Mini Vegan Chocolate Donuts w/ Salted Caramel Pumpkin Spice Glaze

Mini Vegan Chocolate Donuts

Fall has arrived my friends, and we all know what that means. Pumpkin Spice. Everything. In the spirit of the season, I’ve decided to make some Mini Vegan Chocolate Doughnuts with Salted Caramel Spiced Pumpkin Glaze.

Vegan ingredients

They’re a perfect fall dessert, and healthy too! These doughnuts are made with all natural vegan ingredients – red kidney beans, unsweetened soy milk, vanilla extract, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, flour and baking powder – and you wouldn’t believe how good they taste.

KitchenAid Mini Donut Pan

They are so delicious (and cute!) and easy to make with the help of my KitchenAid® Diamond Blender and Mini Doughnut Pans – and they bake in only 10 minutes in my Convection Countertop Oven!

Glazed Mini Donuts

The glaze is super easy to make too – made in my KitchenAid Stainless Steel sauce pan with fresh pumpkin puree, coconut cream and coconut sugar and pumpkin pie spice all cooked into a gooey luscious caramel sauce then topped with flaky sea salt – it’s the most lovely combination of Fall flavors in one tiny bite!

mini vegan chocolate donuts

ooh…aren’t they lovely and delicious? Oh, and they’re vegan and gluten-free too! Isn’t that wonderful.

bet you can’t have just one bite! 


New & Notable Restaurant Openings & Food Events 2013



It’s hard to believe that 2013 is coming to an end shortly. There’s been so many fun food festivals, events and restaurant openings with lovely Tiles from the Victorian era this year that it’s been quite the whirlwind! It’s great to be in the food and hospitality industry and connected to some of the Best of the Best to experience new places, meet new people, try delicious food and cocktails and hob knob with some of the Top Chefs and Restaurateurs around the country. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite New and Notable Restaurants, Chefs and Food Events of 2013 that deserve a nod for their outstanding hospitality and efforts in the food world. Check it out and give these guys a go. Happy Holidays and may 2014 be filled with more fun, food and festivities to go around!

Metaphore NYC

I recently attended a fantastic event at Metaphore in NYC where we sampled delectable Gluten-Free dishes by Owner and  Executive Chef Jehangir Mehta. The event was in support of the national Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour in an effort to elevate the importance of food safety and promotion of gluten-free items in the restaurant and foodservice sector. Chef Mehta teamed up with GREAT Kitchens, a National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) to create the Chef’s Table Tour which features exclusive gluten-free dining experiences from executive chefs in fine dining restaurants, gluten-free cooking demos with local media and interactive educational experiences at partner universities. The 10-city Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour debuted this Fall in New York, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles and will culminate in the spring with an open call for spring tour restaurants and institutions through January 2014. Check out some of the delicious gluten-free goodies we sampled in the slideshow below – Fresh Oysters with Cilantro Pesto and Tapioca Crisps, Foie Gras with Berry Jam on Gluten-Free Toast, Crispy Onion Ring, Pesto and Tofu, Seared Duck Breast with Pickled Onions, Mustard and Portabella Mushrooms, and a gorgeous Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sundae. click here to view the full Gluten-Free menu at Metaphore.

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San Diego Restaurant Week Taste 2013

One of my favorite events this year was out in California when I went to visit some friends for some sun, fun and R&R. I got invited to attend the 2nd Annual #SDRWTaste2013an event to kick off the start of San Diego Restaurant Week! The event was a super fun kick-off party and culinary adventure at the Broadway Pier where people from all over San Diego gathered to celebrate San Diego Restaurant Week and indulge in some of the finest foods and beverages! #SDRWTaste2013 showcased some of the top culinary talents of SDRW chefs from throughout the County. At this premiere tasting event, over 40 of San Diego Restaurant Week’s best restaurants served up samples of their house specialties paired with a unique beverage to enhance the flavors of each dish.

A special nod goes out to VinVillage, the online community for wine lovers, who sponsored my attendance to this fabulous event and who showcased a plethora of top notch wines for tasting to the event goers.  Check out their website to join the community and get access to their events, newsletters, forums, online store and wine tastings around the country.

The weather and the view of the ocean was amazing, and so was my company of good friends. I think it may have also convinced me to move to San Diego someday…what’s not to love?

100 Montaditos NYC

Another fun VIP restaurant opening event I attended was for 100 Montaditos, a new multinational franchise bringing unique Spanish cuisine to the West Village of NYC. The West Village shop specializes in tapas-sized sandwiches made with fresh-baked bread (mini-heroes!) with 100 unique filling combinations such as Chorizo and Manchego cheese,  Blue Cheese with Ham and Strawberry Jam and Serrano Ham with Tomato and Olive Oil. They also have “Americanized” versions such as the Philly Cheese Steak, Meatballs with Marinara, Hot Dogs with Bacon, Ketchup and Mustard and Pulled BBQ Pork. They even have some sweet dessert Montaditos such as Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Spread or Heavy Cream and Oreos – all served on CHOCOLATE BREAD. That’s right – CHOCOLATE BREAD. The atmosphere is casual and buzzing and the prices are reasonable at $1 to $2.50 per Montaditos so grab a plateful with some friends and sip a Sangria or two while you’re at it. Check out the goods in the slideshow below!

