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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Restaurants

Caveman Bone Marrow at the Museum of Food and Drink Lunch

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© kate krader
Wylie Dufresne's Bone Marrow—just like in caveman times.

I can’t imagine a better way to raise money for the upcoming Museum of Food and Drink than with an amazing lunch at Del Posto in New York City. And that's just what Dave Arnold (Culinary Technology Director at the French Culinary Institute) and Patrick Martins (co-founder of Heritage Foods USA) did for MOFAD this weekend. Hopefully we’ll start walking through the doors of the museum in the next four or five years. In anticipation of that great day, some of the city’s best chefs and mixologists took part in the Get-the-Ball-Rolling Fundraiser. Each was assigned a different period in history or a food trend as their theme. Highlights:

Dave Chang: American Food 1491

Dish: It’s a Shame We Know More About Dinosaurs Than About What Native Americans Ate (Oysters, Acorns and Berries). Although almost no research exists on diets of that period in America, Chang found out that the Native Americans prized oysters—the bigger the better. And served supersized oysters, aged for over a year, with black “acorn bread” and berries.

Wylie Dufresne: Caveman Food

Dish: Bone Appetit (Potato, Bone Marrow, Scallops, Beets, Enoki Mushrooms). Because cavemen had no short supply of bone marrow, as well as root vegetables and shellfish, Dufresne cleverly filled roast potatoes with bone marrow, served them on roast ground scallops that looked like dirt and topped them with roasted enoki mushrooms that looked like twigs. He basically reimagined a bone found in the woods would look like to a caveman. “It was that or roadkill,” said Dufresne.

© kate krader
Mark Ladner's Ancient Rome Ostrich. No silverware required.

Mark Ladner
: Ancient Rome

Dish: Big Bird (Boiled Ostrich). Ladner, the host chef, got his hands on three whole ostrich (one of which he decorated with yellow ostrich feathers and wheeled out as a centerpiece to the meal; he said if he’d been in Rome circa 3 AD, he probably would have ridden it around the Coliseum before turning it into dinner). He stewed the other two until the meat was super tender , mixed it with celery and barley and served it on a round of bread with no silverware.

Christina Tosi: Space Food
Dish: Neapolitan Ice Cream (Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream). “When you think of space food, you think of astronaut ice cream,” said Tosi, who served meringue-like chocolate and strawberry nuggets with vanilla-cream ice cream and brownie batter spread on the plate.   

Recipes

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

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© Petrina Tinslay

With recipes inspired by some of her most memorable films, Food & Wine celebrates the amazing life of legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor:

National Velvet (1944)
Twelve-year old jockey Velvet Brown’s namesake dessert: Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Ice Cream (pictured). Bonus: her horse’s name was Pie.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Spicy recipes that could have been served by Maggie the Cat at Big Daddy’s revelatory birthday party in New Orleans, including Chicken and Smoked-Sausage Gumbo and Creole Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon.

Cleopatra (1963)
Food fit for a queen: Egyptian Spiced Carrot Puree and Okra in Tomato Sauce.

Chefs

It's Official: Lemon Meringue Pie Equals Spring

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© kate krader
Gramercy Tavern's Springtime Lemon Meringue Pie.

Spring officially started on Sunday, March 20. But for me it begins today, when Nancy Olson and her awesome pastry team at Manhattan’s Gramercy Tavern introduce their lemon meringue pie to the menu. Of course it’s amazing—a towering piece of pie that’s roughly 50 percent sweet-tart-velvety lemon curd and 50 percent toasted, pillowy meringue with some extra percent flaky-crisp pastry.

The pie is the brainchild of GT pastry sous chef Alex Ray, whose grandmother made it for every holiday. Ray obsessed about everything from the meringue (she went classic, not Italian, which is made with boiling-hot sugar syrup) to the pastry (she went with sweet pastry, as opposed to more savory pâte brisée) to the burning question of whether to serve the pie with ice cream. And if so, what flavor. At press time, the answer was salted-cashew ice cream. “But that’s negotiable,” says Olson. “If someone wants vanilla, we can do that. This is Gramercy Tavern, it’s like Garanimals here. Mixing and matching is our game.”

Cocktails

Early Look: Ferran and Albert Adria’s 41°

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Terry Zarikian with Albert Adria, left, is living my dream at 41°.

