Chef Floyd Cardoz, an avid fisherman, will focus on seafood dishes at his upcoming downtown-Manhattan restaurant, North End Grill. A favorite is this summery grilled bass with ginger-spiced tomato salad.
Pairing: Robust rosé from Spain: 2010 Bodegas Olivares.
In The Help, the character Minny reveres Crisco, calling it "the most important invention in the kitchen since jarred mayonnaise." She uses Crisco to fry chicken to perfection, admiring the way the vegetable shortening "bubbles up like a song" as it cooks.
Pairing: Minerally, light rosé: 2010 Lorenza or 2010 Bieler Père et Fils Sabine.
Mario Batali's Edible Garden, at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, is named for two of his restaurants: the Otto Pizza Garden and the Babbo Beets, Garlic and Greens Garden. Cooking demonstrations feature recipes like Batali's fritters with zucchini and rocambole garlic.
"We have a stew in Peru called seco, made with beef or lamb, yellow chiles and lots of cilantro," says Schiaffino. The dish prompted him to make a wine sauce with cilantro, which he serves with beef tenderloin.
Pairing: Tempranillo from Spain's Rioja region: 2008 Baron de Ona Finca San Martín Crianza or 2007 Pinturas Crianza.
Porchetta, a traditional Italian street food, is a moist and fatty fresh ham covered with skin that's heavily seasoned with salty garlic, rosemary, fennel and lemon. Chef James Lewis of Bettola in Birmingham, Alabama, adds some heat to his version with crushed red pepper.
Pairing: Montepulciano d'Abruzzo: 2009 Il Conte or 2009 Quattro Mani.