New Blog! What’s Churnin’

Dear Readers,

I want to thank you for visiting my blog and for all of your words of encouragement! With the recent changes in my life, I had to take a break from the Scoop Scoop world and, in that time, decided to start up a new blog. I am really excited about this new endeavor and hope that you continue you reading my posts from this new domain. I’m still the same Scoop, just a little more organized and to the point :-)

My new URL Is http://whatschurnin.blogspot.com

Thank you for being a loyal reader, critic, and friend. I look forward to entertaining you on my new site!

Cheers,

Scoop

Scoop of the Day… Chikalicious

There is a club in NYC that is $0 to join with absolutely no membership fee. That’s right, it’s completely FREE! It’s a small gem of a spot located in the heart of the East Village and is probably the first of its kind. There is frequently a line to get in and it can get pretty packed at times, but that is a small price to pay for utter satisfaction. You probably won’t want to come every day, as you might bulk up, but I do suggest you make an appearance every once in a while, at least on special occasions. This club I speak of is none other than Dessert Club, ChikaLicious. Not to be confused with ChikaLicious Dessert Bar.

Dessert Club, ChikaLicious is a quaint spot with just a few tables and bar stools that sits directly across the street from its sister, Dessert Bar. Though it is adorned with a bright red awning and is usually accompanied by a trail of patrons waiting to sink their teeth into something dangerously sweet, it can be easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled. It may not be a refined, pre fix culinary retreat like its sister, but it gets right to the point and is more than capable of satisfying your sweet tooth craving.

Now, I can’t speak for the array of cupcakes, macarons, cookies, or eclairs they have on display, but I can tell you a little bit about their ice creams. Unlike the baked desserts, which have been described as simple or too small, the frozen treats here are colossal, distinctive, and divine. The foundation for each dessert is either shaved ice or vanilla bean soft serve, but each variation is unique and makes a lasting impression. Take for instance the Cookies and Cream Christopher treated me to for my recent accomplishment (aka a special occasion):

A Special Occassion

This Cookies and Cream is clearly no ordinary scoop. Oh, no. Cookies and Cream makes a statement. First of all, this dessert towers over all other desserts in the entire club (sans the shaved ice). This is the MC of Dessert Club. The signature vanilla bean soft serve, which alone tastes delicately of traditional creamy vanilla ice cream, is infused with chunks of their three homemade signature cookies (The Situation, Situation Dark, and Chocolate Chip). Then, it is piled high in a dainty plastic dish and accompanied by a tiny spoon that could easily get submerged should you choose to loosen your grip. You won’t have to worry about this though because you won’t want to put it down! Each bite is satisfyingly crunchy, cool, sweet, and salty, none of which overwhelms the other.

Due to its impressive size I was unable to finish even half of it, but that certainly doesn’t mean I didn’t give it my best shot. Until now, I had yet to meet a scoop that has a prerequisite, but next time I have reason to celebrate I will definitely be coming here. Will it be the Cookies and Cream again, the Strawberry Shortcake, an ice cream sandwich, or a shaved ice? I don’t really have the answer to that right now, but what I can tell you is that whatever it is, it will be REALLY GOOD.

Who wants to celebrate?

Scoop of the Day… NY Mag Taste

Last night I had the privilege of being invited to the 2011 NY Mag Taste: A World of Flavors. Saying that this was a good event would be an understatement. This year, several of New York’s most renowned chefs and restaurants were hand-picked to showcase their craft with creative and decadent small plates that best represented their cuisine. The event was hosted by NY Mag editor Gillian Duffy in the Skylight SoHo event loft, which was filled to the max with a beautiful display of tables arranged by globlal influence, a fully stocked bar that stretched down the center of the room, and a Cadillac sedan…sponsorship. Each restaurant had its own table that was adorned in a way that spoke of its unique personality, and that was manned by THE Executive Chef. This alone put me on Cloud 9. I took full advantage of the situation and made a point to shake hands with celebrity chefs Michael Psilakis of Kefi, Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster, Nancy Olson of Gramercy Tavern, and Georges Mendes of Aldea, just to name a few. You’d think I was meeting Brad Pitt or Justin Beiber, I was so excited. This… was foodie heaven.

Speaking of taking advantage of a situation, as soon as I entered the loft the devouring began. Now, usually I am very meticulous about how I eat.  Omitting my sweet tooth, I pick and choose what I allow myself to eat in a given meal, and I pay close attention to what is going into my mouth. I eat smart. In this particular situation, however, my rule book was left in a cab. Without a thought or hesitation, my jacket came off and the tasting commenced. I don’t think I have ever mapped out a plan of action so quickly or so precisely in my life. It’s as if I had spent the day memorizing the event lay out ( Scoop’s Honor, I did no such thing). Sooner than you could say, “Jamie slow down,” I was onto the next plate. Bite after bite, table after table, you’d think I’d never had a meal in my life. There had to be at least 40 restaurants serving at the event and, I kid you not, I tried at least 95% of them. The most shocking part of all, was that I accomplished this in less than an hour. You can say it, “Jamie, how you could lose control like that? What were you thinking? How glutenous could you be?” And my answer is simply this, ” It was AMAZING. I was happy to lose control! I was being hand served by some of the top chefs in the restaurant capital of the world, dishes that were hand-picked and crafted BY them! Are you kidding me?! I have not one regret for my actions and given the opportunity to do it again, I’d pick up a pair of extra-large pants and get my eat on!” I do have to admit that as soon as I was done stuffing my face I high tailed it back to my apartment. That was a danger zone and lingering would only increase my odds of self-destruction.

 

 

 

 

 

While I can’t say that I remember all of the bites I had pre food coma, I do recall a few that stood out from the pack. The best bites that I would consider of the “appetizer” genre were the Red Kuri Pumpkin Veloute with Salt Cod Chantilly from Corton, the Oyster from Kefi, the Herb Falafel with Harissa Yogurt  from Boulud Sud, and the Black Sea Bass an Avocado Tarts from Red Farm. The best bites over all were the Smoked Texas Tenderloin with Skillet Cornbread from Hill Country BBQ Market, the Taco from Toloache, and the Risotto from SHO Shaun Hergatt. And last but not least, the best two desserts HANDS DOWN were the Pumpkin and Gingerbread Spiced Truffles from Gramercy Tavern and the Chocolate Creme from Porter House NY. Each of the dishes mentioned above were just so creative in composition and theme, and they all delivered so much more than you would initially expect.

Surprisingly, some chefs that you would have expected to steal the show, while still tasty, under-delivered. Alas, the only disappointment I can think of was that there was no ice cream, but, I would say that now wouldn’t I :-)

The NY Mag Taste: A World of Flavors did what it intended to do and sent me on the fastest, most exhilarating culinary adventure around the globe, all within a New York minute.