I have an old friend named Fraya Berg, a longtime food editor and walking culinary encyclopedia, whom I met at the very beginning of my career in food journalism. Over the years, when we weren’t talking about food (or later about our sons — hers, Eli, and mine, Rex, were born within a year of each other), she would tell me about her great friend Gretchen Witt and Gretchen’s little son Liam, who was diagnosed with cancer at two years old. It was clear to me that “Aunt Fraya,” as she was known in Gretchen’s family, rose with Liam’s progress and fell with every excruciating challenge. Liam was six when he died.
Of restaurant meals I’ve had around the world, my dinner at Philadelphia’s Vedge stands out. Chef Rich Landau coaxed flavors and textures I didn’t think possible from plant-based food; his wife and pastry chef, Kate Jacoby, blew me away with sumptuous non-dairy desserts.
We knew soft serve would be an integral part of our dessert menu at V Street. We did not, however, realize that a soft-serve machine would cost more than some cars or that it requires about a day’s worth of labor to keep it tuned up each week! But the ice creams themselves are so good, so decadent, so downright unfair, we could never turn back. Halva was the first flavor we introduced on our menu. Its creaminess is complemented by the tart flavor burst in the sour cherries.
Did another Ivanka-branded product just get dropped by a retailer? Ivanka-brand lox, whitefish and herring apparently will no longer be sold at Shelsky’s of Brooklyn, the smoked fish and appetizing emporium.