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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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F&W Exclusive: Chefs' Super Bowl Smackdown

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Super Bowl

As the big game approaches this weekend, Patriots and Giants fans are making final preparations for their Super Bowl parties. Beyond menus to plan and guests to invite, there are wagers to be made. A group of northeast chefs just revealed the terms of their “Super Bowl Restaurant Smackdown” to Food & Wine, pitting New England vs. New York. Representing the Patriots are Jamie Bissonnette from Boston’s Toro and Coppa, Tiffani Faison from Sweet Cheeks, Matt Jennings from Providence’s La Laiterie and Farmstead and Gabriel Frasca of Straight Wharf and Provisions. They’re facing off against New York chefs and Giants’ fans Harold Dieterle of Perilla and Kin Shop, Lee Anne Wong of Vynl and Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen. This wager is not about money, it’s about maximum humiliation. Here are the terms:

 

 For seven consecutive days, the representatives of the LOSING TEAM must:

-Wear the opposing team’s jersey in their restaurant .The jersey cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.

-Wear a Statue of Liberty hat (Boston) or a lobster hat (NYC) in their restaurant. The hat cannot be removed during work hours for any reason.

-Feature pastrami on rye (Boston) or New England clam chowder (NYC) prominently on their menu with the following wording:

“In honor of the greatest football team on earth the Patriots/Giants, [Restaurant name(s)] is proudly featuring [name of dish]."

-Tweet a picture of themselves in their hats & jerseys eating the featured dish in their restaurant all seven days.

 

The WINNING TEAM will hand deliver the jerseys and hats to the losing teams and taste the featured menu item.

 

As a Patriots’ fan who now lives in New York City, I’m looking forward to sampling some great clam chowder without the four-hour train ride.

 

For those of you hosting at home check out some of my favorite game-day recipes from F&W.

Spicy Chicken Wings

Double Pork Burgers

Sticky Ribs

More Super Bowl Snacks


 

 

Restaurants

Adrian Grenier Stars at the International Gourmet Festival

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© Vila Joya
Adrian Grenier, Peter Glatzer and I are psyched about SHFT house wines.

It’s a busy time for food-festival groupies. South Beach Wine & Food Festival is coming soon (February 23–26!), then you've got to get to California for Pebble Beach Food & Wine (April 12–15) and before you know it, it’s the 30th anniversary of the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen (June 15–17).
 
Now I’m obsessed with the just-wrapped International Gourmet Festival. The 10-day festival, at Vila Joya in Portugal’s beachy Algarve region, featured dinners with a million Michelin starred chefs. Well, 33 of them, and they came from all over Europe and the US (The Spotted Pig’s April Bloomfield, SHO’s Shaun Hergatt and Laurent Gras all represented for USA). Also running around were awesome food-loving celebs like Adrian Grenier, who, with filmmaker Peter Glatzer brought his new eco-friendly SHFT house wine (you’ll hear more about it the April issue of F&W), Sheryl Crow and Michael Imperioli. Plus a Russian billionaire who flew his plane to Paris to pick up some vodka and caviar for a party. Here are a few highlights from this year’s International Gourmet Festival.
 
Epic Dinner: In my idea of the ultimate potluck, a dozen elite chefs worth 20 Michelin stars combined to cook a 10-course dinner. That meal ran the gamut from a gorgeous foie gras starter topped with shredded crab and fermented cabbage sauce, from the three-starred Dutch chef Jonnie Boer, to a hearty main-course goulash from the Frankfurt chef Mario Lohninger (whom I still miss from his time at NYC’s Danube).
 
Epic After-Party: Adrian Grenier’s late-night DJ gig at Le Club, one of those awesome, cheesy Euro discos that becomes a lot better when someone’s playing decent music. Extra credit to Grenier—he’d spent the afternoon pouring his SHFT wine, and then woke up early the next day (well, at 1 p.m., which is early in the Algarve) to race go-karts.
 
Epic Day Trip: An expedition to Lisbon (it’s two hours away, when a German guy is driving a BMW). There we got to have the insane, custardy de Belem pastries for breakfast, a killer lunch at chef Jose Avillez’s 10-day-old Belcanto and a ride around the city in one of those adorable 1920s cable cars.

Restaurants

Coldplay + AOC in LA

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© Sarah Lee

What’s better then a sold-out floor seat ticket to Coldplay 2012 tour. If you’re in LA, this: that ticket plus a pre-show meal at AOC, the phenomenal Cal-Med wine (and food) bar from Suzanne Goin (an F&W hero and Best New Chef 1999). Blackboardeats dreamed up the package, which is also rolling out in NYC & Chicago. It answers the prayers of all you who don't want to eat something lame before an epic show.
 
Goin just happens to be a huge Coldplay fan and she’ll be heading to the Hollywood Bowl for the show after the dinner on at least one of the show’s three nights. So if you don’t know the way to the Bowl from AOC, you can ask Goin for directions. You can also ask her if any of the dishes are Coldplay-inspired. (For the Chicago Blackboardeats package, Mercadito is creating a Coldplay inspired tequila cocktail.)
 
