An Unforgettable Experience – DBGB Kitchen and Restaurant

I’m Kelsey, a 22-year old who graduated from The Culinary Education Center in Asbury Park, NJ almost three years ago. I currently work at Applewood Estates, a retirement community in Freehold, NJ. Always looking for new culinary adventures, I am excited to finally produce my first post and hopefully many more to come. Enjoy!

Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of meeting Sara in the city to experience a pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime culinary adventure. I didn’t know what to expect and thought it would just be a basic cooking class that I already had learned from culinary school. Boy, was I wrong!

When first arriving at the prep kitchen for DBGB we were greeted by Lauren, the PR contact for all of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants. She gave us a brief background and offered us coffee and refreshments. We were then introduced to Chef Mark who has been working in Daniel’s restaurant for over 14 years and pretty much started the baking program for the kitchen. He gave us a thorough background regarding all of Daniels restaurants. Then Giles Verot who started the charcuterie program with Daniel, came in. For those of you who don’t know, charcuterie is the art of making sausage and forced meats like pates and terrines.

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Giles Verot

Nowadays, it’s hard to find restaurants that produce their own charcuterie. It was crazy to see how they make all the bread, pastries, and charcuterie for all of Daniel’s restaurants in New York in this kitchen. We first began our tour in the bread-making part of the kitchen. We got to see all of the ovens and other equipment they use, then got to roll our own baguette! That was a fun aspect of the tour and we got to take home what we made. Then we went to pastry part of the kitchen, saw some cheesecakes being packaged and all the appliances they use to produce all the pastries, which wasn’t a lot for the amount of product they are producing weekly.

Cheesecakes being packaged in the kitchen!

Cheesecakes being packaged in the kitchen!

Continuing on our tour, we walked through to the charcuterie section of the kitchen. They had a small area for the actual cooking part of the charcuteries, which was crazy for the 36 sausages and other charcuterie they sell throughout the 6 restaurants. Then we went to the secluded, cold area where they make the sausages and pack the terrines. Giles and one of his employees took a pork shank they braised for 48 hours and vegetables they roasted in the oven, and mixed them together with oil and seasonings. We were allowed to sample the final product, the rilette, which was very tasty. The two other people we got to tour the kitchen with had an interest in how head cheese was made. So they pulled out a pigs head and showed us, which I honestly didn’t need to see! My mind was completely blown away by this tour and really opened my eyes to the culinary world.

Making the rilette

Making the rilette

After the tour we were treated to whatever we wanted at Daniel’s restaurant, DBGB Kitchen & Bar. Taking advantage of this amazing once-in a lifetime-opportunity, we both ordered The Dickens cocktail, which was fruity and spicy but not too overpowering. I then ordered the steak tartare to feel fancy and privileged, which was very good but I think I prefer cooked steak to the raw preparation of steak, like tartare. I was very excited for my sausage to come, after the tour and class! I ordered the Beaujolaise sausage, which was a pork sausage with onion, bacon, red wine, and mushrooms served over lentils. This was absolutely delicious! Completely different than any sausage I ever had before so I ate every last bite! We also received a “complimentary” sausage de jamon and hash brown, which was very creamy and tasted great. Even though we were stuffed, we couldn’t let this opportunity to go to waste, so we ordered dessert. The choices were limited, so I went with the apple pie. It was very beautifully presented and served with scoop of freshly-made green apple sorbet. The perfect ending to an amazing experience.

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DBGB

I would definitely recommend DBGB to everyone and would like to try more of Daniel Boulud’s restaurants in the future!

#SCBD Giveaway: The Guilt-Free Treat, Almondina

If you are looking for a healthy treat, we’ve found it! It’s Almondina®— a gourmet cookie, health food and snack, all in one. These extraordinary gourmet treats are created from Yuval Zaliouk’s secret family recipe which has been passed down from generation to generation and was introduced to the market in 1989. It is wonderfully crunchy and does not have to be dipped. It is a delightful accompaniment for coffee, tea, soft cheeses and fine light wines.

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Almondina® biscuits come in the following flavors:

  •  Original – America’s all natural favorite with almonds and raisins
  • Chocolate Cherry – We combined the world’s finest dark chocolate, with plump cherries to produce an irresistible, decadent treat without guilt.
  • Choconut – Rich tasting crunchy chocolate, but low in calories
  • Cinnaroma® – The original biscuit for cinnamon lovers
  • Gingerspice – Trend setting, with chunks of Australian ginger
  •  AlmonDuo® – Double-nut wonder with almonds and pistachios
  • AnniversaryT – Award winning delight with a touch of anise
  • BranTreats® – Made with oat bran and the finest cinnamon “Cookies For Breakfast”
  • Sesame – Irresistible, exotic, flavorful
  • Seasonal Pumpkin Spice – A seasonal attraction with a delightful touch of fall spices combined with the highest quality almonds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

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Almondina® Biscuits are:

  • All Natural
  • Free of cholesterol, coloring and preservatives
  •  Made with no added fat or salt
  •  Low in calories – only 30 per slice
  • Kosher and Pareve (non dairy)
  •  with tea or coffee
  • as a cracker with cream cheese, Brie or other soft French cheeses
  • with a glass of sherry
  • crumbled as an ice cream topping
  • served to youngsters with milk
  • as a delicious breakfast on the way to work
  • Crunchy, addictive, healthful

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Note: This contest has ended.

