Here’s the question elite San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson
gets all the time: “Where did you come up with the idea for that dish?” Here's his short answer: “It’s complicated.”
For anyone, like me, who wants to go deeper on the subject—as well as sample awesome food and cocktails from some of the best and coolest cooks and food know-it-alls from around the country—it’s all happening at New York City’s Astor Center next weekend, November 12th and 13th, at the Alchemy of Taste and Smell
. Among the highlights: Momofuku’s Dave Chang
and WD50’s Wylie Dufresne
in a New Favorite Flavors seminar, and an ingenious flavors and aromas demo from Patterson and Top Chef’s Just Desserts
star Johnny Iuzzini
. Plus a big all-star opening party on Friday night and an intimate all-star dinner on Saturday. Astorcenternyc.com
has more information, and tickets for all the events.
More than 40,000 people will be running this Sunday's ING NYC Marathon. Among them are a handful of NYC chefs and sommeliers. Here, they share what they've been fueling themselves with during months of training and how they plan to indulge after 26.2 miles.
Nate Appleman, former chef of Pulino's Bar & Pizzeria
Go-to workout fuel: "Lärabars and bananas."
Race goal: "Finish under 3 hours and 30 minutes."
Post race: "I plan to chow down, specifically on a large steak and a whole bag of Oreo cookies."
Charity: Harlem United
Gordon Finn, Alto
Go-to workout fuel: Balance Bars.
Favorite flavor: S'mores. "They're loaded with protein and have a low glycemic index so they don't affect my blood sugar after a run."
Race Goal: "This is my first marathon, so I don't really have a time goal; but under five hours would be a major accomplishment."
Post-race: "I am planning on having a glass of Champagne at Marea. It's right near the finish."
Charity: "I'm running for Team JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation); I've had diabetes for 12 years and it's a cause I feel strongly about. I only have $400 more to raise to reach my goal. Donate here.
Joe Campanale, co-owner, sommelier, Dell'anima, L'Artusi and Anfora
Go to workout fuel: "Apples and peanut butter. I eat that almost every day. I also love the whole-wheat everything bagels at Ess-a-Bagel and drink apple juice or orange juice with them.”
Race goal: Three hours and 49 minutes. "That's one hour faster than last year."
Post race: "I'm going to Dovetail for brunch directly after the marathon with a bunch of industry folks and am still figuring out where I'm going to eat pasta and truffles for dinner."
Charity: Hole in the Wall Gang
© Jen Murphy
Mil hojas from Amor Amar, Lima.
As soon as I booked my plane ticket to Peru, I reached out to Nicholas Gill
, a super-plugged-in, Lima-based travel and food writer, and asked him where I should eat. At the top of his list was Amor Amar
, a new restaurant from the owner of Pescados Capitales
and former chef of La Gloria
— two of Lima’s greatest culinary minds. Spectacular food. Gorgeous space. His one warning: The restaurant is hard to find. He wasn't kidding. Located in the hip, up-and-coming Barranco neighborhood, Amor Amar is on a nondescript residential street. Random white paper signs stuck to telephone poles lead the way and the only clue that you've reached the restaurant is the valets standing outside what looks like a large garage door. But that door opens into a fabulous courtyard. The entire restaurant is outside (there are heat lamps in case it gets cold) and it feels like a Hollywood backyard party with a long bar and a raised area with couches and music. I jumped between classic dishes like seafood causa (a starchy Peruvian casserole layered rice, potatoes, avocado and prawns) and a slow-roasted suckling goat cooked in a wood-burning oven. My waiter warned me from the moment I sat down to save room for dessert, a decadent mil hojas—a puffed pastry layered with lucuma, a custardy fruit, and chocolate mousse. Rather than sit in a food coma, I explored the restaurant's orchid shop and the art gallery located in an old mansion on the property. The owner showcases local artists, like Marcelo Wong
, whose cherubic figures are scattered throughout the courtyard.
© Georgette Farkas
DBGB's Wining All Pumpkin Yankee Burger
, chef Daniel Boulud
’s downtown NYC bistro, the burgers have a powerful allure and not just for customers. When it came time for DBGB’s First Annual Pumpkin
Carving contest, some 20 cooks and front-of-the-house staffers got out their carving knives and went crazy, two of them successfully channeling two of the restaurant’s signature burgers, the Frenchie and the Yankee. Both won prizes. Here’s a recap of the awards, where the first-place pumpkin-carvers won dinner at DB Bistro Moderne
and the runners-up got Food & Wine cookbooks
and magazine subscriptions. Awards1st Place Kitchen: Adi’s Yankee Burger Pumpkin
. Every single detail was made from pumpkin, including the accompanying fries (extra credit for the grill marks on the burger).
1st Place Front of House: Zakir’s Disco Pumpkin
. The only multimedia pumpkin, this one contained strobe lights and haunted-house sound effects.
