A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from August 29, 2013
Bespoke Vegetables

"Bespoke” usually refers to an item of clothing made to a customer’s specifications, such as “bespoke tailoring.” A news article on Bloomberg.com in August 2013, “How Haute Vegetables Are Conquering $500 Tasting Menus” by Ryan Sutton, popularized the term “bespoke vegetables”:

“The tight relationships that Manresa, Meadowood and Stone Barns have with their respective farms allow them to harvest what Kinch calls ‘bespoke’ vegetables, cultivated at great expense and tailored to the individual needs of each restaurant.”

“Bespoke vegetables” had been used at least once before, in the book Provence A-Z (2006) by Peter Mayle.


Wikipedia: Bespoke
Bespoke
The distinguishing points of bespoke tailoring are the buyer's total control over the fabric used, the features and fit, and the way the garment should be made. More generally, "bespoke" describes a high degree of "customisation", and involvement of the end-user, in the production of the goods.

"Bespoke" is rarely used in any context in other varieties of English,which usually prefer terms such as "tailor-made" or "customised".

Google Books
Provence A-Z:
A Francophile’s Essential Handbook

By Peter Mayle
New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf
2006
Pg. 261:
We walked down the rows. pausing from time to time to squeeze one tomato or sniff another. and Bruno told me that he also takes orders for bespoke vegetables. custom grown for clients with special requirements.

Bloomberg.com
How Haute Vegetables Are Conquering $500 Tasting Menus
By Ryan Sutton - Aug 29, 2013 12:00 AM ET
(...)
“People are realizing that luxury doesn’t have to mean caviar and lobster anymore,” says chef David Kinch, of two-Michelin-starred Manresa in Los Gatos, California, which serves no caviar or lobster (and, quite frankly, very little animal protein) during my $185 tasting in July. What I do get is a plate of warm, soft strawberries. They’re infused with essence of anchovy and are so fragrant I begin savoring them long before they hit my palate.
(...)
‘Bespoke’ Vegetables
The tight relationships that Manresa, Meadowood and Stone Barns have with their respective farms allow them to harvest what Kinch calls “bespoke” vegetables, cultivated at great expense and tailored to the individual needs of each restaurant.

Eater
Bespoke Vegetables: Trendy and Expensive
Thursday, August 29, 2013, by Hillary Dixler
Bloomberg critic Ryan Sutton dines at the Restaurant at Meadowood in the Napa Valley and analyzes how “haute vegetables” impact chef Christopher Kostow’s costs and cuisine. In a story titled “How Haute Vegetables Are Conquering $500 Tasting Menus,” Sutton suggests: “The tight relationships that Manresa, Meadowood and Stone Barns have with their respective farms allow them to harvest what Kinch calls “bespoke” vegetables, cultivated at great expense and tailored to the individual needs of each restaurant.” These restaurants’ vegetable-heavy, protein-light tasting menus, Sutton suggests, are an important part of haute cuisine’s movement forward. They are also expensive; Meadowood’s tasting menu clocks in at $500 before tax and drinks.

Over on his blog The Bad Deal, Sutton notes that one of the major expenses of serving haute vegetables is paying a forager. When it comes to “bespoke” vegetables, Sutton writes: “if farmer’s market vegetables are generally 10-20% more expensive than those sold by a national distributor, tailor-made vegetables can easily cost 20% more than farmer’s market produce.”

Twitter
JM‏
@OpinionNothing
“bespoke vegetables” wut?
2:49 PM - 29 Aug 13

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Thursday, August 29, 2013 • Permalink