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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine


Chefs' Marathon Highs (and Lows)


After running my first New York City Marathon last Sunday, I’ve been swapping marathon highs and lows with fellow food-world runners. I had a freakishly great race and crossed the finish line in three hours and 21 minutes, with my only low being post-race muscle pain  (I’ve been recovering with a marathon week of eating and drinking). Others weren’t as lucky. Daniel Humm of NYC’s Eleven Madison Park had to pull out of the race due to a stress fracture. Here, some other tales from marathon newbies and vets:

Bobby Stuckey, sommelier of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, CO
Stuckey, an insanely speedy runner,  hit up L’Artusi the Friday night before the race and was spotted eating at Marea on marathon eve.
Low: “Mile 23. My world just got really small and I knew that I needed to dig deep.”
High: “Looking up at the JumboTron and seeing an American wine almost brought me to tears.”
Finishing Time: 2:47:23

Joe Campanale, co-owner and sommelier of L’Artusi and Dell’anima, NYC
Not only did Campanale lose 15 pounds and three toenails while training, he also raised almost $14,000 for his charity, Team Hole in the Wall Gang.
Low: “I had a stomach virus that stayed with me for pretty much the whole race.”
High: “Coming off the 59th Street Bridge and running up 1st Avenue feels like walking onto the field in the middle of the World Series."  
Time: 4:49:29

Chef Olivier Muller, DB Bistro Moderne, NYC
The marathon newbie raised $12,000 for the charity Malaria No More.
Low: “At mile 22 I had a huge cramp. My left leg just stopped mid-stride.”
High: “After the race I had 15 friends waiting at my apartment to celebrate. We ate cheeses, charcuterie, beef short ribs, coq au vin and spaetzle and washed it down with red wine.”
Time: 3:38:57

Joe Bastianich, restaurateur and winemaker
After losing an astonishing amount of weight by running, Bastianich has become a marathon regular.
Low: “Running on Fifth Ave up the hill that you never knew existed, passing by the homes of every rich person in New York.”
High: “Floating over the Verrazano Bridge on pure adrenaline.”  
Time: 3:42:36


St. Francis in Phoenix


st. francis

© Christopher Downs
St. Francis restaurant in Phoenix.

I recently came back from Phoenix, where everyone is buzzing about a new restaurant called St. Francis. Chef-owner Aaron Chamberlin (who trained with Michel Richard, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Nancy Oakes) spent nearly three years searching for the perfect spot, finally buying and renovating a midcentury Harold Ekman building on Camelback Road. With the help of his dad and brother, he’s created a hip, industrial-style space with a two-story, window-faced garage door that opens the bar to the outside. There are homey touches, too; his grandmother's old silver spoons are embedded in the stone walls and chairs from San Francisco's old Rubicon restaurant space. There's also an enormous wood-burning stove. The affordable menu balances healthy dishes, like the sweet-and-spicy Forbidden Rice Bowl, with decadent ones, like a French Onion Burger topped with an onion ring, smoked bacon, Gruyère and homemade French Dip. With Pizzeria Bianco just a few blocks away, uptown Phoenix may be Arizona’s next cool food 'hood.


© Christopher Downs
Chef Aaron Chamberlin.


Halloween: Dress Like a Chef


© Courtesy of Frappe Inc. and the TV series Spain...On the Road Again / Eric Rhee

Scrounging for a last-minute Halloween costume? Get inspiration from some of our favorite chefs’ ensembles in F&W's "Dress Like a Chef" slideshow, like Mario Batali's now-iconic look: red wig pulled in a low ponytail, baggy shorts and his signature orange clogs from Crocs.


NYC's Foodie Marathoners



© Quentin Bacon
Marathoner Joe Bastianich's white bean stew with swiss chard and tomatoes


While my colleague Kate Krader is on a permanent sugar high this week from her pre-Halloween candy binge, I am overloading on carbs in preparation for the New York City Marathon. The race takes place this Sunday, the day after Halloween.  This year’s field of 40,000 runners, the largest in history, includes a number of food and wine world stars who’ve been juggling 20-mile training runs with kitchen duties and late-night pasta binges. Mark Bittman, the New York Times Minimalist columnist, has been swapping cooking tips for training tips with America’s fastest woman marathoner, Deena Kastor (rumor has it she’s shopping around a cookbook while in town for the race). F&W Best New Chef 2005 Daniel Humm of NYC’s Eleven Madison Park has been training with a running coach from Kenya to help him beat his insanely fast time from last year.

I’ve been following winemaker and restaurateur Joe Bastianich’s game plan, fueling myself with the complex-carb-heavy recipes he shared with F&W in our October issue and throwing back an occasional beer (for more carbs).

For more pre-marathon carbo-loading recipe ideas, click here.


Halloween Countdown: Jelly Bellys


Shaun Hergatt is a fan of buttered popcorn jelly bellys.

