Guests gathered on Thursday evening for part two of the Good Ones Let’s Get Brandy Power Hour. The theme for the evening was stoplight fashion, your best red, yellow and green outfits! Held at Neenas in Harvard Square, this event had two very special guests.
The dish also had a lemon curd tart, sprinkled with powdered sugar and was finished off with a little bit of raspberry coulis. The sugar salt mix made the donuts stand out on their own and the tart packed a punch. The dough was so buttery and light and the lemon curd was so tart (no pun intended)!
Justin prepping his pumpkin shooters. Justin is a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made awards, please take a moment to vote for him: http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/94057/food/trademark-tarts He has the opportunity to win $10K to put towards opening a brick and mortar restaurant with Stephanie.
These bite sized tarts were a huge hit!Guests for the evening included: (L-R) Steven Tannenbaum; Stephanie Cmar of Party of Two and Stacked Donuts; Carolyn Kim, co-founder of the Good Ones; Kinda Touma of Kinda TFashion, and Jennifer Brooke, co-founder of the Good Ones.
Left to right, Top Chef Stephanie Cmar; Madison McBirney, intern at Candice Wu Couture; Fashion Designer Candice Wu of Candice Wu Couture.
Left to right, Justin Burke Samson of Party of Two and Trademark Tarts; Jennifer Brooke, co-founder of the Good Ones; Carolyn Kim, co-founder of the Good Ones; and Stephanie Cmar, of Stacked Donuts and Party of Two.
Guests, and Eric Toczko (above), sipped on craft cocktails from Deep Eddy. Tonight’s drink was the Boston Mule with Deep Eddy Cranberry vodka, lime juice, ginger beer and a lime garnish.
Left, Molly Siegel, Owner, Retail Consultant at Athlete by Design. Athlete by Design is a designer athletic men’s and women’s pop-up retailer serving Eastern Massachusetts. They set up day long boutiques in gyms, health food stores, and farmer’s markets. Right, Jordan Pollard, Software Application Developer at Mimecast a software company that specializes in unified email management.
Zach Braiker, president of Refine + Focus.
Chris Gagnon, fitness trainer and endurance conditioning coach, owner of Cross Cylce Fitness. Chris a professional endurance cyclist completing over two dozen 24 Hour solo mountain bike races, 5 World Solo 24 Hour Races, and countless additional events across the country. He grew up a competitive hockey player and developed a love for fitness at a young age. His certifications include Mad Dogg (Spinning), Schwinn Indoor Cycling, ISSA, NASM, and Mad Dogg (Spinning),with BFA from Tufts & Museum School in graphic design. In the classroom, he combines his over 10 years of functional training knowledge with his professional cycling experience to challenge riders both physically and mentally, teaching to music that motivates, and inspiring them to achieve greatness both on and off the bike.
Good Ones events are invite only, email Carolyn to request an invite: Carolyn@thegoodonesboston.com
So my friend Justin Burke Samson is a Martha Stewart American Made Finalist! What is American Made? American Made spotlights the maker, supports the local, and celebrates the handmade. What can Justin win? A spot in Martha Stewart’s American Made Market; $10,000 to grow his business; a video produced by the Martha Stewart in-house team; and the opportunity to be featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine, on SiriusXM radio, and on the Martha Stewart website. You can vote up to 6 times a day. I have had the opportunity to hang out with Justin on a few occasions recently, taste his delicious baked goods and see him create these amazing tarts. Recently he was at Taza Chocolate in Somerville sampling some new creations. Above are the chili chocolate chip cookies with candied lime drizzle
And finally the chocolate cinnamon roll pop tarts. So please vote for Justin, and his Trademark Tarts. If he wins, all the money will go towards opening a brick and mortar restaurant with Party of Two business partner Stephanie Cmar – and come one, who isn’t looking forward to that? So here is the link again to vote: http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/94057/food/trademark-tarts
For the month of September, for every Angel’s Envy drink you take a photo of, and post on social media (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) with the hashtag #AE4THETREES, Angel’s Envy will plant a white oak tree.
Why is this important? Bourbon distillers need new American white oak barrels to age bourbon and currently, there is a barrel shortage.
Hint Water was also at the event with both their original hint water and hint fizz varieties. On the left is Jeff Venuti, Field Marketing Manager for Hint.
