I'm a foodie at heart. I never say no to good company over a meal. I love travelling. USA will always be my first choice of destination. Bourdain addicted. Food & Travel Consultancy / Communication, Marketing & Public Relations. Food writer for hobby.

All posts by marcelasenise

Tamar Arslanian

Tamar Arslanian

Tamar Arslanian is founder of the popular blog IHAVECAT and author of the book Shop Cats of New York written-up in the New York TimesUSA Today and New York Post. Most recently Tamar has founded “Flirting With Vegan,” a community and tour company that encourages all foodies to give delicious plant-based cuisine a chance.

Because no one has time for mediocre food.

Tamar kitchen stories

1. What is the importance of your kitchen in your house?

Well I love to eat so I do spend quite a bit of time there. I live in NYC so by our standards I have a good sized kitchen. In the rest of the United Stated however, it would be considered minuscule.

2. What’s the best part of the day for you to cook?


3. Are you a creative chef or simply love to follow recipes?

I started off following recipes but during COVID I had more time to cook and became more comfortable with “going with my gut” so to speak. It was exciting to know what flavors go together to enhance a dish.

4. Three ingredients that are never missing on your kitchen cabinet?

Olive oil, zataar and salt.

Tamar kitchen stories

5. How did your passion for cooking come about?

To be honest I would say I have more of a passion for eating well than for cooking, but seeing as I live alone, I have had to learn how to cook! My mom is an excellent self-taught cook so she has taught me to be very discerning when tasting food. She cooks delicious low-fat high flavor dishes from all cuisines and finds using butters and creams the lazy way of making a dish taste delicious.  Herbs and other seasonings are her favorite.

6. What’s your favourite dish to cook that you know it can never go wrong with it?

A veggie curry with coconut milk.

7. Would you receive an entire tv crew in your kitchen for a day?

Of course as long as they were a NYC size crew to fit into my NYC size apt!

8. Do you follow any tv show or have a favourite cooking book?

My greatest inspiration comes from all the amazing TikTok chefs who are able to share incredible inspirational meals in 3 minutes or less.

Italian espresso is applying to become Unesco heritage

When we talk about Italian food and drinks two things comes to mind straight away: Pizza and espresso. Not just any coffee. Espresso.

Espresso at Farmacia Del Cambio, Turin

That shot of creaminess with a perfumed and textured crema that tops the sip of espresso Italians drink from a porcelain cup.

Just like Neapolitans pizza makers having had their pizza added in 2017 to Unesco’s heritage list, now is the turn of Turin coffee makers to have a go.

“It is an authentic ritual, an expression of our sociality that distinguishes us around the world,” said Gian Marco Centinaio, agriculture undersecretary, confirming the application had been submitted.

Caffè Vergnano and Lavazza are two big international brands to come from Turin. A city that became the capital of espresso at the end of 19th century.

Caffè Vergnano, Turin

A great asset for the economy and a habit Italians do take it to their heart. Also a way to celebrate a ritual halted with pandemic days.

Let’s cross fingers.


Charco restaurante

I had the pleasure of dining at São Paulo’s newest charcoal style restaurant.
Charco restaurante is a cosy, charming, warm welcoming place.
Tuca Mezzomo and Nathalia Gonçalves have been in the gastronomic scene for a while but have only recently decided to open their own doors. It has been exact one year and they have already been on best of list nominations of the year.
You genuinely can taste the research and care they put into every dish.

Charco Restaurant

All the charcuterie is made in house from a selection of raw meat that defines quality when you put in your mouth with a slice of a fresh baked bread and their butter.
Their choice of platings is extremely refined, matching their creations‘ presentation very well.

Together with all the flavors and colors it makes the experience absolutely worthwhile.
It is not the ordinary grill place!

Charcoaling is becoming an art and Tuca is performing at its best.
Nathalia with her bakery and pastry talents is thriving!
I had moments when I wanted more bread to do the classic “scarpetta” and literally licked my fingers over desert.

Last but not least cocktail menu is very interesting with old fashion bar glasses to drink from.

Bourdain in pictures

Bourdain & rooster

So much to talk about, so little inspiration to write down my words. Somehow it might make it all different to process Bourdain’s passing. For now I’m choosing to share a some pictures I’ve been gathering here and there in between a Facebook group I’ve joined and Pinterest.

Bourdain & Eric
A true friendship
Sarcastic Bourdain
No need for captions here 🙂
When he was a chef
From when he was a chef / courtesy of George Calombaris Instagram
Bourdain & his trade mark boots
Bourdain & his trade mark boots
Mysterious Bourdain
Always with intriguing eyes
Bourdain smile
that smile

The bread and the salt between us

the bread and the salt in between us

I absolutely love ethnic food.

I grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, a city that offers food from every single corner of this world. Childhood memories are fond in my heart when it comes to middle eastern food. Every Sunday my dad would take me to our favorite arab restaurant called Almanara. Right in what used to be the gorgeous centre of the city. Mouthwatering just the thought of it. The maître was always so impressed that I would eat raw kibbeh with my hands, helped by the bread dripping with hummus. Olive oil and green onions as well.
I was 5.

the bread and the salt in between us recipes

Once I moved to London I could still enjoy my arab feasts. Specially with friends cooking the real thing! What amazing meals we had. Stuffed grape leaves are comfort food. Not to mention how simple yet such delicacy it takes to prepare them.
Unfortunately since moving to Italy such pleasures have been drastically reduced. Italy is way behind on having greater variety of food besides their own only distinguished by each region. When in Milan you might get lucky and find a “non italian” restaurant.
So, Yes! I miss, I crave my dose of international palate.
But enough of me, my cravings and moaning, let’s talk about more important issues such as immigration and food. And photography too.

the bread and the salt in between us Mayada's family

I have been noticing a great deal of positive actions on immigrants that have successfully settled in a new country thanks to their integration to a new community through food and their roots.
Syrian refugees are a beautiful example of it.
In the past two years when I visited São Paulo I went to new, cosy and family run places with outstanding food. They were all recently relocated Syrian families. My utter respect.
They are not the only ones, of course, as we all know how delicate the situation in Syria is.
So when I saw on my Instastories feed a post from a talented New Yorker food photographer I follow called Liz Clayman talking about her latest work my heart exploded. Syrians in Jersey City, community dinners, their story and food.
Went straight to Amazon.com to buy it.

the bread and the salt in between us cover

With foreword by Chef José Andrés no less.

the bread and the salt in between us Foreword by José Andrés
Preface with her gentle own words by Mayada Anjari herself together with witty Jennifer Sit on those extra two hands writing and translating.
Last but not least photography by Liz Clayman.

The book is so simple, with rather classic recipes not much fuss about it really. But such simplicity is what makes this book outstanding! Mayada’s family story, their perseverance in getting a better future for everyone, the importance of Friday night meals and how she managed to fit in her new community with the power of food.

the bread and the salt in between us recipes

Liz’s photos are precious. I could taste, smell each dish from the lighting, colors and beauty of each page’s shot.

My hearted compliments to this very special trio. You published a priceless gem in such delicate times. We need more of those!

the bread and the salt in between us sweet

Go and buy your copy right now if you consider yourself a real foodie person. It’s a must for your collection and dinners to share.

Happy Birthday Bourdain June 25th 2018

Celebrating Bourdain

Celebrating Bourdain

@anthonybourdain Instagram 11 December 2016 “@Giancarlo_shark Nearly every day. there’s jiu Jitsu almost everywhere, Even here in Oman.”

So, I just went and opened your Instagram.
Looked back on old post dated late 2016 when you visited Oman. I want to go there too.
It made me smile looking at that post of your empty page on your screen with the caption

“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” – Nabokov

Celebrating Bourdain

@anthonybourdain Instagram 10 March 2018 “The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” – Nabokov “

Funny feeling eh?
Nothing I could write about you, Anthony Bourdain, Tony, would be new to the infinite words that has been written since June 8th.
To say “I miss you” is an understatement.
(this sentence keeps repeating in my head ever since….not even on a break up! – I’m laughing!)
Reading you all over again.
Watching you all over agin.
Listening to your audibles and that’s a new one.
No Instastories and that’s a bummer. Loved it. Plain. Musical quality to its best. Your wake ups all over the world. Nope I won’t go into it.

I decided that I want to celebrate you.
a) Because today is your birthday.
b) Because you are simply worth celebration.

Celebrating Bourdain

@anthonybourdain Instagram 18 february 2017 “Dangerous Women of Porto DeezNuts (guard them)”

My heart is so tight. I’m tearing now.
The Stones is playing – Gimme shelter.

Celebrating Bourdain

@anthonybourdain Instagram 7 March 2017 “The Revenge of The Ripper: in which mountain raised Alpinist, Eric Ripert exacts Terrible Payback for his sufferings in Sichuan Province. #Chamonix “

I have one, just one selfish regret I must admit. Not have asked you to be part of my “Kitchen Stories” collection here. Why did I never send you that email…I’m pretty sure you would have answered. I was “saving” to do it in person in NYC when your “Bourdain Market” project opened in 2019.

Celebrating Bourdain

@anthonybourdain Instagram 20 January 2017 “THANK you @United employee Divina Reyes #052843 for your heroic assiatnce in gettine me out of Newark and onwards to Antartica . Your broken field running was amazing. Never could have done it without you!”

