans. They flew us out to Joshua Tree where we spent a couple days shooting Modern Nomad.

It was a dusty hot wild windblown time in the desert.

Thank you to our crew. You all worked tirelessly.

A bonus to this shoot was being introduced to Dara Artisan artist Andrea Crescioni. I am now completely obsessed with her line of leather necklaces and belts. The only problem being which one to choose. I love them all!!

Much of this story was shot at the beautiful cabin of JT Homesteader. Thank you Jay and Stephanie!  You saved us and you really came through with that horse!! We heart you.

Catch some desert vibes and stay at one of their remote and beautiful cabins.

http://jthomesteader.com

See the full story and shop for all these beautiful pieces and more at Dara Artisans.

 

sountrack. the eagles.

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honey honey. food for the bees. westwind orchard.

Last weekend on our way upstate with our friend chef Camille Beccera we made a stop to visit friends Laura Ferrara and Fabio Chizzola who own and operate Westwind Orchards. I remember when they bought the farm in 2002. At the time it was a bit of a defunct apple farm and Fabio brought the trees back to life one by one.  When we heard Fabio was going to be spinning honey that weekend we decided to head up.

I have known Laura and Fabio for quite some time. He is a fashion photographer and she a fashion editor and stylist. How they manage to run this amazing farm and a busy commercial work load is a  mystery! I know they both have farming and food culture in their roots so I easily see that for the most part they do it for the love of it and to share it with family. They are both Italian and that strong food culture runs deep. They are the kind of people who put a meal in front of you effortlessly and without you quite knowing what happened when your intention was to just stop by and pick up some eggs! The farm continues to grow in so many different ways. A wood fired pizza oven is in  process and a beautifully curated farm store is in the works and somehow they always seem so composed. Laura wears farm wear like no one else! total chic. Anyway, I really can't say enough about these two, they are simply inspiring in every way!

 

On they way upstate we talked about food because it seems we are always hungry and it always comes around to food in one way or another. Camille brought out a little bag with an octopus in it and we decided then  to make a lunch using the new honey. It was a great impromptu afternoon.

Below you can find the recipes. They were super simple and you can adapt them easily to use the honey and the citronette on other things. You can also easily make the heirloom tomato salad without the octopus. Now is the moment for tomatoes. We used fresh coriander seed that we found in the garden for the tomato salad and it was amazing.

We also made a coriander salt for the squash blossoms.

This is one of those easy summer days we hope will inspire you!

Grazie Mille Laura and Fabio!

xx

 

Notes from Camille:

 

 

Tomato and Octopus Salad

 

Start with a flavorful court bouillon and cook octopus till tender, depending on its size and type this can take 1/2 hour and up to 1 1/2  hours.  Once tender, remove from the pot and when it becomes cool enough to handle cut the tentacles from the body.  Cut an array of tomatoes and line them on a platter along with some fresh herbs.  We came across some coriander in the garden that had just gone to seed, they were green and the flavor subtle and used them as our fresh herb element.  Drizzle the tomatoes with half of the dressing.  To finish the salad get a pan, preferably a cast iron gripping hot and sear the tentacles, season with a little coarse sea salt.  Slice the tentacles and arrange them on the platter.  Drizzle with the remaining honey-chili citronette.

 

Honey Chili Citronette

 

This is not a recipe but a blueprint that's easy to remember and whip up.  Start with lime or lemon juice, add thinly sliced fresh or dried chilies then slowly add the honey, stopping every so often to incorporate well and taste.  Once it tastes like sweet lemonade start whisking in a neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed.  Whisk in a fairly rapid motion and add the oil in a slow steady steam until the dressing has body, pay close attention to it's gradually progression.  Adjust and balance at the end, you'll need to season with salt, maybe some more chili or a little extra honey or citrus juice depending on personal preference.  

 

 

 

 

Frito Misto Of Squash and Herb Blossoms 

 

Collect some herbs that are blossoming, we used basil and fennel.  

 

Carefully stuff the squash blossoms, we used goat cheese for its tart flavor and tight consistency.  

 

Gradually heat some canola oil in a sturdy pot, an enamel cast iron works great.  While your oil is coming up to temperature get your batter ready, in a large bowl add some rice flour and slowly incorporate sparkling water till you have the desired consistency.  A loose batter will give you a delicate coating were as a thicker batter will give you a hearty crunchy one.  Somewhere in the middle is perfect we feel.  Play around by adding more rice flour or sparkling water.  Carefully dip the stuffed blossoms and herb blossoms and fry till golden brown.  As soon as they are removed from the oil, sprinkle with salt, arrange them on a platter and drizzle liberally with chili honey.  Best eaten warm.

