Six Things To Check Out at the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival

New Jersey has food festivals all throughout the year. Some feature the best wines and beers. Others showcase delectable desserts or the freshest produce. From barbecue to seafood, New Jersey food is worthy of being celebrated. However, sometimes it is not just the food but the manner in which it is prepared. This is why the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival is such a great event for the whole family.

If you have never heard of the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival, then let these six facts whet your appetite.

1. The venue. As with any food festival, the venue for food truck events is critical. There needs to be plenty of space for all the vendors, which is why the Monmouth Park racetrack is such a great choice. Located in Oceanport, the track first opened in 1870. Over the years, it has changed ownership numerous times. The track has a diverse history, hosting numerous races including the Champion Stakes and the Monmouth Cup. Today, its most popular racing event is the Haskell Invitational, which is a test run for three-year-olds. The track is one mile in length, which is perfect for a range of race types. While this venue is best known for its racing, it also serves as a fantastic gathering point for other events throughout the year, including the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival. At Monmouth Park, there is plenty of room for all the trucks and countless visitors. Guests can peruse all the dining options and easily find a place to sit and mingle while they enjoy their food.

2. The time. The popular Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival expanded into a three-day extravaganza in 2014. Relying on a long weekend, the festival now offers three full days of food and entertainment. This not only gives the vendors more time to prove their prowess, but it gives guests the opportunity to pick and choose their weekend schedule. Some guests may pick one day to come and experience the tastes, but others may capitalize on the extended time frame by coming back every day. This way, it is easy to try as many vendors as possible without getting too full. The 2014 event  took place over Memorial Day weekend, offering three days of good weather, good times and good food.

3. The music. The food alone may be enough to attract visitors. However, it is the entire ambiance that makes this festival a worthwhile weekend retreat. Live entertainment goes throughout the weekend, featuring various performers. The festival has no problem attracting local favorites like After the Reign, which is one of the most popular New Jersey country bands. In addition to this local flavor, the festival is drawing bigger names on its lineup, including upcoming country hit Austin Webb, who performed at the festival in 2014. Webb is a growing presence on the country scene, having made his debut on the Grand Old Opry in 2013. Musical stylings will vary from year to year, but it is clear that the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival is more than a single-note experience for those who attend.

4. The food. While there are many things to enjoy about the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival, it really all comes down to the food. These vendors make a living selling food, so it is no surprise that they serve very good food. Fortunately for visitors, with so many trucks represented at the festival, there are endless possibilities for every snack. Trucks include Mary Queen of Pork, Red Hook Lobster and Taqueria Autentica. Try some pizza at Enzo’s Pizza, or get a hot dog at Max’s Famous Hot Dogs on Wheels. Other options include specialty stops like Oink and the Moo BBQ and the E&S Original Steak-n-Take. More general offerings can be found at The Morris Truck, Five Sisters Catering, Four Boys Concessions, Jersey Johnny’s Grill or Ahh! La Cart.

5. The dessert. After a satisfying meal, there is always room for something sweet. The good news is that the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival has no shortage of dessert options in addition to its range of main course selections. The options include everything from fresh desserts at Amanda Bananas to delectable treats at Chimney Cake Factory. For a specialty cupcake, the Cupcake Carnivale is the perfect stop. There are also cold desserts at Kona Ica and Hoffman’s Ice Cream. Many other trucks have dessert options on their menus, which means there is a refreshing dessert for every person in attendance.

6. The competition. The Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival is not just a gathering of all the best food trucks in the state. It is a competition to determine the very best of the best. With so many food trucks represented, there is no better venue to judge the range of food truck options. A panel of deserving judges is gathered each year, sampling a range of dishes to determine which truck stands out from all the rest. These judges hold food trucks to high standards, considering the taste, quality and presentation from each truck. As an added perk, visitors are also allowed to vote in a People’s Choice contest, which lets visitors highlight their favorites.

With so much going on, it is clear that the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival is one that shouldn’t be missed. Interest has grown substantially in this unique event, and each year has been more impressive than the last. From the venue to the music, from the dinner to the dessert, this festival is likely to be a favorite for years to come.

Good Food on the Go: Five Tricks to Find the Best New Jersey Food Trucks

Food trucks have not always enjoyed the best reputation. In the past, these trucks offered a quick but often bland meal at a fair price. Today, however, food trucks are taking things to the next level. Food trucks are not just about quick food but good food. In fact, New Jersey is rapidly attracting some of the best chefs on the road in the entire New England area. With this growing number of options, there has never been a better time to start considering a stop in the street for your next snack.

