Welcome to the first installment of blog posts all the way from New York, New York! Things have been exciting and hectic. Along with the big move from Paris, I have been busy playing shows in both the midwest and west coast. It was just a few days ago that I returned to my new home in Manhattan to start cooking again. But it hasn't been a slow reentry into the culinary world. Just a couple of days after my return, I catered a grape crushing party for the coolest thing going on in New York, an actual winery in the city called, The Village Winery. A winery in the city, you ask? Yeah! Matt Baldassano of The Village Winery buys premium grapes from around the world, then crushes, ferments, does barrel aging on certain varietals, and then bottles and labels the finished product, before the bottles are sent off to the members. This all takes place inside and on the patio of his apartment. This particular party was for the crushing. We started by pairing past vintages of several varietals with some small amuse bouches I created, before turning on the crusher.
Members, and me included, had the opportunity to heave crates of grapes into a huge crusher set on top of a barrel to release the juice. All of the action is caught on a camera mounted above the crusher, projecting the entire experience onto a nearby wall. When the crushing was finished, Matt pulled out a few special bottles he keeps in reserve of his older vintages that have really been developing great complexity in the bottle. The quality of all of the wines is really amazing and quite surprising, considering this all happens in the east village. Now, as I write this, the juice is fermenting and the next steps in wine making will soon follow. And as a word of advice to anyone in or around Manhattan, hurry and check out The Village Winery before it blows up and you're left behind. It's definitely the coolest thing going on in the city.