© Jesse Gerstein
Peaches and chorizo at Dell'anima.
Meat and fruit have always seemed like an odd pairing to me. Beyond the classic Italian combination of melon and prosciutto, I can’t quite think of any other delicious matches. But chefs Gabe Thompson and Chris Frazier of Dell'anima in New York City have been experimenting, with great success. I stopped in for dinner last night and noticed a new side dish, peaches and chorizo with bush basil. The warm, sweet peaches topped with salty, meaty chorizo worked brilliantly. I can’t think of a simpler side to make for a summer meal. And the glutton in me is tempted to add a dollop of crème fraîche and serve it as a savory dessert for my meat-loving friends.
© Mercedes Benz
James Beard Foundation president Susan Ungaro and Martha Stewart at Chefs & Champagne.
The hottest scene in the Hamptons this weekend was Wölffer Estate winery in Bridgehampton, New York, where the temperatures were blazing for the James Beard Foundation’s annual Chefs & Champagne benefit. Temperatures hovered around the mid-90s beneath an enormous white tent where nearly 1,000 people showed up to drink great Champagne from houses like Lanson and La Caravelle and eat irresistible food from more than 30 star chefs, including Bill Telepan, Marcus Samuelsson, Michel Nischan and Todd English. Standout dishes included mini lobster rolls from Marc Murphy of Ditch Plains, garlicky shrimp alhinho with smoked pimentón from George Mendes of Aldea and corn velouté with crab beignets from Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud. Guest of honor Martha Stewart was a fan of Pierre Schaedelin’s tomato gazpacho.
© kate krader
Mario Carbone shows Dave Chang some love
At Torrisi Italian Specialties
, it’s serendipitous enough to eat dinner off the daily-changing chalkboard menu—Little Neck clam toasts, and maybe the BBQ lamb shoulder. So imagine what it’s like to be a chef for whom owners Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone
create special dishes. Recently, NBC Feast
celebrated the duo's tribute to their ex-boss, Locanda Verde’s Andrew Carmellini
: Haricot de Carmellini
. But Torrisi and Carbone don't stop there. Here are Rich T’s descriptions of the genius dishes the team did for a few other notable Torrisi guests.Mario Batali 2-Hour Cuttlefish Coney Island Lifeguard Style
. “It's based on Mario’s Babbo dish, 2-Minute Calamari Sicilian Lifeguard Style
. We just used a different cephalopod. And made the lifeguard local.”
Dave Chang Steamed pork buns
. “Grilled mortadella in a steamed bun with our house spicy sauce and horseradish cream. I was really in the weeds that day, but I still went down the street and bought a steamer to serve them in.”
Mark Ladner Peaches and cherries
lavarse. “When Mark opened Lupa
, he served stone fruits submerged in ice water. The fruit depended on what was hyper-seasonal at the time. If it was cherries, it would be Cherries Lavarse
.’ We gave him some cherries and peaches.”
Since Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo
(F&W Best New Chefs 2009
) have officially announced that they’re taking over the old Restaurant 3 Space on Third Street
in Los Angeles, all kinds of questions are coming up. Shook doesn’t have many answers. Yet.On the new place’s name:
“We don’t have a name yet. It won’t be called Magnolia. Their new bakery
is across the street.”On the new place’s menu and appeal:
“We’re not flushed out on the name or on the decor yet. Animal
has had such success, the transition to the next place is going to be difficult no matter what. But right away, we loved the space. The vibe is super. We felt the energy of the room and the power of the windows.” One thing they can confirm:
A liquor license (Animal serves only beer and wine). “We’re super-excited about the liquor. We’re going to serve the drinks that Vin and I love - but what those are is top secret for now.”
There’s also no word on exactly when the new place will open. However, there's a strong rumor that before it does, you’ll see Shook and Dotolo popping up on the East Coast
- sometime before the end of fall. Stay tuned for more details.
© Buck Ennis
Michael White, foot massage expert
Is opening a new restaurant all crazy stress all the time? Not necessarily. Michael White
, of, among other places, the outstanding Marea
on New York City's Central Park South, is spending a lot of time downtown in Soho getting ready to launch Osteria Morini
in early September. And he's become an expert on local foot massage places and banh mi sandwich
joints. Michael says:
“Definitely get a massage from Robert, Mr. Chen or Sonny (or, for women, Robert’s wife Linda—my wife, Giovanna, goes there) at the Yan Mei Foot Reflexology Center
(158 Mott St.; 212-219-9788). But don’t expect a relaxing experience. As Mr. Chen says, ‘No pain, no gain.’ He makes grown men cry. After all that pain, I reward myself with the number 4 extra-spicy sandwich from Banh Mi Saigon
(138 Mott St.; 212-941-1541)."
So will Michael’s business partner Chris Cannon
install a foot masseuse at Morini? No way. “Michael wouldn’t be in the kitchen. He’d spend all his time getting foot massages,” Cannon says.
