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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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What Chefs Are Eating

Pie for Breakfast, Jack-O-Lanterns for Dessert

Want to know what goes on behind closed kitchen doors? F&W does some digging and finds out what chefs are eating and cooking. Here, what they’ve enjoyed this past week.

Kabocha Squash for 2: At Incanto, chef Chris Cosentino is working on a new dish: Kabocha squash stuffed with oxtail, Savoy cabbage, grilled levain and Taleggio. The gooey, cheesy fall dish is perfect for F&W’s new #FWMuse series, which spotlights squash this month.

Beautiful Beets: Paul Liebrandt plated a breathtaking, deconstructed salad of early autumn beetroot, lettuce, flowers and herbs.

Breakfast Pie: Alexandra Guarnaschelli proposes raspberry jam tarts for breakfast. “What is it about a lattice crust that makes things taste better?” she asks.

Chickpeas at Betony: On a trip to NYC, Hugh Acheson snacked on delicate chickpea panisse at Betony. His verdict: Stunning.

Halloween Macaroons: In a stroke of genius, chef Andrew Carmellini’s Lafayette is selling “Jack-O-Roons” for the Halloween season. Bright orange, dipped in chocolate and topped with frosting stems, the cookies even have Jack-O-Lantern-inspired faces.

Related: Delicious Squash Recipes
Recipes for Fall Produce
Halloween Desserts

America's Most Wanted

Gale Gand Rekindles Our Passion for Blackout Cake

Gale Gand's Blackout Cake

An old Brooklyn classic, Blackout Cake is an ultra chocolaty, custardy, cake-crumb-coated dessert with somewhat mythic status. Gale Gand created a version upon request for a client's 70th birthday and now it's become one of her most obsessed-over signatures. "I said, 'Well, I’ve never had it, but I have friends who grew up in New York, and they’ve had it,'" Gand says. "So I did some research, made it, and ran it by my friends and their parents to get feedback, and then I tweaked it. Then I did that again and again until I finally—apparently—got it exactly right. So now I get all these calls—it's like a drug deal—and people say, 'I hear you do Blackout Cake.' I say, 'Where’d you hear that? How do you know that?' If you Google blackout cake, my name pops up."

Related: Incredible Chocolate Cakes
Delicious Layer Cakes
Amazing Cakes

Video of the Week

The Making of Daniel Boulud's Incredible New Cookbook

Thomas Schauer is the brilliant photographer responsible for the beautiful photographs in chef Daniel Boulud's recent cookbook Daniel: My French Cuisine. In addition to shooting stills, Schauer put together a behind the scenes video. Curious about what goes on at a photo shoot in a three-star Michelin kitchen? Watch and learn. Read more >

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Postcard From Stockholm

New Stockholm Restaurants Rethink Swedish Food

Ekstedt, Stockholm

Writer Stephen Whitlock extols sourdough waffles cooked over live fire, smoked-reindeer sandwiches and more proudly Swedish dishes.

Swedes and Danes have a long-standing and fierce rivalry. Over the centuries, they've fought countless wars, with Sweden generally viewed as the stronger imperial power. Yet, since Noma opened in 2003, Copenhagen has prevailed as Scandinavia's culinary destination, leaving Swedes to fume—and simultaneously try to score a table. Now, Stockholm is rediscovering its pride in its own culinary traditions, with new restaurants rethinking husmanskost—traditional Swedish food.

When Ekstedt (ekstedt.nu) opened in 2011, it was booked for months. Once I secured a reservation, I found a room furnished with copper that caught the light from wood-fired ovens. Dishes like mackerel with smoked parsley are wonderfully delicate, while sourdough waffles with cloudberries are gently sweet.

Oaxen (oaxen.com) looks to the present rather than the past. It recently moved from a remote island to a modern building in Stockholm, with a massive window overlooking the water. One of its dining rooms, Krog, offers a 10-course menu for $300. But I head for the more laid-back Slip. The menu is full of Swedish dishes: herring, lamb with carrot chutney. The best is a simple bowl of scrambled eggs served with pork belly and house-smoked bacon.

The most inventive of the new-comers is Smörgåstårteriet (smorgastarteriet.se). It takes its name from the "sandwich cake," made here with layers of sourdough bread, roast beef and pickled vegetables. It's a highlight on a menu that's a tour of Sweden: Other sandwiches use shrimp from the south and smoked reindeer from the far north.

Stockholm hasn't yet caught up to Copenhagen—the city has no rival to Noma yet—but here's hoping the Scandinavian food fight continues.

Stephen Whitlock lives in Stockholm and writes for the New York Times.

Related: Stockholm City Guide
Scandinavian Style

Follow Of The Week

From Vermont with Love

Instagram + Vermont + food + cats  = @careynotcarrie a.k.a Carey Nershi. The creator of the blog Reclaiming Provincial, Carey packs her Instagram feed with food and feline-filled photographs that have a soulful, rustic aesthetic. From her cantaloupe, basil and Lillet popsicles in a bowl of ice to her red bell pepper, lemon and basil sodas, Carey's photos make us wish we were right next to her in Burlington, Vermont.

Related: Maple Syrup
Where To Eat Now: Vermont Restaurants
Burlington, Vermont Peaks

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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.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world’s most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.