Expert Interview Series with FoodyDirect.com!

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I was recently invited as a guest for the FoodyDirect.com Expert Interview Series to talk about great tasting and looking food, and I’m honored to share the interview with you! I discuss my background and how I got into Food Styling and Photography as a full-time freelance profession, along with some of my favorite things to cook, food trends, hot spots in NYC and some simple rules for great food photography on social media.

Expert Interview Series with FoodyDirect.com

I also included one of my favorite go-to recipes in the article, my Rochester-Style Chicken French with Broccolini which I know you’re gonna love!


Chicken French

Check out the interview below or on FoodyDirect.com (the best online mail order source for gourmet food and gifts!

FoodyDirect.com

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Kristen Hess is a New York City food stylist, photographer, recipe developer, and author of the food blog, The Artful Gourmet.  We recently chatted with Kristen about her favorite cuisines, cooking trends, and NYC eateries, and also asked her to share her food stylist expertise with us to help foodies take better photos of their gastronomical creations.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you decide to dive headfirst into learning about cooking and food photography?

I’ve always loved food and cooking but never considered it as a full-time career until I moved to NYC and started taking a series of cooking classes at The Institute of Culinary Education. I was working in advertising at the time and thought it was a fun hobby, but then that hobby became more serious as I discovered food media as a blossoming career path and started taking more classes in food styling, photography, and food writing and then started my blog.
Out of all of the different styles of cuisine and cooking in your repertoire, which one was the most fun to learn about?

My all-time favorite is Italian food because I love the simplicity of the gorgeous ingredients, rustic flavors, and cooking techniques. Whether it’s homemade pasta and sauce, homemade pizza, a gorgeous salad, an antipasti dish, or a roasted chicken with vegetables, I love it all!

Name a cooking trend, tool, or category that you’re currently excited about. 

Alternative flours and coconut everything! I try to live a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes it’s hard when you work in the food industry (esp. in NYC!) surrounded by delicious temptations every day. Alternative flours made out of chickpeas, coconut, almond, bananas, brown rice, farro, buckwheat, chia, and arrowroot are great for low-carb and paleo/gluten-free cooking – and they’re healthier, too. You can make pizza crust, bread, pasta, pancakes, tortillas, pastry, crepes, socca, and all kinds of dishes with it. And I love coconut oil, cream, and milk as an alternative to full-fat regular dairy sometimes because it has a nice subtle coconut flavor and is great to cook with at high heat. I’ve made curries, smoothies, baked goods, and more with it. Great stuff.

Many people have a basic idea of what a food stylist does – but could you tell us about some types of food photography that you’ve done that people may not associate with the craft? 

I do some interesting gigs with agencies for their food clients who are doing on-site media tours promoting food products and recipes to food editors for all the major food magazines. For example, The Jackfruit Company launched their new products and I toured around with the owner and PR agency making tacos, salads, burgers, and sandwiches on-site in the editors’ board rooms while they pitched the product to the editors and writers (to gain press and brand affection, of course!).

Another new type of job that is getting popular is styling food for Facebook Live segments for cookbook authors and chefs, health experts, and bloggers. I did quite a few of these for Keri Glassman and Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe, making recipes for them which were demoed live on Facebook at PureWow Magazine and Cosmo.com. I also did this for Halloween making super fun recipes by blogger Elise Strachan at People Food and Food and Wine.

When you see people posting pictures of food on their social media pages, what are some of the “mistakes” you see that make the dish look really unappetizing?

I always say lighting is a huge factor for any good food photo. If it’s too yellow or too blue, you need to fix the hue or it looks unappetizing. Also, never use flash or take photos with overhead lights as they give harsh shadows and blow out the food. Try to shoot food with natural light as much as possible. Bad angles are a no-no too. Don’t shoot burgers or sandwiches overhead. You can’t see what’s inside. Pizza is great for overhead shots because you want to see what’s on it. Don’t be afraid to crop into the shot too for some detail. Finally, consider your composition; what’s the hero in the shot? Focus on that dish. Not the glass behind it. Let the hero shine!

Finish this sentence: “If you’re a true foodie, the next time you visit New York City, you definitely need to stop by…”

For pizza, you need to check out DiFara on Ave J in Brooklyn. The wait is kinda long, but it’s soooo good and super worth the trip and the wait. I also love RubiRosa pizza in Soho.

Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village is amazing for fresh oysters, seafood, wine, etc.

My favorite taco joint is La Esquina in Nolita. They make authentic Mexican style tacos on small corn tortillas with fresh cilantro, pork, steak, chicken, and homemade salsa. Plus, the grilled street corn is to die for!

You can’t go to NYC without getting a delicious burger, fries, and milkshake from the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. Again, the line is long, but so worth the wait!!!

And lastly, go to Katz’s Deli in the Lower East Side for a pastrami on rye New York City style. Delish.

What types of desserts do you enjoy making for friends and family?

I’m definitely more of a savory cook than a pastry cook, but I absolutely love making pies and tarts. I always make lovely fruit-based pies or tarts in the summer around the 4th of July using berries, peaches, and mascarpone on a puff pastry sheet. Thanksgiving is always fun; I love experimenting with new pie recipes (something different than pumpkin or apple pie) like Christina Tosi’s Crack Pie or my Bourbon Buttermilk Pecan Pie.

Finally, could you share with us one recipe that’s always a hit when you prepare it? 

I have so many recipes that I love but one of my absolute favorites is my “Rochester-Style Chicken French with Broccolini.” It’s actually not a French recipe; it’s an Italian recipe similar to a piccata dish, but with a light coating of egg batter, butter, white wine, lemon, and parsley on thinly-pounded chicken, sautéed in a pan and then coated in the luscious buttery lemon sauce. It’s easy to make, tastes amazing, and everyone loves it. I serve it with sautéed broccolini, but you could also serve it with green beans or sautéed spinach, over pasta or rice, or alongside some crusty french bread to mop up the sauce. Goes great with a tangy white wine like Pinot Grigio and a simple green salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and a tangy wine vinaigrette.

Chicken French

Rochester-Style Chicken w/ Broccolini

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4.

This delicious Italian dish originated in Rochester, NY and is a great meal for a special occasion or any night of the week. Thin chicken cutlets are coated in a light egg and parmesan batter then sautéed until crispy and brown. They are coated in a luscious lemon butter and wine sauce and served with a side of fresh broccolini. Goes great with a crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio and a green salad with shaved Parmesan and a tangy vinaigrette.

Ingredients

  • CHICKEN FRENCH:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil/canola oil blend for sauteing (I used Colavita Garlic Oil Blend)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of superfine flour (Pan Searing flour or Wondra)
  • LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine or sherry
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from 1 1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
  • BROCCOLINI:
  • 1 bunch broccolini, trimmed
  • Lemon Butter sauce (see above)
  • lemon, S&P for garnish

Instructions

  1. CHICKEN FRENCH:
  2. Heat oil in a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, cheese, salt and pepper, cayenne, and fresh parsley in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Place flour in another flat bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts, then dredge each one in flour first (left hand), then egg mixture (right hand).
  6. Place chicken into the heated saute pan and cook for 6 minutes on one side. Flip chicken over and saute for another 6 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove from pan and set aside, covered with a foil tent.
  8. LEMON BUTTER SAUCE:
  9. In the same skillet, saute the minced garlic for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  10. Add the wine and bring liquid to a boil over high heat, scraping up the brown bits in the pan.
  11. Pour in the chicken broth, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes (if using) and let reduce by half, another 5-7 minutes.
  12. Stir in the butter and whisk until it melts.
  13. Add chicken back into the pan with the sauce and let simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  14. Place chicken on serving plate with the steamed broccolini and spoon lemon butter sauce over the top of both.
  15. Garnish with lemon wedges and additional chopped parsley if desired.
  16. BROCCOLINI:
  17. Steam broccolini for about 5 minutes, covered. Remove lid and steam for another 5 minutes until fork tender but still bright green.
  18. Top broccolini with Lemon Butter sauce, additional lemon, salt, and pepper to taste.

Notes

You can also substitute veal for the chicken or artichokes for a vegetarian option.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/06/23/expert-interview-series-foodydirect-com/

Are you jonesing for authentic New York-style foods? Check out FoodyDirect.com selection today!

Celebrating International Women’s Day :: Top Women in Food + Beverage

International Women's Day
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international womens day

What a great day to celebrate! Today is International Women’s Day (Wednesday, March 8th) – a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

I’m proud to be an entrepreneurial #woman in the New York City food scene. I’m also proud of all the thousands of other smart, talented, independent, business savvy #women I know around the world, in the culinary world, business world, political scene, creative and marketing fields, and more (too many to mention!).. and raise a glass to all they have achieved.


international womens day

Women have come so far in the world in the past century (voting rights, equal rights, next equal pay!) and I hope we continue to progress in the world even further in the next one. With the opportunities that lie ahead and the tremendous amount of talented passionate women in the world, there’s no stopping us!

international women's day

Below is a salute to some of the Top Female Food and Beverage Power Players in South Florida and New Orleans, two hot beds in the culinary scene — chefs, bartenders, sommeliers and restaurateurs making a difference in the culinary landscape.

Cheers to all of you wonderful ladies around the world and never stop dreaming! #beboldforchange

International Women's Day logo

The roster of talent includes:

South Florida: (rollover photos for names)

Danielle Rosse, Owner, Oceans 234

When it comes to acclaimed restaurateurs in South Florida, it can tend to be a bit of an ‘old boys’ club. And when it comes to delivering a superb, true-to-Florida oceanfront dining experience, very few can ‘serve it up’ better than South Florida female restaurateur and entrepreneur Danielle Rosse. Rosse was just 22 and recently widowed when she first opened Oceans 234 in 2001. Starting as Director of Operations, she transformed what was once a sleepy oceanfront diner into the alluring waterfront dining escape that Oceans 234 is recognized as today. In 2013 she purchased the restaurant to become the sole owner of the establishment and in 2015 it underwent a massive $1.8 million dollar renovation elevating the property and the guest experience. This respected restauranteur also strives to give back to the industry that she loves so dearly. Rosse sits on the Board of Directors for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Deerfield Beach Chamber of Commerce as well as the Broward Health Foundation. She has received numerous honors including the 2011 Coconut Creek Small Business Person of the Year, 2013 Soroptimist International Woman of Distinction, and the 2014 South Florida Business Journal Influential Woman of the Year. The Oceans 234 team now hosts multiple fundraisers throughout the year including Surfers for Autism, Woman In Distress’s Annual Clothing Drive, and the Annual St. Baldricks Shave-a-Thon. Rosse also supports the Gwendolyn Clarke-Reed Neighborhood Initiative program that promotes the employment of at-risk youth during the summer months by having students intern at the restaurant.

