The dining room of Staten Island's New Asha is all styrofoam and steam tables. But when you step into the back kitchen, it's a wholly different world. Bamboo steamers gurgle over pots of boiling water and jars of homemade spice blends line the walls. A hand-powered drill and a machete are on hand to transform hirsute whole coconuts into snowy white mounds of freshly ground flesh.
Riccardo Romero has a dream, and arepas play a starring role. "I think arepas have a shot to become the next great American food," he says. He should know, as he's serving some of New York's finest.
When Hasan Diab arrived in the U.S. more than a decade ago, it wasn't hard to find familiar street foods from back home: falafel, pita and even shawarma. But the fresh, spice-rich Palestinian home cooking he took for granted growing up in the Galilee was a rare treat here, usually available only in the homes of friends and family.
On this small island in the eastern Mediterranean, cooking moves outside in the warm weather to wood-fired clay ovens and charcoal grills. We stepped into Zenon Taverna, one of New York's few Cypriot restaurants, to see how it all happens.
Food from Laos is a rare find in the U.S., which is one of the reasons chef Jeannie Ongkeo secret Lao dinner menu, the only example of homestyle Lao cuisine in New York, is so popular with Southeast Asian food fans. We spent a night cooking with her; here's the cuisine through her eyes.
Moments after arriving in Saeed Pourkay's East Harlem home kitchen, we're gathered around his sink, watching as he deftly carves a long slit down the belly of a glistening striped bass. Those fish eggs—destined for a surprise, unconventional role in the traditional Nowruz (Persian New Year) meal we're about to witness.
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