Wednesday, June 26, 2013

THE SECOND ISSUE HAS ARRIVED!

LOVELY READERS, WE ARE SO THRILLED TO SHARE OUR Second Issue: Summer Abundance Issue! Brimming with vibrant content, bursting with color— this is the place where creativity and compassion converge. We have compelling profiles on future luminaries like our amazing cover star Clara Polito, who at only sixteen years old is already leaving an indelible mark on the world with her vegan bakery Clara Cakes and her passionate activism. Style and substance come together in our first-of-its kind stunning 8 page feature on vegan and ethical fashion, styled by Joshua Katcher. And we continue to showcase the most brilliant discoveries in everything from food to beauty. Of course, as always, we dig deeper with uncompromising features on animals. Like the photo essay and exclusive narrative from groundbreaking photographer Jo-Anne McArthur— for the first time in print, including never-before-seen images from her archives. Contributors like renown author James McWilliams return with spectacularly thought-provoking essays.

Clara Polito Clara Cakes Laika

We get invited into the homes and lives of paradigm-shifting trailblazers like triathlete and Vega founder Brendan Brazier, who shares his lifelong expert knowledge on wellness; and Chef and restaurateur Makini Howell of the celebrated Plum Bistro who gives us an inside look into her signature cuisine. We travel around the country to bring you the most fascinating stories from activists, some who are raising their kids vegan, and others who are declaring their compassion in the form of tattoos.

And that’s just the beginning! With nearly 20 pages more content than the Premier Issue, we have the most innovative and exciting subject matter in the vegan community covered. Made with love, from the heart, this issue is a bold declaration of the limitless possibilities of compassionate living and the abundance of sensory enjoyment that it holds for everyone.

We hope you love our Second Issue: Summer Abundance Issue as much as we loved making it! It will be arriving to our subscribers in the first week of July and hitting newsstands soon after that, and is now available to order on our site! Stay tuned for extras, outtakes, and behind-the-scenes videos. We’re so thrilled and grateful to have you along for this ride!

Cover photographed by Sylvia Elzafon

Clara Polito feature “Girl Wonder” photographed by Joel Barhamand

Fashion feature “Summer Fling” photographed by Balarama Heller

“Philly Flavor” photographed by Hannah Kaminsky

 

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

LAIKA IN YOUR TOWN: NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

DEAR FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS, after a lot of hard work we are a nationally-distributed magazine! Woo-hoo! You can find us everywhere, from NYC to Oregon to Kentucky and even Germany. Please see the full list below. Grab our Premier Issue while it’s still on stands— it’s a Collector’s Edition. And coming to those locations in just a few short weeks is our Second Issue!! We are so excited and can’t wait for you to see.

ARIZONA
Crescent Tobacco Shop
200 E. Congress St.
Tucson, AZ 85701

Crescent Tobacco Shop
7037 E. Tanque Verde Road
Tucson, AZ 85715

CALIFORNIA
Skylight Books
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Viva La Vegan
9456 Roberds St
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91707

Issues Shop
20 Glen Ave.
Oakland, CA 94611

Paras News
3911 30 St
San Diego, CA 92104

Newsbeat
514 Third St.
Davis, CA 95616

COLORADO
Magpies Newsstand Cafe
707 Main Ave.
Durango, CO 81301

Nooch Vegan Market
336 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205

CONNECTICUT
Foodworks
450 Boston Post Road
Guilford, CT 06437

Foodworks
1000 Boston Post Rd,
Old Saybrook, CT 06475

WASHINGTON, DC
Capitol News Room
1803 Connecticut Ave, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

Metro Center News
1200 G St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005

FLORIDA
Bob’s News & Books
1515 South Andrews Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

ILLINOIS
Quimby’s Books
1854 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

