© Lois Ellen Frank
The Basics for Tomahawking Champagne.
In Part II of my occasional series, Don’t Necessarily Try This at Home (Part I featured two-year-old vintage eggnog
from Jonathon Sawyer
of Greenhouse Tavern
in Cleveland), I’d like to spotlight tomahawking Champagne
as a potential holiday trend. I first heard about this from Holly Arnold Kinney
, who owns the iconic Rocky Mountain restaurant The Fort
, outside of Denver. Instead of the classic, and dramatic, French practice of “sabering” Champagne
—hitting the bottle neck with a saber at just the right angle so the cork pops off—the Fort uses a tomahawk to do the same job.
In her cool new coffee-table book, Shinin’ Times at the Fort
, Kinney goes into even more detail: “My dad taught his pal Julia Child
how to tomahawk a bottle of Champagne, and later that week, she taught Jay Leno
how to do so when she was a guest on The Tonight Show
.... [but] the bottle Julia used was weak and broke all over the set! Although she grabbed a second bottle and tomahawked it perfectly, NBC decided to use the broken-bottle take to promote the show.”
© Wired Images
Kevin West's Dewar's-spiked marmalade
The super-hip fashion label Band of Outsiders
just opened a cool new design studio in Los Angeles. To christen the space, Band of Outsiders founder Scott Sternberg hosted a dinner party there last week, with cocktails from Dewar’s and food catered by F&W Best New Chefs 2009 Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal
Among the 100 guests who sat down to the brown-butcher-paper-covered table were actress Marisa Tomei, editor Lisa Love, model Jessica Joffe and author Bret Easton Ellis. A highlight of the night was Kevin West’s take-home gifts: The former W magazine editor turned jam obsessive, founder of West Sweet Preserves
, used Dewar’s White Label to make an awesome marmalade with local Valencia oranges, Eureka lemons and Marsh grapefruits. For those not at the party, click here
to order a jar.
Cult California cheesemaker Cypress Grove recently visited the office. F&W Features intern Chelsea Morse reports on what she learned about her favorite cheese:
When I moved from San Francisco to New York, I was happy to discover that Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog goat cheese is widely available nationwide. It has been my go-to cheese-plate anchor since I first tasted it years ago. Cypress Grove cheesemaker and founder Mary Keehn had these tips to share about my favorite snack:
-Fresh goat cheeses and farm cheeses, which have high moisture content, can be frozen without adversely affecting their flavor. This is a great way to save cheese for future cooking projects.
-Storing semi-soft cheese in plastic wrap is the surest way to ruin it. The rind is alive with good bacteria: Plastic wrap cuts off its air supply and kills it. Parchment paper is a much better wrapping – it's breathable and far less expensive than fancy cheese storage papers.
-Depending on the cheese’s age, it can be crumbly and citrusy or creamy and earthy – as the rind ages, the flavor deepens, and the texture changes. An oozy cheese has definitely not necessarily gone bad.
The Cypress Grove website has much more trivia, tasting notes, and pairing suggestions.
© Alessandra Bulow
From left: Rory Tischler, Jon (Smooth) Varriano & Seton Rossini man the bar at The Old F&W Art Saloon
Halloween is two days away but the art department staff of Food & Wine
’s marketing team is kicking off the festivities today by transforming their office space into The Old F&W
Art Saloon. In addition to dressing up in awesome 19th-century Western costumes, they’re serving beef chili with beans
, buttery corn bread
and fantastic homemade black pepper beef jerky
(Last year they dressed as the Simmons Family including Top Chef judge and F&W’s own Gail Simmons, Gene Simmons and Richard Simmons—no relation.)
Scrounging for a last-minute Halloween costume or party idea? Get inspiration from F&W's Dress Like a Chef and Halloween Party slideshows.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
© Michael Turek
Jason Wu learns the secret to perfect macarons.
kicks off in New York City tomorrow and anyone who has been following the September fashion magazine previews should know that the hourglass figure is in this season
. To celebrate the backlash of the über-thin model and the comeback of curves, here are some delicious recipes from food-obsessed fashion designers. Asian party recipes
from the boundary-pushing team at Opening Ceremony.
Michelle Obama’s design darling, Jason Wu
, is addicted to François Payard’s French macarons.
