From the outside looking in you wouldn't know it, but Minneapolis has a thriving hip-hop scene with deep roots.
Amanda Zantal-Wiener is a writer, editor and strategist. She is the owner of Amanda Zantal-Wiener, LLC, a creative consultancy that works with clients to curate content, produce events and create on- and offline marketing presence. Prior to earning her MBA from San Francisco State University, she worked as a creative consultant for six years in Boston, Massachusetts. Her restaurant reviews, travel pieces, recipes and other work have been featured in City Living Magazine, Boston Herald, Examiner.com, offMetro and Organic Authority.
From the outside looking in you wouldn't know it, but Minneapolis has a thriving hip-hop scene with deep roots.
It's high time to bust through the kitchen's glass ceiling. While this list is just a start, these are some of the most badass female chefs in the five boroughs, women who are obliterating stereotypes and influencing the national culinary landscape.
Jaded east-coasters don't typically have a ton of knowledge on the Wisconsin city of Milwaukee. In fact, very few of us end up in the region at all. With the exception of a trip to Chicago for work (or deep-dish pizza), we generally stick to one coast or another, complaining about the cold and poking fun ...
Food, they say, is a family affair. We celebrate around it, we mourn over it and, in many capacities, it's just simply how we gather. That's certainly the case for Sylvia Burgos Toftness, owner of Wisconsin farm and ranch Bull Brook Keep, and her daughter, rapper Dessa.
Weight Watchers just can't seem to catch a break. It's a downward trend that, as someone who once lost 20 pounds with and worked for the company, I face with mixed emotions. Is an uncontrollable string of bad luck to blame for this demise, or did Weight Watchers simply have it coming?
Blame it on Brooklyn. Blame it on hipsters. Whoever's at fault, it's undeniable that "everything old is new again." If nothing else, there's one trendy throwback that we can definitely get behind: Home cooking. We're not the only ones, though. Just ask the likes of a young farmer named Lucas Brownback.
Over the past decade, something interesting has taken place in the Midwest. All ears, it seems, are on Minneapolis, as the city earns its title as a major birthplace of indie rap artists. It's home to the upwardly mobile, self-described "hip-hop collective" Doomtree, who once was seen as a best kept secret of middle America.
I find myself, in recent days, listening to an unusual amount of techno and dubstep; not because I'm particularly fond of either one, but rather, because I'm audibly reliving my memories of WeWork Summer Camp. It's true: I'm a grown woman suffering from summer camp withdrawal, and I'm not alone.
Anyone who's arrived at Tampa International Airport as their final destination knows that the drive from there to, well, anywhere, is a visual treat. The ride to Clearwater Beach, for example, is an automotive cruise through the Bay, with vast stretches of water on either side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway, dotted with restaurants, taco stands and beach bars that are practically huts licensed to serve beer in buckets.
I slept very poorly last night. While I know better than to check Facebook during a bout of insomnia, it's still one of the most common reactions: One that does nothing to aid sleeplessness. That's especially true for someone who, like myself, spent many years in Boston, and whose Facebook feed is currently overrun with posts about Deflategate.
The Mandarin Oriental hotel is redefining luxury with a twist of sustainability in Las Vegas. Prior to one's first visit to Las Vegas, the recommendations are clear, and the expectations high. Go nuts. Go dancing. Gamble. Drink...a lot. The phrase most commonly attached to the city is practically a household name: "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
To say that there has been a generational uptick in food fascination is not exactly news. The media has certainly taken note of the phenomenon (see Eve Turow's "Generation Yum," for example), and so has everyone else, from Netflix to the entrepreneurial community.
Back in 2011, when I was a wee lass who had just been accepted to business school, I attended a panel discussion titled "Sales with an Impact: The CSR Advantage in Consumer-Facing Businesses" at Boston's Simmons College.
So. Being famous now equates with being a business owner, I see. At least, that's the impression I get from all the artisan/high-principled/my-shit-smells-like-roses celebrity websites popping up. Remind me to trade in my MBA for some bleach and a boob job. Oh, for fuck's sake, Reese Witherspoon. I thought you were cool.