I’m in the middle of interviewing F&W's Best New Chefs 2011 (announcements coming April 5th!), and one question I'm asking is: What’s your dream meal? Right now, my dream meal is in Barcelona and begins with drinks and appetizers at 41°, followed by tapas at Tickets, two amazing, new adjacent spots from chefs Ferran and Albert Adria. Terry Zarikian, creative director of Manhattan’s very cool new Spanish restaurant Bar Basque and a long-time friend of the Adria brothers, is living my dream. Here’s Part I of his report:

I had strict orders: Arrive promptly at 41° at 7 p.m.

I did. I was met by a doorman (in a ringmaster costume, just like the circus) with a short list of names. Once inside, I checked out the mostly classic drinks, from Manhattans to margaritas  and, believe it or not, Cosmos. All were meticulously mixed. Even the gin-and-tonics section was detail-oriented: There were more than two dozen gins, and a separate section of tonics, all served over little icebergs carved from a block of ice.

The food at 41° includes their version of traditional bar snacks: oysters with topping like soy tapioca “caviar” or “Schrencki” osetra, a special caviar from the Amour river on the Siberian border.


Pistachios wrapped in sour yogurt "skin" at 41°.

But Albert served us a selection of elBulli–inspired snacks: The renowned, gel-filled spherical olives (here, called Las Olivas Rellenas del 41), flavored with rosemary and garlic; pistachios wrapped in a dry “skin” of sour yogurt; and puffed grains of wild rice seasoned with curry that's poured from a black tin box into a black coal–like ceramic bowl. Mini hollowed-out baguette-like crackers came wrapped with warm, translucent slices of Iberian pancetta seasoned with pimentón and pearls of liquid mozzarella with a basil leaf. More than fantastic were the mini seaweed cones, filled with a spicy tuna tartar and a mysterious puffed grain—it was so delicious, no one cared what it really was.


41° Iberian pancetta wrapped around baguette-like crackers.

And that was just our appetizers at 41°. In my next report, I’ll tell you what I had at Tickets.

Restaurants

Yes, Food Is the New Rock

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© Alexandra Penfold
For Zach Brooks, Food is the New Rock.

I should have known it was just a matter of time before Midtown Lunch hero Zach Brooks (who you might have seen as a Tastemaker in F&W November issue), got into the rock scene in Los Angeles. Having solved the problem of finding less-than-$10 lunches in Manhattan, and then L.A., he has now launched a one-month-old blog, FoodIsTheNewRock. The theme is self-explanatory: “So many people in the music industry have this new obsession with food,” says Brooks. “Bands are tweeting about what they eat, A&R guys are starting food blogs, and think about all the food writers, like Jonathan Gold, who started off doing music.”

© Gabriele Stabile
Chang Also Has Dylan on His Desert Island ipod.

What could make this awesome site even better? A podcast component, which will start next month. And a profile of Momofuku’s David Chang—who reveals that he has Pavement and the Pixies on his Desert Island iPod list.

News

Don't Eat This Soap

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B. Witching Bath Company was way ahead of the all-natural trend, using ingredients like ginger, rosemary and lemon zest in their products since 1969. Their latest offering, out this month, was inspired by culinary herb gardens: Spearmint Kitchen & Garden Soap. Its minty sweetness is strong but not overwhelming, and ingredients like exfoliating walnut husks and antibacterial tea-tree oil help heal the cuts and burns cooks often get. The soap is also sulfate- and paraben-free; you can find here.

Chefs

Frank Bruni on the Live-to-Be-125 Diet

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In his 2009 memoir, Bruni isn't concerned with the life-to-be 125 diet.

If you read Frank Bruni's outstanding New York Times Magazine profile of 87-year-old billionaire David Murdock, you know that Murdock plans to live to 125 by eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible: “He crams as many as twenty of them, including pulverized banana peels….into the smoothies he drinks two to three times a day,” Bruni writes. (And if you haven't read it, you really should.)

So, did interviewing Murdock change Bruni's own eating habits? Yes, it did. Bruni now keeps sweet potatoes and bananas on his kitchen counter (he hasn’t started eating the peels yet) and stashes blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in his fridge. He also drinks pitchers of iced green tea sweetened with pomegranate juice. “I’m not a green tea fan, but now I’m constantly at home making this iced tea — it’s all antioxidants all the time,” he says.

