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Oh, Sandy!

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(Update: as of Tuesday, November 6, Dirt Candy has re-opened! Seriously. We’re open. You can eat here! People have been confused, so be confused no longer!)

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OMG – SuperKillerPsychoStorm Sandy has hit New York! The second Hurricane Sandy stopped being overly dramatic in a desperate bid for attention, I strapped on my shoes and walked down to Dirt Candy to check out the damage. Fortunately there wasn’t any. No leaks, no explosions, no radioactive mutants squatting in the rubble and killing people for gasoline. Unfortunately, there is also no power and no one is sure when it’s coming back online. Con Edison says that it will be four days, but these are the same people who once told me that my power bill jumped by $2200 in one month because they mis-read my meter, so I’m not sure they’re the best judge of things.

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Since there’s no way to know what’s going on, Dirt Candy is going to be closed for the rest of the week. I’ll still be heading to Austin to do the first vegetarian event ever at the Alamo Drafthouse (full, sense-shattering details here) and we’ll be open again on Tuesday, November 6 unless something bad happens in the interim. But keep your eyes on Facebook, or Twitter, or here, and I’ll let you guys know the second those plans change.

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Of course, tomorrow I also have to head to my storage space on Avenue D, which got something like 4 – 6 feet of water. And my storage unit is in the basement. So it’s not looking good.

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How all my customers look now that we are in the post-apocalyptic future!

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The Tote Bag! With Free Shipping!

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Tired of bringing home plastic bags? They’re noisy, they’re unattractive, and when you throw them away they collect by the side of highways until they form giant, marauding Plastic Bag Monsters that eat seagulls. Dirt Candy has a solution for you! The Dirt Candy Tote Bag!

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Made of 100% recycled cotton, the Dirt Candy tote bag will eliminate plastic bags from your life. As we all know, plastic bags from the supermarket clutter up your cabinets, drink all your beer and slip into your bedroom at night and try to suffocate you. Plastic bags are the problem! The Dirt Candy tote bag is the solution!

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Infinitely reusable, unreasonably attractive, and unabashedly awesome, it’s the recycled cotton tote bag that tells everyone else at the store that you are the captain of your own ship, you are the master of your own soul, you will use whatever bag you want to use and not their dumb old plastic bags! Sturdy, reliable, and extremely trustworthy (they know how to keep your secrets), the Dirt Candy tote bag is the perfect solution for people who’ve decided that they’re sick and tired of being menaced by unsightly plastic bags.

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For now, there’s free shipping in the US of A! That deal won’t last forever, so get your tote bags while you can! Buy one now!

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The Glamorous Life of a Chef!

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Swanky sparkles! That’s what it’s like every morning when I get out of bed at 8am. And when I drop my tired ass back into bed at around 1am, leaving a trail of filthy clothes scattered behind me across my apartment floor, I feel like a real celebrity. If you’re an actual working chef in your kitchen, the kind who’s running the line every night, there is no chance you’ll get a big head or become arrogant. Life keeps reminding you that you have the filthiest job on the planet. And you’d better learn to love that filth or you’re in the wrong business.

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Tres chic! Cleaning a clogged grease trap.
Don’t worry, it smells worse than it looks.

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Oo la la! Is someone in their storage space hunting through
months of past credit card receipts because a customer
called asking for a hard copy of it for their records? Oui.

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Dirt Candy: the Motion Picture! Also: Chicago!

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Next weekend, Dirt Candy is going to be all over the Food Film Festival, screening our short film, “Vegetables: Friend or Foe?” at the Food Porn Party, and providing a vegetarian alternative at several events, including the Meat Your Butcher screenings and party. So if you weary of eating pork buns and ham hocks you can have some of Dirt Candy’s Tomato Cake with Smoked Feta or Roasted Rainbow Carrot Buns.

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Also, we just confirmed that we’re going to Chicago! Dirt Candy will be joining the Food Film Festival when they hit the Windy City from November 15 – 17. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but I’ll let people know when they are. And if you live in Chicago, come on out! I’d love to see you guys again.

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Lowcountry Farmers

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If you’re planning on coming to the five-course vegetable dinner I’m doing this Saturday, Oct. 13 from 6pm – 9pm in Charleston, SC there are things you should know, and things that you can’t know. One of the things you can’t know is where it is. That’s top secret and the only people who will know are folks who bought a ticket (and some are still available). What you can know is where the vegetables are coming from. Here’s a rundown of the awesome farmers, produce collectives, and food producers in the Lowcountry who are donating to Saturday’s event:

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Some of Sweetbay Produce’s produce.