However, the best food trucks are rarely stationary for long. These trucks often travel from one spot to the next to reach as many consumers as possible. So it can be tricky to find the best trucks when your stomach is starting to rumble. To enjoy the best food trucks in New Jersey, do a little advanced planning before seeking out your meal. To make the most of your meal time, use these five handy tips.

1. The right time. Food trucks plan their routes carefully in order to maximize their selling potential. Because of their unique capabilities, food trucks will not have structured hours of operation. It is difficult to know exactly when they will be open, which can make meal planning that much harder. However, it is possible to make some logical assumptions about the hours of operation. Food trucks are going to be most active starting just before the lunch hour. They are likely to be found over the course of lunch, but they may also be open in the afternoon and through dinner. In fact, some food trucks may even operate through the evening hours for night owls. This is especially true on Fridays and weekends, when more people are up late and want a quick bite to eat.

2. The right city. Time is only one factor. You may be ready to eat, but you still may not have much luck finding a food truck to indulge your taste buds. The problem is that food trucks, while mobile, can only go so far. Most food trucks stay in larger cities where there is increased foot traffic to support higher sales. In New Jersey, this means towns like Newark and Hoboken are most popular with these types of vendors. However, Jersey City and Montclair are also common sites for food trucks. While these cities are your best bets for a food truck, growing demand has enticed vendors start to branch out, which means more cities are seeing these trucks on the food scene. Progress has been slow but steady, but it is still a good idea to research the city before planning a meal on the go.

3. The right location. Knowing the best cities is only part of the battle. Within any given city, there are countless locations where a food truck might be present. In order to maximize your potential of finding one, think carefully about the popular areas in town. Food trucks are often going to be in downtown areas, where there is plenty of shopping, business and other foot traffic. These trucks rely heavily on passing pedestrians, so they will plan their stops accordingly. Major parks are also quite popular since these locales provide suitable parking space for these trucks to operate. Food trucks may also group themselves. While having other trucks in close proximity does increase the competition, it also attracts more customers, which can be a positive for all trucks in operation.

4. The right communication. Because food trucks are mobile, most of them do not have standard operating procedures. This means that the food trucks may not have a website or other traditional advertising methods. After all, food trucks are not in the same place and do not have standard hours of operation, which can make advertising especially difficult. However, food trucks are still finding ways of connecting with customers. The key is for interested customers to know where to look. One of the best ways to stay in contact with the best food trucks is social media. In New Jersey, a growing number of truck vendors utilize Twitter to let customers know where they are. This type of communication is perfectly paired with the food truck industry. It is concise and allows for instant updates, alerting customers as to their location during any given day. While it may be impossible to plan ahead for food trucks, Twitter communication can alert you when the truck is in the right area, ensuring that you do not miss out on your perfect meal to go.

5. The right tastes. Food trucks offer a wide range of food. If you want a juicy burger, there are food trucks that make them to order. If you crave hearty Greek fare, there are vendors that can serve up a gyro on the go. There are options for Chinese, Italian, fried chicken, sandwiches and more. No matter what your tastes may be, there is undoubtedly a food truck to fit the bill. In fact, food trucks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with more options for cooked-to-order meals. To enjoy a food truck, be sure to stay open to the possibilities and try something new the next time you come across a vendor.

With a food truck, it is possible to get good food in less time than it takes to order at a restaurant. Whether it is your daily lunch or a special snack, food trucks are a great choice in New Jersey. Use these five tips to find your next meal.

A Year of Food: New Jersey Food Festivals for Every Month

The seasons can show a dramatic turn in New Jersey, but despite the drastic weather changes from summer to winter, there is always one constant in the Garden State: good food. New Jersey has some of the best cuisine in the United States, and there is never a bad time to celebrate that. In fact, hungry residents can find a food festival at any time of the year to appreciate the full palate of food offerings in this New England state.

1. Winter Wine Festival. Raise a glass to the new year with the Winter Wine Festival. This event, held in January, offers a warm refuge from the New Jersey cold. The festival is held in Egg Harbor City and features the best wineries in the state. Guests can mingle with the winemakers, making this a unique opportunity to make connections and satiate those taste buds. In addition to the fine selection of wines, the event also features winter crafts and food, making this a comprehensive winter getaway.

2. The Big Brew Beer Festival. Those who love a good brew can get a hearty pint full in Morristown’s popular festival, where there are more than 200 tastings available. In addition to sampling brew from the area’s many local microbreweries, visitors can venture out and taste what  some of the larger, regional breweries have to offer. Some people find February to be a difficult month, but this festival is sure to be a winter hit no matter what the weather may be outside.

