CrĂ¨me de Cornell summer into fall
letter from the editor As our campus landscape undergoes its annual transformation, from a panorama of lush greens and grandiose falls, to a vibrant vista of oranges, reds, and yellows, this also signals a change in our food cravings. Summer dessert addictions and international food adventures are replaced with the comforting aroma of warm, apple crisps and pumpkin pies, as we embrace the Finger Lakes landscape. This issue explores the summer and fall seasons at their culinary finest. Travel as far as Taiwan, Denmark, or South Africa through our students’ summer excursions, or indulge yourself in a New York City dessert crawl. Contemplate life during a Tibetan summer of 1989. Get a glimpse of working in a Michelin star restaurant or conducting research in food science in Hawaii. Flip a little further and welcome the arrival of autumn in Ithaca, experiencing some local charm. Check out our AppleFest-inspired recipes, and learn how Celia Clarke used Finger Lakes ingredients to start her own popsicle business. And of course, no fall season is complete without an excursion along Cayuga to experience the area’s vineyards and farms, so explore the classic wine and cheese duo, Finger Lakes style. Grab your blanket, some hot apple cider, or perhaps a glass of wine, and get ready to taste the seasons, both abroad and in our own home, with Crème de Cornell.
EDITOR IN CHIEF victoria sadosky MANAGING EDITORS sarah lee lining zheng EDITORIAL STAFF andrew deng, daniela depke, paola duarte, audrey fan, gabrielle leung, justin liu, jennie malina, shashank vura, le yuan TREASURER theresa ra SECRETARY julia wang PUBLICITY CHAIR natasha wolman DIRECTOR OF jieyu chen PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO STAFF hwa yoon lee, katie lee, kevin shih, yibing sun, christian walsh, julia wang SOCIAL MEDIA CHAIR cathy zhang BLOG DIRECTOR kristen yi CULINARY DIRECTORS jamie french ethyn leong EVENT CHAIRS leah ajmani meghan hadley WEBMASTER chiaki soejima ADVISOR heather kolakowski
Crème de Cornell, an independent student publication at Cornell University, produced and is responsible for the content of this publication. This publication was not reviewed or approved by, nor does it necessarily express or reflect the policies or opinions of, Cornell University or its designated representatives. If you are interested in joining, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/CornellGourmetClub. and at www.cornellgourmetclub.org.
Funded by Cornell SAFC and International Students Union
photo by kristi krulcik front cover by julia wang // back cover by kevin shih
4 // Summer Dessert Crawl
We got your sweet tooth covered
8 // The Anatolian Taste A divine Turkish pairing
9 // Beyond the Tibetan Border
The remarkable story of one Ithacan’s journey
10 // The Poha Berry
Researching the Physalis peruviana in Hawaii
11 // Into the Flame
A look into the braai, a South African barbecue tradition
12 // The Heaven of Street Eats
Your ultimate street food guide to Taiwan
14 // The Noma Experience
Dining at the famed Michelin star restaurant in Denmark
Behind the Kitchen Doors of Eleven Madison Park // 18 What is it really like to work in a Michelin star restaurant?
Instagram Contest Winners // 19
See the winning photos from our summer travels Instagram contest!
Fall into Fall Flavors // 20
Our culinary director shares some of her AppleFest-inspired recipes
The Art of Wine Along Cayuga // 24
An inside look at three wineries in our own backyard
The Cheesemaker // 30
An interview with Pete Messmer of Lively Run Goat Dairy
Wine and Cheese Quiz // 35 How classy are you?
Taking the Win on Food Network’s Chopped // 36 Find out how Max Aronson (Class of 2019) gained redemption
Redefining the Popsicle with Celia’s Pops // 38 Celia Clarke gives this icy treat some Finger Lakes flair
summer dessert crawl in the city //
text by elisa djuhar photos by elisa djuhar, christian walsh and julia wang
Summer is undeniably my favorite season because more often than not, the warm rays from the sun make it the perfect time to get out of the house and engage in a variety of outdoor, summer thrills. Yet, there are days when the hot, sweltering heat is just intolerable. As a result, we’ve come up with a New York City summer dessert crawl that features some of the most quintessential treats in NYC. This helpful list will no doubt make your sweaty day positively enjoyable. It’s time to get your best sunglasses out and embark on this journey right here in the city.
upper east side At 9am, start your day with a sweet breakfast and a cup of joe at Petite Shell on the Upper East Side. Petite Shell opened earlier this year, and is a kosher eatery dedicated entirely to the Jewish pastry rugelach and coffee. Other than bringing back the nostalgia with this Old World childhood treat, Petite Shell reinvents the experience by offering an inventive variety of both sweet and savory flavors. Flavors include White Chocolate Granny Smith Apple, Farmer’s Cheese Raspberry, Bleu Cheese Feta and 100% Pure Piemonte Nutella. These little rugelach pastries are handmade and the quality is undeniably exceptional. The pastries have a perfectly, flaky exterior and soft, moist interior. As the flavors are laminated into the dough, the flavors are consistent throughout the pastry and you don’t have to worry about biting into plain, flavorless dough - especially the corners.
My favorite is the Nutella Rugelach, featuring African 70% dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Bite into this pastry and you are greeted with chocolate lava substantially thick enough to hold its form, yet thin enough that it oozes out of the pastry slowly. The fragrance of the butter in between each layer of the pastry hits you each time you hold the rugelach close to take a bite. It’s just so addictive and having them petite just keeps you coming back for more. Who says you can’t have dessert for breakfast? Have it with a cup of coffee brewed using the most sophisticated and modern techniques and you’ve got the perfect breakfast. With an array of flavors, there’s a treat for everyone out there and you’ll definitely not want to miss this unique specialty. At 9:30am, head over to Museum Mile along 5th Avenue to explore the various museums, or walk down along Madison Avenue for a more serene stroll. Along the way, stop by French luxury bakery and patisserie Ladurée. Widely known for its sophisticated assortment of macarons, Ladurée sells close to fifteen thousand macarons a day. This branch on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side is also the first in North America. In 2014, Ladurée opened its largest location in Soho, encompassing both the patisserie section, as well as a full tea salon that offers an entire menu of sweet and savory, chic French dishes. Ladurée also offers pre-packaged ice cream and sorbet that comes topped with a macaron, a dessert that would be desired especially on a hot summer day. There are six different flavors including Salted Caramel, Coffee and Pistachio. My absolute favorite was the Strawberry sorbet topped with Rose macaron. The strawberry sorbet had a slight tart, yet bright flavor that pops, making it a perfect refreshment on a warm summer day. I particularly love the combination of textures - delicate, crispy macaron that crumbles so lightly when pressed with the tip of your spoon, and the creamy, slightly icy ice cream or sorbet. The sweetness of the macaron also balanced the tartness of the strawberry sorbet. Priced at $8.50 a cup, it is definitely pricey compared to your standard choices. Yet, all their quality ingredients are sourced from Paris, resulting in genuine flavors and fragrances that are definitely rare in many big-scale industrial companies right now. Hats off to Ladurée for ensuring high standards despite its illustrative presence and expansion across the globe. The next time you’re looking for an icy treat, reward yourself with Ladurée’s chic options.
west village In the afternoon, continue walking downtown and then west to experience the tranquility and daintiness of the West Village. Stroll towards Gansevoort Market. Here, you would definitely not want to miss the mouthwatering, gelato from M’o Il Gelato. Opened in 2011 by a group of friends, M’o Il Gelato sources most of their ingredients from Italy. For example, hazelnuts come from Piedmont and pistachios are sourced from Sicily. The menu boasts both traditional Italian favorites such as Stracciatella (Milk and Chocolate Chips) and Bacio (Gianduia Chocolate and Roasted Hazelnuts), as well as new modern flavors such as Amarcord (Mascarpone and Fudge) and Delirium (Amaretto Cookies and Chocolate Fondue). But what makes M’o Il Gelato absolutely unique is that they serve exceptionally, creative concoctions like the Gelato Panino, a warm brioche filled with your choice of gelato or sorbet. The Gelato Panino is assembled and made to order. Scoops of gelato are placed in between two brioche buns (like a burger)
and then pressed lightly in a gelato panini machine just for a few seconds. The brioche’s crust toasts and the edges seal to enclose the scoops of gelato entirely. The result is a warm, buttery brioche that is slightly crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside, and smooth, creamy gelato that melts right into the sandwich. Perfectly balanced in terms of texture and fragrance. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the gelato melting and making your fingers sticky because the brioche soaks it all up, ensuring that you do not lose even a single bit of gelato. For a healthier option, you can head to Popbar in Greenwich Village. Unlike the regular popsicle made by freezing some kind of flavored liquid, Popbar features ice-pops that are made with either a sorbet, gelato, or yogurt base. As such, everything is gluten free. While Popbar serves already-made combinations of ice-pop flavors and toppings, there is also the DIY option where you can pick your ice-pop flavor, dips and toppings – definitely bringing out the kid in you. For dips, there is a choice of white, milk, or dark chocolate and you can choose between half-dipping or full-dipping. For toppings, there is a variety of crushed nuts, sprinkles and coconut shavings. I absolutely love how the dip acts as a glue for the topping by hardening up and forming a perfect crunchy chocolate shell to provide textural contrast. My favorite combination would be the hazelnut gelato half-dipped in dark chocolate and topped with crushed almonds.
Stay a little longer in the Village if you want to experience a traditional Filipino dessert. The “halo-halo” literally translates to “mix-mix”. It is a colorful concoction of icy and smooth textures and flavors that at first impression seem to be without rhythm or reason, but somehow harmonize together once all these distinct components hit your taste buds. Lumpia Shack debuted this treat at Brooklyn’s outdoor food market, Smorgasburg, in the summer of 2013, well before they opened their cozy West Village location, and the halo-halo has baffled food connoisseurs ever since due to its nonsensical nature. Syham, the owner and chef, immigrated to New York City from the Philippines when he was just five years old, adapting his childhood treat and creating his own rendition, which melds traditional foundations with ingredients from the New York landscape and modern technology. The dessert itself, with its grand shape, exudes a show-stopper presence. At the pinnacle, a pale purple whipped cream takes center stage, as it is crowned with a fried plantain and a piece of creamy flan. Traditionally, ube, the Filipino purple yam, is used, but here the owner makes a paste out of Hawaiian sweet potatoes, and then turns it into lilac colored cream. Once your spoon prods beneath the surface, it is greeted by a deluge of shaved ice, crushed from the snackbar’s own snow-cone machine. This is coupled with the paste form of the same sweet potato, and a sort of milk foam permeating into every crystal of the shaved ice from a whipping siphon which aerates the cream into this light foam. At the bottom, you will find jewel-like pieces of macerated berries, bananas, house-made coconut jelly, even a lychee. Everyone’s experience with this dessert will be distinct, as every bite will merge different combinations of textures and flavors. Once you have paved your way to the halo-halo’s halfway mark, it may even pay homage to its literal translation, an inevitable mixing of the mass of ingredients, and with it, an amalgamation of flavor profiles.
text and photo by victoria sadosky 6
At 5pm, stoll towards Washinton Square Park to savor a pretty unusual version of ice cream. According to an article by Zagat published last August, Thai-style ice cream rolls are the hottest desserts in the city right now. In just one season, three shops have opened up and food enthusiasts from far and wide have been waiting in line at these shops to get a taste of these frozen treats. But what makes this treat so different from your typical scoop is that it’s made to order and the entire process can be observed. An ice cream base and your choice of toppings are first poured onto a cold metal plate. Then, the ingredients are chopped, mashed and mixed in together as they start to freeze and firm up on the metal plate. Eventually, the mixture becomes a thin layer which are then scraped and rolled into ice cream rolls.
