Pages Navigation Menu
Categories Navigation Menu

Q & A with Fabio Trabocchi

Posted on Jan 30, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Fabio Trabocchi grew up in Italy, where his father and grandparents taught him the basics of Italian cooking from growing fresh ingredients to buying meat from the local butcher.  Comfortable in the kitchen by age 8, Fabio excelled in multiple Michelin-star restaurants throughout his teenage years.  He then traveled the world learning regional cuisines and kitchen styles, eventually standing still in Washington, DC to create the concept and open Maestro, located in Tyson’s Corner, VA.  Here, he received 4-star reviews and the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic in 2006.  Despite his success in DC, New York City called.  Fabio recently joined the team of B.R. Guest Restaurants as executive chef of the newly face lifted Fiamma in SoHo.  He has received momentous acclaim for the fine dining he has implemented.  Signature dishes offered in his...

Read More

Q & A With Jehangir Mehta

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

After working in some of NYC’s finest restaurants, including Jean Georges and Compass, chef Jehangir Mehta has recently opened a humble, 18-seat savory/sweet eatery of his own.  Located in the East Village, Graffiti is a visual scrapbook of his life; the menu a culinary scrapbook of both his Mumbai upbringing and expansive training.  His unique cuisine subtly marries contemporary Asian cuisine with Indian seasonings. At Graffiti, his signature dishes include the foie gras raspberry crostini with walnut salad and the chili shrimp with a curry steamed rice cake.  Of course, don’t skip this pastry chef’s desserts, such as the hazelnut chocolate caviar cupcake with chocolate chip ice cream. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Married What did you want to be when you grew up? Honestly, I would say I wanted to do something with people – more so in terms of not complete...

Read More

Q & A with Donatella Arpaia

Posted on Jan 9, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Though Donatella Arpaia spent much of her childhood in her father’s restaurant, she herself was groomed to become a lawyer.  But after filling in for a hostess at Scarlatti (her brother’s midtown restaurant), Arpaia discovered her passion for the dining world.  She opened her first restaurant, Bellini, and quit law the next day.  Soon after, she teamed up with David Burke to launch davidburke & donatella, garnering much attention for whimsical modern fare and a loyal midtown clientele. With chef-partner Michael Psilakis, the two successfully reinvented Bellini as southern-European dona, following up with modern Greek at Anthos.  Though they were forced to close dona after only nine months, it will soon reopen in its new midtown location with rustic, Greek-inflected Italian cuisine. A cook herself, Arpaia has also recently developed a line of artisanal Italian products, including tomato sauce,...

Read More

Q & A with Matthew Hamilton

Posted on Dec 26, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

The marine corps isn’t the usual path to becoming a chef, but it just may have taught Matthew Hamilton the key to surviving New York’s cutthroat dining scene.  Matthew spent his childhood picking vegetables from the garden for dinner, so it’s no wonder he was a bit ahead of these market-driven times.  Luckily, he fell into a position at San Francisco’s celebrated Zuni Cafe, where he learned how to important it was to make ingredients in house.  He took an eccentric sabbatical in Tuscany on olive farm, returning to work at Noho’s Five Points. After experiencing the hardships of opening (and closing) his own restaurant, Uovo, Hamilton seems content to be back in somoeone else’s kitchen.   At Belcourt, Hamilton not only makes his own boudin blancs (pork sausages,) but also the bread, mustard and sauerkraut that accompany them out...

Read More

Q & A With Anne Burrell

Posted on Dec 19, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

With her spiky blonde hair and signature cowgirl skirt, chef Anne Burrell doesn’t quite fit the part of supporting character.  Yet, until 2007, that’s what she played as Mario Batali’s sous chef on Iron Chef America.  Before that, she trained in Tuscany, then returning to New York, worked under Lidia Bastianich at Felidiaand taught at I.C.E. for three years.But 2007 has been a very good year for Burrell: She not only made an impressive debut at Centro Vinoteca, but also inherited Gusto’s kitchen.  Amidst a new wave of Italian trattorias, Anne distinguished herself with her  “piccolini,” featuring truffled devil eggs, fried cauliflower wedges and eggplant cakes dabbed with ricotta.  She also delivers an excellent fennel pollen-crusted pork chop and rabbit involtino. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Very single What did you want to be when you grew up? Julia Child What was...

