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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Restaurants

Special Food & Wine Tickets for Le Grand Fooding

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© Le Fooding
A Le Fooding Face Off

It’s back: The dates and the menu for the second annual Le Grand Fooding event are set. The two-night food-and-drink extravaganza will take place September 24 and 25 at PS 1 in Long Island City. Food & Wine has a special link to buy advance tickets: legrandfooding.com. (Don't wait; last year they sold out in less than 72 hours.)

Last year, the ingenious French Le Fooding team brought some of Paris’s grooviest chefs—like Inaki Aizpitarte from Le Chateaubriand—into town to cook alongside New Yorkers like Daniel Boulud and David Chang.

This year, the theme is New York vs. San Francisco, inspired by Chang’s now-infamous put-down of the Bay Area: “Every restaurant in San Francisco is just figs on a plate with nothing on it.” The five participating SF chefs have retorts for Chang. And the four NYC chefs joining Chang have retorts back. Among the smack-talking highlights:

James Syhabout (Commis, SF)
: “To keep it simple, best rhymes with West.”

Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone (Torrisi, NY): “When Sinatra said ‘If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere,’ he wasn’t talking about San Fran!”

Daniel Patterson (Coi, SF): “David who?”

Dan Barber (Blue Hill, NY): “Looking forward to learning how to wrap a great burrito.”

Meanwhile, Eater has details on Le Fooding’s excellent action-style movie posters, and the Village Voice has all details on the menu.

Farms

Killer Tomato Festival Highlights

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© Michael Wall
No early tastings of Gerry Klaskala's winning grilled cheese-tomato sandwiches

Yes, there were thousands of pounds of tomatoes this weekend at Atlanta’s Second Annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival. Anyone who—like my 6-year-old-godson Max—thought that meant the world's best tomato-throwing contest was out of luck. (Maybe next year?) Still, there was every other conceivable kind of tomato treatment at this super fun event which had the added benefit of supporting Georgia Organics. Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill and Top Chef fame made tomato ice cream sandwiches. Steven Satterfield of Miller-Union served an elegant tomato aspic. Five Seasons Brewing created a super refreshing Tomato IPA. I got to judge the event! And taste all 26 dishes! Here are the food winners, with a few honorable mentions thrown in. (Tomorrow, we’ll feature the cocktail winners.)

BEST TASTING: Aria’s Grilled Cheese with Roof Top Dried Tomatoes. Gerry Klaskala made stellar grilled cheese sandwiches using great long slices of Pullman bread and cutely-named dried tomatoes.

MOST CREATIVE: JCT Kitchen & Bar’s Killer Tomato Jelly Doughnuts. No, this didn’t sound like a good idea to me, but the doughnuts by chef Ford Fry and his team were perfect and the bacon custard on the side was genius.

BEST BOOTH: Holeman & Finch. F&W Best New Chef 2009 Linton Hopkins’ booth was tomatopalooza, with tomato plants in cages and 100 origami tomatoes hanging on a garland over the table.

(BONUS) MY CREATIVE RUNNER UP #1: Abbatoir’s. Hawaiian Shaved Ice with Tomato Herb Waters. They had a shaved ice machine going, and three kinds of toppings, my favorite being the sweet tomato chile. The finishing splash of Georgia moonshine did not hurt.

Here, 12 more food festivals from around the world, including another tomato celebration (more along the lines of what Max had in mind).

Restaurants

Chartreuse, Housemade Vermouth and the Red Sox

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Last weekend goes down as one of the best in recent memory for me thanks to two great meals in Boston and a little baseball team called the Red Sox.

Friday night found some friends and me at Coppa, where I made it just in time for the late-night menu-an abbreviated version of the dinner menu, but no less impressive. Highlights included chef Jamie Bissonette's stunning crudo with radishes and carrots and borage flowers and the Pattypan di Popeye pizza topped with summer squash and spinach. A friend ordered the Strongman cocktail, which came in an enormous stein with a very muscular glass arm as the handle. The drink, a mixture of green chartreuse, yellow chartreuse and Coors Light (!) was remarkably refreshing and surprisingly strong.

