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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine


Chefs & Champagne


chefs n champagne

© Mercedes Benz
James Beard Foundation president Susan Ungaro and Martha Stewart at Chefs & Champagne.

The hottest scene in the Hamptons this weekend was Wölffer Estate winery in Bridgehampton, New York, where the temperatures were blazing for the James Beard Foundation’s annual Chefs & Champagne benefit. Temperatures hovered around the mid-90s beneath an enormous white tent where nearly 1,000 people showed up to drink great Champagne from houses like Lanson and La Caravelle and eat irresistible food from more than 30 star chefs, including Bill Telepan, Marcus Samuelsson, Michel Nischan and Todd English. Standout dishes included mini lobster rolls from Marc Murphy of Ditch Plains, garlicky shrimp alhinho with smoked pimentón from George Mendes  of Aldea and corn velouté with crab beignets from Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud. Guest of honor Martha Stewart was a fan of Pierre Schaedelin’s tomato gazpacho.


Torrisi’s Star-Chef Tributes


© kate krader
Mario Carbone shows Dave Chang some love

At Torrisi Italian Specialties, it’s serendipitous enough to eat dinner off the daily-changing chalkboard menu—Little Neck clam toasts, and maybe the BBQ lamb shoulder. So imagine what it’s like to be a chef for whom owners Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone create special dishes. Recently, NBC Feast celebrated the duo's tribute to their ex-boss, Locanda Verde’s  Andrew Carmellini: Haricot de Carmellini. But Torrisi and Carbone don't stop there. Here are Rich T’s descriptions of the genius dishes the team did for a few other notable Torrisi guests.

Mario Batali 2-Hour Cuttlefish Coney Island Lifeguard Style. “It's based on Mario’s Babbo dish, 2-Minute Calamari Sicilian Lifeguard Style. We just used a different cephalopod. And made the lifeguard local.”

Dave Chang
Steamed pork buns. “Grilled mortadella in a steamed bun with our house spicy sauce and horseradish cream. I was really in the weeds that day, but I still went down the street and bought a steamer to serve them in.”

Mark Ladner
Peaches and cherries lavarse. “When Mark opened Lupa, he served stone fruits submerged in ice water. The fruit depended on what was hyper-seasonal at the time. If it was cherries, it would be Cherries Lavarse.’ We gave him some cherries and peaches.”


Jon Shook on Animal’s New Restaurant


© Nigel Parry

Since Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (F&W Best New Chefs 2009) have officially announced that they’re taking over the old Restaurant 3 Space on Third Street in Los Angeles, all kinds of questions are coming up. Shook doesn’t have many answers. Yet.

On the new place’s name: “We don’t have a name yet. It won’t be called Magnolia. Their new bakery is across the street.”

On the new place’s menu and appeal: “We’re not flushed out on the name or on the decor yet. Animal has had such success, the transition to the next place is going to be difficult no matter what. But right away, we loved the space. The vibe is super. We felt the energy of the room and the power of the windows.”

One thing they can confirm: A liquor license (Animal serves only beer and wine). “We’re super-excited about the liquor. We’re going to serve the drinks that Vin and I love - but what those are is top secret for now.”

There’s also no word on exactly when the new place will open. However, there's a strong rumor that before it does, you’ll see Shook and Dotolo popping up on the East Coast - sometime before the end of fall. Stay tuned for more details.


Michael White’s Guide to Opening a Restaurant


© Buck Ennis
Michael White, foot massage expert

Is opening a new restaurant all crazy stress all the time? Not necessarily. Michael White, of, among other places, the outstanding Marea on New York City's Central Park South, is spending a lot of time downtown in Soho getting ready to launch Osteria Morini in early September. And he's become an expert on local foot massage places and banh mi sandwich joints. Michael says:

“Definitely get a massage from Robert, Mr. Chen or Sonny (or, for women, Robert’s wife Linda—my wife, Giovanna, goes there) at the Yan Mei Foot Reflexology Center (158 Mott St.; 212-219-9788). But don’t expect a relaxing experience. As Mr. Chen says, ‘No pain, no gain.’ He makes grown men cry. After all that pain, I reward myself with the number 4 extra-spicy sandwich from Banh Mi Saigon (138 Mott St.; 212-941-1541)."

So will Michael’s business partner Chris Cannon install a foot masseuse at Morini? No way. “Michael wouldn’t be in the kitchen. He’d spend all his time getting foot massages,” Cannon says.


A Mad Men Star's Cocktail Party


bryan batt

© Paul Costello
Bryan Batt is mad for cocktails.

I try to boycott TV in the summer, but I totally confess that I’ve been counting down for Sunday night, when season four of Mad Men premieres. It’s the perfect excuse to throw a 1960s-style cocktail party. I asked Bryan Batt, who plays Sal Romano on the show, what he’ll be mixing this weekend. “I’m a purist, so a classic Manhattan or dry Martini,” he said. For more ideas, check out our story with Bryan from the May issue, featuring awesome cocktails and food like paprika-smoked baby back ribs from one of his favorite New Orleans bars, Cure.

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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.