Relaix & Chateaux VIP Event NYC

I was recently invited to an intimate reception with the CEO of Grace Hotels at the Relais & Chateaux Maison to celebrate the launch of The Mayflower Grace. This summer, Grace Hotels acquired the iconic Mayflower Inn & Spa, the beautiful New England resort located in Washington, CT – which is undergoing exciting updates such as a room renovation and new restaurant.

Chef Jonathan Cartwright and his culinary team of chefs were in the open kitchen showcasing “Taste of Grace” canapés from the Grace Hotel properties around the world with samples of delicious cuisine from Central & South America, Europe & Asia and North America as well as wine and spirits. My favorite was the Wood-Smoked Lobster over Corn Puree with Butter Sauce, served in tiny smoke-infused pots. The most gorgeous, delectable thing I’ve ever tasted! Check out all the other beautiful canapés we sampled that night in the slideshow below.

The James Hotel Winter Art Garden NYC

I recently attended the fascinating unveiling of the new  Winter Art Garden at The James NY hotel. Curated by The James NY’s resident artist Matt Jensen and Recess Art, the installation titled Still Moving will feature the work of five (5) up & coming artists whose outdoor sculptures initiate a chatter of heat and motion in an otherwise still and icy winter landscape. Continuing The James’ commitment to providing a stellar art program and the SoHo neighborhood, the exhibit will be open hotel guests and the public just in time for the holiday season beginning on December 12th, 2013 through March 2014.

Garden Art Sculptures & Artist Biographies

Beth Campbell, “If it is possible it’s possible” 2013
Piece makes sculptural a quirky line drawing or diagram.  There is a sense of instability and indecipherability  in the meandering nature of the line and the movement in the multiple parts.  This is an attempt to get at the veiled instability or slippage of things.

Dave Hardy, Untitled, 2013
Balancing the precarious structures of interiority—from the physiological to the architectonic—with the brazen forces of externalized expression and brute will to form, Hardy’s sculptural works depict an unrelenting tension.  The work captures the paradoxical demands of contemporary artistic life, where each new gesture appears at the brink of collapse.

Marie Lorenz, Flotsam Garland, 2013
The flower garland is often a symbol of celebration but also of impermanence, temporality, the passing from life to death. In India, flower garlands are used in temples, designed with horticultural rules passed down from generations. These Flotsam Garlands are made from things found on the beach, already subject to the ravages of time and tide.

Alina Tenser, Untitled Screen II, 2013
Tenser’s Screen is to be simultaneously, looked at and looked through.  The surface is reflective and translucent, allowing the viewer to experience a polar state of their image being bounced back to them and their vision going past the image, essentially looking past themselves.

Jeff Williams, Supernatant Fossil, 2012
Williams sets up material experiments in which natural and industrial components interact to change or break down existing compositions and structures.  Here, a series of floor sculptures contain Central Texas fossils, resting on weathered plexiglass sheets.  The weight of the fossil produces a concavity in the plexiglass, which is filled with a puddle of calcium sulfate (gypsum).  The fossils slowly wick the chemical solution over time and accumulate gypsum deposits.

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Fogo de Chao NYC

Fogo de Chao is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse, and a new location just opened in Midtown Manhattan. At a VIP press event last week to celebrate the grand opening, I got to experience the Fogo “gaucho” way of preparing and serving meat as they do in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Their gaucho chefs expertly grill 16 cuts of meat served and cut fresh to order with continuous table side service. This is also known as Churrascaria – where the meat is roasted over charcoal or wood embers to give it a rich smoky flavor.

They have a gigantic gourmet salad bar with a plethora of fresh grilled veggies, salads and chartucerie, authentic Brazilian side dishes such as fried bananas and polenta sticks, and we sipped on Brazilian wines and cocktails all night long amongst great conversation and a buzzing atmosphere. The architecture is stunning too with high ceilings and dynamic design. You won’t walk out of this place hungry – I promise. Definitely worth checking out (on an empty stomach!)

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New Food Trends Experience and Pride of NY State Food Marketplace are the stars of International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY 2013

International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY

There were two new star exhibits at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of NY at Jacob Javits Center in NYC this year, with a focus on new food trends and local NY State food producers. The new Food Trends Experience was a grand display and tasting adventure providing access to over 75 new products, flavors and ingredients driving the most recent trends in the market – healthy, organic, sustainable, ethnic, artisanal, fusion, hot flavors and more from 115 new companies. Presented within the show, the Food Trends Experience was a great way for attendees to see, taste, discover and learn about the new culinary innovations that inspire creative and fresh menu ideas, delight customers and drive profits for 2013 and beyond.

