There's a little something for (almost) everyone in this week's mag. We've done a mini 'GO' on my mother's hometown, Philadelphia, through the eyes of the owners of Vedge, the restaurant that keeps the food buzz happening in Philly. We approached interior designer Abigail Ahern who changes the feel of a room with her knack for artful arrangements. This is something I have never had a grasp of and it was cool to understand how she thinks. Also, metabolism boosting from my favorite yoga girl, Elena Brower and some other bits. Oh, and check out our beautiful exclusive prints from London artist Natasha Law.
P.S. Please send me pictures of your outfits without jeans. We are halfway through our challenge and need inspiration!
This week’s goop collaboration
Philly for Foodies
Heralded as one of the country’s best vegan restaurants (and restaurants period), Vedge is bringing some serious culinary clout to the city of brotherly love. Today we speak to the chefs/owners (also husband and wife) Kate Jacoby and Richard Landau about their much-talked about restaurant, get their insider foodie guide to Philly and preview a recipe from their upcoming cookbook.
Q&A with Kate & Richard of Vedge
Q: Rather than being a really great vegan restaurant, it seems Vedge has succeeded in being a really great restaurant that happens to be vegan. Was this part of the plan?
A: Yes, thanks. We wanted to be inclusive, not exclusive. So, we focus on the food (vegetables) and not the diet (vegan). Everyone, or nearly everyone, eats vegetables. People know they should eat more of them, and people are fascinated by all the cool heirloom things showing up at farmers' markets and in their CSAs (community-supported agriculture, meaning a veggie box scheme that comes directly from the farm to the customer). We've been able to reach a really wide audience, and it's great. Our forthcoming cookbook takes the same approach.
Q: Many vegan/vegetarian restaurants tend to shy away from cocktails. How does your bar fit into the restaurant's ethos?
We ask Kate and Richard to let us in on their favorite Philly spots:
"There are plenty of fun specialty shops in Philly, for certain types of food or specific ingredients and kitchen gear. We love H-Mart - a small chain of Asian supermarkets. Head up to Cheltenham Avenue, on the northern border of the city, and you'll be rewarded by an amazing supermarket whose entryway is lined with tons of diverse little shops a la Seoul. Ride the escalator up a flight, and you're smack in the middle of the most exciting food court in Philly. Korean bbq, Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap and tons of banchan, ramen bowls, sushi, Vietnamese summer rolls - you get the picture. Lots of choices, all beautifully and authentically prepared."
"There's also a small Japanese market in Narberth, a small town just West of Philly, called Maido. Order some food, do some shopping, then grab a seat at the counter and enjoy an expertly made onigiri."
Date Night Restaurant
Top: Vetri. Left: Fried cauliflower at Israeli restaurant Zahav. Right: Simply roasted organic Amish chicken at Vernick.
"Definitely a hard question in this town. We love the Vetri restaurants - from the celebration tasting menu at Vetri to the pizza and antipasto at Osteria to the great beer selection and graffiti art at Alla Spina. Zahav is iconic in Philly for good reason. Vernick is doing some really great food and the new-ish Chef at Fork is fantastic."
A sneak preview at a recipe from Kate and Richard’s upcoming cookbook, Vedge:
"With its green awnings, mural art, and scent of gravy in the air, Philly’s famous Italian Market is practically unchanged since it appeared in the original Rocky movie back in the seventies. Stroll down 9th Street, and you’re bound to find my favorite traditional Italian greens, broccoli rabe. Not the easiest vegetable to work with, it can quickly become a bitter mess if not prepared properly. The key is blanching first and draining all excess water, then knowing when to stop cooking - when it’s just one shade darker than it was just after blanching. In addition, broccoli rabe must be really fresh. If it’s started to wilt, move on to another green. In this recipe, I’m recommending some other classic South Philly flavors: dried porcini and roasted peppers. If you live near Philadelphia, try to get an authentic Amoroso hoagie roll (what the cheesesteaks are served on). Alternatively, this dish can be served as an elegant antipasto with olives."
We went to visit interior designer Abigail Ahern at home to learn how to create displays of our favorite art and objects.
Abigail’s vignettes are a mix of art, quirky flea market finds, ceramics, plants (some fake, some real) all layered into a composition that has plenty of depth and keeps the eye moving. There's an art to achieving an eclectic look - here’s a step-by-step guide from two of Abigail’s displays:
My business partner Tracy Anderson’s Food Program has gone national. Jumpstart your spring/summer regimen by signing up here.
Metabolism Boosting Yoga
Elena Brower, co-owner of Virayoga, one of the best yoga studios in NYC, shows us a simple metabolism boosting series.
"This sequence combines Kundalini yoga with some Hatha postures to warm us up and boost our metabolism. The Kundalini postures were compiled with guidance from my teacher Hari Kaur Khalsa."
"A nice way to begin is to acknowledge the creative consciousness that connects us all. Simply place hands in prayer in front of your heart and connect to your breathing for a few breaths."
"Set a timer for 3 minutes. Bring your prayer hands up to your forehead, and place your thumbs on your third eye point, in the middle of your forehead. Breathe slowly and deeply. This meditation can help to strengthen metabolism (as well as help control high blood pressure). It works the glandular system (which regulates bodily activities such as metabolism through hormones), stimulating and balancing the pituitary and pineal glands, considered the master glands of the body."
"Set a timer for 5-10 minutes - marching, running, jumping in place, jumping jacks, dancing, etc., get your blood moving and sweat a bit. When you start to sweat you've awoken your glandular system, and therefore, boosted your metabolism."
We love street food, and for great reason. Quick, cheap and full of flavor, nothing can give you a sense of a place better than its big, local flavors... Read more »
British Designers Now
Right now we’re seeing a burst of incredible creativity in British fashion. I was surprised to find that many of the looks I wore recently for the Iron Man 3 press tour and other events were pretty much all by British designers... Read more »
Spring is springing and it’s the perfect time to start planting herbs and veggies for the summer. I got a great how-to lesson from my friend José who is an expert in the garden... Read more »
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