3. Celebrity Food and Wine Show. This show appeals to all the senses with rich wines, delicious food and enlivening music. This two-day event features three distinct sessions, each lasting four hours. During this time, guests can appreciate a variety of experiences, ranging from a stage show to a cooking competition. The highlight of the event is the Grand Tasting, which has samples from numerous local wineries and restaurants. Guests can attend at the Clinton Inn in Tenafly.

4. Jersey Shore Restaurant Week. There is always good food to eat in New Jersey, and there is no better way to celebrate the restaurants that help make the state famous than Jersey Shore Restaurant Week in April. The week features a fantastic selection of well-priced meals, which can be catered to individual preference and budget. Participating restaurants will offer specials throughout the week, making this a great time to get out and enjoy the best eateries along the Jersey Shore.

5. Annual New Jersey State Chili & Salsa Cook Off. Add some spice to your May by attending this annual contest. Although the focus is the cooking, there is something for everyone at this extravaganza. Participants from around the country are invited to come and share their best chili and salsa. For those who do not want to get their hands dirty, there are other opportunities to get involved. There is family fun, live music and lots of good food to taste. This spicy spectacular takes place in Toms River.

6. West Cape May Strawberry Festival. Be sure to visit the Strawberry Festival in West Cape May. This annual June event celebrates local fresh strawberries. At this sweet celebration, strawberries come in all forms, and guests are encouraged to try everything from strawberry shortcake to chocolate-covered treats. In addition to the berries, visitors can indulge in seafood, barbecue and kettle corn. As if that is not enough, the event features live entertainment and vendors, making this an event perfect for the whole family.

7. Annual New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival. July is a hot month, but the Annual Ice Cream Festival is a great way to stay cool even when temperatures are high. Everyone is invited to enter, putting forth their best ice cream for the masses to taste. Guests in attendance are invited to try as many flavors as possible to determine the best ice cream in New Jersey. In addition to the tasting, guests can enjoy rides and other entertainment in Toms River.

8. West Cape May Tomato Festival. As the fall approaches, the harvest is ready to come in. Tomatoes are perfectly ripe for the picking, which is why Toms River hosts the Tomato Festival in late August. While in attendance, guests can enjoy the best of New Jersey’s produce. There are other food options available, plus vendors from around the state selling everything from handmade jewelry to stained glass.

9. Jersey Skyline Wine Festival. With summer coming to a close, it is time to settle back down at the Jersey Skyline Wine Festival in Ridgefield Park. This festival takes full advantage of a magnificent view of the New York City skyline as a backdrop to an upscale wine tasting event. Many notable wineries from across the state are represented since the festival is promoted by the Garden State Wine Growers Association. Guests will enjoy the best wines with the best view in September.

10. South Jersey Pumpkin Show. Get festive in the fall with the South Jersey Pumpkin Show. Local farmers can enter the Big Pumpkin Weigh Off. Guests will appreciate fun attractions like the Largest Baked Pumpkin Pie and the Little Miss Pumpkin Show. Live music and local artisans make this fall festival a must for the whole family. Admission is free in Woodstown.

11. Home for the holidays. While it is great to get out and about with so much fine dining, November and December are well suited for a relaxing time at home. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, there are family traditions aplenty. If cooking is a bit more than you want to deal with, many restaurants run catering specials throughout these months, making it easy to create a tasty festival of your own.

Three Must-Visit Wine Festivals in New Jersey

Like most people, Amir Landsman enjoys food and wine in the comfort of his own home, but one of the best ways to experience such treats is with a wine festival. These carefully planned events are organized to feature fine wines and delectable treats, offering guests a range of tasting experiences to tantalize their taste buds. Fortunately, New Jersey is a great destination for such refinement. If a wine festival sounds intriguing, there are many options to consider. Start by learning about the three following popular events.

1. The Winter Wine Festival. Although the weather outside may be cold in February, the atmosphere is warm and inviting at the Winter Wine Festival. Hosted at the Hilton Short Hills Hotel, the Winter Wine Festival is an evening of music, food and wine. The wine list features over 150 options, all carefully chosen by the revered Wine Library. This lets all guests try their favorites while also ensuring that everyone has the chance to experience a new taste. In addition to the wine, there will also be an array of succulent food available with hors d’oeuvres, pasta, cheese, breads and more. Specialty food vendors will be on hand with a fresh selection of nuts, pate, chocolate and more. The night includes two wine classes for exclusive tasting, and cool jazz music will be performed live to create the perfect atmosphere.

