My F&W
quick save (...)

Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

RSS
Recipes

Party Lessons for 2010

default-image

Chorizo-Filled Dates

© Tina Rupp
Chorizo-Filled Dates

I threw a holiday open house a few weeks ago and learned a few lessons for next year. Hot hors d'oeuvres were a big hit: I'll definitely serve fried wontons and Chorizo-Filled Dates Wrapped in Bacon (above) again—both can be cooked ahead of time and warmed in the oven during the party. I'll only set out food that can be picked up with one hand: When we passed a platter of Smoked Bluefish Pâté already spread on crackers, it disappeared; anything left in a bowl for people to serve themselves tended to linger.
As for non-food lessons, I finally found a solution to the snowy-boots-on-wood-floors problem: a four-foot-square "Waterhog" floor mat from L.L. Bean. The look is utilitarian, but it's a big improvement over the piece of painter's paper my husband has taped down in the past, which made the entryway look like a construction site.

News

Gail Simmons on Top Chef: Just Desserts

default-image

Gail Simmons’s rock-stardom is complete: F&W’s phenomenal special-projects expert—and even more famously, a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef—now has her own show, Top Chef: Just Desserts, where she'll take on a Padma-esque role as host and judge. Here’s Gail, answering a few questions.

Why desserts? “Pastry chefs have a different brain than savory chefs. Which is probably why there have been so few good desserts on Top Chef. And there’s so much talent out there in the dessert world right now.”

How does the first season of Just Desserts look? “The people working on casting say the level of contestants is as good as it was on Season 6, the best TC season ever.”  

Filming starts when/where: “Filming hasn’t started yet.”

Epically great Top Chef desserts: “A few years ago, we did a holiday special right after Season 4. Tiffani, runner-up from Season 1, made an outrageous butterscotch flan that she served in Chinese soup spoons with some kind of fried sage on top. And Bryan’s dessert on the Season 6 finale—dulce de leche cheesecake with fig sorbet and basil—was another good dessert moment.”

Especially bad Top Chef desserts: “There are so many. On Season 2, Ilan made one of the worst things anyone ate in the history of Top Chef: chocolate ganache–coated liver for a Quick Fire Challenge. And on the Season 5 finale, Stefan made a lame chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. It wasn’t epically bad, but it was clichéd and disappointing.”

On whether Tom Colicchio will be a Just Desserts judge: “He’s a consultant on the show. But he’s not a pastry chef. Unless we do a savory challenge (!), Bravo is looking for judges who have more of a pastry spin.”

Travel

Pop-Up Safaris in South Africa

default-image

tent

© Uncharted Africa
Luxe-safari digs for World Cup viewing.

 

Yesterday, the New York Times named its 31 must-get-to destinations for 2010. It’s no surprise that South Africa was high on the list with the 2010 FIFA World Cup taking place there this June. Uncharted Africa Safari Co. is taking advantage of the soccer madness and the growing trend of pop-up everything by launching a pop-up safari camp in the Cradle of Humankind from June 10–July 12. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is equidistant from the Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg soccer stadiums and Uncharted Africa is setting up über-luxe tents outfitted with gorgeous rugs and furniture, Wi-Fi and 46-inch plasma-screen TVs. African barbecue will be served at 24-seat dining tables and the bars will be stocked with some of South Africa’s top wines. Those lucky enough to have tickets to the matches can choose to get to the stadiums via helicopter or limo, while the ticketless can watch the games broadcast on a video wall in a party tent.

Recipes

The (Drink) Situation on MTV’s Jersey Shore: Ron Ron Juice

default-image

© John Kernick

Muscle-head Ronnie on MTV’s Jersey Shore is the last guy I’d expect to see drinking a girly cocktail, but surprisingly his pre-partying drink of choice is his eponymous “Ron Ron Juice,” a fuchsia-colored concoction of watermelon, cherries, cranberry juice and copious amounts of vodka blended with ice, which he always prepares bare-chested. “It gets the night going,” he says. “Whenever that stuff [sic] comes out it’s always a filthy night.”

Ah yes, “Ron Ron Juice” does often serve as useful fuel for one of Ronnie’s many bar fights.

“It’s the root of all evil,” says DJ Pauly D. Plus, there’s nothing like a little “Ron Ron Juice” to provide the energy to “beat up the beat” of house music at da club. “First, we start off by banging the ground, we’re banging it as the beat builds ‘cause that beat’s hittin’ us so we’re fightin’ back, it’s like we beat up that beat,” says DJ Pauly D.

Here, a more refined selection of fruity cocktails to get fists pumping:
Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails (pictured)
Watermelon Sangria
Watermelon Coolers

More from Food & Wine:

50 Best Bars in America

Best Burgers in the U.S.

Best Pizza Places in the U.S.

Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.

 

Bars

Preview: Painkiller from Dutch Kills team

default-image

If you’re like me, and one tiki drink is never enough, here’s good news. The men behind the awesome Dutch Kills bar in Long Island City—Giuseppe Gonzalez and Richard Boccato—are opening a tiki bar in Manhattan. Called Painkiller, the bar is scheduled to open by early March. “We’re trading in Old-Fashioneds for Mai Tais,” says Gonzalez. Well, not exactly: Since the team is planning to blend 1970s New York culture and 1940s tiki culture, this may just be the best-ever tiki bar. Even the address is cool: It’s on Essex Street, in the old East Side Company Bar space.

But if, like me, you can't wait until early March for a Mai Tai, here's an outstanding version from F&W

advertisement
The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
How we use your email address
advertisement
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.