 Interested in trying it? Well it’s your lucky day, we will be giving ONE lucky winner a sample pack of Almondina®

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Like Small Chick Big Deals on Facebook
  2. Like Almondina® on Facebook
  3. Leave a comment with the flavor you want to try the most

Winner will be picked at random on Wednesday, March 6th!

Good luck!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

It’s Britney, Bitch

Okay, we are so jealous of Britney’s hot look in her new video for “Scream and Shout.” If only we all had thick, long hair that we could pony up like that…oh wait, now we can with SHE by SO.CAP.USA Clip-In Ponytail Extensions. In fact, Britney even sported one of these extensions in her “I Wanna Go” music video. If celebs don’t have to spend hours styling their hair, why do we?

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SHE by SO.CAP.USA Hair Extensions offers the largest selection of hair types and colors. The company has more than 90 hair colors in three different textures and each product is developed by a team of specialized chemists, engineers and hair extensionists. They use only the best hand-selected, 100% European-type human hair that is pre-bonded with 100% Keratin Tips.

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So if you’re looking to emulate celebrity chic hairstyles, be sure to check out this great company to get the look.

#SCBDExclusive NYC Craft Beer Festival- Spring Seasonals

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The beer events just keep on coming and if you enjoyed the Big Brew Beer Festival you’ll love this! The NYC Craft Beer Festival Spring Seasonals Edition will be making its way to NYC on March 30th at Lexington Avenue Armory (68 Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th streets). The festival has two sessions to choose from:

SESSION 1: General Admission 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

 VIP & Connoisseur 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM

SESSION 2: General Admission 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM /

VIP & Connoisseur 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

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How it works: Everyone will be given a tasting glass and have the opportunity to try unlimited 2 oz tastings of approximately 150 craft beers from all over the country.  Food will be available for purchase for all attendees and there will be a selection of retail vendors on-site.  VIP and Connoisseur will have the first hour to themselves to sample these great brews and Connoisseurs will have a private lounge with rare selections and passed hors d’oeuvres throughout the session.  They will also be offering expert seminars for all attendees (first-come first-serve) that highlight key aspects of the craft beer industry including pairings, business, and more!

Check out some pictures from last year’s fest:

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General Admission Tickets purchased in advanced start at $55. To purchase tickets, click here, they will be selling out quickly!

Cheers!

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

The 3rd Annual Tasting Brooklyn

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Last year, I had the pleasure of attending a great foodie event, Tasting Brooklyn. This year, the 3rd Annual Tasting Brooklyn will take place on April 16th from 6:30-9pm at The Green Building. Tickets just went on sale February 19th, so if you want to partake in this delicious and filling event, purchase yours quickly – it has sold out in advance both previous years, and it is worth it!

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Picture courtesy of Donny Tsang from Tasting Brooklyn 2011

What can you expect at Tasting Brooklyn? Food, food, and more food! Brooklyn’s best restaurants will feature tasty dishes for guests to try, including hot spots like Allswell, Dassara, Fort Reno, The Saint Austere, and many more. Need something to wash it all down with? No problem! Drinks will be provided by brands like Brooklyn Gin, Sixpoint Beer, Cacao Prieto, Clover Club and more.

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Picture courtesy of Donny Tsang from Tasting Brooklyn 2011

Tickets can be purchased here for $50 ($75 for VIP; includes exclusive preview from 5:30-6:30pm and gift bag of locally made Brooklyn treats). Proceeds from the event will benefit the Brooklyn Recovery Fund, which supports local nonprofit organizations working with communities and individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Crocking Away…Tasty Turkey Chili

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Hello all! I am Katrina, and have been writing since I was 17, and have been interested in food since I was 15, and got my first “real” job, working in a bakery down the block from my high school. I however, like to cook and eat healthy 24/7. Yes, I will grab a slice of pizza every now and then, but why bother, when I can make my own on whole wheat dough, with low-fat cheese, low-sodium sauce, and turkey pepperoni? You catch my drift…I love food, and love to cook and bake…healthy…at home.

