Traffic Tide

Dinner Series

May: Tamaulipas

1. Sugar snap pea, jalapeño and radish salad, serrano vinaigrette. 2. Avocado, pomegranate seed and cherry tomato tostada. 3. Black bass tiradito, aji amarillo, crispy leek. 4. Blue crab and roasted corn soup, spring onion, corn ashes. 5. 12-hour mezcal braised pork shoulder, pickled onion and jalapeño, piquin dusted queso fresco, salsa verde, salsa habanero, cilantro & limes, bomba rice & black beans, blue corn tortillas. 6. Various Fine & Raw chocolates, clementines & insect salts.

Prepared by Matthew McKean. Custom dinnerware by Farrah Sit and Justin Novak. Custom drinkware by Catie Newell. Sponsored by El Tinieblo Mezcal.

Photography by Randall Bellows III

Matthew McKean

Matt opened his first restaurant by the beach in Dominical, Costa Rica at age 21, followed by numerous chef experiences in the prestigious kitchens such as Bice (Montréal), Larrupin Café (California), Downing Mountain Lodge & Restaurant ‘5550 (Montana) and the Rio Chirripo Retreat (Costa Rica). Matt became a devote practitioner of eco-gastronomy and the fine art of farm to plate cooking and parlayed his love for food and service into a successful career as a high-end private chef. Working on over three continents and in deep wilderness settings. Matt is also responsible for the creation of Cartel Street Food Bar which was voted a top 10 restaurant in Montreal in 2011 by the Montreal Gazette for it’s dedication to local and sustainable ingredients. Matt now captains the Joverse Bar/Cuisine team in Montreal where they were named top 10 new restaurants in Canada by Urbanspoon.com for 2013.

Photography by Randall Bellows III

El Tinieblo Mezcal

Matt McKean’s Import company Xintury Inc imports 100% agave products from Mexico, including El Tinieblo Mezcal, the 2011 Chairman’s trophy winner for over all best spirit. His focus once again is on the artisanal process and heirloom agaves as well as region specific Mezcals, Sotols and Tequilas. El Tinieblo Mezcal is an ultra premium artisanal product that has been hand-distilled in the state of Tamaulipas by Master Mezcalero Don Baltazar Cruz. Ranch El Tinieblo, where the maguey grows and the mezcal is made, is based on sustainability and with the desire to improve the economy of this rural state. Ranch El Tinieblo’s “local’s first “approach employs seven families in the Jimenez area as well as a number of local tradesmen who assist in the construction and maintenance of our palenque. For generations, El Tinieblo has been in the forefront of mezcal culture, conservation, and agave plant processing.

Photography by Randall Bellows III

Press: Taste Talks

A write up, Where Dinner Parties, Culinary Tradition, and Geography Meet.

“Traffic Tide is a pop up dinner series that combines chefs, guests who love eating, cooking, and socializing, and local spaces, to explore how culinary tradition and geography are tied. We were learning, and growing close, and sharing some amazing dishes.”

March: Nauruz

On March 30th, join Traffic–Tide in celebrating the ancient Iranian festival of Nauruz. Celebrated for thirteen days starting with the spring equinox, millions of families of Persian descent gather around a ceremonial table known as the haftseen to celebrate the new year, visit friends and relatives, and renew bonds. Here at Traffic–Tide our evening will include a six course dinner from Iranian-born chef Soli Zardosht. Persianesque cocktail and libations included.

1. Fresh Sweet Herbs, Labneh, Walnuts, Radishes, Flatbread. 2. Turmeric Yellow Pea, Caraway Infused Vegetables, Sweet Sesame Snaps, Black Chilli. 3. Tarragon, Saffron & Mint Metaballs, Filled with Sour Cherries, Walnuts, & Apricots, Tomato Broth. 4. Dill Rice, Mint & Rose Yogurt, Persian Pickles. 5. Walnut & Barberry Frittata, Salad from Shiraz, Shallot Yogurt, Pickled Radishes & Blood Orange. 6. Rose Cream Semolina Pearls with Almonds, Pistacio, & Pastry Crumbs. 7. Black Lime & Mint Tea, Orange Blossom Mascarpone Dates.

