Meet the Founders of Tumeric Alive

Made and bottled in a New York City kitchen, Tumeric Alive combines eight carefully selected ingredients to produce a delicious drink with intense flavor. The taste is just a lucky byproduct of the healthy ingredients of Tumeric Alive, available in both original and vegan—the latter substitutes agave and cinnamon for honey.

The laundry list of benefits in each bottle is impressive, and at the top of the list is the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric root (the inspiration for the drink itself), believed additionally to help in the prevention of liver diseases and certain cancers. “Literally, your life will be transformed if you drink two bottles a day for a week,” says Daniel Sullivan, Founder of Tumeric Alive. While on a trip studying agriculture in Hawaii, Daniel developed a strong connection with the turmeric crop. “I was magnetically drawn to this root. When I get passionate about something, I go for it,” he said.

Equally as impressive is the company’s efforts to uphold their commitment to sustainability, not only sourcing locally produced organic ingredients, but delivering Tumeric Alive to retailers via messenger bicycle. Rest assured that Tumeric Alive provides high quality with a low carbon footprint.

Clean Plates: What specific benefits does an “alive juice” have over other juices?

Daniel: For the most part, beverages are pasteurized, which kills bacteria that can cause botulism and extend shelf life. But it also kills the healing enzymes that are responsible for metabolic activity. The curcumin is what improves mental clarity and reduced inflammation. It’s what makes you feel lighter in your step. It’s really energizing and fat metabolizing.

Clean Plates: How much is too much? Can I drink three bottles a day?

Daniel: You can’t overdose on it, but most importantly, listen to your body. These are food based herbs.

Isa: If you’re on a blood thinner you’ll want to check with your doctor as turmeric has natural blood thinning properties. Also in very large amounts, it is a uterine stimulant.

Clean Plates: Since you started, have you noticed any changes in your own health/well-being?

Daniel: I can’t even imagine life without turmeric. It’s really empowering. Inflammation is the precursor to every modern day ailment. This helps you sustain a longer, healthier lifestyle. I had digestive challenges which were resolved. I used to take so many pills for acid reflux which were doing more damage.

Isa: I had liver and gall bladder problems. I felt the benefits immediately.

Clean Plates: How often do you drink Tumeric? Do you prefer regular or vegan?

Daniel: I drink a full 12 oz bottle a day. I like them both the same. It’s like telling someone which of your children you like better.

Isa: Diabetics who are concerned about blood sugar and vegans can go for the second option sweetened with cinnamon and agave. But the raw honey in the original is so rich in enzymes.

Clean Plates: How important is sustainability to you?

Daniel: We try to source as locally as we can which is one of the most important aspects of sustainability. One of the most important things as a people is to support local food, businesses and production.

Clean Plates: What is a success you’re most proud of?

Daniel: We’re one of the fastest growing local companies in Whole Foods in NYC. One thing that satisfies me is that each bottle sold is a reflection of income for all the stores in New York. We are in about 140 stores, not gas stations, but local mom and pop stores. Every bottle sold is more money in NYC’s pocket. The ability to gainfully employ someone is a fantastic effect of having a business. One of the funniest things is opening new stores and people are grabbing it out of our hands as you’re putting it on the selves.

Isa: People come every day to say they love it, so I’ve been having people fill out this love card for our kitchen so they feel the appreciation.

Clean Plates: Where do you see the company in the future? Plans to expand?

Daniel: We want to do a skin care line and a whole spectrum of other therapeutic products. We’re going to buy a turmeric farm and we are planning to do this same concept out in San Francisco. We want to serve as many people as we can and take it cross country. There’s something in it for everyone. With formulas and flavors, we say to ourselves, “how can these ingredients effectively change your health and improve your life?” That is our foundation for moving forward.

Need more? Look for Tumeric Alive in some of your favorite Clean Plates restaurants including Bhakti Cafe, Caravan of Dreams, One Lucky Duck, and Souen, or look for demonstrations at Whole Foods locations around NYC.

Eat On The Farm This Summer, With Bobo

Want to see where the ramps from Bobo‘s kitchen come from? The season-savvy West Village restaurant knows that while their brownstone locale is homey, nothing beats eating right on the land where their finely prepared food started out as just seeds. And for us concrete-ridden New Yorkers in need of some tender grass under foot, their second annual Plate to Gate series (sort of like farm to table in reverse) provides such the space.