If you want to start planning your night ahead, here are more details, including the AOC menu and show dates.
 
The Package: A three-course menu at AOC, a floor seat ticket (and a laminated pass for the memories) is $250, while tickets last. Look out for the email blast coming from Blackboardeats LA on Tuesday, January 17.
 
The Dates: May 1, 2, 4   
 
The Place(s): AOC/Hollywood Bowl
 
The Menu:
Citrus and avocado salad with mint and green olives
 
Grilled market fish with fava beans and savory creme fraiche
OR
Liberty Ranch duck confit with black rice and English peas
 
Bittersweet chocolate tart with mascarpone and pistachios in olive oil

Restaurants

New Year's Eve in NYC

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© Nathan Rawlinson
Corkbuzz Will Look A Lot Different on New Years Eve.

New Year’s Eve: Three words that bring either absolute joy or pure terror to your heart. If you’re a) on the joy side, b) in New York City and c) thinking that Times Square doesn’t have your name written all over it, consider some of the following options. (They’re not free, but remember: You always have the option of watching the ball drop in person, with a million strangers and no alcohol or bathrooms anywhere nearby.)
 
Corkbuzz. At Laura Maniec’s excellent new wine bar in the East Village, there will be a sea of Champagne—from, among other sources, a 15-liter Nebuchadnezzar (a bottle that is 20 times as big a regular Champagne bottle and defies regular pouring)—plus an open bar and loads of hors d'oeuvres, charcuterie and cheese. $150; 646-873-6071 or corkbuzz.com.
 
Monkey Bar. If you’d rather celebrate in one of the city’s more fabulous dining rooms, the Monkey Bar is offering two five-course NYE menus with swanky dishes like pasta with crushed truffles. At the second seating, from 8-10 p.m., they’ll pour Champagne from nine-liter Salmanzar bottles. (I obviously have a thing for big bottles.) $135/$165; 212-288-1010 or monkeybar.com.
 
Locanda Verde. At Locanda Verde, they say NYE is business as usual. Ha! There are no special seatings, and there is the regular menu. But there’s also this: awesome sounding specials like potato and leek ravioli with crème fraîche and caviar; and for dessert, panettone bread pudding with nougat gelato. Plus 2,000 balloons and a midnight Champagne toast. Look for a similar situation with different specials and I'm not sure how many balloons at The Dutch. 212-925-3797 or locandaverdenyc.com.
 
Parm. Before my big 2012 diet, I plan on eating as much as possible of everything that just happens to be on Parm’s NYE menu: hot antipasti, New Year’s lasagna and that astonishing, high-rising ice cream cake. There are three seatings: 6:30, 8:30 and 10:30; at the final one, there will also also be bubbles and the house Scorpino cocktail all night. $60/$90; 212-993-7189 or parmnyc.com.
 
Má Pêche. The special NYE bo ssäm dinner at Ssäm bar is already sold out; don’t even try for it. But Má Pêche is still taking reservations for its epic Beef 7 Ways and its whole à la carte menu, and of course there’s Champagne at midnight. 212-757-5878 or momofuku.com.
 
Chef's Pass at Bouley. For those who want to be practically in the kitchen with one of the world’s great chefs (and who know that this kind of experience doesn’t come cheap), there’s Chef’s Pass at Bouley. At the 12-person table between the kitchen and the dining room, you can watch David Bouley prepare your meal, and/or take advantage of the kitchen’s Skype set-up to talk to your brother in the Caribbean or the Tours, France cheesemonger who aged the fromages you’re about to eat—you can ask him what he’s doing up so late. $550; 212-964-2525 or davidbouley.com.

Restaurants

Help Save the World with Mario Batali

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© Melanie Dunea

At Food & Wine, we have big plans to save the world—you’ll hear more about that on January 10, 2012, and in our February issue. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say that superstar chef Mario Batali is a huge part of our strategy. But Batali has his own world-saving plans in effect. The Mario Batali Foundation—which he established to make sure kids are well fed, well read and well cared for—has instituted a terrific Molto Dollars matching program. Batali will match every donation up to $100,000 through February 1. And the generosity keeps going: Aperol, the nicely bitter, vibrantly red Italian aperitif, is also matching those donations. With this kind of math, a $20 donation immediately equals $60.
 
So far this year, Batali has used the Foundation’s money to, among other things, create a Books for Kids library on NYC’s Lower East Side and help fund First Star, a summer immersion academy for foster kids at UCLA. Yay Mario!! Now, c’mon: He’s given you so many great recipes. This is a great time to give him a few bucks for the mariobatalifoundation.org.

 

Chefs

Haute Chef Style

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Gone are the days of sauce-splattered chefs hiding out in closed-door kitchens: With more restaurants embracing open-kitchen layouts, the chef is often as much on display as the food. On December 4 at Mercury Lounge in San Francisco, Fog City Diner executive chef and menswear designer Daniel Sudar launches his new Beyond Chef Wear line, fusing style and function for chef coats made from eco-friendly bamboo and cotton. Chef Alex Ong at Betelnut Restaurant and pastry chef Mitch Blanco at Zuni Cafe have already placed orders; Celebrity chef Art Smith and his husband are fans as well, and wore custom-tailored Daniel Sudar suits at their wedding last August. "I always want to be able to look good in my uniform," says Sudar.