>> Check out more of my fun photos of the show and great food in my online gallery <<

Some of the noteworthy and innovative products were:

Sir Kensington's Gourmet Scooping Ketchup

Sir Kensington’s Gourmet Scooping Ketchup

The Original Jersey Italian Gravy

The Original Jersey Italian Gravy

Blackout Sauces

Blackout Sauce

The Gracious Gourmet Spreads

The Gracious Gourmet

Guido Gobino Italian Chocolate

Guido Gobino Italian Chocolate

Q Trade Organic Teas and Herbs

Q Trade Organic Teas and Herbs

Udi's Gluten Free Foods

Udi’s Gluten Free

Hey Shuga Organic Syrups

Hey Shuga Organic Syrups

Pure Indulgent Foods

Pure Indulgent Foods

Le Voglie Linea Gourmet

and Le Voglie Linea Gourmet.

Pride of NY State

Within the Food Trends experience was a specialty Pride of New York Marketplace displaying food, produce, agricultural products and beverages from local farmers, food producers and manufacturers from New York State.  This area of the show gave attendees an opportunity to meet New York’s farmers and producers face to face and sample all the goods it has to offer, while at the same time promoting local businesses and with a goal of stimulating the agriculture industry in New York state.

Pride of NY State marketplace

The Pride of New York State Pavilion was highlighted this year in an effort to make consumers more aware of their local food producers and help increase the consumption of nutritious, locally grown and produced foods, which all leads to strengthening local agriculture and improving health and promoting regional food system awareness in New York State. The benefits of buying and consuming local foods is no secret; exceptional taste and freshness, a healthier and more well-balanced diet, environmental protection by reducing fuel consumption, preserving farmland by keeping local farms in business and preserving valuable open space, and strengthening the local economy by supporting local farms and food processors in New York state, thereby creating more jobs and stimulating economic growth in local residents and communities.

Local NY Food Producers

The local vendors were proud to present their rich and diverse array of quality products such as locally grown produce, syrups and sauces, cheese, honey, meats, pasta, wine and baked goods. Some of the notable NY State local goods exhibited at the event were:

Ciao Bella

Ciao Bella Sorbet and Gelato

Beth's Farm Kitchen

Beth’s Farm Kitchen

Charissa Spices

Charissa Spices

Dr. Frank wineries

Upstate New York’s Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars;

J. Glebocki Farms

J. Glebocki Farms

Pika’s Farm Table

Pika’s Farm Table

Micosta Enterprises

Micosta Enterprises

Red Tomato Produce

Red Tomato Produce

Breezy Hill Orchard/Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider

and Breezy Hill Orchard/Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider.

The show also presented a half-day Farm-to-City Expo“Growing the Local Food Economy: Trends, Infrastructure and Purchasing” which provided food businesses, organizations and local food system advocates the opportunity to learn more about public and private government initiatives designed to meet the large and growing demand for locally produced foods and beverages. The forum was an example of the Governor Cuomo’s continuing efforts and support for growth in the New York State agriculture industry, with a goal of connecting local food producers, processors and buyers in order to strengthen and create new markets.

Empire State Development (ESD) President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams

Opening remarks for the forum were provided by Empire State Development (ESD) President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams, and the panels included prominent leaders in the NY food industry and city and state officials from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York City Council with speakers from Christine Quinn’s team. The three panels focused on important topics around Infrastructure, Institutions and Restaurants; where the panelists discussed their challenges, best practices and dedication to purchasing food and beverages mainly from local farms, producers and manufacturers in and around New York City, and how buying local has improved the quality of their businesses as well as raise the bar for their customers while supporting the local economy.

The show was great success and had many other highlights worth mentioning including the The US Pastry Chef Competition, where 20 rising stars of the pastry world that were selected to compete for the coveted title, US Pastry Chef of the Year. The theme for this year’s competition was “Women”.

US Pastry Chef Competition

Pastry Chef Ben Shelton from PreGel America took home top honors for his gorgeous showpiece (see above) with an apple symbolizing ‘temptation’.


Daniel’s Sandro Micheli took second,


and Maura Metheny from Norman Love Confections took third.


Salvatore Settepani from Pasticceria Bruno Bakery was an honorable mention.  Florian Bellanger also received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

US Pastry Chef Competition

and a specialty desserts section sponsored by Paris Gourmet


with innovative sweets by Swiss Chalet Fine Foods

Swiss Chalet Fine Foods

Swiss Chalet Fine Foods

as well as the exciting Chefs and products at the Japan Pavillion,

Japanese Pavillion

Sun Noodle Ramen Lab

New Products Showcase;

Torani Syrups

John W Macy's CheeseSticks

and the Culinary Demonstration Theatre with live cooking demonstrations by several prominent and celebrity Chefs from Hell’s Kitchen, Big Brother, Miya’s Sushi, Chopped and more.

Chef Kevin Cottle

> Find out more about the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of NY and their sponsors NYS Restaurant Association and producers Reed Exhibitions <

>> Check out more of my fun photos of the show and great food in my online gallery <<

All Content & Photographs are property of Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet, Copyright 2013. Please do not use, share or distribute without my permission, and if you do want to share please add a link back to my website and the original post.

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