Shannon Allen, Owner, Grown

Shannon Allen, owns and operates Grown™, a highly celebrated USDA Organic Certified fast food restaurant based in Miami, Florida, alongside her husband Ray Allen. Shannon (The PreGame Meal) created the concept in frustration after searching unsuccessfully for an organic nutrient dense meal on-the-go for their five children and especially their son Walker who lives with Type 1 Diabetes. She and Ray (retired two-time NBA Champion, 10-time NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist), are committed to promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle by providing freshly prepared meals inclusive of guests with dietary needs such as gluten sensitivities, food allergies, vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians, and those on the Autoimmune Protocol or paleo diets. Grown is proud to be the first USDA Certified Organic fast food restaurant with a drive-thru on the East Coast, and is widely recognized as a market disrupter for providing convenience without compromise.

Jessica Goldman, Goldman Properties

Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties, was with the company founded by her late father, Tony Goldman, for 15 years before taking the reins at his behest in 2012.  Founded in 1967, the award-winning company recognizes the value in depressed urban areas, re-imagining, reconstructing and transforming declining districts into thriving global destinations. Goldman Srebnick oversees the company’s portfolio of assets in New York, Philadelphia, Miami Beach and Miami’s emerging Wynwood Arts District, with a key focus on the vitality, aesthetic and artistic components of all products created by the firm. The rich mix includes hotels, restaurants, office buildings, commercial, retail and residential properties, and Wynwood Walls, the highly-acclaimed outdoor street art museum. In July of 2015, Goldman Srebnick founded Goldman Global Arts to generate and produce impactful large scale creative projects for a variety of organizations including an integration of large scale artwork into Hard Rock Stadium. Goldman Srebnick is an active member of numerous philanthropic organizations including the prestigious Young Presidents Organization, the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, and the Cycle for Survival’s national Battle Leadership Council. Goldman Srebnick has received numerous accolades, including being named one of South Florida Business Journal’s Top100 Power Leaders, Florida International University Center for Leadership named her one of 50 Prominent Women in Florida and she received the prestigious Key to the city of Miami for her work on the Global Leadership Conference in 2009. In addition to the accolades, she has received worldwide press, and has been featured in media outlets including The New York Times, AP, and the BBC. Furthermore, her efforts in Wynwood have led to Vogue and Forbes magazines listing the area as one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world.

Jennifer Wagoner, Lead Sommelier at Fontainebleau Miami Beach

Jennifer Wagoner brings a unique creativity to the historic Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s acclaimed wine program in her role as Lead Sommelier at Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina and StripSteak by Michael Mina where she manages expansive wine lists encompassing more than 1000 bottles and 50 by the glass selections. Born in Indiana, Wagoner began her career in the restaurant and club business in Manhattan. A student of Master Sommelier Laura Maniec and B.R. Guest’s “Wine College,” she fell in love with the art and science of wines, finding a passion in the process of winemaking but real affection for wine tasting and pairing. In 2006, Wagoner relocated to Miami and worked at Escopazzo restaurant. In 2007, she joined Goldman Properties’ Wish restaurant where she helped craft a wine list that quickly earned raves including the coveted Wine Spectator award. In 2010, she launched Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (WKB) in Miami’s emerging Wynwood Arts District. There, she served as restaurant manager and sommelier and managed the restaurant’s eclectic wine list as well as developed, at the time, one of the most progressive beer lists in town. Her wine and brew acumen earned Wynwood Kitchen & Bar a nod from Miami New Times as the “Best New Bar” of 2010. She left WKB in 2012 and took the role of Head Sommelier at the wildly popular Zuma restaurant in downtown Miami. There, she was responsible for an award-winning wine list of over 400 selections. She joined the Fontainebleau Miami Beach team in May 2015. Wagoner holds a CMS Level 2 Sommelier Certification and has an Advanced Certificate in Wine Business from the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University.

Executive Chef Adrienne Grenier, 3030 Ocean

3030 Ocean’s Executive Chef Adrienne Grenier, and South Florida native, has always had a passion for food. That passion became a career, and Grenier earned a degree from Florida State University in Food Science and Nutrition. She then attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale to learn the craft of truly refined cooking and the intricate design behind elegant food preparation and presentation. Grenier began her culinary career under the tutelage of acclaimed Chefs Dean Max and Paula DaSilva at 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale’s Harbor Beach Marriott Resort. Here, Grenier spent two years honing her skills before her desire for new culinary experiences lead the budding chef to California. While on the West Coast, Grenier worked her way up the ranks at the Michelin starred restaurant, Gordon Ramsay at the London in West Hollywood; as well as Blanca Restaurant in Solana Beach, alongside renowned Chef Jason Neroni. While living in California, Grenier spent much of her time visiting local farmer’s markets, embracing the art of farm-to-table cooking. In 2010, the self-proclaimed “farm girl” joined the culinary team at 1500 Degrees at Miami Beach’s Eden Roc resort. Here, she teamed up with Executive Chef Paula DaSilva again as sous chef, focusing on fresh, sustainable cuisine. During her tenure, the restaurant became one of Esquire magazine’s “Top 20 Best New Restaurants in the USA.”  DaSilva — mentor to Grenier — encouraged the chef to participate as a competitor on Food Network’s Chopped, and in January of 2011 she received the grand prize of $10,000. In 2013, Grenier returned to where her culinary career began, as DaSilva’s sous chef at 3030 Ocean, where she helped to conceptualize an ever-changing menu of organic produce and locally-sourced dishes from both land and sea. In 2015, after DaSilva’s departure, she was named Executive Chef of 3030 Ocean in 2015.

Executive Chef Paula DaSilva, Artisan Beach House

South Florida culinary darling Chef Paula DaSilva returned to Miami as Executive Chef with Artisan Beach House at The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami. The Brazilian native’s love for cooking began at a young age working at her family-owned restaurants in Massachusetts and, later in South Florida. Eager to expand her culinary repertoire, DaSilva attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where she earned a degree in Culinary Arts. DaSilva began her culinary career at 3030 Ocean at the Harbor Beach Marriot under the tutelage of esteemed South Florida Chef Dean Max. It was around this time that DaSilva competed in the fifth season of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsey and finished as the season’s runner-up, cementing her place as one of Florida’s celebrity chefs. In 2010, DaSilva took her talents to South Beach as the executive chef of 1500 Degrees at the illustrious Eden Roc Hotel. The chic farm-to-table concept earned rave reviews and popular acclaim for its soulful, seasonal, rustic cuisine – which have now become synonymous with DaSilva’s style of cooking. Her cooking at 1500 Degrees earned massive praise and wide-ranging appeal, including a nod from Esquire magazine as one of the “Best New Restaurants in America.” A couple years later, DaSilva’s career came full circle when she returned to 3030 Ocean and took the helm as executive chef. During her second stint with 3030 Ocean, DaSilva revitalized the menu, injecting her now-signature soulful cooking style into the restaurant’s seafood-centric menu. After leaving 3030 Ocean for the second time, the culinary powerhouse took some well-deserved time off to travel. At Artisan Beach House, DaSilva serves as the restaurant’s executive chef while simultaneously overseeing all food & beverage operations for the property. DaSilva has a remarkable talent for creating imaginative, farm fresh dishes that highlight the flavors and freshness of South Florida’s local ingredients. Together with her culinary team at Artisan Beach House, DaSilva treats guests to a high-quality dining experience on par with the standards for which The Ritz-Carlton is known. Artisan Beach House is DaSilva’s second collaboration with restaurant and nightlife impresario Seth Greenberg, the first being 1500 Degrees. Under the umbrella of Greenberg’s Sterling Group Management Inc., Artisan Beach House is just part of the food & beverage innovations Greenberg and DaSilva have planned for the property.

Executive Chef Chef Maryna Frederiksen, Big Easy Winebar & Grill

Executive Chef Maryna Frederiksen was born and raised on a farm in the Transvaal Province of South Africa. Her fondest memories include raising cattle and sheep and eating vegetables picked fresh from her family’s garden. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from North-West University in South Africa and moved to Amsterdam in 1990 to complete her Master’s Degree in European History. Her career in education quickly evolved into an insatiable curiosity for food so she began bartending for a European cruise line, then joined the cruise line’s flagship hotel in Switzerland. Here she got her first job as a cook, kick-starting a decades-long career. She accepted a chef position in San Francisco and later moved to Seattle in 1995 where she built the culinary program at the Central Park Tennis Club in Kirkland and created culinary classes for locals and visitors to enjoy. In 2003, Frederiksen was recognized as one of Seattle’s top ten up-and-coming chefs and a year later was invited to join the culinary team at the James Beard Award-winning The Herbfarm restaurant in Woodinville. In 2009, she came to Florida where she became Executive Chef/Partner at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota and spearheaded their catering division. She contributed to their Botanical Garden Educational program, teaching children’s edible garden classes. Frederiksen returned to South’s wine country where she served as Executive Chef for the Holden Manz Wine Estate and later Noble Hill. In 2015, Frederiksen moved back to Florida as Chef of California Grill inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Now as Executive Chef of Big Easy Winebar & Grill, Frederiksen combines South African comfort food and Nuevo-Latin cuisine. Frederiksen has been inducted into Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomy association and the Société Mondiale du Vin, the oldest and largest food and wine society as a Chef Rôtisseur and Des Gourmets Degustateurs. She has also served on the Board of Directors of Slow Food Sarasota.