Restaurants

Chicago’s Grooviest Market: Dose

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© Nathan Michael
Chicago's Dose Market in Action.

In New York City, we’re spoiled rotten with the growing number of great food and fashion markets (yay for Brooklyn Flea and New Amsterdam Markets!).  Now Chicago has upped its game with its own very compelling, once-a-month Dose market. Dose’s co-founder Emily Fiffer previews the November 6 market with details that make me want to get on a plane to O’Hare right now.

Since Dose Market’s June inception, the once-a-month pop-up market has served as a platform for local chefs and artisans to launch products—often in unexpected ways. In July, chef Grant Achatz created a cocktail for Dose inspired by his Thai menu at Next; in August, Mindy Segal hawked a table full of pastries to preview her new bakery concept; and in September, Urban Belly’s Bill Kim launched his line of Seoul Sauce alongside his signature dumplings.

Similarly, the November 6 market has a lot going on. Doughnut Vault (which has crowds around the walkup window), will debut six new flavors, including lemon–poppy seed and chestnut. Zingerman’s is trekking down from Ann Arbor with domestic cheeses and pantry items. NoMI Kitchen pastry chef Meg Galus will offer her inimitable brown sugar streusel muffins (NoMI Spa will even be there, too, with seasonal mini spa treatments). Artisan noodle-maker Pasta Puttana is creating a special Dose pasta (hint: Quarter Circle Seven Ranch is collaborating on the meat sauce). And Bittercube will pour complimentary Templeton Rye cocktails.

Plus, more than two dozen fashion and design vendors will be on hand.  

Dose Market: takes place one Sunday a month at the River East Art Center, 435 E. Illinois St., at McClurg Ct. Tickets are $8 in advance here and $10 at the door. Check dosemarket.com for details.

Wine

Napa's First Film Festival

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F&W's November issue spotlights this great event, kicking off next week.

Napa Valley Film Festival

© Courtesy of Napa Valley Film Festival
Napa Valley Film Festival


This month's Napa Valley Film Festival runs November 9 through 13 and will screen 75 entries, some in winery cellars. A few even have a food or wine theme; for instance, Jiro Dreams of Sushi documents an 85-year-old Tokyo chef. A party at Robert Mondavi kicks things off. napavalleyfilmfest.org.

Related:
Where to Stay in Wine Country
California Wine Guide: Napa

News

Sullivan Street Bakery Occupies Wall Street

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Jim Lahey: an Occupy Wall Street Bread Donor.

By now you know, the Occupy Wall Street crowd isnt in any danger of starving. In Jeff Gordiniers excellent article in last weeks New York Times, a protester said hed gained five pounds in 12 days. Among the enviable food thats being served at Zuccotti Park: pastrami and corned beef sandwiches from Katzs deli, Ben & Jerrys ice cream and cookies from a former Birdbath baker (which means those are some good cookies). All the carbo-loading protesters have got some terrific bread to snack on, too. Sullivan Street Bakery owner Jim Lahey, who is gearing up to open both his University of Bread and his new Ninth Avenue bakery this winter, has been supplying the protesters with bread for three weeks now. Right now, the deliveries are overage loaves that get delivered around 3 a.m., but eventually Lahey wants to bake directly for OWS. Maybe he can create a special No-Knead No-Greed loaf.
 

Wine

Early Look: Bellus Wines at Parm

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© Cynthia Grabau
Jordan Salcito and Lucy Liu celebrate Salcito's new wine Bellus.

Two things I’m really looking forward to this fall: The release of my friend Jordan Salcito’s new wine Bellus and the opening of Torrisi Italian Specialties’ outpost, Parm. Well, earlier this week I got to have my Bellus and eat my meatball subs, too, at the wine’s launch party at the soon-to-open Parm.

Salcito’s inaugural wine, Girasole, is a 2007 Tuscan red; a mix of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It’s got flavors of cherry, pomegranate, herbs and cinnamon. And it happened to be insanely good with Parm’s fresh-from-the-deep-fryer mozzarella sticks and the accompanying marinara sauce.

I’m not the only person who was excited to celebrate the Bellus/Parm pairing. Superstar actress and author Lucy Liu was there; she’s lovely. Hip-hop executive Lyor Cohen smartly positioned himself by the open kitchen, near the sausage-and-pepper heros and pizza knots. Also there: Beyoncé, who’s got to be the world’s most beautiful pregnant woman. And I’m not just saying that because she and Jay-Z shared their meatball parm subs and zeppole with us. Beyoncé was drinking ginger-ale, not Bellus. But she smelled her husband’s wine. “It smells delicious,” she said. “I can’t wait to be able to drink it.”

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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.

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