2. Montclair Food and Wine Festival. Wine tasting appeals to high-end culture, which is why the Montclair Food and Wine Festival is such a smart choice. Hosted at the Montclair Art Museum, the Montclair Food and Wine Festival takes advantage of the artistic background, giving guests access to all the galleries and both floors of the museum. While the atmosphere is already unparalleled, the wine is provided by Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, ensuring that the selection is diverse and tasteful. There will also be food provided by a number of the best restaurants and vendors from across the state. The festival also includes multiple classes, which vary from year to year. Some options have included making pasta, cooking with clams and more. Dates will vary, but the Montclair Food and Wine Festival is usually a spring event.

3. Wine and Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend. For a decadent experience, the Wine and Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend is the perfect destination. This event is hosted during multiple weekends in February, giving guests different chances to participate. While wine trails are not uncommon, adding chocolate into the mix certainly makes the experience that much more memorable. The trail is put together by the Garden State Wine Growers Association and features various wineries throughout the state. Different trails are available by region, giving everyone the chance to participate without traveling too far. The event lasts from noon until 5 p.m., and guests are sure to taste a full array of wines and an impressive assortment of chocolates.

Other wine festivals are available throughout the year, but these three options are a great start for wine lovers in New Jersey.

Five Reasons to Check Out the Firefly Music Festival

For the ultimate concert experience in the greater New Jersey area, the Firefly Music Festival is a must for Amir Landsman. This four-day musical extravaganza takes place in Dover, Delaware, and it attracts popular bands of all styles and genres. If you have not attended the Firefly Music Festival before, here are five compelling reasons you should attend it this coming summer.

1. Good music. The primary attraction at any music festival is always the music. In this, the Firefly Music Festival does not disappoint. The festival attracts dozens of big names in the industry. In fact, the 2014 roster is already filled with groups like Foo Fighters, Outkast and the Lumineers. The Firefly Music Festival not only attracts big names, but it also provides a spotlight for upcoming talent in its Treehouse Sessions. These sessions are designed to be more intimate, letting guests get to know the artists for a greater musical connection.

2. Good venue. The music may be the first attribute but it is certainly not the last. The Firefly Music Festival continues to attract big names because it has a great venue for music. The festival takes place at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway. This vast space is 154 acres, including open areas and wooded sections. This fits multiple stages, which vary in terms of size. Some stages are larger for the premier acts while others are smaller for more intimate performances. There are even performances in the Thicket, which is a stage in the woods that creates a truly unique experience.

3. Good food. The Firefly Music Festival spans four days, so it is essential to have good food available. Again, the Firefly Music Festival certainly gets it right. The festival has dramatically improved its eating venue in recent years, ensuring that there is truly something for everyone. Guests can find dining options suited for a wide range of specific dietary needs, including vegan and vegetarian options. There are also plenty of drinking choices, with alcohol served on site.

4. Good deeds. Music is good for the soul, but with the Firefly Music Festival, it is also good for the community. The Firefly Music Festival is produced by Red Frog Events, which has a strong affiliation with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Through this partnership, Red Frog Events has raised $8.5 million for children fighting cancer. The company hopes to raise $25 million for St. Jude, and the Firefly Music Festival is part of that good work.

5. Good experience. Ultimately, the festival is simply a good experience. Many attendees choose multi-day passes, which allows people to come and go as desired. More than that, there are camping facilities available, which can make the festival a four-day getaway. Other amazing experiences include a coffee house, restful hammocks, a fun-filled arcade and so much more.

The Firefly Music Festival is much more than a good concert. It is an amazing musical experience that you will want to come back to year after year.

Exploring Asian Cuisine: Beyond Sushi With Amir Landsman

Today’s food scene treats adventurous eaters to a wide variety of ethnic dishes. Foodies can now find Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Greek and a host of other popular international cuisines in their local restaurants and grocery stores.

Asian foods are of particular interest to amateur chef Amir Landsman, who enjoys experimenting with established recipes to create Korean-inspired dishes for friends and family. Understanding the differences that distinguish one Asian culinary tradition from another can help aspiring chefs and foodies to develop an increased appreciation for these diverse cuisines.

Three Basic Schools

Most culinary experts divide Asian cuisine into three categories:

•  The Northeast tradition includes Chinese, Japanese and Korean foods.

•  The Southwest culinary tradition encompasses Indian, Pakistani and Burmese styles of cooking.

•  Southeast cuisines originate from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore.

Each of these schools can be subdivided according to country, region and ethnic origins and include a diverse mix of cooking styles and ingredient mixes. Rice is a staple in most of these cuisines and provides a striking counterpoint to highly spiced or intricate flavor profiles. In fact, combining disparate flavors into an integrated whole is one of the defining characteristics that sets Asian cuisines apart from most other culinary traditions.