I-CE NY is a Thailand chain that serves both traditional and American combinations with a twist. Their specialties include
east village For another Asian twist on ice cream, head over to Snowdays Shavery. As the name suggests, Snowdays Shavery offers a frozen dessert of shaved ice or snow cream of some sort. It’s made by shaving off paper-thin ribbons or shreds from a frozen cylindrical block of flavored milk. The result is shaved cream with the fluffy texture of snow, and a creamier and richer flavor. They make their shaved cream in small batches every day to ensure quality and freshness. Aiming to offer customers local, prime ingredients, Snowdays Shavery uses organic 1% milk from New York’s Hudson Valley, and uses fresh ingredients to flavor their milk. For example, black sesame seeds are roasted by hand for the Black Sesame flavor snow cream. The shop offers a variety of snow cream flavors ranging rom Asian ones such as Black Sesame and GreenTea Matcha, as well as more common ones such as Strawberry and Yeti Tracks (Oreo). There’s even a Coconut, vegan flavor. There is also a spectacular plethora of toppings including Pocky sticks, mochi, various kinds of cereals like Cap’n Crunch and Fruity Pebbles, nuts, fresh fruits and drizzles such as condensed milk, blueberry puree, and peanut butter. The last few times I was there, I’ve chosen to customize my own absurd creation, but for those who prefer to let the experts settle it for you, their combinations are fantastic too. “Made in Taiwan” features Green Tea Matcha shaved cream, grass jelly, mochi and condensed milk, and “The Original” features sweet milk shaved cream, Cap’n Crunch, blueberries and peanut butter sauce. Either way, Snowdays Shavery is no doubt the ideal option for those who are looking for lighter dessert options that don’t leave a sense of fullness and guilt.
the Thai I-CE Tea, Matcha Mania and Cookie Spree. Customers can also customize their own combinations by matching an ice cream base with their choice of mixer, toppings and drizzle. To stay on the traditional route, go with the Thai I-CE Tea combination. Here, the slightly bitter, milky and aromatic Thai iced tea ice cream is mixed and balanced with sweet lychee, chocolate wafer roll and drizzled with condensed milk. The result is pretty much an explosion of exotic, aromatic flavors balanced together. For a more modern option, go with the Strawberry Cheese-CE Cake combination which includes vanilla ice cream mixed with strawberry cheesecake, fresh strawberries and drizzled strawberry sauce. I definitely feel that the choice of vanilla ice cream here is a smart one, as it neutralizes the sweetness of the strawberries and ensures that the dessert was not entirely one-toned.
brooklyn At 6pm, walk along the Hudson River and across the Brooklyn Bridge. Admire the beautiful skyline, the East River, and the stunning sunset, while getting your final treat from Ample Hills Creamery located at Pier 5. Before owner Brian Smith opened Ample Hills Creamery, he was a science-fiction screenwriter and director of high-profile audiobooks. However, he wanted to engage in something that was “creative, hands-on and social - not lonely like writing”. He had a fantasy of opening an ice cream shop and three years ago, that fantasy became a reality when he opened the first Ample Hills Creamery in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Today, it’s NYC’s most beloved ice cream shop with locations in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. Ample Hills Creamery makes all of their ice cream from scratch in their ice cream production facility using only natural, local and organic ingredients. As a result, they are able to control every aspect of the process, allowing them to constantly and creatively customize flavors. They offer unconventional flavors with playful varieties of mix-ins. For example, “The Munchies” features pretzel-infused ice cream with clusters of Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels and mini M&Ms, and the “Snap, Mallow, Pop!” is essentially a deconstructed rice krispie treat made up of marshmallow ice cream and buttery rice krispie clusters. Definitely complicated-sounding, but each creation is no doubt a mouthful of experience. My absolute favorite is the “Salted Crack Caramel” that features salted butter caramel ice cream with saltine crackers coated with butter, sugar and chocolate. In every bite, you get both sweet from the caramel and chocolate, as well as salty from the crackers and salted caramel. There is also a generous amount of crackers and chocolate mix-ins, which definitely heightens the experience with their textural crunch. 7
The Anatolian Taste text and photos by jieyu chen
When we think about afternoon tea, most picture the old, classic English style three-tiered display of miniature sandwiches and pastries in an elegant salon or red bean mochi and matcha lattes served in a Japanese Zen garden. However, during my trip to Turkey this summer, I discovered a new definition of afternoon tea. In Turkey, the complex tea set on a delicate lace tablecloth, traditionally associated with the British tea tradition, is replaced with a simpler arrangement. The Turkish display usually consists of Turkish Delights and the magical fortune-telling, Turkish coffee. Compared to the latte or americano coffee, Turkish coffee has a stronger scent and richer, bitter flavor on the palate, creating a lingering aftertaste in the mouth. Turkish coffee also differs from percolator and instant varieties in the way it is ground and served. Coffee beans are roasted a few times and then finely ground. Turkish coffee is prepared in tiny pots called cezve, which can be used to make two cups of coffee at each shot. Most notably, Turkish coffee allows your fortune to be told by looking at the cup. While this can be done casually among friends, it is also possible to consult professionals. Once the coffee has been fully consumed, the saucer is placed on top of the cup, and a wish is made. With the saucer still covering the top, the cup is held at chest level and turned counter-clockwise a few times. Following this, the cup is turned upside down onto the saucer, and left to cool. When the cup is cool enough, the fortune-tellers open the cup, and interpret the shapes for divination. For these reasons, among others, UNESCO has confirmed Turkish coffee to be an intangible cultural heritage of Turkey. When I walked along the Istiklal Caddesi (Istiklal Avenue), in Istanbul, I was attracted by the colorful sweets shops along the
streets. Entering these shops was like entering a fairyland full of fascinating candies and desserts. The baklava was piled up into little hills, waiting to be enjoyed, while the Turkish Delights surrounded the stores, each piled with different components and flavors. Turkish Delight is a family of confections based on a gel made of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios, and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; traditional varieties are mostly gel, generally flavored with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange, or lemon. It’s better to consume no more than three or four at once because they’re extremely sweet and unhealthy in abundance. Thus, the Turkish coffee is a perfect partner to the Turkish Delights as it neutralizes the sweetness and refreshes the mouth. If you’re tired of traditional British afternoon tea or planning to travel to Turkey sometime in the future, don’t miss the opportunity to try the Turkish style of afternoon tea. I would recommend the Pier Loti Hills, where there are plenty of cafés with magnificent views of the Golden Horn Bay. Simply walking along the Beyoğlu district in Istanbul, you will also encounter many unique and interesting boutique cafés. Don’t hesitate to pick one, sit down for an afternoon and enjoy the serene sunshine backed by the scent of Turkish coffee and delights, which together tell a long story about the Anatolian country.
beyond the tibetan border text by victoria sadosky // photo by katie lee
It’s the summer of 1998. The location – Markham, Tibet. Dolma, a Tibetan refugee who currently works at one of Ithaca’s beloved restaurants, grew up in this small village set in the high altitude of the mountainous landscape. Her daily diet consisted of produce from her family’s own farm, including butter, yogurt, cheese, and yak meat. Her childhood memories include her mother preparing the staple food of Tibet - tsampa, flour made from roasted barley, which was placed at the table with the traditional Tibetan butter tea, a drink in which one churns local tea leaves, yak butter and salt. Momos (Tibetan steamed dumplings) were saved for special occasions. As they lived in high altitudes, there weren’t many vegetables, and they depended on the yak protein to keep them warm. However, this simple life to which Dolma had grown accustomed would not last long. In 1950, the Chinese Communist government would take over Tibet and even in the 1990s, the effect of this takeover still permeated. Dolma recollects Chinese officers coming to her house every week for random inspections, in which Dolma and her family would have to remain still and silent. They had to hide their Tibetan heritage by taking their Dalai Lama pictures off the wall, and monks in the neighboring houses were taken away and arrested. In 1998, when Dolma was just 11 years old, her mother received a call from her father, who had previously escaped to India. He wanted Dolma to come to India, where she could also receive an education. Dolma had never been to school, since it was imperative that she helped her family on the farm, as was common in her village. Dolma’s family would be the first in her village to escape from Tibet. In 1998, Dolma, along with her three siblings, said a final goodbye to her mother and to the rest of her family, for she knew she would likely never see them again. They set out on a three day car ride to Tibet’s capital, Llhasa, where they would pay a chaperone to help them on their journey, since none of them possessed a passport. In order to escape, they would need to
endure a twenty-day journey through the Himalayan Mountains, which would then lead them into Nepal. Guided by the chaperone who knew the routes to take, Dolma and her siblings would sleep during the day under trees or in caves, traveling only during the nighttime to avoid the Chinese police, who were stationed everywhere. In the beginning of the journey, their backpacks were filled with the familiar tsampas. However, after just a few days, the family could no longer manage the packs due to the weight and the arduous terrain, so they were forced to either give away or sell the tsampa. However, some of this was too much for Dolma’s younger brother, who couldn’t even walk. He made it quite clear he wanted to turn back to Tibet, but they would not allow it, as it was too late. High up in the mountains, Dolma remembers her brother then saying, “Close your eyes, I’m going to jump.” Luckily, Dolma convinced her brother to decide against committing suicide and persevere. Left with no food or money, they were forced to either beg for food, or steal food, from the farms they encountered in the mountain villages. It was during this journey that Dolma remembers eating sweets for the very first time, for one night they came across a field of sugar cane. Once the family finally arrived in Nepal, there was a Tibetan agency in place to collect immigrants and place them in India for schooling. Dolma and her siblings were placed in a TCV school in Dhasa, a free school system solely dedicated to educating and housing Tibetan refugees. Although her father was living in South India, he could not support them, so they were only reunited on a few occasions during her six years in India. In 2001, her father applied for a visa and travelled to the United States to work in Asian restaurants in the New York City area, and in 2006, Dolma and her siblings joined their father. At first, since her father was drowned in debt, Dolma and her siblings would frequent a Chinatown agency which would assign them to 9
various jobs in the Northeast. She worked as a housekeeper, cashier, bus girl and waitress in several Asian restaurants in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Boston before her family decided to settle in Ithaca in 2009. For the first two months in Ithaca, Dolma and her family were consumed with working at a food court restaurant in the mall which their father had purchased. However, business was poor, and her father was soon forced to return the restaurant to the owner. Dolma then worked at various local restaurants while receiving her GED, and currently takes classes at Tompkins Community College. Her mother remains in Tibet, and Dolma has not seen her since the day she escaped. Dolma believes that since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it has become virtually impossible to escape, and due to the decreased numbers of Tibetan refugees, the TCV schools are now allowing Indian citizens to attend.
