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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Highlights, Chefs Cook for Japan

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© Dean Roman
Masaharu Morimoto in Action at Chefs Cook for Japan fundraiser.

Last night's supersonic "Chefs Cook for Japan" fundraising dinner in NYC raised an astonishing $100,000 for the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund. The dinner's highlight featured participating chefs—like Jonathan WaxmanMarcus Samuelsson and Paul Bartolotta—jumping on stage during the live auction. Spontaneous auction packages included Jose Garces and Masaharu Morimoto’s Iron Chef dinner (the two Iron Chefs will cook for a dinner party using a themed ingredient) and  Daniel Boulud and Morimoto creating a package that starts with sushi, sashimi and saki from Morimoto at DBGB followed by burgers, bangers and beer before going out to what will surely be a ridiculous night of karaoke with Boulud and Morimoto. Bonus highlight: Morimoto's karaoke preview of What a Wonderful World for the crowd.

Farms

Tonight's Fabulous Beekman Boys Finale

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Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge are The Beekman Boys.

© Planet Green
Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge are The Beekman Boys.

 

I'm a fanatic for The Fabulous Beekman Boys (look for a feature on them in the August issue of F&W) and am super-excited for tonight's season finale at 10 pm ET on Planet Green. Just two seasons ago the duo made their TV debut as a couple of professional Manhattanites-turned-goat-farmers and already they've become an inspiration for anyone (including me) who has ever dreamed of leaving the big city for the simple life. Although if you ask me — it's really not so simple! 

I reached out to the Boys — aka Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge — who shared a few thoughts about season two and their future plans. Here are the highlights:

What's your favorite moment from season two?

We loved the barn-raising episode, "Food and Whine." It showed how wonderful the community of Sharon Springs, New York really is. 

What is your most memorable meal from season two?

[BRENT] It had to be when we first started working on our forthcoming book, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Recipe Cookbook, and Josh was trying to convince me that we needed a recipe involving eggplant. Personally I have never found a recipe that I liked that used eggplant as a main ingredient, though Josh did end up sneaking one into the book.

If you had to summarize this past season in one sentence, what would you say? 

A million dollars is just not what it used to be.

What is the most significant lesson that you learned during season two?

That dreams sometimes do come true, but more often than not it takes longer than you would like.

What are you most excited for in the upcoming year?

In the fall and through the holiday season (when things on the farm start to slow down), we'll get to tour around the country with our cookbook and hopefully learn about a lot of regional heirloom recipes (every family has at least one).

Events

Nationwide Sugar Rush for a Cause

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Great American Bake Sale


Bloggers around the country are turning off their computers and getting their hands floury this weekend to raise funds for Share Our Strength, a D.C.-based nonprofit that fights childhood hunger. The Great American Bake Sale, now in its ninth year, has raised over $6 million to date to support S.O.S.’s mission to make sure no child in America goes hungry. A huge network of fantastic bloggers are hosting bake sales, like the folks behind Peanut Butter and Julie in Nevada, Green Eats in Durham, NC, What’s for Dinner Mom? in Alaska and Rhubarb and Honey in St. Louis. You can find a bake sale near you on the Great American Bake Sale website.

Gadgets

Supersharp New Knives

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Bob Kramer sharpening his knife.

© Justin Chapple
Bob Kramer sharpening his knife.

 

I would hardly consider myself a knife connoisseur, but when I see a shiny new blade, I can’t help but want to take it for a test slice. When I learned that Bob Kramer, master bladesmith and knife designer, was partnering with Zwilling J.A. Henckels to create a top-of-the line series of chef knives made with straight carbon steel (a material that produces a hard, thin and ultimatelysupersharp blade), I had to experience it for myself.
 
I recently joined our fantastic editorial assistant Maggie Mariolis at a preview party. We watched in awe as Kramer cut through a two-inch-thick rope with one swipe and then proceeded to slice a tomato with sheer perfection. Perhaps the most fascinating portion of the demonstration was witnessing him seemingly destroy his knife’s edge by roughly scraping it across a honing steel—as I clenched my teeth in pain—and bringing it back to life with a few swift strokes on his sharpening stone. It was magic!
 