Chef Patrick Connolly and team invite diners to their purveyors’ throughout the summer into mid-autumn, where they’ll use a makeshift wood-burning stove on-site. A pig roast and crab boil hits Balsam Farms in East Hampton July 3rd, while Bastille Day (July 14th) will be celebrated atop the roof of Long Island City’s Brooklyn Grange farm (as will August 4th).

Follow the crew to Fire Island Beer Company for a beer garden-based clam bake (July 30th); Widow’s Hole Oyster in Greenport for fresh bivalve slurping (Sept. 4th); then to Neversink Farm in the Catskills on Sept. 17th for dinner in a barn, where draping lights and hay barrels provide the ambiance. Close out the season at the New Amsterdam Market along the South Street Seaport on October 16th, when dinner will be sourced from vendors’ wares that you’ll want to stock up on before winter.

Tickets are $50 per person and can be reserved by calling Bobo at 212-488-2626. Depending on location, space may be limited to as few as 40 to 125 guests. Check the garden party photo-slides from last year’s and updates on this year’s on the restaurant’s Bobo Log.

Photo via rg-fotos, Flickr

Q & A with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony

michael-anthony

After cultivating his craft in Paris’s best kitchens and working at New York restaurants Daniel, March and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Michael Anthony was named Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern in 2006. Since then, the award-winning American eatery has received countless accolades and is consistently ranked as one of Manhattan’s best.

Chef Michael’s farm-to-table approach focuses on using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. With an ever-changing menu showcasing greenmarket produce and sustainable products, Michael’s simple, straightforward cuisine inspires a connection between diners and their food.

More than just a chef, he is a devoted educator, father, philanthropist and active member of the community. Whether participating in charitable events, visiting farms with his staff or teaching elementary school children in his kitchen, Michael’s passion extends far beyond the plate.

As Executive Chef of Gramercy Tavern, you focus on using sustainable and local ingredients. Why is this philosophy so important to you?

Sourcing foods locally, for me, is the most distinctive way that we can tell our story. New York City is the most stimulating dining city in the world and we have the benefit of working with chefs and embracing ideas from all over. However, the best way to tell our story is through the ingredients that are here locally. Eating in New York is different than eating in any other city.

There are many benefits in supporting the local community and establishing one-on-one relationships with the people that grow our food. When a guest tells me how much they loved the Swiss chard, I can tell the grower specifically why people love it. When someone asks about the grass-fed beef, I can give them an informed answer about what the animal was eating. Not everyone wants to know those details, but it certainly makes for an interesting story. Diners want to feel more connected and want their dining experience to be valuable—and value, these days, not only means being delicious, but also healthy and smart.

Now that Spring has finally bloomed here in NYC, what types of seasonal flavors can we see make an appearance on the menu?

Well, two weeks ago was the first day that asparagus showed up at the Union Square Greenmarket in enough quantity that restaurants could actually buy it by the case. It was almost like it was opening day at Citi Field! Right now, we have four asparagus dishes on the menu, but that will change as other seasonal ingredients come to our markets. Certain ingredients explode during certain times of the year, so why wouldn’t our menu explode with those ingredients as well?

We’ve also reached out to a couple area producers to buy small quantities of some special, hard-to-find things that they come across while foraging. We’ve been able to get some great wild ginger, toothwort and other ingredients that you typically won’t find at the markets.

When you find these ingredients, are there certain methods that you use when conceiving a new dish?

Dishes are inspired by the new ingredient. We want to keep it simple enough that it’s memorable and layer it so that it has an echoing effect through the dish—meaning handle it in a couple different ways on a single dish. Avoid over manipulating the ingredient. The flavor combos, techniques and plating have to create intrigue, a lovable quality. We want guests to experience something they have never experienced before.

I know you’re a father to three young daughters. Has having children influenced your mindset as far as the causes and charities you support?

It’s definitely instigated me to push things further. The principals that we use at the restaurant ignite the way I eat at home, and when it comes to little kids, every bite matters even more.

Over the last hundred years, we’ve grown further away from our culinary and agricultural history for convenience and modernization. I’m not saying that you have to go back in time and adapt an old-fashioned lifestyle—I love living in fast-paced Manhattan, I don’t want to slow down—but I do want to preserve the right to eat a wide variety of healthy, delicious and nutritious foods. Since I do this for a living, I’ve learned a lot of tricks along the way that I use at home and at the restaurant.