Prepared by Soli Zardosht. Custom dinnerware by Farrah Sit and Justin Novak. Custom drinkware by Catie Newell.

Photography by Graham Hill

Soli Zardosht

Soli Zardosht is an Iranian-born Brooklyn-based chef, food stylist, menswear designer and founder of London-based Zardosht. Formed in 2009 as part of East London’s burgeoning street food scene, Zardosht helped popularize modern Persian cuisine in the UK by blending traditional recipes and contemporary Middle Eastern and European influences. In addition to a permanent home at east London venue Cafe Oto, Zardosht serves up innovative street-food and stage exclusive dinners at supper clubs and pop-up events. Zardosht moved to New York in 2016 after falling in love with a musician from Brooklyn, and is currently working on her debut cookbook.

Soli and her food have been featured in Time Out London, the Financial Times’ How to Spend It magazine, Saveur, Jamie magazine by Jamie Oliver, Stylist London, The Carton, Italy’s Spori, Germany’s Freunde von Freunden, Martin Bridnizki Design Studio and Aesop.

Learn more about her endeavors at zardosht.co.uk.

October: Engineered Ecology

Among the most complex and fragile ecosystems, waterways also comprise the sites of greatest urban development. Due to their importance and vulnerability, urban estuaries have increasingly become a setting of close study in the face of a changing climate. As methods for the measurement of ecological systems mature, so too have views regarding what constitute healthy anthropogenic relationships. Avant.org invites a conversation anticipating a regime of design rather than conservation as the imminent outcome of advanced urban sensing. What does a future of ecological engineering entail for the development of New York City’s waterways?

1. Eggplant Appetizer. 2. Whole Wheat & Olive Oil Focaccia. 3. Mixed Green Salad. 4. Pumpkin & Orange Risotto. 5. Apple & Cherry Cobbler. 6. Fennel Tea.

Prepared by Apparu. Moderated by Sam Hart.

Photography by Chris Woebken

Summer Notes

Some poems about fruit, for the summer: plums, bananas, oranges.

Catie Newell

Catie Newell is the founding principal of the art and architecture firm, Alibi Studio and an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. Newell’s work and research captures spaces and material effects, focusing on the development of atmospheres through the exploration of textures, volumes, and the effects of light or lack thereof. Newell's creative practice has been widely recognized for exploring design construction and materiality in relationship to location and geography, and cultural contingencies.

Press: Nomadic Press

Leon Johnson discusses the origins of Book & Bread with Nomadic Press.

“Books have always been in proximity to the dinner table for me. I love that relationship. Book & Bread originated in Detroit in 2012, where I was teaching, and it was this powerful tactic of converging people around the table. I was living in one of our oldest continually operating farmers markets in the country. The Eastern Market in Detroit is an extraordinary meeting place, and it's been continuous for over a hundred years. So the idea of living, and teaching, and working in the context of a market every Saturday morning, with the farmers arriving, this seemed like a powerful way of coming together with the community. The power of emerging on the other side of three or four hours with a blank journal of your own making—it’s a loaded emotional learning curve. Meanwhile, we're meeting each other as we're eating. I love the idea that the morning after, you wake up with a blank book, and the potential of this book waiting to be continued or addressed. I love that echo of the night before.”

March: Book & Bread

The evening commences with a three-course dinner that will feature Lavender Creme Brûlée, Maine Salmon & Fresh Chive Oil—we then progress to book-binding stations where we will each bind a 16thC Monastery Journal using handmade papers and Irish linen tapes.

Prepared by Leon Johnson. Wine, dinner and book materials included.

Justin Novak

American ceramist Justin Novak received a BFA in Communications Design from the Pratt Institute, New York in 1983 and an MFA in 1996 from the State University of New York (SUNY), New Paltz. He currently teaches at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, BC.

