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Ecclectic flavors match stunning presentations from a NY-based design/chef duo

Taking catering in a new direction is Pinch Food Design, a NYC-based catering company specializing in both presentation and culinary innovation that’s guaranteed to surprise and delight. Founded by industry veterans Tj Girard (head designer) and Bob Spiegel (head chef), the two work together seamlessly to make Pinch’s creations both pleasing to the pallet and the eye. A short while ago some of the CH team was invited to their Chelsea HQ to see and taste what the creative team has been working on lately. The following are four of our favorite appetizers and an in-depth look at one of Chef Bob’s finest works of culinary art.

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As a perfect example of Pinch’s focus on design, the serving dish has been cleverly created to use cabinet knobs to present the basil crusted filet mignon. Topped with shallot marmalade and tiny popover pastry, each bite sized piece is an absolute delight.

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What may be the most interesting appetizer that we sampled, this falafel adaptation was fun and flavorful. The pressed pita chips act as the ultimate vessel for the red olive, hummus, cucumber pickle and of course falafel meat. Pleasantly surprised with its canny taste, the moist little towers won the team over instantly.

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Drizzled in mustard oil and port, the chanterelle broccoli rabe sausage is literally balanced with a delicate piece of pequillo toast. Secured on both ends by Pinch’s custom toothpick design, the two sides to the appetizer play well off each other, allowing the holder to follow the savory sausage with a complimentary crunch.

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For dessert Pinch keeps its patrons on their feet with their suspension pastry galettes. The copper structure holds light and flaky pastries by free swinging hooks, allowing each piece to be picked by hand. Adding to the seasonal selection of peach, fig, berry, pear and strawberry rhubarb pastries are copper bowls of cinnamon, chocolate and regular whipped cream for dipping. These were hands down our favorite and the most creative way to serve dessert that we’ve come across yet.

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After a great deal of negotiations and bargaining we persuaded Chef Bob to give up the secret recipe for his amazing mini spaghetti and meatball appetizer. These were unlike any appetizers we’ve ever seen, and obviously worth a closer look. More on the recipe and his essential preparation techniques as told by the inventor himself after the jump.

Spaghetti Roll

3 Cloves Garlic, sliced thin

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 cups canned Plum Tomatoes, pureed with juices

1 cup tomato paste

Salt

Pepper

1/2 pound Angel hair pasta

Parmigiano-Reggiano, whole, not grated

Meatballs, rolled the size of a dime, recipe follows

Lightly brown garlic in oil, add the tomato puree, cook for 20 minutes until emulsified. Take out 2 tablespoons of the sauce and set aside for finishing later. Add the tomato paste and cook on a low flame. The key here is to cook this for a lot longer than you think, as the goal is to evaporate all the liquid, but not compromise the flavor. This is what makes the 'glue', the key to the whole dish. Meanwhile, cook the angel hair in salted water until al dente, strain—do not rinse off the starch—and add the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

With tongs or rubber gloves, pull out some of the dressed angel hair pasta. Place it on some plastic wrap and roll tubes about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate these for an hour or two until the pasta is set. The angel hair will continue to absorb the sauce and not be as al dente, this creates the illusion in your mouth as when you cut the pasta it feels more al dente than it is.

To serve, cut the pasta rolls 3/4 inch thick, lay them next to each other and microwave for 15 seconds. On a separate cutting board, micro plane the parmigiano, stack back up the angel hair roll and liberally roll the round sides in the parmigiano.

Meatballs

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tablespoon flat parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup, toasted breadcrumbs

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1 large egg

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

salt

pepper

Combine the beef and pork in a large bowl. Then add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well until the olive oil is completely absorbed. It may seem like a lot of olive oil, but this is what give the hors d’oeuvres its moistness. Refrigerate and roll into dime sized balls.

Sear the little meatballs in olive oil and finish with the reserved tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper. Spoon the meatball and some sauce on top of the pasta roll, micro plane some more cheese on top. Serve while still warm.


