April 23, 2017

by CHLOE (Flatiron, New York City)

Chipotle Mayo (in orange), Beet Ketchup (in magenta; if you don't like beets, I still urge you to try this! It's all the goodness of your regular ketchup but fresher and with a subtle hint of beet flavor)
Pesto Meatball Sub
The Guac Burger
My fear of eating/paying for bad food is one of the main reasons why I don't eat out very often, my common rationale being "why eat out when I can cook less expensive food that tastes better at home?". But in the same way that you must read in order to write well, you've got to explore other people's foods and eat out in order to push your creative boundaries and get inspiration for your own cooking.

by Chloe has been on my "NYC restaurant bucketlist" for too long (I actually compiled all of my bookmarked restaurant websites into a Google Doc two years ago...not joking, over here!), and I finally braved the busy rush and picked up lunch for my mom and I just a few weeks ago. We didn't order anything that needed additional condiments (chipotle mayo, beet ketchup), but let's just say that I'm very glad I tried both of them anyways.

I've listened to a few podcasts interviewing Chef Chloe Coscarelli, and like my other hero, Christina Tosi, her career path has been rather non-traditional. She graduated from UC Berkeley but spent a summer working at a gourmet vegan restaurant in San Francisco - for free - in order to gain experience in the food industry (free labor is something that Christina Tosi did as well!). She then attended the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC and even took Dr. T. Collin Campbell's Plant Based Nutrition course online (highly esteemed, former Cornell professor whose lecture I attended just last November!). If that's not enough to whet your interest in her, she's won Food Network's Cupcake Wars.

Just days before I went to by Chloe, Chef Chloe was in fact fired from her own restaurant. The whole situation is rather confusing and polarizing, but the drama aside, my admiration for Chef Chloe stands, and my feelings towards the food I ate that day at by Chloe remain veeery favorable. The food here is pricey, but if you're up for it, I say treat yourself and try the Pesto Meatball Sub - it's so worth it.
 

April 19, 2017

Park Guell and Hiking Carmel Hill

Aside from La Guernica, Gaudi was the second big takeaway I left my 10th grade Spanish class with. There's really nothing like seeing the places and works you studied for so long, in person. Nothing! 

My dad really surprised me when he suggested that we hike an off beaten path up this hill. This area of Park Guell is free to the public, but since there's no real path, it was pretty secluded - like it was a secret spot. The hike up wasn't terrible, though I'll have to warn you, the hike down can get a little treacherous if you wear shoes without any traction (like I did)! But take that risk - the panoramic view of Barcelona from the top is really like no other. 
A polvoron, my mid-hike snack

 This spot is probably the most desired photo spot by tourists, but here's a little secret: another great spot is by the columns (see photos below); you'll get a much better view of the buildings there, though there won't be any mosaic tiles. There's no need to worry about holding up a line of eager tourists, though!