© 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.
Eighties Revival Special Part 3: Gordon Gekko, the Wall Street financial villain who symbolized the decadence of the Eighties, is back: Director Oliver Stone has just started filming Wall Street 2. Relive Gekko’s excess with luxe hors d’oeuvres like pancetta-wrapped mussels, goat cheese-stuffed mushrooms, and deeply savory prosciutto-fontina pinwheels (pictured).
The recent obsession with learning to butcher and cooking an entire animal from snout to tail meant that my Fourth of July weekend was packed with pig-roast invitations, rather than the typical burger-and-beer barbecues of years past. When my friend Tiffany introduced the idea of hosting a pig roast to her husband, Santi, she assumed they would have the event catered. But, ever resourceful, Santi Googled "pig roast" and landed at a site called Three Guys From Miami, which provided instructions for a Cuban-style DIY pig roast. Santi followed the directions to construct his own roaster (now a fixture in the backyard), ordered a 55-pound hog from his local butcher and spent the night massaging the pig with his own special rub. I was skeptical, but after the pig cooked for six hours over indirect heat, we had a delicious feast for the Fourth.
© image courtesy of Etsy
Today on Etsy.com
, the world's largest online market for all things handmade, F&W's amazing style editor, Jessica Romm
, picks out some great things to buy for a clambake, including nautical-themed items like this sailboat (left). Over the summer F&W editors will pick more of their favorite Etsy party items; what can we say, when it comes to entertaining, we like to shop as much as we like to cook. For more clambake recipes, click here
© Jen Silker
Porcelain lanterns from Alyssa Ettinger.
Brooklyn-based designer Alyssa Ettinger
has just introduced gorgeous lanterns made from translucent porcelain, which give off a firefly-like glow when a votive is added. The molds are hand-cast from antique mason jars; a thin wire handle makes them perfect for hanging at backyard barbecues. They're available on Etsy
© Dove Chocolate Discoveries
Dove Chocolate Discoveries Party
Dove has come up with a new way to sell their delicious confections:the Dove Chocolate Discoveries
party. It's similar to a Tupperware party, except you can
actually have too much Tupperware. And unlike an Avon or Mary Kay party, you don’t have to lie to your friends and tell them they can’t live without that blue eye shadow that somehow makes their muddy brown eyes just pop! Anyone who decides to have a party can either be the host (and receive free treats) or take on the role of Chocolatier
. The Chocolatier earns commissions on everything sold at a party, like the addictive chocolate-covered almonds and pretzels and baking mixes (which make things like chewy chocolate chip gingerbread cookies or chocolate cupcakes). Maybe they’ll even add a chocolate-brown car as incentive, which I would drive over an eye-roll-inducing pink Cadillac any day.
If retweeting is re-posting a twitter feed, what's the word for re-blogging a Facebook status update? Retatting? This is a retat. Last night I got so excited I mentioned this on my Facebook page. A vegan friend is coming for Passover, and while concocting vegan main courses and a dessert is fairly brainless (see these excellent vegan main courses from F&W and desserts from Babycakes vegan bakery), I got kind of addled at the idea that anyone might feel left out during the requisite courses of gefilte fish and matzo ball soup. The soup was easy: I made my vegetable broth look like chicken stock by browning the onions in a little olive oil before simmering them in water. Then I added big florets of cauliflower, which look a lot like matzo balls, and simmered them until soft.
Vegan gefilte fish was the stumper. Gefilte fish, for me, is mostly just an excuse to clear my sinuses: The bland quenelles of whitefish taste best swirled in peppery beet horseradish. (They're also a fun way to paint your plate purple.) So what's bland, holds together in quenelle form without eggs, and goes well with a peppery beet-colored condiment? It only came to me at about 11 pm: chickpea cakes! My recipe: Sauté a finely minced quarter of a white onion (or 2 large shallots) in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with a pinch of dried thyme and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Add the rinsed chickpeas from one 15-oz can, cover and simmer until just heated through. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Add 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Mash the heck out of the peas with a potato masher and form into 1/4-cup mini-footballs. Cover and refrigerate before serving. We'll see how they go over at this evening's seder. But three of them made for a lovely midnight snack last night.
At Food & Wine, we think our Best New Chef awards are some of the most prestigious in the culinary world. They are of course – and we have a whole new class to announce next week. (Stay tuned!). But there are some even greater honors and one of them would surely be to cook at the White House to mark your country’s Independence Day. Michael Psilakis, who was an outstanding F&W Best New Chef last year, received just such an honor earlier this week when he cooked a meal to mark Greek Independence Day. There are some things Psilakis can’t talk about—like whether he managed to get President Barack Obama to eat beets (which he doesn’t like), or even what the President ate in general. And there are some things that are already well detailed in Psilakis’s interview with The Feedbag. But the chef did have some other insights which makes me want to go to the White House right now, even if Psilakis isn’t still cooking there.
On Being One of the (or perhaps the Inaugural) First Outside Chefs to Cook in the White House “The White House chef said that though other chefs have participated in events, like picnics on the lawn, this was one of the first times an outside chef was physically in the kitchen, feeding the president. Everything was trippy because there was no protocol. The Food & Beverage Manager said, ‘tell me what you want and we’ll get it for you.’ That never happens. That’s on top of the fact that I think I'm the first Greek chef there, to celebrate Greek Independence day.”
On the Menu Raw meze of tuna with feta dust and pickled raw and dehydrated watermelon; open goat moussaka; braised snails with rabbit confit; trahana (pebble size pasta) in a rabbit jus with dehydrated halloumi cheese; roast octopus with pickled morel mushrooms, baby fennel and leeks.
Highlight of the White House Tour The China Room. "The china from almost every president is on display in that room. The thought of the First Lady choosing to have Lincoln china for lunch that she’ll have with a head of state: She can call up the kitchen and say, ‘I’m having lunch with the Queen, I’d like to use the Washington china.’ You’re a chef and you can actually plate on that presidential china. My favorite was the Washington china. The first First Lady ever picked those things."
On Meeting the President “It’s incredible. He’s captivated those people at the White House, even in this short period of time. They really believe in him, even the cooks. He walked into the kitchen and said 'hi.' I said, ‘hi.’ He said, ‘What is this,’ and then asked if he could have some, I said ‘I think we can work something out.’ He laughed. Vice President Joe Biden was behind him, they both spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen. He was interested in the food, we had conversations about what I was cooking. He’s much larger in life than he is on television. It was unbelievable that he just came into the kitchen.”
On Getting a Picture Taken with the President “Here’s the best way to tell you that he’s the real thing. We were taking a picture underneath a portrait, a painting of Jefferson, I believe. And there was a table of food right next to us. And the President said, ‘This isn’t the right picture, you should be by the food. And so we took another picture by the food. How many "stars"—athletes, musicians, who aren’t nearly as powerful as the President of the United States—would be that warm and welcoming?”
On Cooking at the White House for Greek Independence Day “I feel like I just won a gold medal for my country – for Greece and for the culinary world. It was monumental, once in a lifetime and surreal. I’m not usually at a loss for words, but it’s hard to put this into words. It’s been my goal as a chef to show people that Greek food can, should and will stand right next to Italian and French in the world of haute cuisine. I tried as hard as I possibly could to make Greece as a nation look good and I hope I did a good job.”
Alvaro Palacios is everywhere these days—even in the movies! Well, sort of. The undisputed star of modern Spanish winemaking appears in F&W’s April issue at a party in Manhattan’s new City Winery. Then, when I was watching the recently released DVD of Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, I saw that Allen thanked Palacios in the credits. (I almost missed it, distracted as I was by thoughts of how I might come back in another life as the stunning Penélope Cruz). This makes sense: It seemed that every character in every scene was holding, swishing or sipping a glass of wine. As it turns out, the film’s producers, who are Catalan, approached Palacios about using his wines. He obliged. Palacios’s bottlings, especially those from the Priorat region in Catalonia, are some of Spain’s finest. His Finca Dofí (a Grenache- and Cabernet-based blend) and his Les Terrasses (which combines Carignane and Grenache with a touch of Cabernet and Syrah) are both featured prominently in the film. He also supplied wines from Bierzo, in northwest Spain, as well as a couple of Riojas. In return for all of this fabulous vino, which I can only imagine the actors savored (and for which Palacios supposedly received no payment), he was invited to attend the Spanish premier. Who got the better deal?