Food Trend Alert: The New York Deviled Egg Uprising

Whether it was the rediscovery of mayonnaise as a condiment of interest or the scotch-scented wave of pure, artery-clogging Mad Men nostalgia that brought them back, deviled eggs have arrived – again. Once the hors d’oeuvre your grandma’s gin rummy tournament wasn’t complete without, this summer deviled eggs are popping up on menus across New York, from gastro pubs to Tiki bars to New York Times three-stared restaurants. In fact, it’s damn near impossible to avoid the fancy little treats.

They are a staple bar snack at beloved gastro pub the Spotted Pig and Gramercy Park’s Resto, and are offered in their organic form at Brooklyn’s the General Greene. More adventurous ovum enthusiasts can pair Samoan deviled eggs with flamboyant cocktails served in coconuts at the Hurricane Club, try Tabasco-spiced eggs at BLT Bar and Grill, or sample the Aspen Social’s version, served with yellow fin tuna and wasabi tobiko. For an upscale experience, Veritas restaurant’s baby spinach salad is an excuse to devour deviled eggs topped with whipped blue cheese and crisped pancetta.

Some wink at the classics, like Seersucker Bar, which is serving deviled eggs as part of their Southern snack tray alongside pimento cheese and crudités. Other establishments, like the Collective over in the Meat Packing district, demonstrate premature nostalgia for last summer’s truffle-everything trend, serving deviled eggs with truffle oil and fried capers. Friends, this is only a very partial list.

Need a bright idea for some weekend fun? How about hosting a deviled egg cook-off like they do down south. After reading The Awl’s Ultimate, Fabulous Guide to Deviled Eggs, I immediately began compiling my very own winning recipe. Not to worry: Those of you who’s egg-eating expertise exceeds your event planning abilities, the author kindly shares his comprehensive list of regulations to prevent the whole ordeal from going to Hades.

Most Wanted Hot Weather Food & Drink

With temperatures in the high 90’s in New York yet again, our eating habits must adapt to beat back the ferocious heat. It’s not Shake Shack weather. Milk, as Ron Burgundy knows, was a bad choice. Here are ten refreshments that’ll help you forget that your skin is melting right off of your body. Stay cool and keep eating!

1. Frog Hollow Farm Peach Gazpacho with Toasted Almonds and Hawaiian Blue Prawns from Eleven Madison Park.

2. Watermelon Juice or the Pineapple Coconut Cooler from Republic.

3. La Esquina’s excellent horchata.

4. Salted Caramel Pretzel or Mango Banana Yogurt Ice Cream from Greene Ice Cream at The General Greene.

5. The Sagaponack Salad (with mesclun, frisee, tomatoes, roasted corns, mozzarella, beets, sautéed eggplant, and grapes) from Sagaponack Bar & Grill.

6.Empress Crab Claws at Luke’s Lobster UES.

7.Salmon & Dill Avocado Tartar (with shallot, lemon, olive oil) or the Shrimp Lemon Ceviche (with scallion, red onion, fennel) at Fig & Olive.

8. Rain Forest smoothie (with kyo green superfood, lemon, fresh mint, ginger, agave nectar, coconut water, banana, pineapple and sea salt) from The Juice Press.

9. The Morning Crunch (with freshly roasted granola, strawberries, bananas, raisins, honey, milk or yogurt) at Sarabeth’s.

10. Soft Serve Passion Fruit Sorbet from Jacques Torres Ice Cream.

Industry Insiders: James Burke, SummerStage Ambassador

Ex alt-rocker James Burke, director of arts and cultural programs for the City Parks Foundation, spearheads SummerStage, New York’s beloved annual warm-weather performance series that takes place at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. For this year’s 25th anniversary, however, Central Park is just one of many spots hosting events under the SummerStage umbrella. Burke and his team have organized 110 free programs at the main stage in Central Park, in addition to events at selected parks throughout the five boroughs, from June through September.

On the 25th Anniversary initiatives: Well, we’re doing several things to celebrate the 25th anniversary season of Summerstage. The biggest lead story is that we’re re-branding all of the music, dance, and theater programs that we’ve produced citywide for several years as part of Summerstage. So, all combined, we’re going to have 110 free programs at the main stage in Central Park and all five boroughs. Previously our programs were under what was called City Parks Concerts, City Parks Dance, and City Parks Theater. We realized it was getting a little confusing to the public. City Parks Foundation was an independent non-profit that presented free arts programs to parks. It was the producer of Summerstage and all these other festivals. So, really, part of the re-branding was just to clarify our focus and our mission and to get the word out to people in the parks.