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Sweetbay Produce in Huger – a really impressive, family-owned hydroponic farm that’s donating a ton of the braising greens and micro-greens to Saturday night’s dinner. They also work with a lot of local chefs.
City Roots in Columbia – about 200 miles away, City Roots is an urban farm located inside the city of Columbia that was started by the McClam family. The farm itself is actually next to the airport, and a few blocks away from the stadium, right in the heart of SC’s capitol city.
Limehouse Produce in North Charleston – founded back in 1940 by HB Limehouse, this is a local vegetable wholesaler that’s still owned by the Limehouse family.
International Gourmet Foods in Charleston – this is a branch of the southeastern food importer located in Virginia. Not local, but it’s still family-owned and operated and has just 150 employees spread across six states.
Growfood Carolina in Charleston – a warehouse with a mission, these folks aggregate produce from 20 local farms around Charleston, and then get the veggies to almost 50 local restaurants and retailers every day.
Stellina Imports on John’s Island – an investment banker from Chicago who decided to drop out and become a boutique wine importer, Malia Camens moved to Charleston and opened Stellina.
Compost in my Shoe on John’s Island – Jim Martin’s farm has been around for a long time and he runs a website and blog with some of the best vegetable porn pictures I’ve ever seen.
John Evans of John’s Island – I haven’t met John, but he’s supplying us with eggs from his own chickens.

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How can you have a problem with okra after
seeing this photo (from Compost in My Shoe’s blog)

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Dirt Candy Cookbook For the Win!

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Dorrie Greenspan is pretty awesome. One of the most respected cookbook authors alive today, she’s won two James Beard Awards, two IACP Cookbook of the Year Awards, and the New York Times has sung her praises. She’s one of those women out there who have earned their respect and acclaim the hard way: by sustaining a high level of excellence over years and years of hard work. So it means more to me than I can say that she has picked Dirt Candy: A Cookbook as one of her six favorite cookbooks of the season. Dorie writes, “…she [me!] makes food…with big, big flavor and more imagination than any chef has the right to have.”

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There couldn’t be a better way to start my week than reading this. Right now, I’m walking on air.

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The T-Shirt! With Free Shipping!

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100% cotton, 1000% awesome, the Dirt Candy t-shirt is the best solution to upper-body nudity ever devised by modern science. And we sell them for men…and for women!

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Designed by long-time customer, Chris Andrews, and based on ancient weaving patterns devised by the lost peoples of upper Mesopotamia, the Dirt Candy t-shirt protects you from the elements while remaining absolutely stunning. Impress your shirtless friends with your good taste and common sense. Put one on, sit back, and just wait for the compliments to start rolling in.

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Women’s t-shirts are available in black and white, but men’s t-shirts are available in black only.

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Order one! Order two! Order fifty! Order them for women! Order them for men! This is the last t-shirt you’ll ever need. And for a limited time only, there’s FREE SHIPPING in the US of A!

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Dirt Candy in Charleston, SC

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Sorry for the radio silence recently – I’ve been swamped. But I’m back and will be blogging like a good little blogger for the rest of the year.

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So next week, October 13 and 14, Dirt Candy is going to be in Charleston, SC. It’s my husband’s hometown (and, weirdly enough, he went to high school with the unstoppable Lee Brothers, and the mighty George Weld who owns Egg and Parish Hall – it’s some kind of strange food cabal). There’s a huge Southern influence on Dirt Candy food – whether it’s my grits (which I was introduced to down there), or the Hush Puppies and Maple Butter, or the Red Pepper Velvet Cake with Peanut Ice Cream. I’ve encountered some of my favorite food in South Carolina, but it’s also the place that gave my husband his helpless addiction to mayonnaise (which we can’t have in the house or he’ll eat the entire jar in a day).

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So it makes a lot of sense that I’ll be down there cooking.

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Dirt Candy Super Secret Pop-Up Dinner
Saturday, October 13 from 6pm – 9pm
First off, I’ll be teaming up with local farmers, like Sweetbay Produce, to present a five-course vegetarian dinner. The folks at LIME will be picking a super-secret space (that will only be announced to ticket-holders two days before the event) and Stellina Imports will be doing wine pairings with every course. Some of the dishes I’m going to be making include my Red Pepper Velvet Cake with Peanut Ice Cream, Cauliflower & Waffles with Horseradish Sauce, Hush Puppies with Maple Butter, and a whole lot more. LIME always does great events and it’s going to be a blast, and tickets are only $65/person. You can buy them here.

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Book Signing & Party
Sunday, October 14 from 3pm – 6pm
My mother-in-law is hosting a party and book signing at the Square Onion in Mt. Pleasant and you can come on down, buy a book (courtesy of Blue Bicycle Books), get it signed, and have some wine. Full details are here.

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Flower Ball Goes 2-D!

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So, a couple of weeks ago I did a Second Helping of Life,an all-female-chef event that goes to benefit care and support for women with breast cancer. It’s the first time I’ve worked with them, but I loved working this one – it was very chilled out and relaxed, everyone was in a good mood, and the crowd was super-friendly. But I’m here to talk about something really important: flowers.

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Normally, when I do an event I do a flower ball with Gerber daisies, but this time I figured: nah. Since the cookbook is a comic book, and Ryan (the cookbook’s artist) is really talented, I figured that a 2-D flowerball that looks like something by Takashi Murakami might be a lot more fun. And it was!

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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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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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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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