Read More

Q & A with Jimmy Bradley

Posted on Dec 12, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

With a number of thriving eateries, restaurateur/chef Jimmy Bradley has a keen understanding of the NYC dining scene.  Both The Red Cat and The Harrison have succeeded at maintaining their destination status as well as their strong neighborhood followings.  “It’s simple.  Stand there and do good work,” Bradley asserts in a telephone interview.   Before venturing off to open their own respective kitchens, chefs Joey Campanaro, Mike Price and Harold Dieterle have each worked in Bradley’s kitchens and inherited his gimmick-free philosophy. Bradley doesn’t follow trends, he sets them.   He ventured into Chelsea with The Red Cat before it became a prominent art and restaurant scene.  “Underpromise and overdeliver.  That’s the key to The Red Cat’s success,” he continues.   Originally named The Red Cat Food Hall, Bradley opened the spot with the deliberate intentions that diners would have no preconceived...

Read More

Q & A with Le Bernardin’s Michael Laiskonis

Posted on Dec 5, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Michael Laiskonis, James Beard Award winner for “Outstanding Pastry Chef of 2007,” began his pastry arts career scooping ice cream at a local Detroit shop at the age of 15.  In fact, Laiskonis never intended on becoming a pastry chef,  graduating college with a degree in fine arts.  During college he inadvertently spent time working at a bakery where he became interested in baking bread.  From there, he moved to Tribute restaurant in Michigan where he was quickly named one of the “10 Best Pastry Chefs in America” by Pastry Arts & Design.  Eric Ripert brought him to New York to work at the prestigious Le Bernardin.  At Le Bernardin, Laiskonis receives praise for his ability to fashion skillfully layered desserts with exquisite flavors, including vanilla yogurt mousse with blood orange gelee, and a soft chocolate ganache with sweet...

Read More

Q & A With Duff Goldman

Posted on Nov 29, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

You may recognize pastry from his reality TV show, Ace of Cakes, on the Food Network.  But Duff’s background consists of much more than an artful cake creator.  Duff began his cooking years at the early age of 4, and began working in a professional kitchen at 14.  Having a great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother who all worked as cooks or artists, a culinary arts career was somewhat inevitable. Duff studied pastry arts at the CIA in Napa Valley, where he advanced his culinary talent.  Having gained notoriety as a skilled graffiti artist as a kid, his technical pastry skills coupled with his graffiti inclinations invited a unique career in pastry.  After working in pastry at Keller’s French Laundry, Duff moved back to Baltimore in 2000 and opened Charm City Cakes to televised national acclaim. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Live with girlfriend....

Read More

Q & A With Marc Aumont

Posted on Nov 9, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Pastry chef Marc Aumont has spent his life in pastry – literally.  Growing up in Chamonix Mont Blanc in France, Marc lived in an apartment directly above his father’s chocolate shop, La Gerbe d’Or.  There, he spent time honing the craft of both chocolate and pastry. After time spent in France, Marc met chef David Bouley who lured him into opening a bakery in NYC, subsequently Bouley Bakery.  As first a consultant and later the executive pastry chef, Marc helped create one of New York’s preeminent bakeries. Marc then spent time as executive pastry chef at Compass, earning accolades in 2002 from New York Magazine as a “pastry star” with a “sugar future.”  Danny Meyer with Union Square Hospitality Group eventually brought him to The Modern, which found its home in the newly refurnished Museum of Modern Art. On...

Read More

Q & A With Katie Lee Joel

Posted on Nov 1, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Conscious consumption: It’s understanding how food from the earth becomes the meal on your plate, and it’s also the guiding culinary principle of Katie Lee Joel, occasional television star, wife of musician Billy Joel, and author of the upcoming cookbook, The Comfort Table. Before she was old enough to read a recipe, Joel was busy helping her grandmother turn fresh vegetables and meat from their West Virginia farm into the dishes that brought her family together every evening. Many of the rib-sticking recipes featured in The Comfort Table come straight from her grandmother’s kitchen, but they also reflect Joel’s personal credo of wholesome, organic ingredients and healthy living. A graduate of Miami University of Ohio in English and journalism, Joel has brought her culinary talents to Bravo’s Top Chef, a column in Hampton’s Magazine, a special correspondent position for...

