If you want a cold beer or a glass of wine, Jeremy Le Blanche, the beverage director at Manhattan’s Thyme Bar, is happy to deliver. But ordering either at the space, a 1920s gambling den-turned-21st-century speakeasy, would be a missed opportunity. Since it opened, in March 2020, and especially since the arrival of Le Blanche that summer, the underground lounge has developed an eye-popping array of botanical, multisensory cocktails that translate art into drinks.
Though Le Blanche left his native Toulon, France, and the surrounding lavender fields of Provence, ten years ago, nature and its floral fragrances remain strong influences in his work, as do images from an eclectic selection of Instagram accounts, such as @art.sequence‘s avant-garde illustrations, @patisserietoday‘s quirky baked goods, and @yummyfood_foryouu‘s inventive food porn. Le Blanche also seeks out master perfumers—recent connections include those from Le Labo and Saint Laurent—to discuss the similarities between combining scents and combining flavors. “I have so much to learn,” he says, adding that the dark, dramatic looks by fashion designers Anthony Vaccarello and Alexander McQueen influenced his most recent libations.
After pouring his way around the world in positions at restaurants including London’s German Gymnasium, Sydney’s (now closed) Ananas Bar & Brasserie, and Lausanne’s two-Michelin starred Anne Sophie Pic, Le Blanche arrived in Manhattan three years ago, eager to explore the visual creativity he learned on the European bar scene. “We don’t just make drinks at Thyme Bar,” he says. “We want to simulate travel through cocktails—to disconnect our guests from the metropolis above, and invite them to walk into our forest.”
Drinks on the bar’s more accessible Le Jardin menu may be based on the familiar, but each is served with intentional interactions between customer and cocktail, always designed to extend the experience beyond taste. New concoctions for the spring include the Flower Bomb, made with an especially floral I.P.A. from Long Island City and cooked to extract the gas, along with Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, orange blossom, and spicy Arbikie Chilli Vodka. The beverage arrives in a glass that resembles a just-opened flower, garnished with real rose petals and a wooden spoon to scoop up cherry-colored foam that, when sipped along with the liquid, tastes like the vessel it’s served in. Seemingly more sedate, Forest H2O channels a Negroni but incorporates Patsch Blanco Tequila, an especially aromatic roots mastia, and comes in a wine glass surrounded by a diorama of moss.
A second list of cocktails, Floriography (a term referring to the means of cryptological communication through the use or arrangement of flowers), invites guests deeper into Thyme Bar’s enchanted forest by providing more complexity in terms of both flavor and visuals. Among its offerings: Trumpet of Death, named for the French mushroom, turns up shrouded in three ceramic mushrooms growing from a bed of faux greenery. Intended for being sipped directly off the plate, the drink is made with marjoram-infused vodka, dill-weed cordial, and carrot juice, and is accompanied by a smoking, cinnamon-scented pine cone.
Three dollars more gets you a veritable acrobatics display: Like actual raindrops, Coconino Rain, a floral libation inspired by Arizona’s sprawling Coconino National Forest, comes down from above in a ceramic vessel—hanging by a faux leaf–covered rope that extends from a single hook placed above every stool and seat in the intimate, low-lit lounge. Made with salted caramel–infused Tanduay Gold rum, aquavit, tangerine juice, prickly pear, and lime, the drink is Le Blanche’s take on a classic tiki cocktail. He finds particular delight in the smiles that follow its unexpected delivery. “That’s why I do this job,” he says.
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For many people who visit Qahwah House, a series of cafés with locations in Brooklyn; Chicago; and Dearborn, Michigan, the drinks they consume are their first
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Jennifer McLagan’s award-winning cookbooks celebrate ingredients that many Western cultures reject or ignore. They include Bones: Recipes, History, and Lore (2005), Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal (2011), and Blood (2019). Far from a marketing stunt, each compendium reflects a topic that McLagan, who grew up in the suburbs of Melbou
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In 1972, the new headquarters for Johnson Publishing Company debuted in the pages of Ebony magazine. Its interior was replete with the design trends of the new decade: a color palette of orange, brown, and yellEbony test kitchen, a groovy, all-electric room that was then considered one of the most modern in the United States. The kitEbony published in its monthly issues, which not only highlighted dishes that their readers should try at home, but also cele
How do you like your insects prepared? For many in the Western world, this question is likely met with a knitted brow. Dsocial and environmental benefits, they co-founded Ento Collective, a health food company with offerings that center around the widely underestimated superfood and protein source.
