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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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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.”

Restaurants

Eat Ribs, Help a Future Chef

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© Courtesy of Bravo
Chef Tom Colicchio playing guitar


On Monday night NYC’s Hill Country Barbecue will host Restaurant Industry Night, the first in a quarterly series of events that recognizes different industries and related charities and celebrates them through food and music. Star chef Tom Colicchio will hit the stage with his guitar, no doubt taking inspiration from Season 9 of Top Chef, which he recently filmed in Texas. The event will raise money for the Careers Through Culinary Arts (C-CAP) scholarship program, which helps prepare high school students in underserved communities for restaurant careers.

If you can’t make it to the event, here are some amazing Texas-inspired barbecue recipes from chef Tim Love to try at home.

Sticky Barbecued Beef Ribs

Braised Pork Shanks

Grilled Texas Rib Eye

Charro Beans

Chiles Rellennos

Chefs

Why You Should Go to Maine This Time Next Year

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Maine, Arrows, East Meets West


Chefs pulled ingredients for their dishes from the Arrows Garden.

More than 20 chefs from around the US flocked to Ogunquit, Maine, this past weekend for the East versus West festival, hosted by Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier of Arrows restaurant. It was a great excuse to try food from top regional restaurants, and with the walk-around tasting costing only $35, it was also an absolute steal. Besides marking your calendar for next year, here are five delicious bites I tried that you can look out for around the country:

[More]

Restaurants

F&W Exclusive: Star Chef David Thompson's Thailand-in-NYC Dinner

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Betel is the place to find David Thompson and his exceptional Thai food.

All the NYC-based Thai-food fanatics who are mad that Chicago has Grant Achatz going full force on his Tour of Thailand menu at Next, this is for you. Thai-food superstar chef David Thompson— who made a name for himself at Sydney’s awesome Sailors Thai and scored the first-ever Michelin starred for a Thai restaurant at London's Nahm—is coming to Manhattan. On October 5, he’ll cook at Betel, the groovy Southeast Asian restaurant in the West Village.
 
And Thompson is bringing gifts. Specifically, kanom jin noodles flown in from Thailand, which you never see fresh in the United States. As part of his three-course dinner, he’ll serve them three different ways, including with smoky grilled fish and shrimp curry.
 
The wine-paired dinner is $150 (including tip). For reservations, call 212-352-0460 or email guestchef@betelnyc.com. There’s also an open-bar after-party (yay!) starting at 11 p.m., where you might be able to ask Thompson your Thai cooking questions; those tickets are $40.

Restaurants

F&W Exclusive: M. Wells Returns to Long Island City

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The All-Clad Food Truck is Ready for the M Wells team.

Here’s good news for everyone who wants to see M. Wells and their outrageous cooking back in Queens. On Sunday, September 25, from 1 to 3 pm, chef Hugue Dufour and his wife, Sarah Obraitis, will be in Long Island City cooking on the All-Clad Food Truck. What’s more, they’ll be serving their much-heralded sautéed veal brains (the New York Times's Sam Sifton called them a "must-order"). What’s more still: Those veal brains will be free.

The well-outfitted All-Clad Truck will be on the move before that: Ditch Plain’s Marc Murphy will set it up outside Sur La Table locations on Wednesday, September 21st. And next week, Elizabeth Karmel will take it to the Hill Country Barbecue neighborhood. It’s all to celebrate All-Clad’s 40thAnniversary. And the party goes on through October 1.

And here's details for September 25: M. Wells on the All-Clad Truck will be on Center Blvd. near 48th Ave., in Queens. You can get more info on Twitter or Facebook.

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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.