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Ye Olde Dirtte Candyye Store is Openne!

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A long time in the making, the Dirt Candy Store is now open! From the comfort of your own home you can order Hush Puppies and Maple Butter that will come oozing through your phone lines! Have a hot webcam chat with a plate of Cauliflower and Waffles! Download the latest hit single from Crispy Tofu for only .99 cents!

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Actually, no. But you can order a recycled cotton tote bag to take to the grocery store with you. Buy one of the awesome t-shirts designed by Chris Andrews which science has shown are THE best solution to upper-body nudity! Buy gift certificates and toss them around like candy at a Shriner’s parade so you can become the most popular person in your office! And get a signed copy of the Dirt Candy Cookbook for $1 cheaper than retail price!

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You can find the store at the link at the top of the page, or just go here. We’ll be filling every single order with our own tiny hands so if you have a problem, feel free to drop us a line at the info email address. And if you have any feedback, see something that seems to be working oddly, or want to tell us any other items you’d like to see, please let us know.

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Happy shopping!
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And if you’re bad, we’ll send you to Granny Wobbly’s Fudge Pantry.
Trust us. You don’t want to go there.

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Meet Our Wine Zoo: Grignolino Rose!

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Dirt Candy doesn’t have much room to store cases of wine, so rather than offering people the same old list of Syrahs, Cabernets, Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios and all the rest of the usual suspects I thought I’d make up a wine list of the strangest and most unusual wines I could find, sort of like a wine zoo for exotic animals.

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If there’s one wine that doesn’t get any respect, it’s Grignolino. A curiosity from Italy’s northern Piedmont region, it’s not very popular and it’s mostly grown to provide a young wine that can be drunk while people wait for their more important wines to mature. It’s the party wine of the Piedmont, and it’s full of pips, which is where it got its name (Grignolino means “many pips”), but it’s also a really surprising wine I’d never heard of before.

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Read the rest of this entry »


A Cookbook is Born!

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Dirt Candy: A Cookbook (to give it its official title) is out today! Seriously! People who want to read it don’t have to ask me to send them a copy anymore, they can just go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and buy it! Online! Right this minute! After two years of work, it hardly feels real that suddenly – boom! – it’s out in the world and toddling around on its little paper legs. This is pretty much how I feel right now:

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There’s been a ton of coverage too, and rather than link to it all piece by piece, I figured I’d put it in one place for anyone who’s interested. I’ll update this post as more press comes in (The Wall Street Journal is coming soon). And if you’re tired of hearing about the cookbook: congratulations! We’re getting close to the point where I stop talking about it.

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The New York Times did an interview with me about the cookbook.

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The Daily News had a two-page spread in their print edition on Sunday.

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Andrea Strong’s Strong Buzz has a really nice review of the cookbook.

 

USA Today says, “I love this book!”

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The Huffington Post has a great review by Rozanne Gold, which is kind of cool since Gold is the four-time James Beard award-winning chef who launched the Rainbow Room and Windows on the World.

 

The Wall Street Journal ran a great feature on the cookbook!

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There’s a video on The Daily Meal and I hope it’s good but I’m not strong-stomached enough to watch a video of myself so I don’t know what it looks like.

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We all talk, maybe way too much, in an interview over at MTV Geek.

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Eater has a good interview, although I should never ask rhetorical questions in interviews. “Is someone lying or do I suck?” Because the obvious response is: I suck.

 

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Dirt Candy Cookbook Launch Party

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What’s a book without a party? On Monday, September 10 @ 7pm, we’re all going to be at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street, about one block south of Houston, between Broadway and Lafayette). We’ll have dramatic readings of recipes, answer all your burning questions, confront all the important issues, sign books, give out free booze, and serve up Dirt Candy food. All for the greatest price ever: free! It’s first come, first served, but since the space holds a couple of hundred people, I don’t think there’ll be any problem getting in. Bring 20 friends!

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All the details!

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See you there!

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The Dirt Candy Cookbook Trailer

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The official Dirt Candy Cookbook Trailer is here. Accept no imitations! This was a major labor of love by Ryan, Matt (the editor), and Grady, and I had no idea what it was going to look like when it was finished, but I’m super-psyched with the results.

