Edible Flora

23 January 2013

Cooking isn’t my strong suit.  There I said it.

For this post, I’ve asked my go-to foodie friend + former colleague, Elle Lasher, to dive into what she sees on the culinary horizon.  Elle works for a trend forecasting company by day and behind the scenes in Craft Restaurant at night and makes a mean ratatouille.  Keep up with her on Tumblr + @ElleLasher  

Excuse my theatrical entrance but thanks to a healthy imagination, I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic and a soft spot for the badass world of superheroes.

Despite my dabbling in hair color trends, I’ve come a long way since my wannabe X-Men Rogue days. Older, wiser and hopefully a bit more mature, I’ve traded my makeshift pillowcase capes in for a uniform of chef crisp-whites yet oddly enough my newly found  culinary world is rather similar to that of my childhood.

Thanks to The Food Network and eccentric celebrity chefs, food is at the forefront of contemporary culture. Famous New York Chef’s and television personalities are likened to storybook heroes.  Wylie Dufresne morphs morsels into edibles rendered unrecognizable yet tantalizing to eat and the infamous Anthony Bourdain steals all the acclaim as the Joker we love to hate. To the delight of my inner child, I’ve found myself in world where chefs have become our modern day super heroes, ingredients the villains, and we, the fans get to watch them duke it out on the restaurant battlegrounds.

Sometimes the chefs prevail (see: David Chang’ s empire) while others allow the ingredients to get the best of them (see: Pete Well’s NYTimes review of Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar – Yowza! ) But at the end of the day, all that we New Yorkers want is a good chef who can overpower the villainous ingredients and use it to their epicurean advantage.


Speaking of super villains, we all remember Poison Ivy, of Batman & Robin fame. Not only is she smokin’ hot (ahem, Uma Thurman in a body suit), Poison Ivy has the uncanny ability to control all flora + fauna. She’s been off the menu for a while but flowers and novelty plants are slowly creeping their way back into fine dining establishments across the globe. Unknowing Chefs are welcoming her in with open arms, but beware this is a Trojan horse trend on the brink of exploding on the scene. Let’s see who wields the ingredients best.

“Mammals, a day of reckoning is coming. That’s right, the same plants and flowers that saw you crawl from the primordial soup will reclaim the planet. And there will be no-one to protect you.” – Poison Ivy, 1997.

Nationwide, chefs are dipping into Mother Nature’s goody bag, layering on the Sea Beans, Zucchini Flowers and Hibiscus Jellies. From Eleven Madison Park to Union Square Events, our pampered plates are seeing nature’s prettiest produce make a vengeful comeback.

my birthday cake, please.

my birthday cake, please. Flower-Power is an understatement.

plate o' flowers, eat up.

plate o’ flowers, eat up.

cardamon & cinnamon milksoup with rose petals and tea flowers.

cardamom & cinnamon milksoup with rose petals and tea flowers.

flowers dipped in tempura, better than spider rolls!

flowers dipped in tempura, better than spider rolls!

clam linguine with bacon + flowers.  recipe here.

clam linguine with bacon + flowers. recipe here.


We're over here now:

Jessica Arb Danial Art Advisory