all photos from our instagram @youngsnyc
We are at a very important point in the development of Young’s. Last month we held our first pop-up restaurant and next month we will hold our next. We have big plans on the horizon and humble beginnings behind, and we would like to take the opportunity to share our vision more clearly with all of you. Our goal is to create dishes composed of food and drink (cocktail or beer) that show off the incredible product we have access to as New York City cooks. The food is to be approachable yet interesting, the drinks are to be well conceived and perfectly executed, and the beers are, to put it simply, delicious. It is a simple project that has proven extremely challenging, and I’d like to take the time to fill you all in on how we do what we do.
Firstly, I’d like to share a bit more about the food we serve and the steps we take to ensure it fits with our values, beliefs and mission. We are serving vegetables. Which vegetables we serve depends on the season and what our farmer-friends are offering, and the way in which they are prepared, combined, and presented depends on who is working with us in the kitchen that day. Due to the nature of a pop-up, we are only able to offer prix-fixe tasting menus, but in the future we hope to expand to a selection of small plates, offering you the opportunity to create your own tasting of sorts, and fully explore the cuisine we have crafted.
FAVA RAMP BEET
still in the works, but this is what the three courses will be looking like for May's event
Jessica, Regis, Kevin, and I come up with the dishes together; we first get together and talk through all of the produce available at the time of the pop up. We then choose which of these items we would like to focus on and begin the long and challenging process of listing all of the flavors we can think that pair with the items we have chosen. We continue in this fashion until we have an elaborate network of flavors and ideas that we finally can weave into dish concepts. Two weeks of recipe testing later, there is a plate.
The cocktail pairings work a little differently. I begin by determining base spirits and flavor components I would like in each of the drinks. I then set about scouring my collection of cocktail literature and notes put together a list of drink ideas. Next I visit my favorite bars and chat with friends about the ideas to include an assortment of Experts’ Opinions. This step takes time and many drinks. Finally, I limit my options to two drink per dish, put together a tasting with all of the dishes, make all of the drinks, pick winners, losers, and take notes on how the drinks need to be altered so as to more perfectly fit the dishes.
The beer pairings also work differently. For these I begin by looking at my ever evolving list of seasonal brews offered by all of my favorite breweries around the country. If there is a seasonal release available at the time that I am very, very fond of I contact the remainder of the team and see if we can’t produce a dish that pairs to the beer. There are very few beers I feel so passionately about. More likely I wait until the dishes are at least outlined and make a chart of flavors I would like to see in the beer I pair with it. I consult dozens of books, beer-enthusiast friends, beer shops’ catalogues, brewery websites and my brain to come up with a list of beers that may work. I finally put together another tasting with all of the dishes and cocktails, serve the beers, and, with the rest of the team, come up with the final pairings.
Organizing a successful pop-up takes more than great food and drinks, of course, but those steps will perhaps be outlined in a later blog posting. Vegetables can stand on their own as center pieces for outstanding cuisine. Food and drink go together like peas and carrots, and we hope that the thought that goes into each of these selections helps to expose and celebrate this connective tissue. By putting these two ideas together we think we have created a unique and interesting concept that can captivate the stomachs of all types of diners, and can shed light on a new breed of cuisine.