New Orleans LA: (rollover photos for names)

Abigail Gullo, Beverage Director, Compere Lapin

A native of Hyde Park, NY, with roots in Georgia and Virginia, Abigail Gullo first discovered her love for mixology when her grandfather taught her how to make a Manhattan when she was only seven years old.  As a young adult, she moved to Ireland to work in theatre, and quickly became known for transforming her Dublin apartment into a cocktail salon, crafting libations for friends and colleagues. An experienced off-Broadway singer and actress in New York City, theatre teacher by trade, and graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, Gullo switched careers to professional bartending in 2009 while living in Manhattan. Around that time, local spirits industry legend LeNell Smothers nominated Gullo as a member for the New York chapter of the charity-driven society Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails. From 2010 to 2012, Gullo served as Head Bartender at Fort Defiance in Brooklyn, while helping to open The Beagle in the East Village in 2011. As a result of her frequent travels to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, and roster of mixology awards, Gullo landed the job as head bar chef for Sobou; then the newest venture from the Commander’s Family of Restaurants in the Crescent City. In 2015, Gullo was tapped by award-winning bartender Ricky Gomez, to join the beverage team at Compère Lapin, where she worked alongside Gomez in developing the restaurant’s cocktail menu. Gullo’s original cocktails have been recognized in numerous national and international competitions as well as in the media. Her margarita won People’s Choice at the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail, and her drinks have been featured in The New York Times, Imbibe, Garden & Gun, In The Mix, and Food & Wine magazine among others. Gullo was named Eater NOLA’s “Bartender of the Year” in 2014; winner of Heaven Hill Liquor.com’s “Bartender of the Year” 2016; and winner of Tullimore Dew’s “Best Bartender Stories.”

Executive Chef/Owner Nina Compton, Compere Lapin

Compère Lapin Chef/Owner Nina Compton has more than 15 years of experience manning some of the finest restaurants in the country. Upon completion of secondary school in England, Nina Compton returned to her home in St. Lucia where she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a chef.  Her parents arranged an internship with a friend’s hotel in Jamaica where Nina fell in love with the creativity and camaraderie of the kitchen. Leaving the cozy, warm winters of the Caribbean, Nina chose to move to chilly Hyde Park, NY to study  at The Culinary Institute of America. In 2001, Nina began her professional journey at Daniel in New York City, working and continuing her culinary education alongside world renowned chef/ restaurateur Daniel Boulud. After moving to Miami, she joined Norman Van Aken at his namesake restaurant Norman’s and then Philippe Ruiz located at Palme d’Or. Eventually Nina moved to Casa Casuarina, a private club and boutique hotel in Miami Beach where she rose from Sous Chef to Executive Chef of the highly acclaimed property. With the excitement of the renovation of Fontainebleau Miami Beach in 2008 combined with the chance to work with Scott Conant at Scarpetta, Nina leapt at the chance to join the pre-opening team as Sous Chef and went on to be appointed Chef de Cuisine. During a star turn on BRAVO’s Top Chef, on which she was a finalist and fan favorite, Nina fell in love with the Crescent City. An opportunity with Provenence Hotels lured Nina to New Orleans where she opened her first solo restaurant, Compère Lapin, at the Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in the Warehouse District. Since opening in June 2015, Compère Lapin has received critical acclaim including a rave review in The New York Times, Top 10 Winner of Playboy‘s Best New Bars in America 2016 and “Best New Restaurant” nods by New Orleans Magazine and Times-Picayune.

Lu Brow, Beverage Director, DTB

Lu Brow, Beverage Director at DTB is an expert of historic cocktails. Brow has extensive experience as a mixologist, having studied with Ted “Dr. Cocktail” Haigh, author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails and Dale DeGroff, known as “The King of Cocktails” and founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail. Brow served as Bar Chef at Café Adelaide & The Swizzle Stick Bar in the French Quarter in 2005, part of the Commander’s Palace Family of Restaurants in New Orleans. In her time there she introduced the “Bar Chef Table,” a concept modeled after the chef’s table, where the menu is paired with unique cocktails served in tasting-sized glasses, at a bar right next to your table. Her talent has since been recognized in Santé Magazine’s 2006 Spirits Hospitality Award, which honors restaurants that exhibit a high level of professional standards in spirits, service and hospitality. Then in 2014, she migrated to the recently reopened Brennan’s to create their beverage program. Now, as Beverage Director for the soon-to-open modern Southern Louisiana concept DTB, which stands for Down the Bayou, Brow will continue to use her talent and ingenuity behind the bar to wow guests and critics alike with creative concoctions using Louisiana ingredients.

Liz Williams, President/Founder Southern Food and Beverage Museum

Elizabeth (Liz) Williams is the Founder and President of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) in New Orleans, which falls under the umbrella organization of National Food & Beverage Foundation (NatFAB) – a nonprofit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of food, drink and its related culture and folklife in America and the world. Liz wanted to integrate her love of food and history and was amazed that the South did not have a museum dedicated to its extraordinary and unique culinary traditions. After collecting numerous artifacts, organizing exhibitions, and recruiting nationally recognized chefs and food industry leaders to serve as the Board of Directors, Liz and her team developed the concept of SoFAB, which opened its doors in June of 2008 in New Orleans and recently reopened in it’s new, larger location on the city’s up and coming Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard.  SoFAB has earned praise and accolades, including being named one of the  “11 of the World’s Top Food Museums” by CNN. Liz is the author of several books, including her latest book, coauthored with Chris McMillian, about the drinking culture of New Orleans, entitled Lift Your Spirits. Other books include The Encyclopedia of Law and Food, and New Orleans: A Food Biography.

Poppy Tooker, Culinary Historian, Author, Cultural Ambassador

Poppy Tooker is known for her NPR affiliated radio show, Louisiana Eats! which carries her message state-wide and beyond. The New Orleans Press Club named Louisiana Eats! best radio show of 2014. In 2013, her radio show inspired her to write her Louisiana Eats! book, which was given the Literary Award of the Year by the Louisiana Library Association. After being tapped to update one of the earliest Louisiana cookbooks, Madame Begue’s Creole Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery (first published in 1900) Poppy went on to continue the story of Begue’s with the recently published Tujague’s Cookbook, Creole Recipes and Lore in the Grand New Orleans Tradition. As a culinary activist, Poppy has been instrumental in reviving endangered local foods such as Creole cream cheese and rice calas. She was a key element in the success of the Crescent City Farmers Market and, in 2007, Poppy authored the Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook which was given the Eula Mae Dore Tabasco Award for its historical and cultural content. Poppy also appears weekly on the WYES public television show, Steppin’ Out, dishing out spicy food commentary. Visitors and locals alike savor the opportunity to enjoy many speaking engagements and culinary demonstrations which tie together her passion for the delicious history and recipes of Louisiana’s foods. She’s a cultural ambassador on a mission and her life’s mission has been to work as a culinary activist, promoting and preserving food culture and history while safe guarding the planet’s bio-diversity. Poppy founded the Slow Food New Orleans Chapter in 1999 creating one of the first 10 chapters in the United States. She was selected to serve as an International Governor with the movement. Following Hurricane Katrina, Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini awarded Poppy with its first ever leadership award and at that time she was also recognized by the Times Picayune as a “Hero of the Storm”, a story which was nationally told on the Weather Channel. The International Association of Cooking Professionals recognized Poppy’s efforts in April 2008, with their first ever, Community Service Award. In 2012, Southern Living magazine named Poppy a “Hero of the New South” for her work in foodways.

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For more info on International Women’s Day, visit their website

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Olive Garden unveils new ‘Tastes of the Mediterranean” menu

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Olive Garden Tastes of the Mediterranean Menu

I had the opportunity to attend a special preview tasting of Olive Garden‘s new ‘Tastes of the Mediterranean’ menu this week at a lovely event held at Haven’s Kitchen in NYC with a group of other food bloggers, writers and journalists.

Media Preview Haven's Kitchen


Olive Garden Team

We sampled a (generous!) variety of delicious food and wine, and learned more about the new menu ideas and inspiration from the Olive Garden team and Executive Chef, Jim Nuetzi

Olive Garden Tasting Event

Inspired by the flavors of Italy’s Mediterranean Coast, Olive Garden is evolving its popular Lighter Italian Fare menu to the new ‘Tastes of the Mediterranean’ menu, which celebrates the flavors and cooking styles from the popular Mediterranean region of Italy with all entrees under 600 calories.

Chicken Margherita

Beginning Jan. 2, two new entrees – Chicken Margherita and

Linguine Di Mare

Linguine di Mare – will be available in restaurants. Following, the fully evolved ‘Tastes of the Mediterranean’ rebranded menu section, which includes guest favorites as well as the new entrees, will be introduced on Jan. 23.

Executive Chef Jim

“Healthier dishes at restaurants can often be perceived as boring or unsatisfying. However, our Mediterranean-inspired Shrimp Scampi with its flavorful ingredients was our second most popular entrée on the entire menu last summer,” said Jim Nuetzi, Executive Chef for Olive Garden. “The positive reaction from our guests further showed that we could create indulgent and craveable entrees that just happen to have the added benefit of lower calorie counts.”

Shrimp Scampi

The guest-favorite Shrimp Scampi, which was introduced to the Olive Garden menu last year, has exceeded any other Olive Garden lighter fare entrée in popularity. Many guests were surprised that the flavorful and satisfying dish was only 500 calories.

Grilled Chicken Parmigiana

The guest reaction to the Shrimp Scampi inspired chefs to explore additional ingredients that would excite guests in the same way, leading them to the cuisine of Italy’s Mediterranean coast. The region is long known for healthier lifestyles and cooking with light, flavorful ingredients such as seafood, olive oil, fresh vegetables, whole grains and Italian spices.

Chicken Margherita & Zucchini

Chicken Piccata

Herb Grilled Salmon

The ‘Tastes of the Mediterranean’ menu features:

Olive-Garden-Chicken-Margherita

  • NEW! Chicken Margherita: Grilled chicken breasts topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto and a lemon garlic sauce. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini.

Olive-Garden-Shrimp-Scampi

  • Shrimp Scampi: Shrimp sautéed in a garlic sauce, tossed with asparagus, tomatoes and angel hair pasta.

Olive-Garden-Linguini-di-Mare

  • NEW! Linguine di Mare: Shrimp and mussels sautéed with homemade pomodoro sauce and whole grain linguine.

