Street Food Menu At Pop-Up Cafe Is A Success

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

With the plethora of people who came from around New York just to get a taste of Marcus Samuelsson's delicious creations to those who stumbled upon this genius of an idea, the opening night for Global Street Food Pop-up was truly a success. The banners were up, the tables' set, waiters ready to assist you and chefs awaiting for all to experience a taste of unique creations of international cuisine, this is what the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center was all about.

With a plethora of food for the all the senses and two fashion shows to delight those who are eager to add some new pieces to their wardrobe the event was a perfect combination of those looking for a night to unwind with a sense of fashion in mind. For those who have not been to Red Rooster up in Harlem, it's not everyday someone can test-taste Marcus Samuelsson's food, but last Thursday night that was the talk of all who ventured here. Karen was lucky to be here as "she's been wanting to go to the restaurant, but she hasn't been yet. I've tried 4 or 5 times to get in, but no luck." After reading in the New York Times at the Global Food Pop-Up Shop was hosting Marcus Samuelsson she was one of the many people who came as soon as the shop opened. Her favorite dish of the night was the Doro Wat.

Ramona Sunderwink surely was happy to see the pop-up cafe here. She "loves (Marcus') food and thinks it's great to do the pop-up cafe in a centralized location." Living in Harlem for the past 25 years, she is no question delighted that the Red Rooster has joined the likes of the restaurants there as it brings a "perfect diverse vibe to Harlem." David Leventhal and Eva Nichols were also so happy the event had occurred in the Alice Tully Hall. They loved the taste of the dishes that picked out and wish the pop-up cafe could stay a whole lot longer than a week as they frequent the Alice Tully Hall.

With the Global Food Pop-up Cafe kick-off night a true success it is no wonder why all want this pop-up to stay longer. Global Street Food Cafe will be in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center till September 15th, so if you weren't one of the lucky ones who were able to check it out on Thursday night, you still have time to dive into the delicious international cuisines being featured. Be sure to try the doro wat or mud pie, they are true favorites amongst the many guests.

Photos: Cyndi Amaya

Mixing Street Food With Style

By: Dylan Rodgers

Somewhere in an alternate universe, a person can be engrossed in the wonderful simplicity of street food as they "Ooo," and "Aaah," through delectable morsels at runway models strutting the latest in fashion designs.  From the outside, this would seem to be a major cultural clash.  The "higher" and "lower" classes struggle enough in perception of each other without having to comingle in a common space.  Believe it or not, the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe pulled off an eloquent and sophisticated mixture of the entire class spectrum.

At the Grand Opening last night in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, patrons ate classic Ethiopian, Swedish, and Mexican dishes served in paper bowls, some from actual portable street vending carts.  I personally enjoyed the Doro Wat, an Ethiopian dish stewed, curry chicken, Ayib (yogurt curds), and Injera flat bread.  While my taste-buds joyously exploded, I watched excitedly as model after model walked into view and stood like living mannequins upon the steps of the restaurant.  Flashbulbs popped off right and left to capture detailed portraits of Prajje Jean Baptist's designs.

New to the world of fashion, I decided to roam around the restaurant and inquire about different individual's experiences.  Three men dressed in colorfully loud, 90's retro garb by the names of James Bullock, Eli Torres, and Loren Amos unanimously agreed to the success of the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe concept.  "Successful artists are the ones that stand-out," Eli said.  "The food and the fashion tastefully complimented one other."

Maya Haile, model and wife of Marcus Samuelsson, who has had first-hand experience in one of Prajje's designs, loved the show.  "The diversity in models (old, young, black, white) is great," she mentioned.  "The presentation show of ready-to-wear clothes allows you to really see the details in the design.  The presentation show [instead of runway show] makes the design more like art."

This sentiment was shared by fashion connoisseur Shawna Edgerson, who felt that "the presentation show provides and overall cohesiveness to the work" that she mentioned can be lacking in runway shows.

All in all the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe grand opening was masterfully conceptualized and successfully pulled off.  It is the perfect mix of taste, art, simplicity, and complexity to provide the ultimate experience of comfortable, satisfying, fashion, entertainment.  Seeing as how the Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe will be open until the 15th, there is plenty of time to experience the wonderful dichotomy of comfort food and high-end fashion.

Photos: Cyndi Amaya

Want To Win A Free Meal For Two At My Global Street Food Cafe?

Last night we kicked-off my Global Street Food Pop-up Cafe in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center during Fashion's Night Out. The turn-out was great and our street food went flying off the shelves (or street food carts, so to say). In collaboration with Restaurant Associates and with the support of American Airlines, last night's event and this whole week duration of my pop-up restaurant was made possible. We offered delicious street food dishes like Doro Wat with Injera Bread and Beer-braised Wurst. It was surely a night not-to-be-missed.

Didn't get a chance to join us for our Fashion's Night Out event? No worries! My pop-up will still be open for a week until September 15th. But what's even better than sampling a wide range of international street foods? Sampling them for free! Food Republic is giving away a free meal for two at my Global Street Food Pop-up Cafe and signing up to win is easy. All you have to do is "Like" the Food Republic Facebook page at www.facebook.com/F.Republic between now and tomorrow at 11:59pm and you'll be automatically entered to win a free two-person meal at my week-long pop-up.

Click here to enter to win, and for more information about the sweepstakes. Good luck!

A New Face to New York Fashion: Prajje Jean-Baptiste

By: Cyndi Amaya

The world of fashion is full of young ambitious designers who want to make their mark in fashion; but few ever become known to the greater world. Fashion shows throughout the world feature new designers each year, and this year one young designer will be premiering in New York City during Fashion's Night Out for the first time: Prajje Jean-Baptiste. Prajje is an exceptional designer that has taken his brand, Prajje 1983, and created something wonderful. Originating from Haiti, he let his creative juices take him to America where he graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a degree in Fashion Design in 2009.