Fashion Week has always been viewed as a competition among designers to "out-weird" each other. In Silicon Valley, clothing label Betabrand is clearly the latest winner. This morning, when I arrived at work, I clicked on a link to read a Business Insider article titled, "This fashion brand used drones instead of models at their runway show in Silicon Valley."
As a half-Greek person, I can identify with confidence two things that we take more seriously than life itself: Our food, and...well, actually, maybe there's only one thing. After all, my relatives have been known to yell at strangers for pronouncing "gyro" as "juy-roh". There are no two ways about it: Don't mess with Greek food.
While they may not say so, most people visit Hawaii in order to heal. Different words might be used: "relax," or "escape." They're all synonymous, though, with the fundamental idea of healing. It only seems fitting that the islands are home to ho'oponopono, an ancient ritual of forgiveness and conflict resolution.
West Elm, at the moment, will not find many fans in Brooklyn thanks to its 'Made in Brooklyn' snafu. Under fire for its "Made in Brooklyn" line of products, the retailer was recently outed for misleading consumers with products that, in reality, are not produced in Brooklyn.
In business school, I was unofficially dubbed the "Resident Baker" of my MBA program. It was my favorite stress-busting activity: Filling biodegradable takeout boxes that I had purchased at a restaurant supply store with the cookies, bars and other sweets I made when I should have been studying data analysis.
Following the path of cotton from field to suit, Laura Kissel's documentary "Cotton Road" sets out to explore the fashion industry's previously elusive supply chain. "Americans consume nearly 20 billion new items of clothing each year," reads the opening on-screen caption, followed by the statistic: "98% of it is manufactured overseas."
A funny thing happened on my birthday this year. Rather than taking the day off to get spa treatments and eat cake, I had the privilege of viewing a presentation delivered by Josh Lee, a.k.a., "Farmer Josh," the co-founder of Green Top Farms: A Queens-based urban farming company that grows and distributes salad greens to New Yorkers.
Once upon a time, there was an interior designer named Robin Wilson. In 2005, everyone called her "The Green Queen": A title she neither liked nor wanted. "Especially now, when you see things being called 'green,'" Robin says, "and it's just a marketing term." Instead, she says, "It's got to be eco-friendly."
On a cold, rainy Sunday in January, dozens of New Yorkers seek refuge under the roof of lower Manhattan's City Winery: A bright, open event space decorated with wall-to-wall antique bottles, exposed brick, wooden pillars and sparkling glassware.
Since January 1, I have taken two enormous steps along the road to responsible adulthood: First, I launched a new business and, while some of my loved ones questioned the responsible nature of that decision, it felt like progress. Not long after that, I procured and installed a mini-bar for my apartment.
It's no secret that consignment shops can be fashion gold mines. "Is that a Dolce&Gabbana dress for $75?" Yes, dreams can come true. But beyond the wallet-friendly style porn of such establishments, the conversation is turning to the eco-chic side of vintage.
I'll admit it. I'm a lifelong resister of flu shots. Several weeks ago, my stubbornness bit me in the ass: The flu found me, and nothing seemed to be making me feel better. When I finally sought the advice of my dear friend and brilliant nurse practitioner, her instructions were simple: "Whiskey makes everything better."
Compared to the recent luck of the American Northeast, the weather for London Fashion Week seems positively balmy. Perhaps the envy-worthy temperature of 48°F (for this cold New Yorker, anyway) is best attributed to the hot looks found on the runway over the past week.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the era of fashion tech. It seems that there's a dedicated startup community to every industry. With wearable technology rapidly permeating popular culture, it's no surprise that fashion has become an active player in the world of small, emerging businesses.
When seeking the latest and greatest in mobile fashion apps, it appears that every major designer is downloadable. Forbes, Mashable and Harper's Bazaar, among many others, have all ranked their top picks for browsing trends on the go and, well, when Chanel has an app, everyone else is sure to follow.