Siege: A Dinner History

Presented 2012–March 6th, 7th and 8th, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Written about in the Wall Street Journal.

A sequence of three meals, Siege traces the original footprint of the city and offers it as a sustained allegory. The dinners bring together a culinary history drawn from the ribbon farms with formal echoes of the fortification of occupied land, tactical posture, and the ethos of retrenchment, withdrawal and attrition. Detroit, originally sited at Fort Ponchartrain, then relocated to Fort Shelby, witnessed three historical sieges over the span of a century. This year marks the 300th anniversary of the first siege, the 200th of the last. At table, within and without.

Photography by Miranda Clark

February: Detroit River

1. Mountain Rose Potato Wedge. Carrot Caviar. Charcoal Cream. 2. Braised Leek. Herb Curd. Barley. Leek Broth. Egg. 3. Golden Beet Soup. Pickled Roots. Whey Cream. Beet Dust. 4. Stewed Tarbais Beans. Duck Sauce. Caraway Cabbage. Michigan Cherry. 5. Rabbit. Polenta Dumplings. Mustard Semifreddo. Arugula. 6. Potato Beignet. Camomile Custard. Dried Yogurt.

Prepared by Kate Williams. Drink Curation Included.

February: Tepui

1. Corn Croquette. Cilantro. 2. Black Bean Toast. Shredded Beef. Pickled Watermelon. 3. Scallop Crudo. Coconut Cheese. Brown Butter. 4. Mahi-Mahi Tiradito. Heart of Palm. Grapes. Wild Rice. 5. Confit Sweet Potato. Blood Sausage. Sour Cream Broth. Fried Sweet Potato Skin. 6. Flank Steak. Pepelón Sauce. Yucca. Leeks. 7. Plantain Churros. Green Mango. Hazelnuts.

Prepared by Adriana Urbina. Drink Curation Included.

Adriana Urbina

Hailing from Venezuela, Chef Adriana Urbina studied Instituto Culinario de Caracas, and in France at Alain Ducasse’s School. She’s worked in a multitude of excellent kitchens, including Martín Berasategui’s restaurant (3 Michelin Stars) in Spain, Atera (2 Michelin Stars) and Rouge Tomate (1 Michelin Star) in NYC. In 2015, Urbina was he was featured as one of “the best Venezuelan places to eat in NYC” by Eater. Her menus often include traditional Venezuelan ingredients, reassembled in new and innovative ways.

Farrah Sit

With the ethos “own less and own well,” designer Farrah Sit focuses on creating strikingly simple objects that speak to their intended purpose. Sit focuses on creating beautiful, functional objects through local production. Her work reflects this intention in the quality and originality of each product, her exacting attention to detail coupled with a quiet minimalism.

Learn more about her endeavors at farrahsit.com, or purchase some of her wares at her homeline, lightandladder.com.

Press: Karen & Andrew

“We were delighted to join such a congenial global group of artists, chefs, creative directors, designers, writers, and more around the table last night to enjoy Ksenya Samarskaya’s warm hospitality, Brian Quinn’s thoughtful libations (inspired by Detroit City Distillery’s gin and rye), and especially Chef Kate Williams’ passionate cooking. Topics of conversation ran the gamut from ceramic sculptor Justin Novak’s beautiful Detroit-inspired dinnerware to Asian home cooking to the influence of puppetry on font design.”

“You’ll definitely want to let your friends in New York know about Traffic and Tide’s compelling dinner series, while letting your friends in Detroit know to keep an eye out for Kate’s new restaurant Lady of the House later this year.”

Detroit Comes to Brooklyn.