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What makes a cake a cake? Is it its stately, cylindrical shape? Its spongy texture? Its sugary contents? Whatever preconYip Studio, wants to uproot them. She specializes in naturalistic, rock-shaped cakes that, on first glance, could easily be mistak
About a decade ago, Cassie Winslow, a Northern California–based baker and cocktail-maker who runs the blog Deco Tartelette, started experimenting with edible flowers, concocting condiments such as rose salt and lavender sugar, and incorporatiFloral Libations, which includes instructions for how to make drinks ranging from dandelion tea cinnamon cappuccinos to plum rosewater gFloral Provisions (Chronicle Books), out this week.
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The beginnings of Julia Momosé’s deeply patient, intentional bartending practice can be traced back to one fateful nighThe Way of the Cocktail: Japanese Traditions, Techniques, and Recipes (Clarkson Potter), which she co-wrote with food-and-drink writer Emma Janzen. “With a flourish, lemon oils were expresse
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Few bite-size foods are as fancy as caviar, with its bursts of salty brine that tickle the tongue. But changing attitudeEp. 53 of our Time Sensitive podcast.) Fortunately for those who still crave the eggs, an ethical alternative—one that’s being increasingly adopted by high-tonburi, the edible, quinoa-like seeds of the summer cypress plant that are sometimes referred to as “land caviar.”
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How can one shape America’s proverbial melting pot? Mayukh Sen, a James Beard Award–winning food journalist and professoTaste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America (W.W. Norton), out next week.
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After some 100,000 miles traveled, 250 pizzerias visited, and 12,000 individual pies created at a food lab in Bellevue, Modernist Pizza (The Cooking Lab), out this week, a comprehensive three-volume opus dedicated to one of the world’s most beloved foods.
Dimly lit restaurants are no rarity in New York. But at Abigail’s Kitchen in Greenwich Village, reduced visibility isn’t exactly for ambience. Twice a week, chef-owner Abigail Hitchcock offers Dinners in the Dark, for which she blindfolds her guests before they enter the dining space, then serves them a multicourse, seasonal menu
New York’s Hudson Valley has a brewing heritage that dates back to its first Dutch settlers, who made use of the abundan
After working at various five-star restaurants in Europe throughout the 1970s (and for two years, as a private chef in WDaniel Boulud at long last moved to New York City in 1982. About a decade later, in May 1993, he went on to establish his eponymous M
Clunky and often noisesome, coffee grinders typically fall into the category of countertop appliances that most of us stKey, a new streamlined version by Weber Workshops—a maker of well-crafted kitchen tools that was founded by Douglas Weber,
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“We’re not going for authentic Mexican tacos,” says Tamy Rofe, the Mexico-born sommelier who runs Disco Tacos in Brooklyn with her husband, chef Felipe Donnelly, and their partner, Mac Osborne. “We’re going for craveability and d
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American ranches have increasingly been raising Wagyu, a full-flavored beef swirled with thin veins of fat that’s celebrKnights Valley Wagyu, a company co-founded by real estate developers Adam Gordon and Will Densberger, raising exemplary cattle goes hand in director’s council at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where he was immersed in the principles of deep ecology:
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For nearly 30 years, the family-owned Italian company Illycaffè has engaged leading artists to enhance the act of enjoyiIlly Art Collection, for which various creative minds, such as Marina Abramović, David Byrne, Yoko Ono, and Robert Wilson, take a Matteo Threcent series by graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, for example, featured a mirror-like finish on each vessel, covering its surface latest addition, created by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who adorned espresso and cappuccino cups with bold, graphic paint sp
We’re typically told not to mess with family recipes—but for Paul Eng, an artist and the third-generation owner of a stoleung fan), rice cakes (bak tong gou), and other traditional fare. When Eng’s parents closed the space, in 2017, it was the oldest family-owned tofu shop in
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For her thirtieth birthday, some years ago, Antwerp-based food journalist and chef Barbara Serulus received a living, liFizz: The Beginner’s Guide to Making Natural, Non-Alcoholic Fermented Drinks (BIS Publishers). Illustrated with artwork by chef Elise van Iterson, it’s a thoroughly readable guide to fermentation,
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One year on, the Covid-19 pandemic has stress-tested the vulnerabilities of our national safety net, with small business
