Guest Blog

Guest Post: The End of an Internship

Greasy goodness from Kutsher's #restaurantweek

I remember when I first found this internship. I had just finished a 2-3 week research project,  and after enjoying my new found freedom for a few days I decided I was ready for another experience.  I was looking for an internship that would take me through the rest of the summer. I looked on Intern Match and typed in "history internship," as that is my major at Cornell and it seemed to be the most direct search for me. One of the hits I got was the internship at Fun Foodie NYC, which popped up as "interest in NYC history" was one of the sought out qualities of a potential intern. 'Wow," I thought, "so much cooler than a museum internship." It has always been a fantasy of mine to be a travel agent or a concierge to experience new places and try great food--and with this internship I got a glimpse into the industry.

It definitely delivered. Over the course of the internship, I learned a lot about the business. It was not all about food, although Adrienne was generous enough to treat me to multiple delicious food tours and restaurant week lunches. I learned about marketing the business, managing reservations for tours, sat in on a meeting to change booking platforms, documented the business's growth, updated social media, and helped to plan and research for new tours. I also learned more about technology and find myself much more able to navigate various social platforms now. Managing your own business is certainly hard work, and I have so much respect for Adrienne as she navigates this process of building up her company. There is more that goes into making a profitable business than simply being great at what you do--which as you can see from her reviews--Adrienne is.

#foodtruckfridays

I have also learned so much about New York City itself, only now beginning to really tap into the wealth of restaurants, history, and events that New York City has and holds. This internship broke me out of my shell--this New Jersey girl is now much more comfortable in the Big City. And that's a life skill.

And let's not beat around the bush. Let me just give you an example of the kind of perks that this internship offered--yesterday Adrienne and I went to Kristabelli in Korea Town for some awesome Korean BBQ. I had some great sweet potato noodles with jew's ear  (which after my initial confusion I learned was a wood ear mushroom,) marinated wagyu short ribs, wagyu rib eye, korean ice cream and a brown sugar pancake. It was deeelicious and a fitting goodbye to a really unique internship. I will miss Adrienne and the work I have done with her but I am very excited for her as she continues this company and for her future interns--awesome boss, awesome internship.

--Rachel Kaplowitz

Mini knish with veal bacon!

Rachel was such a great intern and I was so happy to have her this summer! There's always so much to do as a one-woman operation and her help was so very needed and appreciated! Whatever she chooses to do I know she'll be great at...and hopefully when she runs of to Italy for an exchange program in the spring, she'll find a way to smuggle me along with her! My only regret is that we didn't get more pics of our last meal together that was just so good we couldn't stop ourselves long enough to properly document the experience.

Guest/Intern Post: Restaurant Week Summer 2014

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Summer means it's time for another intern! Rachel's been working with me for about a month now and I'm so happy to have found her! Of course I wanted to be sure we start restaurant week right, and while I  may not be able to pay my interns I want to make sure their learning and they eat well! Rachel's been a great addition so far, and I wanted her to add her flavor to the website. I guess they're doing something right at Cornell! So my experience with the Summer 2014 Restaurant Week began with a disarming, high-pitched squeal from Adrienne. After shooting her a quizzical look, she explained that she had just gotten an email that reservations could officially start being made. No further questions. There is no doubt about her love for food; I can surely tell you that. And I’m right there with her.

For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a foodie too. When I was at the age that children are supposed to be eating a couple peas and carrots for dinner, I was eating a whole Mexican platter—and dipping my binky into the salsa. Now I’ve outgrown the binky, but not the salsa.

Personally, going out to eat is one of my favorite things to do. I think knowing good food is like knowing good wine—they both convey a certain sense of sophistication and education. (Aside from the fact that it’s also delicious.) That’s why I love NYC Restaurant Week—they make very sophisticated restaurants a little more affordable so that more of us can experience all the good eats of this city. And I think that’s great. Restaurant Week meals also feel more festive—like eating is a great big event, like a show on Broadway or a trip to one of NYC’s fabulous museums. So on Tuesday Adrienne and I enjoyed a delightful lunch at Bar Boulud to celebrate this wonderful event. And what kind of an obsessive foodie would I be if I didn’t tell you all about it?

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For an appetizer I ordered the chilled creamy corn soup with mackerel escabeche and popcorn on top. This was a very satisfying soup, with a strong corn flavor and a thick and smooth consistency. The herbs on top may have come through more if they were turned into infused oil, and the popcorn didn’t fully deliver on the crunchy texture change they were going for, but I quite enjoyed it. An excellent pairing with this soup was the Snapdragon drink I ordered—a mixture of pomegranate juice, lemon, ginger syrup, and sparkling water. So bright and so delicious—the perfect amount of zing, especially in contrast with the creamy soup.

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Next was the grilled chicken with salad and mustard dressing. The grilled chicken had great grill marks and flavor, and was the perfect thickness. However, it did need the mustard dressing to become “restaurant week worthy.” Fun fact: this dish was changed from the online restaurant week menu, which advertised a different kind of chicken (can’t fool me, I do my food research!)

Finally, the dessert of blueberry thyme marmalade, mascarpone mousse and peach sorbet. I think that this was the standout of the meal. All of the elements tasted incredibly fresh, and worked very well together. The tartness of the peach sorbet with the sweet, macerated blueberries and a smooth creamy mousse. There were also tuile cookie crumbs in the dessert to add some texture. Awesome.

