Neal Harden’s Gracious Gourmand

On September 10th 2010, Gracious Gourmand 2 featuring Chef Neal Harden stimulated the palates of a lucky handful of New Yorkers. The four-course organic, local meal featured ingredients from NYC’s Green Market and was excitingly complex, handsomely presented and very indulgent. Please see the images below for a visual taste of what was offered to attendees. Kanon Organic Vodka sponsored the spike in our local berry-muddle cocktails. See Neal’s full menu here.

Don’t miss the next Gracious Gourmand on Septmeber 24th, 2010 featuring Chef Ayinde Howell.


GRACIOUS GOURMAND, a biweekly dinner event presented by The Discerning Brute & Second Stop Cafe, is not for the weak of palate. Featuring a rotating cast of chefs specializing in avant-garde, gourmet, sustainable fare, our series aims to challenge ordinary perceptions and preparations of fine food, expose visionary talent, and celebrate conscientious hedonism.

The launch is Friday August 27th, 2010, featuring Chef Lagusta Yearwood.


Lagusta Yearwood’s Six-Course, Summer-Harvest Menu:

featuring produce from Taliaferro Farms and Second Wind CSA.

AMUSE BOUCHE: Baked scalloped local corn in cashew cream sauce.

STARTER: Yellow tomato aspic, red tomato aspic, green tomato aspic, and tomato essence aspic with yuzu juice, micro basil, aged cashew cheese, and smoked Hawaiian guava wood sea salt.

SALAD: Timbale of watermelon, heirloom tomatoes, and Chioggia beets with Kalamata olive vinaigrette and amaranth chiffonade.

ENTRÉE: “Eggplant and squash, inside and out:” Syrian-stuffed eggplant with deep-fried spaghetti squash garnish, heirloom tomato sauce, and eggplant caviar-stuffed fried squash blossoms.

DESSERT: Local stone fruit pudding parfait with coconut cream

DESSERT: Lemon-verbena pine nut cookie sandwiches with creamy fruit fillings

DESSERT: Chocolate truffles with olive oil ganache infused with Genovese basil, rolled in corn powder


Lagusta Yearwood is a chef and chocolatier in New Paltz, New York. Since 2003 she has run a  gourmet meal delivery service bringing fresh, seasonal, handmade meals to busy New Yorkers on a weekly basis. In addition, she sells three lines of vegan, organic, and fair-trade chocolates at her website at