Comfort Food

Who To Know

Southern Comfort: A Chat with Hill Country’s Ash Fulk

By Diana Tsuchida | June 11, 2012

Ash Fulk of Hill Country Chicken

Ash Fulk of Hill Country Barbecue

You may remember Ash Fulk from his days as the bow tie wearing contestant on Top Chef Las Vegas. Or perhaps you’ve had the pleasure of devouring some of his culinary handiwork at Hill Country Barbecue in New York’s Flatiron district, where customers often clamor for a taste of their famed ribs and moist brisket. A Californian by birth, the vibrant Chef de Cuisine oozes passion about his craft and proclaims he was actually raised a Southerner; fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy was his requested meal every single birthday. He also harbors fond memories of eating fresh corn from his mother’s garden. These simple and nostalgic food experiences would inevitably shape his culinary approach and zeal for feeding others.

As his technique advanced, he made his way from one coast to the other in his pursuit of doing what he loved most: cooking comfort food with elegant flair. Read More

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Soul Food Series, Part III: Dooky Chase’s and Creole

By admin | January 11, 2012

Photo: Gwen Harlow

Photo: Gwen Harlow

By: Ashley Bode

There are several restaurants throughout the country that serve as cultural landmarks and sources of inspiration for all restauranteurs.  Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse is the icon for California Cuisine and Farm to Table dining, Daniel and Le Cirque are the cornerstones of the French American culinary adventure and Dooky Chase Restaurant in New Orleans owns the category of Soul food.

Soul food has its roots in the South, so it would be fitting that the center of the movement is located in the heart of the Bayou.  In the 1950s, Leah Chase worked her way into her husband’s family restaurant, Dooky Chase, using her experience working in restaurants situated in the white dominant French Quarter. Read More

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Jewish Comfort Food: The Latke and its Alternatives

By Michele Wolfson | December 19, 2011

Photo: sassyradish

Chanukah is almost here, giving Jews and their gentile friends an excuse to start their holiday noshing now! Jewish holidays tend to revolve around food, as the running theme among the chosen people’s festivities goes, “They tried to kill us. We survived. Let’s eat!”

The most customary Chanukah dish here in the United States would of course be the latke, also known as the potato pancake. But did you know that various Jewish traditions offer lots of alternatives?

For Sephardic Jews, fried pastries dipped in honey are popular. Among the Hasidic community in New York, a delicacy for the holiday is a cheese Danish named delkelekh. Italian Jews make a garlicky artichoke recipe that derives from the Roman Jewish ghetto. There are other varieties of pancakes besides the typical potato – cheese, curried sweet potato latkes, purple potato, zucchini, celery root, leek, and parsnip latkes (which are my personal favorite). If you are anything like me and have a hankering for sweets on the regular, there are sufganiyots. Sufganiyot are citrus-scented jelly doughnuts. Apple fritters are also quite tasty and easy to prepare.

Many Chanukah recipes involve the use of oil because this is, after all, the holiday that celebrates the famous miracle of Judah Maccabee and his brothers only having enough olive oil to light the candelabra in the Temple of Jerusalem for one night but miracle upon miracles- the oil ended up lasting for eight whole nights. The custom of celebrating the olive is a tradition in Israel since Chanukah is so intricately connected with olive oil. Therefore, munching on olives or dipping bread in a green grassy-flavored olive oil with roasted garlic would also be keeping with tradition this holiday season.

It is around this time of year that I am constantly complaining about my jeans being too tight. Even though latkes are typically deep fried, there are low-fat alternatives to the latke as well. Try baking your latkes instead of frying them or making a hearty vegetable soup as a first course option so that you are fuller by the time you get to the latkes. Also, homemade applesauce on the side as a dipping sauce is a nutritious option.

Jewish meals are typically made with love, and latkes are a dish that will satisfy any bubbie or shiksa alike. This year if you are lighting a menorah or sinking your teeth into a crispy golden brown salty or sweet latke, remember that we say “Happy Chanukah” because it is a celebration of happiness and the miracle of light.

 

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Soul Food Series, Part II: Chicago and Its Southern Roots

By Ashley Bode | December 14, 2011

Photo: Southern Foodways Alliance

Photo: Southern Foodways Alliance

This week in our Soul Food Series, we discuss soul food in Chicago and its traditional approach to this historic cuisine. Chicago is a city that is rich in food culture. This Midwestern mecca has so many flavors to offer that if may be hard to decide which one best represents the city. Perhaps the most important of these food traditions is soul food, a part of the city’s DNA that is irreplaceable, but recently has begun to evolve.

The emergence of soul food in Chicago came during a time many know as The Great Migration. From 1910 to 1930 more than 1.5 million African Americans migrated from Southern roots to Midwest, West and Northern cities. Read More

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Soul Food Series, Part I: What is Soul Food?

By admin | December 1, 2011

Photo:  hawaii

Photo: hawaii

By: Ashley Bode

When one thinks of American comfort food, immediately thoughts of traditional dishes like Fried Chicken, Biscuits, and Mac ‘n’ Cheese, or what we know as soul food, come to mind. But what exactly is soul food? To many people soul food is a tradition. It encompasses more than just the components of a meal and it’s more than a style of cooking. It’s not just Southern cooking, its not Creole, but it is recipes that have been passed for generations that speak to the experience of African Americans as a whole.

Just as European Americans, Latin Americans or Asian Americans celebrate their culture and heritage through holidays and common experience, African Americans share the one thing that was not taken from them during the time of Slavery: food traditions and recipes. It was the only thing carried from generation to generation, from the plantations of the South to urban hotspots and northern, suburban living. Read More

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By Suzannah Schneider

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About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. MarcusSamuelsson.com strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More

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