Astoria, Community, Event, Food and Drink, Food Talk, Neighborhood, Restaurants, Weekend
Jul 18, 2019

Q&A with Herban Plate: Saturday’s Freckled Moose Pop-Up

Since The Freckled Moose on 31st Ave stopped functioning as a restaurant in May, they’ve been hosting pop-up dinners for up-and-coming chefs in hopes one of them will take over (…)

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Since The Freckled Moose on 31st Ave stopped functioning as a restaurant in May, they’ve been hosting pop-up dinners for up-and-coming chefs in hopes one of them will take over the space. This Saturday, July 20 at 7 p.m. newcomers Herban Plate will show Astoria what they’ve got with a thoughtful menu featuring six seasonal courses for $60.

We asked the group a few questions about themselves and what they are bringing to the neighborhood this weekend!

1. Tell us a little bit about the concept around Herban Plate and what your team is trying to do.

We’re three chefs who were brought together by our work with Restaurant Associates at Google. We’re heavily influenced by the balanced plant forward approach at Google and some of us have even adopted veganism. We’re also inspired by the sustainability movement and just doing the right thing. Our aim is to introduce playful, plant based foods and re-imagined classics to NYC. We’re crafting familiar foods, made brand new by infusing our own food philosophy.

Credit to Herban Plate.

2. Can you give us some quick bios/backgrounds on your three chef founders?

I’m Shanna, native to Queens and first generation American with a strong Caribbean upbringing. My love for food started with a produce and fresh fish market in Richmond Hill that my parents operated throughout my childhood. I honed my skills working for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and transitioned into corporate dining with Restaurant Associates at Google. Ricky, Courtney and I met at Google and instantly clicked. Our chemistry spilled over into collaborative weekend projects and an occasional catering gig.

Courtney here! I was raised in Westchester County and have been cooking for over 10 years. I went to Johnson and Wales and also attended the French Culinary Institute. I have been working for Restaurant Associates at Google for three years, and it is my first corporate job. Cooking has always been a passion of mine, but my first love will always be music.

Ricky is from Staten Island and our very own vegan. Growing up in a large Italian family, his love for food developed naturally. Ricky is a career changer and found his place in the industry by celebrating and refining plant-based foods. When Ricky isn’t cooking he’s spending time with his two beautiful daughters and wife.

An example of dishes at Herban Plate’s other events: Duck Fat Confit Octopus, Smoked Roasted Potatoes, Romesco, Sherry. Credit to Herban Plate.

3. You have a pop-up coming up at the Freckled Moose space – how did that come about? Is this your first event of this kind? And what can people expect if they buy tickets?

A colleague of ours, Sam Stymest, had a great experience hosting a dinner at The Freckled Moose a couple of weeks ago. I [Shanna] also eat at Mom’s Kitchen & Bar and Bareburger regularly and have passed The Freckled Moose many times. It felt natural to message Bryan Corbitt and ask him about hosting a dinner after we heard about Sam’s.

4. How do you feel about coming to Astoria? Have you been to the neighborhood before? What do you hope to bring here?

We love dining in Astoria and can’t wait to join the chefs in the community that curate memorable experiences. We’re looking to contribute to the buzz around the booming food scene here. I’ve always believed that dining in Queens is underrated.

A “Crabless Cake” from a previous Herban Plate event. Credit to Herban Plate.

5. Can you give a sneak peek of what will be featured on the menu?

We are featuring seasonal ingredients so there could be minor changes to some fresh produce:


Burrata, Crispy Eggplant, Heirloom Tomato Sorbet, Basil Oil, Balsamic Reduction

1st Course

Grouper Crudo; Rhubarb Juice, Pink Peppercorn, Shaved Radish, Edible Flower, Watermelon


Shaved Cucumber Ice, Green Apple, Mint

2nd Course

Fried Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini Blossom, Sweet Corn Risotto, Pesto

3rd Course

Seared Scallop, Summer Corn & Saffron Puree, Fava Bean, Crispy Chicken Skin Cracker


S’mores Tart, Chocolate Ganache, Toasted Marshmallow

Sounds DELICIOUS. Tickets to the pop-up dinner can be purchased here and follow along with their creations at Instagram. The space is at 33-17 31st Ave, Astoria.



This article was kind of misleading. I thought it would be geared towards vegetarians or vegans but guess not. Too bad as I was looking forgot spending my green on some greens. Astoria needs to catch up with the vegan food scene. Brooklyn has so many neighborhoods with vegan only restaurants


So not a dinner for vegans or vegetarians, though, I guess. Got my hopes up!


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