Blueberry Marmalade

Is your mouth watering yet? Check out Bar Boulud! Whatever you do, make sure to go to at least one restaurant for Summer Restaurant Week! It’s the event of the season!

--Rachel Kaplowitz, Cornell University, History & Italian Studies

Restaurant Week menus are available at over 300 restos throughout NYC and it's longer than a month! 3-course prix fixe lunch is $25 plus tax, beverages and gratuities, and dinners are the same deal, but for $38/person. Please feel free to contact me for my thoughts and suggestions...for example I think you're better off just going to Bar Boulud for lunch, but Boulud Sud was a GREAT restaurant week deal in the winter.

Guest Blog: The End of an Internship by Paige McKenna

The Original Umami Burger. Definitely a bomb of flavor!

So here I am on my last day as a Fun Foodie NYC intern, spending it quite appropriately. When I first researched and applied to this internship it promised fun and food, and well, I'm sitting here holding my stomach from being so extremely full after eating what was without a doubt the best burger I have ever eaten in my life. And no, that is not an exaggeration. I would eat another right now if you placed one in front of me. Umami Burger recently opened [its first NYC location] on Sixth Ave. and I quickly learned it is the heaven of burger joints. From the start, the menu overwhelmed me because I did not see one thing that I wouldn't like. So, I let the chef choose for me. I was served the Original Umami Burger along with fries and an orange Fanta to wash it down. My first bite pretty much sent me into a delicious trance, and every bite after that was mouthwatering satisfaction. This, however, was not even how my last day began. Before I was introduced to Umami, I met up with Adrienne who waited, like a trooper and a Cronut-crazed New Yorker, for three and a half hours to pick us up two Cronuts. So we sat and enjoyed a cocunut filled Cronut, as we killed time until Umami opened. While the pastry was a treat for my morning breakfast and definitely one of the best pastries I've had, I cannot say that I would wait in line for three hours at 6am. That burger on the other hand...that I would wait in line for.

The Coconut Cronut from Dominique Ansel Bakery.

Now that I've got your mouth watering and you are probably craving either a big juicy burger or a sweet treat, I'll reflect on what definitely has been a fun summer interning for Adrienne and Fun Foodie NYC Tours. Growing up in New Jersey and living right next to the train station, I have spent my life commuting into the city. I love it here. As a rising senior in college, it was time for me to start thinking about entering the big scary real world. Towards the end of May I was doing my usual research on fun things that were going on in the city and keeping up with any job opportunities. This is when I came across Fun Foodie NYC Tours. I read the description of the type of intern they were looking to hire: someone who was creative, hardworking, interested in New York and the foodie culture, and interested in marketing and hospitality. Being an English major at a small liberal arts school, I will be honest and tell you that I have no idea what I want to do after college. The internship for Fun Foodie NYC, however, immediately grabbed my attention. So i researched the company, emailed Adrienne, and shortly after met with her over coffee for a quick interview, and surprise! I got the job!

I was very excited to begin working and to help Adrienne lift her company off the ground and promote it to the New York area. I knew I made the right decision pursuing Fun Foodie NYC after my first day on the job: a complimentary food tour through the Upper West Side. I got the history of the area, as well as a milkshake, macaroons, Mexican food, a shrimp roll, and more. Yeah, you could say I was hooked. Over the next couple of months I worked with Adrienne two to three days a week whether it was promoting the tours on Facebook and Twitter, completing any intern busy work, or planning routes and researching different areas for future tours. As a Fun Foodie intern I gained skills in organization, research (and filtering the bad and the good of what I found), and after spending the majority of my time on a laptop and tablet I can confidently say that I do feel more technologically inclined. Along with these skills that will help me in school and in future jobs, I grew so much in the city of New York. I became more familiar with the different areas and neighborhoods. I have almost mastered the subway system (still kicking myself for the amount of money I've wasted all these years on being lazy and taking cabs). I've found a few new favorite restaurants that I can't wait to show off to my friends, and I basically have continued to love New York more and more everyday. If there is one thing this summer has helped me learn about myself, it is that I definitely will be living in New York City at one point in my life, and after interning for Fun Foodie NYC, I will continue to deliciously eat my way through the city as well.

Shrimp Roll from Luke's Lobster. The favorite stop on my first food tour on the UWS.

Not to get all sappy, but I am so thankful for this opportunity. I had a summer internship that was unique and fun, and I learned so much about this type of business, New York, and most importantly myself. Working with Adrienne has been a privilege, and I'm so excited for her future interns as I head back to school. She promised fun and food and that is what I got. Since you're reading this, and I am still on duty, I have to promote the tours just one more time. Take one!!! They are fun, informative, incredibly tasty, and the tour guide is beyond great. At the very least, treat yourself to a bite of heaven and go get yourself an Umami burger. Seriously. Best. Burger. Ever.

Paige McKenna is going into her senior year as an English Major/Writing Minor at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. She interned for Fun Foodie NYC Tours from June through Mid-August and was a great help with marketing the tours. Please use the contact form if you'd like to be in touch with Paige. We wish her the best of luck for her senior year and expect to hear great things from her where ever it is her path may lead her!