This may sound extreme (or pathetic depending on who you ask ;) but I often plan
my weekend activities and weekday trips into Manhattan organized around where
and when I source my cooking ingredients. It is that essential to me.
I give you the why and where of my food obsessions. It all starts with the simplicity
of fresh and excellent quality ingredients. Anyone can eat well, and within budget,
by going straight to trusted
sources. Working with amazing ingredients renders cooking simple, straightforward
meals accessible to people who feel lost in the kitchen.
I certainly eat to fuel my body and workouts, of course. But let’s be straight-up for a
minute; taste is my favoite sense. Done right, it can be lusty and lusious.
Eating gorgeously can be the simplist sheer pleasure in life. I’m also a queen in the kitchen,
and my way of loving is often to cook for and feed friends and family.
Spreading that love far and wide here, let me give you my 411 on sourcing the freshest
and best cooking ingredients in nyc
(disclaimer: this is my list of the moment and changes as I find and discover new
spots in this ever evolving City of New York):
EGGS: I eat probably 2-3 eggs every day. Fried over greens, hard boiled in salad,
as coating when I make chicken fingers, etc etc. (I get this lima bean hummus
that I use to make deviled eggs that is incredible.) I digress on the ways I use
eggs....anyway, my favorite chickies are...
• Araucana Chicken Eggs at Windfall Farms stand, Union Square Farmers
Market – blue-green eggs, very rich in flavor and from hens with a varied
diet. The most expensive ones on this list at $7 for a 1⁄2 dozen. ONLY eat
straight up and not for putting into recipes.
• Carol’s Cage Free Heirloom Brown Eggs, Whole Foods – also on the expensive
side, but the best I’ve found from a supermarket.
• Garden of Spices Farm Eggs, Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market –
the farm is in upstate NY and the eggs are super tasty, everyday eggs. In fact,
Dickson’s sources all of their products from small quality farms in NY State.
GREENS: I consume vast qualities of dark leafy greens. I throw kale or spinach into
my morning smoothies, my lunch is 95% of the time a salad w/ fun toppings and
more than half my dinner plate is a vegetable in some raw, sautéed or roasted form.
If I cannot get to farmers markets, I go for local (not necessarily organic) vegetables
sold at Whole Foods. Buying fresh greens from either my Manhattan or Brooklyn
Farmer’s Markets makes such a dramatic difference, I cannot even describe. Eating
a salad made from fresh greens from the market doesn’t even need dressing. Its that
good. I’m really not that great about rinsing my greens. But you should be!!
• Windfall Farms, Union Square Farmers Market – amazingly fresh and crisp!
They have bins and bins of interesting and different greens, including micro-
greens. I like to mix up their arugula and mesclun together in one bag.
Obviously no pesticides, no herbicies, no fungicides as their banner reads,
however, not necessarily organic.
• Other Union Square Farmer’s Market favorite stands (thank you Jacquie):
Lucky Dog, Hawthorne Valley, Sweet Mountain Berry
CHICKEN: another staple in the Phillips fam diet. At the very least weekly, I roast a
whole bird and make paleo chicken fingers to have on hand for breakfast, snacks
and to throw over salads. I also love marinating bone-in chicken pieces in an herb/
garlic EVOO situation and grilling that on our Big Green Egg that is illegally living on
• Dickson’s Farmstand Meat’s – this is clearly the spot. In addition to eggs, I
love their chickens. Free range, super flavorful and I trust the farm source.
They also sell organic grain-fed birds, but I prefer the roamers fuller flavor
(and slightly less fatty).
• Marlow & Daughters – another great butcher, but in my neighborhood.
• Flying Pig, Union Square Farmers Market – slightly more expensive but
SEAFOOD: I could eat seafood at every meal and never get sick of it. That the New
England girl in me! Getting extremely fresh and wild seafood is expensive, but
worth it for too many reasons to detail here. Eating a raw scallop immediately after
plucking it from my favorite fish stand at Union Square is like nothing else.
• I adore all the seafood stands at Union Square Farmer’s Market, but I
especially like P.E. & D. D. Seafood on Monday’s and Saturdays. Its all local
and the freshest I’ve come across.
• The Lobster Place, Chelsea Market – The name is a misnomer; lobster is least
impressive thing in this place. This fish market is just unbelievable. When I
want to splurge I buy a whole tray of Uni and try not to eat it all by myself.
Their selection and assortment is without a doubt, the best in the city. Just
the other day I bought Cod Cheeks and Blowfish Tails in addition to my usual
white fish, salmon and shellfish assortment. They have solid sushi / sashimi
and really nice salads as well. A top CP spot for reals.
RED MEAT: I don’t eat a lot of red meat at all, maybe once a month at most. I can’t
eat a steak without a serious glass (or two) of red wine, so its generally a double
cheat night for me when meat is on the table. My favorite cuts are a well marbled
grass-fed, grain finished aged porterhouse OR aged bone-in cowboy ribeye. Coated
with coarse salt and grilled to a perfect med-rare is my jam. I’ve tried steaks from a
LOT of butchers and my favorite right now is:
• Eataly – hands down, the most flavorful and best aged steak of the moment.
The guys behind the counter are also extremely friendly and helpful.
• Dellapietras on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn. This shop is relatively new and
also pretty good. The guys behind the counter are real-deal Italian-American
butchers from New York (no fancy mustaches and rolled up jean hipster get
ups in this joint). While the place looks a bit fancy and yuppified, the butchers
are down to earth straight shooters and awesome.
WINE: yeap, I couldn’t complete this list without giving you a few of my favorite
wine vendors. I have been obsessed with Etna Rosso Sicilian wine these days. I love
these two places in Williamsburg:
• D.O.C. on Broadway close to Peter Lugars, they will spend a chunk of time with you
finding the perfect wine to pair for any meal.
• Pier Wines – disclaimer, this store is less than a block away from my building
and they deliver. Dangerous. The guys who work here know my family VERY,
unfortunately, well. They even remember menu details I have described in
painstaking detail, down to specific ingredients, to ensure they recommend
the perfect bottle and......ok fine, so I can show off my culinary skills just a lil'
bit ;) Cute small store with a great selection.
CHOCOLATE: cannot live without it and when its expensive, i'm forced to eat in moderation.
Plus with high quality chocolate, a few pieces are enough to satisfy me.
• Vosges on Spring Street in SoHo is my favorite chocolate mecca in the city.
In warm seaons, they have incredible soft serve vanilla ice cream. yummmmmmmy
I would LOVE to hear from you on your favorite spots for incredible quality
ingredients. HIT me up here in the comments section, twitter and facebook.
Happy sourcing and stay tuned for more recipes and videos of yours truly
heating it up in the kitchen.