The New American Demystified:
New American is harmony perfected.
New American is eclectic yet familiar.
New American is cherishing the past and anticipating the future.
New American is undefined yet refined.
New American is receptive to life's journey.
New American is proud yet in awe.
New American is the love of cultural gems.
New American is a melting pot.
New American is a shock to the Old American.
New American is brave.
New American is creative and catalytic.
New American is Brooklyn.
New American is Dining With Grace.
New American is Grace O.
DWG Conceptual Story:
When I brainstormed about the kind of restaurant I would open, I had one major criteria: To create food that I loved to eat. To create food that showed who I am, what I'm about, and where I'm from. It had to be a reflection of sorts. I soon realized...I am many things...eluding stringent definitions, I cannot be held to social dictations and neither can my culinary inspirations.
As a Brooklyn born & raised Nigerian-American lady I would tear up my Momma's *ogbono soup with okra and pounded yam, or her **moyin-moyin or her ***jollof rice just as quickly as I will devour some ...kimchi, toro sushi, Korean bbq, ceviche, roti, lasagna, rib-eye steak, guacamole, mandoo, tuna tartare, pate, smoked gouda and oh yeah... Chicken Wings & Pork Fried Rice!!! Lmao :-)
My point is this...I enjoy eating, creating, and learning about GOOD FOOD- this is my criteria. Not just Nigerian food or just American food. But furthermore, I appreciate exploring other cultures and paying homage to the delicacies found within them. As a lady who loves to travel, who loves to learn, and who loves to explore the culinary arts of other regions my palate has become quite adventurous. My favorite culinary inspirations are from the Mediterranean, Thailand, Asia, Caribbean & American Comfort cuisines.
My goal in Dining With Grace is to subtly draw people out of their comfort zone by offering the new with the old, by taking the familiar and introducing foreign, by taking comfort food and splashing a little gourmet in there with fresh and unique ingredients. It is who I am. It is who my friends are. It is who I serve.
My Best With Love,
The New American- Grace O.
**Ogbono soup with okra and pounded yam is my favorite Nigerian dish! Typically made with the ogbono seed which is blended to a paste with various seasonings and aromatics including onions, celery and garlic creating the viscous base for the soup. Leafy green vegetables are added, usually spinach with meat variations such as beef, oxtail, and goat (can also be made with stockfish aka dried fish) with dried shrimp added for extra flavor. Sliced okra is then added to give the soup more texture. This soup is eaten with pounded yam (my preference anyway) which can best be described as a molded ball of mashed potatoes with a slightly thicker consistency. Wash your hands thoroughly and tear of a piece of pounded yam, mold it into a lil mini ball in your hand, dip it in the soup and voila. Naija yumminess!! Dining With Grace will have special nights featuring the Nigerian dining experience! **
**Moi-Moi (some spell it moyin-moyin) is a childhood favorite of mine! Its not really something I had very often because its so time consuming (and my Mom used to make me do all the work!!). But its delicious nevertheless. It is a savory steamed bean cake. Black-eye peas are soaked for several hours or overnight, peeled, then blended with tomatoes, onions, a little oil, salt and hot cayenne pepper. Corned beef and a boiled egg are added to the mix for more flavor. The thick paste is then put in foil wrap or aluminum cans then put in a water bath for about 35-40 minutes. When solid the bean cake is done. Always delicious! I love you too Mommy!
**Jollof Rice is a Nigerian-American staple!! Lol. Think about the most delicious spicy fried rice or pilaf you can ever have and that's what jollof rice is. From the tender rice grains with its famous orange-reddish tint from its tomato, tomato paste , onions and pepper base to the small pieces of well flavored meat or chicken, Jolloff rice is Nigerian Comfort Food at its Finest!