Love Cork Screw

Black History Month is well underway and this year we want to celebrate by supporting black-owned business. So, we’re sharing our favorite black-owned food inspired businesses with you and we hope you’ll pay it forward and share with your circle. Best of all, these businesses sell their services and merchandise year round so you can invest your coins in them even once Black History Month has ended!

1. The Kitchenista

Angela, AKA The Kitchenista is a self-taught chef that loves all things food. In addition to her cookbooks, she makes home visits where she’ll cook for you and your friends. The catch, you have to be in the Washington D.C. metro area.

The Kitchenista
Duck fat roasted chicken wings with burnt honey sauce. Photo by The Kitchenista.

2. Food Before Love

That’s right, this site is owned and operated by Casandra Rosario and has half a dozen black women contributing to the site each day. So, check out our shop. We’ve got a Wine Snob pin for every shade of brown girl and clutches that share your true mood with the world.

food before love enamel pins
Food Before Love has enamel pins for every mood. 

3. 3 Some Chocolates

Perfect for the chocolate lovers who don’t discriminate between types of chocolate, but appreciate quality. 3 Some Chocolates melts dark, milk and white chocolate into one bar. Now you don’t have to choose which flavor to indulge in, you can enjoy all three!

3 Some Chocolates
Photo by 3 Some Chocolates.

4. Love Cork Screw Wines

Here at Food Before Love, we love a good drink (or two) especially when it’s flavorful and goes down easy. The wines from Love Cork Screw are just that. The Chicago based company has been making big waves lately too with an appearance on CNBC’s new hit show The Job Interview.

Love Cork Screw
Photo by Love Cork Screw.

5. Essie Spice

Essie Spice has sauces and spice blends that have been crafted in small batches with special love and care. They use traditional West African spices with influences from Asia, the Caribbean, South American and Europe. Get a bottle of one of their flavorful mixes to spice up your next dinner.

Essie Spices
Photo by Essie Spices.

6. Southern Culture Foods

One day, Erica was grocery shopping to make pancakes for brunch. After a cart full of ingredients and a $30 grocery bill, she was fed up and knew their had to be a better way. That’s when Southern Culture Foods was born. Now, Erica and her mom are bringing all-natural pancake, waffle, fried chicken and cornbread mixes right to your door (or at your local Kroger for out ATL readers). No more last minute trips to the store for obscure ingredients.

Southern Culture Foods
Photo by Southern Culture Foods.

7. Between Harlem and Heaven Cookbook

The Between Harlem and Heaven Cookbook is the brain child of JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls. The cookbook is chock full of recipes the fuse African and Asian cultures together to make delicious dishes.

Between Harlem and Heaven
Photo by Beatriz de Costa.

8. O.P.P. (Other People’s Pinot)

O.P.P. is a wine made, bottled and shipped from Oregon by Maison Noir, a company founded by sommelier André Hueston Mack in 2007. This pinot is described as having “earthy, spicy, floral, herb-framed flavors of cherry with gingery wood spice tones.” Best of all, it’s only $20 a bottle.

Photo by O.P.P.

9. Bounty & Full Sauces

The “Milkshake” hit maker also makes hits in the kitchen. Kelis has a line of sauces that are sure to spice up any dish that needs a bit more flavor.

Bounty & Full Sauces
Photo by Bounty & Full Sauces.
Kitchen Newbies

Kitchen Newbies
Just finding the right products before you start cooking can feel overwhelming. We’ve listed our top must buy products to take the stress out of it! Photo by Naomi Hébert on Unsplash.

With the new year underway, a lot of us have plans to eat better and cook more, but when you’re used to going out or ordering Postmates for most of your meals, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why I’ve rounded up my eight must haves for kitchen newbies.

1. CrockPot

Photo by CrockPot.

CrockPots are perfect for the kitchen newbie who isn’t even sure they can turn on their stove (no judgement, I’ve been there). They’re great for whipping up low maintenance meals that can slow cook all day. Not to mention, this appliance is versatile! Use it to make game day wings, wintertime chili and summer dips. After a few uses you’ll wonder how you got by without one!

2. Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets are my must buy. They cook steaks evenly giving them that perfect crust and sauté veggies in no time. Once I learned how to use my skillet and care for it properly, I was hooked. With the proper care, they will last forever. Literally.

3. Measuring Cups and Spoons

measuring cups and spoons
Photo by Bed, Bath and Beyond.

It’ll be pretty difficult to muddle through recipes without a set of these. I recommend springing for the stainless steel ones with the measurement etched in them so they won’t wear off after heavy usage.

4. Wooden Utensils

Wooden utensils are durable and impeccably crafted to keep you on task and prepared to complete your recipe in style. They also insure that your stainless steel pots and pans don’t get ruined with scratches over time.

5. Cutting Board

cutting board
Photo by Villa Acacia.

Slice through cooked meat and chop up veggies like a pro with this wooden cutting board. This one is so pretty, you’ll want to keep it out on your countertop!

6. Essential Knife Set

A common misconception is that you need an entire block of knives to cook. But that’s not the case. Most at home cooks just need this trio: a chef knife, a pairing knife and a trimmer. Toss in a pair of kitchen shears and you’re good to go.

7. Mixing Bowls

mixing bowls
Photo by Crate and Barrel.

Perfect for mixing up sauces, tossing salads and so much more! Opt for glass mixing bowls, it’ll be easier to see what’s inside and they’ll be microwave and dishwasher safe for speedy cooking and painless clean up.

8. Pots and Pans

Pots, pans, a baking sheet and utensils, this set has it all. Not to mention, it’s approved by a professional chef. If Rachel Ray can whip up a three-course meal with this set, you can handle dinner.

These kitchen utensils will have you hosting your own dinner parties in no time! What things did you buy for your first kitchen? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Secret Summer Aquarius

Secret Summer NYC is doing it again. Later this month, they will host Secret Summer Aquarius. The event will take place at The Foundry, an event space in Long Island City, Queens with beautiful 19th Century architecture. The menu will include sustainable seafood, Bespoke Mixology and Artic Chic. Plus, a portion of the proceeds will benefit New York City’s sustainable fisheries and shellfish farms.

The Aquarius theme is a nod to the astrological sign Aquarius, the sign of fish and water. Secret Summer Aquarius is 4,000 square-feet of NYC’s best seafood restaurants gathered under one roof in support of farm-to-table meals and responsible seafood farming. Here are a few of the seafood purveyors, vendors and restaurants you can expect.

PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

PAMA mixes the complex sweet and tart flavors of a pomegranate. The liqueur uses all natural pomegranate juice, premium vodka and a splash of tequila. It’s easily mixable in a range of cocktails that will always go down smooth and easy. Fruity cocktails not your thing? Blue Point Brewery, Elijah Craig Bourbon and Brugal Rum will all be at the event as well.

PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
Photo by PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur.

Wild Fish Direct 

Wild Fish Direct is all about fresh seafood. Their team works tirelessly to provide sustainable fish and shellfish to wholesalers. You will enjoy the tastiest, guilt free fish from across the nation at Secret Summer Aquarius. There’s no guessing with Wild Fish Direct, each package of seafood comes with a unique story, vessel information, landing details and catch method so customers know what they are getting. In addition to Wild Fish Direct, expect delicious eats from Mochi Ice Cream and the Billion Oyster Project.

Wild Fish Direct
Photo by Wild Fish Direct.

You’ll want to end the night with an Aquarius themed photo-booth courtesy of 4FivePhoto! Secret Summer Aquarius is Saturday, January 27. Tickets are on sale now and going fast! Enter code “FISHIES” at checkout for an exclusive discount. Let us know in the comments if we’ll see you there.

New Year

The end of the year is almost here and it’s time to celebrate all you’ve accomplished with loved ones. Our Food Before Love Insiders gave use the details on where they plan to chow down before the new year is here and now they’re sharing the love.

If you can’t make it to these places before the new year, don’t fret, they’ll still be around in 2018. Just know, these places have the FBL stamp of approval!

