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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Chefs

Music and Food for a Good Cause

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Chef Will Gilson of Garden at the Cellar playing harmonica at last year's event.

© Laura Widness
Chef Will Gilson of Garden at the Cellar playing harmonica at last year's event.

 

What’s the perfect dish to pay tribute to the band KISS? Beef tongue, perhaps. What about Ray LaMontagne’s “New York City’s Killing Me”? Pork belly agrodolce and foie pastrami with mayo and crispy onions. These are just a few of the music-inspired small plates that more than a dozen of Boston’s top chefs will be serving this Sunday, November 14, at the Eat Your Heart Out Boston fundraiser. The event, held at Paradise Rock Club features three local bands and chefs like Tiffani Faison of Rocca, Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa, Matthew Barros of Myers & Chang and F&W Best New Chef 2009 Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother. The chefs will each make a dish that pays homage to their favorite rock band or song (and in the past, some have even gotten on stage for impromptu jam sessions). Proceeds benefit Future Chefs, a career program the helps high school students find work and mentors in the culinary world, and Zumix, a non-profit organization dedicated to building community through arts and music. For tickets, click here.

Restaurants

Power Eating in NYC: Matt Lightner

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© Nigel Parry
Matt Lightner Celebrated His Eater Award by Eating. A lot.

I’m always proud of F&W’s Best New Chefs. And I’m especially proud of them when they come to New York City to pick up their Eater Awards and spend a day eating around like they’re gearing up for a Biggest Loser audition. Take Matt Lightner, F&W Best New Chef 2010 at Castagna, who won two Eater awards, for Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year for Portland, OR. Here’s what he did when he was in town in a 24-hour period:

*Nine-course dinner at WD-50 (highlights: egg ravioli and liquid-center foie gras).

*Late-night lamb burgers at the Breslin.

*Four-hour lunch at Eleven Madison Park (highlights: chicken velouté with truffle toasts; venison with pickled cabbage).

*Eater’s after-party spread at Burger & Barrel. “[B&B’s chef/owner] Josh Capon comes out, and he’s like ‘eat the burger.’ You don’t say no to him, no matter how many courses you had at Eleven Madison.”
 
Wow. And what was Lightner going to do when he got back to Portland? Open up his Eater Award (actually a can of tomatoes) and make Bolognese sauce.
 

 

Chefs

The Eater 2010 Awards - The Extras

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Torrisi's Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone: Two Can Winners at Eater Awards

The excitement! The drama! All those trophy cans! Yes, the Eater 2010 Awards were everything you could dream of. The big ceremony took place at the beloved downtown NYC restaurant Public and chefs and restaurateurs came from as far away as Brooklyn (Frankies Spuntino’s Frank Falcinelli, who won the Jean-Georges Vongerichten award for Quietly Killing It, New York City) and from Seattle (F&W Best New Chef Matt Lightner, who won both Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year for Portland, OR; more on Matt Lightner’s crazy NYC eating tour coming tomorrow).

I unfortunately didn’t win in my category (honestly, who was going to beat @RuthReichl for Twitter Personality of the Year?). But I was inspired enough by winners like my heroes at Torrisi (Restaurant of the Year, New York; and Best Restaurant, National) that I’m going to hand out a few awards myself.

Best Parental SupportChristina Tosi’s MOM helped the awesome Momofuku Milk Bar crew pack up their pork bun equipment after the party.


Michael White Balances his Winning Cans

Best Juggling of Multiple Award Cans
Michael White who won three of them: So Hot Right Now, New York; Chef of the Year, New York; and Danny Meyer’s Empire Builder of the Year, New York.

Best After-Party HostJosh Capon, who brought everyone over to his new brew pub Burger & Barrel and then morphed into a Jewish grandmother, making all the late nighters eat second and third helpings of his epic burgers, tacos, Cuban sandwiches and, for the lucky Eater big wigs, fried chicken.

Restaurants

Alchemy of Taste and Smell—The Next Great Food Conference

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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.

Chefs

What Foodies Eat Pre- and Post-Marathon

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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

Restaurants

A Restaurant-Art Gallery-Flower Shop in Lima

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© 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.

Restaurants

The Great Pumpkin Carving Contest at DBGB

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© Georgette Farkas
DBGB's Wining All Pumpkin Yankee Burger

At DBGB, 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.

Awards
1st 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.

[More]

Restaurants

Laurent Gras Proves Why He’s Food & Wine’s Fittest Chef

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© Jen Leuzzi
Ken Vendrinski, Laurent Gras & George Hincapie Ride for Hope

Laurent Gras, 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, too.

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.

Farms

A Hotel That Teaches Butchering

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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.

Cocktails

Early Look: Ferran Adrià’s New Barcelona Spots

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© 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.”

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