Liqs are the world’s first premium ready to drink cocktail shots. The company was founded in 2013 by Michael Glickman and Harley Bauer. A GENIUS product if you ask me. Easy to carry and transport (to a party, a cookout, the pool or the beach) and they taste like you just made them! Here are the flavors that they come in:
Vodka-Cucumber Lime: By combining the cooling nature of cucumber with the citrus of lime, we’ve created an ideal mix to blend with our super premium vodka. The result? A light and refreshing cocktail shot perfect for any occasion.
Vodka Lychee Grapefruit: The most fruit forward of our cocktail shots, we keep the flavors natural, not overly sweet. The citrus of grapefruit balances effortlessly with the sweetness of lychee.
Tequila Cinnamon Orange: We enlisted the finest tequila connoisseurs to blend the subtle spice of cinnamon with fresh orange to create an irresistible balance of spicy and sweet. You’ll never look at a tequila shot the same way again.
Vodka Kamikaze: Originally made from vodka, triple sec and lime juice, the kamikaze has been a nightlife staple for years. We’ve infused ours with the finest citrus and a hint of natural vanilla that will surprise and energize your taste buds.
Featured Guest: Miam Miam Macaronerie
Jennifer, pastry chef, chocolatier and owner of Blue Tierra Chocolate, started experimenting with the tiny French confections at her former West Broadway location. Nicole, an IT Administrator with a degree in public relations and over 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry, was a loyal customer.
Jennifer perfected her recipe and mastered the macaron. The final product was flawless texture & flavor and Nicole was hooked. This mutual love of the macaron brought them together to combine their strengths and energies. And thus, Miam Miam Macaronerie, LLC was ‘baked’ out of their love.
What is Miam Miam? Miam-miam (pronounced mee-yahm mee-yahm) is the french word for “yummy.” Keep your eyes open, they are looking to open a shop in the near future! I think the pistachio ones are my favorite!
Guests sipped on a specialty cocktail from Deep Eddy vodka.
Left, Hillary Bucklin and right, Stef Poracro, who just hosted the first Awake Boston event, a morning yoga session and dance party. See the Facebook page here.
Featured guest: Aaron Belyea – Owner / Art Director ALPHABETARM.com
As self-taught artist, Aaron launched his graphic design career while performing in numerous bands in Boston, for which he would create a visual image that complimented the band’s music. Aaron later honed his artistic talents at The Planetary Group, overseeing the design department for this artist development company. His ability to successfully develop identities, rooted in decisive visual concepts led to the establishment of his own studio in 2001. The company name comes from Aaron’s design moniker, “Alphabet Arm,” which refers to the alphabet tattoo wrapped around one of his arms. Aaron can often be found speaking at colleges and universities as well as teaching classes and presentations for various entrepreneur / start-up organizations.
What is so great about Good Ones events is that each one is different. The event on Tuesday is drastically different from the one on Thursday. There are familiar faces but also a good number of new ones as well.
The guests at each event have been hand selected – they are founders, executives, journalists, entertainers, students, creatives, mentors and mentees — and tonight they are people who care about Personal + Professional Branding
Featured Guest: Silvi Naci (right) – Artist / Designer / Curator SILVERYMACHINE.com
Being connected to the art scene in Boston and other urban cities like New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco, allows Silvi to create engaging art shows, and bring together artists from diverse backgrounds. What drives her as an artist, designer and curator, is a passion to create things that are meaningful. As the Art Director at Liquid Art House, her canvas is the spectacular open space where anything is possible. From showcasing the incredible stable of talent she’s collected throughout her travels and shows, to shaping the Liquid Art “House,” not just as a gallery of walls, but as a platform of ideas, education and community. Silvi’s goal is to invite collaboration and build new opportunities for artists and designers alike. On rare days off, she loves riding her bike, hiking, cooking vegan food, running and making art.
Charlotte Kim, Senior Vice President of Cheer Networks.
When we finally got up to Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont, we decided to go out for dinner. Looking for something casual, we decided on Gracie’s. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid, and that was at their old location in town. Closer to the hotel, Gracie’s is a popular casual dining spot for locals and tourists alike.
Gracie’s opened in 1991, and it was named after owners Sue and Archie’s rescue dog. They made the move to this new location in 2009. The dog theme is carried throughout the dining room – from the decor to the names of the menu items.
Half-pound burger served with lettuce, tomato and guacamole on the side.
Half-pound cheddar burger with sautéed peppers and onions.
Half-pound cheddar bacon burger.
Half-pound cheddar burger with sautéed mushrooms.
Blazing Beagle Burger
Gracie’s half-pound burger rolled in Cajun spices and grilled to juicy perfection with lettuce and tomato.
