Weekly Dinner Event At @ Element Natural healing Arts
Where: 518 Henry St Brooklyn
How Much: $45
Please call to make a reservation 718 8554850
Hey! Are you not loving this incredible summer weather in NY? Under a fading golden sunset cooled by a gentle summer breeze, my friends and I enjoyed an incredible candlelight dinner party last Friday atop the relaxing roof deck of the Element Natural Healing Arts center in Cobble Hill. Co-organized by my friend Jayme Sklar Haxaire and Jeffrey Weidmann, the series of weekly dinner parties entitled Apt 1 features an intimate dinner limited to about 20 guests with rotating chefs and menus. (In case of rain, there’s a nice indoor space with a wood burning fireplace too).
This evening’s four course French / West African menu was prepared by Lower East Side French restaurant Les Enfants Terrible’s Abdhul Traore. In person, Chef Tarore is quite a soft spoken and humble individual despite his illustrious culinary experience that includes honored guests such as French president Jacques Chirac, Kofi Annan, and the Belgium Princess Louis Michel.
We started with a ‘shot’ of Chilled beet root soup with orange, fennel, harrisa and wild flower honey which is a perfect way to start off the cool summer evening. It was followed by a refreshing salad of olives, cucumber, capers, tomato, and vinaigrette gourmande. The main dish was an amazing potato encrusted wild stripped bass, sauted spinach and bok Choy, kanifi( west Africa pepper) sauce. I really like how he took long thin strips of potato and wrapped them around the fish – it gave a nice surprising finish with the contrasting crunchy texture. Finally, we ended with a decadent bowl of fresh mixed summer berries with Marjoram infused syrup, and fromage blanc sorbet.
Hey! Don’t let this summer pass you by with out a fun dinner at APT 1! Not to jinx anything but I have a feeling, it’s going to get quite hot, humid and sticky before we know it.
Next Week’s Menu (July 17):
Korhogo’s famous mini burger with smoked ketchup
Orange, mustard, ginger glazed pork tenderloin with dried fruit chutney
West African style grilled jerk chicken
Grilled Prawn with Nigerian piri piri sauce
Ratatouille from the grill
Rice pilaf Creole style
Haricot vert casserole
Corn on the Cob
Greek style salad with olives, cucumber, tomato, onion, and jicama
Chef’s on a whim dessert]]>
A few weeks ago I attended the Hapa Kitchen Paris of the East diner party – guess what? Here’s another one this Friday! It is the first of many weekly dinner parties that my friend Jayme is organizing at the Element Natural Healing Arts center in Cobble Hill / Carroll Gardens.
First Dinner Party is Fri July 10th @ Element Natural healing Arts
Where: 518 Henry St Brooklyn
How Much: $45
Please call to make a reservation 718 8554850
– Shot of Chilled beet root soup with orange, fennel, harrisa and wild flower honey
– Petite salad of spring mix with olives, cucumber, capers, tomato, and vinaigrette gourmande
– Potato encrusted wild stripped bass, saut?ed spinach and bok Choy, kanifi( west Africa pepper) sauce
– Mixed summer berries with Marjoram infused syrup, and fromage blanc sorbet.
To kick off the dinner series, the first featured chef is Abdhul Traore
Abdhul Traore’s Bio
Cooking for international high society such as Kofi Annan, Louis Michel, the Belgium Princess, and many ambassadors and their guests.
In 2004 I was selected by the former united nation secretary general to cook the official lunch hosting the former French president Jacques Chirac while visiting New York for the UN general assembly
I’ve worked as an assistant for most world master chef while working with the Honorable French Attache Culinaire at the French Consulate General of France in New York. I worked close to the masters while acquiring French haute cuisine technique and method, cooking for numerous decoration and reception for such as Paul Bocuse, former president Valery Giscard, Marseille mayor and world renowned leaders
Born in the Ivory Coast and trained as Biologist, I become a chef in New York City working as an assistant of the Honorable French Master Chef Luc Pasquier.
In 2006 I joined KORHOGO 126 , an award winning best 2008 eat-out melting pot restaurant in New York, a 4 stars review by Timeout. I like to share the heritage of my childhood and life in Africa, trough my own blended spices, the nostalgic food and flavors from my ancestors cooking.