The next day we were lucky to score some seats to the Red Sox game versus the Detroit Tigers. Now, as a girl who grew up in Michigan, I get a lot of flack for rooting for anyone other than the Tigers, but I can't help it. I love David Ortiz. I confess. I also love walk-off homeruns. And guess what: Bottom of the 9th, Sox down 3-2, David Ortiz gets up to the plate and WHAM! Three-run double, and the Sox win the game!

To celebrate this ridiculous victory, we sat down for dinner at Eastern Standard where the oysters were delicious and the 2009 Domaine Colotte rosé (find this wine) from Marsannay went expertly with the tomato, goat cheese and almond salad. Mixologist Jackson Cannon started us off with a to-be-named mini-cocktail (created by fellow bartender Bob McCoy) that was the perfect aperitif. Cannon's been making amber vermouth in-house, and it made this cocktail particularly herbaceous and balanced and refreshing. This is the best possible drink for a hot summer night after your favorite team comes through in the end:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 ½ oz. gin, ¾ oz. amber vermouth, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice, ¼ oz. simple syrup and 1 dash orange bitters. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze a fresh lemon twist over the glass and discard. Serve.

Chefs

Chef Chris Cosentino’s Gluttony Pants

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Betabrand

© Betabrand
Betabrand Gluttony Pants

© Betabrand

Meat-centric star chef Chris Cosentino can now add designer to his name. With the help of San Francisco-based Betabrand, Cosentino conceived the ingenious Gluttony Pants, which adjust to three sizes–piglet, sow and boar–for those times when it’s just not appropriate to unbutton your pants at the table. The waistband, pocket linings, as well as the napkin that comes with the pants also include cartoon depictions of the "life-cycle of a glutton." The line launched earlier this week, with the first 100 pairs nearly selling out in 24 hours. But no need to worry, they’re making more. Gluttons can never get enough!

Here, some of Cosentino's terrific recipes from the F&W archives. 

Wine

Food, Wine & Rock Stars

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outside lands

© Outside Lands
Wine Lands at San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival.



Chefs and winemakers are truly having their rock-star moments this summer as some of the country’s biggest music festivals have added stellar food, wine and beer lineups to complement the concerts’ real rock-star performers.

Earlier this year, winemaker Karl Wente of Wente Vineyards was cruising the shows at Austin’s South by Southwest festival in his Discover the Wine Discover the Music bus, pairing wines with emerging artists playing at the festival.

In June at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, not only was there a craft beer tent with 20 different microbreweries like Magic Hat, Asheville, Blue Grass and Ommegang, but beer sommelier Samuel Merritt of Civilization of Beer was running classes like beer history.

Chicago’s music-obsessed chef Graham Elliot has taken on the roll of culinary director for this weekend’s Lollapalooza concert. Here's a list of the killer local restaurants he’s gotten onboard to create food for the festival.

And the most ambitious of all might just be the upcoming Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, which will have an entire wine tent, dubbed Wine Lands. The festival’s wine director, Peter Eastlake of Vintage Berkeley, has lined up some of Napa and Sonoma’s best wineries, including Robert Sinskey, Bonny Doon and Long Meadow Ranch. The food lineup, which will include dishes from Bay Area favorites like Maverick (they will be serving their barbecue pulled pork sandwich), was announced even before the music lineup. Are the musicians worried the chefs and winemakers are going to steal the show? I posed the question to Nathan Followill, drummer of the festival’s headlining band, the Kings of Leon. Check back tomorrow to see his response.

For now, check out some of F&W's favorite playlists:

For a small dinner party
For a birthday party
For a cocktail party
For a summer grilling party
 

Restaurants

Peaches and Chorizo at Dell'anima

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peaches

© 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.

Wine

Chefs & Champagne

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chefs n champagne

© 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.
 

Restaurants

Torrisi’s Star-Chef Tributes

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© 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.”

Restaurants

Jon Shook on Animal’s New Restaurant

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© Nigel Parry

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.

Restaurants

Michael White’s Guide to Opening a Restaurant

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© 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.

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