Also available as Dante’s Dalmatian-for the firedog.
The Kirby Burger
Gracie’s half pound burger topped with melted cheddar, bacon and a side of our own Memphis BBQ sauce.
Blue Tick Hound Burger
Half-pound melted blue cheese burger with lettuce and tomato.
This one’s got a good bite to it. A half-pound cheddar burger topped with lettuce and Tomato. With sour cream, garlic, horseradish sauce on the side.
The Petey Burger
Everyone’s favorite canine orphan. Spanky and Alfalfa put their minds together for this one. A great combination that only the little rascals could think of starting with a half pound of Boyden Farms ground beef topped with Vermont cheddar cheese and, bacon, onion rings and cajun spice. A dollar of the price of each Petey Burger will be donated by Gracie’s to the North Country Animal League.
The Husky ($12.95): Half-pound cheddar burger with sautéed mushrooms. Just what the dr ordered after a long car ride. The burger was flavorful and cooked perfectly medium. The service was excellent – Archie the owner was there running the host stand! I always think it’s nice to see the owners of restaurants pitching in.
18 Edison Hill Road, Stowe, VT
I am giving away two tickets to the Taste Trekkers conference (back for its second year) on October 4th+5th in Providence. Tickets include Saturday’s Expo at the Biltmore and Sunday’s Scavenger Hunt at the Providence Arcade. Winner must be over 18.
Like my Facebook page to be entered to win. Contest will close on Wednesday, September 25th at 8pm EST.
What is Taste Trekkers?
It’s a website for foodies who love travel. Check out the guest post I did for them about Boston’s top burgers here.
ABOUT THE EXPO:
Taste Trekkers returns to Rhode Island to show passionate foodies how to explore the world through cuisine. It brings together chefs, farmers, wineries, brewers, food tour operators, and other artisanal food producers from different regions. Sample foods from different places, learn the culinary history of different regions, and gain practical tips for planning your own foodie vacation.
Saturday, October 4th: Foodie Day • 10:00 am: Ten Minute Talks • 11:00 am: Edible Sessions • 2:00 pm: Hope & Main Tasting Pavilion
The morning will start off with the Taste Trekkers Tens, which are a series of ten-minute talks led by culinary experts. Each will focus on cuisine from a different region of the world. It’s a great way to discover a new destination for your next culinary trip. Then you’ll break into groups and dive deeper into dishes from particular regions in these 45-minute sessions. You’ll sample and learn about the history, making and traditions around each food. Every attendee will participate in three sessions during the Expo. Register early to get your choice of sessions. Finish off the afternoon in the Biltmore’s Grand Ballroom, with stunning views overlooking all of downtown Providence. Wander the room and sample food and drink from dozens of local restaurants and artisanal food producers. Mingle with other attendees and find inspiration for your next trip.
Sunday, October 5th: Scavenger Hunt 12:00 am: Eat & Run Scavenger Hunt • 4:00 pm: New England Premiere of Farm-City, State at the Cable Car Cinema
On Sunday, October 5th, we’ll wrap up the 2014 Taste Trekkers Food & Travel Expo with a scavenger hunt throughout downcity Providence. Enter by yourself or with a team of friends and compete for hundreds of dollars worth of prizes.
The hunt starts at 12:00 noon at the Providence Arcade (65 Weybosset St, Providence, RI). We will announce the winner at the conclusion of the showing of Farm-City, State.
• Elle Armon-Jones – Owner, The Big Foody Food Tours • Christopher Bakken – Author of Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table • Tom Bivins – Executive Director, Vermont Cheese Council • Sean Buchanan – Business Development Manager, Blackstone River Produce • Cesin Curi – Chef, Los Andes • Grace Della – Owner, Miami Culinary Tours • Jose Duarte – Chef & Owner, Taranta Restaurant • Colleen Franzreb – Owner, Cape Cod Foodie Tours • Tatiana Gana – Co-Founder, Gastro Tours • Kimberly Gunning and Steve Lovelace – Owners, Niagara Culinary Tours • Lisa Gustavson – Owner, Sojourner Tour Company • Richard J.S. Gutman – Director & Curator, Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University • Jeff Landry – Produce Specialist, Native Mainse Produce & Specialty Foods • Marina Marchese – Founder, American Honey Tasting Society and Red Bee Honey • Richard Miscovich – Associate Professor, Johnson & Wales University • Sam Poley – Director of Public Relations & Communications, Durham Convention & Visitor’s Bureau • Neil Rogers – Executive Chef, Volturno Pizza Napoletana • Lisa Webster – Owner & Operator, North Star Sheep Farm • Thei Zervaki – Food writer and journalist
I was invited to the third annual Taste of WGBH Food and Wine Festival on September 11th. Chefs from all over New England came to sample their dishes at the Chef’s Gala Reception. The events continued all weekend including a farmer’s market, artisan taste sessions, educational seminars and a brunch bar.