Dolma’s father is currently employed by Cornell Dining at Keeton House, while Dolma is employed by one of Ithaca’s most popular restaurants in the Commons.
the poha berry //
When someone tells you that they are going to Hawaii for summer break, it is usually because they want to spend some time in a tropical paradise. For me, it simply means that I am returning home to visit the family that I’ve missed while at Cornell, and to get a little bit of work experience. This past summer, I was lucky enough to receive an internship position in Dr. Chang’s lab at the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawaii at Hilo. I was researching the poha berry, namely Physalis peruviana. The berry, closely related to the tomatillo, has the shape and color of a cape gooseberry or a husk cherry. Its structure consists of a single berry surrounded by a leaf husk. Poha differentiates itself from other species through its size and gastronomic traits. These orangeyellow bulbs are about 1.5 times the size of a cape gooseberry, and have a much sweeter and floral flavor, almost like that of Lilikoi (Passion Fruit), or the ‘Ohelo berry (similar to Lingonberry). As a result, Poha berries are ideal for both sweet and savory dishes, such as jams, pies, salsas, salads, and chutneys. Furthermore, the berries are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids, which may have antioxidant properties. My research, however, was not focused on how Poha acted as an ingredient, but rather on how Poha could act as a source of medicine. As a rising sophomore in college, it was understandable that I would not be assigned to create a new experimental procedure or perform a $25,000 assay. My job was to learn procedural skills and make stock samples of various compounds obtained from Poha and reassure existing data. I was working with food, so my tasks were naturally fun for me. Moreover, my advisor taught me a few techniques that made my inner chef scream with delight.
Dolma’s family still tries to keep up with tradition and with their roots. Even though they purchase tsampas from New York City, Dolma notes how they will never be the same: “The texture, taste, everything is different.” She also continues to crave that juicy yak meat: “Local meat is better because everything is organic, was right on the farm.” Even though the transition has been difficult, Dolma has no regrets: “It’s hard, everything is new, language is new, culture is different [but] I like the freedom [and] I can speak up.”
text by ethyn leong photo by julia wang
The procedure of obtaining a sample involves crushing whole berries in a pre-made solution and extracting juice using 70% ethanol. Over the course of a few days, I combined juice with various other solutions to concentrate the berry nutrients, and evaporated excess liquid using a rotary evaporator to obtain a sticky crude ethanolic extract. This was followed by the separation and isolation of the compounds through liquid chromatography, open stage chromatography, and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) repeatedly until purity. The structure identification of the pure compounds was done using a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) instrument. Lastly, the antibacterial activity of the extracts and compounds was measured using a hyphae formation inhibition assay in a bacteria culture. The potency and biological activity of each compound was determined by the comparison of zones of inhibition. A single cycle of this laboratory task took me almost the entirety of my two and a half month internship, and the end result consisted of me finding out that there are many different compounds within Poha berries that have antibacterial properties – just as nutritionists, health fanatics, and our parents have told us repeatedly. What fascinates me is that these compounds in Poha berries could be used to develop future drugs, and due to its culinary versatility and marvel, it could be easy to introduce this fruit to the food market. Just imagine seeing Poha fruit bars, or cereals alongside the major health food names. I suppose that if I end up back home for my career, I could work with these berries again to develop such products, but that’s far into the future. For now, it is the job of my previous lab to discover the health benefits of eating Poha, and my job to become a food scientist capable of making their findings accessible to everyone.
into the flame text by natasha wolman photo by cathy zhang
Within the last 30 years, most of my family has emigrated from South Africa to all different cities, countries, and continents around the world. Despite the great distance between us, I think my extended family has become closer. Although we have different lifestyles and pronounce words differently, one thing does connect us: South African food. An important thing to know when discussing South African food is the importance of a Braai, South African barbecue. My family is known to have legendary ones. At one of the parties for my Bat-Mitzvah we had a Braai and an entire lamb on a spit, which was quite the spectacle. At a Braai, it is guaranteed that there will be at least four types of meat: chicken and/or beef boerewors, steak, lamb chops and chicken – some fight for the bird’s nose. Occasionally, there will be veal chops the size of one’s head. Pap, a polenta-like dish with homemade tomato sauce, and a salad complete the main course. Most of the time dessert is a fruit salad, but occasionally my grandma makes chocolate mousse and sponge cake topped with powdered sugar. She makes sure that half of the mousse is topped with sprinkles and half is left plain because my uncle doesn’t like sprinkles. In my opinion, the proper
way to eat these desserts is to cut a nice large fluffy piece of cake and top it with a hearty portion of mousse. Usually, I take a little bit of everything, ending up in a food coma by the end of the night. Sometimes, at the end of a Braai, the boys will break out the biltong and Droewors. Biltong is a South African form of beef jerky and a very common snack. My dad sometimes makes homemade biltong that is out of this world. I always sneak into the freezer when I am home to see if there is any left over. Droewors is basically dried boerewors and comes in thin long sticks. My family orders Droewors and occasionally biltong from a special provider in Atlanta. The man whom we order our South African meat from once yelled at my dad when he told him that on a huge family gathering we ate boerewors, biltong, and Droewors almost every night. He was scared our cholesterol was going to go through the roof! When my family gets together we have braais almost every night. They are at the center of South African culture and place a high importance on family togetherness. Sharing traditions through eating and food has made South Africa “home” for me.
THE HEAVEN OF S Though geographically Taiwan may be just a small island off the coast of China, the “treasure-island” itself contains some of the best street-eats of the world. The bustling streets of Taiwan get transformed into night markets composed of game vendors and a variety of food stands. This past summer, I set upon a 10-day trip around the Eastern half of the island to see what this “treasure-island” offers. With numerous night markets situated in every city and county, it was easy to get lost in deciding what to eat and finding each town’s specialty. Fortunately with the help of friends and locals, we had the opportunity to try the right kind of local eats!
Our first destination was Taipei, the capital city and the heart of Taiwan. As soon as we left the airport, we were already given a “food tour” from our super enthusiastic taxi driver. Following his directions we first stopped at Shilin night market, the biggest and most famous night market in the city with over 530 vendors. We got the infamous lemon aiyu jelly with “frog eggs”, a drink made with agar (aiyu seeds which are continuously washed and rubbed), lemon juice sweetened with honey and basil seeds (the egg part); pepper cakes, a crispy pocket filled with juicy pork infused with black pepper baked in a stone oven; and stinky tofufermented deep-fried tofu curds with Sriracha before we were too full and could not eat any more. Other famous foods here include the large star fried chicken, a breaded chicken fillet that’s supposedly larger than one’s face. The next day we headed to Tamsui District, a harbour region on the northwest side of Taipei. The grand streets of Tamsui are filled with artistic coffee shops, bookstores and little restaurants in between. Since many stores sold the same thing, it would have been easy to get lost if no research was done beforehand. Luckily for us, our family friend took us to the “must-trys” at Tamsui such as Tamsui agei, a giant fish ball stuffed with mung bean noodles and served with sweet-spicy sauce. Since the tofu soaks up the soup, each bite bursted with flavourful broth. This was one of my favourite street eats in Taiwan, existing only in Tamsui. There were many other delicious things to try, such as giant taro-flavored ice cream and the adorable desserts. Though Taiwan may be small in size, each region prides itself on its specialty, which is usually recognized by the stall with the longest line. We travelled east to the county of Hualian, a small and relaxing county that prides itself on the beautiful coast scenery, as well as its mochis. As you step out of the train station, you will find two rival companies, Zeng Ji and A-Mei Mochi, Inc. I had the opportunity to taste both, and in my opinion, the two did not taste too different. Their mochis are fresh, soft and cooling with no additives, making them best when eaten fresh. I ended up choosing Zeng Ji over Amei due to the variety it offered, and its delicious black sugar mochis. Maybe you’ll like Amei better – it is still up to debate.
taiwan // text and photos by cathy zhang
We then travelled to Kenting, the southernmost point of Taiwan. The little fishing town attracts surfers and travelers from all over the world with its deep waves and tropical sunshine. During the day, the temperature can reach over 100F, but once the night cools down the grand street of Kenting becomes populated with bars, grilled seafood stands and music. I had one of the freshest, grilled whole squid and tried many exotic foods, such as fried milk and fried oreos. Though foods at Kenting are slightly more expensive than the rest of Taiwan (due to its reputation as a tourist destination), our local driver said that everyone here pays the same price for everything either way.
LiuHe night market are a must-try.
As much as I wished to stay longer in Kenting to experience all its water activities, our time was limited and we had to move on. Kaohsiung, the second biggest city in Taiwan, was our second to last destination. Compared to Kenting and Taipei, Kaohsiung was less populated, as most of its working class searches for work in Taipei after university graduation. With the less competitive market, food in Kaohsiung is known for its good prices and satisfying portions. I had one of the freshest oyster omelets (voted the best street eats to represent Taiwan) there. The omelet came with little oyster pieces, a fried egg, and sweet potato starch for an added taste of chewiness. Though you can find oyster omelets everywhere in Taiwan, the ones at
When coming to Taiwan, come with the three travel essentials: passport, cash and two stomachs. The Taiwanese believe in the philosophy â€œeat well and eat oftenâ€? and have applied this further in their variety of street eats. I have often questioned why my Taiwanese friends do not drink bubble tea or eat the street foods in America as much, and it is only after visiting Taiwan and experiencing the cheap prices and massive portions that I understand how they feel. Be prepared for a happy, food adventure here!
