Betty Hearts

Fete Style: Labor Day Weekend

labor day board

Philly is getting ready for the Made in America Festival this Labor Day.  Check out what we will be listening to, wearing and eating before we head to the Parkway.  Cheers! 

Cookbook Chronicles: Brown Betty Cookbook Trailer

Bringing the cookbook to life was a long, and at times, arduous process.  However, there was a lot of fun to be had along the way.  The most fun was the prep that went into the actual dessert photo shoot.  A lot went into it -- sketching, propping, styling, designing and, finally, shooting.  Yes, we are still talking about cake.  Who knew, right?  Have a look at our trailer and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of a cookbook photo shoot and learn a little bit about what led us to want to write a book in the first place.  Happy viewing!  Hope you enjoy!   

Chelsea Market and the High Line

 

CM
 
 
I love food.  I mean really love food --  in the same way that a designer loves fashion, or a how a mechanic must love cars.  So you can imagine my delight when I stepped into Chelsea Market for (I am ashamed to say) the first time on Monday.  How had I not been there before now?  Crazy.  
 
CM2  CM3
 
BFF Brandi had causally suggested we stop at CM for lunch on the way to the High Line.  Honestly, though, CM is a destination unto itself.  People's Pops.  Sarabeth's.  The Lobster Place.  Yes, please.  (And for Philly heads - Buddakan and Morimoto are all also in the building.)  So this post is for any other other random people like me out there who have not been to Chelsea Market.
 
CM4
 
CM is like Reading Terminal, just a bit more polished.  Or maybe it's exactly like Reading Terminal, but in NYC, in the Meatpacking District, under the High Line.  That, in and of itself, made me very excited.  We were there with Fa's cousin Dae (who is not a fan of lobster otherwise  I would have beelined it to The Lobster Place -- everyone was eating whole gorgeous lobsters that they had just selected and had steamed in front of their eyes -- you had to see it).  Instead, we kept it simpler and had finely made sandwiches at Friedman's Lunch. I had the pastrami, Dae and Fa had turkey burgers and rosemary fries.  Continuing on we picked up some Plum Cherry and Strawberry Raspberry preserves from Sarabeth's and a couple of scones.  My goodness.  Equally impressive, to me at least was the kitchen at Sarabeth's.  Wow.  How I wish Brown Betty will need a kitchen that size one day!  But I digress.  We got "Straight Up Peach" People's Pops and then "Peach Chamomile" and watermelon shaved ice.  As in, we bought one in CM, and then the others when we got upstairs to the High Line.  (Hey, it was hot, ok?!)  I did eventually manage to pull myself away from the market, you see.  And then we walked the High Line.  OMG.  More food.  Bark (hot dogs), L' Arte del Gelato (gelato), Melt (ice cream sandwiches).  So much food so little time!  Again, why did no one tell me? 
 
CM5
 
CM6
 
As for the High Line itself, I am in agreement with the rest of the country - it is genius.  I am so supportive of community parks, especially one that overlooks the Hudson River.  And I am really in support of preserving infrastructure that has existed for over eight decades and used to supply the biggest city in the country with all of the things it needed.  We need to remember that, no?  We need our children to see that, right?  They need to know a bit about the world before trucks, and certainly before texts.  (Ok, I will put my 20 year-old history major self back on her shelf, but I am just saying...)  
 
CM7
 
 
Let's hear it for days off in August!  We hung out with friends and ate popsicles.  We took a glass elevator up to a wonderfully designed park that used to be a railroad where Kingston got to put his toes in water that trickled purposely.  We will be back.  For sure.   
 
CM9 
 
Chelsea Market is open Monday - Saturday, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm; The High Line is open from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm daily.

Supper Club: Red Rooster Harlem

 

Red Rooster

PHOTO SOURCE

 

It seems as though Marcus Samuelsson is everywhere, no?   I was at Solé East in Montauk where he was on his way as part of his book tour.  We took a meeting a couple of weeks later at Soho House -- he had just been there.  I was reading Arrive on a recent Amtrak trip and there was an article about, you guessed, Marcus Samuelsson.  You know him right?   The Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised, Top ChefWhite House State Dinner menu-creator, married to gorgeous supermodel Gate Maya Haile.  His star is super bright and an inspiration to anyone in the culinary business, especially to people of color.  He is playing a big part in the New Harlem (food) Renaissance, or so I read (in the aforementioned Arrive article).  And thus began my obsession with getting to the Rooster

THE BIRTHDAY GIRL

 

In honor of, BFF Khalilah's (who is also taken with MS) birthday we headed north for dinner.  Just up the street from soul-food mainstay Sylvia's, there it was:  Samuelsson's Red Rooster & Ginny's Supper Club.  We stepped inside and the bar was humming.  It could have been an editorial shoot with all the beautiful people and their beautiful drinks.  This was no ordinary soul food spot.  It was hipper, stark, fresh, and diverse.  Nouveau Harlem?   The banquettes - chic.  The chalkboard hand-drawn graphics - so now.  You could get lost in the bathroom where vintage pictures hung.  I was feeling the place.  But we had come for the food.  So order we did. 

