Last night was one of the best nights I’ve had since starting to blog and I can’t wait to tell you about it! First though, I had to power through my day at work. For lunch, I ran downstairs to the shop in my building for a delicious plate of tastiness – salmon, steamed vegetables, sauteed broccoli rabe with sundried tomatoes, ginger roasted carrots and brown rice.
I had the maple yogurt around 4pm. I enjoyed the flavor, but it’s MUCH thinner than I’m used to. Perhaps that’s because it’s not full of additives, but it took some getting used to. I don’t think I could have even added granola b/c it would have fallen right through the yogurt to the bottom of the container.
Moving on to more exciting matters though, I dashed downtown as soon as 5:00 hit (the advantage of coming in early every day is not feeling guilty when I actually leave on time ONCE). Lindsay, the beautiful Happy Herbivore, had been invited to a cocktail party hosted by Viking and their new Designer line at The Food Network studios. She invited me to go as her guest!!
Even before I got up to the studio, I was in awe. I arrived a little early, so I got to wander around Chelsea Market for a bit. I was too shy to take pictures, but I already got The Huz to promise that we can go back because it was love at first site for this foodie. The entire building is full of shops dedicated to environmentally conscious, locally, community-driven agriculture and products. Little bake shops full of exquisite gingerbread cookies and cupcakes were nestled next to local butchers and winery shops and even a little italian wholesale market – they had Callebaut chocolate there by the block on the cheap! You can bet I’ll be back soon and I’m bringin’ the big camera!
Just before 6, I headed up to the studio and, as luck had it, Lindsay got there at the exact same time! We donned our name tags and started the party off right with a cocktail. The bartender had offered us red or white wine, or the cocktail of the evening. He described it as apple cider with bourbon and cointreau. I beg to differ. This drink was bourbon and cointreau with a HINT of apple cider. Wowza these puppies packed some punch!
I am completely in awe of the Food Network’s studios and kitchen. The kitchen is totally open and has rows of beautiful, sparkling ranges and ovens. Chefs mingled with the party guests when they weren’t cooking up our appetizers. I didn’t taste many of the little bites as most of them had red meat, but they looked truly beautiful – perfectly rare beef croquettes, crabcakes with horseradish aioli, seared tuna served in japanese soup spoons, and little “quesadilla” bites. I had these since they were vegetarian and they were fantastic. Lindsay was lamenting that none of the dishes were vegan, so I mustered up the courage to ask one of the chefs if anything might be close to vegan that we could work with. He turned to the chef who was making the quesadilla bites and asked if he could leave cheese off a couple of them and, before we knew it, he’d prepared a whole little platter for Lindsay to take with her on our tour! Many thanks, Food Network!
Bellies happy and heads buzzing, we were taken on a tour of the set for Melissa D’Arabian’s new show that starts in January. They start shooting next week! The set was incredible; they’ve thought of everything! I wish I could have taken pictures b/c my description wouldn’t do it justice, but they’re keeping it under wraps until the show debuts. Just trust me that the show you’ll see in January might look “simply sophisticated” but there is SO much that goes into that kitchen (and living and dining room!). Trees and moving traffic in the windows, lights everywhere and what must have been eight or nine different cameras. We kindly offered to stop by as often as needed so the set wouldn’t feel lonely in between shows, but I don’t know if they bought it 😉
The real star of the set (since Melissa is the star of the SHOW) was the shiny, luxurious new Viking kitchen. Lindsay and I got goosebumps just thinking about cooking in such wonderful surroundings. We spoke to one of the Viking representatives who explained they’ve been working with the Food Network since both companies were small (about 14 yrs ago) and that they’ve got a great relationship. It’s so nice to hear about companies who make the time and effort to nurture good relationships and you can bet I’ll keep an eye out for Viking appliances when I watch other Food Network shows!
The star of the party: