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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Kitchen-Design Inspiration at MoMA

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Frankfurt Kitchen

© The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (Austrian, 1897-2000). Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (reconstruction).

Despite the years I spent working in art museums, I often still wait until the closing weekend to make it out to see an exhibition—and then I invariably regret my procrastination. Lucky for me, though, recent out-of-town guests motivated me to visit Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC long before its March 14, 2011, closing date. Truthfully, I feared a dull history of kitchen appliances, but the show was a fascinating look at how cultural events shape our culinary environment—and vice versa. Long before Ikea came on the scene, for example, the post-WWI-era Frankfurt Kitchen was designed to maximize efficiency by using every inch of available storage space. After seeing all the amazing kitchenware in the galleries, I couldn’t resist hitting MOMA’s great gift shop. My favorite pieces at the store: a gorgeous Zucch Sugar Pourer by Alessi and funky retro Margrethe Prep Bowls by Acton Bjoern.

Travel

Art Basel Redux

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art basel

© Stephen Scoble
Designer Alber Elbaz's wild Art Basel installation.

Food & Wine's creative director, Stephen Scoble, spent the weekend party-hopping in Miami at Art Basel. One of the highlights: The wild food-and-fashion installation Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz created at the Rubell Family Collection.

Pairings

Weekend TODAY: Wines for the Holidays

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I got to rise very early this past Sunday morning and trundle over to the studios at Rockefeller Center to do a TODAY show spot on wines to go with classic holiday meals, with the always engaging Lester Holt. It was sort of a slow-starting morning, thanks a very unscientific tasting of multiple Champagnes the previous night, but after a large infusion of coffee my brain started zipping along in a relatively lively way. The result—you can watch it on this clip—was great fun. 

 

Holidays

12 Days of Wine Gifts, Day 1

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Reisenthel black wine bottle bag

© Reisenthel

Last year about this time, I took it upon myself to search out some lovely wine bags for gifting during the holiday season.  I confess, despite the cute bags, it might have been overkill. So this year, I've decided to bring you wine-related gifts that go beyond wine bags-with some wine bags sprinkled in. After all, the holiday wine-giving season is upon us and it's no good to just hand over naked bottles.

And so, on this first day of wine gifts, I present to you this ultra-chic black wine bag from Reisenthel that will look just as good with your sparkly holiday dresses and bowties as it will with your woolen mittens. Tie it up with a humongous bow and any party host will be delighted.

Restaurants

That’s Right, Vintage Egg Nog

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© Nigel Parry
Jonathon Sawyer, vintage egg nog expert.

I’m not saying anyone should try this home. But while the food world freaks out over old things—Rene Redzepi’s vintage carrots at Noma, Heston Blumenthal’s upcoming Dinner restaurant at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London that will feature dishes based on hundreds-of-years-old recipes—I’ve found something really truly crazy (in the best way). Jonathon Sawyer, an F&W Best New Chef 2010 at Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, recently showed off a "vintage Hartzler Family Dairy eggnog pot de crème" at a dinner at New York City's James Beard house. And when he says vintage, he means 2008, meaning that 2 1/2 years ago, Sawyer infused eggnog with Lagavulin Scotch and then put it away in the refrigerator.  I admit, I was scared to taste it—I have suspicions about what letter grade the Health Department would have given it. But of course it was delicious. “It seems wrong, but it’s so right,” his wife, Amelia Sawyer, accurately said.

If you’re too impatient to squirrel away some spiked egg nog for a couple years, my colleague Kristin Donnelly did a great job of rounding up other novel vintage things, from cookbooks to wines; they’re in F&W’s December issue.

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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.