Northeast Culinary Traditions

Historians estimate that Chinese cuisine originated in the 15th century B.C. The later development of Japanese and Korean culinary styles is certainly attributable in part to the influences of Chinese chefs. The ready availability of rice and soy products in these countries also accounted for certain similarities in the basic composition of dishes from Japan, China and Korea. However, diverse cultural traditions and economic conditions led to the distinct differences found in modern versions of these three cuisines:

•  Chinese food is typically divided into four separate subcategories. Szechuan dishes originate in southwestern China and incorporate bold, spicy flavors with plenty of garlic and native chili peppers. The coastal region of Guangdong gave rise to the Cantonese style of cooking and its reliance on sweet and mildly spicy flavors. Fermented black bean sauce and the popular sweet-and-sour sauce are among the characteristic sauces used in Cantonese cuisine. Seasonal fare and presentation form the key elements of most Jiangsu dishes. The most famous of these is probably the sweet braised spare ribs served in many Mongolian barbecue restaurants. Corn and baby corn are used to create Shandong-style dishes and set this cuisine apart from other Chinese culinary traditions.

• As an island nation, Japan has always been dependent on the largess of the sea to feed its people. Rice, fish and pickled vegetables are staples of the Japanese diet. Soba and udon noodles are popular as side dishes or in soups. Fish and soy were traditionally the primary sources of protein in the Japanese diet. The increasing availability of imported meats, however, has led to greater popularity for beef and pork in the Japanese culture. Long considered the iconic symbols of Japanese cuisine, sashimi and sushi are noted for their exquisite appearance as well as their delicious taste. Seasonal foods and meticulous presentation continue to be important elements in the culinary traditions of Japan.

•  Korean cuisine varies from one province to the next, but certain components are found in almost every area of the country. Short-grain rice is generally used as a base for the meal and is accompanied by numerous side dishes consisting of steamed, fried or pickled vegetables and grilled meats. As in other Northeast cuisines, soy products play a large role in adding protein to vegetarian side dishes and in increasing the nutritional value of soups and meats. Kalbi beef is one of the most prestigious food items and is grilled or roasted to bring out the flavor of this expensive indulgence.

Southwest Spice

Indian culinary traditions have been significantly influenced by religious views prevalent within this region. Cows are considered sacred by members of the Hindu faith, the largest religious sect in India. As a result, beef is almost never used in traditional Indian cooking. The religious and philosophical practice of vegetarianism has also left its mark on Indian cuisine: Many dishes combine grains, bean products and spices to create complete meals without the use of fish, poultry or meat.

Influences from nearby Islamic states and Arab nations led to the increased use of poultry and other meat products in the Indian diet. Curries feature a mix of spices designed to complement the flavors of other ingredients, including chicken, duck and vegetable ensembles. Fish and pork are also popular protein sources for Indian cuisine in more prosperous areas. Pakistani culinary traditions borrow heavily from those practiced in India. However, the Islamic religious beliefs held by the majority of Pakistan’s residents allow for greater use of beef in areas where it is available.

Southeast Fire

Vietnamese and Thai cuisines are generally regarded as the most important and distinctive culinary styles in the Southeast Asian tradition. Like most other Asian cooking styles, both Vietnamese and Thai dishes rely primarily upon rice as a base for complex sauces and ingredient mixes. However, the two culinary styles vary significantly in a number of ways:

•  Vietnamese cuisine is based on the balance between five disparate flavor and color elements. While a given dish may focus on just one of these flavors, the goal is to balance all five in a harmonious and integrated meal. Sour elements correlate to the color green, while bitter spices are matched with the color red. Yellow and sweet are paired, as are the color black and the flavor of salt. White corresponds with the spicy elements within a dish. Fresh herbs and produce are among the hallmarks of traditional Vietnamese cuisine.

•  The spicy heat of Thai dishes is combined with sticky rice and fresh vegetables to create the unique flavors present in this culinary tradition. Sweet Thai limes, cilantro, lemongrass and garlic are popular additions to various dishes and are responsible for the characteristic flavor profiles found in many classics of Thai cuisine.

Asian food is not for the weak of palate. Adventurous foodies like Amir Landsman, however, can find much to admire and enjoy in the rich culinary traditions first established in this historic part of the modern world.

The American Drive-In Experience

For Amir Landsman and other movie buffs, the recent spate of drive-in closings marks the end of an era in film entertainment. Many drive-in theaters have been forced to close their doors due to outdated equipment and higher operating costs. Even for theaters with high attendance and eager audiences, changes in the ways movies are made and distributed to theaters have created financial challenges too steep for many theater owners to manage.

