What happens when you put a chef, the Slushies and a fashion photographer together? This is what we ventured to discover last Sunday when we got together with The Refined Chef Seth Fera-Schanes, and fashion photographer Meghan McGarry. As it turns out you get a spectacular meal with great company and wine!
Starting our journey at the 77th Street Green Market we wandered down the two block market located on Columbus Ave, just west of the Natural History Museum. Tables teeming with fresh produce and vegetables, lavender, and homemade rugala all provoked many stops, photos and purchases. On the shopping list: leeks, tomatoes, asparagus, cream, butter, muscles, fresh bread, lemons and parsley. We even found a nice dry Reisling from Treleaven Winery, Cayuga Lake in Upstate New
York. The best part about the local green markets in NYC,(other than supporting local, sustainable food), is the tactile and engaging experience you get from shopping. You talk to the farmers, learn something, taste a strawberry, that is it proper size, and become more engaged and connected to where your food comes from.
After the market we strolled up Columbus to the rather suburban area between 96th and 100th streets. Urbanites may complain about having places like TJ Maxx and Home Goods invade New York City, (making it more closely resemble the dreaded suburbs), but few argue about having access to fresh, healthy food from the likes of Whole Foods. This extends for the average S-lushie to having access to good, environmentally friendly wine and beer! The Whole Foods Wine Store doesn’t disappoint and neither does their resident wine maven Melanie Mann. Melanie was on hand to be our wine sherpa for the menu, which included steamed muscles in wine and butter and asparagus soup. She suggested we go with three excellent selections, of the honest variety.
Interesting among her favorites were wines with no formal certifications, some didn’t even tout their sustainability credentials on their labels. See an interesting argument on certification of organic and biodynamic wine here. However, relying on her relationships with the winery owners, and first hand tours of the facilities she was able to pull from the vast array on the shelves, wines like Sauvignon Saint Bris from Clotide Davenne, Winner of the Médaille d’Argent Concours des Grands Vins de France MACON 2008 and the Burgundia d’Or 2007. The Saint Bris paired perfectly with the muscles, parsley and lemon. This wine is particularly unique because it’s the only Burgundy produced from Savingon 100%.
Also on her list- Biohoff Pratch 2010 Grüner Veltliner- a great summer white with citrus fruit undertones and a nice tang. Biohoff wines are made in Austria, by a young Stephan Pratsch who is deeply devoted to the making the healthiest grape. Mr. Pratsch makes his enthusiasm readily apparent on his website, which google happily translated from Austrian to English for us, and thankfully because Mr. Pratsch says it best himself; “An organically-farmed soil is alive. It is the basis for the functioning ecosystem in the vineyard. Like any species at any location or floor has its own flavor. It takes years to develop and leaves the wine with something unaltered by chemicals.”
Having gathered the necessary supplies we went to The Refined Chefs’ kitchen to whip it all into a delicious meal, at this point we were very ready to eat! We let Seth do the cooking, while we did the tough work of popping corks!
Thanks to Seths’ expertise in the kitchen and Meghans’ photography the meal not only looked good but tasted great also! The wine provided the perfect back drop to glorious scenery and we hope you are inspired to create your own partnerships and concoct some amazing, and memorable meals.
Check out your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), where you can buy a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer. Weekly your farmer will deliver the goods to a convenient drop-off spot your neighborhood. Looking to make friends with chickens, sheep, and a vegetable patch? Check out the Stone Barn Farm, only 30 mins. outside of the city. If you are interested in volunteering at an NYC Green Market, or just get more involved, visit the Grow NYC site.