Olive-Garden-Herb-Grilled-Salmon

  • Herb-Grilled Salmon: Filet grilled to perfection and topped with garlic-herb butter. Served with parmesan-garlic broccoli.

Olive-Garden-Chicken-Piccata-Dinner

  • Chicken Piccata: Grilled chicken topped with a lemon garlic butter sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini.

Olive Garden Tilapia Piccata

  • Tilapia Piccata: Delicate white fish baked in a lemon garlic butter sauce with sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Served with parmesan crusted zucchini.

Entrees on the rebranded menu start at $14.29.

Warm Chocolate Baci Cake

And last but not least, we enjoyed a gorgeous dessert, Warm Chocolate Baci Cake with coffee..simply divine. 

Olive Garden

..and got some take home goodie bags with a bottle of wine and some wine glasses!

 ———–

ABOUT OLIVE GARDEN

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.8 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate over $6.8 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated more than 35 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country.

Guests can join the conversation and connect with Olive Garden at Facebook.com/OliveGarden, Twitter.com/OliveGarden and Instagram.com/OliveGarden. For more information and to find your nearest Olive Garden restaurant, visit OliveGarden.com.

My Expert Interview on FoodyDirect.com!

Kristen Hess Interview Foody Direct
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foodydirect-logolong1

I was recently interviewed by Foody Direct as part of their Expert Interview program. Read the full interview on the FoodyDirect.com Blog!

FoodyDirect is an online marketplace bringing the most delicious food in the country right to the doorstep of your home or office.


Turkey

The restaurants and artisan producers featured on their site are a highly select group. Each has won awards, garnered high praise from critics and blogger and, most important, gets rave reviews from passionate and loyal customers. Each prepares and serves up a menu of mouthwatering dishes and is equipped to ship their sensational food anywhere in the USA.

Truffles

Kosher Food, Gluten-Free, Turkey and Chicken, Desserts, Cheese, Meat, Vegan Food, Seafood, BBQ, Chocolate, Fruits and Veggies – you name it – they’ve got it!

Apple Walnut pie

FoodyDirect is a curated national restaurant row. Learn about their Partner’s rich and colorful histories, which you can savor and enjoy in the comfort of your home or office.

kristen hess

In the interview, I discussed my views on how i celebrate the art of food and cooking through my blog with colorful recipes, stories and photography as well as some tips on how to follow your passion and what helped me succeed in the food industry.

Chicken French

and my favorite recipe for Chicken French!

Click here to view Foody Direct’s online store and enjoy the interview!

How 3 NYC Restaurants are using Social Media creatively to break through the clutter

Tavern on Jane NYC
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Most restaurateurs are beginning to understand the power of social media and online marketing.

Running a print ad or spending money on television ads is expensive. Smart operators realize the importance of connecting with consumers and influencers, and how positive online engagement can affect their brand, business, foot traffic and reputation. Social media can be an effective communication tool to inform customers of daily specials, promotions, events, menus and more. But in a crowded online marketplace, how can you break through the clutter?

The three New York restaurant owners/marketers below give us real-world examples of what’s working for them, what tools they’re using, and successful campaign ideas they’ve implemented to increase online visibility and engagement.


Want to build customer loyalty and brand buzz? Here’s some inspiration.

Who’s down to roll up their sleeves and take down a few orders of chili crab? #tuesday #AllYouCanEat #jonahcrab #chilicrab #westvillage #HowManyCanYouEat

A photo posted by Fatty Crab (@fattycrab) on

Read my full story on Foodable: http://www.foodabletv.com/new-york-city/2015/6/23/how-3-nyc-restaurants-are-breaking-through-the-social-media-clutter#BYzSALiH8PWQbkbm.99

Tavern on Jane unveils a new menu and revamped space in the West Village NYC

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Tavern on Jane Restaurant

Tavern on Jane is a quaint restaurant and bar in the West Village on the corner of Eighth Ave and Jane Street, a fun, cozy space I visit often, and a gathering place where everybody does know your name. I recently did a photo shoot for the owner Michael Stewart of their new revamped space and some of their hot food items on their newly redesigned menu. 

Burgers
Burgers

They have always had amazing food, but I have to say their new lineup is super tasty and you have to see the new burgers they have on the menu now!

Fish and Chips
Fish and Chips

They also have some fantastic new dishes like the Beer Battered Fish and Chips; Short Rib and Butternut Squash Risotto; Steamed Mussels; Beet, Arugula and Citrus Salad and so much more. Delicious, high-end comfort food and the portions are unreal.

Steamed Mussels
Steamed Mussels

They also have a new Executive Chef, Josh LaBadie, who has brought a variety of new flavors and inspiration to the restaurant from his seasoned experience at top NYC restaurants including Terroir, Central Park Boathouse, and Capitale Grille.

Beet Arugula Orange Salad
Beet Arugula Orange Salad

Check out the photos I shot of their newly redesigned space and delicious new items on the menu below. And definitely stop in for a burger and a beer, or for a nice intimate dinner with friends in their back room, fireplace and all. You’ll surely be welcomed by Mr. Stewart and his friendly staff, and most likely will be back for more. Again and again.

 

 

Tavern on Jane

31 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10014

212.675.2526

www.tavernonjane.com

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All recipes, photographs, copy and content on this post and website are copyrighted © 2010-2015 by Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet. Please do not use, share or distribute this content in any way without expressed permission from me first.

Break out the Bubbly! Sparkling Wine Recipes + Holiday Food Pairings from NYC Master Sommeliers

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champagne

The Christmas Holiday and New Year’s Eve is right around the corner and there’s no better way to celebrate the occasion than to pop open a bottle of gorgeous bubbly sparkling wine. Most people automatically think of Champagne when it comes to sparkling wine but there are actually some great selections of Cava and Prosecco that fit the bill too. But what is the difference between them all and how do you pick one that suits your palette and your budget?

I interviewed some of NYC’s top Wine Directors and Sommeliers: Joseph Camper of db Bistro, Laura Williamson of Jean-Georges, Jason Arias of Txikito,  Peter Mastrogiovanni of La Cenita/EMM Group and Joe Campanale from Epicurean Group; to unveil the mystery behind all three sparkling wines and get some recommendations, food pairings and recipes to help you plan your holiday cocktail party in style.


The main difference in the three sparkling wines comes down to a few things: the grapes, the region, the soil, the fermentation process and temperature.

Val de Mer Cremant du Bourgogne

 

 

Champagne (also known as “cremante”, comes from only two regions of France: Rhones and Epernet, from either large houses that use blends of grapes or grower champagne from smaller private farms (also known as “farmer fizz”), according to Joseph Camper, Sommelier at db bistro moderne. Champagne has a distinct taste as well – a bit chalky and ‘yeasty’ with a minerality flavor.

 

drusian_prosecco_valdobbiadene_exdryProsecco is an Italian sparkling wine; generally a Dry or Extra Dry wine; normally made from Glera (“Prosecco”) grapes. Prosecco is produced in the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy, and traditionally, mainly in the areas near Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the hills north of Treviso. It is the fruitiest of all three sparkling wines, and unlike Champagne is usually produced using the Charmat method in which the secondary fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks making it less expensive to produce. Prosecco comes in either fully sparkling (spumante) or lightly sparkling (frizzante, gentile) varieties.

poema cava

 

 

Cava is a sparkling wine from Spain made in the traditional method of the French sparkling wine Champagne. The wine was originally known as Champaña until Spanish producers adopted the term “Cava” (cellar) in 1970 in reference to the underground cellars in which the wines ferment and age in the bottle. Cava has an ambiguous, well-balanced and neutral flavor. It’s looser knit, and has a less complex process in its making compared to Champagne.

 

 

 

 

—–

French Sommelier – Joseph Camper, Sommelier of db bistro moderne

joecamper

When people think about sparkling wine and France, of course their mind goes to the wonderful region of Champagne–which is in fact wonderful, because Champagne (in my opinion) is THE best wine producing regions in the world. While Champagne may be my dessert island wine, there are several other noteworthy sparkling wines from France. The top regions, aside from Champagne are: Burgundy, the Loire and even the Jura.

A few things to know about Champagne:

1) There are three primary grape varietals used: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  Most wines are a blend of all three, though there do exist some special bottlings that focus on just one of the three grapes (i.e., Blanc de Blanc is made entirely from Chardonnay)

2) With the arrival of the age of “Grower Champagne” (or as Terry Theise would say, “Farmer Fizz”) there is more focus on soil and specific sites, and we are seeing more vintage and single vineyard wines in the market than ever before!


RECOMMENDATIONS & FOOD PAIRINGS:

Sommelier Joseph Camper says that “Champagne works with almost all foods. It’s the greatest wine in the world.”

Champagne

Vilmart, Grand Cellier: (not to be confused with Grand Cellier d’Or from the same producer): Vilmart GC, is in my opinion one of the greatest “entry-level” (price wise) Champagnes made, even though it is better than most prestige cuvées.  It has incredible balance and precision, and therefore I would pair it with opening courses–raw fish, oysters, lobster, etc.

Egly-Ouriet, Viellissement Prolonge: Egly-Ouriet V.P. is crazy good.  It tastes almost like Burgundy with bubbles.  DON’T serve it in a Champagne flute, but rather in a larger, more typical wine glass to really enjoy the full array of the wine.  It spends somewhere around 70 months on the lees, or yeast (!).  For this wine, richer fare is called for–Turbot or Dover Sole, Veal. Butter! Also due to the autolytic quality of the wine it is unreal with umami flavors like soy. Crazy tasty with Asian food.  BYOB anyone?!

Cremant du Bourgogne

Val de Mer Cremant du Bourgogne: Sparkling wine made entirely from Chardonnay from the region of Chablis.  Kimmeridgean limestone at its best! Serve with shellfish.

Cremant du Loire

Francois Chidaine, Montlouis-Sur-Loire, Brut “Method Traditionalle”: Sparkling Chenin Blanc from one of the hot shot producers of Mountlouis and Vouvray.  It’s technically, a Multi-Vintage wine, but there is always a code on the back of the bottle that reveals the vintage. Current release is 2011.