Digital technologies have made it easier to create seamless special effects and to establish mood and color control during the film editing process. These advances, however, have also altered the way movies are shown in local venues. Digital images are typically much clearer than those produced by standard 35-millimeter film projectors. As a result, film distribution companies are increasingly unwilling to ship 35-millimeter reels to smaller venues. Instead, they are requiring upgrades to digital projection systems that can cost $70,000 or more. Some drive-in theaters have already closed their businesses because of these new equipment requirements. It is likely that many others will be forced to do so in the next few years.

All is not lost, however. For Nyack residents, the Hyde Park Drive-In Theatre in New York continues to deliver an authentic American drive-in experience for couples, families and groups of friends. By supporting these open-air theaters and helping their owners to weather the financial difficulties associated with these required equipment upgrades, communities like Nyack can ensure the longevity of these classic entertainment options for future generations to enjoy.

Navigating U.S. – Chinese Cuisine

As an avowed foodie and aspiring amateur chef, Amir Landsman has had the chance to explore a wide range of gourmet dishes from all around the world.

Chinese cuisine is traditionally divided into categories connected to the region where these dishes were first created or popularized. In the United States, the most commonly available types of Chinese food include Cantonese, Szechuan and Hunan dishes served with white, brown or fried rice.

Cantonese Cuisine

One of the most popular types of appetizers, dim sum originated as part of the Cantonese style of cooking. Steamed buns, rice rolls and a variety of bite-sized foods are typically included in a platter of dim sum and are served with soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce and hot tea. Cantonese culinary styles focus on clean, bright flavors that may be sweeter than the other two main types of Chinese food served in the United States.

Szechuan Cuisine

Spicy foods and bold seasoning choices characterize Szechuan menu items. Extensive use of hot peppers and pepper oil ensure that diners enjoy the full impact of these traditional Chinese dishes.

Hunan Cuisine

Combining the sweet taste of Cantonese dishes with the spicy appeal of Szechuan heat, Hunan cooking incorporates a wider range of vegetables and meats than the other two varieties.

Interestingly, one of the most popular Chinese dishes may have actually originated in the United States. General Tso’s chicken consists of lightly breaded boneless chicken served with a spicy and sweet sauce. Named after a famous Chinese general, the dish is largely unknown in mainland China despite its popularity in North American Chinese restaurants.

Exploring Korean Cuisine With Amir Landsman

As a dedicated student of world culinary trends, Amir Landsman has had the opportunity to explore Korean cuisine in many different venues. Originally based on grain products that included millet and barley, Korean cuisine changed dramatically with the introduction of rice to the region. Most traditional and modern Korean dishes combine white rice, seasoned and spiced vegetables and small amounts of fish, meat or poultry. Because the extensive coastline of the Korean peninsula ensures that seafood is plentiful, it is a staple of the nation’s diet.

Side dishes are an important element in the traditional Korean meal. These are typically served in small bowls and accompany a larger bowl of steamed rice and individual servings of soup. Kimchi consists of a mix of vegetables, including cabbage, allowed to ferment to create a characteristic tart and salty taste. Other side dishes may feature noodles, steamed eggs or fish, tofu, pork or beef, marinated vegetables and a wide range of chicken-based recipes designed to complement and accompany rice.

Korean beef is often referred to as kalbi and is generally reserved for special occasions due to its high cost. Pork and chicken are more commonly served during ordinary meals and may be grilled on a small tabletop charcoal fire to enhance the crispness and flavor. Meat and seafood portions, however, are often quite small due to the high cost and high demand for these protein-rich foods.

French Cooking With the Five Mother Sauces

Culinary connoisseur Amir Landsman enjoys both eating and preparing a wide range of international cuisine. He’s practiced making the five mother sauces from which many other sauce preparations are derived. Hollandaise, classic tomato, bechamel, veloute and espagnole are generally listed as the five mother sauces and can serve as the basis for Italian, Spanish and French dishes.

Hollandaise

A blend of melted clarified butter and warm egg yolks, Hollandaise sauce can be used as the foundation for creating creamy, silky sauces like Dijon, Mousseline, Bearnaise and Maltaise.

Classic Tomato

Also known as classic tomate, this versatile sauce is used to create a wide range of preparations including Spanish, Portuguese, Creole and Provencal sauces. Based on a combination of rendered salt pork, vegetables, herbs, raw tomatoes, the stock must be simmered for hours to develop the full flavor of these ingredients.

Bechamel

A simple combination of milk, clarified butter and white flour, bechamel sauces are sometimes used as a thickening agent for gravies or in stews. They are the foundation for cream sauces, pourable cheese sauces and mustard sauces.