Can you tell me a little bit about your ongoing efforts in educating public school kids?

One of the most important roles of a restaurant in the community is that of an educator. We have a responsibility of sharing our enthusiasm and knowledge with those who are eager to learn. Not bombarding kids with propaganda, but giving them the tools to make healthy choices and to understand the fun and weird things that happen around food. We partnered with an elementary school 5 years ago and we schedule 18-20 days a year to teach the children, whether it be a class at the school, in our kitchen or at the green market. Most importantly, we want to create a vocabulary with the kids to find their likes and dislikes. If you make them a part of the process, they’re more likely to give it a taste.

I understand you’ll be in Toledo next week participating in their Taste of the Nation event and are an avid supporter of Share Our Strength. What about this organization moves you to get involved?

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation represents a long running tradition with our company and the charitable organization. It’s a huge fundraiser for them, but it’s a culmination of a lot of symbiotic initiatives between Danny Meyer and Billy Shore. It’s done a lot to transform the neighborhood in which Danny’s businesses operate and also the landscape of the way people eat. Share Our Strength’s mission statement is to end childhood hunger and this is a major part in helping make that happen.

We love doing the large scale events, but some of the smaller ones, like Just Food’s Let Us Eat Local and Brooklyn Uncorked, are dynamite events as well! Especially with a company like Clean Plates, where you’re talking about a specific type of restaurant—these restaurants are very idealistic. I love being involved with these events, it’s a really cool thing.

Note: Pastry chef Nancy Olsen will be representing Gramercy Tavern during NYC’s Taste of the Nation on May 23rd. To purchase tickets, please visit www.newyorktaste.org.

Is there anything else on the horizon that you’d like to share?

Well, I do have some exciting news to share. It may be a little premature and it’s just right out of the gates, but we will be coming out with the story of Gramercy Tavern as a cookbook. It’s years away from publication, but it will become a big part of our lives here at the restaurant. This is a beloved place for a lot of people and I think that it’s a story that has yet to be told. I think people will be really excited to learn more about the history of the restaurant and to see, hear and feel how we’re pushing its evolution along.

Photo credit: Ellen Silverman

Wellness in the Schools Annual Benefit

Did you know that more than 20 percent of students in NYC public schools are considered obese? Shocking, yet this was just one of many distressing statistics shared at Monday night’s Annual Benefit for Wellness in the Schools. Wellness in the Schools (WITS) is a New York City based non-profit that introduces healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for public school children. Through partnerships with educational leaders, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and kids, WITS creates hands-on programs such as Cook for Kids, Green for Kids and Coach for Kids, which help kids learn and grow.

Presented by WITS, in partnership with Chop’t Creative Salad Company, Telepan, Cartoon Network and Edible Manhattan, the elegant event was held at the spectacular new Tribeca Rooftop at 10 Desbrosses Street in downtown Manhattan. Hundreds of guests enjoyed exquisite views (despite a fog-filled evening), sampled food from the city’s most celebrated chefs and sipped on a selection of wine and cocktails.

On hand to lend their support were renowned chefs Bill Telepan (Telepan Restaurant & Executive Chef of WITS), Michael Anthony (Gramercy Tavern), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter, The Darby), Marc Forgione (Marc Forgione), Zak Pelaccio (Fatty Crab), and others from participating restaurants Alice’s Tea Cup, L’Artusi, August, Babbo, Boqueria, Candle 79, Cleaver Co. & The Green Table, Commerce, CraftDovetail, Egg, L’EcoleLevain Bakery, Magnolia Bakery, Perilla, SueñosThistle Hill and Tribeca Grill. Each prepared tastings of healthful signature dishes that showcased fresh, seasonal ingredients.

To help raise funding, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman Ben Doller hosted a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind items, including a dinner party at L’Artusi with Alec Baldwin and a private dinner at Red Rooster prepared by chefs Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster) and Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto). Clean Plates pitched in by donating books alongside a dinner for two at Rouge Tomate to the silent auction.

Bringing attention to the childhood obesity epidemic really resonated with the many parents and supporters that filled the room. Above all, the benefit supported the notion that delicious food can be nutritious and sustainable, and that sparking change in young kids can help them develop healthy habits for life. WITS is doing a fantastic job at inspiring the changes that NYC so desperately needs, one school at a time.

For more information or to lend support to this incredible cause, please visit wellnessintheschools.org.