I am in love. With my crock pot. Not what you thought I was going to say, right? Well it’s true. I discovered this hidden gem in my kitchen cabinet not too long ago, and have been whipping up tasty turkey chili for my whole family ever since.

The machine literally is fool-proof. You prepare a meal in the morning, toss it in the slow cooker (crock pot, as I grew up calling it), and let it simmer all day until you get home from work. Because let’s be honest: who wants to cook chili after working an 8 hour day?

And that is just what I did today. I had to be at work at 9:30 so I got up a little after 7:30AM and sauteed my turkey chop meat in 2 TBS of olive oil on the stove. I broke it up with a fork, and then poured in a little bit of cumin and S+P to my liking. When that was almost all cooked, I transferred it over to the slow cooker, which I had plugged in and set to “Low for 8 Hours.”

I went back to my stove and poured another TBS of olive oil, and chopped up two small cloves of garlic, one small onion, and one green pepper and tossed those into the pan on the stove. Then I added in a can of cannelloni beans, a can of low-sodium diced tomatoes, and one can of low-sodium chicken broth. I let these ingredients simmer in the pan for about 5 minutes, before transferring it over to the crock pot.

Once I poured in the remaining ingredients, I mixed them together with the turkey chop meat. Then….that’s it! I put the lid on, and left for work, and left my trusted Hamilton Beach crock pot do the rest of the work. Now some people, (like my cousin) are convinced leaving a crock pot on all day while you go to work, is a sure way to start a fire. And yes, I was worried about this too at first. But then you realize, it will be fine. It is meant to be fine. And just for safe measure, I always clear the space around it, so it is the only appliance plugged into the wall at that particular unit, and I make sure no other appliance is rubbing up against it…give the crock some space 😉

And viola! You come home to a nice meal, that only took you 25 minutes of your morning to prepare. So dust off your cookbook, and invest in a crock pot. I guarantee soups and chili will never taste the same!

#SCBDExclusive Interview with Christina Aurrichio, Owner of Chi Flo

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This month, Christina Aurrichio, an FDU graduate like myself, launched an amazing new, up and coming fashion line, Chi Flo. The line is creative and unlike anything out there because of Christina’s passion and love for drawing and fashion. When I saw that she was launching the company and her premiere line, Grimm Street I had to get the 411 and have my readers get a first look because I see Chi Flo going places and you’ll probably want to buy your first shirt after you read this.

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Christina Aurrichio, Owner of Chi-Fl0
Photo Credit: Rob Roselli

SCBD: Thanks Christina for letting me interview you and give my readers the first scoop on your new line, Chi Flo. It’s great to see another peer and fellow Jersey Girl make their mark. Who or what inspired you to come up with Chi Flo?

CA: No problem Sara! Thanks for all the support and promoting, I’m very impressed by all you’ve accomplished as well. What inspired me to create Chi Flo was a mixture of things. I am very passionate about my artwork and always wondered how to properly display it. I also am very passionate about fashion and the whole city scene. You know—the girls in the city with a sketchpad  in their backpack, a cup of coffee in hand, and a keen sense of style…just trying to make it big. Chi Flo is all about the balance of my artwork, the fashion sense, and actual occurrences life occurrences. It also showcases my love for making light of bad situations. For instance, the BAD GIRLFRIEND shirt should be worn by girls with a sense of humor who have been maybe labeled as a Bad Girlfriend before, or just know how to joke about themselves. It’s just so much bigger than a t-shirt line for me, and I hope someday it catches on.

SCBD: How long have you been drawing for? What’s the best drawing you’ve made?

CA: I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid, maybe about 7. My big brothers and mother were always extremely creative and seeing them creating music/crafts/drawings made me want to do the same. I can remember looking at my Flinstones storybooks, loving the character Dino and just taking a piece of paper and drawing him. It was always an exciting challenge to get better at drawing every time I picked up a pencil. It still is an exciting challenge. I’ve never been classically trained in drawing. I think that says a lot as well.

My favorite drawing I drew would be the “Not Your Savior”.

SCBD: Chi Flo focuses on using original artwork, why do you think that’s crucial to any successful fashion line?

CA: I  think nowadays, every time you turn a corner someone is creating a new t-shirt line from scratch or a website that re-sells already made t-shirts the buyer purchased wholesale. Granted, I am supportive of anyone doing so. However, most of those people aren’t coming up with the designs themselves. They are either Google-imaging “skull and crossbones” or “graffiti letters” and just placing them on a shirt. Again, those people are smart and I support them. They may also sell faster because they sell shirts that are trendy with the times. But myself personally, I just couldn’t come up with another carbon-copy t-shirt line. I thought “I have the ability to create designs, why not use that to my full potential?” Plus, what’s better than wearing a shirt that no one else has? If I had a dollar for every shirt I see with an inverted cross, or a typical sugar skull, I wouldn’t have to hustle a t-shirt line!

