Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dia: Beacon | No Photography Allowed

Dia: Beacon

Photography is no longer allowed inside the museum -- such a disappointment since it is a fantastic space and the combination of the artwork and former factory space is a glorious juxtaposition.

Who knows why? Perhaps with the proliferation of camera phones fewer art goers were buying postcards. Whatever the reason, it feels like they took a bit of the fun out of things. The creative spirit feels a little squashed.

Here are a few pics taken on the sly. 


John Chamberlain

Louise Bourgeois

Sol LeWitt

Michael Heizer

Richard Serra

Richard Serra

Dia: Beacon Entrance

Down By The River

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cocktail | Spanish Vesper

- 3 parts gin
- 1 part vodka
- 1/2 part manzanilla sherry
- 1/2 part Cocchi Americano

1) Stir ingredients over ice in a mixing glass.
2) Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
3) Garnish with a flamed twist of lemon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cocktail Recipe | The Fat Sidecar

The Fat Sidecar

A little excited with some new ingredients in the cocktail cabinet and having made a batch of Benton's really smokey bacon for breakfast, I was motived to try fat washing for the first time. And since Pierre Ferrand's new 1840 Original Formula Cognac was staring me in the face, that was the spirit getting infused.

Fat washing is basically the approach to infusing a spirit. Any good rendered bacon fat will work, but Benton's bacon has that extreme and amazing smoke content that chefs have been freaking over. If you are not in the mood for a really smokey experience, go with a different bacon.

The next question was to decide which cocktail to try -- and what's more classic than a Sidecar. I figured the lemon juice would cut through the "fat" and the sweet and tart would balance everything out.

- 2 oz. Benton's Bacon Fat-Infused Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac
- 3/4 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao (or Cointreau)
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- sugar

Benton's Bacon Fat-Infused Pierre Ferrand 1840 Orignal Formula Cognac
- In a ratio of about 3:1 Cognac to warm rendered bacon fat, add both to a wide mouth lidded container (a mason jar works really well).
- Let the mixture infuse for an hour or so.
- Put the jar in the freezer for another hour.
- Remove the jar from the freezer and the bacon fat will be a solid chunk on top of the Cognac.
- Remove the fat chunks and strain through a fine mesh sieve and / or a coffee filter.

1. Bartender Jamie Boudreau's video shows the technique here.
2. I actually put the container directly into the freezer and the bacon smokiness still came through strong.
3. I didn't filter using a coffee filter and there was a "fat" sensation when drinking the cocktail. A coffee filter will eliminate this.

The Fat Sidecar
- Rim the cocktail glass / coupe with sugar (dip the rim into some lemon juice and roll the edge of the glass in the sugar)
- Chill the glass in the freezer
- Combine the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into the chilled cocktail glass.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cocktail Recipe | Pegu Club

I had the chance to try the new Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao this week -- and it's fantastic -- if you like making cocktails, go out there and get a bottle when it hits the shelves in March.

It was created to be the opposite of all the Curacaos already on the shelves -- it's not blue, it's not too sweet, it's not cloying. It is: beautiful, elegant, dry and balanced with sweetness, complex. Perfect on it's own over ice or in a cocktail. Try it in a Pegu Club... (recipe courtesy of Pierre Ferrand and sourced from Cocktails, by Jimmy of Ciro's, 1930 and adapted by David Wondrich.)

- 2 oz. Citadelle Gin (also produced by Pierre Ferrand)
- 1/2 oz. Pierre Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao
- 1/2 oz. lime juice (fresh)
- 1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters

- Shake well with ice in a Boston shaker.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Flame orange peel over the drink and garnish with the peel.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Soba Noodles | The Master & The Novice

The Guardian recently published an article on soba noodles and the author took a turn learning to make the famed buckwheat noodle. The video immediately reminded me of soba master Hiromitsu Takahashi at Sobakoh on East 5th Street in NYC, making noodles in his restaurant.

It's amazing when you watch an expert perform a task he has mastered over years and years of work and one that he executes many times a day -- he makes it look so simple, streamlined, effortless and pure.

When you watch a novice learning the same movements, they are slow and clunky. It's not that watching the newbie is painful, it just that it emphasizes how exacting and perfect the master is.

Below are two videos: the master and the novice:

The Master

The Novice