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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine


Tim Love Cooks for Rock Stars


Chef Tim Love Gets Ready for Austin City Limits

Yesterday I detailed Texas star chef Tim Love's all-out burger grilling for the rain-soaked fans at Austin City Limits Music Festival. But that was just Love’s day job. At night, he cooked dinners for the headlining bands. Which means that on Friday night, after the Kings of Leon show, Love was sitting at a table, eating family-style with KOL (“who by the way, might be the coolest people I’ve met in a long time,” he says), as well as Eddie Vedder (who told Love he’d changed Vedder’s perspective on food), Ben Harper, Perry Farrell and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. What did Love make? Rabbit-rattlesnake sausage; venison and foie gras sliders with gooseberry chutney; crispy pig-ear salad; grilled Australian kobe long-bone rib eyes. “Those guys love meat. It was a meat fest." Okay, it wasn't all meat: Love had mushrooms flown in from Oregon, which he sautéed with a load of garlic. And it wasn’t all food: By the end of each night, when the party invariably wrapped up at the Four Seasons, Love was ordering tequila shots by the dozen (you can ask, but he won't confirm who gets the tequila shot rock star award).  “It was the most insane rock and roll experience I’ve ever had," says Love. "Times a hundred.” Hopefully that wasn't the tequila shot count.


Chef Tim Love at Austin City Limits


Some major bands headlined the Austin City Limits Music Festival this past weekend: Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam, to name three of them. But during the day, there was another star: chef Tim Love, owner of Lonesome Dove and two Love Shack burger joints, all in Fort Worth, Texas. Each day of the three-day festival, Love cooked around 4,500 burgers, 1,500 hot dogs and 3,000 orders of freshly made potato chips at the Love Shack booth in the food court. Each day. “Saturday I was cooking burgers in the pouring rain; there was a sea of people out there chanting my name,” says Love. “It was nonstop from noon until 10 pm. Love burgers everywhere. It was like being a rock star.” Even better than that were some of the rock stars Love got to hang out with at ACL. More on that tomorrow.


Perfect Pairings Menu Campaign


© Perfect Pairings
Look for the Perfect Pairings logo on menus throughout October.


I recently went to a kick-off party at NYC's Bar Boulud celebrating the launch of the Perfect Pairings Menu Campaign, a great and delicious new initiative to help fight hunger. Throughout October, nearly 100 restaurants in New York City, San Francisco and South Florida will feature special food-and-drink pairings on their menus, designated by the Perfect Pairings fork-and-bottle logo. Every restaurant will donate one dollar from each order to Meals-on-Wheels. I can’t think of a better reason to start experimenting with new food and wine, cocktail or beer matches.


Fifth Annual Vendy Awards


© Jennifer Salerno

A dispatch from the fifth annual Vendy Awards in New York City from's Jen Salerno:

While UN dignitaries assembled in Manhattan this weekend, another group of international notables gathered at Flushing Meadows Park: NYC’s favorite street food vendors, who cooked, served and competed at the fifth annual Vendy Awards. It was a daylong tasting of the most accessibly delicious food the city has to offer, like jerk chicken from the Jamaican Dutchy (51st St. and 7th Ave. in Manhattan), run by 29-year-old O’Neill Reid, and crispy, tender falafel from Palestinian Fares Zeidaies (30th St. and Broadway in Astoria). It was like my fantasy of the perfect traveling fair. Biryani Cart owner Meru Sikder won the Grey Poupon People’s Taste Award with his ethereally light kati rolls (pictured) (a reprisal of his ’08 triumph; 46th St. and 6th Ave. in Manhattan), but the judges gave the Vendy Cup to Pueblan husband-and-wife team Yolanda and Fernando Martinez, who serve killer tacos and huaraches from their Country Boys truck at the Red Hook Ball Fields (Clinton St. and Bay St. in Brooklyn). My personal favorite, and winner of the dessert award, was Thomas DeGeest’s roving Wafels & Dinges truck. I highly recommend the Brussels wafel with a simple dollop of whipped cream.


Le Fooding: The Recap


After the two frenetic nights of Le Fooding D’Amour—this weekend's event at P.S. 1 in Long Island City celebrating the “casual” cooking of some of the hippest chefs from Paris and NYC—several questions lingered.

*Who, wondered, could claim success for the event, the "free-spirited French" or “street-food savvy New Yorkers?” (Diplomatically, they didn’t make the call.)

