Bon week-end tout de monde! Hope everyone had a great week and is ready for their weekend. Unfortunately, it’s been raining on and off all week in Paris and the temperature has not gone above 70/19 degrees. Not the summer weather I was hoping for when we were in the depths of winter. That said, I want to send all you kale lovers off to your weekend with the second installation of For The Love of Kale with Julie from Fairpine Lane Foods in New York. Julie and I were on the same work team in 2007 and while she still works in advertising, she recently launched Fairpine Lane Foods. I thought I’d get some inside information on her cooking endeavors and the ever-evolving kale trend in New York.
When did you start Fairpine Lane Foods and why?
I had a recipe published in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine back in September 2011. The editor did an interview with me on their everydayfood blog and asked if I had my own blog. I didn’t and realized how big of a miss it was. I’ve toyed around the idea for ages and I wanted to do new things in the coming new year, so that seemed like the perfect time. Fairpine Lane Foods officially launched in December.
What is the idea behind Fairpine Lane Foods and do you have an ultimate goal?
My philosophy in cooking is that it doesn’t have to be hard to cook at home. It’s better for you in the long run and saves a ton of money. But I also happen to love cooking so to me, it’s therapeutic, intuitive and comforting. I really love it. I want to show my readers that cooking doesn’t have to be fussy and complicated and it’s easy to make good food that’s also a bit healthier for you. I try to cut the fat and calories where I can without sacrificing flavor. If I didn’t tell you that a recipe was low-fat, you probably wouldn’t notice and that’s my goal.
My ultimate goal? A cookbook and maybe even a cooking show. That would be a dream come true.
Has cooking good and natural food always been a part of your life? Or is there something that happened in your life that altered the way you cook and eat today?
Admittedly I used to be a very picky eater. It wasn’t until I moved to NYC that I broadened my taste palate. New York has some of the best food in the world and I love that this city has taught me how to enjoy it. When I turned 30, I also became more into cooking most of my meals. I feel good knowing what goes into my food and try and avoid processed stuff. I bring my lunch to work almost everyday and being able to save $10 a day while also having a yummy lunch makes me very happy.
When did you first try kale? And how? What did you think?
I think I first tried kale in a soup. I liked the mild taste and I always try to incorporate more leafy greens in my diet. When I realized how good kale is for me, I was sold. Now it seems like kale is everywhere and that’s awesome. I just saw a kale caesar salad with anchovy croutons on a restaurant menu. And someone I was just talking to mentioned grilling kale. There are so many ways to eat it and I think that more and more people are getting on the kale bandwagon.
What is the most common way you eat kale?
I eat kale in soups mostly, but I’ve been trying to get it in more dishes. I made a kale salad last month where I lightly steamed the leaves, then dried them and tossed with lemon, olive oil and a few shavings of Parmesan cheese. Delish!
What’s the vibe about kale in NYC? What are some restaurants that serve kale really well?
The Fat Radish has the kale caesar salad I mentioned. Il Buco on Bond St makes a famous kale salad that everyone seems to rave about. I think the preparation is the same as how I made my kale salad. Sadly I haven’t tried Il Buco’s version yet but hope to soon.
What’s one thing about Fairpine Lane Foods that people do not know?
That all of the recipes and pictures are mine. Sometimes people ask me if I use stock photography or a professional photographer. It’s very flattering but it’s all me. I used a Canon digital point and shoot, the S95. The recipes are all mine but I do get inspiration from things I have in restaurants or from what I see in the farmer’s markets or grocery stores. I try to tell the story behind each recipe in my posts.
Check back on Kale Monday for Julie’s reco to kick the week of with kale!