If you have seen Iron Chef or Chopped, then you have seen the top floors. Food Network headquarters sit atop the Chelsea Market, the original headquarters for Nabisco Biscuits in the early 1900’s. This Meatpacking area destination fills an entire block from front to back.
If you know Iron Chef, then you’ll know the meticulous Masaharu Morimoto who has his Moromoto restaurant down in Chelsea Market. Inside, you will find beautifully prepared sushi, appetizers, soups, steaks, bop rice bowls and more. If you’d rather wander about Chelsea Market grazing, the choices include:
Eleni’s New York
The sweet cookie haven started by California native Eleni Gianopulos, who set up in the Chelsea Market in 1997. Whilst working at Life Magazine, Eleni started a small, side business delivering oatmeal raisin cookies based on her Mum’s recipe. Demand grew and now Eleni has cookies in multiple retail locations.
This is the popular destination for brownies. You can buy multiple flavours pre-made, including Fat Witch Original, Blonde Witch, Caramel Witch or Emerald City Witch. If you prefer, you can buy brownie mix to make your own at home. And, to avoid waste, Fat Witch now sells brownie ends for crumbling over ice cream or crunching for a quick chocolate hit.
Fat Witch was started by Patricia Helding, who left her job as a Wall Street trader to focus on brownies. Her business got a great lift when Oprah named Fat Witch one of her Favourite Things.
Co-owners Lucy Kazickas and Jackie Mitchell opened their Chelsea shop in 2009. They enjoy visiting local NY farmers and other American cheesemakers so they can hand-pick their cheeses and charcuterie.
In a room full of artisans selling their jewellery, handbags and assorted creations, Dora Marra’s headdress pop-up booth was particularly popular. All sorts of people were stopping to try on fascinators, big flower headbands, crowns and sparkly masks. Particularly striking was a mature female customer with an oversized coat, multiple beaded necklaces, purple hair and, thanks to Dora, a pink birded hat. Bill Cunningham, where are you?
Dora Marra grew up in a family of pharmacists, but decided to go to FIT and study fashion instead. She has focused on her wholesale business and her creations have been featured in major fashion magazines. It’s important, she states, to ensure her products are made locally, so she relies on artisans from New York and New Jersey.
Artists & Fleas
As you wander into the main Artists & Fleas area, you will see a diverse range of people manning their booths and selling goods handmade, sourced and vintage.
A DJ is on hand to keep everyone dancing through the aisles.
Written by Elizabeth Newton