Bruni hasn't totally changed his diet, though. In the piece, he writes, “In restaurants Murdock will push the butter dish toward the server and say, ‘Take the death off the table.’” Bruni still loves the stuff: "I'd probably ask for more death." And then there's poultry and red meat, which are both on Murdock’s "Avoid" list. Says Bruni, “I approach everything with a little bit of skepticism. How many foods have gone from being good to being outlawed to being good again? That gives me the wiggle room I need to eat what I want. Besides, a porterhouse… that’s what’s important to me.”

Chefs

The People’s Best New Chef 2011: Jamie Bissonnette!

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Jamie Bissonnette is People's Choice Best New Chef!

It’s been a thrilling two weeks of online voting, and now we have a winner for the People’s Best New Chef. Hooray for Jamie Bissonnette, chef at Coppa in Boston! Bissonnette, with co-owner Ken Oringer, has created the kind of neighborhood restaurant we all wish we had down the block, albeit one that adds uni to the house-made spaghetti-and-smoked bacon carbonara.

This is also a good time to applaud regional winners like Midwest champion Lee Richardson, chef at Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. Richardson created a dedicated website—voteforcheflee.com—and got American Idol winner Kris Allen to campaign for him. (Next time he's on Idol, I'm voting for him.) And then there’s Ricardo Zarate of L.A.’s Mo-Chica restaurant, who won the Pacific region thanks in part to a huge showing of national pride from the Peruvian community. And Tim Byres at Smoke in Dallas, who threw a big get-out-the-vote party that helped make him the Southwest champion.

Here’s a list of the regional winners (another round of applause). We salute you, and we also salute all 100 chefs in the People’s Best New Chef pool—you can find them here. We admire you all.

The Regional Champions

New England – Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa, Boston
Mid-Atlantic – Kyle Bailey, Birch & Barley, Washington DC
New York Area – David Felton, Ninety Acres, Peapack-Gladstone, NJ
Southeast – Bryan Emperor, Kalu Asian Kitchen, Charlotte, NC
Gulf Coast – James Lewis, Bettola, Birmingham, AL
Midwest – Lee Richardson, Ashley’s at the Capital Hotel, Little Rock, AR
Southwest – Tim Byres, Smoke, Dallas
Great Lakes – Jose Salazar, The Palace, Cincinnati
Pacific – Ricardo Zarate, Mo-Chica, Los Angeles
Northwest – Jason Franey, Canlis, Seattle

Restaurants

F&W Exclusive: Michel Richard Opening in Caesars Las Vegas

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Michel Richard is Coming to Caesars Palace in Vegas.

It’s as if Michel Richard read my mind. I’m fine eating in Las Vegas during normal dining hours, but when it gets a little late (and doesn’t it always in Vegas), the options all start closing for the night. But now Michel Richard is opening Central 24/7 in the one-and-only Caesars Palace in the late summer of 2011. And when it opens, it will be open 24 hours a day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Richard will offer many signature items from his Central in Washington, DC, like his 72-hour short ribs, fried chicken, razor clam chowder and fresh oysters as well as that renowned burger, plus some new selections still to be announced that I'll definitely be tasting, no matter what time of day or night it is.

Chefs

Chefs Turned Shoe Designers

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mozo

© Donnie Miller
Chefs Chris Consentino, Marcus Samuelsson and Aarón Sánchez rock their new kicks.


I adore Mario Batali’s cooking, but still can’t bring myself to embrace Crocs. Finally, a more stylish line of shoes for the professional and home cook has launched. We gave a shout out to Mozo Chef Signature Shoes in Food & Wine’s March Trendspotting column. Last night, the chefs-turned-shoe-designers behind the new line were in NYC to give a sneak preview of their designs, which go on sale in May. The ever-so-stylish Marcus Samuelsson of NYC’s Red Rooster named his shoe the Uptown. The copper detailing around the eyelet is a nod to America's diner culture, while the image of the Brooklyn Bridge on the heel is a shout out to NYC. Aarón Sánchez of Centrico got a bit more edgy, recreating a Mexican sugar skull in red stitching on the top of his shoe. Chris Cosentino, who was slicing killer charcuterie that he flew in from his restaurant Boccalone in San Francisco, wins the award for most outrageous design. The top of his shoe (named the Fifth Quarter) resembles honeycomb tripe, and he designed a pig on the footbed that duplicates a tattoo on his arm of a 16th-century butchery diagram. Perhaps the biggest news of the night was that Mozo would donate $10,000 in the chefs’ honor to the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program.
 


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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.