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Breaking Bread With Foodie Friends

BY BETH BECKMAN | www.lilkidbigcity.com

Buenvenuto al nuovo Eataly!

eataly-aPart of downtown Manhattan’s incredible transformation, the second NYC location of Eataly recently opened their Lower Manhattan location. Located on the beautiful, light-filled third floor of the new World Trade Center 4, Eataly Downtown is a 40,000-square-foot space to eat, drink, shop and revel in an expansive world of Italian food and culture.

An incredible addition to lower Manhattan, the local community, and its visitors.

eataly-bEach Eataly store is dedicated to a theme; an influential person, a piece of history, or an idea. The Eataly NYC Downtown location is dedicated to bread.  Why Bread? Eataly believes that bread truly is “a symbol of community and connectivity” noting that bread is the only food created by man that unites virtually every country and community around the world. By choosing this as their theme – it allows them to have a platform to ‘break bread’ and connect and interact with New York City’s diverse population with discussions about culture and foods from around the world.

eataly-cUpon entering Eataly, guests are greeted with a gorgeous table display of featured bread that’s waiting to be discovered. Behind the display is a map entitled: “Global Bread, a Common Thread” highlighting 196 countries around the world and their representative bread. Each month the downtown Eataly location invites bakers form all over the world to the store to highlight, share, and celebrate their breads through demonstrations and tastings. Eataly will also produce and showcase their own bread made in house on a rotating calendar. From the specialty bread options, daily creations, and an entire counter of sweet and savory focaccia sensations, Eataly has officially risen as the bread destination of Manhattan.

As one of his all-time favorite foods, Lil Kid couldn’t wait for his bread adventure.

eataly-dOf course there is more than bread at this amazing Italian emporium!

Education is a key element of Eataly’s philosophy, and they believe “The more you know, the more you enjoy.” This philosophy continues through the store, as Eataly invites you to learn more about their food, chefs, and producers of the food. From signs and educational material on the walls, pasta making “shows” and chefs creating products through open kitchens and large glass windows – there’s something for everyone to enjoy, especially any inspiring foodies, big or small…

For an even more in-depth exploration – Eataly has a “Foodiversita” on site, a daily free food “university” open to all ages. The Foodiversita encourages guests to play with their food through live demos around a large communal cooking table.

With endless options to explore, our foodies were ecstatic for the tour.

eataly-eOur tour started in the market, exploring the fresh vegetables and fruits. The produce department at Eataly Downtown is one of the first areas of the market to greet guests. Many of the fruits and vegetables are seasonal and local.

eataly-fChecking out the on-site “vegetable butcher” who will chop, clean, prep, and help with recipe suggestions along with the vegetable purchase. Love how they offer to prep all fruits and vegetables for guests. Couldn’t be easier to be healthy!

 

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A quick stop at the Juice Bar to start the tour!

 

eataly-hA delicious green smoothie for energy to start the big foodie day.

eataly-iCan’t be chefs for the day without the proper attire!

 

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eataly-jbNext – the fresh pasta counter, and a visit to Mark Healey, Head Chef of Fresh Pasta and Bakery!

While guests are always invited to watch the chefs from the open kitchen create pasta by hand – our foodies were inside the kitchen to meet the talented Pastai (fresh pasta makers) and watch them transform ingredients to create pasta right before their eyes.

Mark showed the foodies how to add fresh ingredients into the machine to help create the noodles.

eataly-kSpaghetti noodles were being made when we arrived!

All pasta is made by the in-house pastai who knead, roll, and shape the dough by hand. Today – we had the opportunity to see how they use machines to assist in making certain shaped noodles such as spaghetti.

eataly-lAfter – the foodies were able to discover the fresh noodles in hand. Such an experience to see how the pasta is created!

eataly-mNext – our foodies were able to visit  Chef Mirko Maioli at the piadilla counter.

eataly-nOne of the many breads highlighted at Eataly Downtown – piadilla is a popular Italian street food, consisting of local vegetables, meats, cheeses, or sweets layered onto a simple flatbread of freshly cooked dough. This Italian street food staple is typically served from carts in the towns of Italy.

Chef Mirko showed our foodies how the flatbread starts as a hand-rolled ball of fresh dough. He gave the children some dough to help roll. “Feels like playdoh!” Love how the children attribute the joys of cooking to play. Cooking and discovering foods should be fun!

eataly-oAfter, Chef Mirko placed the dough balls into a machine where it is flattened into a circular, even shape. This is then placed into the fryer for cooking.

eataly-pAfter the piadilla has cooked – it’s time to add ingredients. Today a sweet treat – the foodies will be able to create a Nutella Pizza!

Lil Kid loved spreading the Nutella across the dough.

eataly-qBut tasting is the best part!

eataly-rMore Italian adventure this way!

eataly-sNext – the foodies pulled up a chair and watch the talented pizzaioli (pizza chefs) at La Pizza & La Pasta Restaurant. Eataly downtown has teamed up with Rossopomodro, a Napoli based pizza company to create Neapolitan pizza using generations-old techniques and practices.

The talented pizzaiolis were slinging dough to the delight of customers…

eataly-t…and even gave our foodies a chance to try their skills as well!

eataly-uAfter, the pizza is cooked Neapolitan style in a 900-degree wood burning oven. Being that the oven is at such a high temperature, the pizzas cook in only 90 seconds! How incredible (and delicious!).

eataly-vNext – it’s time to get baking!

eataly-wThe foodies were invited into the heart of the bread bakery.

eataly-xAll breads are hand-made in house in their large industrial kitchen.

Lil Kid was amazed at the scale of this large mixer inside the bakery. The chefs explained that this is where they mix the large bulk dough lots for the breads they create in store.

eataly-yWhat a treat – the foodies were allowed to create their own flatbread with the help of the talented team.

eataly-zFirst, kneading and rolling the dough. The chefs explained that you need to continually add flour to keep it from sticking.

eataly-zaAdding sauce and ingredients!

eataly-zbInto the oven it goes!

Lil Kid had the opportunity to place his flatbread directly into the oven himself!

eataly-zcThe final product!

eataly-zdFor their last foodie adventure – a stop at the “Foodiversita,” a daily free cooking class open to all ages. The Foodiversita encourages guests to interact and learn about cooking through live demos around a large communal cooking table. No registration is needed for these classes that take place

 

eataly-zeToday’s cooking class adventure – fresh pasta noodles from scratch! Earlier with Mark Healey, Head chef of Fresh Pasta and Bakery, the foodies watched a machine make pasta. Now, the foodies get to try making pasta by hand!

 

eataly-zfMixing all the ingredients together to create the dough was fun (and messy!) The foodies helped crack an egg and combine with the flour mixture. After – we kneaded the ingredients together to create a ball of fresh dough.

 

 

eataly-zgNext, we placed the dough into a small pasta machine to create the noodles. The machine helped to perfectly flatten and cut the dough into strips.

eataly-zhHow amazing!

eataly-ziSuch an incredible day. Grazie e a presto Eataly! We thank you, and can’t wait to visit again soon!

Eataly Downtown will help to bring the farm experience to New York City as a participant at the Farm Fresh Festival for Kids! On Saturday September 17th, Lower Manhattan will transform into an interactive and experiential farm environment for kids and families. The Seaport District will come alive with the sights, tastes, play, and harvest of a farm through fun discovery zones stationed at the festival. Eataly will be part of Tastes of the Farm, where kids will gather for hands-on cooking demonstrations, and to cook together with chefs. The talented chefs from Eataly will be on hand for a Bruschetta demonstration! Ciao bello!

Find more information on the upcoming Farm Fresh Festival, and Eataly HERE.

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