General Motors is making noticeable efforts to break away from the "your-grandpa's-car" notion previously attached to its name. It has done so, in part, with its production of 4 electric cars, which will totally redefine how you think of clean fuel vehicles.
In recent years, General Motors has not had the best luck with its PR. These days, the words most commonly associated with GM fall along the lines of "bailout," "bankruptcy" and "recall." There are a few more words, however, with which the brand is working hard to become identified: "fuel efficiency" and "green."
What makes a pizza a pizza? Why, it's all in the pizza crust. And that, of course, starts with flour. I grew up in a town called Potomac, Maryland: A sleepy suburb of Washington, DC that's better known for ostentatious mansions, collagen, and being home to "Mad Men" actor Ben Feldman, than it is for its scant restaurant selection.
Anyone even remotely familiar with the E! network knows the amount of preparation celebrities put into Academy Awards. And we, as shiny-things enthusiasts, eat it right up, with plenty of clamor about red carpet appearances. The unique costumes found in this year's Oscar-nominated movies, though, have us feeling the love for the outfit choices of on-screen characters, too.
Love it or hate it, February 14th is upon us. With so much annual hype, it seems like the help of a professional is required to come up with any unique Valentine's Day ideas. That's why men and women across the country seek romantic advice from Thomas Edwards, a.k.a., The Professional Wingman.
Stefanie Sacks, culinary nutritionist and author of "What the Fork Are You Eating?" makes one thing very clear: "Not being an idealist is okay." In fact, during a Q&A hosted by the James Beard Foundation at the National Gourmet Institute earlier this month, she identifies herself as a "moderationist," sharing what many audience members perceived as the most reasonable approach to healthy living they had ever witnessed.
At first glance, Foodstand appears to merely be an app: One where foodie Instagrammers can post without the backlash that so often comes with repeated photo updates of their lunch. In fact, Foodstand serves more as an incubator than it does as an abstract mobile platform, fostering New York area food startups with a mission to change the way the city eats.
Stella McCartney is a long-time favorite here at EcoSalon. Whether it's her vegan products or her extensive charity involvement, Stella is, without question, one of the biggest names in ethical fashion. Her latest line is no exception.
There is a widespread phenomenon known to foodies as "kitchen porn": The fanciful, whimsical imagery of pristine kitchen design ideas such as islands, appliances and storage systems, found largely on Pinterest boards or in he pages of magazines.
Looking for a craft beer up to the task of keeping you warm and cozy this winter? A panel of five very cold, thirsty New Yorkers was recruited to put five such craft beer selections to the test. Winter is proof that all humans experience, to some extent, mild amnesia.
When an entrepreneur launches an enterprise, the work is ceaseless. The hours are infinite, the investment is colossal, and the return - only at first, for the lucky ones - is minimal. Entrepreneurs are passionate. Sometimes, they're tired and, after speaking with several of them, it's clear that entrepreneurs are hungry.
Food culture is experiencing a rampant expansion, both in the restaurant space and at home. Spend any Friday night channel surfing, and no less than five cooking shows are guaranteed to appear on-screen. This public prevalence is inspiring home cooks, made evident by a search on keywordtool.io for the word "recipe."
Obviously, that is rattling the people in residences that are at present underwater, which means that the balance of the mortgage within the home outdistances the market value of your property itself The major selling point of this credit rating facility is they are given to you personally to meet
Three things are sure to result from a trip to the Hawaiian islands: A strong urge to never leave, a fierce tan, and an obsession with all things coconut. This quintessentially tropical fruit fits well in Hawaii, not just because of the matching climate, but because it parallels the islands' penchant for natural cures and cares.
Gluten-free baking, when done well, is looked upon by some as art even finer than the Mona Lisa. Many of us have experienced the worst of it, from cupcakes with the density of a sponge to cookies with the flavor of sidewalk chalk.
Living in New England for several years instills a certain amount of denial. For example, a snowstorm on the first day of spring frequently yields a unique array of coping mechanisms, such as inappropriate footwear (read: flip-flops at 36°F) and obscene amounts of money spent on tropical destination travel.