Read More

Q & A with Harold Dieterle

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Though Harold Dieterle found celebrity as the first winner of Bravo’s Top Chef, his life-long culinary experience has involved less glamour and more hard work. His Sicilian mother’s home cooking ignited Dieterle’s fascination with food, propelling him first toward a home economics class in middle school, and then as a dishwasher at The Marina on Fire Island. Realizing his growing affinity for the professional kitchen, he traveled to Spain in 1995, garnering stages under the country’s most revered chefs. Upon returning to New York later that year, the Long Island-native began his formal culinary education at the CIA. Chef positions at East Hampton’s Della Femina and the Upper East Side’s Red Bar followed, and then in 2002 he met Jimmy Bradley, owner of The Harrison. Studying under chefs Joey Campanaro (of current Little Owl fame) and Brian Bistrong, Dieterle...

Read More

Q & A With Ralf Kuettel

Posted on Oct 21, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Ralf Kuettel acquired his passion for nature’s edible bounty honestly.  Reared in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, the budding chef grew up roaming the Turbenthal woods and tending to livestock and produce on his parents’ farm.  Kuettel embraces a culinary concept that showcases the rich flavors of each season’s flora and fauna, as well as the classic Franco-Swiss technique he studied as a young man. Kuettel first ventured onto the New York restaurant scene in 1989 at Union Square Café under Chef Michael Romano.  One year of intense kitchen training later, Kuettel took a brief hiatus to the West Coast, but the allure of New York’s restaurant scene drew him back.  He launched himself into a four-year turn as executive sous chef at Soho’s Zoe.  After short-lived stints at Cena and the Chelsea Wine Vault, Kuettel at last...

Read More

Q & A With Sam DeMarco

Posted on Oct 12, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Having grown up in an all-Italian Brooklyn household, Sam De Marco was raised on the caliber of authentic home cooking most New Yorkers travel to the Italian countryside for.  He worked his way up the ladder, training under David Burke at the The River Cafe as well as Gray Kunz at Adrienne.  Having forged on to develop his own imaginative global fare at both District and First, De Marco’s since reemerged at Fireside in The Omni Berkshire Hotel.  In this sleek library nook, he infuses his signature global technique into comfort food, serving smoked prime rib with horseradish cream, sea scallops “Wellington”, lobster salad on a brioche bun, and wild boar bolognese  strozzapreti (a nod to his Italian roots).  He’s even got his own signature cocktail: Chef Sammy’s cucumber gimlet. Status: Single/Married/DivorcedMarried and a beautiful 1 year old daughter...

Read More

Q & A With Marc Meyer

Posted on Oct 5, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Having begun his career over twenty years ago at Odeon, Marc Meyer has since become quite an entrepreneur.  With restaurateur and wife Vicki Freeman, the pair own and operate three thriving NYC restaurants – Provence, Cookshop, and Five Points – a significant feat in one of the world’s most fickle cities.  While they succeed at mixing business and pleasure, Meyer concedes to a bit of time in couples therapy during the launch of Five Points.  Five Points’ brunch has such a cult following that it compelled Meyer to write a book on the very subject.  But most recently, the chef’s been spending time in the kitchen at his latest venture, Provence, where he serves a grilled pork loin with apricots, blueberries and radicchio as well as wild striped bass with corn pudding and corn & tomato salsa. What did...

Read More

Q & A With Philippe Bertineau

Posted on Sep 27, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

As this month marks the ten year anniversary of Payard Patisserie and Bistro, we deemed it appropriate to go “Behind Kitchen Doors” with executive chef Philippe Bertineau.   Bertineau cultivated his technique as sous chef at such prestigious restaurants as London’s Auberge de Provence and New York City’s Daniel before joining up with pastry chef Francois Payard to launch Payard on the upper East Side.  With a talent for the southwestern cuisine of his native France, Bertineau sticks to his roots and dishes out some of New York’s best modern bistro fare.  From rich homemade foie gras with pearl onion chutney to succulent duck leg confit on a corn galette, his dishes reveal themselves as elegant as this David Rockwell-designed classic. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Married What did you want to be when you grew up? Growing up in France my dad...