Chef Michael Werneke from Prohibition Pig in Vermont made corn muffins with cultured Farmstead butter, smoked pork rillettes on crouton with pickle, and Bailey Hazen blue cheese tartlet with black walnuts and maple. The dish was paired with Guzman Riestra Brut Nature Cider.
Chef Cara Stadler from Tao Yuan in Maine made Grandma Tang’s roast pork buns which was paired with a La Madrid Estate Reserve Cabernet Franc. This was my favorite dish of the evening. Very well made, and the filling was so flavorful.
Andy Husbands from Tremont 647 was serving a BBQ brisket with kimchee sauce and yuzu apple slaw. It was paired with a Bissell Brothers Brewing Substance Ale. Andy always knocks it out of the park. Andy just finished a cookbook called Grilled to Perfection, you should check it out.
Il Casale made panzarotti: smoked scamorza stuffedpotato croquettes with a roasted red pepper sauce.
Chef Matt Morello from Brasserie 28 in Andover had a charcuterie display.
Chris Coombs from Boston Chops did a lovely steak tartare served on a potato chip paired with a 2012 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
The State Room prepared a lobster bahn mie sandwich with cilantro citrus marinated lobster, pickled fennel and chili aioli.
Chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier from MC Spiedo made a spit roasted suckling pig with macaroni, root vegetables and a farm egg. The dish was paired with a 2010 BV Tapestry.
Tallulah on Thames, a restaurant in Newport, prepared a lovely dessert – Sweet Berry Farm peaches that were compressed and served with a curried yogurt, anise, hyssop, tarragon and pickled onions. It was paired with a 2011 Terrior Hunter Sauvignon Blanc Leyda. The peaches were almost translucent and the flavors were bold. I loved this dish.
Chef Louis DiBicari of Tavern Road prepared a smoked bluefish pate with fennel pollen and orange mostarda. It was served with a 2012 Malvasia del Fiore.
Will Gilson from Puritan and Co. made a heirloom tomato gazpacho with basil and marinated scallops.
Chef Michael Scelfo from Alden & Harlow made a grilled corn salad with avocado creme and pumpernickel crumbs. It was paired with a 2013 Chateau de Munuty Prestige.
Chef Jaime Davis from Deuxave made a milk chocolate cremeux with compressed apple cider and olive oil cake. It was paired with a Broadbent 3 year fine rich madeira.
Chef Nevin Taylor from Tres Gatos in Jamaica Plain made lamb kofta and mixed vegetables with a green goddess dressing.
Chef Jason Bond from Bondir.
Chef William Kovel from Catalyst made a spice crusted tuna with a cucumber radish salad, lemon syrup and a sesame tuile.
Chef Brooke Vosika from The Four Seasons Bristol Lounge made crab gougeres with chives, served with golden tomatoes and lobster coral.
Chef Brian Alberg from the Red Lion Inn made a summer ratatouille with a tomato vinaigrette and Mill River micro greens.
Chef Shannon Bard from Zapoteca/Mixteca in Portland, ME made a spicy lobster bisque. A simple and yet lovely presentation. The broth was a bit spicy but really quite delicious. Probably my second favorite dish of the night.
The bisque was served with Herradura Silver Old Fashioned.
80 Thoreau‘s chef, Carolyn Johnson, made lamb dumplings with smoky eggplant and peppers. It was served with a Donelan Family 2011 Cuvee Christine Syrah
Tyler Anderson of Millwright’s in CT made onions, chicken vin, fried chicken skin with picked golden raisins.
Entertainment was provided by The Perry Rossi Band. Great band with a great sound!
To hear a sample of their sound, check out my Instagram video here.
I recently met up with Stephanie Cmar and Justin Burke Samson of Stacked Donuts and Trademark Tarts. They have officially become Party of Two! We chatted at Fairsted Kitchen before their pop up event. You would think that they had been best friends since first grade (they complete each other’s sentences!), but really, they became friends when Stephanie started Stacked Donuts at the beginning of the year. What is amazing to me is that Justin is self taught – his creations are delicious. Here he is making a chocolate cookies and cream pop tart with Bailey’s frosting – perfect for the boozy themed evening.