Robin, NYC Insider

Why: I’ve had K Rico on my to-go list for a while now, because I’m always looking for new spots to add to my ever growing brunch list. K Rico offers a $27 boozy brunch option, which is something you won’t come across often in the midtown west area.
What to order: I’m definitely starting with the bottomless mimosas (duh!), and then the crab cake benedict has my name written all over it.

Simone Bradshaw, Miami Insider

Where: Lil Greenhouse Grill,1300 NW 3rd Ave, Miami, FL 33136
Why: Why not? It’s an awesome restaurant – great food, service with a smile, chill vibe, and lovely people.
What to Order: Mac and cheese, ribs, rib tips, half chicken, collard greens, baked beans, red velvet cheesecake.

Lil Greenhouse Grill
Lil Greenhouse Grill ribs. Photo by mmanrique1428.

Natasha Salter, NYC Insider

Where: Le Rivage, 340 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036 (between 8th and 9th Avenue)
Why: I’m always on the hunt for an amazing burger and I’ve been wanting to try this little French bistro’s infamous, signature French Onion Soup burger!

Le Rivage
Perfectly seasoned beef, cheese and caramelized onions, this is what dreams are made of. Photo by Le Rivage.

Where: Rice & Gold, 50 Bowery, New York, NY 10013 (between Canal and Bayard Street)
Why: I love Asian fusion cuisine and this is the newest hot spot everyone’s buzzing about. Savory comfort foods are what I crave for the holidays and they specialize in dim sum, dumplings, pho and shareable plates. The perfect place for groups to enjoy a holiday meal.
What to Order: I can’t wait to try the Pho Soup Dumplings, Lobster Fried Rice and the Jerk Roast Duck.

Ariel Ijaduola , NYC Insider 

Where: Dorlan’s Tavern & Oyster Bar,  213 Front St,, New York, NY 10038
Why: The seafood is very fresh at Dorlan’s and it’s in cool area right in the heart of the South Street Seaport.
What to get: Lobster mac and cheese is to die for!
Dorlan's Tavern
Every bite of these cheesy treat is filled with delicious crab meat! Photo by Dorlan’s Tavern.
Where: Nom Wah Tea Parlor, 13 Doyers St., New York, NY 10013
Why: It is the perfect place to satisfy an authentic dim sum craving. It’s cheap and incredibly filling.
What to get: Steamed Dim Sum Sampler so you can try a little bit of everything!

Lauren, ATL Insider 

Why: Most people haven’t heard of 101 Steak in Vinings and that’s a good thing, because it’s still a hidden gem. I’ve been plenty of times and the food is consistently amazing!
What to order: Order the Steak Benedict – 4oz filet, poached eggs, Béarnaise atop an English muffin and served with home fries. Treat yourself to an elevated experience and make that Benedict Oscar which adds jumbo lump crab meat and grilled asparagus (for an additional cost, but so worth it). It is so indulgent and delicious!
101 Steak
Steak and potatoes, a quintessential hearty meal. Get your fix at 101 Steak in ATL! Photo by 101 Steak.

Tameka Jo Pauldo, ATL Insider

Where: The BQE Restaurant & Lounge, Atlanta, 262 Edgewood Avenue, NE
Why: If you love southern cuisine with a modern twist, combined with a relaxed ambiance and jazz music, this is the perfect place.
What to order: I plan to order crispy fried green tomatoes as an appetizer, and red velvet chicken & waffles for my main entree.

Casandra Rosario, Food Before Love Editor-in-Chief

Where: Chef’s Club, 275 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
Why: Chef JJ’s residency at the Chef’s Club is about to end and if you haven’t booked a reservation yet, this is your last chance to experience it. They’re even including two menu’s to choose from on New Year’s Eve, “99 problems” and “I’ve got 5 on it” for larger parties. How can you say no?
What to get: You might as well end the year with a bang and get everything but we’re loving the Tuna Tartare and the Udon Noodles for sure.