You might be wondering why I have not mentioned bubble tea so far - especially at the place of its origin. It is certain that the bubble teas (chewy tapioca, fresh milk and aromatic tea bases) here are the best, so I longed to find my personal favorite. After the nine-day journey I believe I finally found it at Chiayi County, our last destination on this trip. Oregin or Yuan Shi tea is freshly made and sold in bottles. I especially loved the originality in the menu â€“ choices such as Chrysanthemum milk tea, Almond Green Milk Tea and Black Bean milk tea are all original creations that are not found anywhere else.
text and photos by sarah lee
he world’s number one in my unconscious mind had a more luxurious touch to its façade. As we neared the restaurant on Google Maps, we were questioning “Is this the right way?” and arrived at the destination with a slight surprise: “Is this it? This is it!” The minimalistic steel sign reading “noma” was affixed to a modest-appearing brick building located in a rather bleak part of Christianshavn, a small canal-town in Copenhagen. The steel framed entrance door was no different from the uniform fenestration that surrounded the building. Once we stepped inside the restaurant, the muted atmosphere was enlivened with the warmest welcome from the Noma staff. They had all gathered in front of the entrance to privately greet us with a “hello” and a nice smile. The interior of the dining room, accommodating a relatively small number of 45 guests, had a cozy and intimate ambiance fitting for the Nordic climate (we went there mid-July, during Denmark’s warmest month, and the mean temperature was still pretty cool at ~63°F). The exposed wooden beams, Scandinavianstyle seating with fur accents, dried decorative plant on the walls, and pillar candles with heavy wax drip altogether encapsulated the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced “hooga”)—roughly translatable to coziness. We were seated at the elongated communal table for eight. Sharing the table were: an elderly couple who had flown from Chicago to Copenhagen just for Noma, a young couple from Brussels, Belgium, another couple from France, and then us, two foodie friends visiting Copenhagen for summer study abroad. We realized that we were all notified just two days before our meal; we figured there must have been a recent cancellation of a larger group. As expected from the two-Michelin-starred restaurant deemed as the world’s number one, getting a reservation at Noma was known to be very competitive. Supposedly, you had to book at least three months in advance, and even so you needed luck to
secure a spot at Noma. I was fortunate enough to join my friend Jack who had miraculously gotten off the waiting list. The name Noma is aptly a portmanteau of the Danish words “Nordisk” (Nordic) and “Mad” (Food). The restaurant is the brainchild of the co-owners and world-renowned Danish chefs René Redzepi and Claus Meyer, who envisioned and developed the new Nordic cuisine since Noma’s inception in 2003. The chefs’ dogma to cook only with Nordic produce foraged from local grounds carried on. The 20 tasting dishes at Noma, which slightly vary each season, captured the quintessence of the new Nordic gastronomy. The menu featured inventive experimentation with local products crafted with both traditional and unconventional techniques, such as fermentation and cooking with insects. Each dish was finely crafted and served with the most exquisite presentation skills. The menu started with approximately ten small snacky appetizers and gradually transitioned into the main courses and desserts. The transition was so subtle, I did not realize the distinction between appetizers and the main courses until the last main dish “roasted bone marrow” came out. The carefully sequenced plates altogether felt like a compendium of several distinct stories. Writing this review a few months after my visit, I do not recall the exact tasting of each and every dish, but the overall impression was that I felt as if I was eating a work of art each time a new dish was presented. Not all the ingredients on the plate were meant to be eaten: while some inedible parts served a functional purpose, most of them seemed to aesthetically complement the food. The very first dish “turnip and unripe strawberry marinated in aquavit” was served on a bowl filled with crushed ice; the “new danish potato and lovage”, fermented in yeast and salt, came with the saline solids that I accidentally tasted; the “mahogany clam and grains” with the 200-year-old clam was served on a bed of wet stones.
The Danish flora and vegetation was sampled on several dishes. “The first shoots of the season with scallop marinade” stood out with flavorful shoots and fresh greens carefully arranged on a thin layer of slightly sweet and salty sauce. The most colorful appetizer was the “flower tart” with multicolored flowers served on a flatbread—the texture felt chewy and the delicate floral flavor filled my mouth. Certain unheard-of dishes fascinated me. “Monkfish liver” was served chilled in bacon-thin ribbons on top of a crisp grilled toast—it had a refreshing mineral taste that reminded me of a cool ocean breeze. The “vegetable flowers” was the epitome of a Noma dish. Noma’s notorious ants were discreetly hidden in the dark seaweedcolored surface of the neatly folded leaf. The garlic flavor was overpowering with a slight note of vinegary taste in this sticky and chewy piece. As per our professor’s recommendation, we decided to do a juice pairing with our meal. The fresh homemade juices accompanied our main courses in the respective order: turnip/green strawberries, apple/pine, carrot/gooseberries, rose tea, cabbage, and sorrel. To be honest, the juices were not the best tasting juices I have had—they tasted healthy and detoxing. Apple/pine juice and rose tea were my favorite out of all and the final sorrel juice started to taste like all the juices combined, which still tasted fine. The long-awaited desserts were simply the best. In particular, “a dessert of Gammel Dansk and hazelnut oil” melted in my mouth. I could not have enough of this light and fluffy dessert full of flavor with a nice hint of a balsamic vinegar drizzle. The last dish “forest flavours, chocolate and egg liqueur” was a new twist to a chocolate-dipped dessert. As suggested from the name, a sampling of Danish vegetation, including a reindeer moss, coated in chocolate were appropriately served on a bed of green moss, reminiscent of a forest. This was accompanied by the sweet and thick egg liqueur served in mini bottles labeled with gift tags. The rush of 20-course meal was over and we had herbal tea and coffee to end our dining part of the Noma experience. We tried to savor every drop of the drink when we realized they were for extra charge and not complimentary. After paying the bill, we were guided to a private tour of Noma’s facilities.
Behind-the-scenes was the powerhouse of Noma’s chefs and staff members who brought the restaurant to life. The large kitchen facility continued upstairs and outdoors to the backyard with fermentation closets and grillers. The kitchen akin to a laboratory scene had a lively vibe with busy yet friendly chefs preparing for the dinner shift. The office on the second floor with a library of sampled spices and potions showed signs of endless experimentations for the next, new recipe. The tour was complete with the token of a sleek, white booklet with the menu and date imprinted inside. I could not resist connecting Noma to the terminology I had picked up from my design history class: gesamtkunstwerk, a German loanword for a total work of art. Gesamtkunstwerk perfectly summed up the Noma experience. The modest architecture of the restaurant building was matched with Noma’s plain typography using only lowercase letters. The dark-grey color of the staff’s aprons mirrored the color of the steel frame of the windows. The intimate hygge ambience was complete with the Noma team’s friendliness. Overall, the exquisite service that made all the diners feel like VIPs paralleled Noma’s high reputation. The Noma brand was not letting down the visitors’ expectations. After stepping outside Noma’s terrain, the initially dull-looking brick façade could not look the same—behind those walls was a truly rare Nordic culinary scene. As we left Noma in awe, we jokingly agreed: “Now let’s go get real food.” But we unknowingly did not eat anything else for the remainder of the day. Perhaps we wanted the Noma experience to last at least for the duration of that day. If not physically full from the four-hour-long 20-course tasting menu, we were definitely psychologically full from the whole Noma experience package. After all—going to a nice restaurant and paying a bit more—it is all for the experience. (As a side note: for anyone who plans to visit Noma and Christianshavn, watch out for the bikes on the bridge with vague bike/ pedestrian paths. My Noma day would have been perfect had I not gotten hit by a bike after leaving the restaurant. Not that I needed a physical reminder scarred on my knee, I know I will never forget my Noma experience.)
Noma, Strandgade 93, 1401 KĂ¸benhavn K, Denmark; (45) 3296-3297; noma.dk. The fixed 20-course menu is 1,700 Danish kroner (around $250); wine pairing and juice menu are available at additional costs. Noma will be moving to Sydney, Australia from January to May 2016; the restaurant is closing at its current location at the end of 2016. The new Noma with its vision as the urban farm will open in 2017 just outside the freetown of Christiania in Christianshavn.
BEHIND THE KITCHEN DOORS OF ELEVEN MADISON PARK
text, photos and artwork by jamie kim When I was thirteen years old, I dined at one of the world’s best restaurants, Eleven Madison Park. It was such an inspiring and eye-opening experience that I emailed one of the restaurant’s owners my sophomore year, pleading for a summer internship. I thought I’d use my age and enthusiasm to get through the door. The hiring rate at a three Michelinstarred restaurant can be as little as 10%. As ridiculous as it may sound, the people who work at these restaurants are highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals. Many of the staff at Eleven Madison Park come from top-notch schools such as the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell, UPenn, Harvard, and the CIA, the Culinary Institute of America. It was a long journey in getting the job, but I find the two summers that I worked there to be what I am most proud of. My first summer, I worked at the headquarters to understand restaurant operations, and in my second, I was in Guest Relations. Many individuals who first come into the staff start off at Guest Relations as a foundation, then work themselves into the dining room. In the dining room, every action must be executed flawlessly - pouring water, crumbing a table, and speaking intelligibly about the ingredients, preparation, and history behind a dish. I had such admiration for the servers and captains who glide in the dining room like swans - the restaurant’s analogy to how graceful they are to appear. 18
Guest Relations is essentially the first contact the guest has with a restaurant, so it was imperative to maintain the image of one of the best restaurants in the world. Every morning, I would come in early, walk through the kitchen, and get ready to open the phones for reservations at 9:00am. At 8:59 am, I would hover my mouse over a button on my computer screen that would prompt the calls to come through. In the reservations office, it is usually one or two people taking the calls. As I answer the first phone call, I would watch the queue on my screen escalate… from one caller to over 100 in a matter of seconds. As soon as I hung up the phone with one guest, I had about three seconds to relax. Things would finally begin to slow down around 9:40am. I knew from the guests’ perspectives that it was ridiculous to be told that there were no available tables when they called at exactly 9:00, and was answered to within 10 minutes. While some people understood, others were frustrated at how impossible it seemed to get a reservation. The only thing I could do was to be as accommodating as possible, mentioning our wait list and other possible options. While taking a reservation, tasks included: getting the guests, credit card information to secure the reservation, reminding the guest that the credit card is only used to hold the reservation, and reminding the guests that there is only one set menu in the restaurant that is $225/person. There were certainly challenging situations where I spoke to people from different parts of the world who did not speak English very well, or situations where people refused to comply with restaurant policies and get angry or upset. Despite these challenges, I was excited
to be speaking with so many different people and to highly develop my verbal skills. The tasting menu at the restaurant is typically 14-16 courses that changes seasonally and focuses on defining New York cuisine. Though there is only one menu, the kitchen adjusts the courses specifically for a guest who has any allergies, dietary restrictions, or ingredient aversions. In the duration of the guests’ four-hour-long meals, I would type out a customized menu for each guest to bring home after their meal. I’ve watched servers get frustrated at menu errors when they needed to present the menus right at that moment. There was no time to make those kinds of mistakes at a restaurant as detail-oriented as Eleven Madison Park. The servers would bring me piles of tickets to refer to, as I would be sure to print out each menu without a single error or ink smudge. My first week I had the thrill of typing out menus for a six-top - five out of the six were vegetarians, and two of the members at the table were Jimmy Fallon and Paul McCartney. Eleven Madison Park takes their family meal seriously - each month, the kitchen staff gets together to plan out the menu for the staff for the next few weeks. The menu is always different, and anyone can volunteer to make it - even front-of-house. Because Eleven Madison Park emphasizes bringing down the divide between front and back-of-house, making and sitting down at family meal together is one of
its great ways to ensure that. We would get exotic cuisines such as Lebanese and Vietnamese, or something as simple as grilled cheese and gazpacho, or “build-your-own hotdog”. Sometimes we would get Momofuku cookies or Roberta’s pizza as a bonus. You can also never forget about the house-made sodas or desserts. I swear that family meal at Eleven Madison Park could be its own restaurant. I’ve staged in the kitchen and trailed as a kitchen server in the dining room to learn more about the restaurant. In the kitchen, I was tasked at the prep table to separate quail eggs, and pickle the yolks - at a stature of 5’2”, my hands were apparently meant for this task because they are “small and delicate”. The energy in the kitchen was unbelievable - such intensity, yet such harmony. Everything was in order, and the intensity came from the desire to achieve perfection - the attention to detail, the focus, the attitude. When the chef called out an order, everyone in the kitchen would military-shout in unison, “OUI!”. Trailing as a kitchen server, watching the dining room was like watching a ballet. The servers were so graceful, and moved around the
dining room in one direction, in a particular fashion. I couldn’t believe that I was able to be a part of what had resonated with me four years back. I never took it for granted that I was working at a three-Michelin star restaurant as a high schooler. I put out my best work for the long hours, commuting back and forth from New Jersey. I was young, and I realized I was going through something most high schoolers don’t do in their summers. I wasn’t relaxing like they were, yet this was exactly what I wanted. I was following my path and my passion for the restaurant industry. I was exhausted coming home after a day of work, but going back into that restaurant always filled me with such exhilaration and vitality. I never stopped smiling. I smiled out of disbelief and out of how much I love the people who I was working with. I was exerting as much effort as I could into a single job, understanding that every person who works at the restaurant matters, because it is a team effort. Eleven Madison Park has made me realize my passion and to always strive for the best, all while having fun.