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During China’s Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220 C.E.), pu-erh tea was transported along the Ancient Tea-Horse Road, an age-old trading route that once extended 1,400 miles from ChinaCamellia sinensis var. assamica in mountains of the Chinese Yunnan Province—that are roasted, rolled, and dried in the sun. They’re then fermented in osheng pu-erh ferments naturally and matures over many years like a fine wine, while the ripe and earthy shou pu-erh is incubated in a moisture-rich environment that accelerates the aging process, which concludes within a few months. Typ
Jon Gray, along with chefs Pierre Serrao and Lester Walker, form the Bronx-based culinary collective Ghetto Gastro, whose work celebrates their native borough while seeking to elevate its stature within global culture through immersivEp. 2 of our Time Sensitive podcast, recorded in early 2019.) Through imaginative storytelling, experiential activations, and product development for clien
Even if you’re not a sommelier or a wino, there are enough champagne memes these days for you to know that the bubbly faD.M. Brut, a sparkling wine that’s made in the Champagne method—which is to say, fermented in the bottle itself—but with a “BraziObrigado!, making for an apt gift. Sure, Dom Maria’s sparkling wine may not be champagne proper, but we’d happily raise a glass asaúde to a round of this.
Among the sundry forms of comfort we’ve sought during the pandemic, perhaps nothing soothes faster than a piping-hot pizRoccbox can cook a perfectly-crispy-crust Neapolitan pie in just 60 seconds, with its up-to-950-degree oven and cordierite stonRoccbox Wood Burner 2.0, a detachable device that adds oomph to its signature oven, with its ability to reach top temperatures even faster, andOoni Pro, which can be heated with charcoal, wood, or gas, and Camp Chef’s double-walled Italia Artisan Pizza Oven, built to mimic the performance of the wood-fired brick variety (it can also be used to bake bread or roast meats). How
In the United States, the market for fermented tea drinks, including the popular kombucha variety, reached $2.2 billion at the end of last year, and is expected to jump to $6.5 billion by 2026. But all such beverages are not created equal, as exemplified by BrookUnified Ferments, which concocts refreshments that offer a distinctive, and complex yet subtle drinking experience. “Most kombucha is ma
From nuts to oats to rice to hemp seeds to soy, you can find all sorts of alternatives to traditional dairy these days. requires incredible amounts of water consumption to produce). Ditch the supermarket variety of alt-milks, which are often packed with stabilizers and emulsifiers, and make a fresh
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Despite coffee’s side effects, which can include pit-in-your-stomach anxiety and sleepless nights, caffeine addicts haveaccording to the National Coffee Association, only seems to be growing. But coffee’s not the only way to add some pep to your step. There are a number of tasty alteMud\Wtr, a blend of familiar ingredients (masala chai, turmeric, sea salt, lion’s mane mushrooms, and others) that impart a comDandy Blend actually tastes like a coffee-and-hot chocolate mashup, which is surprising, given that it’s made from dandelion, chicoRasa, a company based in Boulder, Colorado, that offers multiple blends that promote immunity, lower stress levels, and incr
Aymeric de Gironde, CEO of the Château Troplong Mondot estate, located in the Saint-Émilion wine region of Bordeaux, France, grew up working in vineyards—and has never looked
If journeying to Japan feels out of reach—or even impossible, in the midst of a pandemic—fret not. The subscription box Kokoro Care Packages brings the best of the country to you via monthly, quarterly, or one-off parcels, delivered year-round. Noodles, soups,
Summer may have passed, but after the year we’ve had, and the months of isolation yet ahead, maintaining a sense of warmKaginushi charcoal BBQ konro grill. Designed in a variety of sizes, including some large enough to cook a whole fish on, the pared-down appliance sits on binchō-tan charcoal around the ignition device inside, and switch it on to get grilling. It’s not quite the great outdoors, but th
In 1989, friends Deborah Fleig and Linda Tetrault started running the store at Ten Thousand Waves, a spa-centric sanctuaFloating World Artisan Sake Imports to bring Japan’s finest brews stateside. Their knowledge shines through the company’s wide-ranging website catalogue, Akishika Okarakuchi variety, made by just five people at a tiny, 134-year-old establishment nestled in the mountains between Kyoto and OsakMukai, a label run by one of the few female tōji (master brewers) working in the industry today. Libations for more adventurous palettes include Kaze no Mori (“Wind of the Woods”), a floral, fruity, unfiltered sake with a cult following, and a dry, earthy sake from Mutemuka, a brewery in Kochi Prefecture, that’s aged for six months and has a distinctively nutty aftertaste that smacks of cacalist of distributors before holing up for the holidays.
