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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Events

Highlights of Brooklyn Ball 2010

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© Jerome Fineman
Andy Warhol Dessert Pinata

How to describe an amazing event like Brooklyn Ball at the Brooklyn Museum? Let’s start where the very well-dressed guests like event co-chair Zac Posen did, on the fifth floor, where food artist extraordinaire Jennifer Rubell created a series of exhibits that paid homage to some of her favorite 20th-century artists.

* There were the awe-inspiring hanging-in-the-air cheese heads (inspired by Bruce Nauman’s Hanging Heads #2), which were slowly melting onto a huge table full of crackers below.

© kate krader
Donnie Madia Paints Potato Chips at Brooklyn Ball.

* There was the table with unmarked white paint tubes that were actually filled with flavored sauces, like orange-chipotle mayonnaise and purple jelly cream cheese, and an adjoining table piled high with potato chips and the opportunity to do your best Jackson Pollock impression (as Donnie Madia, co-owner of Chicago’s Blackbird restaurant, did).

* Down a few floors, dinner was served in a giant hall, where guests served themselves from tables that had everything from whole roast turkeys to whole roast potatoes to whole roast rabbits (special thanks to co-chair Mario Batali, who carved some 50 of them in 15 minutes).

* And like all good parties, there was the after-party, where you could take a whack at the humongous Andy Warhol–head piñata (filled with Hostess Twinkies and Sno Balls) and take advantage of the fun carnival stalls produced by fashion houses like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Opening Ceremony and Rodarte.

Eater has a lot more pictures and a video of various Batalis bashing the piñata. 

Recipes

Vacation-House Cooking

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Chef Thomas Keller fried egg BLT

© Kana Okada

What can you cook with no spices other than salt? This is not a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge—it's just the issue I had to deal with last week, when I stayed at a beachside condo in the Florida Keys and needed to make dinner for my family. I wanted to spend my time relaxing, not cooking (not that cooking isn't fun, but you know what I mean), and I didn't want to buy a lot of ingredients that I’d just have to throw away when we left. Two recipes that fit the bill: chef Thomas Keller’s BLT Fried Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich (pictured)—I buttered the toast instead of using mayo and added sliced avocado—and Spaghetti with Shrimp and Spicy Tomato Sauce from my friend (and former F&W editor) Jane Sigal. This easy recipe uses mostly pantry ingredients (I often substitute a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes for the fresh if tomatoes aren't in season), plus I skipped the basil and substituted a jalapeño for the dried chiles. I'd love to hear other recipe suggestions for future trips, if anyone has thoughts.

Travel

Great New Boston Design Shop

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shop

© Jen Murphy
Butcher-chic design at J.E.M. in Boston's South End.


I was in Boston for the weekend and while bakery hopping through the South End I stumbled upon a fantastic new design shop called J.E.M. The store has a very John Derian-esque feel to it with cool pieces like organic ceramic pots from Susan Raber Bray, and apothecary bottles and bar carts made from reclaimed steel. It felt like a quirkily curated curiosity shop-cum-museum.

J.E.M. has also started hosting in-store salons with artists and designers. South End artist Isabelle Abramson, who sells her gorgeous, delicate, doily-patterned porcelain bowls there, will be in-shop this Thursday.

The store also doubles as a showroom for owner/designer Jane Miller who is responsible for the awesome furnishings made from repurposed wood and metal. In addition to enormous chunky dining and coffee tables, there are clever pieces like a terrarium that Miller crafted from a broken table. My favorite piece was an enormous sign (pictured) salvaged from Faneuil Hall Marketplace that embraces Boston’s current butcher and beast obsession. Apparently it’s been confusing some South End shoppers. “We had an elderly couple come in and try to order lamb chops the other day,” the girl behind the counter told me. I can’t help but think a design-butcher shop would probably be a great new trend.


Events

Food Bank’s Can-Do Awards: The Numbers

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© WireImage/J.McCarthy
The Edge and Helena Christensen helped raise $1.4 million at Can-Do Awards.

Two days later, and I’m still thinking about the fantastic Food Bank of New York’s Can-Do Awards.

* There was that performance by Buckwheat Zydeko (with special guest and honoree Emeril Lagasse playing washboards).

* There were those amazingly entertaining live pledges projected on a huge screen. Here are a few of them:
“Mario you cheap b******. $2000 The Edge.” (A joke: Mario Batali contributed a significant amount of money.) “Let’s all go up to 116th St and serve some delicious chicken. $1500 from Helena Christensen.” (The Food Bank’s Community Kitchen is on 116th St.) “$5,000 from the Lagasse family, xoxo.” And let’s recognize MC Stanley Tucci, who donated $10,000 twice—the largest pledges.

* And most importantly, there were the numbers. The event raised an astounding $1.4 million, which can provide up to 7 million meals for hungry New Yorkers. A good portion of that money came from the live auction, which brought in $250,000, including a dinner cooked by Mario, Tom Colicchio and David Chang, which went for $100,000 and was labeled “The Three Tenors.” Although, hopefully none of them will sing at the dinner.

© WireImage/J.McCarthy
Mario Batali and Emeril LaGasse helped raise money too.

 

Restaurants

Barbara Lynch's Meat CSA

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butcher

© The Butcher Shop
The Butcher Shop chef de cuisine Robert Grant.

 

Boston chef Barbara Lynch has paired the current butcher obsession with the growing CSA trend and is now running a very cool new meat CSA from her awesome South End restaurant, the Butcher Shop. CSA members can buy a pig or even a share of a flock of lambs. The first weekend of each month, Lynch's talented butchers break down an animal, say a 90-pound pig or a lamb from Vermont Family Farms, during a butchering demo, and participants go home with various cuts. Terrines, sausages, racks of lamb and ready-to-cook cuts are packaged and available for pick up by members the next two weekends of each month. Prices change month the month, but full shares cost around $190; half shares are around $95.

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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.