DBTV: Girlie Girl & The Brute at The Green Shows, Pt 1

September 24, 2009

The Green Shows were an extravaganza of sustainable designers showcased over two days during NYC’s Fashion Week just days ago! Check out part 1 of our series from The Green Shows, featuring yours truly, Chloe Jo Berman from Girlie Girl Army, and designers Bahar Shahpar and Lara Miller. Stay tuned for more!

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Judgmental: Veggie Conquest

August 7, 2009

When I was asked to be a judge for the first Veggie Conquest showdown in NYC on August 22nd, I had visions of myself as a TV judge like Judge Judy or Gordon Ramsey – handing out brash words of wisdom and catchy, yet condemning spitballs of criticism. “Don’t feed me mushy pasta and tell me it’s al dente,” I may accuse. Or “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen!”  There may also be moments where the audience believes I am going to rip someone a new one – but then after a dramatic pause I say, “This…is…the best dish here.” O, to dream. And that is why you need to enter this competition. Because you know you can make the best dish there. I know it too. So do it. The SECRET INGREDIENT will be revealed a week before the competition!

Meet the Judges for Challenge #1

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On food competition shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef, the food is so often an obnoxious cliché. Foie Gras. Lamb. Caviar. Bacon. I mean bring a book, people. How many times can you showcase diseased liver, a cuteness-icon, fish periods, and the ass of an animal that’s smarter than your dog before it gets boring?

I am so excited that there is finally a vegan food competition! I hope you will all buy your tickets for August 22nd, and  come join me in Chelsea for this landmark event as a chef or a taster. See you there!

Challenge #1
Amateur Cooking Competition
Aug. 22, 2009
Chelsea, Manhattan
Buy tickets here

Lula’s Sweet Apothecary

March 12, 2009

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Lula’s Sweet Apothecary is a small, cabinet of curiosities and Ice Cream parlor tucked away in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I’ve been frequenting their shop, which has given the other vegan-friendly dessert joints (what’s their names again?) a serious run for their money. Lula’s is 100% vegan owned and operated, and will rocky-road your world!

The re-emergence of early 1900s decor is exemplified in this adorable, vintage-drug-store-inspired wonder-room where handmade, artisan, vegan delights line the walls in candy-shop jars, and rare vegan toppings (white chocolate, malt powder, peanut butter cups!) reside in card-catalogue drawers, neatly labeled. Even the friendly owners seem to have been plucked from a 1920’s photograph and the music should be coming out of a gramophone.

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With nutmilk, coconut cream, and soymilk-based ice cream creations like the hugely popular cake batter and brownie batter or the traditional rocky road (complete with Sweet & Sara marshmallows), maple walnut, and even chocolate-vanilla-swirl soft-serve – Lula’s blows my mind. Last night, I enjoyed a brownie sundae with hot fudge, soy whipped cream, and a cherry on top. They have a rotating array of innovative flavors and confections. I have yet to try the New York Egg Cream (no egg, no cream), or a malted milk shake, but the hot cocoa, which was topped with fresh-shaved dark-chocolate, was brilliant, and the menu is extensive. One thing I know is that this place will have a line out the door come summer-time.

*The Discerning Brute readers get one free topping through June 1st, when you go in and say “The Discerning Brute sent me!”


Prelovers, Superfoods, Fur Foibles, & Veganic Farming

February 24, 2009

from the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

From the left: Shelley Whelan - Montreal Retail Manager & Rep, Julia Grieve - Founder & CEO, Colin Seymour - Toronto Retail Manager & Rep

PRELOVED held their first US in-store event on Sunday evening at the Greenpoint, Brooklyn boutique, ALTER. The Spring ‘o9 collection is made entirely of reclaimed items like bed sheets, shirts, suiting, and even curtains! These items would otherwise end up in a landfill, and have been reconstucted into really gorgeous garments for ladies and gentalmen, alike. Founder and CEO,  Julia Grieve told me that she never intended to be an environemntalist, she just liked working with reclaimed fabrics. But now, as Preloved heads to the forefront of the green-fashion movement, she realized the importence and gravity of making sustainability ‘cool’. Nothing says sustainable like turning trash into gorgeous, head-turning garments. You won’t find find any granola on their runway!

The Zuri Tee $169.00 at ALTER

The line does include wool, but it is recycled from old sweaters that would otherwise be garbage. I’m not going to be complaining about it. Hopefully this trend will catch on, and with styles as awesome as the Zuri Tee, who can resist?

ALTER consists of two boutiques across the street from eachother in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Owned and operated by Roy Caires and Tommy Cole, they carry a great selection of eco and veg-friendly items incuding their own repurposed line “This Old Thing?” as well as Matt & Nat accessories, Melissa shoes, and they have more coming! ALTER is carrying the women’s collecion for Preloved currently, and will be carring the men’s collection within a few weeks.

Speaking of Matt & Nat, I love their new vegan, canvas, Bauhaus bag with 100% recycled lining.canvas-men_lo bauhaus_2

gg125x125.jpgGirlie Girl Army shows us how to get superpowers from superfoods! This is a 101 for anyone who wants to know the basics of the superfood phenomenon! This is for dudes too! Wanna stop chugging sugary, milk-protein-laden workout ‘food’ and get a longer-lasting, healthy high for that extra curl, press, or pull-up? Try these foods! Also, if you didn’t hear Chloe’s sexy visit to the boys at Hot97, click here.

Veganic farming is wha…? Veganic farming takes organic farming and brings it to it’s logical conclusion. Who wants to eat organic potatoes that grew in factory-farm feces and blood? Ugh..  the vegan permaculture movement is taking hold! The Huguenot Street Farm in New Paltz, NY is one successful example. Check out their funny video here, and stay tuned for more updates on the veganic farming movement:

FICA is full of it. The ‘Fur Information Council of America’ insists that fur is the “natural, responsible choice“.

FICA

If you’ve already started rolling your eyes or laughing, you are not alone. In WWD, for the final day of NY Fashion Week (The Feb 20th, 2009 issue), FICA paid for an ad that was disguised as a part of the paper to make it seem as though fur garments were heavily talked-about in the publication.

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In fact, aside from one shawl by Issac Mizrahiny, there wouldn’t have been any fur in the publication that day. Boo hiss to Issac for his hideous new fur collection. Also watch his attempt to lose weight eating “vegan” M&Ms.

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"Peanut M&M's are vegan" ...right

Robert Verdi PictureAlso boo, hiss to TV Host and supposed ‘style expert’, Robert Verdi who I spotted in the lobby, surrounded by plastic fur-hags, wearing this atrocious hood (Did his Court-Dress wig fall back, or was he going for the evil Skeksis look?).

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Skeksis from "The Dark Crystal"

Tim Gunn should give them both a stern talking-to in the ways of educated and compassionate elegance. The only way to look like a bigger jerk is to have tan-lines in the shape of aviators on your head. Oh wait…

What I love (and by love, I mean hate) about FICA’s pretty-in-pink website is the total avoidance of ever mentioning an animal oustside of abstractions like “species” or “populations”. If they did acknowlegde that individual animals with brains and nervous systems existed, they’d have to follow through with logic that would contradict their reference of animals as “natural resources” to be used “responsibly”. I won’t even make the historical comparisons, you can do that yourself.