Prices range from $139.95 to $349.95. The knives will be available at Sur La Table next month and in the rest of the US market in September.

Chefs

The Vongerichtens Premier Kimchi Chronicles

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© Frappé Inc.
The Vongerichtens and Jackmans Cook Together.

If you've checked Eater or Grub Street recently, you've probably seen the preview clip of Kimchi Chronicles (featuring a Hugh Jackman cameo). But if you haven't seen it, and this is the first you're hearing of KC, here’s some background. Marja Vongerichten premieres her amazing new TV show this weekend, which follows her as she travels around Korea (she’s half Korean and was born there) with her husband, the illustrious chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. You’ll see them in a big food market in Seoul, and in Sokcho, a port that’s very, very close to North Korea.

© Frappé Inc.
Bibimbop, one of Marja Vongerichten's favorite dishes.

You’ll also see them making bibimbop, the excellent stone pot rice dish made with meat, vegetables, you name it (Marja loves it as a way to use leftover side dishes). And you’ll also see them back at home in New York cooking with their good friends and upstairs neighbors Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra (they often have dinner parties together, but I’m not sure if they’re always group cooking like this).
 
Kimchi Chronicles premieres on Sunday, May 8 in NYC on WNET (channel 13) at 4 pm EST.

Restaurants

Inaki Aizpitarte and Christina Tosi Rock Pop-Up Beard Dinner

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© kate krader
Inaki Aizpitarte Helps Count Down the Beard Pop-Up Dinners.

Boy, is the James Beard Foundation on fire with their 27 days of pop-up dinners. Last week, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo from LA’s Animal got me addicted to foie-gras biscuits. And last night, Iñaki Aizpitarte, the chef of Paris’s ultra-cool Le Chateaubriand, and Christina Tosi, with her exceptional team from NYC’s Momofuku Milk Bar, stepped up and cooked. On the menu: Tosi’s chicken and lime soup dumplings and brilliant seven-minute rhubarb with black-pepper gravy (that was dessert; seven minutes is the length of time the rhubarb spent in the microwave after being cooked sous-vide with cherry puree).

© kate krader
Momofuku Milk Bar Team plus Dave Chang.

It helps to eat this kind of ingenious meal with two chefs who have cooked at Copenhagen's singular Noma: If you wonder out loud where the parmesan is that’s part of Inaki’s white asparagus with finger lime, mozzarella and sorrel, they’ll say, pretty much in unison: “Granita; parmesan granita.” Likewise they can identify all the mystery pickles on Iñaki’s lamb with burnt eggplant puree (for the record, apple, turnip and and squash).

Events

Edible Art in Brooklyn

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Former F&W intern extraordinaire Jessica Rivera files this report from a delicious art event in Brooklyn:

They say you are what you eat, and last Friday at the Something I Ate event, the attendees became artists. The melding of food and art is not always so intentional, but that was the point of the evening: To sniff, gaze at and even eat the temporary pieces at Rouge58 Gallery in Brooklyn.

Not all of it was edible, of course. Curators Kat Popiel of On Plate, Still Hungry and Sam Kim of SkimKim Foods included paintings, sculpture and a photography piece documenting what one artist ate for an entire week, a la Bill Rogen’s Digerati Food Journal. However, the gallery showpiece was a large table entitled “Don’t Talk to Me Before I Get My #$%! Coffee.” It was a communal potluck of the featured artists’ favorite foods, such as tamarind carnitas tacos and "faux gras" banh mi.

My favorite, though, was the Plexiglass installation of homemade lollipops spelling out #sweet—an ode to how Twitter has taken over the food world. Standing near the piece, licking a delicious salty-maple pop, several people asked me, "Can I really eat the art?"