*Who had the longest of the long lines? Unofficially, I’d say Friday night it was Yves Camdeborde of Paris’s Le Comptoir, who served Henry IV chicken stew; Saturday night, the Black Label burgers from NYC’s Minetta Tavern. Both restaurants are impossible to get into for different reasons, so it makes sense that both dishes would be impossible to get to as well.

*What was the best thing to eat? As they say, it was all good, but the most buzzed-about dish was probably the burnt eggplant that garnished beef tenderloin and roast peppers and onions from Inaki Aizpitarte of Paris’s Le Chateaubriand.

*What was the best thing to drink? With all respect to French wine god Michel Chapoutier and Champagne purveyor Veuve Cliquot, it was the Moscow Mule riff from Richard Boccato of the nearby Dutch Kills bar.

*Who brought the party? Sean Rembold of Brooklyn’s Diner (who made killer fried corn with scallop butter) said: "The French. Chefs like Inaki and Christophe Pelé get crazy!” Me, I’d give that prize to Daniel Boulud, who brought a belly dancer and iPod-charged soundtrack and got her to go dance with all the chefs. (Believe me, this is much more compelling if I ever get the photo of Daniel and the belly dancer to post here.) 


Le Fooding Kickoff Dinner


© Andrew Sessa

How do you keep some of the world’s most innovative and crazy foodies entertained? As the kickoff dinner last night for Le Fooding D’Amour Paris-New York revealed, you serve them incredible food cooked by the talented crew at Brooklyn's Vinegar Hill House, like whole roasted German trout with green beans and guanciale-and-crème-fraîche pizza. You pair the food with lots of Veuve Clicquot Champagne (seven cases were consumed!). And you set up a pétanque court, enlist a singing accordion player and hire a seriously good balloon-animal-hat maker.

© Andrew Sessa

My table unanimously voted my hat, a unicorn-like crown, as the most outrageous creation of the night (though David Chang’s gold-and-black tower was a close runner-up). Unfortunately, when Daniel Boulud asked to try on my balloon hat, he popped it!

Click here for more party photos.




Le Fooding Sneak Preview


© Adam Schneider/ Courtesy of Veuve Clicquot
David Chang rocks a balloon hat at Vinegar Hill House.

The much-hyped two-night event Le Fooding D’Amour Paris-New York officially starts tonight. But last night, members of Le Fooding—the irreverent French foodie group —gathered at Brooklyn’s Vinegar Hill House for a kickoff dinner sponsored by Veuve Clicquot. Also in attendance: some of NYC’s best chefs and a mix of socialites, celebrities and food lovers like cookbook author Katie Lee , jewelry designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia, Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine and Vena Cava designer Sophie Buhai. If last night’s event is any indication, a carnival-like 48 hours are ahead of us. Just check out the photo below (more explanation to come later today).


Genius Pierre Gagnaire Lunch


Gagnaire's amazing "Zezette" broth.

© Alessandra Bulow
Gagnaire's amazing "Zezette" mushroom broth.

Sure, my colleagues ate breakfast with chef-god Pierre Gagnaire the other day. I did them one better—I ate a meal that he himself cooked. As a preview of the menu he'll be serving at Twist at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas, opening in December, he hosted a lunch in the 36th floor ballroom of the hotel’s New York City location, overlooking Central Park.

The meal started with an amazing dish that I'd never seen anything like before—lightly fried strips of Dover sole with spinach, accompanied by bowls of white vegetable velouté and bocconcini ice cream. Gagnaire topped the fish with a large, very thin disk of "Kientzheim" butter—a funny name for a butter he flavors with reduced fish stock, shallots and Champagne—that melts into the fish when warm sauce is poured on top.

Another dish, named "Zezette" after a good friend of his, was an earthy-sweet and rich mushroom broth (pictured) served with roasted duck, braised turnips (which turn deep pink after soaking in beet juice and Campari) and "Yoyo," basmati rice–Parmesan gratin named after his friend Yolanda, who also makes this dish.

Now I'm back in my cubicle, dreaming about my incredible experience and thinking that I know exactly what I'd call a dish named after Pierre Gagnaire: “Genius!”


More Ilse Crawford Design News


In London, Ilse Crawford’s incredible design firm, Studioilse, is hosting a series of "Kitchen Table Talks" at Leila’s Shop restaurant, starting tonight and running through October. Crawford has gathered a Who’s Who of design, food and eco-mindedness to discuss the link between growing food and building community. The lineup includes Randolph Hodgson, founder of Neal’s Yard Dairy; Dennis Paphitis, founder of cult beauty brand Aesop; and Tristram Stuart, author of Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. Click here for dates and details.

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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.