Fresh asparagus, goat cheese and pickled turnip crisp from Gramercy Tavern

L’Ecole‘s breadstick-skewered grilled shrimp over creamy white asparagus gazpacho 

Organic BBQ beef tacos topped with queso fresco and pico de gallo from Sueños 

Barbuto chef Jonathan Waxman grilled up organic chicken hot dogs with asparagus slaw

Freshocracy: NYC’s Farm-to-Table Grocery and Recipe Delivery Service

Busy lifestyles often conflict with nutritional ideals. Many New Yorkers simply lack the time to cook at home and learn about where their food comes from. Freshocracy, a new farm-to-table grocery and recipe delivery service, aims to help.

Freshocracy is led by Andreas Boquist, Christina DiLaura, and Ferdinand Grumme, New Yorkers who are as passionate about healthy, delicious, locally-sourced food as they are practical. Together, they created a bi-weekly service that essentially does all of the planning, prepping and shopping for you.

Every other Sunday, Freshocracy delivers a reusable bag stocked with recipe cards and ingredients for three dinners, including entrées and sides. All of the perishable items are local, sustainably farmed and handpicked by Freshocracy from the 72nd Street greenmarket. An accompanying information sheet lists which farms the ingredients were sourced from, and describes each farm’s agricultural methods. These extra details make it easy for customers to locate and purchase more of what they love, deepening their relationship with local growers and businesses.

Conveniently, in addition to the greenmarket ingredients, Freshocracy provides pre-measured pantry items and seasonings—a recent Braised Moroccan Chicken recipe, for example, included ¼ teaspoon of turmeric. As a result, you won’t have to purchase a full jar if you don’t want to, a reduction in waste that’s good for the environment and your wallet.

NYC Summer: Dining Al Fresco

First it was the daffodils and the tulips, now it’s the outdoor seating. Summer has almost officially arrived in New York, and that means it’s important to know where to snag a table to maximize those twilight hours.

Here are 4 Clean Plates approved restaurants that will deliver not only a healthy meal, but also the fresh air and sunshine we all missed during the long months of winter.

1. Pure Food & Wine
(Flatiron) 212. 477. 1010 http://www.oneluckyduck.com/purefoodandwine/

It is easy to be drawn to the indoor dining room of Pure Food & Wine on Irving Place all year long, but in the spring season the back outdoor garden elevates the restaurant’s appeal even further. 70 seats are available in the back garden for soaking up the last rays of afternoon sunshine or dining beneath twinkling lights.

The raw vegan menu at Pure Food & Wine – where nothing is heated above approximately 118 degrees to preserve vitamins and minerals – is perfect for sultry summer evenings as well.

2. Quartino Bottega
(East Village) 212. 529. 5133 http://www.quartino.com/

There are many reasons to love Quartino Bottega: delicious whole-wheat pizzas, the wild fish, and an atmosphere that might be best described as rustic charm. Add to this list the little outdoor patio Quartino Bottega offers in the back, and you have a winner for the spring season.

While other outdoor dining spaces can seem packed with patrons or placed on a loud street, Quartino Bottega is an ideal small space that might wind up feeling like your own backyard.

3. Cookshop
(Chelsea) 212. 924. 4400 http://cookshopny.com/

A brunch spot that is equal parts sunny and relaxed can be elusive in this city. While it might be located on 10th Avenue, Cookshop delivers sunshine, a laid-back atmosphere, and the opportunity to people watch too. Grab a table on the sidewalk at Cookshop and experience the buzz of the city that can be missing from back gardens.

After a meal here, take a stroll along the High Line to see the gorgeous spring flowers.

4. Back Forty
(East Village) 212. 388. 1990 http://www.backfortynyc.com/

The outdoor garden at Back Forty is exactly what you would expect to find in the East Village: a space with 40 seats, haphazardly arranged around both in-ground and potted plants. The result is an informal space where you will happily nibble on grilled Catskill trout or a grass-fed burger with friends.

Part of the charm is that Back Forty doesn’t take reservations (unless you’re a large group). If the sun suddenly peaks out from behind the clouds, you don’t need to have a reservation to enjoy the fresh air in this back garden.

Whether you prefer the privacy of a quaint back garden or the buzz of seats on the sidewalk, outdoor dining might just be one of the best gifts of spring.

Jessica Colley is a travel and food writer based in New York City.