On this summer’s acts: Our programming strategy with this being a big year is to bring back some legendary artists that have really kind of made Summerstage the world renown festival that it is, and at the same time, artists whose careers have really developed in tandem with their Summerstage appearances in the past.Those include Baaba Maal from West Africa, Living Colour, and Gil Scott-Heron. We also didn’t want to lose our continuing focus on presenting emerging bands and emerging talent. So, one exciting program initiative that we put together for this summer is a series called New York City Revolutions. That’s celebrating New York City home-grown arts movements or entire genres that have either been created in New York City or kind of reached fruition in New York City.

More on New York City Revolutions: We chose a couple different programming areas to focus on. One was the Harlem Renaissance and the emergence of bebop. We tied that initiative in with our Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, which is a two-day jazz festival this year that’s going to headline with McCoy Tyner and James Moody. We present that in historic Marcus Garvey Park (August 28) and in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village (August 29). Another program area is the South Bronx for the birthplace of hip-hop. We’ve got Public Enemy with a big main stage performance in Central Park on August 15. Then, the last program area that we focused on was salsa. Again, the South Bronx is an incubator of salsa music. So, when different people from the Caribbean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican first came to New York and were settling in the South Bronx, they really brought salsa to life.

How will the broad umbrella of SummerStage affect attendance? The crowds for the city wide programs have been growing over the past few years, which is another reason we felt confident that they’d earned the brand name Summerstage. We do try to program specifically for those citywide parks. The Revolution series is definitely a case in point. We know the different neighborhoods and the demographics. As much as possible, while introducing people to different artists they may not be familiar with, we also bring back some artists that we know they’ll love. Whether it’s a hip-hop band or an old soul or a gospel group, we know that we’re going to program an artist that’s going to attract audiences.

On the theater programs: We’re doing a commission with the playwright Radha Blank called American Schemes on July 2nd and 3rd. We’ve always worked with New York City-based and National theater companies, but last year we had our first commissioned piece. It was so much fun to do and such a success that we’re continuing that tradition this year. The theater programs have socially relevant themes to them, so we’re presenting them in parks where they can be appreciated.

Most looking forward to: I’m personally looking forward to hosting The Specials on the main stage on August 22nd. I listened to them a lot when I was growing up, not to date myself.

Favorite music venues: One that I wanna give some props to right now is Le Poisson Rouge. In order to book our season, we have to do a lot of scouting. We go to a lot of different clubs. I live in Brooklyn so I like to go to the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I gotta give a shout out to Brooklyn Bowl. I know Pete Shapiro. He was a big supporter.

Favorite park: It’s my local park: Forte Green in Brooklyn. That’s where I take my three-year-old son.

Best things about New York summers: My favorite part of summer time is seeing everyone enjoy the programs that we worked so hard to put together. I also like going to a local swimming pool when I can break away and go swim with my son. At the end of every summer, I manage to get out of town for a couple days to go up the Catskills.

Summerstage mishaps: There have definitely been a lot of learning experiences. For the most part, working in the entertaining business/performing arts is great. We have to run around and put out some fires every once in a while. The weather in the summertime—rain or shine—is extremely trying at times. Sometimes artists’ egos are a little difficult, but we never kiss and tell. And there are some logistical dilemmas that come up. Sometimes, equipment fritzes out. We have a mobile stage coming into a venue in a park in Western Queens and it doesn’t get there on time and we have to scramble last minute. Or, there’s an artist that gets delayed. They’re stuck in Chicago because of bad weather. We scramble last minute to get a fill-in talent until they can get into the city. That’s kind of what makes the job exciting. Everyday is a different day.

Go-to’s: Most of my go-to joints are in Brooklyn. My local bar is a dive called Alibi in Forte Green. I go to Olea a lot in Forte Green. The General Greene is a great place. I’d have to give a nod to the Buckingham Hotel in the city. They’re one of our sponsors and they put up our artists.

Industry Insiders: Julie Farias, the General’s Butcher

As one of the many talented cuisiniers participating in Le Fooding D’Amour (September 25-26 at at New York’s P.S.1), Julie Farias knows a thing or two about a good cut of meat. The Texas-born chef—who recently moved from Brooklyn’s Beer Table to The General Greene—worked for Daniel Boulud for five years (at Café Boulud, db Bistro Moderne, and Daniel), but attributes much of her culinary know-how to her southern upbringing and family influence (her clan owns a tortilla factory inside a San Antonio meat market). Farias tells us about working in kitchens on both coasts and how Le Fooding is going to taste for New Yorkers. In her case, it’s going to taste like tacos made from 40 cow heads.