Since opening his first restaurant, Bills, in Sydney in 1993, few people have done more for the global understanding of Bill Granger, commonly (though, he’ll politely say, not necessarily correctly) known as the man who gave the world avocado toast. NoAustralian Food (Murdoch Books), a delicious collection of wholesome recipes including one-bowl meals, chopped salads, and fish dishes. We recently spok Over the last twenty years, you’ve authored ten books—none of which squarely tackle the topic of Australian food. What
As the holidays roll around, gelatin desserts—a festive Thanksgiving staple, cast in extravagant shapes and fantastical Nünchi. Shapes such as five-petaled flowers recur in Park’s delicate, decidedly cute confections, which riff on the Sanrio characters and Morning Glory stationery that filled her childhood. Most of her work falls within a pastel colorway—happy colors, if you will—but she’ll branch
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Omar Sosa, co-founder of Apartamento magazine and Apartamento Studios, has an unfussy love of natural wine. Here, he describes the process of developing a dVivanterre (a riff on the French term for “living earth”), a new line of natural wine produced by Patrick Bouju and Justine Loisea
The award-winning African-American Jewish author and culinary historian Michael W. Twitty got his start in food writing Afroculinaria, as an outlet to document and celebrate the rich cultural histories of African-American fare and the vital role they haThe Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South—not to mention his open letter to Paula Deen, in 2013, that went viral, even as it was left unanswered by the disgraced Food Network host. Reflecting upon his own bsaid in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “It’s also simply survival—through the mental fortitude of humor, the mental fortitude of memory, and the mental forti@thecookinggene) to keep abreast of what he’s cooking up next: a new non-profit called the Muloma Heritage Center, located on South Carolina’s historic St. Helena Island. Dedicated to educating visitors on African Atlantic culture, c
The human gut microbiome contains up to one thousand species of bacteria that, among many functions, produce neurotransm
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Ghetto Gastro, the Bronx-based culinary collective working at the intersection of design, art, and social justice, has cooked up a taCRUXGG, includes a range of everyday appliances—a blender, a coffee maker, a toaster oven, an air fryer, and more—with matte-bEp. 2 of our Time Sensitive podcast), have released a rotating double waffle maker, which promises to yield perfectly browned, crisped edges, nooks, and crannies. True to Ghetto Gastro’s mission to igniKnow Your Rights Camp, a campaign founded by athlete-activist Colin Kaepernick. Consider the cookware, designed to be left out on the kitchen
Aishwarya Iyer never thought she would found an olive oil company. At least her background in start-ups and venture capi So Iyer decided to make her own, and launched Brightland in 2018. Using olives from a family-run farm on California’s central coast, the Los Angeles–based company makes extra-v
Sichuan cuisine, named for the subtropical province of China where it originates from, is characterized by a diversity omálà (a portmanteau meaning “numbing and spicy”), is marked by deep and pungent, peppery notes that you not only taste but fethe U.S. considered Sichuan peppercorns to be contraband; nowadays, you can find the little pink orbs in trendy cocktails that play on its citrus and camphor-like aromas. As thThe Mala Market, an online purveyor that stocks top-grade ingredients directly from Sichuan province. Here, in one fell swoop, you can blog of recipes to kick-start your culinary adventures.