Read More

Q & A with Johnny Iuzzini

Posted on Sep 19, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Johnny Iuzzini’s earned three stars from Michelin, four stars from the New York Times, and a James Beard Award for Pastry Chef of the Year in 2006.  He’s worked under the highest acclaimed chefs in the industry (Payard, Haas, Poitier), and now proudly wears his title as Executive Pastry Chef at Jean Georges.  Like a straight-A student, Iuzzini’s accolades undoubtedly match his talents and CIA education.  Here, he dazzles with a mango lassi with carrot froth as well as decadent dessert flights.  And to think, his dream was to race motorcycles… Status: Single/Married/Divorced Single   What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to race motorcycles or be a stunt man. How did you get into food? When I got my working papers at 15, I got a job washing dishes at a local country...

Read More

Q & A With Scott and Heather Fratangelo

Posted on Sep 13, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Husband-and-wife team, Scott and Heather Fratangelo, have figured out the equation to both a happy marriage and a thriving career in food.  At Spigolo, their UES Italian team effort, the two manage to maintain a packed house with month-long waits for reservations.  While Scott serves as the executive chef, Heather skillfully leads the pastry and wine programs.  Their ambitious menu features veal scallopine paired with beet greens and spring onions, and grilled pork rib chop with plum mustardo and roasted artichokes.  You simply can’t skip dessert at Spigolo: Heather bakes an inspired mascarpone tart with balsamic figs as well as an exotic, coconut panna cotta with papaya, mango and pineapple.   Status: Single/Married/Divorced Married to each other. What did you want to be when you grew up? Scott: Race car driver Heather: Nurse What was your first job in...

Read More

Q & A With Nicole Kaplan

Posted on Sep 6, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Chef Nicole Kaplan does not mess around in the kitchen: she’s played with the big boys in the NYC dining scene, toting her talents in pastry at Danny Meyer’s Eleven Madison Park, and now, Mario Batali’s Del Posto.  Ranked as one of the top pastry chefs in the country by Chocolatier Magazine and Pastry Art & Design, we’re grateful she changed her mind on becoming a flutist.  Currently, she is creating some of the city’s sweetest sensations at Batali’s Meatpacking locale.  Signature desserts include millefoglie di lamponi- a Napolean of local raspberries, Tahitian vanilla ice cream, ice wine granita and raspberry-rose gelato as well as budino di cioccolato – a chocolate pudding with chocolate streusel and whipped cream. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Married with 2 little boys What did you want to be when you grew up? A Broadway singer. How...

Read More

Q & A With Anita Lo

Posted on Aug 29, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

It’s been seven years, and chef Anita Lo is still proud to call the West Village restaurant Annisa, her own.  Lo has reigned as head chef, co-owner, and creative mind for the better part of a decade, while serving as consulting chef and partner for the successful (and soon to be  nationally expanding) dumpling house, Rickshaw Dumpling Bar.  She also found time to promote a calcium-filled diet, assuming a full-fledged milk mustache in the Got Milk? campaign.  At Annisa, Arabic for “women” (co-owned by Lo and Jennifer Scism), signature dishes include grilled Australian lamb tenderloin with Szechuan peppercorn, white soybeans and garlic chives, as well as the smoked Berkshire pork loin with millet, swiss chard and gruyere. Status: Single/Married/Divorced Single (gay) What did you want to be when you grew up? A concert pianist. What was your first job...

Read More

Q & A With Marc Murphy

Posted on Aug 22, 2007 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Restaurateur and chef Marc Murphy and his wife, Pamela Schein Murphy, blazed a trail to Tribeca when the two introduced Landmarc to the neighborhood.  Murphy’s modern interpretation of an Italian-inflected French bistro was well-received not only by the locals, but also by the NYC’s dining public at large.  Though he’s trained in some of the most upscale of kitchens, including La Fourchette & Le Cirque, he’s managed to integrate his penchant for the casual with his haute techniques at both Landmarc and West Village seafood shack, Ditch Plains. Having created a highly successful patent that changed the face of neighborhood dining, Murphy launched Landmarc at the Time Warner Center earlier this year.  A hard formula to beat, Landmarc’s laid back atmosphere and unusually affordable wine list seem a welcome change for a posh urban mall, brimming with the cream...

Read More