C h o c o l a t e K i t c h e n s C h i l i N e w s
At the age of 26, Des FitzGerald moved to Maine to farm trout. Today his Ducktrap River Fish Farm has shifted its focus to smoking fish. Try his silky, flavorful pastrami salmon on rye-berry bread ($19.25 per pound; 800-828-3825).
Have a Heart
Eating the package makes sense when the package is a white-chocolate heart. Christopher Norman has painstakingly hand-painted this Valentine with tempered chocolate and filled it with sweets on the order of white chocolate ganache truffles ($100; 212-677-3722).
Joanne Kellar Bouknight's The Kitchen Idea Book is a terrific resource if you're in a renovating mood. Beautiful to look at yet wonderfully practical, it features 470 color photographs of ingenious storage and design solutions ($30; The Taunton Press).
Prep time will plummet as more high-speed ovens hit the market. Thermador's Jet Direct features advanced convection (used by NASA in the space shuttles) to concentrate and channel hot air. Jenn-Air's Rapid Cook technology cuts baking time by using blown hot air and microwaves. A futuristic vision of kitchen design is currently on view in the Universal Kitchen Project at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City.
Elizabeth Taylor put Chasen's restaurant in Hollywood on the map by ordering 10 quarts of chili to go. Destination? The set of Cleopatra in Rome. Thirty-six years later, the restaurant is just a memory, but now we can all order the chili ($19 for 2 pounds; 877-4-CHASEN).
Ordering crème brûlées from France might sound decadent, but at $28 for six, in glazed terra-cotta ramekins, they could hardly be made at home for less. F&W tasters loved the flavor and the texture, both of which would do any French restaurant proud (from Balducci's; 800-225-3822).