Source: Cool Hunting
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Jeans made to order from the most coveted denim in the world

Founder of both Earnest Sewn and Paper Denim & Cloth, Scott Morrison's commitment to the raw essence of denim extends down to the brand names of each new project. His latest, 3×1 Made Here, borrows a name from the technique that gives denim its diagonal weave. Shoppers at his new 4,000-square-foot Soho space can customize a pair of ready-to-wear limited edition jeans, order a pair in their denim of choice or make an appointment to work with Morrison from scratch.

As a pioneer of the premium denim phenomenon, it makes sense that Morrison’s next step would be to elevate denim fashion to a level typically reserved for high end men’s suit tailoring. But don’t worry, the project is setup for laymen and elitist denim-heads alike. Morrison says of the shop, “I think some people are drawn to the 65+ selvedge denims they can select from, others are just looking for a great fitting pair of jeans, while others are coming down because they’ve heard about this new store/factory/gallery space in SoHo that makes jeans while you watch.”

The idea began back in September 2010 when Morrison started sewing the first patterns in his apartment. The line has continued to evolve and now includes a ready-for-purchase run of limited-edition styles for men and women, with the in-house production curbed at between eight-24 pieces per model. For these, the customer can still tweak the hemline and buttons, but to take it a step further, a second option is available. Patrons can choose an existing cut and then apply one of the 100+ fabrics on hand, coming from Japanese, American and Italian mills, delivering a tailored pair of jeans without going fully custom. Morrison reflects on his raw denim fascination we discovered during a previous interview, saying, “Thankfully we offer both [washed and untreated], but 3×1 is unique in that it’s a raw denim fanatic’s dream shop. There is simply no better place in the world to find the best selvedge denim than in our shop in SoHo.”

I was invited to check out the studio and worked with Morrison for over an hour to achieve the perfect fit. Deciding to build a pair from the beginning, I chose a gorgeous red cast, 15.5 ounce denim from Collect (the coveted Japanese mill) as my base, adding a white button, silver rivets and two different hues of orange stitching. For the back pockets I went large and low with tight parallel run-off stitching and a fold-over top that gives a hit of selvedge. Two days later I was back in the shop, where the mostly-finished pair was perfectly arranged to my specifications (web visitors, check out the gallery to see the process and finished product). I was so enamored with the experience and the output that I ordered another pair on the spot, leveraging the fact that my specs are now on permanent file. This second, summery pair is made from a lighter weight, linen-cotton blend from another Japanese mill, Kaihara, and feature a rainbow-colored selvedge on a blue-green cast denim.

Curious about Morrison’s own take on the ubiquitous material, we followed up our visit with a few questions about living the denim life. Read more about 3×1 and get some advice from the guru below:

How many pairs of jeans do you have?

I've probably got a dozen or two pair at home here in the city, but my denim collection (if you will) is at my house upstate. There are probably 300-400 pair—much of which are from my own labels—but far too many for anyone who's not in the denim industry to rightfully own.

Do you remember when your love affair with denim began?

My first pair of jeans were Levi's, but my love affair with denim started with my first pair of Replay jeans—which happened to be a limited edition pair made from Japanese denim (which were pretty rare at the time in the early-to-mid '90s).

What’s your recommended denim care?

I rarely wash my jeans, but when I am I typically go one of two routes. If it just needs a little fresh air, then I spray with a little Febreze and hang outside. But if it needs a heavier clean, then I’ll hand wash with Woolite Extra Dark (make sure it’s inside out) and then hang dry.

How will the concept grow and evolve over time?

My hope is that the brand will grow slowly and steadily, as we’ve intended, and over the coming seasons we will slowly offer a few limited edition products to a select group of retailers around the world, and eventually add a second and third store for custom made and bespoke customers.

3×1
15 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10013
+1.212.391.6969


Source: Cool Hunting
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