By Diane Henderiks
I've always been intrigued by the concept of "pop-up" stores which are temporary venues that pop-up one day and are gone the next day or weeks later. Halloween, Christmas and other holidays are what immediately come to mind when I think of a "pop-up" store but this past weekend Manhattanites were treated to a creative culinary experience at the pop-up Super (Duper) Market where PAPER Magazine and American Express took over a raw space in West Chelsea and transformed it into a hip, fully functioning grocery market that was free and open to the public. People are filling their personal pantries with more artisanal, natural purchases from grocery stores and this food movement is reaching people at younger ages.
"Instead of starting bands or making art so many young, creative people are baking, cooking, butchering and growing or raising food naturally, sustainably and responsibly," said PAPER editor and publisher Kim Hastreiter in a release. "Everyone from farmers to cheese makers, organic winemakers to foragers, spice mix masters to amazing innovative chefs. There are even those who are innovating off the grid - baking divine nettles and peach pizza over wood on the back of a pickup truck; or adding truffle and foie gras to ice cream. It is to these idealistic innovators and to this spirit that I tip my hat and dedicate the Super (Duper) Market."
The Super (Duper) Market was three days filled with food tastings, live demonstrations, unique fresh produce, parties, private dinners and workshops for kids that brought together an eclectic mix of more than 50 of the newest and coolest artisanal food products from around the United States. Popular NYC eateries like Red Rooster and The Spotted Pig showcased products concocted especially for the Super (Duper) Market. Notable surprise foodies who also manned booths included artist Maira Kalman, hotelier Andre Balazs with his Locust Farm organic eggs and designer Norma Kamali with her own brand of olive oil, popcorn and organic juices.
This was a really hip, fun event that will hopefully become an annual tradition. I've got to give a shout out to American Express which seems to have become the credit card for foodies. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card gives up to 6 percent cash back on groceries, which can be one strategy that people can take to offset rising food prices because they can earn while they shop on everyday purchases like food.