A Toddle Around Jackson Heights With Floyd Cardoz of Tabla
Many are the times that we’ve found ourselves wandering around the Indo-Pak wonderland that is Jackson Heights, wishing we only knew a little more about what was behind the counters in all those sweet shops, restaurants, and grocery stores. So we recruited Tabla’s Floyd Cardoz, arguably the country’s top Indian-American fusion cook, and asked him if he would give us a quick guided tour. Floyd assented, and we headed off to Queens in a 1990 white Coupe DeVille, with empty stomachs and open ears.
Chefs Descend on Madison Square Park in Flatiron Food FestEast Village: All falafel at Chickpea is now baked, not fried. Is this the first move toward franchise status? [Eater]
Financial District: Celebrate Bastille Day this Saturday at the Les Halles Waiter’s Race on John Street at 2 p.m. [Les Halles]
Flatiron: Madison Square Park Conservancy hosts its other annual food extravaganza next Tuesday with bites from the nabe’s chefs including Seamus Mullen, Patricia Yeo, Daniel Humm, and Floyd Cardoz, plus Brooklyn Brewery suds, wine and Champagne. [Madison Square Park]
Flushing: The celebrated Chinese “food court” at J&L Mall, has been closed, and Con Ed, not the Department of Health, is the culprit. [Eat for Victory/VV]
Park Slope: Newly opened American restaurant Sidecar is BYO for now. [NYS]
Prospect Heights: Seasoning does not a good cheesesteak make; High Stakes on Flatbush would do better to call its signature item a sandwich. [Daily Heights]
Upper East Side: Stefani Jackenthal hosts a tasting of Pinot varieties at the 92nd Street Y tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. [92nd Street Y]
Upper West Side: Lincoln Center’s Summer Benefit starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight, but by 9 p.m. you can start sampling from restaurants including Anthos, Chanterelle, and Yolato at Damrosch Park. [NYS]
What to Eat This Week
Tabla’s Floyd Cardoz Corners the Market on Indian Mangoes
For years, Indian mangoes have enjoyed the reputation, among food writers and gourmands, as the world’s best. But since the things were never allowed into this country, those of us who rarely left home were forced to take it on faith. The government has now allowed the forbidden fruit at last, but you still can’t taste them – unless you go to Tabla, where chef Floyd Cardoz has more or less cornered the market on Indian mangoes.
Tonight’s Beard Awards: a Referendum on Haute Cuisine
Times are changing in the restaurant world – but just how fast? Tonight’s James Beard Awards will help answer the question of whether the traditional tablecloth restaurants, which seem to be on the way out, still wield their old clout in the gastronomic Establishment.
Beard’s Best Chef Nominees Spill Beans
The Beard nominees for New York City’s Best Chef know that there’s more to the award than who makes the best plate of spaghetti. Looking back at previous years in which he was nominated, Picholine’s Terrance Brennan says, “Our customers were always loyal, but because I wasn’t playing the game, we were under the foodie radar. Being friends with the [Beard] committee helps I imagine if you know some people, your odds are probably better.”
Hark! James Beard Award NominationsAfter much speculation, the 2007 nominees for the James Beard Awards, the Oscars of the restaurant world, are in. Adam Platt, Rob Patronite, Robin Raisfeld, and Grub Street all filled out Beard brackets (or at least revealed whom we’d like to see win) on Friday. Here’s how the academy’s coming down.
Floyd Cardoz Deigns to Educate You, Tomorrow OnlyTabla chef Floyd Cardoz is giving a demo tomorrow morning that celebrates his Grub Street-approved cookbook, One Spice, Two Spice. Cardoz’s Indian-American fusion makes him unique among cookbook authors; those in attendance will get to try to two of his savory dishes and one of his Indian desserts. — Alexandra Vallis
Cooking Class, “One Spice, Two Spice,” $135
Sat., Jan. 13, 10 a.m.–noon
Tabla, 11 Madison Ave., at 25th St.; 212-889-0667
Jason Neroni: I Love Wylie, But ...A friend of Porchetta chef Jason Neroni has alerted us to the fact that, despite having taken over for Wylie Dufresne at 71 Clinton Fresh Foods before starting his new gig, Neroni does not consider Dufresne his mentor. “Because Wylie made such a name for 71 Clinton Fresh Food, I think people tend to compare our styles a lot,” Neroni tells us. “But Smith Street isn’t the Lower East Side, and I’m in this business to do what I love, and to be myself.” The chef credits Alice Waters and Dan Hill for teaching him about ingredients, Floyd Cardoz for teaching him about “multidimensionality,” and Alain Ducasse for teaching him to “slow down, combine all the elements, and create a cuisine that I could, for the first time, truly consider to be mine.”
A Restaurant Revolution on Smith Street? [Grub Street]