instagram contest winners
Best World Travel // @songruoo’s matcha parfait
Best Homemade // @neharatna’s homemade grilled lobster
Best Visual Presentation // @lilikards’s bread display
Most Creative Caption // @sisisquared at waffles and dinges
Best Street Eats // @papayapudding’s coconut mango tapioca
fall into fall flavors
our culinary director shares some of her AppleFest-inspired recipes
recipes by jamie french // photos by jieyu chen and kevin shih 20
Pumpkin Spice Molasses Cookies About 32 cookies 1 stick butter, melted 1 c dark brown sugar ¼ c molasses 1 egg, room temp 1/3 c pumpkin puree 1 tsp van x 2 ¼ c flour, all purpose 1 ½ tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp ginger ¼ tsp nutmeg ¼ tsp cloves ¼ tsp allspice ¼ tsp black pepper
In a small bowl combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream together melted butter, sugar, and molasses, until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Mix in egg. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla extract, and mix until combined. Add dry, and mix until just combined. Chill dough at least 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine ¼ c sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Portion 2tb of dough, and roll in a ball, roll in cinnamon sugar. Place coated balls of dough on a lined baking pan about 2 inches apart. Bake about 12 minutes, turning half way through until edges are firm.
Swirled Pumpkin Spice Crumb Cake 9 x 13” Crumb Topping 3 sticks butter, melted 1 ½ c dark brown sugar ¾ c light brown sugar 3 ¾ c flour, all purpose ¾ tsp salt 2 ¼ tb cinnamon 3 tb espresso powder Combine dry ingredients, add melted butter. Mix until combined. Can be made ahead of time, and kept refrigerated for up to 1 week. Plain Batter 6 tb butter, room temp ¾ c sugar 1 egg ½ c + 2 tb sour cream 1 tsp van x 1 ¼ c flour, all purpose 3/8 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt Cream the butter, and sugar together until light and fluffy, make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl periodically. Add the egg, mix until just combined. Mix in sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
Pumpkin Batter ½ c vegetable oil 1 c pumpkin ½ c dark brown sugar ½ c light brown sugar 2 eggs 1 ½ c flour, purpose 1 tsp baking soda ¾ tsp salt 1 ½ tsp cinnamon ¾ tsp ginger ¼ tsp nutmeg ¼ tsp allspice ¼ tsp cloves In a small bowl combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl combine wet ingredients, add dry to wet ingredients, mix until just combined. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13” pan with parchment.Make the crumb topping. Make the plain batter, spread across the prepared pan. Make the pumpkin batter, and spread over the plain batter. Swirl the two, being careful not to over mix. Top with prepared crumb. Bake about 60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Mom’s Apple Cake (1) 10” tube pan, angel food pan 2 sticks butter, room temp 2 c sugar (granulated) ¼ c vegetable oil 2 tsp van x 3 eggs, room temp 3 c flour, all purpose 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 4 c apples, about 4 large, peeled, cut into chunks Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Butter 10” tube pan, coat with cinnamon sugar (about ¼ c sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon, reserve extra for topping). Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Cream together the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add eggs, mix until combined. Add dry ingredients in two additions. Scrapping sides. Mix until just combined. Fold in sliced apples. Spread batter evenly in tube pan. Top with any remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake about 60 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in 15-20 minutes before removing from pan.
Apple Cheddar Scones Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 6 large scones 1 ½ c dried apples, 1 ½ c flour, all purpose ¼ c sugar 1 ½ tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 6 tb unsalted butter, chilled, cubed ¾ c sharp cheddar, shredded ¼ c heavy cream 2 large eggs Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all dry ingredients. Sift or whisk flour, sugar, baking
powder and salt together. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, place chilled butter, dried apple, cheese, cream, one egg, add dry and mix until dough comes together. Do not over mix. Tip: you can mix the dough by hand or with a wooden spoon, but only until just combined. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1 ¼” thick, 6” circle. Cut circle into 6 wedges. Place on a lined baking sheet at least 2” apart. Beat the remaining egg. Brush the scones with egg wash. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden. Scones are best the day they are baked. This dough may be made ahead of time, and frozen to be baked off as needed. Remove from freezer, brush with egg wash, and place directly in oven, bake slightly longer than 30 minutes.
Bourbon Caramel Apple Galette (1) 9” galette Pastry Dough 1 ¼ c flour, all purpose ¼ tsp salt 1 stick butter, cubed cold 1-2 tb ice water This can be done with a food processor or by hand. Combine dry ingredients. Add butter, mix until no visible butter remains. Add 1 tsp of ice water at a time until just moistened, and dough just forms a ball. Do not add too much water. Form into disk, cover, refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Caramel ½ c sugar ¼ c water ½ c heavy cream Pinch salt 1 tsp cinnamon 2 tb bourbon In a thick, bottomed sauce pan combine sugar and water. Heat on medium heat until amber colored. Use a brush and water to brush down any sugar crystals forming on the sides of the pan. Once amber colored, remove from the heat, and very gradually (and carefully)
add the cream. (Adding cream to the hot caramel will cause boiling, and steam, so be careful). Once combined, add the remaining ingredients. Cool. Filling 6 apples, peeled and sliced ¼ c flour, all purpose Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly dusted surface, roll chilled dough into a 13-14” circle (if you don’t have a rolling pin, a wine bottle works in a pinch). Wrap the dough around the rolling pin to transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Tip to roll a perfect circle: After every roll out rotate the dough ¼ turn clockwise. Return the dough to the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Prepare the apples, toss with the flour, and add caramel. Spread the caramel apples on the rolled dough leaving a 3” perimeter. Crack an egg, and beat with a fork. Fold around the apples, seal folds of dough together with the beaten egg. Paint the dough with egg, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake about 45 minutes or until golden brown, making sure to rotate the pan half way through.
the art of wine along an inside look at three wineries in our own backyard text by liam boire cover photo by kevin shih photos by christian walsh artwork by jamie kim
â€œMaking good wine is a skill 24
I have been brewing and evaluating beers and meads with my family ever since I can remember. There is even a toddler picture of me scrubbing a brewing bucket with my dad. We brewed a few beers and meads annually, experimenting with the ingredients and methods. A memory that stands out in particular is my dad and me brewing at home on a snowday. (My dad is a physics teacher at a local high school.) We named it the "Snow-day maple ale" and I can still remember the smell of the maple syrup simmering in the wort, or the sugary liquid from prior to fermentation. From that day on, I maintained a keen interest in brewing, but the world of wines has always felt new to me. I was desperately craving for more to explore. This is not to say that my newfound interest solely consisted of guzzling Franzia â€“ my passion was intellectually framed through "Introduction to Wines & Vines" (VIEN 1104) class, which allowed me to truly savor the limitless world of wines. The close proximity of the vineyards and wineries along Cayuga to Ithaca
provides us students with a unique chance to intimately interact with the growers and wine producers, an opportunity unavailable to an average wine consumer. The Finger Lakes region is one of only nine American Viticulture Areas (AVA) in the New York State, and in fact, Cayuga Lake has its own AVA altogether. This means that the Finger Lakes area, and Cayuga in particular, is recognized for its specific micro-climates and growing conditions accommodating the grapegrowing practices and the wines produced locally, most notably the Riesling and Cabernet Franc varietals. I could not pass up this great opportunity, so I decided to tour some of the most well-respected wineries along the Cayuga Lake: Sheldrake, Hosmer, and Treleaven by King Ferry. If you are interested in escaping the rigors of an Ivy League education for a weekend, I would recommend exploring the Cayuga wine trail. The three vineyards detailed in the following pages provide an exceptional glimpse into the wineries of the Finger Lakes region.
l. Fine wine is an art.â€? - Robert Mondavi 25
Sheldrake Point Back in 1996, Greg Sandor and his wife Bernie saw an advertisement in the Pennysaver for a 150-acre dairy farm for sale. After the late Dr. Bob Pool, a professor of viticulture at Cornell, found that the farm’s soil was good, a small group of investors, including Sandor and his wife, combined their resources to purchase the land. "They started with five acres of grapes without trellising," current owner and manager, Chuck Tauck remembered, shaking his head in wonderment. In 1998, they bought grapes and trellising, and borrowed equipment from Fox Run and Stonewall Creek Vineyards to start producing and selling wines. Chuck recalled fondly, "we had six wines and a twelve-foot bar that season." Over the course of the next decade, Sheldrake began to expand its planted acreage, focusing on traditional, vinifera vines, until they reached their current 44 planted acres. Somewhere along the way, Dave Breeden left his assistant winemaker position at King Ferry Winery and became the head winemaker at Sheldrake, finding much success. In 2006, their 2004 Riesling Ice Wine was served in the White House, and they won "New York State Winery of the Year" in 2009 and 2010. Through all this success, however, the owner Chuck and the assistant winemaker Julia Hoyle, who started her wine career at Fox Run Vineyards, say that there is still a stigma against New York wines. According to Chuck, "there's this lingering sense that New York only produces sweet-hybrid wines." But that simply isn't the case, as evidenced by the recognition and awards bestowed on the region's vineyards in global competitions. On top of the perceived poor reputation, the Finger Lakes area is not properly represented in the international market due to the region’s overall low production, and the wines scarcely make it beyond the border states. Nonetheless, Sheldrake does its part for the international community and the environment. They hire their seasonal workers through the H-2A program by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, locally source all of their equipment, and utilize the energy from a 90-panel solar array on the roof of their winery facility. And arguably just as important, the consideration they give towards the environment is clearly comparable to the consideration they give to their wine production.
