Last evening was the press kick off event marking the engagement of two culinary brands revered as food “destinations” by their food enthusiast customer communities.
Together they rang in the season, fittingly enough, with their first-ever, bricks and mortar, real-world destination: a holiday pop-up shop.
So take that, Gertrude Stein - there is a “there, there.”
In fact, the Provisions Holiday Market has an address that is a must see holiday destination at the Old Bowery Station, 168 Bowery, New York.
Starting today through Sunday, December 8, the two iconic food leaders team up to offer a more immersive food experience than the online tour de force that is their successful, flagship business.
Food52 (www.food52.com) is the popular, dynamic and educational (in a fun way) hub for all things cooking.
It wears the crown of distinction of being named the best food website by the James Beard Foundation.
Food52 provides recipes, home cooking support, community - and as of August - online shopping through its Provisions e-commerce offerings, which the team launched to rave reviews.
The Provisions Food52 team curates culinary items from Collections that include cookbooks, kitchen tools and pantry supplies to artisanal food creations.
It’s the kind of beautiful, unique, handcrafted items you’d buy if you had the time and connections.
They offer elevated, artful culinary “taste” that influences cooking trends…
Why stress? Leave it up to Provisions to select the best of the culinary world.
It’s like have a personal shopper for all things artisanal and edible art.
When asked why do a pop-up shop, Amanda Hesser, Food52 CEO and co-founder, and food thought-leader, explained how she and her co-founder Merrill Stubbs determined they wanted to meet their customers. In person and face to face.
Hesser said that one or both of them would be there throughout the weekend.
Lucky shoppers. Be sure to say hello.
“We wanted to give them a chance to see the beautiful products – to be able to touch and feel the artisanal items,” Hesser said.
How sensual… All culinary shopping should be thus.
According to Hesser, the products available at the Holiday market were chosen by the Provisions team who referenced a combination of the site’s best sellers and personal favorites.
With a familial grin she says, “We chose what we would want to buy based on a gut feeling.”
Which, when you think about it, is probably the best buying barometer for a foodie: gut instinct…
Hesser went on to say that Food52 is a lifestyle company that aims to improve what and how you cook and eat.
At the Provisions Holiday Market pop-up, she described how “Customers can come in and enjoy a good experience.”
There is a full schedule of workshops and classes planned for the weekend too.
“People don’t even have to buy anything,” claims Hesser, pointing out they can come in for a holiday drink and take a class.
Perhaps not in that order.
But Hesser smiled in happy agreement when this Examiner pointed out that shoppers always get in a better buying mood when they’ve enjoyed a cocktail!
So step away from the screen and get to the Provisions pop-up shop for its limited, Holiday run.
After all, even Santa took a road trip for the Holidays!
Plus the pop-up is open for guests until 7 tonight and Sunday and midnight on Saturday – which taken together, could be inspiration for its own shopping moniker a la Black Friday. Just more elegant and civilized. Think “Brooklyn-ish.”
This could be "Evergreen Saturday." Hey...
Kitchensurfing (www.kitchensurfing.com) president and uber successful serial entrepreneur, Ben Leventhal (who in person bears an uncanny resemblance to the film star Paul Rudd but better) explained how his online marketplace for chefs and their branded products teamed up with Food52 and Provisions for the holiday pop up.
“I’ve known Amanda and Merrill for a long time. And this is a good opportunity to connect with our customers,” Leventhal said.
Leventhal explained how Kitchensurfing offers a platform that empowers the chef – the culinary artist - to do what they do best: cook and bake and prepare a distinguished, memorable meal for guests.
Kitchensurfing is available worldwide for private parties in key cities, including New York, Chicago, Boston, and Berlin. It’s a “global marketplace for chefs,” matching up chefs and food enthusiasts who need a cook.
Customers can visit the Kitchensurfing site and choose menus, chefs, and products to customize and amplify their culinary needs.
