So, here’s the truth…We are ladies who LOVE to eat, but we are not necessarily ladies who love to cook. So when a restaurant quality meal is offered to us in the comfort of a cozy Manhattan apartment, we don’t need to be invited twice. We collectively jumped at the opportunity to experience culinary paradise in the home of Personal Chef Jason Ungar of Jason’s Kitchen.
Jason, 32, has been doing catering jobs and personal chef gigs for a number of years. As a self-taught chef, most of Jason’s inspiration comes from his travels, the culture of New York and, of course, the Food Network.
We picked the protein, lamb, and everything else was up to Jason’s creative palate!*
Let’s dig in to the first course: Anson Mills cheddar grit cake, quail egg, crispy chorizo, roasted poblano emulsion.
The presentation was lovely. The grit cake was coated with panko bread crumbs and lightly fried – so they were a very different consistency from typical “southern style grits” and made for a good sturdy platform for the goodness that Jason piled on top! And let’s face it – when is crispy chorizo ever a BAD thing?? The dish was savory and smooth and with a subtle hint of cheddar – really yummy!
SIDE NOTE. Our dear readers should know about how us Foodies In NYC members feel about egg and yolk. Danielle and Christa can slurp yolk through a straw they love it so much! Anne, on the other hand, usually sneers at the sheer mention of yolk. However, this quail egg was the star of the dish -- even for Anne. (“It was like a rich, creamy, buttery sauce that pulled the entire dish together – not at all how I think of yolk!”) (Check out the evidence ). The lesson here -- every once in a while, try food you don’t think you like -- you may end up surprised!
And for our entree: Za'atar crusted loin of Australian baby lamb, kalamata-kissed 'cassoulet' w/ white beans, fennel, and hen of woods mushrooms, with a roasted garlic-lemon-feta cream sauce.
Huge kudos to Jason for cooking the lamb to perfection! From what we are told (from those who cook), lamb is a tricky meat….very easy to overcook. NOT the problem here. Perfectly medium rare medallions of tender lamb sat atop a delish cassoulet (or bean “stew” with fennel and “hen of woods” shrooms). This dish was topped with the bliss that was the roasted garlic-lemon-feta cream. The sauce was so amazing – that we all took a last lick of the spoon before Jason sent the remainder of it sadly down the sink. Sigh………………..
Last was a very special treat from Marcy’s Morsels, a brand new boutique chocolatier based in Manhattan. (Note, we at Foodies in NYC firmly believe that no matter how full you are, there is always room for a little dessert, after all, it’s a totally different compartment.) Marcy’s signature chocolate is the Crispy Cluster -- a ball of dark chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow and rice cereal. The Clusters are little tiny confectionary contradictions: they are sweet, but not too sweet and crispy – but also creamy thanks to the peanut butter! The Clusters came individually packaged so it was like opening a sweet, delicious little present!
Marcy’s Morsels are made to order and make a great treat for any gathering!
So in sum: we came; we ate; we loved. Thanks Jason (and his fabulous wife Randi) for an incredible evening!
*Note: FINYC subsidized the cost of all food!
To have Jason Ungar come cook for you – contact him @:
To order from Marcy’s Morsels – contact Marcy @: