Here are five things we're excited about this year
The trendiest fat in restaurant kitchens isn’t butter, olive oil or even lard—it’s schmaltz, a.k.a. rendered chicken fat. Here are five creative ways chefs are using this luscious ingredient right now.
Photo © Sara Julian (Holy Smoke). © Lee McLaughlin (The Smoked Olive).
Courtesy of oliveoillovers.com (Castillo de Canena)
These olive oils are a clever way to add smokiness to all types of food.
Holy Smoke (left)
Smoked over hickory and pecan wood. $15 for 8.5 oz; holysmokeoliveoil.com.
The Smoked Olive Sonoma (middle)
Fruity and a little spicy. $24 for 6.75 oz; thesmokedolive.com.
Castillo de Canena (right)
Fantastic on roast potatoes. $21.50 for 250 ml; oliveoillovers.com.
Try it in a Recipe: Smoky Salmorejo
This chilled, no-cook Spanish soup is similar to gazpacho but blended instead of chopped. Smoked olive oil adds meatiness to the vegetarian dish. GET THE RECIPE »
Photo © Peter Arkle
F&W celebrates its 35th anniversary throughout March. For more fun clips from the archives (like legend Julia Child looking badass), follow us on Instagram #FW35th @foodandwinemag. Here, the trends that came and went.
In the late ’80s, F&W proclaimed that Floribbean food and cocktails were here to stay.
“The Southwest is hot!” F&W exclaimed in 1987. This is still true; just not the food.
Creole & Cajun
Jambalaya and gumbo are classics, but they’re not “state of the art eating,” as F&W reported in 1989.
Along with Camembert and pasta salad, a talisman of the high life from the Reagan era.
Itty-bitty vegetables seem to reappear on menus (and in F&W) every five years or so. The last time was 2008.
Download the Full Story: 35 Years of Food Trends »
Courtesy of Oyster Company of Virginia
Over the past decade, the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model—where customers pay in advance for a share of a farm's harvest—has brought fair prices to farmers and fresh produce to customers across the country. But many of us can’t live on plants alone. Luckily, some enterprising producers have expanded the CSA model, selling pre-orders of delicious ingredients like dry-aged steaks, oysters and chocolates. Here are some of the unique offerings popping up in the US >
Looking beyond shakers and muddlers, the most advanced mixologists are now using unusual tools like sous vide water baths, vacuum pots and even paint-can shakers to expand their repertoires of delicious cocktails.
In New York City at Momofuku Ssäm Bar's new experimental bar annex, Booker and Dax, the French Culinary Institute's director of culinary technology Dave Arnold has brought in cutting-edge equipment. Though some of Arnold's techniques are captivating for patrons—the Red Hot Poker, for instance, rapidly heats winter cocktails before your eyes—he's less concerned about showmanship. "The concept of the bar is to use any means at our disposal to make delicious drinks," Arnold says. "We're not primarily focused on interesting presentation."
The Bangkok Daiquiri is one of Arnold's favorite examples. By employing technology he calls "nitro muddling," his team can avoid the unpleasant side of muddled herbs: namely, pieces of bruised, dull-colored vegetation getting caught in your straw or your teeth. In a mixing tin, he pours liquid nitrogen over fresh Thai basil, freezing it. The frozen basil is muddled with rum, topped with lime juice and simple syrup, then shaken. When the drink is strained through a tea strainer into a glass (pre-chilled with liquid nitrogen), only minute flecks of vividly green basil come through.
Relatively straightforward orders benefit from behind-the-scenes preparation. Manhattan cocktails are made in advance for consistency and pre-bottled in individual servings with liquid nitrogen to stave off oxidization. Though not as visually striking as a glowing poker or flash-frozen basil, according to Arnold, the wow effect is still there because the drink is not diluted with ice and there's enough extra left in the bottle for a second pour. "We actually serve you more liquid than can fit into your coupe," he says, "which people seem to enjoy."
Here's where to find more high-tech cocktails:
Aviary, Chicago: At Grant Achatz's buzzy state-of-the-art cocktail lounge, expert mixologists use a double-chamber vacuum pot to create the Rooibos cocktail tableside. In the bottom pot, gin is heated over a flame until it's sucked into the upper pot where it is infused with Rooibos tea, grapefruit, lemon zest, crushed almonds, herbs and spices. When the heat source is removed, the drink gets muddled back into the lower pot and served warm.
The Cocktail Bar at the Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans: The newly opened lounge borrows sous vide techniques from the kitchen for the Lion Amongst Ladies cocktail. The sealed mix of herbal Damiana liqueur, lemon, flamed orange peel and tequila is infused with kumquats in a warm, sous vide bath over the course of two hours.
Citizen R+D, Phoenix: At this bar-cum-research-lab, mixologist Richie Moe creates ice-cold rum-based Paint Can Punch with a repurposed antique paint-can shaker, which is so loud and vigorous that it shakes the room. Also in his workshop: a cold-drip coffeemaker used to make a Three-Hour Margarita, which for obvious reasons needs to be ordered well ahead of time.
Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco: The Bay Area's popular speakeasy offers classes in molecular mixology for the home bartender. The class covers everything from foams and spherification to working with liquid nitrogen. Students are encouraged to invent and test their own high-tech tipples.
Typically relegated to brunch and used as a hair-of-the-dog hangover cure, the Bloody Mary is attracting the attention of mixologists, who are blending everything from balsamic vinegar to sausage into the salty-savory mix of tomato juice and vodka.
This month, a refined recipe by Yana Volfson, the head bartender at Freemans and Peels in New York City, took first prize against 17 other restaurants at the inaugural “Eat, Drink and Bloody Mary” contest. When she first arrived at the event, Volfson was intimidated by the variety of over-the-top cocktails, like a Mango Mary and an intense, anchovy-garnished version.
“The Bloody Mary has become a way of having breakfast within a cup,” Volfson says. By comparison, her entry was a relatively subtle departure from the original. Volfson’s requirements: approachable, balanced and not too thick. Instead of Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice (which she thinks can taste harsh), she uses balsamic vinegar and caper-berry brine to add acidity.
Both Peels and Freemans serve the winning recipe as their house Bloody Mary, but Peels also features a Red Snapper, made with floral gin instead of vodka and garnished with a crunchy radish to add a spicy element. A retired Peels favorite, which may soon make a comeback, is the Hairy Mary, made with homemade harissa, spicy ginger and smoky mescal and garnished with a sweet, crunchy carrot to contrast the drink’s heat. While creating it, Volfson was thinking about the spices in merguez, a North African lamb sausage. But unlike some new bars, she chose to simply be inspired by the sausage, rather than include it in the drink. “I generally try to keep the meat out of my cocktail,” she says.
For more inspired Bloody Marys, check out the bars below:
Veselka Bowery, New York City: Veselka’s new outpost uses kielbasa-infused Russian Standard vodka in their signature Bloody Mary and garnishes the hearty drink with a swizzle stick of either cabanossi (a dry sausage) or beef jerky—depending on what looks better at the butcher shop.
Barceloneta, Miami Beach: The South Beach tapas bar blends a fresh gazpacho, made with cream, with vodka and dry Manzanilla sherry for a rich Spanish take on the classic.
Playa, Los Angeles: This Latin spot’s new Via Maria is made with mezcal, seasoned tomato juice and chipotle chiles. With a molecular-gastronomy flourish, mixologistJulian Cox tops the smoky drink with a celery-tomatillo espuma (foam).
(Pictured: Zee Spotted Pig Bloody Mary)
© Courtesy of The Wayland
Garden Variety Margarita
While fresh-squeezed fruit juices have become common on serious cocktail menus, some of America’s best bartenders are turning to vegetables to incorporate seasonal and bitter components into their drinks.
A new spot with creative, vegetable-heavy cocktails is The Wayland in New York City’s East Village. “Most of the drinks I make come from the kitchen,” says owner-mixologist Jason Mendenhall. His refreshing Garden Variety Margarita was inspired by a cold remedy he creates at home, featuring kale and ginger juice.
For the bar’s version, he added smooth silver tequila, lime juice and agave; he serves the cocktail on the rocks with a rim of smoked sea salt. “I wanted to capture that vegetal component without scaring people away,” he says. Five days after opening, the vivid green drink became the bar’s most popular cocktail. Next up on The Wayland’s rotating drink list is a beet-juice-and-mezcal concoction, and Mendenhall is working on radish bitters as well as umami-packed mushroom bitters.
But The Wayland is not alone in trying to integrate fresh vegetables into cocktails. Here are some bars serving savory drinks to look for across the country.
Urban Union, Chicago: Recently opened, Urban Union makes a Celery Gimlet that goes down like “a cold cup of vegetable juice,” according to co-owner Jason Chan. It’s a little more complex than that, of course, and features house-made celery bitters, Hendrick’s gin, green chartreuse, St. Germaine, fresh lime juice, verjus (acidic, unripe grape juice) and a fresh celery stalk. 1421 W. Taylor St.
The Bent Brick; Portland, OR: This upscale neighborhood tavern is aggressively local, with all products, including spirits, coming from the Pacific Northwest. The Border Crossing cocktail combines a beet-based “shrub”—syrup typically made with fruit juice or vinegar—with apple brandy, smoked tea and black pepper.
Bar Congress, Austin: The Miso Mule is a Japanese take on a Moscow Mule that’s served in copper mug with crushed ice. Created by Portland transplant and bar manager Adam Bryan, the salty-smoky drink has 12-year-old Yamazaki whiskey, miso paste muddled with chunks of radish and honey, and tart Italian lemon soda.
Mateo’s Cocina Latina; Healdsburg, CA: This Mexican spot offers a seasonal Martini de Calabaza made with spiced organic pumpkin puree, cream and Reposado tequila.
© John Kernick
Now that we’re a month into the New Year, it’s time to stop talking about a 2012 diet. That moment is gone. Instead of giving up foods, wouldn’t it be great to bring some new things into your life: squirrel, fish bones, black water. Here’s a few things you should start eating immediately to be on the cutting edge of the food world.
Chocolate-Covered Sprouts. Last year Frito-Lay began putting natural foods in their snacks. (Brief round of applause for them.) Now comes junk food that’s having even more of an identity crisis. Lulu Chocolate’s Smoked Sea Salt Almond raw Organic Chocolate Bar (that’s a mouthful) is made with sprouted almonds—sprouts being a supercool health foods these days. Is that better than Shiloh Farms Dark Chocolate Covered Sprouted Almonds? There’s only one way to find out.
Fish Spines. We’ve come a long way from the days when nose-to-tail was a novelty (back in the olden days, about 8 years ago). Even fried fish bones are now almost as ubiquitous as sliders on menus, at least in NYC where I live, at places like En Japanese Brasserie and Brooklyn’s Isa in Brooklyn. The new frontier is fried fish spines. At Blue Ribbon Bar & Grill in midtown Manhattan, they serve specials like fried wild eel spine—it’s the size of a pencil. They’re also eating the gills from wild king yellowtail: first they dehydrate them, then they fry them, and serve them “just for fun,” says Blue Ribbon Manager Rich Ho.
Unnaturally Black Foods. Black foods are nothing new. So it’s foods like squid ink pasta, blackout cake and black sesame seeds (what I like to think of as “naturally occurring black foods”) that have paved the way for this new breed of black foods. Specifically the jet black burger buns that anchor the “Darth Vader” burger which will debut this month at France’s fast food chain, Quick. And of blk., the black health water that’s the brainchild of Albie and Chris Manzo, who you know from the Real Housewives of New Jersey. Like the Manzo brothers, you might not understand exactly what makes the water black, but is that really the point of this water? No, it’s not.
Random Animals. Recently some high-profile people in the food world have offered opinions on what we can eat in the name of causes like saving the planet, and pushing boundaries. Rene Redzepi, chef of Noma in Copenhagen, aka the world’s best restaurant, recommended that people in the States start eating squirrel (he hashtagged them “rabbit of the sky” on Twitter). And Bizarre Foods hero Andrew Zimmern came back from a trip to Beijing energized by a 10-course donkey tasting. “Donkey should be on everyone’s plate in 2012,” he says.
More from Food & Wine:
(pictured: Black-Sesame Salmon Balls)
© Quentin Bacon
The Chubster Diet. Here you have “A Hipster’s Guide to Losing Weight While Staying Cool.” Martin Cizmar’s brand-new book notes two definitions of chubster: 1) someone who is proud to be fatty mcfatfat; and 2) the cool guy who is formerly fat. Chapters include How to Work Out (without Looking Like a Tool); there are ratings—from awesome to awful—for Stuff You Can Nuke. Lean Cuisine Chicken with Lasagna Rollatini gets an awful. “Rollatini isn’t actually a type of pasta—it’s not even an Italian word,” notes Cizmar, who lost 100 pounds in eight months after something he refers to as “the Slurpee incident.”
Dukan Diet. Kate Middleton was on it. Jennifer Lopez and Gisele Bundchen reportedly lost their baby weight with it, too. If those three names don’t make you jump on Dr. Pierre Dukan’s diet, you have so much self-control you probably don’t need to lose weight anyway. The Dukan diet, which first came out in France in 2000, is basically a high-protein diet—there are days of pure protein, alternating with days of protein plus vegetables. Unfortunate side effects can include bad breath, constipation, dry mouth and fatigue.
Thrive Vegan Diet. If you’re looking for a diet that’s good for something besides yourself – like the earth – consider Thrive. Created by professional triathlete Brendan Brazier, Thrive focuses on vegan foods that help fuel your way to uber athleticism. Thrive Foods his newest book, includes 200 plant based recipes; if you want a 6-week workout plan, plus old-school-looking photos of Brazier working out, go for Thrive Fitness, and hope that Hugh Jackman, who’s been on the Thrive Vegan diet, will star in the next series of workout photos.
Paleoista Diet. First there was the Paleo diet. Better known as the Caveman diet, Paleo focuses on the diets of our very ancient ancestors with an emphasis on lean meats, seafood, fruits, nuts and vegetables. (Some paleos take it to extremes and donate blood frequently to simulate caveman hunting injuries.) Paleoista does not go that far; instead this book by Nell Stephenson, which comes out in May, is paleo for girls: it means eliminating anything made with sugar, processed grains, legumes and dairy. Which presumably will change the morning Starbucks habits of a lot of wannabe paleoistas.
Gay Men Don’t Get Fat Diet. This is not the place to find a recipe for Seared Ostrich with Dandelion Greens (look to the Paleoista for that). In fact, there are no recipes. Instead author Simon Doonan, the creative ambassador at large for Barneys New York, divides foods into straight (the fattening ones) and gay (the healthy, good-looking ones) and then advises eating both for a healthy diet.
More from Food & Wine:Alice Waters's Pink-Grapefruit-and Avocado Salad)
Tune in on Wednesdays at 10PM ET for Top Chef: Boston, the 12th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.