Chefs Spew Poetry While Ty-Lor Boring Spills About His New Restaurant

At a fundraiser at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Sunday, Wholesome Wave capped off their New York City Gets Fresh restaurant week with Chop It Up!, the first-ever celebrity chef poetry slam.

The talent included award winning chef Michel Nischan, the president of Wholesome Wave, Evan Hanczor of Egg, Joe “JJ” Johnson of the Bravo show, Rocco’s Dinner Party, and Top Chef contestant Ty-Lor Boring. Like a fine meal, each chef got paired with a complementing poet, including award-winning poet Stephen Colman, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai from HBO’s now defunct series Def Poetry, and Mahogany Browne, a slam mistress at the Nuyroican Poets Café. The latter won the inaugural contest with Boring, after she wove words about ice cream and the “naked chef” talked about sex.

In between the rhymes, singing by the lovely Goapele, and bites of poached Maine lobster salad and smoky pulled pork sliders, I caught up Boring after his victory. A few months ago, Boring broke his back and this summer has been MIA, but now he is finally getting ready to find a spot and open his first restaurant in Brooklyn. The concept, he said, is hickory-smoked meats. The chef is thinking of taking Mile End’s lead and opening in Red Hook, in part because it’s near the water and has a more open space, which, he said, is good for when you are using a heavy-duty smoker. But, don’t expect to be trying Boring’s meat anytime soon, between finding the right set up, building, and permits, he expects to open spring of next year.

In the meantime, here is some inspiration for your own food-based poetry slam.

Feeling Thorny: A Wine to Remember

Usually promotional parties are a mediocre gathering of media folk at an event that tries too hard but doesn’t deliver. That, or their product sucks. Last night’s Thorny Rose wine event however, was unforgettable, plus the wine was tasty and affordable. To be honest, I didn’t have high hopes, but when I saw they had Chairlift playing, I figured, why not? Plus, the event was held on the swank roof deck of Hotel Chantelle and Top Chef Season Nine contestant Ty-Lor Boring was cooking up lamb meatball sliders and prosciutto wrapped shrimp. As if that wasn’t reason enough, when you left, they let you pick an ice cream sandwich from the Coolhaus dessert truck.

Owned by Constellation Wines, the goal of Thorny Rose Wines is to, “meet the demands of Millennial consumers,” which the company says, is, “a segment with unparalleled growth and influence.” Mostly this means they are really good at social networking and throwing parties.

Speaking of, as the DJ and electric violin duo Mia Moretti and Caitlin Moe provided the pre-Chairlift beats, we snagged a couple hefty glasses of the sauvignon blanc and sat down to an epic game of Jenga. Next, we tried the Red Blend, a perfectly respectable table wine, and made our way to the other side of the roof. There, a man on stilts painted a mural and smiling ladies in black tied leather bands on guests’ wrists. More women in black waltzed by with trays of food and bottles of wine, which they poured freely in a Bacchanalian manor as well-heeled guests imbibed.

Everything sported the Thorny Rose logo on it, from the wall, to the bar mirrors—even the Sharpie markers touted the name of the wine. The team behind the campaign cleverly hash tagged the phrase, “feelingthorny,” and through this catchy marketing push, they made it a brand I can’t forget. And the wine, well it’s totally drinkable and perfect for any party. Right now, you can buy the wines for around $10 at Dawn Liquors, Madison Avenue Wines, Wine Heaven, and Tenth Avenue Wine & Liquors. But, don’t be surprised if you start seeing them everywhere soon.

Guest Chefs: Getting Chefs Out of the Restaurants

When Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen finalist Paula DaSilva showed her Miami heat to the James Beard House yesterday, the 1500 Degrees executive chef brought with her not only the whole kitchen staff, but a little bit of sunshine to the five-course menu. As the beaming DaSilva thanked everyone for coming, I felt the praise went to her for letting me try her Brazilian-inspired, farm-to-table food without ever having to step on a plane.

As the concept of celebrity chef becomes increasingly popular, a lot of other restaurants are sending their cooks to the city to showcase their food in a series of one-up dinners. Sine 1986 the not-for-profit James Beard House has been one of the biggest providers of this type of dining. Some upcoming meals to look forward to include the pork-centric feast by Daniel Doyle of Poogan’s Porch in Charleston on June 14. Then they host more Hell’s Kitchen alumni as Connecticut based chefs Kevin Cottle and Van Hurd do a soft shell crab extravaganza on July 11, and, on July 19, chef Adam Keough from the San Francisco will bring a taste of Absinthe Brasserie and Bar to the table.

City Grit is another way to experience chefs from around the country. Run by Food & Wine’s Home Cook Superstar Sarah Simmons, the pop-up establishment is meant to showcase chefs that don’t always get to be the stars of their own restaurants or ones visiting the city. Today and tomorrow, they feature award winning chef John Currence from City Grocery in Mississippi as part of their new series “Secrets Behind the Chef.” Past chefs have included Top Chef contestant Ty-Lor Boring previewing his upcoming restaurant and “the angry chef” from Atlanta, Ron Eyester. The schedule goes up monthly, so check it out for upcoming events.

For those wanting to try star chef’s food in a more intimate setting, and give something to charity, on July 24 Just Food and the Sylvia Centerhave put together A City Farmer, A Chef, and A Host a series of 14 dinners that take place at private homes around the city. Though this event is geared toward local chefs, it’s a good way to try some food from some of the hottest restaurants around and features chefs like Dan Kluger from ABC Kitchen, Robert Gurvich of Alison Eighteen, and Andrew Carmellini of The Dutch. It’s expensive, sure, but lets you experience these chefs in a whole new light.

No matter which way you go, the time of having to go to one restaurant (or many, if it’s Danny Meyer) to sample a chef’s cuisine is slowly changing, which is great for many diners.