The T Record: 5 Issues We Suggest This Week

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Chifa, a culinary tradition that incorporates elements of Cantonese and Peruvian cuisine, developed in the 19th century when Chinese immigrants to Peru used local ingredients to customize their dishes. The word, which is derived from Mandarin-Chi-Fan (literally “eat rice”; figuratively “come to the dining table”), is also an abbreviation for every Chinese restaurant in Peru. In the 1970s, Wendy Leon ran such a restaurant in Lima, which was particularly sought after for its braised spare ribs. Now, 45 years later, she is resurrecting it – with the help of her children Humberto and Ricardina Leon, and Ricardina’s husband, John Liu, the head chef – in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, right next to Highland Park, where the family moved in 1977 Lima. “We are all obsessed with food and held large gatherings prior to Covid. It was great to examine this in a work context, ”says Humberto, who came up with the interior of the room with architect Michael Loverich. It is decorated with green and black wallpaper (designed for Calico) with a pattern that reflects wood grain, sculptural green velvet chairs, and marble tables with scalloped edges. Humberto was primarily a fashion designer and also designed the uniforms for the employees: “An interpretation of the American barn jacket of the 90s with Chinese fasteners and the deep pockets of a housework jacket,” he says. Chinese and Peruvian dishes are juxtaposed on the menu, including Wendy’s famous ribs, pollo a la brasa, Dan Dan noodles, and an ever-changing recipe designed to combat sensitivity to environmental factors like pollen and pollen Smog called Popo’s wellness soup, “Popo” is a common term for maternal grandmothers in parts of China. “Even my kids call my mother that, which doesn’t make sense,” says Humberto. Chifa is currently taking takeaway orders, 4374 Eagle Rock Boulevard, Los Angeles, chifa-la.com.

Margaret Mangan and her husband Julian Checkley founded the Irish perfume house Cloon Keen in 2002 in the hope of “conjuring what it means to come from that little nation that had such an impact on poetry, music and literature. “ With fragrances like Róisín Dubh, a smoky rose scent named after a 16th century love song that became a political anthem, Mangan hopes to perfume “the oppression and rebellion, romance and determination” of their homeland into bottles. The mark will continue to sell a selection of its perfumes and candles from its original store near Galway Bay, but starting this month A new dedicated one is opened Place in Dublin, in the limestone Powerscourt Townhouse Center. Checkley, who designed the quiet interior of the shop, was inspired by Carlo Scarpa’s Brion Cemetery Chapel and the “dive curves of Ducati motorcycles”. If you’re lucky enough to pay a visit before the holidays, the brand’s Noble Fir candle is the best evergreen version I’ve seen. 59 William Street South, Dublin, cloonkeen.com.

Just before writer and curator Su Wu and her husband, artist Alma Allen, moved into their new home, a former 1920s theater in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood, they learned that it was once the residence of writer William Burroughs was – and possibly where he was killed his second wife, the poet Joan Vollmer, in 1951. Wu later discovered that the incident actually took place in a bar around the corner, but as a tribute to Vollmer, she wanted to fill the space with a spirit of vitality and creativity. To this end, she opened Casa Ahorita, a temporary shop and gallery on the ground floor of the building, this fall. The room is lined with simple pine shelves and concrete plinths and filled with handcrafted housewares and art objects – made of bronze bookends by the Oaxacan ceramic master José García Antonio to bright orange spherical sheepskin cushions by Elise Durbecq from the Huaraches shoe line – which Wu commissioned from artists she knows. “Something I return to often is the best advice I’ve ever heard for a young writer, which is to write about your love for your friends,” says Wu, as she approached the project. “This is really an excuse to get in touch with some of my favorite people.” Casa Ahorita is open by appointment at Orizaba 193 in Mexico City.

Amanda Brooks, owner of the Cutter Brooks boutique in the English countryside, has worked with them Paris-based designer Michaela Buerger wears a range of unique wool sweaters inspired by Tracht, the traditional folk clothing that Buerger wore in her little south Austrian village. The designer mastered the challenging local knitting techniques that her mother had taught her at a young age. before studying with Raf Simons at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. After graduating, Buerger moved to Paris, where she launched her namesake line in 2010 with little more than a pair of knitting needles and some yarn. Brooks became a fan of Buerger’s work after being inspired by the Alps Knitwear in a showroom. “Michaela’s early designs were kind of a modern take on traditional sweaters, and I loved them. But for my shop, I wanted them to be more traditional, “said Brooks.” So I found some original pieces and showed them to her, and she got the wool and buttons and developed the pattern herself. “These hand-knitted Felizitas wool vests and Rosalie cardigans, which each take around 35 hours to make, are decorated with embroidered and crocheted rosebuds, available in cozy, fun colors – burgundy, green, charcoal, cream and more – and add a touch of the mountain -Chic (and warmth) to your vacation. cutterbrooks.com.

Like John Grimes, the 14-year-old protagonist of James Baldwin’s 1953 debut novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, I grew up in the heat and passion of the Pentecostal Church. My family and I gave our souls and hearts to Jesus. We prayed for those who did not know Christ and for our own souls that we would not lose our hard-won faith. We haven’t danced or listened to secular music. When I read Go Tell It on the Mountain when I was 19, I found that Baldwin had written an account of my young life. Baldwin himself grew up in the Pentecostal faith and was a preacher until he was 17 when he left the Church to become the man he was meant to be. I grew up in Philadelphia in the 1980s, decades and hundreds of miles from the Grimes family’s Harlem apartment in the 1930s, but on Baldwin’s pages I found every inarticulate anger, my chafing at the limits of this church life, mine Shame and my pride – all illuminated on its pages. I also found the weirdness of my family’s religion – that feeling that sin was everywhere and like an enemy huddled at the gates. T’s Book Club is a series of articles and events dedicated to classic works in American literature. Read Mathis’s full essay about the novel here – and RSVP for a virtual conversation about the book on December 17th here.

For over 20 years, Beatrice Tosti di Valminuta and her husband Julio Pena have been turning guests into followers in their Trattoria East Post, Il Posto Accanto. When times are good, the restaurant seats 45 guests at its long, polished wood bar and a handful of tall tables where people linger for brunch until four in the afternoon. When the weather is nice, the French doors to the sidewalk remain open. Indoor guests are limited in light of the pandemic, but there are additional tables on the street and a protected area with electric heaters. It’s a place with such spectacular food that people come from all over the place to try Tosti di Valminuta’s spaghetti carbonara, linguine vongole, finely seared anchovies, mussels with Tuscan cannellini beans, saltimbocca, eggplant croquettes, Roman style tripe and almond cake Mascarpone Gelato. It’s a place, says Michael Gilsenan, a regular, “to be a member of the ward in the Church of the Perfect Cook.” And Tosti di Valminuta is firmly convinced that she is actually a cook, not a cook, by which she could mean that food and love are inextricably linked in her world, that she was at the market and that she prepares the dishes as she does would do it in her own house. Read Reggie Nadelson’s full story here – and follow us on Instagram.

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