Cocktails

How to Drink All 34 Cocktails at LuckyRice's Opening Night Cocktails

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© Richard Patterson
LuckyRice Opening Cocktails 2010

We’re in the midst of LuckyRice, the NYC festival that celebrates so many facets of Asian cooking, from a Night Market in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood tonight to the big gala dinner on Saturday night, La Fête Chinoise, with Daniel Boulud and Susur Lee. (Tickets for some events are still available.) The festival more or less kicked off last night with Opening Cocktails hosted by Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim and Humberto Leon at the Bowery Hotel. Among the 1,000-person crowd were chefs like WD-50’s Wylie Dufresne and Top Chef star Angelo Sosa, fashion dignitaries like Phillip Lim. And oh-so-many mixologists.

© kate krader
Adam Schuman Demonstrates the Correct Way to Do a Pickleback Shot.

Me, I didn’t try anywhere near the 34 cocktails on offer, but I can vouch for Má Pêche’s Ay Hue (a mix of fried shallot vodka, lime juice and Sriracha hot sauce). I can also speak from experience about Fatty Cue’s self-serve pickleback shots, a creation of bartender Adam Schuman that involves a big bottle of Evan Williams bourbon. But LuckyRice creator Danielle Chang has me beat. Not only did she sample all 34 cocktails, she made it to the LuckyRice after-party at Theatre Bar, where Dave Chang and Inaki Aizpitarte of Paris's Le Chateaubriand were pre-partying for their week of James Beard pop-up dinners.

Restaurants

Top Chefs Cook for Tibet

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© Sonam Zoksan
Host chef Eric Ripert, right, with Richard Gere and Laurent Manrique.

Where were so many of New York City’s top chefs last Thursday night? April Bloomfield, Dave Chang, Tom Colicchio, Mark Ladner and Anita Lo, among others, weren’t in their kitchens; were they en route to London to surprise Prince William and Kate Middleton? No, they had joined their friend Eric Ripert, the host chef, to cook at the Tibet Fund’s gala dinner at the Pierre Hotel to celebrate 30 years of great work for the people of Tibet. And those chefs were cooking fantastic food right at the long dinner tables. I got to sit at Bloomfield’s table—close enough that she could hand me my sublime three-bean soup with spring vegetables (you’ll soon see it on the menu at The Breslin). If I’d sat at Ladner’s table, he would have handed me hen-and-egg braciole (and asked, “Which came first...?”); and if I’d sat at Chang’s table I would have had Momofuku’s shiitake buns.

© kate krader
Here's How Close I was to April Bloomfield (with her plaque from Tibet Fund).

I already felt lucky to be eating Bloomfield's just-served soup. Then one of the night’s honorees, Richard Gere, told a story about a Tibetan meal he once had that started with a two-hour prayer (he said he stopped being hungry after the first 20 minutes). I asked Ripert, who is a Buddhist, if it would be hard for him to have two-hour prayers before meals. “Maybe,” he said, laughing.

Restaurants

Highlights of Animal’s James Beard Pop-Up

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© Nigel Parry

Kudos to the James Beard Foundation. They’re doing such a great job of using the about-to-be-played-out concept of pop-up restaurants to promote their big gala awards on May 9. Last week, they featured F&W Best New Chef 2002 Laurent Gras; next week comes Paris rock-star chef Inaki Aizpitarte of Le Chateaubriand. And last night I got to see Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the heroes of L.A.'s Animal restaurant, serve dinner at long communal tables in a pretty room in Chelsea Market (home to all the Beard pop-ups).

© kate krader
Animal's crazy foie gras biscuit at their Beard pop-up dinner.

Chef Tom Colicchio was in the kitchen and comedian Aziz Ansari was in the house for the night. Shook and Dotolo's menu ranged from yellowtail sashimi with garlic mojo and sunchoke chips (on the menu at their new fish spot, Son of a Gun) and an outrageous foie gras biscuit with maple sausage gravy, plus a new Animal dish, Thai BBQ quail with cashews and yogurt. (On Friday night, when they team up with another amazing chef team, Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronova of Frankies Spuntino, the menu will be totally different.)

Speaking of pop-ups, if you’re lucky you can see Ansari doing impromptu sketches at comedy clubs around the city. And get an early look at his upcoming summer movie 30 Minutes or Less; trailers will start running in theatres this weekend.

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