City Newsstand
4018 N. Cicero,
Chicago, IL 60641

Cady’s
210 N. Lafayette,
Macomb, IL 61455

INDIANA
Book Corner
100 N. Walnut St.,
Bloomington, IN 47404

KENTUCKY
sQecial Media
371 S Limestone St,
Lexington, KY 40508

MARYLAND
Atomic Books
3620 Falls Rd
BaltImore, MD 21211

MASSACHUSETTS
Newsbreak
53 Popes Island
New Bedford, MA 02740

Red Lion Smoke Shop
94 Washington St.
Salem, MA 01970

NEW YORK
Around The World Fashion Publications
148 W. 37 St.
New York, NY 10018

Bedford Exotics
195 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Bouwerie Iconic Magazines
215 Bowery
New York, NY 10002

Gem Spa Newsstand
131 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10003

Global News
22 8th Ave
New York, NY 10014

Lafayette Smoke Shop
63 Spring St.
New York, NY 10012

Magazine Cafe
15 W. 37th St.
New York, NY 10018

Moo Shoes
78 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002

N.N. News
317 6 Ave.
New York, NY 10014

Pratt News & Magazine
477 Myrtle Ave.
Brooklyn, 78 Orchard Street
New York, NY 11205

Times Square News
362 W. 42 ST.
New York, NY 10036

OHIO
Little Professor Books
65 S. Court St.
Athens, OH 45701

Cincinnati Fountain Square News
101 East 5th St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Bank News
4025 Clark Ave
Cleveland, OH 44109

OREGON
Book Bin
450 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301

Rich’s
820 SW Alder St.
Portland, OR 97205

Herbivore Clothing
1211 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 9721

PENNSYLVANIA
Avril 50
3406 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

TEXAS
AAA News, Inc.
1500 West Stassney Lane
Austin, TX 78745

Andrew’s News
4016 E. Belknap St.
Fort Worth, TX 76111

WISCONSIN
Booked Solid
7035 W. Greenfield Ave.
West Allis, WI 53214

INTERNATIONAL

GERMANY

do you read me?!
Auguststraße 28, 10117
Berlin, Germany

 

 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

IN THE KITCHEN WITH: JAY ASTAFA

NEW YORK CITY’S CULINARY SCENE got a jolt of refreshing creativity last week. It came in the form of a two day preview of jay kitchen— the much-anticipated vegan fine dining restaurant concept from Chef Jay Astafa. Over the length of the sold-out popup, eight courses consisting of 650 platings of intricately-prepared dishes emerged from the kitchen of The Old Bowery Station on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Highlights included the King Oyster Mushroom Scallop, which left diners awestruck; the Spring Crostini Duo— bursting with delicate flavors and textures; the Smoked Cauliflower Steak, which flawlessly united seven unexpected ingredients; the creamy House-Made Cheese Plate, with its precise balance of  sweet and savory; the Grand Marnier Infused Chocolate Tart— practically a work of art. At the conclusion of the popup, Jay affably greeted each table of diners. The ability to remain cool and collected under tremendous pressure is challenging for even the most seasoned of chefs. It comes as a big surprise, then, that not only was this Jay’s first foray into an event of this scale, but that he is only 20 years old. “I’ve never done an eight course menu, so I really didn’t know what to expect,” he told us when we spoke to him recently. “That was more plates than I have ever plated and cooked during a dinner service.” The kitchen team consisted of just a handful of people— including Jay’s mother, and the popup’s talented pastry chef Dani McGrath, who has been collaborating with Jay since 2011.

Jay first burst on the scene four years ago when he created the vegan menu at his father’s Long Island-based pizzeria, 3 Brothers Cafe . Its unparalleled authentic vegan offerings quickly made it a destination restaurant for diners from the city. Now a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, Jay has taken a brave step forward away from the familiar. With his jay kitchen restaurant concept, he is helping to usher in a new era of haute cuisine— one that reinvents the format altogether, putting “vegetables center stage,” as Jay explains it. The young chef is planning on opening his restaurant by the end of 2013. To get to know him better, we decided to ask him 8 questions— one for each course of his popup…

What sprung forth your vision for jay kitchen?
I started developing a NYC vegan restaurant concept about a year and a half ago. For the past year I’ve been looking for locations but didn’t really have an exact detailed concept until now. My concept changed so much over the past year. Now jay kitchen is a chef driven vegan fine dining restaurant that focuses on modern technique and local and seasonal ingredients. I want a restaurant that can compete with the local foodie restaurants. I decided to do the popup version first, because I wanted to see if my concept would work in the fierce NYC dining scene.

