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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Chef Intel

Why One Last Evening at Lutèce is Priceless

Chef Andre Soltner at Lutece.

Lutèce; courtesy of chef André Soltner (wearing toque).

The legendary New York City French restaurant Lutèce closed in 2004, but it will be reborn for one night only, on April 16, to benefit University Settlement. Alsace native André Soltner—now the dean of classic studies at the International Culinary Center—opened Lutèce in 1961, just as America’s obsession with food and cooking was beginning. “When we opened 50 years ago, there were restaurants that served canned or frozen food. We were very focused on the best ingredients you can get,” remembers the pioneering chef. During his 35 years behind the stove, Soltner’s celebrity and flawless classic French cuisine attracted New York’s glitterati and the country’s most respected food lovers, including Julia Child.

Soltner will bring back the spirit of Lutèce by orchestrating an extravagant French wine dinner of iconic dishes such as seafood en croûte and tournedos Rossini: filet mignon with foie gras and Madeira sauce. The cost for entry to this once-in-a-lifetime reboot (with dessert from Jacques Torres) starts at $3,000, which will aid the University Settlement’s many programs aimed at uplifting low-income families and immigrants through education, decent housing, and improving physical and emotional well being. Tickets here.

For those whose interest in the French classics is piqued, we asked Soltner to describe some of the incredibly complex dishes that wowed guests during his restaurant’s prime. “People nowadays think classic French cuisine was heavy, but when it was done the right way then it was not. It was very tasty,” he says. Click through the slideshow to see the Endangered French Classics.

Related: 12 Classics to Master
More French Masters

Event Planner

What Will the Food World Look Like in 2013?

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Chef Dan Barber. © Andrew Hetherington

Chef Dan Barber. // © Andrew Hetherington

While the Euro may still exist, and kitchen refrigerators aren’t posting online status updates just yet, other predictions made during The World in 2012 Festival hosted last year by The Economist proved to be on point—like the euro-zone crisis and Facebook's first public offering. With global hunger issues on the rise, and today's chefs garnering as much attention as rock stars, the future of food will be a hot topic at this year's The World in 2013 Festival, held December 6 and 8 in NYC. Chef-activist and writer Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns will discuss the current global food crisis, focusing on issues of worldwide obesity, agricultural sustainability and soaring food prices.

Facebook co-founder Sean Parker and Daniel Ek, founder of social music platform Spotify, are slated to kick off the two-day event with a technology and society panel at Thursday’s gala dinner. A roster of notable figures in politics, business, science and the arts—including chef Barber—round out the line-up on Saturday, leading discussions and debates on topics ranging from human nature to issues in energy, health care and the world’s emerging economies.

The Economist is selling full package tickets for both Thursday night’s dinner and Saturday’s speaker panels for $550. Separate tickets are $495 and $75, respectively. A schedule of the festival’s events, speakers and topics is available here

Follow Jasmin on Twitter @jasminsun.


Related: Recipes from Farm-to-Table Chefs
10 Recipes by Sustainable Food Visionairies
Chef Dan Barber Bio and Recipes

Expert Guide to Mobile Restaurants

NYC's Vendy Superstars Name the Best Food Trucks

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Ceviche at Pestle & Mortar // © Jasmin Sun

Ceviche at Pestle & Mortar // © Jasmin Sun

“Especially in NYC, you don’t always have time to eat at a restaurant—sometimes you just need to grab something and go,” says Will Edwards of Peruvian-inspired Pestle & Mortar, which was among the finalists for best market vendor at the eighth annual Vendy Awards on Saturday.

In an act of meta proportions, F&W asked some of the amazing street food specialists attending the awards event for food truck recommendations of their own. They’re not part of any foodie craze, they’re not Plan B-career types. They’re auténtico, and they’re super delicious. »

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Chefs

The Next Generation of New Orleans Chefs

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Chef John Besh presents Syrena Johnson with her chef jacket.

Chef John Besh presents Syrena Johnson with her chef jacket. / Courtesy Besh Restaurant Group

Here at F&W we’re crazy about the amazing food that our chef heroes make every single day, but we’re even more excited when they’re passionate about passing the torch on to the next generation of culinary leaders. Legendary chef John Besh has set out on a new mission: diversifying the chef community of New Orleans, enlisting native sons and daughters to preserve the city's venerable culinary traditions.

Read more >

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Events

F&W Exclusive: Tickets for Le Fooding’s Epic Brooklyn Brunch

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Le Fooding Brooklyn Fling

 

No matter how hard I try, I can’t think of anything cooler than Le Fooding’s Brooklyn Fling, taking place from September 19 to 23. We’ll have Charleston superstar Sean Brock cooking with the Frankies Spuntino team! Swedish superstar Magnus Nilsson hosting a back-in-time picnic at the Brooklyn Flea! The incredible Young Turks from London (cooking duo Isaac Mchale and James Lowe) along with Mission Chinese Food hero Danny Bowien at something called the Campfire Session!