In 2003 I created the first recognized African influenced Modern French restaurant at “Les Enfants Terribles” in the lower East Side. It was an immediate success ad an important step in my culinary mission of bringing my native continent in the international cultural world through the discovery of my cuisine.
See you there!]]>
2529 8th Ave @135th
Open 24 Hours
A few weeks ago, we were walking around Harlem during an extremely cold day and we stumbled upon Sokobolie. Here they have a large buffet steam table and you essentially go in and just help yourself and pay by weight. They had some really amazing dishes with Okra, Lamb Stew, and a few curry-like dishes. The sauces over the rice was really what made the dishes excellent. It was actually pretty cheap too – we spent about $9 and had way too much for 2 people.
Interesting enough is a comment I found on ChowHound Blog about this place. Someone is implying that this restaurant also has other alternative business ventures. All women staff, open 24 hours, tv with racy videos, coin operated massage chair in the front. This is pretty funny and I don’t really believe this although I really can’t say for certain that I know Harlem as well as some of those folks who commented. Anyways, go check it out for the food or otherwise and please let me know what you think! LOL
So the other day, we were itching to have some Chicken and Waffles at Amy Ruth’s in Harlem but as usual there was an annoyingly long line. Now they have a velvet rope for crowd control on the side walk. Most of the patrons look like tourists. I guess this is what happens when you get featured in a few reviews. Good to know that there are still plenty of great restaurants that all the glitzy food reviewers (I ain’t one of those) haven’t hit yet. For example, Le Baobab directly across the street from Amy Ruth’s. Although not the same soul food menu as Amy Ruth’s, Le Baobab has some classic West African dishes that are equally delicious. For example Thiebu Djen : Fish stewed in a rich tomato sacue with eggplant, carrots, cassava and white cabbage or Thiebu Yap ($9): Lamb with rice and stewed vegetables. I got a plate of the Thiebu Yap and Sing got a Poisson Grille ($12) which is a whole fried fish served with a spicy onion marinade and white rice. Little did we know that Le BaoBab serves family style and before we knew it we were served 2 enormous plates with huge portions. The fish was great along with the onion marinade and if you like lamb then the Thiebu Yap is for you. There’s chunks of oxtail (lamb I suppose) with the meat coming off the bone, mixed with the rice it’s a powerful combination for sure. Like I said, these tourists who come up to Harlem for the experience have it all wrong – yes Sylvia’s and Amy Ruth’s are great places to go but if you’re going to come up to Harlem to really appreciate the neighborhood, you have to step away from the bright clean NY Times Dining approved restaurants and savor the local flavor.]]>
2264 Frederick Douglas Ave @ 122nd St
Back uptown for food this weekend. This time up in Harlem doing some Christmas shopping and went to La Marmite for lunch. It’s truly a treasure of a restaurant that the locals highly value. First off, how can you go wrong with the bric brac decor – check out the straw hut awning over the doorway and within the restaurant. I wanted to order the Yassa Poulet which is a thick piece of dark or white chicken in a spicy lemon sauce served with white rice ($9), but they were currently sold out and the waitress suggested (and upgraded me to) the Poulet Braise ($10) which is a half baked chicken in a spicy mustard sauce served with vegetables and a spicy onion sauce. The chicken was amazing : it was marinated in a sweet mustard sauce and pan fried to a crisp as if it was deep fried. The chicken was served with a heap of “onion sauce” – caramelized onions fried with a curry like spice that definitely had a strong kick to it. The white rice was a short grain that was deliciously soft and tender and made a great compliment to the spicy onion sauce and the crispy chicken. The portions were enormous and for just $10, this could have been lunch or dinner for 2.
We also ordered a plate of Thiebou Djeun – a famous West African dish which includes salted red snapper, yucca, stewed carrots over fried rice. The fish was soft and tender and stuffed with a mix of herbs and spices – not too salty nor spicy. I had half expected it to be extremely salty and smelly like Chinese salted fish, but this was more subtle and more agreeable to my taste. The sides included eggplant, stewed carrots, yucca, and a cardamom bean mixture. The fried rice was also a short grain variety and had the consistency of Asian sweet rice.]]>