Archive for September, 2011

This summer I decided to visit my friend in New York. I managed to beat Hurricane Irene and get in just before JFK was shut down! It was a blustery  weekend to say the least.

In New York there are over 960,00 restaurants which employ 12.8 million people and this earns $604 million dollars a year! Needless to say I found that during my week in the city  there just wasn’t enough time to eat all the things I wanted to! I sampled food in Little Italy, Chinatown, Chelsea Market , Madison Avenue but there was so much more I didn’t get a chance to taste. Even my friend said she couldn’t keep up with all the delicious and exciting eateries that are constantly opening.

The highlights were Eleven Madison, a five star restaurant in a converted bank where I enjoyed tomato snow!! Amazing! Chelsea Market, a must for all foodies, my first taste of catfish(weird after taste!) at City Island near Orchard Beach, Maialino at Gramercy Park Hotel, pork belly to die for and dim sum in a little place in New Jersey which were incredible and Eataly on 5th Ave full of Italian delights with a beer garden right under the Flatiron Building.

A few facts from 2011:

  • $1.7 billion restaurant-industry sales on a typical day in 2011
  • 80% of restaurant owners started their industry careers at entry-level positions
  • 88% of adults say they enjoy going to restaurants
  • 69% of adults say they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers food grown or raised in an organically-friendly way
A huge thanks to Julie, her husband Sung Ho and their gorgeous little Rocco for a fabulous week. I won’t leave it so long before my next visit. xx

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Food for the Heart

A while ago my friend and colleague, hair and make-up stylist and beauty creative, Dennie Pasion  and I came up with an idea to serve two purposes. One was to see our friends more and one was to help some friends of ours, Brian and Alessia who are currently working in Uganda and had explained that they needed some extra money to complete some small projects while they were there. We decided to throw a dinner party! The theme was of course African food.


Old Pal Cocktail from Lamu, a refreshing lime and vodka arrival cocktail


Palm Heart Salad from Mombasa

Fish Katlesi (fish cakes) from Zanzibar

Mango and Chili pickle from Zanzibar


Honey Chicken and Pineapple Mishkaki (skewers) from Mombasa

Wali Wa Nazi (coconut rice)

Chapati, Grilled Plantain and Fried Sweet Potato


Kasa Ice Cream (coconut) from Tanzania

Tropical Fruit Salad

Dennie was in charge of entertainment and organized for Dubai drums to come. They were amazing and kindly brought 20 drums for everyone to have a go and work up an appetite! It was perfect to set the mood for the story of Dan, the little boy who needed a new house in the village for whom we were raising money for.

Everyone was asked to pay for their ticket and we managed to raise enough money for Brian and Alessia to complete three projects.

1. The first was to help a family who had lost three family members to typhoid. Outside the cities the majority of people have to rely on natural sources of water which are often contaminated. Some of the money raised was used to pay for medication for the remaining members of the family who were still in hospital and to arrange for a home visit from an international doctor to come to their residenceto help educate the family on water sanitation.

2. The second was Hip Hop week, the children in this area have very little exposure to any creative stimulation. Few of them have ever been in a car or seen an aeroplane. Therefore to help stimulate their minds, Alessia, who  and Brian used some of the money to organize a group of top-class Ugandan performers to do a week’s workshop at the local school. Rap, Hip Hop, breakdancing and beatbox were just some of the skills they were exposed to during the week. The children then put on a performance for all the teachers and parents at the end of the week.

3. Third was Dan who is six. Dan and Laban and their mother Christine have been homeless for a few years after their mud house was destroyed in a storm. Christine is special needs so Laban aged 14 has gone out to work to earn money for the family. Christine and Dan currently sleep on the floor in the village pub. Alessia and Brian wanted to build them a new house which is what the money we raised managed to do!

A massive thank you to Alchemy Films for the use of The Studio, to Selva, to Ant our fabulous waiter for the night and to everyone who joined us. It’s truely amazing how food can bring everyone together and how much a Random Act of Kindness can achieve!

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