I’m never able to write about my visits to New York City. Unlike any other place I’ve been or lived, New York is forever overstimulating. There is simply so much, all the time. And to try to connect it all, understand it all, or even remember it all seems, to me, an impossible feat. But do I love it, oh do I love it.
Moments prior to taking off from Miami, FL a text from my friend Spencer came through. “Bring a suit”, it read. I hadn’t packed one, but knew that I had some clothing to potentially make due with. “But for what?” I wondered. “Why in hell would I need a suit?”
I was going to stay with Spencer for the weekend. And over the duration of that flight dreamt up fantastical events that he may have planned to pull me to. They were only dreams, and not a single guess, because when in The City, I just never know.
A friend of Spencer’s, Corey, founded a startup called Yellowchair. The company provides a new type of dining experience for people to learn, have fun, and socialize over a fantastic meal. As the website put it:
“Yellowchair makes one-of-a-kind dining experiences possible for every one of its members – from those who are new to New York City Nightlife, just passing through to adventurous locals looking for an evening of customized food & beverage pairings in the company of other food-lovers and trendsetters in the City.”
Yellowchair is able to organize many types of events, but at its core it creates an incredibly fun learning environment. Corey partners with some of the New York’s top chefs to create small sized dinning events that are open to the public. And besides the fun of meeting other passionate and friendly foodies, the participating chef runs a class before the meal so that everyone can get their hands a little dirty.
As soon as I walked into Spencer’s apartment I was thrown onto an assembly line to help prepare a dish I had never heard of – Rice Stuffed Soy Skins. To my left were small porcelain bowls filled with (I was told) pickled crabs, fish skin jerky, and small bait-like looking fish. And with my hands covered in sticky rice and the (surprisingly) sweet taste of fish skin in my mouth, I was told why I needed a suit – I was serving.
Kala is a chef at The Four Seasons, NYC and was our teacher for the night. On the menu was the food she had grown up with – Korean cuisine. The lesson though specifically focused on how to make fresh Kimchi.
As the party began to trickle through the door, Spencer and myself popped open Sapporo’s and Soju Bottles, as well as scurried with Kala and a few others to have the last of everything set in place. Soon enough though the guests had sat, the gloves were on, and the colors were fantastic.
The aroma of spices, vinegars, and exotic sauces perfumed the air as the participants mixed and mulled together various ingredients. Step by step, Kala walked the class through the process, while explaining some facts and history about the dish using a slide show that was projected behind the table. And as a gift for the guests, each one of them were given a large tupperware container to mix their kimchi in (so that whatever they made was theirs to-go).
*I’m Shanghai now and been having a surprisingly hard time finding internet. Shooting for some stories from the far east to be live soon…