Domaine Huet Petillant: Also sparkling Chenin Blanc, but bottled at a low atmospheric pressure (less bubbles and certainly less aggressive–sometimes appears “flat” in the glass).

Cremant du Jura

Tissot Cremant du Jura: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Poulsard:  A ringer for champagne in its aromatic profile, though a bit softer and more floral.  The perfect aperitif.  Just drink it, by the gallon with or without food!

COCKTAIL RECIPE:

db-bistro

Photo Credit: Kristen Hess

Sometimes cocktails take not one, not two or three, but MANY rounds of testing to get it just right! This cocktail is just that: just right. Head Bartender at Chef Daniel Boulud’s Upper East Side cocktail lounge Bar Pleiades, and consulting bartender for the new db bistro cocktail menu, played with chocolate and red wine’s affinity for each other with this drink, as well as berry shrub’s red wine-berry fruitiness and Byrrh (a French wine based aperitif flavored with quinine). To make the drink, Byrrh is infused with cocoa nibs overnight. Pomegranate seeds are dropped into a champagne flute, and topped with a mixture of Rye, Cocoa nib infused Byrrh, White Crème de Cacao and Berry Shrub and Orange peel. When the drink is topped off with Champagne, the pomegranate seeds try, and try again, to rise to the top of the glass with the Champagne bubbles!

Try, Try Again

1 ounce Rittenhouse Rye
.5 ounce Cocoa nib infused Byrrh
.25 ounce White Creme de Cacao
.25 ounce Berry Shrub
Orange peel

Combine all ingredients in mixing glass.  Stir and strain into champagne flute with bar spoon full of pomegranate seeds at bottom of glass.  Top off with champagne.

—–

French Sommelier – Laura Williamson, Master Sommelier, Jean-Georges

Laura Williamson

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Cava
Raventos i Blanc, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Spain
Cavas Llopart Brut Rosé, Catalonia, Spain

Prosecco
Drusian Brut Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy

Champagne
NV Hebrart Brut Rosé Champagne, France
1996 Legras and Haas Blanc de Blanc Chouilly Grand Cru, Champagne, France

Semi-Sweet Sparkling
Renardat-Fâche Bugey Cerdon Rosé, Savoie, France

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Semi-Sweet Sparkling – Grilled Foie Gras Dumplings, Papaya, Red Wine Syrup, Passion Fruit paired with Renardat-Fâche Bugey Cerdon Rosé, Savoie, France

Champagne – Toasted Egg Yolk, Caviar and Herbs paired with 1996 Legras and Haas Blanc de Blanc Chouilly Grand Cru, Champagne, FranceRoasted Venison, Quince-Madeira Puree, Broccoli Raab and Cabrales Foam paired with NV Hebrart Brut Rosé Champagne, France

COCKTAIL RECIPES:

blood orange bellini-photoKHESS

Blood Orange Bellini

photo credit: Kristen Hess

Makes 8 drinks:

1 1/4 cups fresh blood orange juice
1 bottle (750 ml) dry Crèmant d’Alsace, chilled (Prosecco or Cava can be substituted)
3 tablespoons orange liqueur, preferably Cointreau
Pour the juice, Crèmant, and orange liqueur into a large glass pitcher. Immediately and carefully pour into 8 champagne flutes and serve.

For 1 drink:

5 ounce Champagne (Prosecco or Cava can be substituted)
Juice of 1 blood orange
splash of Cointreau

blood orange french 75 -photoKHESS

Blood Orange French 75

photo credit: Kristen Hess

1 ounce Gin
Juice of 1 blood orange
3 oz Champagne (Prosecco or Cava can be substituted)
2 dashes Orange Bitters
1 splash Cointreau

Serve in a Champagne flute and garnish with a blood orange triangle (made by slicing a blood orange wheel into 3rds)

Recipes by Laura Williamson, Master Sommelier, Jean-Georges

—–

Latin/Argentinean Sommelier – Jason Arias, Txikito

alex raij and jason ariasMaster Sommelier Jason Arias and Executive Chef Alex Raij of Txikito NYC recommend Cava and Champagne choices that reflect their Basque, Catalan and Argentine holiday traditions with a classic Basque 75 cocktail and high quality seafood and pasta pairings.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
Cava
Gramona (entry level to vintage)
Brut Nature (driest) – Juve y Champs
Avinyo and Raventos
Mas Foraster – rose cava

Champagne
Pol Roger
Guy Larmandier
Alfred Gratien
Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque
Krug

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Cava and Champagne – High quality whole fish and mollusks and crustaceans (raw or cooked, or served in soup); Salt Cod Cannelloni (Canelons) and Pasta

COCKTAIL RECIPES:

basque75

Photo Credit: Txikito

Basque 75

Beach plum Gin or Patxarran (Basque sloe berry liqueur)
Cava
Grapefruit Twist
Bruised sage leaf
On rocks with splash of 7 up

Recipe by Sommelier Jason Arias, Txikito

—–

Spanish/Mexican Sommelier – Peter Mastrogiovanni, La Cenita -Emm Group

peter mastrogiovanni

La Cenita is a new Spanish/Mexican tapas restaurant in the Meatpacking District, part of the Emm Group. They have a focus on using very fresh and unique ingredients in their cocktails and also do a lot of house infusions with tequila including creative flavors such as prickly pear, jalapeno, coffee, cocoa nibs and bacon.

Head Corporate Beverage Manager, Peter Mastrogiovanni recommends the following Sparkling Wines and food pairings for the holidays if you’re looking for a Latin twist to your menu. Head Bartender Billy Potuin also shares his special cocktail recipe for La Ciderita – a light and boozy, warm and wintry cocktail that has an interesting take mixing sparkling Cava with tequila and Spanish cinnamon. It’s all natural, using honey and lemon and cranberry bitters and not too sweet making it a great cocktail for the holidays.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Cava
EverydaySegura Viudas Brut
SplurgePoema

Champagne
EverydayMoet & Chandon Imperial Brut Reserve
Splurge –  Perrier – Jouet 

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Cava and Champagne – Chicken Mole Taquitos and Snapper Nectarine Ceviche

COCKTAIL RECIPE:

La-Ciderita

Photo Credit: Kristen Hess

La Ciderita

2 ounces Canela-infused Herra Durra Reposado
.75 ounce Cinnamon Syrup
.75 ounce Apple Cider
.75 ounce Laird’s Applejack
.5 ounce Honey Syrup
.25 oz Lemon Juice
4-5 dashes Spiced Cranberry Bitters

Shake, strain up in martini glass, top with Sparkling Cava wine. Garnish with a Canela (or cinnamon) stick and dried cranberries

Recipe by Lead Bartender Billy Potuin, La Cenita

—–

Italian Sommelier – Joseph Campanale, Executive Beverage Director, Epicurean Group (dell’Anima/L’Artusi/Anfora/L’Apicio)

joe campanale

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Cava – is from the Cava region in Spain. It is made in the same method as Champagne as is less fruit-forward than Prosecco. It doesn’t have the acidity or minerality of good Champagne but the best examples can be quite delicious. Some of my favorites are:

Everyday – German Gilabert $12
Mid – Avinyo Cava Brut NV $20
Splurge – Cava Recaredo Brut Nature $32

Prosecco – Made from the Prosecco grape in the Veneto region of Italy. This is fruit-forward and can be a little sweet. If you use prosecco in a cocktail remember that it can have some sweetness. Also it lacks the yeasty flavors of Champagne/Cava.

Everyday – Ca’ Furlan Prosecco NV $10
Mid – Sorrelle Branca Prosecco di Valdobbiadenne “Extra Dry” NV $15
Splurge – Case Coste Piane Prosecco Frizzante Naturalmente 2011 $20

Champagne – The highest quality of all sparkling wine, it comes from the Champagne region of France and is made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a local grape known as Pinot Meunier. Go for the smaller producers who grow their own grapes (Grower champagne). At their best, Champagne is crisp, mineral driven wine with a ton of complexity from high-quality grapes and aging on the lees (spent yeast). I think it would be unwise to use one of these in a cocktail.

Everyday – Pierre Brigandat NV $30
Mid – Gaston Chiquet Grand Cru Blanc des Blancs NV $52
Splurge – Vilmat et Cie “Couer de Cuvee” 2004 $125

FOOD PAIRINGS:

Cava – Parmigiano Cheese – this hard, nutty cheese will complement the creamy bubbly Cava. Cava’s earthiness will be reflected in the cheese as well as the creaminess from the lees aging but the bubbles will cut through the richness.

Prosecco – Thai Food – Prosecco’s fruit-forward aromatics will complement the exotic, full-flavored Thai food. The chill of the wine and (sometimes) residual sweetness will cool down spicy Thai or complement the sweeter food.

Champagne – Fried Chicken – There is something just absolutely fun about the high-low pairing of fried chicken and Champagne. They were made for each other. Fried chicken is the fatty, crunchy poultry that needs a crisp, bubbly wine to cut through the grease and complement the crunch. This is a great flavor and texture experience.

COCKTAIL RECIPES:

Texas-Mimosa

Photo Credit: Epicurean Group

Texas Mimosa

Serves One

Ingredients

1 oz. Milagro Silver tequila
2 oz. Grapefruit Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. Prosecco
2 dashes Fee Bros. Grapefruit Bitters
Grapefruit Peel for Garnish

Directions

Shake tequila, grapefruit juice and simple syrup over ice and double-strain into a flute. Top with prosecco and grapefruit bitters. Garnish with a grapefruit peel. Enjoy!

TenPastTwelve

Photo Credit: Epicurean Group

Ten Past Twelve

Serves One

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz. flor de cana white rum
3/4 oz. Lillet
½ oz. Orchard Apricot Liqueur
1/2 oz. Lemon
Rose Cava topper

Directions

Stir all ingredients together. Spank beer glass with rosemary stem. Pour ingredients over ice in a beer glass, top with Rose Cava of your choice. Enjoy!

Recipes by Joseph Campanale, Executive Beverage Director, Epicurean Group

—–

Mix it Up! Non-Traditional Holiday Menu Ideas & Recipes from NYC Top Chefs

InternationalMenu-hero
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International Holiday Menus

It’s that time of year again to start planning menus and recipes for the holidays. But instead of just serving traditional turkey or ham,  mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, why not mix it up a little bit and serve your holiday meal with an international flair? I had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and interview several Top Chefs and restaurants in NYC to get some creative ideas for non-traditional holiday menus for the holidays. Whether it have a Spanish, French, Asian, Jewish or Italian twist; here are some great international menu ideas and recipes for a fabulous holiday meal with family and friends that break the norm.

Spanish Holiday Menu – Alex Raij, Executive Chef at Txikito NYC     

Executive Chef Alex Raij from the Spanish restaurant Txikito in NYC always makes a classic, festive dish for the holidays. This Canelones de Bakalao Recipe (Salted Cod Fish Canneloni with Crème Fraiche) feeds a crowd and references Basque, Catalan and Argentine family holiday traditions that Chef Raij grew up with in Spain. Serve with other traditional Spanish hot and cold tapas such as: Pikillos: roasted Navarran sweet peppers with ajoarriero; Kroketas: crispy creamy croquettes; Boquerón: marinated white anchovy with eggplant and piquillo; Cogollos: butter lettuce, Basque anchovy, and Bonito del Norte and Tutera: gratin of artichoke, Roncal, Jamón.

Canelones de Bakalao
Canelones de Bakalao

Photo Credit: Kristen Hess

Canelones de Bakalao Recipe (Salted Cod Fish Canneloni with Crème Fraiche)

Executive Chef Alex Raij, Txikito

Serves 6

1 9×9 inch baking dish, preferably earthenware
12 – 4 inch square pieces fresh pasta sheets boiled and shocked in ice water (The Chef recommends cooking longer sheets and then cutting them after they are cooled in ice bath so they are more uniform)

Filling and topping

2.5 pounds cod
2 tablespoons Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 cups olive oil
1.5 cup tomato pulp pref. pomi brand
2 cups Creme fraiche
2 tablespoons  finely chopped chives
50 grams hackleback or other high quality caviar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Salt the cod with the 2 T. kosher salt and let stand 10 minutes.
Rinse and pat dry.
Place the cod in a small pot and cover with olive oil.
Place on medium low heat and poach the cod in the oil until it flakes when prodded
Remove the fish to a mixing bowl to cool.
Pour 1/2 cup of the poaching oil over the cooling cod to cool with it.
Heat remaining oil add the tomato fry the tomato until cooked and a little sweet, season with salt.
Pour the tomato oil mix I the bottom of the baking dish.
Break up the cooled cod and flake it with clean hands.
Whip it up with the oil with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Place 6 pasta sheets side by side and place 1/12 of the filling at the end of each sheet.
Roll away from you and place on the tomato.
Repeat with the rest of the filling and next 6 sheets.
Season the crème fraiche with salt and pour over the caneloni.
Bake at 375 until bubbly.
Sprinkle with chives and top with caviar just before serving.

Serve 2 pieces per person.

Printed with permission of Alex Raij. All rights reserved.

—–

French Holiday Menu – Olivier Quignon, Executive Chef at Bar Boulud

Even as Chef Olivier Quignon of Bar Boulud prepares to celebrate his seventh Christmas in NYC, he hasn’t lost touch with the French holiday traditions of his hometown, the Northern French town of Beauvais. Christmas in the Quignon household, and in the restaurant he helms on behalf of renowned French Chef Daniel Boulud, Bar Boulud, is traditional to a tee, lasting up to six hours and spanning just as many courses. What does a typical French holiday meal entail?

Oysters “Always oysters. We shuck them at lunch and the eating begins.”

Cured or Smoked Fish

Foie Gras “This can be hot, seared, or served as a terrine.”

Hot Fish or Pasta

Poultry

Beef or Game

Cheese “ALWAYS cheese. French people eat cheese at practically every meal. We may sometimes skip dessert, but we never skip cheese.”

Pastry “At Christmas this is often a Bûche de Noel. But my wife is a pastry chef, so there are usually many desserts.”

Tournedos Rossini with Truffles and Foie Gras
Tournedos Rossini with Truffles and Foie Gras

Photo Credit: Kristen Hess

Traditionally, Tournedos Rossini is a French steak dish, purportedly created for the composer Gioachino Rossini by French master chef Marie-Antoine Carême. The dish comprises a tournedos (beef tenderloin) pan-fried in butter, served on a crouton, and topped with a hot slice of fresh whole foie gras briefly pan-fried at the last minute. A few slices of black truffle and Madeira demi-glace sauce garnish the dish.

At Bar Boulud New York, ‘Rossini’ is a dish that makes an appearance on the menu every holiday season, and on the tables at many French holiday meals. It is rich in ingredients and flavors, hearty, and the perfect celebration dish. There are several way to prepare Rossini, but Bar Boulud sticks to the traditional preparation—seared beef tenderloin atop a brioche toast, topped with seared foie gras and Madeira-beef jus, served with Pommes Macaire dotted with a celery root puree.

Tournedos Rossini with Truffles and Foie Gras and Pommes Macaire

Executive Chef Olivier Quignon, Bar Boulud

Serves 4

Pommes Macaire

Kosher salt, as needed
4 yellow gold potatoes
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Black truffle butter or oil
2 egg yolks
Canola oil for frying
½ cup flour

Celery Root Puree

1 small (about 3/4 pound) celery root, peeled
Salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup milk
Freshly ground white pepper

To Finish

1 ½ lbs angus beef tenderloin, tied with butchers twine
12 ounces fresh grade A foie gras
6 tablespoons beef jus or demi glace
2 ounces Madeira
1 Tablespoon chopped shallot
4 ¼ thin slices of brioche, cut into 3 ½-inch circles, toasted
8 small light green celery leaves
1 small black winter truffle

For the Pomme Macaire

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make a bed of salt on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and place potatoes on top. Bake potatoes for 45 minutes, or until tender.

Remove from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash the potato with a fork, season to taste with salt, pepper, and truffle butter (or oil). Stir in the egg yolk to combine.  Press mixture into a bread loaf pan and chill overnight.

Turn the potatoes onto a cutting board and cut into (at least 8) 3 x ½-inch batons. Lightly coat the batons in the flour and shake off excess.

Fill 1/3 of a saucepan with canola oil and heat to 350°F. When ready to serve, fry the potatoes  in batches until golden brown. Strain onto a paper towel-lined tray, sprinkle with salt.

For the Celery Root Puree

Cut the celery root into medium dice. Place the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until browned. Add the celery root, milk, and water to cover; bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 12 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the celery root to a blender and puree with enough of the cooking liquid to make a smooth puree. Pass through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.

When ready to serve, transfer to a small saucepan and stir over medium heat to heat through.

To Finish

Slice the tenderloin into four portions and season on all sides with salt and pepper.

Cut the foie gras into four slices and season on all sides with salt and pepper.

Place a large sauté pan over high heat. Once very hot, sear the foie gras on both sides to brown, about 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer to a platter, cover with foil and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and return the pan with the foie gras fat to the heat.  Sear the beef on all sides, about 3-4 minutes each, basting the meat constantly with the fat. Brown the beef on all sides while basting the constantly with the fat in the pan, about 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 120°F for medium rare.  Transfer the beef to the platter with the foie gras, cover, and rest in a warm place.

Add the shallots to the same pan over medium low heat, and cook, stirring until translucent. Add the Madeira and simmer to reduce by 2/3. Stir in the beef jus and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

For each serving, place a brioche toast on a plate and top with a portion of beef. Top the beef with a piece of roasted foie gras, and shavings of black truffle. Place two pommes macaire next to the beef and top each with a spoonful of celery puree. Garnish puree with two celery leaves.  Spoon the sauce from the pan around and serve.

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Asian Holiday Menu – Hung Huynh, Executive Chef at Catch Restaurant NYC       

Whole Roasted Branzino is a favorite recipe of Chef Hung Huynh of Catch NYC for the holidays. It’s simple, delicious and easy to make and great for feeding a crowd. Chef Hung also recommends adding some miso, ginger, soy and lemongrass to the seasonings to amp up the Asian flavors in this beautiful seafood holiday dish. His Asian inspired holiday menu includes:

Roasted Whole Branzino

Sautéed Green beans with EVOO and Soy Sauce

White or Brown Steamed Rice

Miso Soup

Fresh fruit

Roasted Whole Branzino
Roasted Whole Branzino

Photo Credit: Kristen Hess

Roasted Whole Branzino

Executive Chef Hung Huynh

Serves 2-4 people

Ingredients:

1.5 to 2 pound Branzino
1 tablespoon of Aged Balsamic

Seasoning Rub:

1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of picked chopped thyme
3 cloves of minced garlic
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one lime

Directions:

Before cooking, the Branzino must be scaled, gutted and scored.
Combine all the seasoning rub ingredients.
Rub entire fish with seasoning including the cavity, distributing evenly.
Make sure that the entire fish is covered in the rub.
Take a half sheet pan and roast at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Reserve the remaining olive oil in the sheet pan.
Place the fish on a platter and drizzle with the reserved olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

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Jewish Holiday Menu – Zach Kutsher, Proprietor, Kutsher’s Tribeca

Zach Kutsher, Chef and Owner of Kutsher’s Tribeca, always serves Latkes for the Hanukkah holiday. These crispy potato latkes are a traditional Jewish dish made of grated potatoes, onion, eggs and matzo meal, shaped into round potato pancakes and fried to a crispy golden brown. The traditional way to serve them is with a spoonful of sour cream, but Zach likes to also add ½ ounce of caviar (salmon roe, paddlefish caviar and wasabi flying fish roe) to the latkes to give them a special holiday touch. Some other fun ideas that Chef Zach does to dress up the latkes are to use some non-traditional savory toppings such as:

Peking Duck with Cucumber, Scallions and Sesame Hoisin

Wild Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Herbed Ricotta

Gravlax and Dilled Creme Fraiche

Pastrami Reuben (pastrami, sauerkraut, emmentaler and thousand island dressing)

VLT – Veal Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato

To make it a complete Jewish holiday menu, serve the latkes with: Chopped Duck and Chicken Liver, Seasonal Pickles, Golden and Red Beet Salad with Lemon Ricotta, Arugula and Pecans, Turkey or Brisket with Challah Chestnut Stuffing, Cheesy Spaetzle Kugel, Brussels Sprouts and Pumpkin Shlishkas with Amaretto Matzo and Sage Brown Butter and Babka Sticky Buns for dessert.