Back in March, we told you all about the seventh wonder of the supermarket: The bulk aisle. Its eco-friendly, money-saving glory are not to be passed upon when shopping for organic, dry goods. And now, spice lovers can rejoice, too! Your favorite seasonings, from cinnamon to paprika, are also available in bulk.
When you first walk into the W Boston, you feel exclusive. Employees clad in all black, sleek leather furniture and silk curtains fill the hotel bar as downtempo beats waft from the speaker system. The scene is very isolated from the traditional quaint label applied to New England.
I'll admit it. I love the movie Mean Girls. And, with Halloween 2011 upon us, a particular line is recurring: "Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can... just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears."
Spring: It's a word that traditionally invokes images of flowers blossoming, birds chirping and many glasses of wine being enjoyed outdoors. It's also a season associated with fresh, vibrant foods that some of us have gone without for months; a time to say "goodbye" to hearty soups and "hello" to energizing dishes and the refreshing wines that go with them.
Who doesn't love stories about resourceful high school girls who made their own prom dresses? Not out of fabric, mind you, but out of gum and candy wrappers, or duct tape. They've been applauded for their creativity, but what of their sustainability?
Historically, there have been some pretty bizarre party themes. "A Redneck Birthday," "A Pimpin' Christmas" and even an "Anything But Clothes" party has been thrown. But one event that people don't always think to celebrate with a party - creatively, nonetheless - is Earth Day. That's about to change.
Gift-giving. Menu-planning. Traveling. And, of course, spending time with family: Actions associated with the December holiday season. As a result, "drinking" is often associated with it, as well. We've already covered a plethora of organic wine and beer selections to keep you calm and comfy through your times of cheer.
Want a break from nightmarish traffic this summer? Mix up your road trip with five offbeat stops en route from NYC to Cape Cod. Whether it's a snack, some retail therapy or even a gift for your pet, these quaint New England destinations are sure to make any drive speed by.
There are certain corners of the universe where, despite even the most valiant efforts, the dry skin epidemic cannot be eradicated. Though the official figures are unknown, it's no mystery that dry skin plagues dozens - perhaps even hundreds - of innocent victims every winter.
Not long ago, I vacationed in Oahu for the same reason many people do: To relax. As a fan of the now-syndicated Lost, I joked with friends prior to my departure about the "healing power" of the Hawaiian Islands. In the end, however, I got more than respite: I got an education.
There's a great deal of talk about sustainable beverages here at OA. Organic wine, beer and even vodka make frequent appearances on the site, commonly accompanied by a seasonal dish. But there's one type of liquor that hasn't been seen around here too often: Tequila.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome May: A month that unofficially marks the beginning of summer, the period of perpetual outdoor activity, grilling and, for the luckiest, romance. Here at OA, we always like to find the best ways to mix the Earth's business with much-needed pleasure; what better mash-up than the hottest season of the year and a love affair?
Summer is prime for finding the best frozen yogurt. And with many retailers boasting natural options, you can feel good about your dessert. But how many of these frozen yogurts are really "all natural"? And do you have to sacrifice taste for the right ingredients? Fear not: We've done the research for you.
San Franciscans, as a rule, are very happy people. With an unseasonably warm January, it seems that, these days, the city's lifestyle allows for little complaint. It was during my most recent visit there that a taxi driver concisely summarized the widespread contentment: "It's because we get to go outside, we get to eat good food, and we know that life is good.
Labels can cause confusion for even the most discerning of consumers. "All-natural," "organic," "non-GMO"; a handbook of keywords and acronyms is practically required to find the most genuine products. This label-induced uncertainty often reaches its greatest height when it comes to discovering organic wines, a task we've already deemed tricky.
The day began innocently enough. There you were, minding your own business in the natural foods grocery store, with no plan other than buying a pint of blueberries. But then, you found yourself in the bulk food aisle and, next thing you knew, you were standing in your kitchen, speechlessly staring at two-pound bags of rolled oats, dried cherries and almonds.
