Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Later this week I am heading State side to New York to visit my brother for his birthday. It is my first ever trip to America and I am really looking forward to it. I am taking an empty suitcake to fill with cake decorations, fudge frosting and other wonderful goodies for my store cupboard. I am really looking forward to visiting the Magnolia Bakery - who's cook book I have drooled over for hours. They must be the true home of American frosting and I am hoping to pick up some good ideas! Any suggestions of must see foodie places to visit in New York much appreciated!!!!


milhan said...

You MUST visit the Chelsea Market - a foodie paradise! Also check out the Union Square Farmers Market (open Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat 8am-6pm).

I will be in NYC on Saturday, to see a Broadway show with my family. I will certainly smile and think of you enjoying your first visit to the States. I hope you have a great time!

Let me know if I can be of any more help :)

Sylvie said...

Hannah, I'm sure you'd enjoy Whole Foods in the basement of the shopping centre at Columbus Circle.

Sylvie said...

How could I forget the food market hall at Grand Central Terminal (not the food hall). There are all kinds of wonderful stalls, you wouldn't believe you're in a station. Best of all though, there is a a Penzey's Spices. They do fantastic spice mixes and really good quality spices generally. Enjoy your trip, you'll love it!

Hannah said...

Oh thank you both for your lovely suggestions. I will definitely try and go to all these places. Milhan I will smile and think of you in return - hope that you enjoy your show! Sylvie - the spice mixes sound fantastic and I will definitely try and get some!

Iain T said...

Carnegie's Deli (Broadway, I think, near Central Park) - the best (and biggest) pastrami sandwiches, and cheesecake that could bring a grown man to tears.

Hmmm, could be time to arrange another trip stateside...

Hannah said...

Thanks Iain - I am getting so excited reading all these suggestions. I just have to try that cheesecake!!! I am getting the feeling that 4 days will not be enough!

milhan said...

Carnegie Deli is in the theatre district (7th Ave in the mid-50s). It can be a long wait on the weekends, so be prepared - but it is definitely a unique experience. Make sure to get a Dr. Brown's soda with your sandwich.

4 days will barely scratch the surface - but give it your best shot! You could start on the lower east side eating knishes and pickles...and work your way uptown to soul food in Harlem at Sylvia's :)

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

'suitcake'? There's a wonderfully appropriate Freudian slip if ever I saw one! Have a great trip.

Sylvie said...

Hannah, it's me again. I have been thinking about NYC ever since I read your post. I guess I'm jealous. I just thought of another couple of places you might like. They are not food as such but kitchen and cooking stuff.

In the same shopping centre as the Whole Foods Market (don't let the name put you off by the way it's an upmarket grocery chain) on the ground level there is a large Williams Sonoma shop. They've got wonderful kitchen, baking and cooking stuff. Then there is also the cookbook section in the Barnes & Noble at West 65th/Broadway (the subway stop is right outside), my friend and I thought we'd died and gone to heaven. They also have a great craft and needlework section (can you tell I've been lurking?).
Finally I think you might enjoy the home section at Anthropologie in the Rockefeller centre. It's a clothes shop really but they have got fantastic home wares too.
All these places of course have websites, so you can check it out before you go and see whether you might like it.
Okay, I think that really is it now, apart from maybe pointing out that the Manhattan Diner on Broadway does amazing breakfasts.
Have fun!

Anonymous said...

You must do pizza. If you can't get to Brooklyn then definitely spend the money at Una Pizza Napoletana - they stop making it when the dough runs out. Expensive but honestly the best pizza in all of New York right now. Otherwise DiFara's or Grimaldi's.

Although Magnolia Bakery is great, you should try the Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery on the LES (it's right next to Economy Candy an old timey candy shop). Much moister and richer cupcakes. You can also then hit up the Whole Foods in the Bowery which is much more spacious and with less people than the ones in Union Square or Time Warner. If you are on the LES hit Yonnah Schimmel's for knishes.

Chelsea Market is a must see. Tons of shops and purveyors located in one place. The bakeries are plentiful and sinful. Very vast. You will then also be quite close to the Meatpacking District which has lots of overpriced restaurants. I would tend to avoid those. However you should hit the Farmers Market at Union Square. Saturdays are the best days with the most purveyors.

The new hot restaurant is Ippudo Ramen but you can also try for the new MoMoFuKo which is impossible to get in but does things with pork belly that will have you spinning. Alternatively and a better suggestion, you can have a 4 star lunch at Jean Georges (right near the Time Warner Center if you are going to that Whole Foods) for $29. Kid you not. The same meal for dinner would cost $400. It's a hidden lunch gem. Plus what the pastry chef can do is amazing-you get a trio of desserts that combine flavors such as olive and chocolate to create sinful and unique desserts.

Another newbie on the lunch scene is WD-50, the city's offerings for molecular gastronomy. they are just starting today. WD-50s former pastry chef is now at Tailor which although had a rocky start has listened to customer suggestions and has become pretty good. Savory flavors are made into desserts and sweet in turn into savory dishes.

For deli's (although another commenter suggested it) Carnegie is vastly overpriced and overrated. Either go to Katz's if you are visiting the Lower East Side or you could visit the Second Avenue Deli (now located on 33rd (?)and 3rd avenue - don't ask).

Of course there is the new rage of single ingredient restaurants - Rice (rice pudding), Totally Baked (jacket potatos), S'Mac (mac & cheese), Peanutbutter & Co. (which their death by peanut butter really will kill you from all the goodness. You can also buy various flavors of pb there as well as in the grocery stores.)

Anonymous said...

Meant to add to that mammoth post that:


Can also be guides if you are looking for some advice.

*I used to do PR for a few restaurants in NYC, can you tell?* ;)

Hannah said...

Thank you all for the lovely suggestions! Off to the airport shortly so will take all these with me and report next week on everything we found and tried!

milhan said...

I'm sure you are already in NYC by now...but I'm still wishing you a safe trip, and I hope you have a wonderful time in the city of my birth (and my hometown until I was about 28yrs old!)...