How would you describe At Your Palate?At Your Palate is a fully customized personal cheffing service. I realized that I wanted to get into personal cheffing half-way through my culinary education at the French Culinary Institute. I wanted to be able to educate and wow my clients with delicious, gourmet cuisine by introducing them to new ingredients or old classic dishes with modern twists. I always approach a recipe with health in mind (unless the goal is debaucherous decadence!) and my clients are always impressed at how delicious a meal is even when you’re making it “healthy.”
Where are you from originally?I’m a Brooklyn born & raised native! And if Brooklyn wasn’t culturally diverse enough, I was fortunate to have been raised by a very multicultural family: an Egyptian mother and a Polish father, both of whom grew up in Israel – as you can imagine, family meals and holidays were always robust and amazing! There were always foods and dishes that spanned such a wide range of cultural expression – to me it seemed normal until I was old enough to realize that not everyone lives like I do.
What brought you to Manhattan?Manhattan’s my backyard – and I’ve been playing in it for as long as I can remember! My parents used to bring me and my siblings into “the city” often in order to expose us to the many facets and opportunities that are available in such a vibrant and energetic place.
Why Did You Decide to Partner with Stonehenge?After having demo’d an event with Stonehenge through Urban Girl Squad, it became clear that Stonehenge and I have similar interests: we want to elevate the quality of people’s lives! The junction between living and eating is so intimate, it was clear that a partnership was bashert! (meant to be)
What is your favorite hangout in Manhattan?Oh man, where do I start? Without question – every green market. Most of them have a lot of the same stuff, but some of them feature different vendors at different days and it’s always fascinating and amazing to see some of the produce and products that make their way to the market. I also love love LOVE any restaurant that’s remotely affiliated with Keith McNally – one of my go-tos is Lucky Strike in SoHo; great food, great drinks, excellent service and amazing atmosphere. I also love bookstores so I’ll just mosey along rows and rows of books from the big shops like Barnes & Noble to any of the smaller ones that are still around.
What is the perfect go-to meal for a Dinner at Home in a NYC apartment?
For me, that’s comfort food. I love anything that has been cooking all day in my slow-cooker and then making fresh pasta to eat along with it! Or sometimes just a quick and light salad with whatever I have in my fridge!
Name 3 Ingredients You Can’t Live Without.
Wow!! Only three?! That’s like asking me to choose my 3 favorite fingers! How do you pick!? If I really had to boil it down, like, stuck on an island with ONLY these 3 ingredients: good oil, sea salt and fresh black pepper. With those minimum of ingredients I can make ANYTHING taste amazing!
What is the best current food trend?
Good question! I think molecular gastronomy is really interesting and is certainly gaining more and more attention especially now where so many of the techniques that are used to prepare some of these wacky foods can be purchased – they make in-home molecular gastronomy kits with recipes and the basic ingredients you need. That said, I think that restaurants that embrace and implement the sous vide cooking (cooking within a vacuum) is the solid trend right now and looks like it will only continue to grow. By being able to seal foods you want to cook in an air-tight plastic “skin” and by immersing it into a highly temperature controlled water bath, you can truly control the texture and flavor of the ingredient in ways that were just not possible until now.
Fad diets need to disappear! I think that people need to approach food and wellness with the right perspective and goals. Juice cleanse diets, paleo diets, Atkins diets – who can keep track!? Find a balanced diet that works in your lifestyle and that will make you happy! Approach your food with respect and it will respect you back because you are what you eat!