Crispy Potato Latkes
Crispy Potato Latkes

Photo Credit: Kutsher’s Tribeca

Potato Latkes Recipe

Zach Kutsher, Kutsher’s Tribeca

Ingredients:

1 pound potatoes
1 egg
1 egg yolk
6 ounces onion
3/4 ounces matzo meal
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preparation:

Grate onion on the fine side of a cheese grater and then line a strainer with some paper towels and let drain in sink as dry as possible.

Mix egg, yolk, matzo meal, salt, lemon juice, and drained onion together, set aside.

Julienne the potatoes (cut into thin small matchsticks) or grate on the large side of cheese grater, and periodically put the potato in the egg mix to prevent browning. Do not wash potato after it is cut.

Mix all together, fry in schmaltz (rendered/clarified chicken or goose fat – or you can substitute canola oil)

Take one handful of mix, twisted in the palm of your hand like you would spaghetti on a fork, till golden brown and crispy, then flip.

Finish in oven if necessary.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

—–

Italian Holiday Menu – Gabe Thompson, Executive Chef of Epicurean Group (dell’anima, L’Artusi, L’Apicio, and Anfora)

Grilled Pork Chop
Grilled Pork Chop

Photo Credit: Epicurean Group

Chef Thompson, Executive Chef of the Epicurean Group in NYC loves creating special menus for the holidays. It is all about the food, flavors and family. His menu below puts his crave-able Italian twist on some fall favorites to make for a classic holiday menu!

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad– radicchio, agrodolce raisins, pecans, fiore sardo (aged Sheeps milk cheese)

Orecchiette — turkey sausage, sage, sweet potato

Grilled Pork Chop — roasted vegetable and chestnut panzanella, pork sugo

Warm Cranberry-pumpkin Budino – served with apple cider sauce

—–

Roasted Acorn Squash Salad Recipe

Executive Chef Gabe Thompson, Epicurean Group

Serves 4-6

2 acorn squash (1 ½ pounds)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
8 sage leaves
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each squash into 8-9 wedges, each wedge about 1 inch thick. Remove and discard seeds. In a large bowl, toss the squash wedges together with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season generously with salt.

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of butter. As soon as the butter melts, add half of the squash to the pan, arranging the pieces so that they are cut-side down. Sprinkle half of the sage over the squash. Cook undisturbed until it is golden brown on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Turn each squash piece over and cook for another 2-3 minutes until golden brown on the other side. Remove squash from the pan and place on a half sheet tray or cookie sheet. Repeat this process with remaining olive oil, butter, squash and sage leaves.

Drizzle maple syrup over the squash segments. Place in the oven and bake until each piece of squash is easily pierced with a fork, about 25-30 minutes. Remove and set aside.

—–

 

Blue Hill New York – a well deserved James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant

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Blue Hill NY
Blue Hill NY

I had the recent opportunity to have an intimate conversation with Trevor Kunk, Chef de Cuisine of Blue Hill New York about their history, philosophy, cuisine and thoughts on their recent James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant 2013.

Trevor Kunk, Chef de Cuisine
Trevor Kunk, Chef de Cuisine

We sat in the charming back patio garden room as he told me the story of the Barber Family, Blue Hill Farm, his Southern Florida upbringing and Culinary Institute of America training, and how he found his culinary calling at of one of New York’s most premiere farm-to-table restaurants. When I asked him what he thought made Blue Hill win this most distinguished and notable award, he simply stated, “we consistently produce delicious, fresh food.” After our conversation, it’s clear to see why.

Blue Hill NY
Blue Hill NY

Blue Hill New York is B-owned and managed by award-winning Executive Chef Dan Barber, and Co-Owners David and Laureen Barber. Dan is a long time supporter of local farmers, agricultural policy and artisanal food producers, and has created a consciousness around everyday food choices and bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table. He has preserved this philosophy and brought it to life through his restaurants, the Blue Hill Farm and the Blue Hill Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.

Blue Hill Farm Barn
Blue Hill Farm Barn

BLUE HILL FARM

With over 138 acres in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Blue Hill Farm has been in the Barber family for three generations and served as the inspiration behind both Blue Hill restaurants. Blue Hill Farm was originally a dairy, and was converted into a cattle farm by the Barber’s grandmother Ann Marlowe Straus, in the 1960s. She believed strongly in preserving land and connecting great farming and delicious food, which she passed on to them. Dan began farming and cooking for family and friends at the farm, and it is there that grew passionate about locally grown and seasonal produce.

Blue Hill Farm
Blue Hill Farm

In 2006 the brothers decided to redesign Blue Hill Farm back to its original form, and brought in local farmer Sean Stanton to manage the land. The farm is home to chickens, pigs, dairy cows, and laying hens, supplies the restaurants with vegetables and grass-fed meats.

Blue Hill New York Outside Menu
Blue Hill New York Outside Menu

BLUE HILL NEW YORK

In 2000, Blue Hill New York opened in Greenwich Village, New York City. A small intimate space, the restaurant occupies a historical “speakeasy” near Washington Square Park. It is both elegant and casual, serving seasonal American cuisine that celebrates the delicious offerings from the Hudson Valley.

Blue Hill’s menu highlights local food, cocktails, beer and wines from regional Tri-State artisanal producers. The majority of the ingredients come from nearby farms, as well as Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, located in Pocantico Hills, NY.

Blue Hill Fresh Organic Food
Blue Hill Fresh Organic Food

In addition to Blue Hill’s a la carte menu, they also offer a 5-course Farmer’s Feast and a 7-course extended Farmer’s Feast, both inspired by the week’s harvest, and have a regular seasonal menu that changes depending on what produce, poultry, meats and seafood are in season to offer the freshest foods possible. Asparagus, Rhubarb, Radishes and Fiddlehead Ferns are abundant on the current Spring menu, which will change as soon as the weather warms up to Summer months, bringing in a flux of new seasonal fruits and vegetables to feature.

They offer a variety of fresh and locally sourced Farm Snacks such as Blue Hill Farm Yogurt, Parsnips, Beets and Oats or the “Farm Bar” served with Goat Cheese and Strawberries. There are plenty of gorgeous, creative appetizers to start the meal too: Chilled Asparagus Soup with Pickled Green Garlic, Walnut Bread and Sorrel; Emu Egg Pasta; or Stone Barns Butterhead Lettuce Salad with Fiddlehead Ferns, Pickled Cauliflower and Hazelnuts.

They serve Raven and Boar’s Pig year around, but their Hudson Valley Chickens are only served from May through November when their pasture raised chickens are in their prime and able to run around and feed outside. They serve local shellfish such as Shrimp and Squid with Spring Vegetables and fresh Tarragon; Grass-Fed Lamb with Asparagus, Knotweed and Alliums; and Rotation Risotto with 12 local grains and seeds made with Brassica Puree and Chocolate Wheat. Desserts are also made with fresh fruits and ingredients from surrounding farms –Olive Oil Cake with fresh pears, brown butter and toasted almond ice cream and a Chocolate Bread Pudding made with salted caramel, pine nuts and cocoa nib ice cream are a few house specialties.

Their cocktails and bar menu mimic the culinary program and support local farms by using NY State and domestic distilleries, wineries and ingredients from Blue Hill Farm and local Hudson Valley farms. They make their own bitters and sweet vermouth in-house, and have a ‘bartender garden’ where they grow their own herbs and plants, including wormwood used to infuse vodka, which is then muddled with fennel and chartreuse to create their own absinthe.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns

BLUE HILL AT STONE BARNS CENTER AND BLUE HILL CAFE

Blue Hill at Stone Barns opened in Spring 2004, within the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. The Barbers created the Stone Barns Center, a farm and educational center, to help carry through their mission for local and sustainable food.

Sourcing from the surrounding fields and pasture, as well as other local farms in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, Blue Hill at Stone Barns is an elegant restaurant that highlights the abundant resources of the Hudson Valley. There are no menus there, instead guests choose from a variety of fresh daily ingredients from the field and market.

Blue Hill Stone Barns Dining
Blue Hill Stone Barns Dining

Blue Hill Café offers light snacks, farm-fresh lattes and other locally grown and baked goodies, available to eat in the courtyard or take on a walk around the farm.

Blue Hill Cafe
Blue Hill Cafe

Shop for seasonal jams and pickles, rhubarb jam and pickled sunchokes in the Spring or apple butter and pickled cucumbers in the Fall. You can also shop for Blue Hill Farm Market items online.

Blue Hill Sheep
Blue Hill Sheep

The non-profit Stone Barns Center offers plenty of cooking classes and demos using local seasonal ingredients taught by well-known chefs and food artisans.  You can also try your hand at some of their fun farm activities such as hands-on egg collecting, ice cream making, foraging for wild plants, making natural herbal remedies or maple tapping on the farm.

Stone Barns Center
Stone Barns Center

Visitors can also get a behind-the-scenes insider’s tour of Stone Barns, or attend one of their special events centered on farming and agriculture, such as the Sheep Shearing Festival in April or the Young Farmers Conference held in 2012. Check out this great video about Stone Barns Center’s mission to support a healthy and sustainable food system.

Blue Hill New York
Blue Hill New York

Blue Hill New York is open for dinner 7 days a week, and also hosts elegant events and private parties at its two restaurant locations and off-site venues. Whether it’s a trip to the farm or an elegant dinner in the city, Blue Hill certainly has earned its James Beard title for Outstanding Restaurant without a shadow of a doubt.

Blue Hill is a longstanding member of the NYS Restaurant Association (since joining in 2000), and is grateful for all the positive work NYSRA does to support their restaurants and businesses.

—–

Blue Hill New York

75 Washington Place
New York, New York 10011
T 212 539 1776 (reservations and general information)
F 212 539 0959

http://bluehillfarm.com/food/blue-hill-new-york

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Road
Pocantico Hills, New York 10591
T 914 366 9600 (reservations and general information)
F 914 366 7920

http://bluehillfarm.com/food/blue-hill-stone-barns

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

http://www.stonebarnscenter.org/

Blue Hill Farm Online Market

http://bluehillfarm.com/catalog

—–

Photo Credits: Kristen Hess, Jen Mulkvold, Thomas Schauer, Blue Hill. Please do not share, use or distribute any photographs without expressed permission. Feel free to share this post, but please include a link back to my original post on my website with credit to © 2013 Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet.

