new york

Afternoon Delight

Last week I began to visit a local bakery called Bakeri a little more then I would like to admit. I can't help myself though. From their delicious cortado's and yummy chocolate chip peanut butter cookies they have me hooked. Not to mention their interior and exterior is divine. I almost feel like I have stepped out of NYC and into Paris. In New York not a lot of places have back patios to relax on. When I found out that Bakeri did I have kind of escaped there this past week. I observed my surroundings..whether it would be beautiful people, or the birds chirping..it was just soothing.  
 
During school we had an assignment to photograph 36 strangers in all different kinds of lighting conditions. It was how we learned to use a flash for a DSLR. As if learning how to use a flash isn't hard enough...we then had to go up to 36 strangers. For me the stranger part was the easy part. I love people and love to talk. My favorite thing to do in coffee shops or well pretty much anywhere is to strike up a conversation. There are artistic people all around me here in NYC, and not taking advantage of that is well..DUMB. I am sure you are wondering why this applies with this post. Well I actually noticed this beautiful, natural girl on the back patio as I was eating lunch. You will notice my creeper shot. haha Then I noticed this beautiful stone wall covered in greenery. Naturally I thought why not put the two subjects together. I waited for this couple to leave. I then asked her if she would mind if we do a little mini photoshoot. She probably thought I was crazy, and that I talk really fast...my bad. 
 
 -Side Note: When I get excited about an idea I tend to talk really fast, and just not make any sense. Oh well..that's Emma for ya.
 
Anyways she eventually understood what I meant and was happy to help. I first thought that was amazing, and then thought Emma you have to take full advantage of this situation. So below I included a couple shots I was able to achieve with a beautiful girl named Yuri. I feel the atmosphere fit her natural beauty rather perfect actually. I am leaving some for a surprise later on for my portfolio..but you will get the idea.
 
Thank you again Yuri for your time and letting me photograph you. It was certainly a pleasure and kind of an awesome part of my day.
 
xx
Emma Jane

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Face to face with Jay Wolman

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I had the pleasure of meeting an amazing and inspiring guy named Jay Wolman. I came across this little hole-in-the-wall (aka the BEST kind of places) place in Chinatown this past week. Cheeky Sandwiches is the place to try when you are in the area. From Chicken Fried Buttermilk biscuits to even something for all those vegans!

I was greeted by Jay, he asked me what I'd like and I said I have no clue, make me your favorite! If there is one thing I have learned from my older brother Hunter (chef in the family) is to always try EVERYTHING. No matter if it may look weird or sound crazy, one must try everything. If you are going to a new brunch place down the street or dinner with friends get what the restaurant is known for. I would never go to a burger place and order a salad or chicken...they are known for their burger so try that first! Anyways I thought Jay was a pretty cool guy..not to mention his beard is top notch;) I hope you enjoy a little face to face with a full blooded Texan. 

Jay wolman
23 years old
Cook at Cheeky Sandwiches

How long have you worked at cheekys? What drew you into the place? I've been working at Cheeky's for about a year now. I remember having a "woah" moment the first time  I went in there as it immediately reminded me of home in the South, and this was a rare gem in the big city.  I knew I wanted to be involved in a place like that.

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Cheeky's definitely plays with different ingredients when building a biscuit. What do you think cheeky's offers that other places may not? Cheeky's isn't a normal sandwich shop. We take the flavors and culture of the South and New Orleans in particular and apply it to our daily work. Our food is simple and straightforward, and the shop itself just feels cool and cozy. Its weird working in a small kitchen generally alone. You're a baker, head chef, dish washer, and waiter all at once, and theres definitely something special about that. I just love the freedom and unique individuality of this place, we are small and keep it that way. Our customers become friends, our team are a band of brothers, and honestly where else can you eat fried chicken while listening to crunk Southern rap music in New York. That's why I love this place.

How long have you been cooking? I've always been into cooking, but I started taking it seriously about 3 years ago. I'm completely self taught, with inspirations from a couple important people.

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Who or what has most influenced your path toward becoming a chef ? Firstly my mom, always a great cook who taught me the importance of ingredients and the joy of food. My Caribbean nanny from my childhood; Violet inspires me to this day, as I love the flavors from her native region. We also used to celebrate holidays with her and buckets of fried chicken which left a big imprint on me. Din Yates who owns Cheekys has become a big inspiration for me mainly just by watching his insane work flow and contributions to this shop. He's a workhorse and he spills his personality into his restaurant. It's infectious and you can't help but not be driven by and to it. 

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If you weren't a chef what else would you love to pursue ? If I wasn't cooking I don't know what else I'd be doing really. I feel like I finally found something I'm good at and don't get bored with. To actually answer you though, I like working with my hands, so maybe some wood work or building things. Manly old world shit, you know.

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What has been the most surprising thing that cooking has shown you? Cooking teaches you a lot about yourself, it pushes you and challenges you in ways that you can't expect. It's taught me to stay innovative and thinking on my feet, but most of all how to multitask on a grand scale. There's always work to be done or food to be prepped. It's a labor of love.

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 5 years seems like a long time but it goes fast when you work 70 hours a week. The goal is to have my own restaurant, bringing the flavors and greatness of Texas to a new region on this map. I want people to enjoy the goodness I keep boggled up in my mind. It's eventually gotta come to life, and my own place seems like a damn good start.

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Cheeky's Sandwiches 
35 Orchard St  New York, NY 10002
(646) 504-8132

Also check out his food blog below! I promise it will have your mouth watering in seconds!
Thank you again Jay,

xx
Emma