Batter & Cream's Elizabeth Fife Explains the Whoopie Pie

It was during her time in an investment banking role helping startup companies launch when Batter & Cream (86 West 12th Street, 917-496-4947) founder Elizabeth Fife realized her own entrepreneurial ambitions. "I think that kind of planted the seed," she says. "I quit my job and I started baking, purely because I love to eat -- desserts in particular."

The idea for whoopie pies came in later, when Fife realized the pastry's potential for novelty in an already sugar-saturated city. "Cupcakes and cake pops were stalling," she recalls. "I thought, why not the whoopie pie? It's such a better version of the cupcake." After incessant experimentation and a successful trial run of a pumpkin spice and cream cheese combination at her boyfriend's birthday party, Fife opened up shop in the West Village last September. She sells 15 whoopies in regular and mini offerings, including a monthly rotating flavor (April's was Earl Grey Whiskey). Here, we chat with the banker-turned-baker about why old is new again, her minimalistic approach in the kitchen, and why cupcake enthusiasts should consider this throwback treat.

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PDT's Jim Meehan: "You Get Out Of It What You Put Into It"

Jonathan Mannion
In this interview, PDT's (113 St. Marks Place, 212-614-0386) Jim Meehan reveals his stance on trends, why he wants you to order from the menu, and where he plans on drinking next.

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Thousands Win Develops a Beer-y Way to Improve the Environment

Thousands Win co-founders Julian Hensarling and Caleb Freese

After 20 years, it was bracelets and boulders that reunited kindergarten friends Julian Hensarling and Caleb Freese: The pair ran into each other at a Brooklyn rock climbing gym. "Julian came up to me, and we were both wearing bracelets from Bierkraft, which is one of our favorite bars," Freese says. "It was kind of odd that both of us would put Bierkraft bracelets on separate of each other."

The chance encounter set in motion a beer-related business partnership; a year later, the duo started to work on Thousands Win, an urban farm brewery and rooftop hop farm.

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La Newyorkina Founder Fany Gerson: "I'm The Anti-Pastry Pastry Chef"


While most of her contemporaries were concerned with opening a restaurant, pastry chef Fany Gerson had another goal. "Most friends and colleagues I have in the industry had dreams of having their own business," she says. "Mine was to write a cookbook." The Mexico City native and Culinary Institute of America graduate did just that in 2010 with My Sweet Mexico, an ode to the sweet offerings of her upbringing. That same year, she debuted La Newyorkina at the Hester Street Fair, where she began selling a selection of paletas, Mexico's frozen, on-the-go treat that would become her calling card and the focus and namesake of her second book, released just one year later.

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Owney's NYC Rum Founder Bridget Firtle: "The Cool Factor Is Exponential"

Owney's via Facebook
Before The Noble Experiment NYC founder Bridget Firtle was measuring the chemical compositions of water suitable for distilling, she was analyzing stocks at a hedge fund as a global alcoholic beverage analyst. "I learned a lot about the market and brand development and watched what was starting to happen in domestically distilled spirits again and about the proliferation of the so called craft spirit producers," she explains. "I just became way more excited in what I was watching than what I was doing."

After a lot of thought, the finance major and Binghamton business school graduate decided to swap out her desk for a distillery. She launched The Noble Experiment in January 2013, where she concocted her first spirit: Owney's NYC Rum. Here, we chat with Firtle about the country's first ever distilled offering, why we should all consider the daiquiri, and about the very influential bootlegger that inspired the spirit's moniker.

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Clover Club and Flatiron Lounge Owner Julie Reiner: "There's No Faking It"


In this interview, Flatiron Lounge (37 West 19th Street, 212-727-7741) and Clover Club (210 Smith Street, Brooklyn, 718-855-7939) owner Julie Reiner reveals her go-to cocktail, predicts what we'll be drinking next, and weighs in on the bartender/mixologist debate.

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For Great Macarons, Says Thomas Keller Pastry Chef Sebastien Rouxel, Respect the Craft

Deborah Jones
Macarons from Bouchon Bakery
Thomas Keller Restaurant Group executive pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel received an early introduction to the culinary realm. "My aunt used to own a restaurant, so I spent a lot of time there," he explains. "I was very attracted to the environment and felt comfortable there." At 16 years old, he took on a pre-apprenticeship at Les Jardins de la Forge in Champtoceaux before landing a pastry chef role at age 20 at Mess De L'Elysée, where he served France's president.

A move to the United States and a couple of bicoastal restaurant experiences (L'Orangerie in L.A. and Lutèce in New York) led him to The French Laundry, where he spent five years as a pastry chef before moving to New York for the opening of Per Se. In addition to overseeing the pastry program at all of Thomas Keller's restaurants, Rouxel manages the retail offerings at all of the Bouchon Bakery (10 Columbus Circle #3, 212-823-9363) outposts -- right down to the macarons. In honor of Macaron Day, we chatted with the Loire Valley native to get his thoughts on the trials, successes, and future of the colorful bite-sized pastry.

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"No Sissy Drinks:" Catskill Provisions Marries Honey and Rye Whiskey

Catskill Provisions
Before Catskill Provisions founder Claire Marin started working with bees, she wanted to work like them. "I was very much taken by their work ethic and how it's a one-for-all type of society," she explains. "When I managed sales teams, it was my goal to make us more like a beehive so that we could be more efficient and supportive of each other."

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Where to Buy Hamantaschen for Purim

Categories: Chatting With

Thumbnail image for breadshamantaschen.jpg
While much of the city is gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this weekend, tomorrow also marks the beginning of Purim, a Jewish holiday of charity and feasting. And you must, of course, eat hamantaschen, the three-corner pastries most traditionally stuffed with poppyseeds, to celebrate Queen Esther and Mordechai, who foiled Persian Grand Vizier Haman's plan to slaughter the Jews.

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Raines Law Room Head Bartender Meaghan Dorman Loves Drinking Her Dessert

Raines Law Room head bartender Meaghan Dorman
In this interview, Raines Law Room (48 West 17th Street) head bartender Meaghan Dorman chats about her fondness for rich flavor profiles, Champagne cocktails, and Campari.

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