Chef Pascual Xg of Beebe’s in Long Island City has been making pizza for over 10 years. He talked passionately about pizza and it was super inspiring. He was nice enough to show me each step and explained his process. He has big plans for his future in pizza making and I wish him all the luck.
My behind-the-scenes project took me to Mama’s Too, a slice joint in the Upper West Side. I have eaten there once before and immediately felt in love with their square slices. The crust is crunchy and airy.
While my main goal for this project has always been to capture candid moments in the kitchen, another goal is to meet the people in the kitchen. Frank Tuttolomondo, owner of Mama’s Too, is super passionate about his craft. It was such a joy chatting with him about all things pizza.
Please check out some of the photos I took at Mama’s Too.
WOW! I was not expecting to find awesome barbeque in western Massachusetts but I did! More on that later but yeah, I’m still dreaming about the brisket.
We finally took our MASS MoCA trip at the end of April. It’s been on my to-go list for quite a while and I definitely needed the time off from NYC. I love Mass MoCA, it’s 200,000 square feet of art and barely a soul around. Maybe because we went on a Monday? It just felt like we were alone…and was free to roam the entire museum.
My favorites were James Turrell’s Perfectly Clear and all of Sol LeWitt. I have seen Sol LeWitt at Dia: Beacon but not at this scale. We were treated to 3 whole floors of his work and it was just amazing.
Ahhhhhhhhh………A-OK Berkshire Barbeque. Another reason to love MASS MoCA, great barbeque. A-OK sits at one of the entrances to the museum. It’s a tiny shack but you can bring your food into the brewery across the driveway. I was super looking forward to this meal, not just for the meat, but also the bread. The owner bakes her own baguette and I strongly recommend getting one. It was crispy, crusty, and soft. Oh the brisket ($13 for half a pound) was amazing. Flavorful, soft, and peppery. It’s up there next to Hometown BBQ as one of my favorites. Another great bite was the mac n’cheese! I ended up dipping the baguette into the cheese. YUM!
We stayed at Tourists for two nights and really loved it. It was beautiful, cool, and quiet. My favorite part was napping on the window nook daybed after a long drive on our first day. The check-in/out and common space were lovely as well.
Although the food was a hit and miss. We ordered a pizza, salad, potatoes with miso aioli, and a pasta on our first night. The salad was kind of weird and we ended up not eating it. The potatoes were great and the pasta (red sauce with 'nduja and ramps) was fine. The pizza…hmm….I wanted to like it. The crust was nice but there was too much cheese and a little too salty.
But dinner on our second night was great. We had the cheeseburger (delicious), crispy chicken over a bed of barley (it was some time of grain) risotto, and a beet and fennel salad.
For breakfast we shared a rye waffle (SO GOOD!) with sweet ricotta, maple syrup, and sour cherry compote on the side.
On our way home we stopped at The Clark Art Institute. You can get a combo ticket that gets you into both MASS MoCA and The Clark for $6 less. We didn’t spend too much time at The Clark but we definitely want to come back later in the year to see their Ida O’Keefe exhibition and to hike up to Stone Hill (right behind The Clark).
I recently went home to Los Angeles and did a photo shoot with Lucky Bird at Grand Central Market. You know I can’t stay away from fried chicken. Lucky Bird opened in Aug 2018 by Chef Chris Dane and Christine Dane. While they are the new kids of the current wave of new fried chicken restaurants opening in LA, Chef Dane has been planning and building out Lucky Bird since 2016.