Veloute

A combination of white stock and roux, veloute sauces can be constructed around veal, chicken or fish stocks. Each type of veloute is best suited to a specific use when constructing derivative sauces. With a few additions, for instance, veal veloute can be transformed into Allemande sauce. Shrimp sauce, mushroom sauce and supreme sauce are all based on a veloute mother sauce.

Espagnole

Espagnole sauce is created using much the same method employed to prepare a veloute. However, the white stock of the veloute is replaced by brown stock for the espagnole. This rich, complex sauce is the starting point for Madeira, port wine and Lyonnaise sauces.

By mastering these five mother sauces, Amir Landsman and other amateur chefs can create delicious French dishes for even the most discerning guests.

Building Business Relationships

For Amir Landsman, establishing lasting relationships with his small business clients has helped him succeed in the financial-services field. His commitment to honesty and integrity in his business dealings inspires confidence and ensures that first-time clients become repeat customers. By being straightforward with current and prospective clients, sales personnel and top executives alike can build a positive reputation within the business community.

 Reliability is also important in creating long-lasting business relationships. His experiences in the sales and marketing field provided him with a comprehensive education in the importance of delivering on promises and ensuring that clients receive the services and products they expect and need. By consistently living up to contractual obligations and customer expectations, company leaders can enhance their standing in the competitive marketplace.

Remaining flexible and adjusting to changing needs in the business-to-business arena can ensure continuing relevance for corporate enterprises. A willingness to accommodate reasonable requests can create good will among long-time clients and can enhance the company’s reputation for excellent customer service.

Finally, making a personal connection with clients and providing mutually beneficial solutions for their problems can increase the longevity of these business relationships. Especially in the financial-services field, providing real value for money is the key to retaining existing clients and attracting new customers. Putting the needs of customers first has allowed Amir Landsman to create a solid core of loyal clients and has ensured his position as a leading innovator in the world of business finance.

The Mission of SHARE Africa

As a financial contributor to SHARE Africa, Amir Landsman is helping Kenyan residents to improve their lives with increased educational opportunities, support for small business ventures and direct intervention for orphans in the Nyanza Province. This area of Kenya is critically underserved by medical facilities due to its remote location near Lake Victoria. The Society for Hospital and Resources Exchange Inc., commonly referred to as SHARE Africa, offers training for medical personnel in this impoverished area of Kenya and provides resources to help residents start their own small businesses.

Nyanza Province has one of the highest rates of AIDS and HIV-positive patients in all of Africa. These individuals have put a tremendous strain on available medical resources in the area and often fail to receive appropriate treatment. SHARE Africa funded and oversaw the construction of a dispensary and clinic in Nyanza Province to serve these patients and provide them with potentially life-saving treatments. The clinic will also provide medical help for other residents.

SHARE Africa also constructs clean water systems to provide fresh drinking water for hospitals. Because clean water is in short supply in Africa, these efforts can greatly improve the quality of life for individuals in Nyanza Province. The organization also provides schools and villages with materials to build pit latrines for improved sanitary conditions and better health. By providing financial support to SHARE Africa, Amir Landsman helps ensure a brighter future for residents in Nyanza Province, Kenya.

Paddle Tennis a Fun Alternative to Tennis

For Amir Landsman, the Nyack Field Club is a favored recreational destination with numerous activities designed to promote fitness and health. Paddle tennis is one of the most popular activities at the club and is a fun and exciting alternative to standard tennis competitions. Landsman enjoys the fast pace of the game and regularly participates in team play.

 Paddle tennis was first invented by Frank Peer Beal in 1915. An Episcopal minister, Beal created the game as a recreational activity for the children in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. Courts for paddle tennis are of the same size and configuration as those used in tennis; however, the ball and rackets used differ significantly. Tennis balls are inflated to a higher pressure and bounce higher than paddle tennis models. Additionally, the paddle used lacks strings and is constructed of solid wood or composite materials covered by graphite. This allows greater velocity and creates greater emphasis on play close to the net, increasing the speed and intensity of gameplay.

During a paddle tennis match, the surrounding fences and walls can be used to create rebound effects and are part of the overall gameplay strategy. Players must serve underhand and may not take a second serve; matches are composed of five sets. For dedicated tennis aficionados like Amir Landsman, the rapid-fire gameplay and net-centric play style of paddle tennis provide a welcome alternative to the more elegant and strategic gameplay of the standard tennis competition at the Nyack Field Club.

Amir Landsman Hails the Return of the Nets to New York

The return of the Nets to New York State and Brooklyn in 2012 was met with excitement and enthusiasm by devoted basketball fans like Amir Landsman. Although the Nets originally played for Teaneck, New Jersey, the team spent nine of its first 10 years in New York and maintained a loyal cadre of fans in the state even after it moved to New Jersey in 1977.

