Wednesday, 2 February 2011

New York: Brooklyn Edible Social Club

 The room, a large space
Andres Valboma, the Venezuelan born chef. He has worked as a sous chef at The French Laundry and in the Basque region. You can book for the Brooklyn Edible Social Club here. The weekly dinners cost $75
Rosemary cocktail in quilted jar
Amuse bouche
The hand designed menu and stylish table settings by Andres' graphic designer girlfriend
Lovely creative details around the apartment
Andres talks us through the menu and his philosphy "this is about food, but it's also about community, sourcing and farm to table. I make trips upstate to visit my suppliers, their farms"
Carrot and leek velouté with curried almonds, delicious

 I sat next to a lovely couple who met while he, from Colombia, was teaching her Spanish for her job. He found ways to make the lessons more interesting by taking her on 'field trips' to galleries and restaurants, they ended up spending more and more time together under the aegis of 'lessons' but he daren't not show his growing feelings "I was under contract, it would be unprofessional." The day after the contract finished, "you have to try, if you don't try, I never know" he asked her out. On the second date, he asked her to marry him. They now have two kids and live in Brooklyn.
 Air plants in the bathroom
 Finely mandolined cheese and squash salad with a delicious sage cream sauce. The meat eaters had duck proscuitto.
'Short necked clams' (phew) and mussels pot au feu with triple sec
 Squash with pine nuts, Meyer lemons (these are fabulous, can we get them here?), raisins and farro. 
Dessert: possibly the only false note but then I'm not a fan of the soggy/crispy combo in general. Crispy apple dumplings with apple cider soup.

 In a back room we saw where Andres used to grow his weed (not sure if he was joking). Now he grows herbs under lights. Andres came to America as an Asylum seeker from Venezuela. He was beaten up, almost killed, on camera by Chavez' troops. He escaped and fled to the United States.
"It's very very hard to get asylum here. Out of sixty people waiting on the day I was there, only myself and one other got through. The others, from all over the world, were sent back. But I just showed them the TV footage and immediately they said yes. "
"But isn't Chavez one of the good guys? He's transformed Venezuela" I asked.
  "I don't know. I just know what happened to me. I am left wing. So in principal I agree with him but the reality is something else. He and his family are now very rich and so is everybody around him" said Andres shrugging.

 Manhattan streets

Reminder: these photos are my copyright please do not use them without credit or payment! Thank you.

More posts on New York in the pipeline....


  1. Another very interesting post as usual...I'm running out of compliments for you and I must sound so gushy sometimes.

    I like this guy's house...ah how other people live...I crave a more arty lifestyle...Just need to get out there and make it happen I guess...

    Love the sound of some of this food too - yum! xxx

  2. CC: ALWAYS appreciate your comments, thanks so much for taking the time.
    This guy is a great cook.

  3. Not found anywhere that sells meyer lemons but you can grow the trees with some success apparently if you have just the right spot. i did have a meyer lemon tree once with some lemons on it but the damn thing died before they got big enough to eat.

  4. That story by the guy you sat next to was so sweet!

    If you're still in NY, go to - a sublime vegetarian korean restaurant - I loved it!

  5. Cute eh?
    I'm a sucker for romance of any kind...
    Unfortunately I had to return...loved New York though.

  6. Thanks Helen, where do I buy a Meyer lemon tree? Would LOVE a lemon tree! x

  7. I bought mine online. I can't remember where from now as it was a couple of years ago - I think it was EBay. Just did a search and there's some on there. Maybe a green house would be a good place?

  8. My US canning chums mention Meyer lemons all the time and I'm very jealous, never having experienced them. I did lots of research last year to find out about them but lemons sold lose here never seem to be named varieties. They are either waxed or unwaxed and occasionally big, knobbly and more interesting looking from independent stores. I did find a few trees for sale from specialist nurseries though.

  9. Meyer lemons are incredible...they're a corss between lemons & mandarin oranges, so they're less bitter than regular lemons and with a slight orange-y taste to them. I lived in the SF Bay Area for many years and they were plentiful...I ate & made many wonderful things with them (an ice cream bombe & a salted puree as a pizza topping were two of my favourites). Alas, they're nowhere to be found in the English countryside & I really miss them. I've done some searching on googling & have come across sites selling the plants, but nowhere selling the fruit.

  10. I noticed that Anna culinary anthropologist has a Meyer lemon tree in her house....


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