Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mermaid's Garden Seafood Market / Bon Appétit

I have a few photographs included in this Bon Appétit article about The Feast of Seven Fishes, featuring Mermaid's Garden. You can read the entire article by clicking here

I had photographed Bianca Piccillo and Mark Usewicz of Mermaid's Garden in the past  when they were operating as a CSF (Community Supported Fishery) but they have now opened the city's first fully sustainable seafood market in Brooklyn. Maybe you would like to serve oysters for New Year's Eve or pick up some prepared octopus salad or tuna meatballs or you might just be like me and have waited forever for a really great seafood market to open in your neighborhood so you can eat more fish. Well it's here and it's beautiful! Below are some other photos I took of the new shop at 644 Vanderbilt Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. 718-638-1910. 

All images © Valery Rizzo

Mermaid's garden also offers cooking classes, if you would like to learn more about cooking seafood. Wondering how to prepare sea urchins, why not make Sea Urchin Butter which they also sell housemade in the shop and they suggest using as a finishing touch on pasta, vegetables, eggs or toast.

Sea Urchin Butter

You'll need 2 parts unsalted butter : 1 part fresh sea urchin roe by weight for this compound butter.

Allow the butter to soften at room temperature. Place the butter and sea urchin roe in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the two are combined. You may need to stop and scrap down the sides of the bowl while processing. When combined add salt to taste. Put the butter into a container with a tightly sealing lid and store in the freezer. Allow the butter to soften for a few hours in the refrigerator before using. It's fine to do this repeatedly as you use the butter bit by bit.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter at New Amsterdam Market

All images © Valery Rizzo

Sunday I went to New Amsterdam Market's winter market at The South Street Seaport. By far it is the best market in all of New York City. Imagine all your favorite local shops, makers, farmers, fisherman, foragers, you name it (many of them from Brooklyn) and gather them together in one place and there you have New Amsterdam Market, which this sunday was made even more magical by the Holiday Season. There was a garland making demonstration from Brooklyn Florist Emily Thompson, I found out about an Oyster Lovers Meetup Group in Gowanus Brooklyn, which sounds like fun and I bought some black walnuts from The Wild Food Gathers Guild from Vermont. I am planning to use the walnuts in some holiday cookies, only I need a vise and a hammer to get to the nuts inside...wish me luck! and happy holidays to you all!

This beautiful beloved market is in threat of being evicted to make way for yet another high rise luxury condo...Yuck! to be built on the site of the historic Old Fulton Fish Market
Building a city landmark which would be demolished. Leading the redevelopment of the South Street Seaport, The New Amsterdam Market would like to instead revitalize the historic Old Fulton Fish Market as a Public Market and help to preserve some of the areas unique history, which is already being taken over by more luxury developments and shopping mall chain stores. The next few months will determine the future of this iconic area. If you would like to learn more about the market or find out what you can do to help fund their 2014 campaign click here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kings County Distillery / Edible Brooklyn Drinks Issue

All images © Valery Rizzo, Cover photo © Alan Gastelum

The Drinks Issue of Edible Brooklyn is about to hit the stands and thanks to the brilliant editors of Edible I have the pleasure of being published in a nice feature together with Colin Spoelman of Kings County Distillery who wrote the excerpt. Pick up a printed copy at local stores or read the digital copy by clicking here. The Issue is also packed with so many other wonderful articles about drink makers in Brooklyn, I definitely want to try the Barrow's ginger liqueur featured on the cover!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Kings County Distillery's Guide to Urban Moonshining

All images © Valery Rizzo

So thrilled to have 3 of my photographs included in the new book by Kings County Distillery, Guide to Urban Moonshining, published by Abrams. It is a truly beautiful book written by founders Colin Spoelman and David Haskell, about how to make and drink whiskey, its history and includes some cocktails and recipes as well. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Farm Dinners

Photographs © Valery Rizzo

A couple of weeks ago I photographed my first farm dinner...yes, I said farm dinner, here in NYC. It took place at the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm in Long Island City, Queens and was prepared by Chef Kevin Adey of Brooklyn's Northeast Kingdom in Bushwick. I only wish I would have started photographing dinners earlier in the season so that I could have captured that magical light while everyone was seated and dinner was being summer perhaps.

Brooklyn Grange also offers farm dinners at their Brooklyn Navy Yard Farm as well, check out their events schedule. and look for it again next year.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Brooklyn Photo of The Week / L & B Spumoni Gardens

L & B Spumoni Gardens, Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, 2013. Photo © Valery Rizzo

A classic Old School Brooklyn gem. The squares are the way to go here as well as the homemade Rainbow Spumoni.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

End of Summer

Photo © Valery Rizzo (iPhone 4S)

This weekend is the official end of summer so I am trying to make the most of my garden as things begin to wilt and die off. I still have some peppers coming, loads of heirloom tomatoes (the best year yet despite the first time spider mites), a few cucumbers still growing, basil just beginning and lots of herbs still there for the grabbing. I made my Collards four times this year, the last time adding bacon with my usual onions and garlic, so good, thanks to my neighbor Will, who is a chef and hangs out of his kitchen window and talks to me while I am gardening and he is smoking :) don't love the smoke, ah but what can you do. My string beans gave me a few nights of steamed string beans and potatoes with red onions. I also have to say thank you to my friend Rita and her daughter Zoe for helping my turn the soil and prep the garden and my aunt Kathi who drove to Brooklyn from Long Island to help me weed and left me in awe when the bottom of my garden looked as clean as my kitchen floor!

Now we have fall to look forward to.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Brooklyn Chocolate Makers / FRONT & MAIN

Last week I was thrilled to have west elm feature Eating Brooklyn and my photographs of Brooklyn chocolate makers on their cool blog FRONT & MAIN. The photos were featured in their COLOR CRUSH . INSPIRATION section and I don't know about you but I sure have a crush on that chocolate couch! see the full feature here.