Tuna Tartare Chef's Club

Let us know when you try some of our favorites across the country! Tag us on Instagram and don’t forget to hashtag #FoodBeforeLove. Happy eating!


holiday gift guide

The holiday season is here! With Thanksgiving and Black Friday in just a few days, we wanted to share our top picks for this giving season. So, we’ve rounded up our favorite products in this holiday gift guide. From stocking stuffers, to booze, we’ve picked our favorite products of the year that the foodie in your life will love.

First, we want to let you know about the sales we’re having for the holidays in our shop.Our Wine Snob pins are on sale for $12 and our Natural Hair Brunch Affair pin pack is $10 off, which means you’ll get three pins for the $15!

Now, the picks for our 2017 Holiday Gift Guide.

1. Lady Lexis Sweets

We all have a friend that eats desserts firsts, always. So, skip the restaurant gift card and go straight for a sweet treat from chef Lexis and Dr. Sharon Gonzalez. This mother-daughter duo serve up delicious desserts at their store in Harlem.

Chef Lexis
Lady Lexi’s Sweets has all the desserts someone with a sweet tooth desires. Photo: Lady Lexi’s Sweets.

2. Brooklyn Coquito

Ditch the bottle of spiked eggnog and go for a bottle of coquito instead. Traditionally served in Puerto Rico, coquito is a mixture of rum, coconut milk, sweet condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. The final product is delicious and perfect for the holidays.

3. Chambong

Perfect for the friend who likes to party, but also keeps is classy. The Chambong takes your champagne drinking experience to a new level. Break these glasses out for dinner parties, New Years Eve or even a Sunday morning mimosa.

4. Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

Though an oldie, it’s a goodie. Cravings is filled with pages of comfort food recipes that will hit the spot during the holidays and long after. Teigen’s authentic voice throughout the book is hilarious and the easy to follow steps make this a perfect gift, even for those new to cooking.

5. Brunch Queen Clutch

This beautiful leather canvas is great for the queens in your life who just can’t get enough of brunch.

Brunch Queen Clutch
This clutch in one hand and a mimosa in the other makes for a perfect morning.

6. Ayesha Curry’s Cookware 

Our holiday gift guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this new cookware line. Ayesha Curry’s line is affordable, aesthetically pleasing and based on the reviews a total hit! Get it exclusively at Target.

7. Hella Cocktail Co.

Got a friend who’s bad and boozy? If so, this if the gift for them! The guys at Hella Cocktail have created their own line of bitters and now they want to show you how to do the same. If creating your own cocktail isn’t what you’re looking for, they’ve got ready made mixes for bloody marys, margaritas and tonic!

hella cocktails
Not sure which mixer to get? Head to their bar in Brooklyn and try before you buy!

8. FBL’s Wine Snob Pins

We love these pins because of how inclusive they are. We’ve made three different pins to match the variety of skin tones our black and brown readers have. Plus, during our Black Friday sale, you can buy two of these and get the third one free!

9. 228 Grant Street Candle Co. 

There’s just something about candles that always make you feel good and at peace. 228 Grant Street Candle Co. takes the feeling to another level. Their soy candles burn slowly and have the most pleasant aromas. Gift this to a loved one and they’ll be thanking you for months.

grant street candle co
With a burn time of 130 hourse, these candles can be enjoyed long after the holidays are over.

10. Rideau Wine

The perfect gift for that person in your life who likes feeling a little fancy. From sweet reds, moscato to rosé, Rideau has it all.

11. Jasmine Diane Merch 

Jasmine Diane is a lifestyle blog full of career, fashion and relationship advice. Jasmine Cooper, the editor-in-chief is empowering women to share their journey with the hashtag #MyGirlStory on social media. Grab one of her exclusive tees or sweatshirts for the dope woman in your life.

Jasmine Diane
The Kansas City native wants to empower women to share their story using #MyGirlStory.

That’s what is topping our list this holiday season, what’s on yours? Share what you’re hoping for in the comments below and keep checking back here leading up to the holidays. We’ll be adding more great gifts your foodie family and friends will love!