Everything went so smoothly during the popup, but was there anything crazy going on behind the scenes?
The craziest and scariest thing was the ravioli course! Cooking over 250 raviolis a night on an electric hot plate was a difficult task. The water took forever to boil! The kitchen was all electric and didn’t have a professional gas stove. We cooked everything on induction hot plates. With a limited kitchen, my amazing kitchen team and I somehow managed to do it successfully. The ravioli course turned out to be everyone’s favorite.

Putting the pea in the spotlight— a deliberate homage to those underrated, flavorful little gems?
Vegetables are just so fun to work with. Most chefs just disregard vegetables and focus on meat, meat, and more meat. How boring and uninspired! It’s 2013, and vegetables are the new meat! When I was coming up with the menu for the popup, I wanted to give vegetables a chance to shine, something they don’t often do at restaurants. I used peas a lot, because they scream Spring! My favorite dish with them is the Crostini with Sorrel-Mint Pesto, Green Peas, and Cashew Parmesan— Spring in a few bites.

And what was the development behind the Dragon’s Breath Popcorn— lengthy scientific trial and error, or a magical accident?
I had seen the technique in a video of a trendy modern restaurant, where guests would eat the popcorn dipped in liquid nitrogen and smoke would come out of their mouths. I just had to do this too, it worked perfectly with my (overall) concept. I also really wanted to work with liquid nitrogen! I like to make dining fun and an experience for people. It’s actually really simple to make, it’s all about the liquid nitrogen. You “fry” the popcorn in the liquid nitrogen and it gets frozen. You have to eat it really fast to get that fun smokey dragon breath!

Tell us a bit about your creative process.
It really varies. I typically think of ingredients I want to focus on, and build a dish from there. I am always challenging myself to do things that I haven’t done before. I love cooking in season, because everything is so fresh and delicious. I strive to create flavors that people don’t usually expect can be vegan. For the pop up menu, I made a lot of homemade vegan cheeses. I did it on purpose to show people that, yes, vegans can eat cheese too, and there is no excuse for dairy cheese. Also I really like taking vegetables and using them in a different way. An example are king oyster mushrooms, I transformed them into scallops and topped them with balsamic caviar. I’m inspired by modern techniques too, it’s something you don’t see at a lot at vegan restaurants.

Michelin-starred chef you’d like to challenge to a vegan cook-off and why?
I would say Gordon Ramsey! I watch all his shows, even though he doesn’t always say the nicest things about vegetarians. I would love to see what he comes up with. I don’t know if he has a Michelin star but I would really like to challenge Anthony Bourdain too. I want to show him what vegan fine dining is all about, and maybe he’ll change his view towards vegans!

What inspires you?
My inspiration is being vegan. I went vegan when I was 15, and it’s the best thing I ever did for myself, the animals, and the world. Going vegan inspired me to become a chef, and show people you don’t need to harm animals to create amazing food! I’m a voice for all those animals who can’t talk, no animal wants to be turned into your dinner. I’m so tired of seeing and hearing about restaurants that focus on animals products. It’s time for a change in the world!

And finally, in honor of your age- 20, and your speed in the kitchen- tell us your food philosophy in 20 words or less!
To create a fun gourmet dining experience that doesn’t harm animals and doesn’t sacrifice on flavor!

Learn more about jay kitchen and Jay Astafa on:
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Photographs by Hannah Kaminsky for Laika Magazine

Written by Julie Gueraseva