Friday, January 29, 2010

DWG Start-up Hustle- PART III

DWG Start-up Hustle Part III
Anticipate Growth

Dining With Grace started from a vision. Nothing complicated, just a thought. A thought that perhaps “impossible” was really just a figment of my imagination. And from Day One with this thought in mind, I have continued on this journey to put myself out there to prove relentlessly that this can be done simply by not quitting when the going gets hard. I’ll be honest, quite early on I was met with disappointments, betrayals and hopelessness but fortunately for me I have that tough African skin!! Haha! No, but perhaps I am a little stubborn. I ask a lot of Why’s. Why can’t I be successful from doing what I love? Why not me when others have done it successfully? Why do people quit so easily? Why shouldn’t I think outside of the box? So on and on I go, my vision still bright. I’ve recently learned something along the way though: when planning for the future, think big. Don’t worry about all the minutiae right away, you can build up your building blocks later. But keep that vision big and bright and do something, anything, towards it. It’s your life and thank God for giving us the creative freedom to live vicariously through ourselves.

Doubt, of whatever kind, can be ended by action alone.
-Thomas Carlyle

DWG Celebrates the Cuisines of Africa

Introducing our new mission to elegantly introduce the flavors of the African Diaspora.

Dining With Grace is now offering a menu showcasing the delicacies of African-inspired cuisine. From the spices of the East such as cardamom & curries to the provisions of the West such as maize and yams; from the Mediterranean cuisine of the North to the international flairs of the South, Dining With Grace is introducing these flavors in a new way- the New African way. Extending our reach beyond the continent into its far flung influences in the Caribbean, India, Brazil, Cuba and the American South, we will offer our clients a menu of delicacies bursting with purposeful flavor.

Feature Presentations Include:
Potato & Leek Soup w/ Merguez Sausage &Chives
Mixed Green Salad with Goat Cheese, Roasted Beets, and Candied Walnuts
Herbs De Provence Grilled Chicken Breast w/ Spinach Puree
Haricot Vert with Spicy Sautéed Onions
Saffron Rice Pilaf

Stay Tuned for our New & Improved Website Featuring new Menus, Newsletter page, Testimonials, and Order Online Features still at!

The Gourmet's Bare Necessities

It’s a New Year and nothing starts it better than freeing up your space. Whether it’s in the closet or under the bed; in the refrigerator or the kitchen cupboards, it’s time to take inventory of what’s important and what’s not. Here are some of my tried and true kitchen equipment necessities.

 Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet -Perfect for pan-roasting and grilling proteins

 Calphalon Non-Stick Skillet – Made for omelets, eggs, pancakes, French toast, grilled sandwiches, yum!)

 Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer- For the bakers, trust that it’s just much better off this way. If you miss your arm workouts spend extra time at the gym!

 CuisinArt Food Processor- Making Burgers, Pesto, Salsa, Bread, Sauces, etc. You kind of need this for…everything

 Microplane Grater- Perfectly Grated Citrus Zest, Fresh Nutmeg or Fresh Cinnamon. It kinda just looks cool too!

 Scale- For precision (especially in baking) measure by weight.

 Stovetop Smoker- Smoked Salmon, Hickory Smoked Ribs, Rotisserie Chicken…this is an amazing product! Get some woodchips and make some authentic smoked treats.

 Mortar & Pestle- Take it old school, make your sauces and ground seasonings in a way the releases maximum flavor.

 Silicone Spatula- Never made a cake without it. Heatproof and flexible. Get’s every drop from the Bowl .
 High Quality Knife Set with Sharpening Stone- Cutting onions with a blunt knife sucks!! And it makes me cry! :-(

 Pepper Grinder- Freshly Ground Pepper all the time please! Thanks.

 Stainless Steel Pot Set- Non Stick Chips (Sounds yummy right? No)
Now go on! Cook up a storm!
Chef Gracie

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

As Serious as Drunken Man Noodles!

Yup, its getting serious. Real serious. I mean doesn't the year 2010 sound like a serious year?? I think any number with TWO ZEROES is a pretty darn serious number. Therefore, I need some pretty serious things to happen. No games, no playing around, no toying with the idea...I gotta move!

I am excited though because I've already begun some great programs

I begin my Hospitality Management program in January and I'm excited to make new connections there.

I am working with the Food Bank of New York City to teach cooking techniques and nutrition to inner city kids and their parents!

I am participating in a NYC Small Biz program called FastTrac NewVenture that helps launch new businesses *Coined an MBA on Speed*

These are the main things that are only beginning in January!! Wait till you see what February has in store!! The life of an entrepreneur is never idle...

Ahh, now back to the food. I found a winner!

I've recently stumbled upon a pretty darn awesome restaurant in Park Slope. It's a cute little Thai spot with such original and elegant decor called Born. I had a chance to speak with the Owner and she along with the entire staff is so sweet and funny. The whole place was created and decorated by a group of young artists and you can probably tell- the space just seems very original and artsy- probably more similar to something found in Williamsburg.

And the food...I really couldn't believe how great it was. The first time I was there I had the Basil Stirfy which was delicious. Then on the next occasion I had the Drunken Man Noodles and I nearly lost it. What did they put in it?!!! It was perfectly Spicy, Savory, Chewy with the Udon noodles (yes they used udon noodles!) Crunchy with the String Beans and Peppers...Honestly guys, I can't remember the last time I LOVED a restaurant entree to shreds. I think I cried after I ate it. I was happy.

I told the Owner I was coming by again this week to talk about their dessert menu (I think its lacking and perhaps I can do something about it!). I'm all of a sudden dreaming of this one Drunken Man...

293 Flatbush Ave. between Prospect & St. Marks.
Check it out when you're in the nabe!