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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Chefs

Tim Love Tackles the Super Bowl

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tim love

© Tim Love
Tailgate extraordinaire, Tim Love.


Yesterday chef Tim Love gave me a call from an unusually frigid Arlington, Texas, where he was scrambling to prepare to feed the hordes of football fans descending on the city for Super Bowl XLV.  “I feel like I’m on American Race, racing against time to get my prep done,” he said. “I’m scraping and scrounging to find heaters.” On Wednesday, he cooked ESPN’s Mike & Mike an “all out meatfest” of elk saddle, rabbit-rattlesnake sausage and quail. Tonight, Love is teaming up with rockstar chef Mario Batali for a Spaghetti Western fundraiser dinner before hosting a pre-game tailgate for nearly 350 people on game-day. “I’ve wrangled two giant 30-foot smokers to do grilled potatoes with bad-ass toppings, grilled artichokes, and Tomahawk chops.” Love will be watching the big game from the stands and putting his money on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rumor has it that Love and Batali may even make an appearance on field to introduce the Black Eyed Peas at half time.

Restaurants

Dallas's Super Bowl Party Circuit

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My go-to-guy for all things happening in Dallas, Christopher Wynn, a staff writer for The Dallas Morning News and dining editor for its style monthly, FD Luxe, gave me an update on the city’s pre-Super Bowl festivities. Here’s the scoop:

The roads may be glazed and cooking is cautious after a day of rolling blackouts, but Dallas chefs are determined to feed the fans.
 
Last night I hit our Uptown neighborhood for a preview of chef Abraham Salum’s coming-soon contemporary Mexican cuisine spot, Komali. (Just wrap me in steaming handmade tortillas on the way out.) At the same time near downtown, former Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek chef John Tesar cooked at the new Cedars Social cocktail den and restaurant for his weeklong “Supper Bowl.” The chef-driven series of charity dinners culminated with former Top Chef contestant Tiffany Derry in the kitchen. 


Tonight, celeb-u-chefs Mario Batali and Tim Love are hosting their Italian-meets-Texan Spaghetti Western dinner. Emeril Lagasse and Guy Fieri are among the co-chairs. Tickets to this fundraising event at Love’s Fort Worth Love Shack So7 are $500 each, more details here.
 
Finally, Texas is expected to thaw out just in time for Saturday’s sold-out Taste of the NFL extravaganza in Fort Worth. Dallas’ Kent Rathbun of Abacus restaurant fame is the host chef. The event is celebrating its 20th anniversary and many of the inaugural chefs from the first Taste in Minneapolis will be on hand, including Tom Colicchio, Todd English, Susan Spicer and Dallas’s Stephan Pyles.
 
Here’s a Super Bowl idea for next year: Open a hot toddy stand. 

Travel

Swank New Zermatt Hotels

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cervo

© Jen Murphy
The bar at Cervo.


Zermatt’s fabulousness comes at a cost. It’s one of the most pricey ski towns I’ve been to. Since I have yet to win the lottery, I didn’t stay in any of Zermatt’s fabulously glitzy new hotels. My friends and I instead rented a great apartment owned by one of Zermatt’s top mountain guides, Gianni Mazzone. We scoped the hotel scene by après-ski eating and drinking at the bars. For those who want to splurge, here are some swank spots to stay.

Hotel Matthiol
Swiss-German film director Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace) is a co-proprietor of this chic new 23-room chalet just up the hill from the main town at the foot of the Matterhorn. His mark on the property: a permanent photo exhibition of his movie productions and a master suite named after him. Interior designer and co-owner Betty Summermatter is responsible for the rest of the cool design touches, like deer-head decorations made of silver, and oversized tubs.

Cervo Five stylish wood-and-stone chalets make up this swank new hotel on the Sunnegga side of the mountain. Seraina Müller runs the excellent restaurant and cooks Provençal-inspired dishes like côte de boeuf. There’s a great après scene: The outdoor, downstairs bar overlooking the slopes is rowdier, while the upstairs deck with its fireplace and blankets is quiet and cozy. Indoors the bar has deer antlers dangling from the ceiling and a huge wall showing off an impressive collection of magnums.

Hotel Firefly A short walk from the Klein Matterhorn ski lift, Firefly’s 15 suites are each themed after one of the elements (water, fire, earth and wind) and decked out with PlayStation 3 and chairs made by the Swiss wood artist Spoon. Many a night we found ourselves hanging at the hotel’s Bar 55, which has billiards, foosball and a great cocktail list.

Events

Edible Conversations at NYC's Roger Smith Hotel

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On Tuesday night I attended the first event in the new Edible Conversations series at New York City’s Roger Smith Hotel, which features authors like Molly O'Neill and food historians like Andrew F. Smith discussing their areas of expertise. I was excited to hear Colleen Taylor Sen speak on the origins of curry, a British colonial creation now prepared in different incarnations the world over. The hotel chef served a curry tasting menu including Norwegian curried herring, an Indian lamb dish similar to a korma, and Japanese pork tonkatsu. Between courses, Sen spoke casually and encouraged the audience to ask questions. No surprise: Speculations on curry’s aphrodisiac properties stimulated the most discussion. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, after all.

Future programs include New York Times columnist Amanda Hesser discussing The Essential New York Times Cookbook, author Kevin R. Kosar exploring the many different types of whiskey, and Laura Weiss discussing ice cream’s global appeal. Recipes for each dish and tickets for upcoming events will soon be available on the hotel’s blog, where future discussions will also be simulcast.

Restaurants

Food & Wine Exclusive: First Look at Michael Voltaggio's ink.

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© kate krader
The logo.

Here it is: For those of us who can't even wait for Michael Voltaggio's restaurant ink. to open on Melrose in Los Angeles, this is the official logo. You'll see it echoed in the splashes of dark 'ink' on the gray granite floor, on the signature on the back of his custom-made plates (designed to jibe with the look of the room; you can't tell it used to be the Hamasaku space) and, of course, in his modern L.A. menu.

I'm so excited.

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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.