My Mom’s Sopa Seca: Aaron Sanchez’s Food Memories with his Mom

By admin | May 10, 2012


It’s always fascinating to learn where a chef first got his roots in cooking. We often think that it’s easy to follow in the culinary footsteps of a parent when the path has already been laid down for you; but in fact it could be quite the opposite if you want to make your own path and impression in the culinary world. This was just the case for Nuevo Latino Chef Aaron Sanchez.

What some don’t know about Food Network’s and Centrico’s talented chef is that his mother, Zarela Martinez, too is a Mexican cuisine icon in her own right. Having written three cookbooks and opened her own famed restaurant in New York City, Zarela’s, Aaron wanted to veer away from his mother’s influence in cooking and form his own footprint in dining. Yet, he remains ever thankful for his mother’s support and inspiration (case in point, Aaron’s Letter to Mom).

We caught up with Chef Aaron while he shared with us some food memories of his beloved mother, Zarela Martinez… Read More


Aaron Sanchez on Cinco de Mayo

By admin | May 4, 2012

Aaron Sanchez

Tomorrow marks the day where the colors red, white, and green can be seen flying over many restaurants, and items like Flautas, Micheladas, and Tres Leches seep into menus everywhere. While many Americans have finally figured out that Cinco de Mayo is not actually Mexico’s Independence Day, few still know what it really stands for. Cinco de Mayo is actually a celebration of Mexico’s unexpected victory over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla.

But to get an even better idea of this much celebrated festivity as well as Mexican cuisine in general, we went to he who knows best, our good friend Chef Aaron Sanchez. He shared with us some insight of what Cinco de Mayo means to him and a new view into Mexican cuisine.

Here’s what he shared with us… Read More


10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Mexican Food

By Jeannette | April 6, 2012

Photo: rdpeyton

Photo: rdpeyton

By:Justin Chan

The Wall Street Journal recently paid tribute to the power of Mexican food in America by running an article that lists several fun facts that you might find interesting (you can find them below). The piece was published in concurrence with Taco Bell’s 50th anniversary last month.  While Taco Bell cannot be classified as traditional Mexican food, it is undoubtedly a fast food version that Americans, particularly the hungry and on-a-budget college students, seem to like.

Taco Bell, in fact, is one of many chain restaurants that helped put Mexican cuisine on the map. Chipotle Mexican Grill is also gaining prominence, as more and more Americans try to satiate their growing desire for the Central American cookery. Although such chains have made Mexican cuisine trendy, the roots of Mexican food in the United States can be traced as far back as the 1800s. Tex-Mex food, for instance, originated during that period, and the term “Tex-Mex” was first coined in 1875, when the Texas Mexican Railway was chartered. Since its creation, Tex-Mex food has incorporated influences from Spain, Mexico and South Texas and has spread across the country. Although it is generally described as a regional American cuisine, it was created by Mexican Americans who borrowed largely from the Mexican food culture. Read More


“To Die For” Lunch at Taqueria de los Muertos

By Jeannette | April 6, 2012

Fish tacos- Allana

By: Allana Mortell

When I first moved to New York, I began the dreaded apartment search. My roommate and I checked out a billion different places – some with tiny kitchens and mini-fridges and some with bedrooms better fitted for a dollhouse – you name it, we saw it. One of the biggest deal breakers for me was apartment proximity to food. The broker we were then dealing with kept telling us how up & coming Prospect Heights, Brooklyn was. As we walked around the neighborhood, we giggled in delight as we passed restaurant by restaurant by restaurant – many open late (another of my “deal breakers”).

I first saw Taqueria de los Muertos on a whim,  walking by the restaurant on our way to look at another apartment. Though I knew nothing about the restaurant, the name stuck with me and I knew I had to go back. So, three weeks later, on a beautiful too-sunny-for-March-day, I ventured over to Prospect Heights, so excited and so hungry.

Living in New York is expensive, there’s no doubt about it; so many restaurants these days charge outrageous amounts of money for plates of food smaller than any tapas restaurant I know. I walk out of those “hip, new restaurants,” with holes in my pocket and my stomach still grumbling. So, I walked into Taqueria de los Muertos with a ten-dollar bill,  hoping for the best. I eventually left so full of food and unbelievably satisfied that the employees and my friends could’ve rolled me on out down the street, seeing as after the meal, I could barely move. Read More


Street Food Focus: Churros

By admin | March 23, 2012

Photo: cherrypatter

Photo: cherrypatter

By: Allana Mortell

In a city of thirteen million people with over 20,000 restaurants to choose from, there are still some days I find myself unsure of what I want to eat. I’ll walk by a restaurant and browse the menu, but end up leaving because I either need to “save my pennies” or realistically, look for something quick, cheap and on-the-go.  And since my sweet tooth always overpowers my other taste buds, I often find myself wandering the streets, running after that distinctive smell of butter, sugar and cinnamon. Enter, the churro.

