Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Xilli


Nacxitl Gaxiola is a serial chef and culinary researcher.

Lucky for us, he’s also a serial entrepreneur, bringing his culinary sensations to restaurants around New York City. His latest venture is Xilli, a company that makes and sells handmade salsas, moles, and pickles with Mexican flavors. “Xilli” is the original word for chili in Nahuatl, the pre-Columbian language of Mexico.

Xilli’s products are centuries-old staples of Mexican cuisine, but tweaked using modern cooking techniques from...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Port Morris Distillery



Have you ever tried Pitorro?

Ralph Barbosa and Billy Valentin, New Yorkers of Puerto Rican heritage, opened up the Port Morris Distillery to bring the “moonshine of Puerto Rico” to New York City palates.

The duo produces spirits based on the heritage, traditions, and family recipes of Guayama, Puerto Rico, at their distillery in the Port Morris neighborhood of the Bronx.

Pitorro has been produced since the 1600s with sugar cane as its primary ingredient. Although considered a rum, it is much stronger than most commercial varieties. With many family preferences throughout the island,...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Pierre's Spicy



Looking to turn up the heat with your food?

Pierre Henry was born in Haiti, where "bold and spicy" are all but essential elements of the region's cuisine.

He moved to the United States at age 12 and quickly adapted to American life through sports, even participating in the Junior Olympics as a member of the U.S. volleyball team.

But he never forgot about the flavors of the island he left behind, particularly that of the "Mamba," a spicy peanut butter from his childhood. He started experimenting with the best of ingredients—peanuts, chilli, butter, and sea salt—to...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Spoonable


attitude caramel

It's caramel with attitude. 

Otherwise known as Spoonable, Brooklyn's saucy caramel.

Spoonable Founder Michelle Lewis derives her 'saucy' inspiration from a multitude of cultural influences, stemming from her French-Moroccan heritage and life overseas. Her line of confectionery caramel sauces include zesty flavors like ‘Spicy Chili Caramel’ and ‘Brooklyn Butterscotch.’  

Based in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Spoonable's story starts with a cheesecake. Leftover caramel sauce turned into a regular gift to...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Hungry Bars


hungry bars

Hungry? Have a granola bite.

Vlad Harkovski, a Bulgarian-born outdoor and fitness enthusiast, turned his hobby of making healthy energy mixes into a business when he opened Hungry Bars in Astoria, Queens. Hungry Bars specializes in small batch granola bars using only organic, natural ingredients. 

Though the name may indicate otherwise, Hungry Bar's primary product is bite-size and not an actual bar. When they first began developing the product, production and packaging made it challenging to sell...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: City Saucery



At City Saucery, tomato sauce is made the old-fashioned way. 

Locally-grown ingredients like 100% New Jersey vine-ripened tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and aromatic herbs bring out flavors reminiscent of home-cooked meals from Mama's kitchen. Or in this case, Nonna's kitchen. 

City Saucery is a modern family business based in Staten Island. Inspired by his Nonna' Carolina and her Calabrian roots, Michael Marino and his partner Jorge Moret started the business to share their love...

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Meet NYC Fancy Food Fellow Finalist: Auria Abraham


auria peppers

She's known as the Sambal Lady.

You may have seen her stirring a hot batch of chili on the Food Network show, "Chopped."

Or you may have heard about her 2011 underground supper club series in Midwood, Brooklyn, with its array of exquisite dishes. You may have even tried her signature product, the all-natural ...

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Mayor de Blasio Announces $150 Million Investment in Hunts Point Food Distribution Center


hunts point

While enjoying a home-cooked meal or visiting your favorite NYC restaurant, have you ever stopped to wonder exactly where your food comes from?

The likely answer is the Bronx.

Approximately 50% of the food that arrives to you via home cooked meals, restaurants, and New York City stores passes through the NYCEDC-managed Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. The cluster of wholesale markets in the South Bronx is one of the most important sites in the city. Its 329 acres support 115 private wholesalers that employ more than 8,000 people.

From the 1960s, local vendors from throughout the city were...

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Food, Bronx

Thinking Ahead: Changing the Face of the Food Industry



This post is part of NYCEDC’s Thinking Ahead series, which features editorials from New York City leaders and influencers across key sectors and neighborhoods to foster dialogue around the issues impacting our city. Read more Thinking Ahead posts here.

The following was written by Jessamyn Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK), a social...

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The Most Delicious Sector of the Economy


food general

There is no shortage of food options in New York City. 

With food as creative and diverse as pizza, bagels, sushi, empanadas, artisanal cheese, and all of the ethnic offerings in between, New York City is rightfully called the food capital of the world.

The business of food is booming throughout the five boroughs. Food service is how young entrepreneurs, immigrants and natives alike, connect their heritage with their city. Add local artisans, street vendors, and restaurateurs, major food manufacturers, and vast distribution networks to the mix, and we see how food is a vital...

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