Tastings: Chardonnay (2014) – This is Julia's favorite wine this year, which she told me is unusual for her tastes. This wine is particularly special because the oak staves used in its production are from a white oak harvested from their property. Green pea notes stand out, and it is surprisingly Sauvignon Blanc-like. Crisp and acidic, it would pair well with any creamy chicken or pork dish. Pinot Gris (2014) – Their best-seller was sold out, but this was second in line. Strong tropical and stone fruit notes are obvious after an initial tasting, along with
its high alcohol content. While slightly reductive at first, these negative qualities dissipated after some exposure. Muscat (2014) – A pet project of Julia's, the Muscat's production is limited to about 24 cases. I found it very fruity, with a nose that made my mouth water. It was well balanced with slight dryness and acidity, and a light body. Reserve Dry Riesling (2013) – A strong nose, fruity with honey notes and a full body. According to Julia this is "why Rieslings shine in this region". Wild-ferment Riesling Ice Wine (2014) – Knock-yoursocks-off sweet! Aromas of honey with dried mango and apricot on the nose and palate, with a full-syrupy body. An intense and unique wine. Its uniqueness comes from more than the flavor profile however, its production was completely accidental from the chance introduction of wild yeasts to stored juice!
Hosmer Hosmer has been growing grapes since 1972, and the winery planted some of the first Riesling and Cabernet Franc in the region. They currently have 70 acres of grapes on a 120-acre property that includes woods and a waterfall. Their placement on the West shore of the Lake provides them with morning sun, which helps evaporate dew early in the day and reduces the incidence of harmful fungi and disease. I met with Aaron Roisen, the head winemaker, who started his work in the wine industry because "[he] wanted to work in agriculture, but with a little more thought and artistry." After attending Marlborough Institute of Technology in New Zealand, he worked at vineyards and wineries world-wide before settling as the head winemaker at Hosmer. He has worked at a few vineyards in the Finger Lakes and likens it to a "giant village" that "wouldn't be anywhere without cooperation and collaboration." He says everyone gets along and helps each other. Additionally, there's a lot of communication within the "diverse culture" of vineyards and the Ithaca community, which produces a "country feel with an urban edge." Agreeing with the previously interviewed winemakers, Aaron believes that the intermittent and sporadic rain and weather leads to difficulties in wine production. As we spoke, Aaron became more comfortable and engaged. "We're at a crossroads of generations!" He exclaimed, chopping one hand with the other. "The people who started in the 70's are leaving [the industry] with the new generation." This is an important step for the region, it will demonstrate the staying power of the industry here: "the good stuff hasn't happened yet, but all of this hard work will pay off." His level of energy and enthusiasm from discussing the future of the region extended into the tasting section of our interview, further corroborating his love for his work.
Tastings: Chardonnay (2014) – The winemaker's choice, 70% is fermented in stainless steel, the remaining 30% is fermented with oak. It was fruity and bright, with strong fruit character mid-palate. Aaron claimed that this was the best style to express his fruit, and that chardonnays are often misunderstood because of their popularity and prevalence. Single Wheel Riesling (2012) – Petrol and a particular floral/apple note that Aaron helped me pin down as chamomile. This wine also had a mineral quality that I haven't seen in other Finger Lake Rieslings, "talc" Aaron specified after swallowing. Vintner's Reserve Riesling (2012) – According to Aaron, when this wine was bottled it was uncomfortably acidic. Aging has made it delicious and as well as interesting. It was balanced and dry. A feature that I can only describe as the "vegetable section at the super market" piqued my interest on the nose, and was followed by sweet lime on the palate.
King Ferry Winery, maker of Treleaven Wines King Ferry planted its first vines (Chardonnay, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer) in 1984 on the familyowned property along the east side of the lake. The winery bottled its first wines in 1988 and it has been enjoying the success ever since. King Ferry remains familyowned with co-owners Pete and his wife Tacie, as they regularly visit the property to provide input and enjoy the fruits of their investment. Annually, Tacie provides direct input, barrel by barrel, on one of the three chardonnays they produce to ensure it maintains its unique characteristics with a hint of caramel on top of the flavors of apple and lemon along with the threshold oaking that defines "Tacie's Chardonnay." I interviewed the head winemaker, Lindsay Stevens, as she was coordinating the pressing of this year's Chardonnay. It gave me a unique opportunity to witness the production of their "best known" product, literally seeing it from start to finish. Lindsay offered me freshly picked Chardonnay grapes, allowing me to taste the process, in addition to simply observing it. Lindsay explained, "Once the grapes are de-stemmed and crushed, the must is pumped into the membrane press where we gently and gradually increase the
Semi-Dry Riesling (2013) – It smelled slightly like ice wine, and Aaron confirmed my suspicions that some of the grapes used in its production had botrytis or "noble-rot", considered a desirable quality in the wine world. It smelled like tropical fruit and honey and had what I consider a perfect sweet/acid balance. A cleansing sensation upon swallowing clears the tongue from the acute sweetness. According to Aaron, it will age to an even higher quality. Cabernet Franc (2014) – Their "flagship wine" at Hosmer. It's unpretentious and the aspects of its production are never forced, as it always comes out enjoyable, naturally. I was a bit skeptical since it was only from last year, but this wine was a comfortably drinkable red already. Medium bodied with soft tannins, I found smoke, leather, and dark fruit. Aaron also noted lavender, lilac and a raspberry flavor mid-palate.
pressure to squeeze out the juice." As the juice ran freely, we talked about her history and philosophy on wine making in the Finger Lakes. Lindsay graduated from Cornell in 2005 with a degree in food science and started her career in winemaking as an assistant winemaker at Sheldrake Point, where she learned from the head winemaker, Dave Breeden. They still do tastings together for their "works-in-progress" to get feedback from one another. Lindsay thinks the tight, collaborative wine community of the Finger Lakes is unique. "Other regions compete," she stated matter-of-factly. In the end, wine production is a business, but Lindsay says the Finger Lakes region has a different perspective; she paraphrased the late JFK, "a rising tide raises all ships, you know?" It wasn't all good news, however. "The region does have a bit of a Napoleon complex," she went on to explain. For many years, New York was solely known for its table grape production, and only since the late 70s has it been producing wine. Many producers believe this created a stigma against New York wines when compared to other regions in the US and the world. In addition to this blemished reputation, the Finger Lakes region also battles climatic conditions that can be detrimental to grape production. Coupled with the short growing
season, these conditions can make it difficult to produce a plentiful, high quality crop every year. Lindsay summed it up by saying "Some years in cool regions you take what you get." Regardless of the cold-weather affecting their production, the owners of the King Ferry Winery are always working to contribute to the community in Ithaca and the central New York. In addition to donating to the Sciencenter or the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, 25% percent of the proceedings from their tasting is donated to the Food Bank of Central New York. They also host the annual Ride for Heart Health in June, a community "bike-a-thon" which raises money for the Cayuga Heart Institute at Cayuga Medical Center.
Tastings: Silver Lining Chardonnay (2013) – Light and fruity. This unoaked wine is crisp and refreshing, with pronounced citrus notes. Tacie's Chardonnay (2012) – Every barrel of this chardonnay receives Tacie's personal approval. To pass the test, the barrel must have marked fruit character, with emphasis on lemon and other citrus, as well as oaking that is just on the edge of perception. Reserve Chardonnay (2013) – A creamier, oakier version of Tacie's chardonnay, but less citrus and more apple. Wobbly Rock Rose (2014) – New to Treleaven's repertoire, this is their "unpretentious, easy-drinking" wine. It's 100% Cabernet Franc, very fruit forward with an exceptional body and mouth feel. I find strawberry on the nose, but little fruit on the palate. Reserve Riesling (2012) – Notably dry on the palate, the extensive and complex mixture of flavors, citrus pith, peach and a subdued petrol note, combine to make a balanced representative of Rieslings for the Finger Lakes region.
When I began organizing these interviews and tours, my agenda was to escape Cornell and relax for a weekend to pursue a growing interest of mine. However, in addition to the expected wine tastings, I found a diverse and supportive community around the Cayuga Lake, complete with farmers, winemakers and entrepreneurs who work together and give back to their community. Over the past few decades, they have worked together tirelessly to become what they are today: successful, world-renowned wineries that continually meet and exceed expectations. This community thrives on mutual support, charity, and generosity. The relief I felt from this experience wasn't due to my escape from Cornell or my consumption of alcohol. Rather, it was due to my temporary admittance into a supportive and personable community that was eager to share beyond simply producing and selling the wines.
the cheesemaker text by prajjalita dey // photos by julia wang
Never having been to a dairy farm before, I wasnâ€™t sure what to expect. Yet, somehow, the Lively Run Goat Dairy surpassed my expectations. When I walked into the charming, family-owned business one chilly fall afternoon, I was immediately warmed by the cozy ambience that resonated from the store. From the accessible cheeses paired with their recipes, to the handwritten menu alongside a beautifully hand-drawn goat and the captivating family photos displayed behind the counter, I knew that this business, and consequently the tour, would have a personal
touch unmatched by any larger cheese dairy farms. The Head Cheesemaker, Pete Messmer, led us on their weekly cheese room tour, first into the two cheese rooms, and then the aging room. As he explained the process that he knew so instinctively, elaborating on the differences between making Cheddar versus Gouda versus Feta, and delving into the meticulous science behind the procedure, it was indisputably apparent that he had enough knowledge to publish a book.
In fact, did you know that every cheese consists of the same four ingredients: milk, salt, culture, and rennet? The difference in taste and texture stems solely from the process – the temperature of pasteurization, the type of culture, the time it’s made for, and the time it’s aged for. The highlight of the tour, however, was easily the cheesetasting finale. Even though I lacked any cheese expertise, I could tell that what I tasted that day was on a completely different tier than the supermarket cheese to which I was
accustomed. The flavors that filled my mouth were so exceptionally delicious and unique that I couldn’t resist going for seconds. On the other side of the counter, the store sold these elegantly-placed cheesecakes and truffles that looked remarkably enticing and made my mouth water – if I weren’t a broke college student, my fridge would be stocked full of them. As fascinated as I was by their products, I had to ask Pete a couple more questions about his experience.
Q: What does a day in the life of a head cheesemaker look like? A: For me, it generally starts with milk pickup, so I usually get up at around 5:30 or 6 o’clock, get my trailer ready and hook it up to my truck. The milk haul itself takes anywhere from an hour to three hours, depending on whether I need goat milk or cow milk – if I’m picking up goat milk I need to go to three different farms, but cow milk only requires one. Then the actual cheese making starts, which really varies by cheese. For example, the pasteurization for Feta or Blue Cheese might take six hours, but Cheddar or Gouda take up to ten. And after making the cheese, we have the cleanup, which we take very seriously over here. I mean you have to clean everything thoroughly after you’re done, and then sanitize it again the next morning before use. A big danger with any cultured product is having ambient cultures get into the food, disturbing the entire process and creating really off flavors. And of course, there’s the food safety aspect, but it’s really all interrelated. The last big portion of the day is the packaging of the cheese. So, all in all, the cheese making is probably only thirty percent of my labor. A twelve-hour day is the norm; sometimes it goes up to fifteen or sixteen hours. The aging is probably the hardest part though, just because of all the waiting. It can take up to six months for a cheese to completely age, and for those six months, I have no idea how it will turn out. I mean, it’s frustrating looking at it, and turning it with no idea of the outcome, and even if you taste if after a month, the cheese hasn’t had enough time to age to give you any real notion of the final product. Having a product with such a long turnaround time, it’s risky. Q: What are some of the one-of-a-kind cheeses that can only be found at this farm? A: Well there’s the beer cheese that I developed this September. The Swiss cheese (you tried on the tour) I made over the winter, in February. The Blue Moon was actually an accident: molds cross-pollinated when they shouldn’t have but it turned out actually pretty well. I’ve tried things with vegetable ash. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with vegetable ash, but Humboldt Fog, for example, is a vegetable ash cheese, where it almost looks like a big slice of Brie with a black line through the middle – that’s the vegetable ash. So I really like to experiment, and I tried (and am still trying) different variations. We released a cheese called New Moon that’s a soft goat blue cheese, with a spiral of vegetable ash running through the middle. In addition, we have the Cayuga Blue, and Blue Yonder. A really popular one, we actually sold out of it, is the Finger Lakes Gold, and it’s our hard goat’s milk cheese.
