Eric Ripert and Eric Kayser © Nigel Parry
This spring, New York City’s legendary seafood restaurant Le Bernardin stopped baking its own bread and began outsourcing the task to another legend, Maison Kayser, a famed Parisian bakery that opened its first American outpost on the Upper East Side last summer. “I thought the bread we had at Le Bernardin was fine but not at the level of the quality of the food,” explains Le Bernardin’s chef and co-owner Eric Ripert. Maison Kayser bakes and delivers 10 kinds of (still warm) bread to the restaurant three times a day. Among the offerings Ripert orders are mini and full-size baguettes, focaccia, and unusual offerings like rye-lemon loaves, basil-sesame rolls and turmeric-fennel rolls. “When I eat Maison Kayer’s bread it’s so good, it’s pleasure,” Ripert says. “Every roll has been made by hand. The quality of the flour that they use and the technology that they use to create their bread is very unique. Eric Kayser has invented what we call levain liquid: liquid sourdough starter.” Customers agree with the master French chef. “Since we’ve had the bread from Kayser, clients eat bread three times more than before,” Ripert says. “It’s great, but it’s expensive.” Here, Ripert chats with F&W about the evolution of bread in restaurants, the bread at Le Bernardin and his biggest butter pet peeve.»
'wichcraft's tuna sandwich with lemon confit. Photo courtesy of 'wichcraft.
Chef-humanitarian Tom Colicchio (who recently co-produced the excellent anti-hunger documentary A Place at the Table) did NYC office workers an honorable service a decade ago when he opened 'wichcraft with chef Sisha Ortuzar. Now with 17 locations in New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco, the cheffy sandwich chain celebrates its 10th anniversary all month with videos about signature condiments like lemon confit posted daily on wichcraftnyc.com. READ MORE>
Alex Guarnaschelli of Butter restaurant in New York and Food Network fame recently stopped by F&W HQ to discuss her new (and first) cookbook Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook. One of the 100 recipes in the book is a simple method for making butter. While training at high-end French restaurants like Guy Savoy's La Butte Chaillot and New York’s Daniel, Guranaschelli used to put the delicious fat, and lots of it, in almost everything. But now she has a new philosophy for butter use—watch the clip to learn more.
Related: Alex Guarnaschelli Recipes
Mission Chinese Food chef Danny Bowien.
You don’t need me, or any chef in the world, to tell you the best ways to keep from gaining weight. They involve breakfast, balanced meals and exercise. Instead, I’ve become fascinated with the less obvious ways that chefs and other people who are constantly around food keep from packing on pounds. “I make [my manager] eat everything they send out. He’s the closer.” »
Lutèce; courtesy of chef André Soltner (wearing toque).
The legendary New York City French restaurant Lutèce closed in 2004, but it will be reborn for one night only, on April 16, to benefit University Settlement. Alsace native André Soltner—now the dean of classic studies at the International Culinary Center—opened Lutèce in 1961, just as America’s obsession with food and cooking was beginning. “When we opened 50 years ago, there were restaurants that served canned or frozen food. We were very focused on the best ingredients you can get,” remembers the pioneering chef. During his 35 years behind the stove, Soltner’s celebrity and flawless classic French cuisine attracted New York’s glitterati and the country’s most respected food lovers, including Julia Child.
Soltner will bring back the spirit of Lutèce by orchestrating an extravagant French wine dinner of iconic dishes such as seafood en croûte and tournedos Rossini: filet mignon with foie gras and Madeira sauce. The cost for entry to this once-in-a-lifetime reboot (with dessert from Jacques Torres) starts at $3,000, which will aid the University Settlement’s many programs aimed at uplifting low-income families and immigrants through education, decent housing, and improving physical and emotional well being. Tickets here.
For those whose interest in the French classics is piqued, we asked Soltner to describe some of the incredibly complex dishes that wowed guests during his restaurant’s prime. “People nowadays think classic French cuisine was heavy, but when it was done the right way then it was not. It was very tasty,” he says. Click through the slideshow to see the Endangered French Classics.
Related: 12 Classics to Master
More French Masters
Chef Matthew Orlando; courtesy of Amass
Food pilgrims have a new reason to visit Copenhagen, land of superstar René Redzepi’s Noma and Christian Puglisi’s Relæ. After more than two years as head chef at Noma, Matthew Orlando, a San Diego native, will debut Amass in a former shipyard in the city’s Refshaleøen district in July.
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I asked my very favorite frequent flier and F&W Contributing Editor, Andrew Zimmern, who travels the world for his show Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel, for his favorite dining spots in airports. He obliged by giving me his favorite places to eat in 12 airports around the country. From now on, I’m booking all my flights with stopovers in Minneapolis. 12 great airport restaurants. »
Courtesy of Spicy Village
Mainstream Chinese food is often synonymous with a cheap and greasy meal, convenient whenever the idea of preparing dinner seems unthinkable. For chefs, however, Chinese means comfort food. It’s fast, flavorful and best of all: open late. In honor of Chinese New Year on Sunday, F&W asked some of our favorite Chinese food-obsessed chefs and restaurateurs for step-by-step advice on how to find restaurants that are authentic and delicious. »
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are one of Mario Batali's top 2013 food trends. © Chris Court
It’s the big question: What foods are going to top the 2013 hit list? Earlier I had some ideas—namely rabbit, tricked-out tacos and reinvented spring break cocktails. But not everyone sees the future in Sex on the Beach shots. I turned to my favorite superhero, chef Mario Batali, who had genius thoughts on the food and wine you should go for in 2013: Super veggies! Lesser-known wine varietals! 5 things Mario Batali thinks people will be eating and drinking in 2013. »
F&W Best List
Danny Bowien. © Jasmin Sun
Chinese food: the Christmas day choice of non-celebrants and anyone interested in an unconventional holiday meal. Here, eight chefs share their favorite places to eat Chinese food in the country. »