“Today, people are very conscious of who’s cooking their food.”
Leventhal added, “It’s a very intimate experience.”
Kitchensurfing clients can select chefs for all price points and options – from events to cooking lessons.”
This is surely a service whose time has arrived.
(This Examiner will do a feature profile on the Kitchensurfing service soon.)
Here at the holiday pop-up, Kitchensurfing Walk-In will not only offer tastings and classes but two interactive dinners where 20 people will have the chance to participate in a hands-on chef-led cooking class and then sit down and dine together.
Friday’s Big Dinner, hosted by Il Buco (http://www.ilbuco.com) Sous
Chef Tim Piazza & Leventhal (sold out)
Saturday’s Big Dinner hosted by stars of the East End: chef Jeff Schwarz, Montauk’s Crow’s Nest, Amagansett’s Amber Waves Farms (http://www.amberwavesfarm.org) and Leventhal – who noted this was a vegetarian dinner.
Don’t be put off by Friday’s sold out dinner.
Just go to the Kitchensurfing web site and order up an Il Buco Tim Piazza dinner party!
Leventhal is most likely a one-time only, special occasion. But hey, there’s always Paul Rudd.
Provisions Holiday Market
The Provisions pop-up holiday market is located on a Bowery street corner right on the street level.
In a follow up email response as to why Provisions located the market there, Hesser wrote, "We chose the space because it has a great kitchen, a beautiful open retail space, and an aesthetic that we feel really complements our two brands -- it's also in a fantastic location, with easy access to public transportation. "
Couldn’t agree more.
Upon entering the Provision pop-up market, there is a bar and sitting area to the right and baker’s racks filled with irresistible handcrafted products line the wall’s walk to the big open room.
Styled to suggest a home setting, the space hints at the living room, kitchen, bar, and dining room.
This Examiner was drawn to the copper Mule mugs -- de rigueur for sipping ice cold Moscow Mules.
The mugs are pretty and the New York cocktail comes with a great Gotham story.
It’s a Potent combo. And a perfect way to jump-start the season’s cocktail hour conversation.
Also intriguing is the Franki Elizabeth event designers who are showcasing fresh ornamental and edible plants to make into holiday tablescape and wreath designs.
Misha and Puff showcases hand-knitted children’s clothing. Those booties are too cute!
And the American vodka, Tito’s, which is handcrafted from corn in Texas, is smooth and tasty.
Although this Examiner still ranks local, homegrown Long Island potato vodka from LiV Distillery in Baiting Hollow as best. (http://www.lispirits.com)
For more info on the Provisions by Food52 and Kitchensurfing Walk-In tastings, classes and events see below or view here: http://provisionsholidaymarket.food52.com
Friday, December 6, 2013
11 - 7 PM Shopping Hours
9 - 10:30 AM Holiday Market Preview with Earthbound Farm
1 - 2 PM Floral Basics, How to Create a Holiday Centerpiece
6 - 10 PM The Big Dinner, hosted by Il Buco Sous Chef Tim Piazza &
Kitchensurfing President Ben Leventhal (sold out)
Saturday, December 7, 2013
9 AM - Midnight Shopping Hours
10 - 11 AM Holiday Tablescape Workshop (ticketed)
11 - 1 PM Meet Your Makers
11 - 3 PM Brunch by Joseph Leonard (Chef Jim McDuffee will offer up
JL classics alongside some holiday specials)
2 - 3 PM Cookie Decorating Demo
3 - 4 PM Holiday Tablescape Workshop (ticketed)
6 - 8 PM Happy Hour, hosted by Uproot Wines
6 - 10 PM The Big Dinner (ticketed) hosted by Jeff Schwarz, Amber
Waves Farms and Ben Leventhal
Sunday, December 8, 2013
11 - 7 PM Shopping Hours
11 - 3 PM Brunch by Joseph Leonard (same as above)
4 - 5 PM Wreath Making Workshop (ticketed)