Q: What kind of cheeses are you working on or planning to work on? A: What I’d really like to do this winter, an idea I’ve recently been toying with, is trying out different combinations of cheese and booze, similar to the beer cheese you tried earlier. The first one I want to try is a hard cider and cheddar pairing; in Britain, they serve cheddar with hard cider so I was thinking, well why not combine them? Another variation I’m interested in creating is a wash grind cheese, somewhat reminiscent of Époisses. That’s a French, wash grind cheese, where they take the cheese and
wash it with a special mix of cultures and, usually, use Cognac. That creates a stinky rind, and it gets all gooey – it’s really good. A hard cheese I’m looking forward to trying is Manchego style, which is typically a Spanish sheep’s milk cheese, but use cow’s milk instead. Q: I think combining alcohol with cheese is a really interesting concept. Where did you get the idea for that? A: There are a couple of cheeses that do it already actually. There’s a Spanish cheese called Drunken Goat, which is a goat’s milk cheese soaked in red wine, which I hate. People do love it, but I find it really boring, and I wanted to create something like that but with a more interesting flavor. I also really like beer; I dabble in a little bit of home brewing myself and I have friends, like at the Hopshire Farm, who brew beer. Cheese and wine get paired together much more frequently, but I think in a lot of ways beer and cheese is a much more natural pairing. In terms of flavors with beer, there’s a much broader range to work with. With wine, it’s all acidity and tannins, but beer has flavors of bitterness, to sweetness, to smoky. Even the natural flavoring of beer is a malty, biscuit-like taste, which is essentially the flavor of bread. And bread is obviously a natural pairing for cheese. And once I started playing with beer and cheese, I realized that, well, I can do that with pretty much any combination. Q: Tell me a little bit about your French and German background. A: So my mom is German and my dad, American. He was stationed in Germany in the 80’s during the Cold War, and that’s where my parents met. They got married, and I was born in Germany in ’88, where I lived until I was three. And that’s when we moved to the United States. My dad went to grad school after he got out of the army, and we’ve been here since pretty much ’93. But I do go back to visit a lot, since my mom’s whole side of the family is there, and German was actually my first language growing up. So where her family is from and where she lives is the Rhein-Pfaltz in the Southwestern corner of Germany, right on the border of France. The town she grew up in is literally forty-five minutes from the French border. And her parents had a vacation house, like a little cottage, in Lorraine, the region of France the directly borders Germany. So I obviously spent a lot of time in Germany, but I also a lot of time in Northeastern France. Q: Do you think this background influenced your decision to work in the cheese industry? A: Yeah definitely, I mean a lot of my interest in cheese, and food in general, stems from growing up with that. It was crazy, way back in the 90’s and early 2000s, we’d go to Germany for a few weeks. And when we came back home, the first thing we always noticed the most was how bad the food is here. I mean the cheese for one, but even just the food culture. It’s been interesting because in the last five years a lot of that has turned around – we’ve been putting a lot more emphasis on real food: things that are less processed, fresher vegetables, that sort of thing. The cheese in Europe developed with specific styles, in specific places with specific history, and most of them are named after the towns they were created in, and that’s the kind of culture I want to contribute to here in the US.
Q: Out of curiosity, what’s the difference between French, German, and Swiss cheese, besides the region they were developed? A: Not stylistically, the only difference is the arbitrary political boundaries within where the cheese was developed. But it does tend to differ by region. So a lot more goat cheeses originate from the Loire Valley, in Northern France, because there’s a lot of goat farming in that area. In Southwestern France, a little bit along the Mediterranean and along the Spanish border, in the Pyrenees, there’s also a lot of goat cheese for the same reason – goats were common there. But in central France there’s a lot of cow cheese. If you move to the Alps, the Southeastern part of France near Switzerland, you get what we call the Alpine style cheeses, which is any cheese with propionic culture. People consider Alpine cheese equivalent to Swiss cheese, but there are cheeses from French Alps that are commonly classified as Swiss. For example, Comte is a French cheese that is an Alpine cheese, but the average American would presume it to be Swiss cheese. Gruyere is another Alpine cheese, similar to Comte but from Switzerland, which makes more sense to people. It all depends on the breed of animals, the geography, the history of the region, like what animals were farmed there, and how the season worked. In Switzerland, cheese was also based on grazing patterns. So, in the summertime, you’d take your cows up to graze in the mountains, but since it’s so steep it’s near impossible to bring all the milk down. Instead, they’d turn the milk into cheese on the mountain for practical reasons – now that you’ve concentrated the milk and removed ninety percent of the mass it’s much easier to transport. France probably has more different styles of cheese than almost any other country, because there’s so much dairy there, and a lot of
different regions of different styles cropped up. Also, interestingly, the history of France contributed too. Since it was medieval for so long, there was no broad travel throughout the country. While in another country the most efficient cheesemaking style might spread throughout the country, in France the different processes remained within their different regions, and there were different styles dotted all over the countryside. Q: So I know you mentioned on the tour that your parents bought this farm in 1994. What motivated that decision? A: That’s an interesting story with a quite a few twists and turns. So when my parents were in Germany, my dad was in the military during the Cold War and he was stationed on the border between Easy and West Germany. West Germany at the time, and actually still today, is an asylum country. This meant that political refugees could go to Germany, claim asylum and stay there without a visa or get a refugee visa. And there were a lot of refugees there at the time from Eastern Bloc countries, as well as refugees from the Middle East and Sri Lankan refugees from the Tamil conflict. So my parents got involved with working with refugees, like trying to help them get visas, and they found a lot of them were trying to come here, to the US. But although it was easy to seek asylum in Germany, the process to come here, to the US, was much more difficult – they needed a sponsor, and to prove employment once they arrived. So my parents’ plan was to buy a farm where they could give refugees employment and help them get their visa. That was how the idea was created. But in reality, by the time we bought the farm, the Cold War had ended and a lot of the conflicts had died down, and the stream of refugees trying to come here that characterized the 80s no longer existed. So we ended up with a farm that we didn’t really know what to do with, and just figured it out from there.
Q: Wow, that’s a really admirable reason to buy a farm! I just have one more question: what do you picture when you see the future of Lively Run Dairy? A: I think it’s important to invent our own styles and create our own food culture because you can only get so far imitating things before you have to start creating your own. I want [this farm] to contribute to where we live, and develop cheeses specific to here. And that’s what I’ve been doing with the Cayuga Blue, Blue Yonder, Finger Lakes Gold, and it’s what I’m trying to do with the beer cheese. These are cheeses that I want to push, that I think are unique: they’re not based on already existing European styles; they were created here in Ithaca. We’ve also been really focused on growth – in 2012, we expanded, but it would always be nice to expand more. An idea that we’ve been considering is getting together with some of our other producers and creating a bigger aging room. I can actually
make a lot more cheese than we have space to age – aging is problematic because for some of these cheeses you’re talking about six months on the shelf. The aging room we have is pretty big; it can hold about ten thousand pounds of cheese maximum capacity. But that’s not that much when you’re holding on to something for six months. If I produced at full capacity, a batch of cheese every single day, I would need ten times the amount of aging space I have, and ideally, separate rooms for cheese with different molds so they don’t cross-pollinate. I’d also like a bigger store space and more for people to see when they come here. We renovated our store a couple years ago because increasingly, we’ve been trying to focus on retail and tourism, and to figure out how we can maximize that part of the business, and that’s a challenge that I’ll continue to face as we go forward.
Test Your Wine and Cheese Match-Making Skills
Chianti Sauvignon Blanc
Pinot Grigio Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot
Parmigiano Reggiano Goat Cheese
answers provided by cheryl stanley, hadm
4300 professor 35
photo by jieyu chen
Answers: Chianti - Parmigiano Reggiano Sauvignon Blanc - Goat Cheese Chardonnay - Brie
Pinot Gris - Swiss Pinot Grigio - Buffalo Mozzarella Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot - Aged Chedder Port - Stilton
taking the win on food network’s chopped text and photo by hwa yoon lee On the surface, Max Aronson is your typical Cornell freshman: soaking up every enjoyable minute of the college experience as a new Hotelie, working as a server at Taverna Banfi, and often feeling too lazy to cook up an elaborate meal for himself with the hefty freshman meal plan to rely on. But don’t let this exterior fool you – hailing from Bergen County, New Jersey, Max has held internships at renowned and nearby New York City restaurants such as Untitled at the Whitney Museum and Gramercy Tavern (the sister restaurant of Shake Shack!), all while a high school student at the Bergen County Academies’ Culinary and Hospitality Administration program. Casual. While these are all noteworthy feats, one accomplishment in particular will probably excite people the most: Max is the recent winner of Food Network’s Chopped. The win didn’t come easy, however. After being “chopped” in the final round of his first time competing, Max was asked back a second time to redeem himself on the episode “Teen Redeem.” And redeem himself he did.
On how Max started cooking… “I started cooking when I was really young; I learned from my mother. Our family was always the house that held family holiday dinners, so whenever we had the rest of the family over, my mom would cook and I'd always be at my feet helping her. I just enjoyed watching other people eat my food and I took a lot of pride in all the little jobs that I did, like putting marshmallows on sweet potatoes and pouring milk into mashed potatoes.”
On his cooking style and philosophy… “I really like to experiment. Working at a bunch of restaurants (such as Gramercy Tavern and Untitled) that are farm-to-table, fresh, and forward has definitely bled into my cooking philosophy. I would always come home and try to experiment with the lessons learned there.”
On what drove him to audition for Chopped… “I lived in China for a summer for a language immersion trip right before my junior year of high school. On the flight back, there was a connecting flight back from Chicago to New York and at baggage claim I ran into Ted Allen. I started talking to him, gave him my business card, and he said, ‘Well, we're actually casting for a teen version of Chopped so I'm going to pass this along.’ I got an email the next week with the application. All of the filming and episode airing happened while I was a junior.”
On set for the first time … “I was really nervous the first time going in. I didn't know any of the competitors, I didn't know what I was really getting myself into, or how much of what I’ve seen on the show was actually similar to the filming. But everyone, contestants and judges, was really welcoming.”