People love fall for the clothes, the changing leaves, the apples. Me, I love it, and this pre-Halloween week in particular, because it’s hard-core candy season (with the best day of the year being the day after Halloween, when it all goes on sale for half price). So let’s devote this whole week to candy, and Halloween-related sweets. And let’s get the party started with Jelly Belly jelly beans. Several chefs are fans, especially of the buttered-popcorn flavor (really). Among the New York City devotees: Shaun Hergatt at the elegant SHO; David Burke of David Burke Townhouse; and Damon Wise of Craft. Like all good chefs, they have ideas for serving the slightly salty jelly bellys. Says Wise, “The buttered popcorn actually complements any of the fruit jelly beans very well. So Jelly Bellys should always be eaten in twos: One buttered popcorn with another flavor.”


Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution


Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

© Hyperion
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver just keeps getting better. Eons ago I used to scratch my head at the popularity of the Naked Chef and his mumblings about great pasta with peas, but now I'm on the front lines of fandom. Unlike other celebrity chefs, who churn out new cookbooks at the drop of a pan, lately each new Jamie Oliver endeavor has been inspired by a brilliant, truly helpful idea. This time he's teaching residents of unhealthy towns how to cook fast from-scratch dinners. He already did it in the UK, and now he's tackling Huntington, West Virginia. He's calling it Jamie's Food Revolution, which is also the title of his new cookbook. His casual recipe style can be frustrating, but the dishes themselves are great and regularly include a half-dozen inspired variations, like a bright cucumber-and-mint salad with optional yogurt dressing, black olives, fresh red chiles or a little extra-virgin olive oil. For Jamie Oliver recipes from F&W, click here.


Reinventing Dinner Theater



© Marlo Hunter
Eating Their Words reinvents dinner theater.


The dinner-theater concept sounds like a throwback, but director Marlo Hunter is trying to make it hip again with Eating Their Words. Hunter enlists noteworthy writers and actors for an evening of short plays to be performed at a top NYC restaurant. As part of the action, the actors sit at a table and eat a dish; immediately after the performance, the audience is served everything they've just seen the actors enjoy. The next Eating Their Words event, on Monday, October 19, will be at Tocqueville restaurant, with works by Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck and playwrights Jonathan Marc Sherman and Sam Forman. Tocqueville chef-owner Marco Moreira has created a menu to complement the plays, including schmaltz roasted country chicken and a bittersweet chocolate tort. Tickets must be purchased before Sunday, October 18.


An Ode to Thomas Keller


© Kana Okada

November will be a big month for superstar chef Thomas Keller (an F&W Best New Chef 1988): He’ll release Ad Hoc at Home (Artisan) and has plans to open a Beverly Hills outpost of Bouchon. Reasons to honor him now: his birthday this week, plus stellar dishes like his over-the-top mushroom quiche with buttery pastry shell (pictured), BLT fried egg-and-cheese sandwich, and a whole grilled chicken with arugula.

More Incredible Dishes by Our Best New Chefs:
- Our 2009 Best New Chefs’ easiest dishes like Kelly English’s meat pies with spicy buttermilk dip and Paul Liebrandt’s beet-and-red sorrel salad with nutty pistachio sauce


'Wichcraft's Dinner Menu: A Must-Try


A pile of pulled pork with wonderfully crusty edges topped with dill pickle slivers: $8. A heaping plate of blistered two-bite-size shishito peppers and sherry vinegar aioli: $6. Why had I only just checked out the cozy Flatiron location of ‘wichcraft, part of Tom Colicchio’s chain of sandwich shops, for dinner last night? Since last May, chef Sisha Ortuzar has been serving simple, delicious smallish plates with Greenmarket ingredients for insanely inexpensive prices. Last night, it was quiet, with only a few tables taken. How could that be, I wondered, when they were serving the last of the summer menu, including a fantastic tarragon-scented brothy dish of cockles and shrimp with late-season cherry tomatoes, corn and a hit of tarragon? Next week, Sisha will introduce a fall menu, and if all goes well, another ‘wichcraft that serves dinner will open in the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center in November. I can’t wait for both.

If you’re not getting to New York any time soon, try these 'wichcraft-inspired cocktail party recipes from Tom and Sisha.



Mario Batali’s Excellent Charity


The New York City Wine & Food Festival is about to bring a million food stars to town in support of two excellent hunger-fighting organizations: the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength. So it’s more than appropriate that chef/hero Mario Batali is unofficially kicking off the weekend with a charity event of his own. Tonight at Del Posto, Mario will host a supersonic dinner and auction to raise money for the Mario Batali Foundation, whose admirable mission is to make sure kids are well read, well fed and well cared for. The guest list: Mary J Blige, R.E.M., Maggie Gyllenhaal and more special guests yet to be announced. The signature cocktail: Batali Rocks (gin, fresh clementine juice, gold flake garnish), created by über-mixologist Tony Abu Gamin who will be there mixing them at the party. The Batali-made menu: shrimp scampi with soft polenta; roast pork with Parma Lambrusco conserva. The auction items: the subject of tomorrow’s blog.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.