To start, we had the Dirty Rice and Shrimp and the Red Caesar.  Both were nice.  Not wow, but not bad.  We ordered on.  Khalilah had the Mac & Greens, Fareed had the Fried Yard Bird, and Jon and I had the Catfish and Grits.  Khallilah, you should know, is a perennial optimist.  She enjoyed hers, using words like "different" and "tasty."  Everyone else -- silent.  I mean who wants to ruin someone's birthday dinner with complaints?  Surely, dessert - the sweet potato donuts - wouldn't disappoint.  It did, much to our chargrin.  We had to search the little nugget to find the sweet potato part – a bit of crème at the center, but hardly enough to satisfy.  The only person that was happy was BFF Maygen who had joined late and ordered a nice glass of prosecco.  And that was that.  We paid a large bill and were on our way. 

I was hesitant to write this post.  Don't you feel guilty when you don't love what everyone says you should?  I do.  And I mean this is Marcus Samuelsson?!  He is kind of a big deal -- a culinary god, even.  Who am I to judge?  Who cares what I think?  I am no food critic.  But I am a lover of soul food.  I know fried chicken when I taste it and catfish and macaroni and greens, for that matter.  These are not things that should leave you feeling "ehh,"  especially when eaten in Harlem on the storied corner 125th and Lenox. 

So, what's my point?  Marcus Samuelsson is an inspiration.  He has the Midas touch when it comes to big-name kitchens.  And you should go to his handsome Red Rooster.  Yes.  Go.  Sit at the bar.  (Speaking of bars, I should say we ended the evening at Tillman’s, which was super-cute and deserves its own post.)  Get a beautiful drink and sip it among beautiful people.  Why not?  Order a small plate, perhaps, but if it is soul food you are seeking (and not just "soul food" by name), maybe it's best to go visit your momma instead.  

 

Red Rooster is open Monday to Friday, 11:30 am to 3:00 pm; Monday to Thursday, 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm; Friday, to 11:00 pm; Saturday, 11:00 am to 11:00 pm; Sunday, 11:00 am to 9:30 pm.  Reservations are strongly recommended, although the bar is first-come, first served.  All major credit cards accepted.

Hello August!

hello august

How has summer been treating you??  It has been so busy for us! 

For starters, we are so happy to welcome you to our new site!  Take a look around.  The lovely Courtney Apple shot the gorgeous photos and we could not be happier with them.  There is much more information about all of the desserts, including our wedding cakes.  Plus, pictures of our past work will be frequently updated to keep you inspired.  Oh, and we finally have a blog!  We will be sharing trends in the industry (did you see the ombré cupcakes in the recent edition of Philadelphia Weddings?), the best work coming out of our kitchen, sneak peeks of new projects on the horizon, the best places we have eaten dessert (and more) lately - it is really going to be a little peek into our life at Brown Betty (i.e., a lot of food, with decent meausres of fashion and lifestyle).  In short, this blog will be your one-stop spot to check out all the latest events, plans, and news in the Brown Betty world.  Along with our Twitter tweets, Instagram posts and Facebook status updates, you will be in on all the Brown Betty goings-on.

Second, as mentioned above, there is a lot bubbling over at Brown Betty and we can hardly wait to share it with you!  Namely, our first cookbook is coming out in October (!!) and we will be sharing everything on the blog from it's origins, behind-the-scenes conceptualizing, and the final outcome of the book, not to mention the book tour dates and parties and events.   

Lastly, thank you so much to all of our customers.  You guys are the best!  Your loyalty helped us win Best of Philly for our Red Velvet Cupcake this year! 

Remember to follow us on Twitter and Instagram and "like" our Facebook page.  Keep checking back to find out more of what's happening with the ladies at Brown Betty.

Until then, xoxo! 

PHOTO SOURCE

New Site Launched

Welcome to the brand new Brown Betty Desserts site!