tea and peanut butter

Yesterday was a busy day. I spent the late afternoon talking with Ellie about book covers at a cool spot in Soho called Sanctuary T. (Congrats on the IACP award nomination, Ellie!) I’m far from an expert, but I’d have to recommend the oolong tea “Iron Godess of Mercy”. Yes, that’s the real name.

Then it was off to an event sponsored by the National Peanut Board at the Astor Center (cool space). A lot of great chefs were there, including friends Suvir Saran of Devi (one of my favorites) and Zarela Martinez of Zarela Restaurant (another fave!). That’s Suvir above with chef Linton Hopkins, who I had the pleasure to meet for the first time last night. He was serving a great peanut-shrimp soup (gumbo?), and yes, they’re standing in front of a cotton candy machine which was churning out peanut butter-flavored cotton candy.

Lee Zalben of Peanut Butter & Co. fame invited me to the event and showed me around, particularly the slick demo space in the photo above. It’s perfect for press events and small classes. I don’t talk about peanut butter very often, but I’ve been addicted to the stuff ever since I was a kid, and I probably have no less than two jars of Lee’s all-natural Smooth Operator in my fridge right now. But back to the event, I almost forgot to mention that Lee introduced me to a peanut farmer from Oklahoma. She showed me a real-life peanut plant and taught me a few things about how peanuts are grown. FYI, it’s not too late to stop by Grand Central and check out a peanut plant for yourself. See here for more info.

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