An over-the-top dinner party menu
of braised veal osso buco, saffron risotto and sautéed broccoli rabe from entertaining and design genius Naeem Khan
. Southern-inspired potluck dishes
from Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin
and her closest food and fashion friends.
© Paul Costello
Bryan Batt is mad for cocktails.
I try to boycott TV in the summer, but I totally confess that I’ve been counting down for Sunday night, when season four of Mad Men
premieres. It’s the perfect excuse to throw a 1960s-style cocktail party. I asked Bryan Batt, who plays Sal Romano on the show, what he’ll be mixing this weekend. “I’m a purist, so a classic Manhattan
or dry Martini
,” he said. For more ideas, check out our story
with Bryan from the May issue, featuring awesome cocktails and food like paprika-smoked baby back ribs
from one of his favorite New Orleans bars, Cure
Every year, my friends and I have a designated “Day of Sloth,” when we spend the entire day indoors watching movies and eating gluttonous foods like meatballs
, salted brownies
and “crack dip
.” That last one, the dip, is the creation of a friend who is prohibited under penalty of death to share the recipe. Since she won’t be able to attend this year, she gave me a rare gift: her spice mix (all I have to do is add some cream cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco). I passed the mix around the office to see what we could discern, and the guesses were as far-ranging as chile powder, Old Bay, curry and garlic powder. (I’m personally convinced the stuff is laced with MSG.) Until I can squeeze the full recipe out of my friend, I guess I’ll have to be content having these F&W favorites. There are worse fates! Caramelized Onion DipFresh Goat Cheese and Crispy Shallot DipFrench Onion Dip
I've always been a fan of Super Bowl parties, but I'm even more excited for soccer's World Cup—who can resist a monthlong extravaganza as an excuse to throw a summer barbecue? A friend of mine is hosting a party on Saturday afternoon to watch the U.S. vs. England game. She's British, as are most of the guests, but there's a strong American contingent attending to keep the emotions running high. The host is making Pimm's Cup
—a great drink for a crowd
, and very British to boot—and grilling hot dogs
. I'm planning on bringing a Chipotle-Corn Salad
(at left), though other room-temperature salads, like Pasta Salad with Grilled Sausages and Peppers
, would be fantastic as well. Here are 25 more recipes
to bring to a World Cup party.
This Saturday is the Kentucky Derby
, and even though I know it's all about the horses, who can blame me for thinking of refreshments instead, when the contenders have names like Sidney's Candy
and Ice Box
? If I were in Brooklyn
this weekend I'd get my julep fix at the Vanderbilt
, Saul Bolton's six-month-old Prospect Heights restaurant, which put a julep variation on the menu a few weeks ago. My Kentucky-born, bourbon-loving husband might chastise me for liking their well-balanced Tupelo Julep, made with rye, cognac and apricot-mint syrup instead of the traditional bourbon and mint, but he would agree that the bartender, Brian Patrick Floyd, gets the ice perfect, so that the glass frosts over as the drink slowly melts. Variations of the julep abound; here are a few to try at your own Derby party: Mint JulepBlanca JulepParsley-Gin JulepChampagne Julep
© Alessandra Bulow
Tom Colicchio, Drew Nieporent, Daniel Boulud & Rick Smilow rocking out at D'Artagnan's 25th Anniversary Party.
, the owner of D'Artagnan
, is the head of the French chefs' mafia," said Anthony Bourdain
at the artisanal-foods company’s 25th anniversary party in New York City last week.
Daguin was the master of ceremonies at the fête, enthusiastically organizing a Bobbing for Prunes in Armagnac contest and leading a synchronized Paquito el Chocolatero dance
with about 100 of the mostly French-speaking guests
, many wearing red and white clothing—the colors of D'Artagnan.
Looking a little bit like a made man in a well-cut black suit, a red silk tie and a matching pocket square, Bourdain was just one of the superstar chefs at the event, where tables were piled high with the company's fantastic terrines, pâtés and French kisses (foie-gras-stuffed prunes) and the passed hors d'oeuvres included seared foie gras and delicate quail legs.Tom Colicchio
broke out his guitar and was joined onstage by Daniel Boulud
(wearing tight red pants—hot!), restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Rick Smilow, president of the Institute for Culinary Education. The group performed Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" and Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Green River.”
Over the past 25 years, Daguin has built a family of chefs and foodies who genuinely appreciate and love her and her company—a feeling that was palpable at the party.
"She's a mother to us all," said Bourdain.