For our July story, "The Year of the Pastry Chef," we had the honor of featuring some incredible desserts from some of the country's best pastry minds, including Christy Timon and Abram Faber of Clear Flour Bread in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who gave us the recipe for their amazing airy baked doughnuts. A model professional baking recipe, it used baker's percentages and required an accurate scale and instant yeast, two things that aren't often found in home kitchens, but make for more reliable results. In the magazine, we adapted the doughnuts for home cooks, swapping in easier-to-find active dry yeast, scaling back the portions, and converting weights to cup measures, but Timon and Faber were rightfully concerned that our version wouldn't be as fail-safe. We think we came pretty close, but were we right? For the sake of comparison (and for those who prefer scales), the bakery's original recipe comes after the jump. Which would you rather use?
It’s hard to think of a better chef-sommelier team than Eric Ripert
and Aldo Sohm
, the star cook and wine director, respectively, of NYC’s outstanding restaurant Le Bernardin
. They can be very funny (they certainly were when Frank Bruni
, with help from Ripert, punked Sohm for an F&W
story, "World’s Best Sommelier vs. World’s Worst Customer
"). But the two are never less than genius, and so they are in the just-launched Avec Eric: Perfect Pairings web videos
. In the short, sweet videos, Ripert challenges Sohm to do things like pick a wine that goes with all the crazy flavors on a charcuterie plate (next week you'll see Sohm rise to that challenge, choosing a light but powerful 2006 Bai Gorri Crianza red
The videos, a follow up to their popular Get Toasted series (love that name), also preview the Avec Eric: Perfect Pairings wine club
inspired by Ripert’s PBS series Avec Eric
. Of course, members get a couple bottles of wine a month (Sohm’s picks might include 2007 Pinot Noir Flowers Sonoma Coast
, plus his tasting notes.) They also get Ripert’s excellent recipes paired to those wines and web videos that explain that (perfect) pairing. You can drink those wines while watching the Perfect Pairings series and/or while you watch Ripert be a phenomenal judge on Top Chef Season 7 in DC
© Courtesy of Aldea
Sean Brock, George Mendes and Daniel Boulud.
I’m a huge fan of George Mendes, the extraordinarily talented chef at NYC’s Aldea restaurant, not only for his fantastically delicious food (like his awesome duck rice) but also for the true camaraderie he shares with his fellow chefs. Mendes has recently been inviting chefs from around the country to take over his kitchen and cook insanely good dinners. It's a wonderful way to exchange ideas and innovations, and a way for diners to experience some seriously good food without having to hop a plane. Sunday night, I was lucky enough to score a seat for a dinner prepared by Southern talent Sean Brock of McCrady’s in Charleston, South Carolina. The scene was like a supercool Sunday supper with guests that included chefs Daniel Boulud, Nate Appleman and Paul Liebrandt, alongside other food-obsessed New Yorkers.
Highlights included Brock’s molecular take on classic shrimp-and-grits, studded with Benton’s sausage; a ridiculously flavorful 18-month country ham (made from pigs raised on Brock’s farm) wrapped around goat’s-milk cheese and pimento and paired with a shot of bourbon; and the most divine, melt-in-your-mouth pork belly (supplied by Bev Eggleston) served with heirloom beans.
In our July issue we shared some simple sous vide recipes to try out with new countertop sous vide machines, and a few readers wrote in asking where to get vacuum sealers to try the technique at home. We can recommend two options:
1. The makers of the SousVide Supreme have come out with a terrific countertop vacuum sealer that's sturdy and easy to use, as well as certified food-grade bags (certified to be free of Bisphenol-A, lead and any phthalates). It's great not only for cooking sous vide but for keeping foods fresh in the refrigerator. $130; surlatable.com.
2. Resealable freezer bags also work, if a little less elegantly. At a recent class at the French Culinary Institute, food science whiz Dave Arnold demonstrated the following ingenious method: insert the item to be cooked into the bag and close all but 1/4-inch of the seal. Submerge all but the unsealed corner of the bag in a large, deep bowl of water and let the water press out all of the air. Close the seal and transfer the bag to the prepared water bath.
© Proof on Main
Proof on Main
Last night, an all-star lineup of wine-and-food talents gathered at Proof on Main, the restaurant at 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, to host a dinner of unconventional wine pairings. Proof on Main’s chef, Michael Paley, along with chefs Kevin Nashan from Sidney Street Cafe and F&W Best New Chef 2008 Gerard Craft from St. Louis, Missouri’s Niche restaurant teamed up with master sommelier and author Evan Goldstein to create a menu inspired by Goldstein’s newest book, Daring Pairings. The book explores the pairing potential of 36 emerging grape varietals, matching each grape with recipes from star chefs. Each pairing of the five-course menu was designed to engage one of the basic tastes: tart, bitter, sweet and salty. Here, a few of the excellent pairings from the dinner:
2008 Martin Codax Albariño with pickled and puffed vegetables on raw-milk ricotta
2009 Dona Paula Torrontes with crispy Greenwood Farm pork belly and a bourbon mustard
2008 Paolo Scavino Alba Barbera with O'Fallon-5-day-IPA-poached spot prawns with olive-oil-cured black olives, fennel and grilled new potatoes
We offer more great pairing ideas from the F&W archives.