Glass digs in at Healthyish Homecoming, New York

THE stunning 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge recently became the venue for a fabulous food day that celebrated delicious cuisines, diverse food cultures and wellness-related talks. Healthyish Homecoming was an entertaining and productive event that allowed New Yorkers to be exposed to a female-heavy line-up of chefs, restauranteurs, entrepreneurs and beauty insiders.

Brilliant breakfast bowls by Two Hands – Photo credit to Emma Fishman, Bon Appétit

The day kicked off with an extremely exciting breakfast spread by famed community-focused cafe Two Hands, which has two branches in Manhattan. Led by founders Giles Russell and Henry Roberts, who both grew up in Sydney, their food is heavily influenced by an Australian sensibility. Two breakfast bowls – one sweet, one savoury – were offered, plus their cult banana and walnut bread. Served with a large dollop of espresso mascarpone, the soft, weighty bread was literally to-die-for

Some exceptional coffee could be found at the Stumptown Coffee stand, which offered cans of its cold brew as well as hot coffee options to try out.

The lunch spread by Botanica – Photo credit to Emma Fishman, Bon Appétit

After the morning’s talks, which included discussions on natural beauty and the role of adaptogens, lunch was provided by Botanica. This felt particularly special, given that the vegetable-focused restaurant is based in Los Angeles. Its owners Heather Sperling and Emily Fiffer started out as food writers before founding a restaurant that is grounded by sustainability and health. The lunch offered by the pair was certainly an expression of vibrancy and goodness, including beetroot dips, whipped tahini and Middle Eastern-style salads.

                                     A pretty fruit platter during cocktail hour – Photo credit to Emma Fishman, Bon Appétit

A highlight of the afternoon session, and the best talk of the day, hands-down, was a panel titled Why Food Sovereignty Matters. The conversation was moderated by Shakirah Simley, co-founder of Nourish Resist, an organising collaborative that uses food spaces as tools for collective resistance. Simley was a thoughtful and helpful mediator in the discussion, which touched on the political implications of buying and consuming food, and the ways in which the public could support food culture.

Neftalí Durán, a chef who grew up in Oaxaca, Mexico, was also a highly engaging and informed speaker, offering his insightful opinions about agricultural issues and food industry eco-systems. Durán is co-founder of the important I-Collective, an autonmous and independent group of indigenous chefs and activists in the field.

Healthyish Homecoming ended with cocktail hour, hosted by Lil’ Deb’s Oasis, from upstate New York. The restaurant and community project collaboration was founded by artists/chefs Hannah Black and Carla Perez-Gallardo, and the menu they presented at the end of the day was a great summary of the “tropical comfort food” that they advocate.

by Derby Jones

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