With their crisp, shimmering, golden-brown outsides and soft, gooey insides, the churro is a characteristic Spanish dessert whose popularity has enormously grown over the past years.  A typical churro is made from the basics – flour, water, sugar, eggs and vanilla – however, their shape is all unique. After being piped from a syringe with a star-shaped nozzle, the pastry dough is then lightly fried in vegetable oil and finished off with a traditional coating of cinnamon and sugar. Read More


Five Dollar Food Challenge: Tacos, Tamales, and Tortas at ‘El Aguila’

By admin | March 1, 2012

By: Michael Engle

It is a formidable challenge to find a good meal for five dollars (or less) in New York City.  Eliminating all “five dollar footlongs” and other fast-food offerings, the options become even more scarce.  We are going to bring you a new series of $5 Food Challenges, where we scope out the neighborhood for some good cheap eats! In a recent search for my $5 food challenge, I visited Spanish Harlem and, on a whim, elected to patronize El Aguila, an oasis of authentic Mexican cuisine.

When I first walked in, I was overwhelmed by all the unique smells within the store.  Though the panaderia was located in the back, the always fresh cakes and panes dulces made their presences known immediately.  In addition to the traditionally-made Mexican pastries, the entire store highlighted its devotion to authentic fresh Mexican food, including the fresh meat and “fruit water.”

My only disappointment was that, upon placing my order at the cashier, I was forced to settle for “Plan B.”  I attempted to order a barbacoa (Mexican goat meat) taco, with a jalapea±o and cheese tamale.  At 5 P.M. on a Friday evening, they were out of both.  Forced to choose again, I decided to try the chorizo (spicy Mexican sausage) taco and a tamal verde, i.e.: a tamale featuring chicken and a spicy green chili sauce, instead.  I also selected a walnut-topped cake from the panaderia. Read More


Seeing Red: Some Like It Hot

By admin | March 1, 2012

Chef Maria Gutierrez

By: Cyndi Amaya

There are certainly many talented individuals in the kitchen at Red Rooster Harlem, but one of them stands out not only for her spunk but for her spicy dishes as well! Chef Maria Gutierrez has been gracing the Red Rooster kitchen since its opening and has certainly staked her claim and position as one of the spiciest chicks on the line.

From her signature Mole to her Salsa Verde, Maria has proven herself a worthy contender in the kitchen ring. With her around, only one saying comes to mind, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!” Check out our interview with Chef Maria at Red Rooster. Read More


Amid Criticisms of Fast Food, Chipotle’s Success is a Sign of Optimism

By Jeannette | February 21, 2012

Photo: Katy Warner

Photo: Katy Warner

By: Justin Chan

Fast food chains have taken the brunt of the blame for health problems related to obesity and unhealthy eating. Chipotle Mexican Grill, however, is probably one of the exceptions that has earned more praise than criticism. In fact, some have debated whether it should be considered a fast food chain, given its approach to preparing its products. Others have even gone so far as to compare the burrito chain’s product to an iPhone.

Consider Matthew Yglesias’ piece in Slate. Yglesias argues that Chipotle’s success is a product of its revolutionary methods. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Chipotle reportedly opened 67 new stores, increasing its total number of chains worldwide to 1,230. The company’s stock has also grown close to 500% in the past five years, and revenues grew 23.7 percent in 2011. Much of that substantial growth, Yglesias suggests, is due to the innovative minds behind Chipotle. Read More


Street Food Focus: Mexican Street Corn

By admin | January 19, 2012

Photo: I Believe I Can Fry

Photo: I Believe I Can Fry

By: Cyndi Amaya

There are so many reasons why I love living in Queens. Besides enjoying the cheaper rent, ample parking, and above-ground subways, Queens is the most culturally diverse borough in New York, which means the greatest thing for the ultimate foodie- a wide variety of food!

Jackson Heights in particular has the highest concentration of different ethnicities, all living just within minutes of Roosevelt Avenue- the Mecca of ethnic food, especially street food. Along Roosevelt between 69th street and Junction Boulevard, you can find Indian, Pakistani, Greek, Italian, Argentinean, Colombian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Mexican, Caribbean, Thai, and Chinese and I might even be forgetting a couple of other ethnicities.

The Mexican cuisine in Jackson Heights is legit, to say the least! Read More


Inside ‘El Barrio': Mi Mexico Lindo Bakery

By admin | January 5, 2012

Mi Mexico Lindo Bakery

By: Cyndi Amaya

Unless you’re a Harlem resident, little is known about Spanish Harlem to most New Yorkers. Known as ‘El Barrio,’ East Harlem is one of the largest predominantly Latino communities in New York City. Once known as Italian Harlem because of the once-predominant Italian community, it now houses a large Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican population.

With such a vast Hispanic community, it’s no doubt that most of the businesses and hot spots are Latin-based, with El Museo del Barrio (the largest Hispanic and Caribbean museum in NYC) being one of the main institutions of the neighborhoods. As Hispanic myself, I’ve always been drawn to El Barrio, since I can never get enough of my culture (same reason being why I moved to Queens not so long ago).

But with so many Hispanic businesses and restaurants, where is one to go for an authentic taste of Spanish Harlem? In this series, we’ll give you insight to a few Spanish Harlem favorites that seem to make everyone’s lists of must-tries. Read More


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Meet the Team

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. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


Streetbird Rotisserie
Marcus’ Bermuda
Eatery Social Taqueria
Red Rooster Harlem
Ginny’s Supper Club
Uptown Brasserie
American Table Cafe and Bar
Kitchen and Table
American Table Brasserie and Bar
Marc Burger