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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Restaurants

The People’s Best New Chef: Best Buttons

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The Vote for Tim Byres T-shirt.

The voting continues fast and furious for F&W's People’s Best New Chef. And the chefs' campaigning efforts have been outstanding. Take chef Tim Byres at Smoke in Dallas, who had T-shirts made for his giant "Vote for Tim Byres" party the other night.

I'm especially loving my new button collection: In Peoria, Illinois, chef Josh Adams of June gives out huge buttons with each check, while Stephanie Izard at Girl and the Goat in Chicago has a very succinct message on her buttons: "Goat the Vote."
 
So if you haven’t voted yet: Vote! You only have until March 1st. And then we’ll all learn the name of The People’s Best New Chef on March 2nd.

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.
 


Farms

TEDx Manhattan: Sustainable Food…and Forks

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© Jason Houston for TEDxManhattan
Chef Michel Nischan

This past Saturday marked the first-ever TEDx Manhattan: Changing the Way We Eat, a conference devoted to sustainable-food issues. The daylong series of 18-minute talks covered topics ranging from how farmers in Illinois are dealing with the environmental impact of industrial dairies to how organizations like the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger are creating amazingly productive community gardens. Elizabeth Meltz, an exuberant former cook who oversees food safety and sustainability for Mario Batali's restaurant group, talked about the challenge of educating the staff about green practices: "We can barely get them not to throw out the silverware." Michel Nischan of the Dressing Room Restaurant in Westport, Connecticut, described the efforts of his nonprofit, Wholesome Wave, to make produce accessible and affordable in poor communities. Food & Wine proudly supports Wholesome Wave, and we're raising money now with these awesome Green Passes to the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen this June.

News

New Heirloom Cacao

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© Katherine Page

American fruit importers Dan Pearson and Brian Horsley were scouting in the Amazon when, on some farms in a tucked-away corner of Peru's Maranón Canyon, they discovered cacao trees with canary-yellow pods. Even the local farmers were mystified about the identity of these strange-looking trees. So Pearson and Horsley sent some leaves to the USDA for testing and learned they'd made an extraordinary find: the Pure Nacional breed of cacao tree (left), thought to be extinct since the early 1900s. Pearson and Horsley have been experimenting with the pod's unique white beans (most cacao is purple) to create a distinctly mellow, nutty-floral chocolate. Recently, they were at New York's Institute for Culinary Education to launch Maranón Chocolate and chat about the discovery of the beans; the bars are now available online.

Restaurants

Truffled Scrambled Eggs at 40,000 Feet

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© Jordan Salcito
Daniel Boulud and Michel Troisgros Make Truffled Eggs at Altitude.

If you ever wonder how famous chefs deal with the limitations of airplane food, especially when they're recovering from an epic wine event, here's a firsthand account from my awesome wine-genius friend Jordan Salcito (whom you’ll read more about in F&W's April feature on Burgundy). Here’s Jordan:

Say you're a chef who has just cooked for the 10th anniversary of La Paulée de New York which honors the best domaines in Burgundy with both new and very old vintages (like 1940 La Tâche). And say you’re in a private plane on your way to La Paulée des Neiges in Aspen to (ski and) drink more wines. How do you re-energize? If you're Daniel Boulud, the featured chef for La Paulée de New York, and you're France's inimitable Michel Troisgros, you make 30-second scrambled eggs in the plane's microwave: custardy, truffled scrambled eggs with crème fraîche, plus toast with European butter and more black truffle. And then open another bottle of La Tâche.

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