His pieces are considered luxurious, as his collection showcases his perfect craftsmanship. You can see his beautiful designs worn by models and celebrities alike. Over the years, his collections have been presented in fashion shows in Miami, Washington, D.C., Boston and now New York. Twenty-seven year old Prajje just moved from Boston to New York City in November and while it takes many years for designer to get anywhere near Lincoln Center to present during Fashion Week, he landed a spot to be featured at our very own Global Food Street Pop-Up Style Meet-and-Greet at Lincoln Center. We asked him a few questions leading up to tonight's big event.

What inspired you to go into fashion?

I've always been into fashion, ever since I can remember. Even as a child I was interested in making clothes and even took classes on how to cut and sew. I've started doing fashion designing professionally since 4-5 years ago and have since been really pushing hard at becoming great at what I do.

What inspired your recent collection?

For this collection (Spring 2012) and the last (Spring 2011) I was really inspired by my home country of Haiti. Because of the earthquake that happened last year that devastated almost the entire country, I really wanted to bring attention to its heritage and styles. What I featured in particular are the popular dress of the farmers and market ladies throughout Haiti. At times, these professions are very looked down upon, but I believe there are so many misconceptions about those roles and even about Haiti in general. My grandmother was a farmer and she raised me, and I'm bothered by the negative thoughts about farmers and market ladies; so I wanted to show who I am and where I come from.

What interested you in collaborating with Marcus for his Global Street Food Pop-up?

Well, I met Marcus at a gala in April and we kept in touch after that. Both he and his wife Maya really liked my designs, so I dressed Maya for one of her events. To me, it's an honor to collaborate with Marcus on his Global Street Food Pop-up since I've just recently moved to New York from Boston, and it's amazing to me to already be showing during Fashion Week in New York, especially in the Lincoln Center. Even if it's not a runway, to be at a style meet-and-greet in the Lincoln Center on Fashion's Night Out is a great honor and I'm very blessed to have been chosen.

It was a bit stressful however, since when Maya contacted me to get involved with the project, I had only three pieces made for my current collection and in a short 2 1/2 weeks, I'm now up to 14 pieces for the collection. So I did a lot of work in a short amount of time, but like I said, I jumped at the opportunity because it is such an accomplishment for me to be a part of this.

What will you be featuring tonight at the Style Meet-and-Greet?

Tonight, I'll feature 14 pieces of my Spring 2012 collection, so it's a sneak peak at what's in store for next year. Like I said earlier, the collection is inspired by Haitian farmers and market ladies, but with a more whimsical and fairy tale approach. Lots of bright colors, various textures and details, and very flowly. I'm showing pieces that can be worn by women of all ages, young and old, and all body types- short to tall. Guests will get a glimpse of all the type of clothes I design, not just dresses, so I've also included shorts, pants, jumpsuits, skirts- everything that a woman might think to wear. I'm excited to see what everyone thinks of my collection!

We wish you much luck tonight, Prajje, in your first showing in New York City! Check out his sneak peek collection tonight at our Global Street Food Pop-up Opening in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Prajje Jean-Baptiste's full collection will be featured in Boston's fashion week on September 25th. Check out his website for more details on him and his future events:  www.prajje1983.com.

Photos: Prajje Jean-Baptiste

Food Meets Fashion at My Global Street Food Pop-Up

As New York City gets ready for its fall fashion events, chefs everywhere are also gearing up for a change in menu to fit the fall season. While most food found during fashion events involve a few amuse-bouches at cocktail parties, I thought "Why not combine both food and fashion in celebration of this exciting time in New York City?" That's why I and Restaurant Associates teamed up, with support from American Airlines, to bring you Global Street Food Pop-Up, a pop-up street food cafe where we'll combine international comfort food while featuring a style meet-and-greet with up-and-coming designer Prajje Jean-Baptiste. From September 8th until September 15th, Street Food will feature an eclectic and affordable menu of a wide range of international foods from 10:30am to 11:00pm in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

The Global Street Food kickoff will take place in the evening on Thursday, September 8th at Lincoln Center where I'll be there presenting the menu for an unforgettable night of food, drinks, and fashion. We'll have music spun that night from Qool DJ Marv joining us in the festivities while we celebrate our own Fashion Night Out street-food-style.

Our Global Street Food Pop-Up menu will include a wide-variety of global comfort foods that range from $5-12, like Malaysian Achat, Mexican corn on the cob, Doro Wat with Injera bread, Ethiopian lentil and cabbage salad, Beer-braised Wurst and Sauerkraut, and Malva pudding. We'll also serve four specialty cocktails designed just for this special pop-up cafe, that include The Big Apple, fresh Granny Smith apple juice, Bulleit bourbon, simple syrup and a celery leaf; Jamaican Splash, sweet sorrel syrup with Appleton's rum and tart lime juice; Nordic Cooler, Lingonberry, St. Germain and vodka; and Shochu Cha, shochu, Canton and oolong tea.

So stop by my Global Street Food Pop-Up Cafe during September 8th-15th at in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, on corner of Broadway Street at West 65th Street, for a taste of world-wide cuisine with a touch of fashion. Be sure to bring cash or your debit card, because you will want to try all of our street food treats. Stay tuned to our website and to our Twitter feed (@MarcusCooks) and our hashtag (#StreetFoodPopUP) for updates on the cafe.

What's your favorite street food?