January: Detroit River (Two Nights)

“You’ll definitely want to let your friends in New York know about Traffic and Tide’s compelling dinner series.” –Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg

1. Whey Ricotta, Squash Jus, Olive Brine Pickled Carrot Peel. 2. Grass-fed Beef Tartare, Fermented Apple, Caramelized Shallot Egg Cream. 3. Smoked Mushroom Stem and Caramelized Turnip Bisque, Herb Emulsion, Cheese Rind Fondue. 4. Blackened Onion Peel, Greens, Smoked Oil, Hollandaise, Pistachio. 5. Duck with White Sweet Potato, Mushroom Soy, Duck Skin Bits, White Raspberry. 6. Squash Semifreddo, Barley Tuille, Candy Apples.

Prepared by Kate Williams. Introduction by Ksenya Samarskaya. Drink curation by Brian Quinn.

Detroit City Distillery

Detroit City Distillery creates small batch artisanal whiskey, gin and vodka using the finest local ingredients sourced directly from farms near our distillery and tasting room located in Detroit's famed Eastern Market.

Brian Quinn

Brian Quinn is joining Traffic Tide, so expect him with drinks in hand at some of our upcoming dinners starting in January.

Brian began his work in the food and beverage industry when he co-founded The Noble Rot in 2009, an underground supper club in New York dubbed “a new form of clandestine drinking” by journalists. Many also know Brian for his cocktails, which he learned from the Milk & Honey family and incorporated into his numerous experiential events around the country, as well as writing cocktail articles for FoodRepublic.com since 2012.

Learn more about his endeavors at brianquinn.co.

December: The Preamble

1. Market Bites. 2. Michigan Cheese. 3. Stewed Ox-tail Pie. Crisp Rosemary Fingerlings. 4. Lamb Tartare. Beet. Mustard Oil. Olived Grapes. 5. Bouillabaisse. Garlic Toast. Saffron Cream. 6. Carrots, Pig’s Tail Dumpling. Chicory and Chive. Bone Broth Dressing. 7. Roasted Lamb. Charred Onion and Leek. Braised Fruit Skin. Cardamom Egg Sauce. 8. Lard Ice Cream. Pork Floss. Tea Caramel.

Prepared by Kate Williams. Introduction by Kate Williams & Leon Johnson. Drink curation by D.O.C. Wine.

Kate Williams

Kate Williams is the much-touted chef from Detroit, having previously run the menu at Republic, Parks & Rec and Rodin, and having been selected as Detroit Eater’s Chef of the Year finalist for 2014.

Williams specializes in nose to tail, whole animal preservation and utilization, as well as highlighting local farms. Williams is also focusing on #uglyfood, which is about minimizing food waste on farms in an effort to feed more people and promote more hungry folks to grow their own food. An extension of the Slow Food movement, it is meant to beautifully prepare food that would otherwise be thrown away on the farm.

Her own restaurant, Lady of the House, will be opening Corktown (Detroit) in 2016.

Leon Johnson

Leon Johnson is an educator, artist and chef focused on ways that food, art, life training, culture and pleasure intersect. In Detroit, he founded and ran Market Studio Kitchen.

He is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for Painting, a Yaddo Fellowship, and he won both the Ersted Award and the Williams Fellowship for innovative teaching. His film Faust/Faustus In Deptford was selected for the KunstFilmBienale in Cologne. He was recently named a Bemis Center Fellow, and a Kresge Arts Fellow in Film and Theater.

Johnson is developing a new learning and production laboratory in Georgia, as part of the work he initiated during his 2014 Martha Daniel Newell Distinguished Scholar residency.

Ksenya Samarskaya

Ksenya Samarskaya is a branding strategist and visual designer, passionate about working with local upstarts, and fellow foodies and creatives. Clients include Sweethaus Cafe, Light + Ladder, IDEO, Bacardi, Apple, Tiffany & Co., Google, Font Bureau, Wall Street Journal, Best Made Co., WeWork, Monotype, and Snoop Dogg Marketing.

Samarskaya serves on the Board of Directors for AIGA/NY, runs the branding studio Samarskaya & Partners, and is on the cusp of launching her type foundry, Solonka.

Read more about her process on Nomadic Press, follower her on twitter, or just reserve a spot at one of the upcoming Traffic and Tides.