 

Chili Honey

 

Slice some fresh or dried chills as thinly as possible, mix with honey and allow to sit for at least 1/2 hour so that the flavors develop.  Usually one medium size chili like a jalepeno or 5 small ones like chili de arbol to 2 cups honey.

 

 

You can visit Westwind Orchard in Accord New York. They have a u-pick it season. You can find the times and produce available through the website. They are in the midst of building a wood fired pizza oven for those who get hungry while visiting the farm.The pizza oven will run on weekend through October. 

dara artisans. aboubakar fofana. the indigo master.

We recently collaborated on great project with Dara Artisans featuring the master indigo artist Aboubakar Fofana. It was hectic crazy day on a rooftop in Brooklyn. We had returned from Mexico only hours before the shoot and I think we carried over to the project a bit that magic one finds in Tulum. We collaborated with stylist Kalen Kaminski and designer Pamela Berry. As we raced to make a tent in crazy winds somewhere Aboubakar floated in... He is a striking presence. His fingertips were stained blue and he was dressed in head to toe indigo. I hope to one-day sit down with him at a more calm time, perhaps in Mali. Just putting that out in the universe.

 

You know how we are all obsessed with finding artisans and tiny markets and having things made and bringing back those special things from trips? Dara Artisans is just that. It is everything I have thought about while traveling. They have brought it all together creating this unique marketplace for artisans and I think it will only grow exponentially as there are so many great artists to feature in all the farthest corners of this huge world.

 

About Dara Artisans, from their site;

Media veterans Dan and Dara Brewster founded DARA Artisansto share the work of incredible craftspeople worldwide. They believe that handmade designshave the power to enrich our lives with beauty and meaning.Connecting artisans with the global marketplace their work deserves, enables themto make larger contributions to their own communities.

Dan and Dara have traveled extensively-from central Cambodia to Cusco Peru, from Kerala, India to the Place Vendome in Paris. They visited Syria at the height of the Arab Spring, on the eve of the hostilitiesthat would soon tear that country apart. They brought home a memory of walking across therooftops of the ancient souks in Aleppo with Adam, a Syrian artisan the warwould soon displace. It heightened their sense of the vulnerability and the importanceof preserving the ancestral traditions of master artisans.

While DARA Artisans reaches far and wide, from aLos Angeles woodworker to weavers in Laos who create the silk scarves and shawls thatsustain their villages, our headquarters are in New York. We are a small teamof design, digital, media and marketing professionals, who learned their trades at places likeAmerican Express, Time Inc., Martha Stewart Living, Travel + Leisure, West Elm and Ralph Lauren.We present artisans' work at its best and share their stories.

 

About Aboubakar Fofana from the Dara Artisans website:

"Indigo surrounds us perhaps more than any other textile dye—it’s the blue of thousand-year-old religious rites and our modern jeans, once used as literal currency and in revolutionary symbols. (The blue in the first American flags was made from indigo.) Few modern craftsmen have unlocked its potential better than Aboubakar Fofana, who has studied traditional indigo production techniques for over three decades and on three continents: at home in Mali, inside ethnology museums in Paris, and alongside Masakazu Akiyama, a Japanese master dyer. Still, though, indigo remains a mystery that is only slowly unveiling its secrets: “Every time I work with indigo, it’s like the first time,” he says. “I never get bored.”

To read the full story go here

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rome part 1. for condé nast traveler

Where has the time gone? I am not going to make excuses for my absence; I am just going to pick up where I left off... editing today I came across these images from Rome and suddenly got very hungry looking at this pasta . This might be dinner tonight. 

Last October we spent a few quick days on the ground in the eternal city, it was divine. 

 

 

Espresso at the newly opened J.K.Place. 

Espresso at the newly opened J.K.Place. 

 For my inner Borgia, the Vatican.

 For my inner Borgia, the Vatican.

Favorite neighborhood to get lost in. Monti.

Favorite neighborhood to get lost in. Monti.

The Colloseum.

The Colloseum.

 View of the city from Gianicolo. 

 View of the city from Gianicolo. 

 I funghi. Mercato Testaccio. 

 I funghi. Mercato Testaccio. 

Artichokes and Buccatini Amatriciana from Sora Marguerita in The Jewish quarter.

Artichokes and Buccatini Amatriciana from Sora Marguerita in The Jewish quarter.