© Jen Leuzzi
Ken Vendrinski, Laurent Gras & George Hincapie Ride for Hope
, chef at L2O
in Chicago, isn’t just one of the best cooks in the country. He’s also one of the world’s fittest guys, according to Men’s Fitness
(seriously). No surprise, he made the cut to be one of F&W’s fittest chefs
My friend, food blogger Jen Leuzzi (aka Mrs. Laurent Gras), tells how all that led to LG’s participation in the 100-kilometer charity Ride for Hope in Charleston, South Carolina, this past weekend.
At a dinner prepared with Laurent, chef Ken Vedrinski of Charleston's Trattoria Lucca stood with pro cycling champion George Hincapie and recounted this story:
Food & Wine magazine did a story on the 10 fittest chefs in America—and I was one of them and so was Laurent Gras; we’re both cyclists. I thought I’d really like to cook with him, but how do we get him down here? George is how. I cold-called Laurent and invited him down to do the Ride for Hope with George and cook a dinner afterwards, and here we are.
At the after-party down the street at Enoteca, Gras and Vedrinksi offered their services to George’s BMC team for the 2011 Tour de France (teams travel with their own chefs). Ken said he’d cook for one week. Laurent agreed for the week in the Alps. Haute cuisine, indeed.
Once a novelty, the concept of the hotel cooking class–or even in some cases cooking school–has become ubiquitous. It was only a matter of time before a resort tapped into the nose-to-tail obsession and started offering butchering programs. Starting next month the Sanderling Resort & Spa in North Carolina’s Outer Banks will hold monthly butchering workshops taught by German master butcher Frank Meusel and executive chef Joshua Hollinger (his family was in the butchering business for more than 100 years). The one-day workshops, held at nearby Weeping Radish Farm will educate guests on how to break down cuts of a whole animal with a focus on prime cuts. The first class, on November 20, focuses on breaking down a half steer and includes lessons in emulsion cooking and smoking and turning cuts of meat into sausages and hot dogs.
© kate krader
Ferran Adria with F&W's awesome contributor Anya von Bremzen.
It’s only 2010 and El Bulli
is not my local hangout; still, I’m already a little nervous about the closing of the world’s most famous restaurant in 2012. Ferran Adrià
did allay my fears when he confirmed that he has plans for a new El Bulli
. Now, here’s more good news from F&W’s superstar contributor, and Ferran Adrià expert, Anya von Bremzen
: Ferran and his brother Albert are launching two new projects in Barcelona. Tickets (what’s with that name?) will focus on contemporary tapas; a magnificent timeline they’re designing for the space will trace the cultural history of Spain’s iconic small plates. (Just imagine what that means.) Among the four different spaces: a bar that that focuses on seafood from ports around Spain to a tapas counter dedicated to sweets. Tickets is set to open in January. Meanwhile, the Adriàs’ second project, 41°, has a singular focus, too: cocktails, emphasis on contemporary. That’s slated to open at the end of November. So, I asked Anya, why is Ferran doing tapas now? Here’s what she said: “Spain’s very top chefs are responding to the country’s slumping economy by turning to tapas. Albert helped pioneer this trend with his fabulous tapas bar Inopia
. To have Ferran involved now; that’s truly exciting.”
© kate krader
Dave Chang and Grace Parisi team up in the F&W Test Kitchen.
I’m so happy about the trend of visiting chefs, who temporarily take over their colleagues’ kitchens (Animal restaurant
in Los Angeles has been exemplary in offering up its kitchen
to chefs like Jeremy Fox
, and you’ll hear more about that in our January '11 issue). And then there’s Dave Chang
, who is working on a pop-up restaurant in Food & Wine’s Test Kitchen. Ha! Actually he’s here talking through his Korean vegetable recipes with F&W's Grace Parisi
—you’ll see those dishes in our March issue. You can't believe how quickly Dave and Grace teamed up to make hand-torn noodles for an outstanding Korean shiitake soup. So stay tuned. If they start a little pork-bun kiosk in the Test Kitchen, you’ll hear it here first.
© Jennifer May
Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura
In the November issue, our new Trendspotting column
touched on the zeitgeist of the macho vegetarian, and writer Julie Powell told us about her experience interning with Josh Applestone, the formerly vegetarian, vegetable-pushing butcher
at Fleisher's Grass-Fed & Organic Meats
in Kingston, New York. Now, Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, two Fleisher's alums (both also former vegetarians) are headed to L.A. to open Lindy & Grundy
. Posada (a former floral designer) and Nakamura (a former chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns ) will sell locally grown, humanely raised meat and make their own sausages, bacon and charcuterie. There will even offer curbside delivery to customers in a rush. Their shop won't open until late fall, but for now, you can follow their cross-country adventure and the lead-up to the opening on Twitter. Follow Nakamura at @TheButcherette and Posada at @thefemmebutcher.