Chefs and restaurant owners everywhere have had to rethink their business models this year, as social distancing and new
Several months into the pandemic, the restaurant industry remains among the hardest hit in the U.S., with scant evidenceparticularly those run by BIPOC entrepreneurs, who have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus-related losses—their fates lie directly in continuing sales. Eat Okra app, founded by New York couple Anthony and Janique Edwards in 2016, which gives a boost of visibility to Black-owned b
The 20th-century futurist, theorist, inventor, and architect R. Buckminster Fuller was a tireless visionary and radical thinker who wrote dozens of books and proposed theoretical designs advocating for Synergetic Stew: Explorations in Dymaxion Dining, a collection of recipes and anecdotes originally compiled by Fuller’s friends as a surprise gift for his 86th birthday
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Lexie Smith is an artist and baker, though it’s only relatively recently, after years of working in restaurant kitchens and balanciBread on Earth. Her work often takes on various forms, from performance and installation to photography, writing, and publishing, all
After years in various kitchens, working his way up from dishwasher to cook, and ultimately chef de partie at Eleven Madison Park, Matt Jozwiak left the fine-dining world behind in 2017 to start Rethink Food NYC, a nonprofit organization that partners with restaurants and grocery stores to reduce excess food and make nutritious, Ghetto Gastro and Jozwiak’s former boss, chef Daniel Humm—as collaborators in its mission to fight food insecurity and foster a more
Extolled by New York City’s finest restaurants, from Daniel to Eleven Madison Park and abcV, as well as a growing coteriDavocadoguy, is seemingly everyone’s go-to guy for the best avocados. He keeps his supply consistently stocked and perfectly ripene
Supermarkets put billions of pounds of perfectly fine, edible food to waste each year for the very silly, Goldilocks reanearly half of all harvested produce is never eaten. The home-delivery start-up Misfits Market aims to right the wrong of this senseless global food crisis, selling only produce that is certified organic, non-GMO,
Marfa may be known as a site of pilgrimage for lovers of minimalist art—its expansive desert sky, open landscape, and ofCooking in Marfa: Welcome, We’ve Been Expecting You (Phaidon). The collection of essays and recipes, featuring local ingredients and dishes, from prickly pear to chicharrón
The idea of “pantry cooking” connotes a sense of resourcefulness—the humble term focused on the shelf lives of whatever Esquire food and drinks editor Jeff Gordinier told us on Ep. 10 of At a Distance, canned food can be every bit as delicious as the fresh stuff, if not exceedingly so. Conservas, tinned seafood products from Spain and Portugal, can last for months, if not years, in the cupboard, but that seems topiquillo peppers stuffed with bonito tuna. Chicken of the Sea, these are not. Fortunately, you can browse and find all sorts of conservas online from grocers such as La Tienda and Chicago’s Wixter Market, and fuel those wanderlust dreams of a trip to the Iberian coast. “The other day I tried zamburiñas,” Gordinier told us on the podcast, with excitement. “Have you heard of that? See, this is interesting. I'm still seeki
First came the sourdough craze; next, homemade cheese. Ricotta, to be specific. Since pandemic times, home cooking has ta recent episode of At a Distance. “For me, it was so wild how far away we had come from that, as a species—the fact that most people don’t know how to htry this recipe), requiring only two ingredients: milk and lemon. Add a bit of patience, which is something we could all stand to pract
Dr. Brian Fisher, an entomologist and curator at the California Academy of Sciences, has studied and identified countless species of antadvocating for an insect-focused approach to nutrition and natural conservation. Here, Fisher tells us why eating insects is a healthy practice for both our bodies and the planet.
Whetstone Magazine Co-Founder and “Origin Forager” Stephen Satterfield on Food, Culture, and Identity
The co-founder of Whetstone magazine and host of the food anthropology podcast Point of Origin, food writer Stephen Satterfield spent more than a decade working as a sommelier before venturing into the world of medEsquire, Food & Wine, New York magazine, and other publications, Satterfield tells us about his role as a self-described “origin forager,” and why the
With Memorial Day weekend behind us, summer has officially begun, and for many home-growers, this signifies the busiest Kitazawa Seed Company, founded in 1917 by a Japanese American family, sells some of the best, and offers more than 500 seed varieties of dento yasai, traditional heirloom varieties of a diverse array of Asian vegetables used in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines, Browse the extensive catalog to learn about all the delicious varieties, and pick up some recipes for dishes such as sunomono, a simple and refreshing cucumber salad, and kinpira gobo, a savory side of burdock root sautéed in sweet soy sauce.