On almost winning/being “chopped” in the dessert round the first time around… “I really liked the contestant that I was competing against in that round; I felt that she really needed to win. The money for her would make a world of difference compared to my situation at the time and I was really happy that she won. I think that our food was pretty competitive, but she deserved the money in the end.”
On the “Hollywood movie magic” on set… “There are a lot of producers. There’s definitely some Hollywood magic that goes into it. I’d say the biggest difference is that sometimes, they make it look like you’re busier than you actually are. The first time I was there, I found that I had a lot more time than I thought. Time was not as much of an issue as it looked. So I was finished with a minute left in one round. Frantic timing was usually the case, but not always. For the most part, I found that it was pretty manageable. Overall, once the clock starts, it’s all very real.“
On the most “torturous” aspects of filming… “Ted Allen would say, ‘Chefs, open your baskets’ without actually uncovering the black cloth covering the ingredients in the mystery basket. We would put our hands on the cloth and basket but we wouldn’t be able to open it. After maybe five or so takes, Ted Allen would say, ‘Ok, this is the real take. Chefs, open your basket’ and then the timer (25 minutes) would just start. After the round, when he reveals which plate is under the “chopping block,” he’d have to say, ‘Whose dish is on the chopping block?’ a few times as well. He would put his hand on the cloak covering the “chopped” contestant’s dish, say his line without saying the contestant’s name or removing the cloak.”
On what goes through Max’s mind when he opens the mystery basket… “What goes through my mind isn’t necessarily, ‘Oh my god, these don’t go together’ but rather ‘these are just four very separate things.’ Going into a round I never think, ‘Okay, this is what I’m going to make.’ I make up my dish as I go along. For the appetizer round of my first time competing, I knew I had to first break down the Cornish game hen because it was basically a whole chicken. So while I was doing that I had time to think about what I was going to do next. I didn’t have too much of a game plan; I played it by ear.”
On his most memorable ingredient… “The most memorable ingredient was the daikon radish, in the appetizer round of my first time competing. The basket was pretty much screaming crab cake and naturally everyone else made a crab cake, so I decided not to make a crab cake. I made a lettuce wrap stuffed with smoked tomato and a crab salad. I pickled the daikon radish and made a garlic crusted chili pea. The judges seemed to really like it, I think mainly for the fact that it wasn’t a crab cake. I definitely felt safe that round.”
On the course he was most proud of… “I really liked the dessert I made in my winning episode. The ingredients were right up my alley. I was so excited after opening the basket because most of the ingredients were all things I enjoyed on a regular basis. The ingredients were Italian finger cookies, cold brew coffee, peanut butter toast,
and strawberry puree. Since I typically eat a butter and jelly open-faced sandwich with coffee and granola for breakfast everyday, I figured, ‘I’m going to make a play on that because most of that is already here.’ I scraped the peanut butter off the toast, made that into an ice cream, and then used the toast as a crunch factor for the granola. I completed the granola with coconuts, nuts, Italian finger cookies, and some of the cold brew coffee. I also got to do some molecular gastronomy, which I had done a lot of research on leading up to this day. I asked myself, ‘How am I going to make something really cool?’ and I studied how to use a metal nitrous canister that turns things into foam. So, I made a cold-brew foam.”
On his interaction with the Chopped judges… “All of the judges were really friendly, and that’s one of the things they don’t show as much in the final cut. The judging rounds are much longer than they seem - each person goes through 10 to 30 minutes of judging and we get some quality interactive time with all of them, which is especially great for teenagers just entering this industry. They’re all clearly great at what they do and we all had a ton to learn, so I found it so helpful and so great to be on the show because of that.”
On Ted Allen in real life… “He’s just like he is in person. He’s such a nice guy. Throughout the episode he would come up to us asking how we were doing, making sure we were doing aright.”
On memorable behind-the-scenes moments… “The filming crew suggested we have a dance party in the back room. Thankfully they didn’t show the whole dance party, which I’m very happy about because there was a lot of twerking going on. I’d say that was the funniest moment of Chopped.”
On his inspirations and aspirations… “There’s been an evolution of inspirations. My first inspiration was definitely Bobby Flay. When I started watching the Food Network, he was the chef I watched the most. My bar mitzvah theme was ‘Throwdown with Max A.’ Once I started attending Bergen County Academies I looked up to the two main teachers in the culinary program; they were the ‘mother and father’ of the program. They just gave me a lot of opportunities that I otherwise wouldn't have had and just showed me the way. Since I’ve started working at Gramercy Tavern and Untitled, my mentors have definitely turned more towards the executive chef there. The person I’d like to embody the most now is Danny Meyer (restaurateur and owner of Gramercy Tavern and Untitled). I definitely want to get more involved in management and own my own projects.”
redefining the popsicle with celia’s pops // text by steph paiva photos by katie lee
Celia Clarke is the founder and owner of Celia’s Ice Pops, a small ice popsicle business in Ithaca, New York. In addition to having the only popsicles made in the region, Clarke’s frozen treats are locally known for their unique flavors and use of all natural ingredients. Clarke is currently in her third season of selling ice pops in the Ithaca area, with hopes of expanding her business into wholesale and opening a small shop in town.
Q: How did you get started with your business? A: I moved here from North Carolina, and in the triangle, there is a small place called Loco Pops. The owner did some really interesting flavors, like mixing cucumber and habaneros and things like that. So a few summers ago, just around the summer that I started, it was really hot and there had been a drought. Farmers had a lot of good fruit that had gotten damaged, so they had to sell it at a discount. And I was missing ice pops. So I looked around and there wasn’t anything like that being sold - either in the Farmer’s Market or in the nearby shops. So that’s pretty much how I started. Partly, it was about what wasn’t here. And also, since I had a connection to sustainable agriculture and a lot of farmers, I wanted to see if there was something that I could do that would close the gap a little bit for them. Q: Could you go into some specifics on your relations with other local businesses that you use? A: I use a lot of different places, but it depends. If I’m doing something on a limited run, then I might get something from one of the smaller farms specifically. So, for example, there’s something that I’m going to try in the next few weeks just for Halloween. There are these little Brazilian flowers called Spilanthes that are grown by a small farm and orchard here called Daring Drake. So I got a few of those from them, and that’s a really unique thing that I’ll just do for a little while for the fall. But then for some things like quinces, which are a really old fruit that’s not grown on a commercial scale, there
are only two places I can really get them from; Daring Drake is one and Bright Raven Farm and Apiary is the other. There’s a particular apple that I really like, so I only get that apple from Black Diamond Farms. They have a specific type of farming which involves integrated pest management or IPM. Another really good example is ginger. When I started out, there was really only one place that sold or grew ginger at a significant scale, and that was Good Life Farm. So I buy in bulk from them when it becomes ripe. As ice pop season is ending, it gets frozen and then goes into my ginger lemonade or my ginger lemon ice pops. But say I need lots of things like concord grapes or apricots, I would go to Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva. That’s about the extent of my range, in terms of how far I’ll go for produce. But as I grow, I’ll go a little further as I ultimately want the popsicles to be available throughout the year. Q: Where do you get the inspiration for all of your unique flavors? A: Gimme Coffee talks about having relationship coffee. They know who their brewers are and visit the area meeting people. In a similar way, as much as possible at this scale, I can still know farmers and talk to them about things. I know this one farm, called Buried Treasure Farm, which is owned by a husband and wife. One day the wife, Mary, was saying how her husband really likes growing melons: “He’s trying this one sort of white melon that is really nice.” At the same time, I had gotten cantaloupe from an Amish farm where they grew this fantastic, classic cantaloupe. I had always gotten yellow watermelon from Black Raven Farm and so I just put those
together. But I could’ve just put them all together and then it would be a kind of mixed melon thing. But instead, I wanted to try layering it, that way it could show off the white melon, and that was moderately successful. I know what to do differently next time so that I get good layers, but that’s an example of some of the trial and error that I do. And then there are other flavors, like the corn chili lime. I had already read about corn ice pops, as it’s from the Mexican tradition of paletas, which are super popular all over the place. And I know that they would use corn and all sorts of different vegetables for them. By this time, I had had enough experience with ice pops and a better sense of what this region’s palate was like, in terms of what flavors they might go for. There was a recipe in the New York Times that I happened to see which had chili infused into the corn mixture and it had the popsicles completely rolled in chili. I knew that it was too much for this area, so I actually changed the recipe and swapped some of the ingredients, like using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and then I rolled the top of it in chili. But that was a weird concept; I wanted the top of it to taste summery, so I used a smoky chili powder, and I rolled the top of it that way you’d get all the smokiness in the chili and the creaminess. I also put way more lime than the recipe called for, so I basically changed the whole recipe. Nonetheless, I did it and people responded to it, but if I had done it differently, that wouldn’t have been the case. So that’s a more obvious way, just looking through and seeing different recipes and giving them a try. The melon one was just from talking to a farmer. Sometimes I literally just look at what is in season to see what might go together. I’m also starting to do more things with different herbs, as they’re in season. Q: Your popsicles seem similar to the ones at La Newyorkina in New York City. Did you get any inspiration from them? A: Yes, that was actually the inspiration for the chili lime popsicles. That’s where I got that idea from. The owner, Fany Gerson, has a recipe for cajetas in one of her books. Her recipe for cajetas — which is a type of caramel made from goat milk —wouldn’t work for this area in its current recipe. This is a Mexican caramel that I make, but there are goat farmers and
homesteaders here who have goats. So I get milk from those farmers and then I use that to make the cajeta. Q: How long does it take to make your ice pops? A: Well, I do small batches, but it partly depends on what fruit I have and how much of it is available. A good example is the difference between blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. I know that I have a reliable source every year for certain quantities of these fruits, and some of them are harder to grow and harvest because of their sensitivity. So I can do larger batches of strawberries all at once, whereas raspberries and blackberries become ripe in waves. If people want to do a special order, the minimum is 20 ice pops. The easiest way to describe it is that it takes me about 24 hours, because I am still doing it the slow food way of using molds that you pour the mix into and freeze overnight. There are also machines that you can buy for tens of thousands of dollars that can make the same amount that I freeze overnight in a couple of hours. But that uses chemicals and electricity, so I would want to have a solar option before I really do that. My dream would be to have a mini solar, ice pop factory. Q: Where do you see this business going in the next couple of years? A: I’m definitely planning on expanding, and have already made plans to do wholesale. So next year, my popsicles will be available more regularly in retail locations and I’ll probably be doing more catering. Starting in December, I am on track to open a small shop in Press Bay Alley, which will feature food in the winter, but will also have a freezer that you could get ice pops from. The food will include savory hand pies, which I sold at the Cornell Farmer’s Market. We’re also going to offer some frozen hand pies, so that people can take them home and heat those up. This is a tiny space that is perfect to be an ice pop and pie shop, which was my original plan. I wanted to have the ice pops in the summer and then in the winter, I would switch over to pies. I focused more on getting the ice pops sorted out and now I’m more ready to transition into adding onto that. That will also be nice since it will all be made from scratch.
Cornell Gourmet Club