© Joe Termini
The Surf Lodge, Montauk.
© Joe Termini
I recently had a chance to check out Boston's superhip new Ames hotel. Though the hotel is located in the historic Ames farm-tool-company building, its interior is far from New England colonial kitsch. David Rockwell and the Morgans Hotel Group collaborated on the chic, smart design. In the lobby, there's the dramatic "Mirror Cloud" installation--a fragmented sculpture designed by artists Sophie Nielsen and Rolf Knudsen of London's Studio Roso; in the hotel's restaurant, Woodward, there's the Victorian-inspired "Cabinet of Curiosities" filled with bizarre sculptures. Chef Mark Goldberg's tavern-style farm-to-table menu has already earned Woodward a loyal local following. The perfect late-night pairing: His duck-confit flatbread topped with goat cheese and dried cranberries with a pint of crisp, cumin-and-cardamom-laced Woodward Ale, brewed exclusively for the restaurant by New Hampshire's Smuttynose brewery. The awesome hash selection on the breakfast menu--lobster-and-leek or mushroom-and-truffle--paired with eggs and a cup of La Colombe Coffee, may be the best breakfast secret in downtown Boston.
© 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.
© Alessandra Bulow
Cradle of Life flaming cocktail at Painkiller.
In addition to smooth daiquiris, flights of mini zombie drinks and all-you-can-eat hot dogs (“They’re not going to be fancy, Grade-A or kosher, but they’ll be free,” said Boccato), they’ll be serving fantastic rum-based flaming cocktails like the Cradle of Life (made with spiced rum, white rum, lime and orange juices and almond syrup; the green chartreuse on top is set on fire, pictured). The menu will also include communal drinks served in custom-made ceramic vessels called Scorpion Bowls. Each Scorpion Bowl will be named after a 1970s NYC street gang, like the Electric Coffin, a large coffin-shaped bowl that will billow steam from a hidden chamber for dry ice in its underbelly.
Boccato got the idea for the Scorpion Bowl names while narrating a friend’s documentary about the gangs and he's continuing the urbanized-oasis theme by asking some of NYC’s classic old-school graffiti artists to tag the walls of the bar.
“Half of tiki is about presentation,” said Boccato. “Tiki bars usually look like a dive, a Disney ride or Grandpa’s basement. We’re going for something different.”
© Alessandra Bulow
Tom Colicchio, Drew Nieporent, Daniel Boulud & Rick Smilow rocking out at D'Artagnan's 25th Anniversary Party.
Daguin was the master of ceremonies at the fête, enthusiastically organizing a Bobbing for Prunes in Armagnac contest and leading a synchronized Paquito el Chocolatero dance with about 100 of the mostly French-speaking guests, many wearing red and white clothing—the colors of D'Artagnan.
Looking a little bit like a made man in a well-cut black suit, a red silk tie and a matching pocket square, Bourdain was just one of the superstar chefs at the event, where tables were piled high with the company's fantastic terrines, pâtés and French kisses (foie-gras-stuffed prunes) and the passed hors d'oeuvres included seared foie gras and delicate quail legs.
Tom Colicchio broke out his guitar and was joined onstage by Daniel Boulud (wearing tight red pants—hot!), restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Rick Smilow, president of the Institute for Culinary Education. The group performed Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" and Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Green River.”
Over the past 25 years, Daguin has built a family of chefs and foodies who genuinely appreciate and love her and her company—a feeling that was palpable at the party.
"She's a mother to us all," said Bourdain.
© Rory Tischler
F&W Publisher Christina Grdovic Baltz & Chef Marcus Samuelsson at C-CAP 20th Anniversary Benefit
"I began my involvement with C-CAP 15 years ago because I felt a responsibility to kids who wouldn't otherwise know about the culinary field,” said Samuelsson. "They're the next generation of chefs, and it's so important for them to have exposure to the restaurant world."
C-CAP students helped prepare food for the event alongside more than 30 New York City chefs, including Alfred Portale (one of Samuelsson's mentors and tennis partners) and Jason Hall from Gotham Bar & Grill, who served an amazing cauliflower custard topped with sea urchin, trout roe and aged soy sauce, and F&W Best New Chef 2006 Christopher Lee from Aureole, who made the restaurant's signature sea scallop sandwich with seared foie gras, passion fruit and sugar snap peas.
© Danielle Falcone
Bouley's Japanese bites on imari porcelain.
Last night, star chef David Bouley turned his fabulous Tribeca test kitchen into a showroom for the latest interpretations of Imari porcelain, a style of porcelain made in the tiny town of Arita in Japan’s Saga prefecture. Young artists and designers like Tsuji Satoshi are making cool new designs inspired by traditional style. Bouley plans to use many of the pieces at his forthcoming Japanese restaurant. And of course, the dishes weren't left empty. Bouley, along with chefs Isao Yamada and Tadao Miakmi (Bouley Upstairs), Noriyuki Sugie and chefs from the Tsuji Culinary Institute of Japan prepared some ridiculously good dishes using wild Japanese ingredients like barafu, a leafy green that looks like it's covered in dew, with a salty taste and great crunch.
© Tina Rupp
Here, some fantastic recipes from my favorite chef-yogi (and an F&W Best New Chef 2009), Jeremy Fox from Napa Valley’s Ubuntu restaurant and yoga studio:
Carrot Macaroni and Cheese (pictured)
Lemony Quinoa Salad with Shaved Vegetables
Broccoli à la Catalan
© Tina Rupp
One of these things is not like the others: sports hero, fashion icon, glitterati mainstay, culinary student.
David Beckham, one of the world’s most recognizable athletes, seems increasingly set on mastering all things gastronomic. Since launching his healthy food line from GO3 back in 2008, Beckham has shuttled between Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy and AC Milan, and it seems his most recent spell in Milan has inspired Beckham to enroll in a 120-hour cooking class concentrating on the finer points of Italian cuisine (as Eater reported yesterday from The Daily Mirror). While Beckham already mastered fresh pasta, ragù and carbonara, he has stated that the ever-tricky risotto looms. To help him avoid embarrassment in the kitchen classroom, we suggest a recipe from a pro: a version of the classic Milanese Risotto from F&W's Grace Parisi.
© Patty’s Royal Dandie Miniature Pet Pigs
Throwing a Golden Globes Party? Here are some delicious starters to honor the nominees:
• French Hors d’Oeuvres: 10 excellent hors d’oeuvres to honor Julie & Julia, like warm Camembert with wild mushroom fricassee, pork rillettes and a caramelized-onion-and-Gruyère tart
• Italian Antipasti: 10 delicious antipasti to root for Nine, like sautéed cauliflower frittata with thyme, red wine bagna cuda (the classic Piedmontese anchovy-and-olive-oil dip) with crudités, and super-crunchy grissini (Italian breadsticks)
• Spanish Tapas: 10 terrific tapas to celebrate Broken Embraces, like open-face crab empanadas, crispy chicken croquettes and flatbreads with shrimp and romesco sauce, a slightly smoky puree of roasted red peppers, garlic and almonds
Tune in on Wednesdays at 10PM ET for Top Chef: Boston, the 12th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.