Celebrate St Patty’s Day with Authentic Irish Food from Good Food Ireland

Good Food Ireland Authentic Irish Food
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Good Food Ireland Authentic Irish Food
Good Food Ireland Authentic Irish Food

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Good Food Ireland (www.goodfoodireland.ie), the first-ever, all industry network driving food tourism in Ireland, offers the perfect online destination to shop, plan a food trip, obtain great Irish recipes and learn about authentic Irish food experiences.  Good Food Ireland sets criteria for the “best in class” of Irish food and products and has created the Good Food Ireland Approved Provider status. There are over 450 Approved Providers that ensure consumers that all products and services meet the standards. At the newly redesigned website, www.goodfoodireland.ie you can:

  • Plan a food journey to Ireland via “My Food Trip.”  This feature is supported by a host of information including locations and details about hotels, restaurants, cookery schools, producer experiences, markets and festivals as well as an ongoing calendar of events. In addition, there’s the opportunity to meet the people behind the products. The feature allows the user to create, save and share their favorite food trip around Ireland. It’s like a wish list for the user when they come to Ireland.
  • Shop for authentic Irish products at Good Food Ireland’s online store where Good Food Ireland Approved Provider foods are available for purchase 24-7 (LIVE early March 2013).  All products are the highest quality food the island has to offer and include:  Kilbeggan Organic Porridge, Ditty’s Oatcakes, Irish Farmhouse Cheese, Ballymaloe Relish, Burren Smoked Irish Salmon, Seymour’s Traditional Irish Shortbread and more.
  • Find and create delicious contemporary Irish dishes at home with recipes from Ireland’s top chefs including Ed Cooney, Executive Head Chef of Dublin’s five star The Merrion Hotel, and a chef for the  Obamas when they were in Ireland and Maurice Keller, Good Food Ireland Ambassador Chef.  Some of the recipes include Bircher Muesli made with Irish Porridge Oats, Traditional Irish Stew, Brown Bread and Salmon Fishcakes.

“St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to learn about Ireland’s secret gems — its locally produced ingredients, great food and great people,” says Margaret Jeffares, founder and managing director of Good Food Ireland. “Good Food Ireland was created to make it easy for food lovers everywhere to travel to Ireland and to experience our bounty first-hand, but even if you can’t do that, we now offer some of our finest products, bearing the Good Food Ireland Approved Provider seal, here in the U.S. and are happy to share delicious recipes that can be enjoyed not only on St. Patrick’s Day but every day.”

I had the opportunity to meet the Good Food Ireland’s Ambassador Chef Maurice Keller, TV Personality Clodagh McKenna and Founder Margaret Jeffares at Dean & Deluca flagship store in Soho in New York City earlier this week for a special cooking demo and tasting event of some of their authentic Irish foods.


Below are some great photos of the event and the tasty Irish goods that I sampled, available at www.goodfoodireland.ie or at Dean & DeLuca:

Chef Maurice Keller
Chef Maurice Keller
Good Food Ireland Chefs
Good Food Ireland Chefs
Salmon Fishcakes
Salmon Fishcakes
Salmon Fishcakes
Salmon Fishcakes
Making Salmon Fishcakes
Making Salmon Fishcakes
Chef Maurice Keller and Founder Margaret Jeffares
Chef Maurice Keller and Founder Margaret Jeffares
Ditty's Celery & Sea Salt
Ditty’s Celery & Sea Salt
Ditty's Irish Oatcakes
Ditty’s Irish Oatcakes
Ditty's Irish Oatcakes & Dubliner Irish Cheese
Ditty’s Irish Oatcakes & Dubliner Irish Cheese
Burren Smoked Salmon & Irish Trout
Burren Smoked Salmon & Irish Trout
Kilbeggan Irish Porridge & Seymours Biscuits
Kilbeggan Irish Porridge & Seymours Biscuits
Ballymaloe Relish
Ballymaloe Relish
Smoked Salmon on Oatcakes
Smoked Salmon on Oatcakes
Dubliner Irish Cheese & Ballymaloe Relish on Oatcakes
Dubliner Irish Cheese & Ballymaloe Relish on Oatcakes

Good Food Ireland also shared their recipe for the amazing Salmon Fishcakes and Irish Porridge so you can make some Irish goodies yourself for St Patty’s Day! enjoy.

Salmon Fishcakes

Ingredients:

2 shallots finely chopped
1 lb Salmon Filleted and skinned
Kerrygold Butter 1 Tablespoon
Dry White Wine 5 fl oz
Chopped Parsley 1 Tablespoon
Mashed Potatoes – no cream no butter

For the Coating:

2 Tablespoons Plain Floor
2 Eggs
2 oz soft white Breadcrumbs

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 200c/400f gas 6

Butter and season a tray.  Sprinkle with the shallots and sit the salmon on top.  Drizzle with white wine and season with salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes – the salmon should be firm to touch but still pink in the middle.

Sit the salmon in a colander over a pan to collect all the juices.

When all the juices have drained, place in a small pot and reduce on a stove to a nice syrup consistency.

Break up the salmon into flakes, add the syrup and chopped parsley, then fold in the potato until you have a binding texture. Check for seasoning and roll into 12 to 18 ball shaped cakes.

To Breadcrumb – Lightly pass through the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs, repeat the process again.

To Cook – Deep fry at 180c/ 350f for 4-5 minutes drain well.

Serving suggestion

Serve 3 per portion on a bed of steamed baby spinach and lemon butter sauce.

—-

Irish Porridge

Traditional Recipe Cooked with Water or Milk

Ingredients:

Porridge Oats   2 oz
Milk                  7 fl oz

Instructions:

Heat the milk, add porridge oats and cook for 1 min serve with honey or salt

—–

Bircher Muesli made with Irish Porridge Oats

Ingredients:

Porridge Oats               5oz
Irish Honey                   1oz
Milk                              20 fl oz
Natural Yogurt             14oz
Sultanas                      4oz
Banana                        1 whole chopped
Apple                           1 Grated
Blueberries                  4oz

Instructions:

Combine ingredients and devour!

—–

Good Food Ireland Products

Ballymaloe Country Relish:  A delicate balance of tomatoes and gentle spices, this delicious relish was created by Myrtle Allen of the famed Ballymaloe House in County Cork. It is made from only the finest ingredients, containing no artificial additives. The relish is extremely versatile and is excellent with beef burgers, French fries, cold meats, cheese, sausage rolls and salads. It is also wonderful in sandwiches or served with light meals, picnics or barbecues.

Burren Smoked Irish Salmon:  All Burren Smoked Salmon is 100% Irish. It is farmed in the most pristine waters off the west coast of Ireland where there is no pollution. The entire smoking process, from filleting to packing is still done by hand in the small, family-owned smokery.

Cooleeney Cheese: Established in 1986. Jim and Breda Maher established Cooleeney Cheese on the family farm with the ambition to produce a range of artisan cheeses using the milk from their own Friesians. They launched their first cheese on the Irish market that same year and national and international awards over the next two years created a great awareness and interest in Cooleeney Farmhouse Cheese.

Ditty’s Irish Oatcakes: Handmade with rolled oats from County Armagh, these light, nutty, wholesome biscuits have a just-baked crispness. They are made by Ditty’s Home Bakery, a third-generation bakery based in Castledawson, Northern Ireland. The delicious biscuits that reflect a combination of sweet and savory flavors are handmade using only the finest locally-sourced ingredients.

Seymour’s Shortbread: Seymour’s biscuit bakery hand makes these Irish butter shortbread cookies with the finest Irish butter. They are created in Bandon, West Cork using local creamery butter, freshly delivered from the nearby co-op. The shortbread has a dense, crumbly texture but is not too sweet. It’s perfect for pairing with tea, hot chocolate or a glass of cold milk.

Kilbeggan Porridge: The oats in this “creamiest-ever porridge” are grown by fifth-generation farmers on the Lalor family farm in Kilbeggan, Ireland. Grown and processed naturally with no synthetic chemicals, this is perhaps the most delicious oatmeal you’ll ever eat.

——

About Good Food Ireland

Good Food Ireland is a grassroots industry network aimed at promoting innovations in Irish food, the country’s commitment to sustainable, authentic products across food, hospitality and travel industries – incorporating farmers, chefs, hoteliers and outposts of cultural interest. The organization seeks to promote its authentic products in the U.S. and to inspire Americans to travel to Ireland to experience the contemporary cuisine and engage with its citizens and culture. The cross section of agriculture, food & culinary, production/manufacturing and tourism industries seek to grow and sustain the Irish economy.

Margaret Jeffares, Founder & Managing Director of Good Food Ireland. Margaret’s career in tourism and hospitality has spanned almost 25 years. Living on a farm with her husband, Des, in Co. Wexford, she had a strong knowledge of the agri-food industry in Ireland. This combined with her experience in tourism led Margaret to identify a major gap in the market for the development of a strong food and tourism proposition for the island of Ireland. Therefore, she launched the all island umbrella brand “Good Food Ireland” and set the standard for Food Experience in Ireland.

Maurice Keller has travelled the world as Ambassador Chef with Good Food Ireland, showcasing the highest quality food that the island has to offer.  Formerly, he was the chef-proprietor of Arlington Lodge Country House Hotel in Waterford City, Ireland.  Having worked for many dignitaries, Maurice’s philosophy is simply based on using the best quality local produce he can find.

Clodagh Mc Kenna is a well known TV food personality and the familiar face of “Irish Food Trails” on PBS. She is also the author of four best-selling cookbooks that include Clodagh’s Kitchen DiariesThe Irish Farmers’ Market CookbookFresh from the Sea and Homemade.  A trained chef from the famed Ballymaloe Cookery School, Clodagh will share her culinary vision regarding the incorporation of farm fresh produce.

Dean & DeLuca | 560 Broadway at Prince Street | SoHo NYC

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