SCBD: Chi Flo is not just a fashion line but it is also a lifestyle, what does that mean to you and your customers?

CA: When I say that Chi Flo is a lifestyle, I truly believe it is. Chi Flo sells shirts with meaning. For example, the “Not Your Savior” shirt is my favorite design because I drew it when I was going through a bad break-up. It was purely from my heart. To me, Chi Flo shirts are like listening to a good song. If you can relate to the lyrics, or in this case what the shirt says, then the design will jump out at you and mean so much more. Chi Flo is self-expression, but in a cute way!

SCBD: Your first line, The Grimm Street Collection is unlike any line I’ve seen. You’ve mentioned that every collection tells a story. What is the story behind The Grimm Street collection?

CA:The story behind the Grim Street collection is a blend of things. As I had mentioned earlier, I designed the Not Your Savior after a bad break-up. Literally, I couldn’t ‘save’ the other person and had to focus on myself. Next came the Bad Girlfriend. That was an “insult” thrown at me in retaliation. Why not wear it on my shirt then? After graduation and difficult situations, I started to find myself. I drew the Chief Flo as a representation of discovering who I was and my artistic ability. The Street Pigeon represents the cool-side to fashion and just feeling like a boss. Finally, the Smiths Tribute reads the words “Honey Pie, You’re Not Safe Here” . That’s my favorite line from a Smiths song. It represents power and rising to the top. Whoever was going to get in my way wouldn’t be “safe there”. That kind of thing.

Take a peek into The Grimm Street Collection (photos by Rob Roselli):

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SCBD: What shirt is your best seller?

CA: My best seller is the Street Pigeon! I think it is amazing how girls and guys both love the design. I give myself props for that.

SCBD: What’s your favorite shirt and why?

CA: My favorite is the Chief Flo because I truly think the design is beautiful. When I was drawing it on paper, I looked in the mirror so I could outline a face and hair (I was alone so I used myself as the face model). From there, I just drew everything else and made her a sugar skull. I think it’s great that people probably don’t know they’re wearing my face on their shirt!

SCBD: I ordered the Street Pigeon shirt and received it really quickly last week which was awesome. I loved the packaging and sticker that came with it. What separates Chi Flo from other designers out there? 

CA: Great to hear! I think what separates Chi Flo is the whole ‘hometown’ feel. I designed the shirts and everything. A good friend of mine, Rob Roselli, photographed the pictures. Another friend of mine modeled the pictures and more friends of mine will continue to model for me. I created Chi Flo strictly from what I know and love. I’m just not trying to be anyone else. The packaging ties in with the hometown feel because I wrap it myself and put in a thank you note signed personally by me.

SCBD: Chi Flo seems to be really taking off, where do you see Chi Flo in 5 years? 

CA: I hope it continues to take off. I need to constantly keep on top of the advertising and promotion. I stay humble and noticeably hopeful through it all. I have so much stock left still, but I knew I would. I took a big chance. Plus, it has only been two weeks since it’s launch date. I must continue to advertise and be creative. If I continue to do that, I hope Chi Flo will be sold in stores in 5 years. I’d also love to open a boutique with Chi Flo brand clothing. Let’s hope for the best.

SCBD: What are some goals you want to achieve with Chi Flo this year?

I’m so excited to continue to create more designs. The more I sell the Grim Street line, the more profit I can make, and the quicker I can come up with more shirts. I just really want people to love the shirts and recognize that I am an independent business owner and need to sell, sell, sell! I can’t wait to create hoodies for fall and cover-ups for summer. Stay tuned!

SCBD:  What’s one quote that motivates you everyday?

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better”

SCBD: Last, what’s one thing you’d like all the SCBD readers to know about Chi Flo?

CA: I’d like all the SCBD readers to know that anyone can rock Chi Flo and find the balance in their life. Chi Flo represents just that! Wear your heart on your sleeve and also wear art on your shirts. Self expression from deep within is SUPER important and don’t be afraid to be edgy. Stock is limited but there will be more as long as the sales go up! Chi Flo is a small business and needs YOU guys to help promote it! By people wearing Chi Flo, it sort of creates a little Chi Flo army. A bunch of people making a statement in favor of art, independent business, and staying Chi.

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I loved both of my purchases from Chi Flo, the Women’s Street Pigeon Crop Tee and neon pink beanie (pictured above) and I’m sure you will too!

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In honor of the launch of Chi Flo, Christina is offering Small Chick Big Deals readers an exclusive deal:

 Type SCBD into the code box at checkout to get 10% off entire purchase at Chi Flo from Monday the 18th-Wednesday the 20th! 🙂

Also be sure to sign up for the Chi Flo mailing list, here.

Happy Shopping and supporting Chi Flo! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited