Pages Navigation Menu
Categories Navigation Menu

Q & A with Alain Ducasse

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

There are very few drawbacks to being a restaurant critic.   My one complaint is a life confined to the dining room.  I can only speculate on what really happens behind kitchen doors where restaurants are concerned.   But a couple weeks ago, I had the chance to sit down with Alain Ducasse.  For me, that was a big deal.  Ducasse is the most Michelin-starred chef in the world.  He reigns over a kingdom of twenty-four restaurants, a batch of bakeries, inns and cooking schools.  My favorite is Le Louis XV in Monaco.  Of all the dishes I’ve eaten, I will never forget the summer vegetables en cocotte I ate there one summer.  Or that magnificent bread trolley for that matter.   But I wasn’t crazy about Benoit, his newest restaurant that opened in Manhattan five months ago.  I couldn’t help but...

Read More

Q & A with Public's Ellen Mirsky

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Talk about a career change, Ellen Mirsky quit fashion for food.  She went from designing eye candy to designing dessert overnight.  Mirsky graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education with a degree in pastry and soon found herself at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole.   She’s worked with everyone from Todd English and Rick Moonen to Pichet Ong. Nowadays, you can sample her creations at Public, where she works alongside Brad Farmerie.  Her inspired creations reflect comfort sweets from all over the world.  On the menu for autumn — a concord grape panna cotta  with peanut butter ice cream and frosted concord grapes. From New Zealand comes the Hokey Pokey ice cream, topped with passionfruit sauce and a gingersnap.  And of course, lots of chocolates.  Mirsky even has her own chocolate company with truffles made from pumpkin, pomegranate, or port. Single/Married/Divorced?Single.What did...

Read More

Convivio's Fusili with Pork Shoulder Ragout

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Chef Michael White(Serves 4) Ingredients: 1/3 cup olive oil 2 pounds pork butt, diced salt, freshly ground black pepper pinch chili flakes 1 large onion, diced 3 cloves garlic, smashed 1 6 oz can tomato paste 1 cup dry red wine 1 28 oz can San Marzano peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes 4 cups chicken stock 1 pound dry or fresh fusili ¼ cup grated pecorino, plus extra for garnish Preparation:Heat a heavy bottom pot over medium- high heat.  Add olive oil and once hot, add diced pork butt.  Brown well, about 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes.  Add onions and garlic and cook until soft and caramelized, 8-10 minutes more.  Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.  Deglaze with red wine and reduce until alcohol has evaporated.  Add tomatoes and chicken stock and stir...

Read More

Q & A with Missy Robbins

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Andrew Carmellini’s sudden departure from A Voce was front page news in the food world.  In March, news broke that A Voce would be taking over Cafe Gray in the Time Warner Center, followed by Carmellini’s controversial exit in June.  The million dollar question: who would replace him?  I wouldn’t want to try to fill those shoes.  Missy Robbins, on the other hand, isn’t too concerned.  She jumped at the opportunity to move to New York and oversee not one, but two A Voce kitchens.  Ironically,  Robbins jump started her career with no formal training whatsoever.  In fact, she didn’t even know how to hold a knife.   But she was determined, so determined that she stormed into the restaurant 1789 in Washington D.C., and pleaded for a job.   Later, Robbins honed her skills at Peter Kump’s New York...

Read More

Mama Mudslider's Halloween Cookie

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

Do you hate to throw all that leftover candy?  Perhaps you might reconsider.  Hali Horn, a former pastry chef at Kittichai, does too.  So she baked them– into warm, chewy cookies. Ingredients:(Makes approx. 2 dozen) 8oz unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour ½ tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 3 tbsp malted milk powder (optional) 2 cups left over Halloween candy, cut into ¼” pieces* Preparation:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Beat butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy.Mix vanilla extract and eggs together and add to butter mixture in 2 batches, beat until light and fluffy.Mix all dry ingredients together and add in 2 batches to butter mixture until combined well.Add candy and mix until just combined.Using tablespoons, place balls of dough onto cookie sheet...

Read More

Q & A with Laurence Edelman

Posted on Oct 29, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Laurence Edelman was destined to work with seafood.  His first job was shucking oysters at the legendary Cooter Brown’s in Louisiana.  But who could pass up the opportunity to learn from veteran chef, Lidia Bastianich?  So Edelman moved to New York to train at Felidia where he learned the art of pasta and Italian cooking.  But he discovered his real passion, American cuisine, while working as sous chef at The Red Cat.  It was there he first met Jimmy Bradley, a partnership that would eventually bring Edelman to The Mermaid Inn. This Upper West Side clam shack became a neighborhood fixture practically overnight.  The menu is filled with clam shack classics, such as the lobster roll with fries and the shrimp po’ boy. Meanwhile, Italian flavors are brought over from his training at Felidia. A saffron-spiced squid ink risotto is with saffron and piled...

Read More

Election Night Eats

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Gourmet Gossip

This year’s election heard around the world– one that will result in either this country’s first black president or its first female vice president— is just a week away.  We’re making history here folks, consider it your duty to get in the spirit on election night.  Why not take advantage of election fever and honor this little quadrennial holiday we call the presidential election?   There’s not much time to left to plan our election-themed party, so we asked — begged really — chef Christopher Siversen to drum up an election night menu to remember.  One that would provide the perfect talking points for an evening of politically savvy entertainment.  Whether it’s the Sarah Palin-inspired Alaskan salmon or the Barack Obama-inspired Chicago deep dish pizza, each drink and entrée on the menu will present great fodder for election conversations.  If...

Read More

Le Bernardin's Tuna Tartare with Endive

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Chef/Co-owner Eric Ripert (Makes 6 servings) Ingredients: 1 ¼ pound sushi-quality tuna, cut into small dice 2 tablespoons chopped cornichons 1 tablespoons chopped capers 1 tablespoons minced spring onion ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 tablespoons cilantro julienne 2 tablespoons lemon juice Fine sea salt Freshly ground white pepper 18 leaves white endive, trimmed 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 12 pieces toasted country bread Directions: 1.    In a mixing bowl, combine together tuna, cornichons, capers, spring onion, Tabasco, Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, canola oil, coriander and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss with a fork to combine. Do not overmix, or you will incorporate too much air, causing the tuna to turn brown. 2.    To serve, toss the endive...

Read More

Q & A with Charlie Palmer

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

You can’t really talk about “Progressive American” food without mentioning Charlie Palmer.  Over the years, the chef has built an empire of successful restaurants that spans the country, including Sonoma, Washington D. C., Las Vegas and Dallas, Texas.  But it all started in 1988 when Palmer opened Aureole.  Inside this timeless, townhouse in Midtown, Palmer designed an elegant American menu that aggressively driven by ingredients long before it was par for the course.  Palmer got his start at The River Cafe in Brooklyn, where he learned the fundamental lessons to running a successful kitchen.  On October 31st & November 1st, Aureole will celebrate its twentieth anniversary with a “20 Bites Menu.”  What’s for dinner?  The same, signature sea scallop sandwich offered in 1998  along with the tea-smoked squab from 1991.  Each of the nine-courses will be paired with a...

Read More

Gramercy Tavern's Concord Crush

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

There are few things I love more about autumn than concord grapes.  Except for pumpkins, of course.  Nobody makes a better concord grape cocktail than Gramercy Tavern.  You might want to seize the last of this vibrant, full-flavored fruit before their season comes to a sadly premature end.  All you need is a blender, some lime juice, sugar, and vodka.  It might be a little too easy to make.  And to drink. Ingredients: 2 oz. vodka of your choice 1 ¼  oz. grape purée ¾ oz Lime Juice 4 Concord Grapes 2 lime slices Dash of Cane Syrup (or a teaspoon of sugar) Preparation:Puree the 1 1/4oz. concord grapes in blender.  Take the remaining ingredients and shake.  Serve in a rocks glass w/ no garnish. Gramercy TavernAddress: 42 East 20th St., nr. Park Ave. South Phone:...

Read More

Q & A with Julian Medina

Posted on Oct 15, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Chef Julian Medina has changed the way we think and eat Mexican food in New York.   Born and raised in Mexico City, Medina mastered the art of Mexican cooking at Hacienda de los Morales in Mexico City before moving to the kitchen of Los Celebrites to immerse himself in French technique and ingredients.  And that was just the beginning.   Medina moved to the United States, where he worked as the executive chef for Sushi Samba and Zocalo.  Upon teaming up with Richard Sandoval, Medina successfully elevated Mexican cooking to a haute plane at both Maya and Pampano.  These days, he’s busy building his own little empire, which includes Toalache and his newest pan-Latin venture, Yerba Buena.   At Yerba Buena, Julian Medina offers a light, sophisticated spin on Latin cooking with a “Cuban Pizza,”a tortilla topped with ham, pork,...

Read More

PDT Witch's Kiss

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

It’s not often Jim Meehan gives up the recipe to one of his masterfully conceived cocktails.  What we’ve got here was inspired by, “a recent stroll through the Tompkins Square Park Sunday Farmer ’s Market and six dusty bottles of Strega in our basement inspired this seasonal sour. Strega, a complex, bittersweet herbal liqueur is also the word for witch in Italian.” Ingredients: 2 oz. Cuervo Platino tequila .75 oz fresh lemon juice .5 oz Strega 1 Barspoon of apple butter Preparation:Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, then add ice.Shake & strain into a coupe.  Garnish with a lemon twist. Address: 113 St. Marks Place, btwn.  Ave A & 1st Aves.Phone:...

Read More

Q & A with Sebastien Rouxel

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

Managing the pastry departments for eight world-class restaurants might seem daunting to most, but not to Sebastien Rouxel.  He oversees Thomas Keller’s dessert empire – per se, French Laundry, and Bouchon Bakery to name a few.  Born in France’s Loire Valley, Rouxel got an early jump start on his career working at his aunt’s restaurant before entering culinary school at the age of 16.   Rouxel quickly earned the prestigious position of pastry chef for the president of France before moving to America to work at L’Orangerie and Lutece.   Since teaming up with Thomas Keller, his modern interpretations of classic desserts have garnered considerable attention.  At per se, Rouxel’s fall menu features a black currant cobbler with buttermilk sherbet and a  “Pomme Beurre Noisette,” with a granny smith confiture, brown butter, and tahitian vanilla.  What did you want to be when you...

Read More

Q & A with Ben Van Leeuwen

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

Where ice cream is concerned, there’s some serious competition on the streets of New York these days.  Think Mister Softee gone green and you have Ben Van Leeuwen.  Van Leeuwen got the idea to launch his own artisanal ice cream concept  while driving a Good Humor truck.   Unlike Good Humor and Mister Softee, Van Leeuwen uses organic, local cream, and biodegradable cups.  He gets his pistachios straight from Sicily and his red currants from local farmers.  With ten flavors to choose from, we’d chase down any one of his three trucks for the classic vanilla, made with barrel-aged ground vanilla beans, or mint chip made with Oregon mint leaves and Michael Cluizel chocolate.  Sundae?  We’re partial to the ginger sundae made with a spicy ginger ice cream, topped with homemade hot caramel sauce, chopped sugar cones, and whipped...

Read More

Chicken With Forty Cloves of Garlic

Posted on Sep 26, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

From Chef David Waltuck “Staff Meals from Chanterelle” This chicken classic is a tribute to the transformational power of heat.  Although raw garlic is pungent and aggressive, slow-roasted garlic is the complete opposite—it’s gloriously sweet and mellow.  When this dish comes out of the oven, each buttery-soft glove has become a subtle complement to the perfectly roasted chicken.  Ingredients:(Serves 6 to 8) 2 chickens (3 to 3 ½ pounds each) 2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat or unsalted butter Coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 6 heads garlic, blanched and peeled (see below) 2 cups dry white wine 2 cups Chicken Stock or canned low sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces Preparation: 1.    Preheat the oven to 450° F. 2.    Rinse the chickens, inside and out, under...

Read More

Q & A with Eric Ripert

Posted on Sep 23, 2008 in Chef Q&A, Chef Q&A Recipes

If you want to know how to cook a fish, ask Eric Ripert.   If you don’t cook, you should consider visiting Le Bernardin, one of the most  regarded seafood restaurants in the world.  Born in Antibes, France, Ripert attended culinary school at age 15, followed by cooking stints in Paris.  Ripert worked the fish station for Jean-Louis Palladin, Joel Robuchon and David Bouley before Maguy and Gilbert Le Coze hired him away as a chef at Le Bernardin.   At the age of 29, Ripert earned four stars from the New York Times and has managed to maintain them for over twelve years.   Ripert recently launched his own blog, Avec Eric, a preview of his upcoming PBS television show.  Until then, you can sample his inspired cooking at Le Bernardin.  On the menu for fall, crispy black bass with...

Read More

The Smith's Cucumber Loco

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Jeffrey Lefcourt Muddle:  3 Tablespoon diced cucumber 1/2 oz simple syrup Fill the glass with ice and add: 1 1/4 oz silver tequila  3/4 oz Triple Sec 1/2 oz fresh lime juice Address: 55 Third Ave., btwn 10th & 11th Sts.Phone:...

Read More

Q & A with Christophe Bellanca

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

Five years ago, French-born Christophe Bellanca never imagined he would be running the kitchen for one of New York’s top restaurant institutions: Le Cirque 2000.  Bellanca first began his career at La Mere Vittet in Lyon, followed by stints in such classic French restaurants as La Pyramide and Pic in France, as well as Domaine de Chateauviex in Geneva.  Only a few years ago, he accepted the executive chef position at Los Angeles’ L’Orangerie.  At the time, he spoke exactly three words of English, Speaking no more than three words of English.    Now in command of Le Cirque‘s kitchen, Bellanca has conceived a modern French menu, which often takes international liberties, such as tuna tataki with sesame, daikon, yuzu and seaweed or foie gras ravioli with black truffles. Single/Married/Divorced?Single What did you want to be when you grew...

Read More

Boqueria's Brewsky Sangria

Posted on Sep 12, 2008 in Chef Q&A Recipes, Recipes

By Wine Director Roger Kugler Ingredients 6 oz. full flavor lager 2 oz fresh lemon juice 2 oz pear puree (we use Funkin) 2 oz Triple Sec Mix all ingredients and slowly stir (not to flatten the beer). Pour over ice in a pint glass ½ filled with ice. Garnish with fresh summer fruits. Address: 53 West 19th St., btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.Phone:(212)727-1548Boqueria website Photo Credit: Dawn...

Read More

Q & A with Julia Jaksic

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

For most chefs, running a kitchen is a full-time job in its own right.  But Employees Only chef Julia Jaksic also finds the time to run a rather, avant-garde dinner club as well.   After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, she went on to work her way through Chicago’s restaurants before moving to New York’s SoHo Grand.   Her father, a butcher in the Meatpacking District during the 70’s, taught Julia how to butcher a pig and make her sausages.  With a strong Eastern European heritage, Julia brings hearty food into the spotlight at Employees Only with such dishes as a Serbian charcuterie platter and a late night menu that includes everthing from bacon-wrapped lamb chops with salsa verde to truffled grilled cheese.   Single/Married/Divorced?Single.  What did you want to be when you grew up?I never really wanted to be anything-I just wanted to get...

Read More