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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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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.

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.

Chefs

A Night with Ferran for A Day at El Bulli Screening

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© kate krader
Ferran Adrià with F&W star contributor Anya von Bremzen.

Ferran Adrià was only in New York briefly—I estimate 48 hours—but he still screened the amazing documentary A Day at El Bulli. The profile of the world’s most famous restaurant is directed by Ferran’s brother, Albert Adrià (more on Albert in a second). Here, a few more cool details.

The Film: As the name suggests, A Day at El Bulli includes morning coffee with Adrià, a surprisingly laid-back staff meal, the arrival of the first customers at 7:30 pm (remember, this is Spain), the departure of the last customer at who-knows-what time, and plenty of mind-blowing food all the way through.

The Screening Location
: The just-opening Bar Basque in the Eventi hotel in midtown NYC, which will feature a rotating list of visiting chefs from the Basque region. Another smart feature of the restaurant: a giant projector with the capacity to show films on the wall of an adjacent building.

What Ferran Said At the Reception (in Spanish, via a translator): “This is the first time I’ve seen the film since I announced the closing of El Bulli. Now I know, the spirit must continue. But it’s necessary to have a transformation.” Ferran will announce his exact plans for the new El Bulli at the next Madrid Fusión conference on January 26, 2011. Meanwhile, he’s heavily involved with Albert in a new version of their terrific tapas Barcelona tapas bar, Inopia.

Cookbooks

More Notes from the NYC Wine & Food Festival

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© Lou Manna
Rocco DiSpirito

My colleague Kate Krader recently blogged about her three highlights from last weekend's New York City Wine & Food Festival.  I'm going to add two more to the list.

* My friend Cricket Azima taught a kids' cooking class on Saturday, part of the Kids Get Cooking! segment of the festival.  She deftly led 50 kids (some even clad in chef jackets) in making panzanella.  Nothing beats seeing a bunch of kids happily dicing veggies, all yelling "Mangia, mangia, mangia!" ("Eat, eat, eat!" in Italian) in unison. 

* On Sunday, Rocco DiSpirito cracked jokes during his culinary demo, as he shared secrets for making over comfort foods from his latest book, Now Eat This!  Rocco related how he wanted to find a way to have real fried chicken, while cutting out a lot of the fat: "Who needs another baked chicken recipe?" he said.  He consulted Harold McGee, father of all things scientific in the kitchen, and discovered that less time in oil = less fat absorbed. So, he came up with the idea to poach chicken in broth until almost cooked through, dunk it in the requisite buttermilk bath and flour coating, then flash-fry it very quickly in hot oil.  Chicken that's crispy and lower in fat: genius!

Wine

Highlights: New York City Wine & Food Festival

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© Joshua David Stein
Andrew Zimmern and Michael White in action at Carts in the Parc

On the CBS Early Show the morning after the close of the spectacular/crazy/non-stop New York City Wine & Food Festival, Bobby Flay said he couldn’t pick a highlight. I sympathize – there was a lot to choose from. But I did manage to pick my 3 favorite brand new (and parties) events from NYCWFF.

*Sommelier Showdown
– On Saturday morning, the country's best (and it would seem most hungover) sommeliers, plus some adventurous wine fans, congregated at Del Posto for a superfun blind-tasting contest, complete with elimination rounds, performances by new wine-rapping star Justin Warner and a big win by Bar Boulud’s Michael Madrigale.

*The Cosmopolitan After Party
– Yes, I was excited for a late-night party from the opening-soon Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (I’m partial to any party that has the prefix "after"). And this was pretty much the kind of party I dream about — superb sushi from Blue Ribbon, no line and great drinks at the bar, good DJ, sweet rooftop option and an old-school photo booth that let you choose black-and-white or color (always b&w).  
 
*Carts in the ParcAndrew Zimmern, F&W’s new favorite TV food star, played host to a genius afternoon party at the very cool, just opened FoodParc and invited 24 of his favorite food trucks to park there. In less than five minutes I managed to eat a killer tongue slider from chef Michael White, a Biryani Cart superspicy kati roll and a Treats Truck peanut-butter cupcake. Eater’s Joshua David Stein has more hilarious highlights.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.