And let me tell you, he didn’t skimp on the Bailey’s! Justin always thought that he would do this kind of thing later in life – like when he was 50. I’m glad he didn’t wait that long! I asked him if leaving a 9-5 and steady paycheck to focus on Party of Two was scary – and he said of course it is, but would it be worth it if it wasn’t scary?
Justin is definitely a baker – very detail oriented. He was telling me that one time he had to make the donuts using Stephanie’s recipe. She took one bite and said they were AMAZING, what did he do? To which he simply replied, “I followed the recipe”.
I asked where his flavors come from, are they genius ideas that come to him in the middle of the night? Do loyal fans request flavors? Are they crowd-sourced? He said all of the above! Did you know that Trademark Tarts is a finalist in the Martha Steward American Made awards. Please vote for him! The prize is $10K that will all be put towards opening a brick and mortar business! http://www.marthastewart.com/americanmade/nominee/94057/food/trademark-tarts
For the event at Fairsted, Stephanie made about 40 donuts. For events on the weekend, she makes more. Even at 10pm, when those donuts were put on the table, there was a very decent line of fans patiently waiting (if not frothing a little at the mouth).
You may recognize Stephanie from Top Chef Season 11.
Stephanie is a 2007 graduate of Johnson and Whales. She returned to Boston after graduation and started her career at Top of the Hub. From there she moved on to Ivy Restaurant. In 2009 she began working with the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, first at B&G and then at Stir. Most recently she was at No. 9 Park.
Check them out on social media to see where they will be next. They are at State Park today at 2, Moody’s in Waltham on Saturday from 2-6pm and Mei Mei Street Kitchen on Sunday at 11am.
Party of Two https://www.facebook.com/PartyOfTwoBoston
Stacked Donuts https://twitter.com/StackedDonuts
Trademark Tarts https://twitter.com/trademarktarts
The Blue Moon Cafe in Stowe has been a fine dining destination since 1992. Jim Barton, now owner, was the dining room manager until 2001, when he bought the restaurant from the previous owner. Since then, they have been through multiple renovations and his wife Donna has done some extensive gardening. The kitchen is run by Jimmy Kalp who has worked at such places like National Hotel, The Ryah House, The Andirons Lodge and Frida’sTaqueria.
Whenever we go up to Stowe, we usually hit the same few places. This year, we wanted to try something new, so my friend Carolyn (of the Good Ones) who has a home up in Stowe gave me this suggestion. We start off with the artisan cheese platter ($12) that comes with some toast, dried fruit and raisins and a little mustard seed. Simple and yet so good.
For dessert, I can’t remember the formal name for this, but raspberry sorbet and pistachio ice cream with raspberry coulis. Amazing. Two of my favorite things, combined to make a great summer dessert.
The crumble was also a delicious choice – we were almost too full to eat it after our meals! Almost. The service was top notch – we felt like we were being welcomed into someone’s home as opposed to eating at a restaurant. There were a lot of regulars dining, it was nice to see that they were welcomed by name and thanked for coming in.
Blue Moon Cafe
35 School Street, Stowe, VT
There are only a few items on the menu: the flatbread sandwich, housemade noodle soup, lamb hand pulled noodle soup, hand pulled noodles, Xi’an noodles, and cumin hand pulled noodles. Be prepared to wait, as they hand pull the noodles to order.
I had the #4 hand pulled noodles, served with a healthy dollop of garlic, a sprinkle of chili powder, cilantro and scallions. The noodles are thick and have a good bite to them. A simple but extremely delicious dish. So good in fact, that we went back days later with other co-workers!
Don’t forget to stop at the ATM before you go, they only take cash. Monday thru Friday: 11AM-6:30PM, closed on the weekends.
Gene’s Chinese Flatbread Cafe
86 Bedford Street, Boston, MA
On our way up to Vermont this year, we decided to stop at Dartmouth for a quick bite to eat. There was a ton of traffic getting up here – something about blasting on the side of the highway – so we were famished. Lou’s has always been a midpoint for us over the years. Lou’s has been around for what seems like forever! 2007 marked their 60th anniversary.
The restaurant is a bit dated, or maybe it’s nostalgic. The food is nothing fancy, but you can get breakfast all day, delicious baked goods, and the price is right! I order the grilled cheese ($8.95) that hits the spot.
Stop in to Lou’s for a little piece of history.
30 South Main Street, Hanover, NH