Brooklyn Butcher Blocks

Brooklyn Butcher Blocks Brooklyn Butcher Blocks offers beautiful butcher blocks all handmade by Nils Wessell. I got the chance to spend an early Monday morning in his workshop to see how a butcher block was made. Nils told me that on a good day it'll take him about 3-4 hours to make 1 block but of course that doesn't count for the hours it take to let the glue dry. And since he cut the same butcher block twice to make end grain blocks, he will have to glue and dry the pieces twice.

After making sure the block is perfectly flat and straight he sands it down until smooth. After an overnight dip in mineral oil (which gives the block it's nice dark color), the block is then given a nice shine with Nils' homemade beewax.

If you want to learn more about Nils Wessell and Brooklyn Butcher Blocks, check out this excellent interview over at Cheery Observations.

Brooklyn Butcher Blocks

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Please check out the rest of the photos here.

Liddabit Sweets

When I first walked into the kitchen at Liddabit Sweets, I told Liz Gutman "wow smells like heaven." Liddabit Sweets, started back in 2009 by Liz Gutman and Jen King, makes candies with seasonal ingredients. If you want the full story, please check out my friend Liza de Guia's video on Food Curated. The morning I was there they were busy making chocolate covered honeycomb, caramel popcorn, passion fruit sauce with rice krispies (I am intrigued by this) and cutting and wrapping caramel. I was told that they're pretty much in the kitchen Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 PLUS the weekends at the Brooklyn Flea. If you're ever at the flea, please go check them out. They work hard to bring you tasty treats.

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Check out the slideshow for more photos.

Pie For Dinner At Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Pie For Dinner at Four & Twenty BlackbirdsFour & Twenty Blackbirds, one of my favorite pie places, recently started doing a monthly "Pie For Dinner" with Chef Nate Smith. I randomly came into contact with Chef Smith, he saw my photo of a dish he made at The Spotted Pig and emailed me for a copy of it. I was curious what he was up to and that was when he told me about the Pie For Dinner event at Four & Twenty. When he first told me I *GASP. I do love pies very much. I asked if I can go and take behind the scenes photos at one of the pie dinners and he said sure.

This past Sunday I was in the Four & Twenty kitchen for over 5 hours shooting photos. I had so much fun that night. Everybody was so cool and nice enough to offer me beer and wine. While plating the starter dish I jumped in to help and grated cheese onto the dish. The night ended with all of us trying out Brooklyn Brewery's Black Ops, beer that was aged in bourbon barrels.

Here's what they served that night. Warm Cabbage with Wild Mushrooms

Rabbit and Root Vegetable Pie

Salty Nut Chess Pie with Maple Cream

Complimentary beers selected by Brooklyn Brewery.

Chef Smith told me that he had spent about a week preparing and freezing the pies. Around 4pm when he arrived at Four & Twenty they started right away with the preparations. First was adding egg wash onto all the rabbit pot pies. After that the pies went straight into the oven. During that time they spent cleaning up the place, cleaned the dishes, forks and cups and arranged the tables for the night. As the night progressed the kitchen was filled with the warm smell of delicious pies being baked in the oven. Everyone was tempted to open the oven and just stared at the deliciousness. At 7pm the guests began to arrive. Bottles of Brooklyn lager were passed out to the guests and the chef started work on the starter, though he told me that it wasn't really a starter since he intended the veg dish to be eaten at the same time as the pie. Before getting to the starter, he took out all of the pies from the oven, unmolded them from the pie tin and back into the oven to crisp up the bottom part as well. When both the starters and pies went out it was time for Melissa and Emily, owners of Four & Twenty Blackbirds, to get to work on their dessert pies. The night ended with so many happy filled tummies and happy faces. I even bumped into my friend Liza de Guia and somehow talked her into watching The Walking Dead.

As of now both December and January dinners are sold out but they are planning more for 2011 so stay tune! ALSO vegetarian pies are available too, just let them know ahead of time.

Pie For Dinner at Four & Twenty Blackbirds

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Pie For Dinner at Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Paulie Gee's

Paulie Gee'sHere's a guy that was able to turn his love of everything pizza into a job. He probably doesn't see it as a job. If you love what you do it shouldn't feel like a job. Known to many pizza/food bloggers simply as Paulie Gee he lives and breathes pizza. I constantly see him check into other pizza places on Foursquare and on the day that I was there he was sporting a Totonno's hat and shirt. It was great to hang out with Paulie, his son Derek and the other Paulie Gee's crew that day. I arrived around 4pm on a chilly Saturday and there was already a fire blazing in the oven. From 4 to around 5:30pm there weren't much happening besides sweeping the floor, testing a new pizza and catching game 2 of Yankees vs Rangers. Then around 5:30pm everyone started to shuffle around putting candles on the tables, getting the bar ready and checking on the fire in the oven. Right at 6pm doors opened and already 4 different parties walked in.

If you want to learn more about the man behind Paulie Gee's, check out Liza de Guia's video on Paulie.

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