To me you always been Bourdain and forever will be.

Celebrating Bourdain

@anthonybourdain Instagram 27 January 2017 “Alpha Bravo”

Tonight – Iggy Pop
Love in vain – Stones

Celebrating Bourdain

@anthonybourdain Instagram 16 May 2017 “My kitchen thanks you @brad__phillips

Jessie Sheehan

Jessie Sheehan

“Granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, and salt! Not very sexy, but true.”

American bakery is one of my favorites ever. Cookies, brownies, muffins, colorful cakes, icing sugar, confettis, sprinkles…you name it.
These days on Instagram you can find an infinite number of “bakers” profile but some few can distinguish themselves from the crowd.

grid of Alice Gao photos from The Vintage Baker

“Peeps” let me introduce you to a lady I cherish tones for her flair, the sense of humor and wittiness which she manages her account and of course her baking skills!
New Yorker, a Brooklyn resident since ever, mother of two, plenty of writing collaborations with important publishing and web name, her blog and two books, one of them, The Vintage Baker, which just came out and she is pretty busy baking cookies to take them on promo events. I just bought mine on Amazon (link on title) also available on bookstores in USA.
Meet Jessie Sheehan. And take my words for it, after reading her “Kitchen stories” go straight to Instagram and click “Follow”.

What is the importance of your kitchen in your house?
I love my kitchen and it is the room in which I spend most of my time. It has a lot of light – which is great for photographing my sweets – and a lot of counter space for working. I have an induction cooktop, which offers the cook a lot of control and an even heat. And I have a convection oven which I love for the perfectly browned color it gives my baked goods. My kitchen is a “galley” kitchen, meaning there is a narrow(ish) passageway between two walls of counters and cabinets and appliances. One has easy access to everything one needs at all times in such a kitchen, and I am crazy about mine.

What’s the best part of the day for you to cook?
I am a morning person and love to bake and work in the early hours of the day. I love the light at that time of day and the quiet. I often have a long laundry list of things that need to get accomplished – between baking and photographing and writing – and so I like to start early.

Are you a creative chef or simply love to follow recipes?
I am a rule-follower, which is why I am drawn to baking. When you bake you really must follow the recipe – you cannot add extra flour or remove the leavening, the way you can leave out a spice or use a different kind of citrus in a savory dish. However, I also love being creative with my baking when I am developing a recipe (ie: not following someone’ else’s). I love adding new flavors and spices, some nuts, or coconut for texture, milk chocolate perhaps, rather than dark, etc. etc.

The Vintage Baker Cover

Three ingredients that are never missing on your kitchen cabinet?
Granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, and salt! Not very sexy, but true.

How did your passion for cooking come about?
I did not grow up in a house of home-baked goodies. On the contrary, both my parents worked, but because I had a big sweet tooth, as did my brother, there were always lots of packaged sweets. But as I got older and realized that the one thing I loved more than anything (maybe even my own children) was eating, and sometimes even making, sweets, I decided to learn just how to do that. I went to a bakery in the Brooklyn neighborhood where I live, and asked if they would teach me what they knew, and the rest is history.

What’s your favorite dish to cook that you know it can never go wrong with it?
Hmm, well I would never say “never,” as I still make mistakes all the time! But lately I have been baking the butterscotch potato chip balls (a cookie from my new cookbook, The Vintage Baker) a lot, for many of the events I am doing to launch my book, and I think I could almost make them with my eyes closed now.

Butterscotch Potato Chip Balls

Would you receive for a day an entire tv crew in your kitchen?
Of course! Would love to share what I do with as many people as possible! And I love TV.

Do you follow any tv show or have a favorite cooking book?
I really love podcasts and listen to a lot of food related ones, like Bon Appetit’s, Serious Eats’, and Cherry Bonmbe’s. My favorite cookbook, is probably one of Ina Garten’s or the Baking Bible from America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated.

Jessie Sheehan is a baker, food writer and recipe developer. She is the author of The Vintage Baker (Chronicle Books May 2018) and the co-author of Icebox Cakes (Chronicle Books) and has developed recipes for many cookbooks, besides her own. She has contributed recipes/and or written for epicurious, Fine Cooking, TASTE, food52, and Main Street Magazine, among others.

She blogs at jessiesheehanbakes.com and is the FeedFeed editor for the Brown Sugar and Icebox Cakes feeds. She likes layer cakes with lots of frosting and cookies that are thick and chewy. Oh, and she has a soft spot for chocolate pudding. She lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn, with her husband and two boys, not far from her beloved Baked, the bakery where she got her start.

Icedbox cakes

Icedbox cakes is Jessie’s first book also available on Amazon.