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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Chefs

Alchemy of Taste and Smell—The Scented Dinner

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© John Sconzo
Alchemy of Taste and Smell Chefs Included David Chang and Wylie Dufresne.

I don’t know what you all did for dinner on Saturday night. Me, I sat in a small dining room in New York City’s Astor Center and got showered with vanilla-scented bubbles from a machine that looked like it was borrowed from a Bensonhurst disco while Roberta’s chef Carlo Mirarchi served luscious sea urchin with carrot granita and vanilla. It was just one of the courses in the Scented Dinner that closed the Alchemy of Taste and Smell conference, and I was just one of the guests (Ruth Reichl, Jeffrey Steingarten and Harold McGee were there too). And Mirachi was just one of the chefs creating extra-sensory dishes with help from perfumer Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes. Coi’s Daniel Patterson, the festival’s organizer, cooked beets in hay and then scented them with more hay, and flowers too. Wylie Dufresne, of WD-50, infused his outstanding aerated foie gras with just the right amount of pine and then served it on pine paper with a burning edge – long story short, it evoked a big burning fireplace, which was just about the only thing missing from that dinner.

Chefs

Behind the Barneys Foodie Holiday Windows with Simon Doonan

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© kate krader
Simon Doonan: In Charge of Food Splattering for Barneys Foodie Holiday Windows.

It’s official: The Foodie Holidays are here. Well, almost. The windows at Barneys New York are, as we write this, just a few hours from completion. Which means that right now, the Bad Boys window — an amazing tableau that includes likenesses of Tony Bourdain at one end of the table, Bobby Flay on top of it and Guy Fieri underneath it — isn’t quite finished. By the end of the day, says Barneys creative director, Simon Doonan, the food fight will be complete and “food” will be strewn on the inside of Barney’s Madison Avenue window. Plates of fake scrambled eggs queued up at the bottom of the window, waiting to be splattered.

And here’s what else the newly fledged food lover Doonan had to say about his holiday windows. “For our customers, celebrity chefs are the celebrities. They’re not interested in Lindsay Lohan’s latest tribulations. They’re foodies and the culture is now foodie. I’ve started going to chef events and they’re so much more hedonistic and wild than the average fashion event.” (I want to know what chef events he’s going to.) Doonan, who credits South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s founder Lee Brian Schrager with bringing on his love for food, and Illy Coffee for helping make the windows happen and keeping his staff caffeinated enough to keep working, continues. “I love the irreverence of my new foodie friends. Now come back later when the food is adhered to the glass; I promise it will be chaotic.”

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

Wine

Drink or Treat for a Good Cause

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© Photo Adventures with Ed.com
Joe Campanale at the 2009 NYC Marathon

This Sunday, NYC’s Anfora wine bar is throwing a Halloween party and encouraging customers to dress up (bonus points for anyone who comes dressed as their favorite biodynamic wine producer) for a good cause. Starting at 6 p.m. Anfora will be serving Halloween cocktails like the Szarlotka (bison grass vodka and apple juice) and snacks. Entries in the costume contest are $10 and all of the proceeds go to Team Hole in the Wall, a great charity that co-owner and sommelier Joe Campanale is racing for next week in the NYC marathon. The best costume wins their choice of brunch or lunch at Dell’anima or L’Artusi.

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]

Recipes

Halloween at Food & Wine’s Office

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© 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.

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