Friday, September 2, 2011

Follow Fridays: #Shopping

The beauty of being a food-lover is that there is always something to shop for and literally always something you need: food! But paired with those raw ingredients are the cookbooks, food memoirs, tableware, flatware, and the aisles and bins of kitchen appliances and tools. Dangerously for me many of my favorite places to shop for all these items are active tweeters. And fortunately, most of them are willing to lend a hand to check if something is in stock or in season before I make my way to their store or call to place my order. 

These are my crème de la crème of places to shop so I suggest checking them out not only on Twitter but on their websites or in their stores/markets as well. My Follow Friday (#FF) sources for #Shopping: 

@omnivorebooks - Somewhere amid tweets, retweets and new followers I learned about Celia Sack and her wonderful store (which I've yet to visit). Omnivore Books is a culinary book store in San Francisco. A bookstore filled with books on food? How could I not love it. Celia also specializes in antiquarian and collectible food/cookbooks she collects from multiples places, travels and encounters. Her shop is also the hub for book signings by chefs, food writers and gastronomic enthusiasts.  Every tweet about a great book event makes me consider moving west more and more. She has become my source for signed cookbooks for friends and for myself. This month I'll be ordering the Chez Panisse 40th Anniversary book, signed by Alice Waters, for keeps. I can't wait to get to SF someday to meet Celia and browse Omnivore's full inventory! 

@kalnyc - My very first culinary bookstore and source for cook books and food writing is NYC is of course Kitchen Arts & Letters. I'm not sure how many months passed until I realized just how close I have always lived to Nach Waxman's shop on Lexington Avenue. My belief is fate made me call the Upper East Side home, just to be close to the store. In the past year the store, or rather Matt, has started tweeting. It was a joyous day for me when @kalnyc joined the Twitterverse! Now I get to peep when chefs stop-by the store, when new shipments arrive and tips on what to read. Matt is also very helpful for checking inventory and holding items for me because I don't get out of work until just before they close during the week. Currently you won't hear much from them, the store closes for vacation for a few weeks each summer. Set to re-open September 6th. 
Don't miss my coverage of their excellent book sale they had this spring: Kitchen Arts & Letters Book Sale! 

@fishseddynyc - I love books but dishes, glasses, special spoons, fun mugs and stunning cake stands all hold an equally special place in my heart. Fishs Eddy is this amazing little shop by Union Square chock-full of bright, fun and beautiful kitchen wares. Their tweets are always tempting and it is very easy to get lost while browsing their website. Shopping there and looking around on line make me yearn for the day when I have a house to fill with things like this deep blue pitcher or these pretty pink tea cups. Just try to look on their site without finding something you feel a cosmic connection to and must have immediately. Lucky for us they are expanding and to move some inventory during construction are having a great sale. No matter where you are in the country (or world!) you can get your hands on their unique goodies.

@potandpantry - Pot + Pantry is this little boutique in San Francisco (another place on my list) that sells unique housewares, cookware and lots of vintage kitchen items. Run by Donna Suh Wageman her carefully collected collection is full of little treasures. You never know what you might find and can shop some of her store online. For a while I had my eye on a pair of gorgeous gold-rimmed bowls but they sold before I committed- so if you see something you love, get it because things move quick! Donna also writes a blog for the shop which I always find interesting and entertaining, add her to your Google Reader. For great vintage kitchen and other sweet things Pot + Pantry is the best source.

@bowerykitchen - Bowery Kitchen is a chef's paradise located in a food-lover's heaven. Setting up shop in the formidable Chelsea Market this kitchen supply store has everything you could ever need at excellent prices, plus they now serve lunch! The store's Twitter account is not very active but from time to time they will chime in with some good happenings like this tweet about Iron Chef. When shopping with my mom during the New York City Wine & Food Festival we spotted Chef Miriam Garron, Bobby Flay's right-hand woman. You can shop from them online as well, they just require a minimum order of $25 (clearly a non-issue). 

@williamssonoma - Does Williams-Sonoma even need an explanation? When I was compiling my "Where To Shop: Kitchen" list you all said how much you love Williams-Sonoma, so surely you are no stranger to the lusciously laid out and carefully stocked stores. Follow their Twitter account for updates about in-store events and Twitter-chats about chefs, food and cooking. If you're not following them already, but you love shopping there, now you can!

@unsqgreenmarket - My last three places to shop are all about the ingredients. Union Square Greenmarket is one of my favorite places in all of New York State! So much fresh local food all in one spot and only three express subway stops from my neighborhood. Follow them for tweets about what's newly in season, what's unique, cool events and any schedule changes (especially from specific farmers). A great account to follow even if you don't/can't shop the market.

@nycgreenmarkets - NYC Greenmarkets is the Twitter account for all the other amazing greenmakets this city has to offer (with the exception of @GAPGreenmarket in Brooklyn). For a while Grow NYC was starting to create Twitter accounts for each of their other 64 greenmarkets but finally streamlined them all into @NYCGreenmarkets. Follow them for schedule changes, market updates and local food information. 

@fairwaymarket - Yes, Fairway is a grocery store. Yes, I love Fairway! Especially now since there is one just a few blocks from my apartment. For all the things I can't find at the greenmarkets or can't afford to buy locally I head to Fairway. It is a vast wonderful temple of cuisine but I do my best not to buy too much or get roped into buying their produce over my local farmer's produce (easy to do when I see some of their apples came from Australia when I could get one from within 200 miles). So, if you live near a Fairway and you love it, I'd follow them on Twitter, otherwise just hope someday you have one of your own! 

Next Week (and Final Week of the Series): #FF #Favorites
Not following me on Twitter yet?: @culinarylibrari

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