Immediately preceding the move back to New Jersey, the Nets were incorporated into the National Basketball Association (NBA) as part of a merger between the American Basketball Association and the NBA in 1976. This merger proved costly for the Nets; since the New York Knicks were already members of the NBA and were located in the same general area, the Nets were forced to pay $4.8 million as compensation for this purported intrusion into the territory of the Knicks. Combined with the more than $3 million fee charged for admission into the NBA, the Nets were left cash-strapped and unable to live up to their financial obligations to their marquee players. As a result, the Nets lost Julius Erving, the renowned “Dr. J,” to the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1976-77 season.

In subsequent years, the New Jersey Nets experienced mixed success both on the court and off. The move to Brooklyn in 2012 marked a rejuvenation of the team with a strong lineup of quality players and famous names that allowed the Nets to reach the playoffs in 2013. Landsman and other diehard fans expect great things from the Brooklyn Nets in the seasons and years to come.

Amazing Charitable Opportunity

SHARE Africa has also received its share of support and guidance from Amir Landsman. This up-and-coming organization takes a multifaceted approach to mitigating the worst effects of poverty and shielding children and adults from deadly but preventable diseases like malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis. SHARE Africa allows patrons to sponsor orphans, donate to a general fund directly or through sponsored events, and fund specific projects like solar oven development and the construction of clean drinking water systems. With people like Landsman behind it, SHARE Africa has a very bright future.

Pollution Mitigation Through the Blacksmith Benefit for India

Amir Landsman takes his faith in humanity to the next level with his patronage of several noted charitable organizations. One of his favorites is the Blacksmith Institute’s annual Blacksmith Benefit for India event. Although he isn’t the only notable figure who supports this popular event, he has been especially active in spreading the message about the important work that it has done to mitigate pollution in rural and urban areas of India. Thanks to the efforts of Landsman and others, countless New Yorkers now understand the real dangers that the country’s poorest families face from industrial pollution and groundwater contamination.

Understanding the Value of Human Relationships with Amir Landsman

best friend and Amir LandsmanThe time that he spends at Nets games, the Nyack Field Club and Nyack’s tennis facilities highlights a key motivation for Amir Landsman: His overriding belief in the power of human relationships. During his professional career, he has paid special attention to the interpersonal dynamics that define the relationships between employees, clients and managers. As he says, “[Human resource management] is the area where I have the most to give and the most to learn.” In truth, H Capital is all about maximizing the power of honest human relationships, and Landsman looks forward to further honing his personal touch in the future.

A Favorite Place: Nyack Field Club

Amir Landsman's favorite place - nyackfieldclub

While Amir Landsman is grateful for the well-maintained tennis courts that grace his hometown’s public spaces, he’s always looking for a change of scenery. As such, he’s a valuable patron of the well-regarded Nyack Field Club. He loves to practice his tennis technique on the club’s immaculate courts, and he’s a regular on the local paddle ball circuit as well. Since the Nyack Field Club is renowned for its family-friendly policies, Landsman makes sure to bring his children to its grounds as often as possible. When the weather heats up, the whole family can be found lounging by the spacious pool or relaxing on the beautifully manicured grounds.

The Love of Tennis Introduced to His Kids

Amir Landsman isn’t just an avid pro basketball fan. Whenever possible, he takes matters into his own hands on Upper Nyack’s municipal tennis courts. Although he probably won’t be appearing on the pro circuit in the near future, he’s proud of the game that he has put together and relishes a vigorous set or two on mild spring or fall days. More importantly, he has introduced his kids to the game and looks forward to watching their development on and off the court. While golf might be the “game of business,” Landsman knows that tennis is truly a “game for life.”

The Nets Have a True Fan

The Nets’ much-publicized move to Brooklyn has been a boon for Amir Landsman and his family. Although they weren’t averse to catching the occasional game in Newark, they’ve become fixtures at the Barclays Center. In fact, he makes it a point to catch as many Nets home games as possible. And he’s been known to invite close friends to special games as their schedules permit. While he’s a bit upset that the Nets weren’t able to make a deeper playoff run in 2013, he’s confident that their passionate fan base can propel them to a title in the near future.

Avid Supporter of Bluegrass Musicians Everywhere

During his childhood in Israel, Amir Landsman didn’t get much exposure to a wide variety of music. When he moved to the United States, that changed in a big way. These days, Landsman is an avid patron of a plethora of musicians and takes pains to catch big-name acts that perform in the New York area. He also frequents clubs and venues that host local musicians. Although he’s not a regular on the circuit, Landsman has even been known to pick up a guitar and belt out a few riffs on occasion.