The Five Questions: Jeff Deasy
November 1, 2010
I follow Jeff on Facebook and on Twitter. He seems to be a very interesting person by the things he likes to speak about. Jeff is interested in food, culture, wine, sustainability and creativity. I often seek out people who are on the cusp of great success with their passions.
Jeff likes good food, simply prepared. You cannot go wrong eating simply.
From his Facebook page:
I’ve been living in Manhattan for more than 20 years & love the energy of this city. It’s a wonderful place for a lifetime of learning & having fun.
1. Who taught you the love of food? Mother? Father? Grandparents? Cookbooks? Television?
When I was a boy, alas many years ago, we ate home-cooked meals as a family. Eating dinner together in the kitchen during the week and in the dining room on Sundays. When weather permitted, we had dinner and weekend breakfasts outdoors.
We lived in the country on the North Shore of Long Island, so supermarket staples were joined by seasonal produce from a nearby farm stand. Fresh-picked Long Island sweet corn was a big favorite. My Dad loved fresh clams bought on his way home from work from clammers selling them from bushel baskets. I fondly remember picking wild berries, risking exposure to poison ivy in the process.
At 16, I began working as a busboy at a nearby New England-style restaurant that prided itself on its use of fresh ingredients and had its own bakery. The General Manager even used to send staff out to pick up wild-grown American Black Walnuts for the eatery’s Black Walnut Sundaes.
2. Do you have a favorite restaurant that speaks clearly of your enthusiasm for food? Where is it? What do they cook that exemplifies your philosophy for sustainable food? What do you drink with this dish?
Living in a city with something in the neighborhood of 20,000 restaurants makes it very tough to pick a favorite. I can’t even say I have a favorite cuisine, but I love what Dan Barber has done with Blue Hill in Greenwich Village.
Dan Barber seems to know exactly what Julia Child was getting at when she said, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.”
Working with the seasons, the menu at Blue Hill is always in a state of flux. I order something that I know I won’t be cooking at home, something with seasonal ingredients that might not be easy to find, or employing a technique that just isn’t practical in an apartment kitchen. With a meal like that I drink wine. I don’t aim for an ideal pairing, just something from the wine list that strikes me at the moment.
3. Is there anything that you prepare that brings a tear to your eye when you cook it? (or eat it)
My Greek Great Grandfather brought a recipe for lamb and macaroni with him when he came to America. My Mom made it for Sunday dinners and special occasions. It was the first recipe we published on the American Feast web site. It was accompanied by an account written by my Mom of my Great Grandparents and my Grandmother on their first day in America after arriving at Ellis Island in New York Harbor. I love the flavor of that meal and the warm memories it brings.
4. Social networking by definition has changed the landscape of how we communicate in REAL TIME. Do you own a SmartPhone? Do you live Tweet or use Facebook to introduce people to your brand?
I don’t own a SmartPhone, yet, but I am pretty active on Facebook and make use of Twitter as well. Facebook has exceeded my expectations, not for the revenue it has generated, but for the amazing number of connections I have made. Like-minded people who want a better alternative to the unhealthy food from factory farms that floods supermarket shelves, children’s school lunch rooms, and all too many restaurants that should know better, watch out!
5. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would that be? What would you like to be when you got established? Drinks?
Hands down, I would choose New Orleans. I worked at Commander’s Palace in the Garden District years ago, when Paul Prudhomme was the Executive Chef. His Cajun and Creole creations with local ingredients were a revelation. It was where I first enjoyed fresh oysters, crawfish, pecan pie, and cayenne pepper. I would love a good oyster po’ boy for lunch.
There are a lot of great drinks in the Crescent City, and a kick from a Hurricane is fine way to get in the spirit of the city’s party atmosphere. It’s been said that it is always cocktail hour somewhere, and in the Big Easy there are Milk Punches for brunch, Mint Juleps for warm afternoon sipping, and Cafe Brulots for after dinner. And those are just the traditional drinks. It would be great fun to see what the town’s most creative bartender’s are serving up!
Cheers to you Jeff for your forthright answers to my Five Questions! You make me crave New Orleans, after all my Julep cups come from New Orleans. wb
American Feast, LLC
1736 Second Avenue, #GA
New York, N.Y. 10128-3524
phone: (212) 427-5963
toll free: (877) 332-7875
American Feast Web Site: http://www.americanfeast.com
American Feast’s Sustainable Food Blog: http://www.blog.americanfeast.com
American Feast’s Press Room: http://pressroom.prlog.org/American_Feast/
American Feast on Facebook:
Jeff Deasy on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Deasy/1333106688
Jeff Deasy on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffdeasy
Jeff Deasy on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Jeff_Deasy
Jeff sure uses social networking to his advantage.
Thank you for appearing on Wild Table.
Warren Bobrow is a mixologist, chef, and writer known as the Cocktail Whisperer. In 2010, Bobrow founded “Wild Table” for Wild River Review and serves as the master mixologist for several brands of liquor, including the Busted Barrel rum produced by New Jersey’s first licensed distillery since Prohibition.
Bobrow has published three books on mixology and written articles for Saveur magazine, Voda magazine, Whole Foods-Dark Rye, Distiller, Beverage Media, DrinkupNY and other periodicals. He writes the “On Whiskey” column for Okra Magazine at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and has written restaurant reviews for New Jersey Monthly.
His first book Apothecary Cocktails, was published in September 2013; and immediately went into a second printing. In 2014, he published Whiskey Cocktails. He was born and raised in Morristown, NJ, on a Biodynamic farm.
Warren Bobrow in this Edition
COCKTAIL WHISPERER, Editor
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