Haven’s Kitchen: An Oasis for Cooks in Union Square

Haven’s Kitchen, a gorgeous new cooking school/market/event space in Union Square, stands out in a city full of trendy locavore food businesses. Their classes aim to teach home cooks how to prepare delicious dishes that are good for people and the planet — a mission close to Clean Plates’ heart. Founder Alison Schneider hopes students will be inspired to demand more locally and sustainably grown products, which in turn will help small and mid-sized farmers thrive.

Each class focuses on an interesting theme, from “Chinese New Year – Veggie Style” earlier this week to “For Men Only: Cooking for Your Sweetheart on Valentine’s Day,” coming this Saturday — a lesson for the Y-chromosomed set on how to prepare an “easy but rad romantic feast.” Get the full schedule of classes (PDF).

In addition to its school, Haven’s Kitchen boasts a market where you can buy freshly roasted coffee, tea, baked goods and sustainably produced, locally-sourced-when-possible pantry items. Continue reading

Watch TEDxManhattan 2012 From Home

What: TEDxManhattan 2012 – Changing the Way We Eat
When: Saturday, January 21 from 10:30am to 6:00pm ET (with some breaks)
Where: www.livestream.com/tedx
How much: Free

Watch a live stream of TEDxManhattan: Changing the Way We Eat from the comfort of your home (or favorite cafe with wifi). The downside: no in-person networking. The upside: You get to wear your pajamas.

A range of speakers with backgrounds in food and farming will share their insights and expertise. See the day’s agenda and list of speakers here. You can also follow the day’s discussion on Twitter at @TEDxManhattan, hashtag #TEDxMan.

Our founder, Jared Koch, will be at the event, and we’ll share some highlights next week here on this blog.

Hearty, Comforting and Packed with Nutrients: Favorite Winter Dishes

Throughout the city chefs are whipping up hearty winter meals that are comforting and nutritious to boot. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Creamy Butternut Squash Soup at Gotham Bar & Grill
    The vibrant color of the butternut squash soup at Gotham Bar & Grill holds serious appeal, and the dish is elevated with celery root custard and spiced honey crisp apple cider emulsion. Keep the winter flavors coming by ordering the roasted Berkshire pork chop as an entrée Continue reading

Community Supported Alcohol: Enlightenment Wines

Wild Melaides wine

You’ve heard of Community Supported Agriculture — but what about Community Supported Alcohol?

Enlightenment Wines — which prides itself on “Putting the Alchemy back in Alcohol” — offers a Cult Wine and Mead CSA, where the “A” stands for “Alcohol.” I sat down with wine-, potion- and mead-maker Raphael Lyon to talk fermented flowers, the path to Enlightenment and what’s on tap for 2012. Below is an edited transcript of our discussion.

(Note: Lyon is providing wine pairings for an intimate tasting dinner at Eat on January 29th; contact him for details.) Continue reading

The 8 Restaurants You Need to Eat at During NYC’s Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week 2012

Restaurant Week is just around the corner (January 16 – February 10). We’ve compiled a list of eight participating restaurants that, in addition to offering tantalizing deals, have the added bonus of a Clean Plates Seal of Approval — which means their deliciousness is boosted by top quality, sustainable ingredients. Continue reading

Mashup: Adam Platt’s Top 101 NYC Restaurants + Clean Plates

Manhattan Skyline

We took a fine toothed fork through Adam Platt’s 101 Best NYC Restaurants list for 2011 in New York magazine. Below, a list of the fortunate dining establishments that both made Platt’s list and have the added bonus of a Clean Plates seal of approval. It just goes to show that eating healthfully doesn’t mean sacrificing taste!

Drumroll please… Continue reading

“Drink with Purpose” with The Barman’s Fund


Your next cocktail purchase could be your next good deed.

Established in April 2011 by Brian Floyd, bartender at The Vanderbilt in Brooklyn, The Barman’s Fund is simple in nature, but huge in impact: good-willed bartenders throughout New York City pledge select shifts each month and donate every penny they make to various charities. Hence, the tagline: “Drink with Purpose.”

So far, The Barman’s Fund has raised just shy of $30,000 for a range of local charities. Continue reading

The Whole Animal: Why and Where?

As you’ve probably heard by now, grass-fed, pasture-raised meat is better for both eater and eaten. A number of chefs are taking the idea of sustainable meat one step further by making use of the whole animal, from head to rump — thus reducing waste for the farmer, butcher and restauranteur alike. For a taste of whole-animal dining, try these NYC restaurants on for size: Continue reading