Read more >

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Charity

A Blogger-Fueled Potluck for City Harvest

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Shrimp Casserole

© Lucy Schaeffer / Creamy Shrimp Casserole

Top food bloggers will cook to fight hunger at a public event this Friday. Recipe site Cookstr and crowd funder Zokos are teaming up to throw an innovative charity potluck that will include dishes from The Artful Gourmet's Kristen Hess, JustcookNYC's Justin Schwarz and the team behind Rendezfoods. Attendees must RSVP through Zokos by noon tomorrow with a $20 donation to get unlimited drinks from Brooklyn Brewery, Vinport and Red Jacket Juice as well as blogger-cooked offerings. Those inspired to do so can also bring their own favorite sharable dishes. The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at Cookstr’s downtown New York headquarters, and all proceeds will go to City Harvest, an organization working to end hunger in New York City.

Related: F&W's Chefs Make Change
Delicious Potluck Recipes
Portable Desserts

Charity

Star Chefs Bake for a Cause

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Locanda Verde Cookies

Courtesy of Locanda Verde

On Saturday, July 7th, some of New York's most talented chefs and pastry chefs will contribute to what promises to be a spectacular bake sale. Cookies for Kids' Cancer, an incredible organization founded by a mom who lost her son to neuroblastoma, will be selling treats from Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi, Red Rooster’s Deborah Racicot, ABC Kitchen’s Dan Kluger and Locanda Verde's Karen Demasco among others. Though the group hosts sales to benefit pediatric cancer treatment and research all over the country, this one will be takes place from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. In East Hampton's Amagansette Square. Can't attend? You can still donate, buy cookies online or even host your own bake sale for the organization by visiting cookiesforkidscancer.org.

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Insiders' Aspen

The Food & Wine Classic in Aspen: Then and Now

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Insiders’ Aspen

Photographs: Alison Harris (Hazan), Percy Ramirez for Oxfam (De Laurentiis), Brad Trent (Parker), Courtesy of Paul Grieco (Grieco), Perry Johnson (Lagasse, 1990), Courtesy of Steven Freeman (Lagasse, today), Rachel Cobb (Child), Courtesy of Tom Hopkins (Pépin)

When the Food & Wine classic in Aspen launched 30 years ago, 300 people showed up. Today, more than 5,000 come: celebrity chefs, wine pros, restaurateurs, citizen foodies and—perhaps the happiest, most excited group of all—F&W editors. Our job is to run around for three days introducing the speakers and panelists at cooking demos and wine tastings; eating and drinking our way through the Grand Tasting Tent (sort of a dream wine-and-food bazaar); catching up with friends like Jacques Pépin at parties, after-parties and after-after-parties; and getting a crash course on the latest culinary trends, news and personalities to watch. Here, a window into the Classic for anyone who’s ever wanted to go:

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Chefs Make Change

Join Celebs, Musicians and Bill Clinton in Support of the Mario Batali Foundation

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Mario Batali and U2's The Edge

Mario Batali and U2's The Edge; Ken Goodman Photography

Among the superstars in Food & Wine's Chefs Make Change coalition, Mario Batali is making power moves to raise funds for his charity this summer. The Mario Batali Foundation, which helps feed, protect and educate children, just announced two celebrity-studded events starring Bill Clinton. The former president will headline an inaugural MBF Honors dinner in New York on September 9 at Batali's fine-dining flagship Del Posto Ristorante, where guests will include Jimmy Fallon (tickets $1,500 and over).

On September 10, Clinton, the chef, and his creative friends will play golf at the third annual MBF Swing Session Celebrity Golf Classic (see: Batali with U2 guitarist The Edge at last year's event, left). The all-day outing features a chartered boat ride from Manhattan to Liberty National Golf Club across the Hudson, a clinic with PGA player Hunter Mahan and food from Marea's Michael White and Del Posto chef Mark Ladner. Slots start at $3,000 ($10k for a foursome). Club Hill Media produced a video tease if you want a closer look at how these blockbuster events are done.

Tickets: MBF Honors Dinner
3rd Annual Swing Session Celebrity Golf Classic, Liberty National Golf Club, NJ

Events

Big Apple BBQ 2012

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Pit Master Chris Lilly

© Diane Cu

The popular party in New York City’s Madison Square Park celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. Pit masters from around the US will hawk samples of their specialties. Expect the longest lines at Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q stand, where Chris Lilly (photo) dishes out his famously succulent pulled pork. New this year: screenings of films featuring barbecue and a performance by famed Texas rocker Alejandro Escovedo. June 9-10; bigapplebbq.org

Related: Best New BBQ Joints in the US

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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.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.