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Right now they’re busy making a 6 minute short film for the New York Food Film Festival, and hopefully it’ll be just as funky.

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Happy 100th Julia Child!

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Today’s installment of the Lady Chef Stampede? It’s Julia Child’s 100th Birthday! What do you need to know about Julia Child besides the fact that she was a spy, and she revolutionized cooking, and she was awesome? Just this:

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How the Art Happens

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It starts like this:

PANEL 5 -
Two customers at table 108 are looking angry. It’s two identical bearded Williamsburg types: boys with big, bushy beards, identically distressed sweaters, haystack hair down to their shoulders and identically pissed off expressions. Like two angry Snuffleupagus’s.

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CAPTION: And while we struggle to fire tables that are late, the tables we already fired go neglected.

BEARDY #1: I don’t even WANT dessert anymore.

BEARDY #2: I hope this place EXPLODES.

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PANEL 6  -
A long line of dominos is falling over. We’re looking up at them from a worm’s eye view. The final domino in the line is about to crush Amanda and Jesus who are frozen in fear, cowering beneath it. It’s like Godzilla’s foot is about to come down and squash them.

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CAPTION (at top of panel): One timing mistake starts a chain of dominoes falling that will eventually destroy the entire night.

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Then there’s this:

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Which turns into this:

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Then this:

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And finally this:

All courtesy of the mighty Ryan Dunlavey.


Lady Chef Stampede: The Girl from Ipanema

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I’m taking a break from talking about the great lady chefs of history, and today I’m going to talk about a lady chef who’s not on TV. She’s not actually from Ipanema either, but she is from Brazil, so I thought that post title was fair game. Priscilla Herrera did a stage here for a week, but I hate to think of her as an intern. She actually runs a restaurant in Sao Paulo called Banana Verde, and she came here because she’d heard of Dirt Candy and wanted to see what I was doing.

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She’d been emailing me for about a year before her schedule opened up enough for her to come, and besides the obvious ego gratification (People in Brazil have heard of Dirt Candy?!?) I can always use more folks working here, especially if they’re doing it for free. What I didn’t anticipate is how good she’d be.

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Some of the food at Banana Verde.

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When I went to cook at Linger in Denver, I was totally lost in their kitchen at first, but I was really happy about the way the universal kitchen language took over and let me fit in and get things done. The same thing happened with Priscilla. She knows restaurants and so she knew exactly how to fit in here, when to talk, when to work, when to be in the way, when to be out of the way. It’s the major difference between an intern with no experience and someone who has experience: she cleaned up, she was on time, and she generally helped make life easier for everyone.

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She even trailed one night, working on the line, then going out to clear tables when she saw it needed to be done on the floor. By the end of the night my server, Justyna, wanted to tip her out. Also, Priscilla told me that staffing was impossible in Brazil, too, which made me feel better about just how hard it is to find people to work here.

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Most importantly, she made some great family meals, and I learned a hell of a lot more about Brazilian cuisine than I had previously known. Expect to see some tricks that I stole from her appearing on the Dirt Candy menu before too long.

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Priscilla’s family meal – that potato bread (in the front)
really blew my mind.

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But that enormous flan isn’t too shabby, either.

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The Lady Chef Stampede mostly concentrates on famous lady chefs, but there are thousands of unsung women working out there in kitchens right this minute – far more than you’d think to read the press – and so from time to time they’re going to pop up on here because no one else is talking about them. And also because they rock.

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Theeeey’re heeeeerreeeee…

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The journey draws to a close, and soon people will be able to see what Ryan Dunlavey, my husband, and I have been working on for the past two years.

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It feels like I just passed a kidney stone shaped like a box of books. (Of course, now someone has to buy them!)

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The T-Shirt Adventure Continues!

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My apartment is now a storage unit containing…Dirt Candy t-shirts! I’m getting the online store up and running soon, but in the meantime, a huge “thank you” to Chris Andrews, who created this design.

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Expect the online “Taking Your Money In Exchange for Dirt Candy Swag” Store to be operative in just a couple of weeks.

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Spinach $13
spinach & grapefruit mille-feuille,
with smoked pistachios and ricotta

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll $10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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