East Coast natives have a fairly skewed perception of the Midwest, one that is filled almost entirely with tumbleweeds and acres of farmland. While the former may represent reality, it doesn't always parallel the overall community-oriented impression of the Midwest. Most of that farmland is owned by corporations, not families, and their operations are anything but locally focused.
If you ask Jim Collins, he has great things to say about organic farming and winemaking. He defines it quite concisely: "To be an organic grower, your focus is taking out synthetic chemicals from your operation," he states. Of course, in his vineyard, he strives to do that.
"That's the craze now: Farmers markets." The words were uttered by Bob Marshall, owner of Marshall's Farm and Marshall's Fenway Farm Stand, as he sat in his modest back office of the latter. "I'm from the old school that if you're going to have something once a week," he asked, "why not have it seven days a week?"
November's entrance indicates many events: Thanksgiving, the official start of winter and, as a result, a lawn covered with colorful, fallen leaves left behind by autumn. The fate of foliage was once left to nothing more than a rake or a leaf-blower. For those with children, a pile of fallen leaves can provide hours of active entertainment.
Once upon a time, there was a food blog...
It's been a rough week for New Englanders. After the humiliating loss by and dismissal of the Red Sox longtime manager, the past few days have had we Bostonians and our neighbors keeping our heads down and mumbling obscenities.
This Earth Month, our thoughts turn away from the skyscrapers and cherry blossoms and out towards the Pacific Ocean, where one of the greenest states-in both its color and sense of sustainability-is calling. From Honolulu's budget-friendly island-wide bus system to the Oahu natives' efforts to keep Hawaii's landscape lush and protected, visitors to the islands will discover the beauty and benefits of an environmentally-aware vacation.
It's like our favorite bedtime story: Once upon a time, there was an eco-friendly winery that grew organic grapes in a certified organic vineyard, producing tasty, organic wines. And, we all lived happily ever after. But we know better than that.
When Bostonians are asked about the Beehive, they look upon it as a full embodiment of South End Chic: An exquisite quintessence of an artsy, perpetually up-and-coming neighborhood. It's one source of Boston's finest cocktails, a contemporary jazz bar and an ideal locale to rub shoulders with the city's Bohemian upper crust.
Bostonians are serious about three things: the Red Sox, a driver's right-of-way and, oddly enough, Italian Food. In fact, many within Beantown have a Kanye-West-Inspired motto: "Hey New York, I'm real happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Pizzeria Regina in the North End has the best pizza of all time!"
When people first learn of my combined Jewish and Greek heritage, the general response is along the lines of, "Holy mother of food." With such an overflow of Mediterranean influence, though, the reality is much more, "Holy mother of olive oil."
Meet Chris Lindland, Founder of online-only sustainable clothing company Betabrand, and inadvertent do-gooder/comedian. This holiday season, Betabrand is serving up eco-friendly gifts for biking commuters, farmers market enthusiasts and, well, anyone with a sense of humor. Read more about how Betabrand reached the intersection of nerd and organic culture, perhaps by accident.
Last week, we brought you organic tequila. This week, it's vodka's turn. After scouring the streets, web and bar scene, we've discovered five highly acclaimed organic vodkas and paired each with a delicious summer cocktail recipe. Throw in some earth-friendly lighting alternatives and sustainable, summer dishes; these libations are sure to create the most popular eco-chic parties of the season.
For many, the idea of leading an organic lifestyle is associated with a lack of affordability. Premiums placed on organic produce by higher-end retailers, for example, cause some shoppers to stray from products labeled as such. But there are ways to be a sustainable consumer without breaking the bank, starting with a lesser-known practice called Integrated Pest Management.
Something's been different about everyone's disposition these last few days. Perhaps it's the louder chorus of birds chirping. Maybe it's the sight of ubiquitous greenery. Or, it could just be May, the calendar's indication that summer is looming. Summer - the season of the BBQ, the farmers market and the ultimate outdoor beverage.