What influenced your move from Beer Table to The General Greene? Nicholas Morgenstern, the owner of The General Greene, and I met at Daniel when he was the pastry sous-chef there and I was working the soup station. We worked together at 5Ninth. There, I was the opening sous and he was the pastry chef, and then we also worked together at Resto. I’ve known him for a really long time, and before last year, I was living and working in Los Angeles and Las Vegas on a project for the Palazzo. Nick came out to see me and asked me to come to his new restaurant, The General Greene, and I didn’t think anything of it. I said that I wasn’t in the position to leave. When I came back from Vegas, I moved to Beer Table. Owners Justin and Tricia Philips were friends of mine, and they needed a little help setting up the menu. They said, “We have this place, and there’s no kitchen, but we love your food and we think that this would work out.” And I loved the idea of it more than anything. Especially the spatial challenge. We had no kitchen at Beer Table. There was a convection oven, no dishwasher, no prep, no kitchen. When you take things away and you have bare essentials, it made me think about food in a different way. I always thought that fire was a bare essential but I realized that electricity is. I’m not as much of a Neanderthal as I thought I was. The timing was eventually right when Nicholas asked me again, and it just had to happen. He’s a fantastic partner.

What were you doing in Las Vegas? I was working for a gentleman named Jonathan Morr. He owns Republic and Bond St. We opened an Asian noodle restaurant called Mainland at the Palazzo Hotel and Casino. I created the menu, and I was also Jonathan’s consulting chef. I traveled from New York to Miami to Los Angeles to Vegas. I did consulting work for Thompson Hotels out there, creating their room service menu. I also lived and worked at Hotel Oceana in Santa Monica. I had no home for a year.

What was it like building the menu at The General Greene? I’m going to give a metaphor: me being here right now is, in some ways, like cutting in on a dancer. I’m about to dance with the pretty girl, so I’m cutting in and I have to keep up the pace for whatever waltz or jitterbug or lindy-hop they’re doing. There’s already a rhythm here; it’s a successful restaurant. Nick has asked me to work on organization, on execution, kitchen techniques, things like that, and keep up on the quality of products. It was a very big change to go from one burner to a stove and a downstairs and four to five cooks and a dishwasher.

What should we order on our first visit? We have bar snacks, and my favorite one right now is the bacon dates—dates wrapped in bacon and cooked in maple syrup. After that, you’d have to try the butter lettuce with a lemon vinaigrette, curried almonds and ruby-red grapefruit. I’m a big fan of ruby-red grapefruit. For me, they are a little sweeter, a better color, and before, we were using regular grapefruit on this dish. I also put collared greens on the menu, and these you have to try. They’re sautéed with garlic, red pepper chilies, and a squeeze of lemon juice. You have to try the chuck flap steak from Niman Ranch. It’s something known as a bavette, and it’s a tough kind of meat meant to be cooked medium rare. We grill it then slice it thin, and we serve it with a roasted garlic sauce with olive oil and Portuguese sea salt. It’s got a really hearty flavor. Then, you have to finish it off with a salty caramel sundae. It’s a hot caramel cake with salted caramel ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce, and then crushed, salted mini pretzels on top of it. It’s out of this world. You may have to stop by Nick’s Greene Ice Cream Cart as well.

How did you get involved with Le Fooding? It turns out, [Le Fooding founder] Alexandre Cammas lives in the neighborhood. His wife, Natalie, had actually had dinner at Beer Table, and so there was sort of a little match-making there, and they contacted me and came down to The General Greene.

What will you prepare for the September Le Fooding D’Amour event? I’m doing tête de veau tacos or “veal head.” It’s traditional barbacoa from San Antonio, Texas. I’m doing this classic recipe here, and I think it makes sense with the idea of the picnic setting. I actually smoked one of the cow heads today. They’re kind of scary looking. I’m going to be smoking about 40 of them for the event. They’re really kind of magnificent with the eyes, the skull, and the teeth.

Will New Yorkers embrace the Le Fooding concept? New Yorkers are all about food. I came here from Texas to cook. I returned to New York from Vegas because I felt that there was more of a focus on and interest in food here—from grocery stores to cooking at home. In keeping with this mentality, to me, it just seems like Le Fooding is a very natural thing. People will be attracted to this, and Alex’s interest in graphic design is reflected in the style of the event. Why would New Yorkers not want to come? I think that Alex’s goal is definitely going to be fulfilled.

What are your favorite bars and restaurants? Because I’ve been working at The General Greene so much, I’ve been limiting my going out to Brooklyn. I love Five Leaves and Char No. 4. They do a lot of smoked meat, and I butcher there on Mondays. Defonte’s in Red Hook is a sandwich place, and oh my God, it’s super yummy. I love the Skybox at Daniel. For drinking, I’m kind of a liquor snob … but when I feel like being a bit more on the rowdy side, I go to the Palace Cafe in Greenpoint. Budweiser and Jack & Coke is about as sophisticated of a drink you’ll get there. All of these places are in keeping with the same mood.

Nicholas Morgenstern and Julie Farias photographed by Michael Harlan Turkell.