August 04, 2011
Red Rooster: The Details
Scene: Jay McInerney meets Jay-Z
Food: Grits and shrimp, garden pickles, grilled snapper, sweet potato donuts, whiskey fudge
Prices: From around $35 for lunch to $65 for dinner, including drinks
Reservations: Absolutely necessary at tables and banquettes in back; it's take-your-chances in the front-room bar for drop-on-bys. 310 Lenox Ave., New York; 212-792-9001; redroosterharlem.com..
Required reading before dinner: Inside Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster
Chef Marcus Samuelsson, photographed May 9, 2011, at Red Rooster. Photo © Jennifer Livingston
August 18, 2011
Le delicious. Photo courtesy of Le Fooding
Le Fooding, the subversive culinary organization, returns to New York next month to throw a pair of Veuve Clicquot-sponsored food events only the French could dream up.
The first, on September 17, is an epic campfire cookout at a SoHo sculpture garden. In what sounds like a treatment for an MTV-Bravo collaboration, chefs and musicians will partner up to cook a fireside feast. LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and chef Inaki Aizpitarte (of Paris's Le Chateaubriand) will prepare a beef and chive salad; R&B singer Muhsinah will assist Dante Gonzales (of L.A. food truck Dante Fried Chicken) with something called "Sock-It-to-Me Fried Chicken Tofu." DJs, cocktails and roaring fires will keep the party hot.
On September 23, Le Fooding will launch Exquisite Corpse, a 52-hour ultra-marathon meal inspired by the Surrealist art game. Working in four-hour shifts, 13 chefs will cook a menu using equipment and ingredients left by the previous chef. The international roster of culinary gurus includes New York's Andrew Carmellini (Locanda Verde and The Dutch), San Francisco's Corey Lee (Benu), France's Armand Arnal (La Chassagnette) and Italy's Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana).
Tickets for the revolutionary Campfire Session ($50) and Exquisite Corpse ($100) are expected to sell out as soon as they hit the web on September 1, but here's a tip: Secret links to purchase pre-sale tickets already exist out in the ether. It's up to you to find them. legrandfooding.com.
Gastronomic debate: Is this Frenchman the most feared food critic in the world?
August 25, 2011
The green kitchen's godmother. Courtesy of Alice Waters/Chez Panisse Foundation.
Berkley's famed restaurant Chez Panisse, the cradle of the locavore movement, is turning 40 this week—and what better time to honor its singular founder, Alice Waters? The indefatigable 67-year-old has dedicated her life to changing the way we eat, leading a "delicious revolution" to chuck frozen and processed foods in favor of local, market-fresh cuisine. This weekend, the Bay Area is bursting its buttons to honor all things Alice and raise funds for her nonprofit organization, The Edible Schoolyard Project.
VIEW: The unveiling of Alice Waters's Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery portrait, at the University of California Berkley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, on August 26. The photograph was shot by Dave Woody under a mulberry tree in the Edible Schoolyard. (Mulberry cocktails will be served at the party.) This marks the first time the NPG has allowed a portrait to be debuted off-site.
HARVEST: The BAM/PFA flowerbeds on August 27. Use the squash, herbs, lettuces, corn and beans in interactive cooking installations by OPENeducation.
EAT: A Provençal feast of a lifetime at Chez Panisse on August 27, or snag a seat at the table in one of the many private homes hosting alumni chefs that evening.
WATCH: A film by Marcel Pagnol at BAM/PFA until August 31. The French filmmaker's lovestruck widower, Honoré Panisse, is the restaurant's namesake.
BUY: Alice's new cookbook, 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, which hit shelves August 23.
Portrait-unveiling party, $100; Chez Panisse dinner, $500-$2,500; chezpanissefoundation.org/40th. To request a seat at the table, email email@example.com.
Getting hungry? Parisian macaroon shop Ladurée opens its first stateside outpost in New York on August 27
September 01, 2011
Great balls of fire. Photo courtesy of Fontana
Your days of warm, sunny evenings manning the grill are numbered. But that doesn't mean you have to bring the cooking indoors come fall. Consider the outdoor oven, an ancient cooking vessel that's become the latest piece of must-have equipment for the project cook. For those who don't have the DIY wherewithal to build their own, Italy's finest alfresco oven is now available in the U.S. The Fontana Gusto combines nature's best fuel (wood) with the trappings of an indoor range. The upper chamber has a moisture-absorbing stone bottom (for crisp-bottomed pizzas and crusty breads) and room for three racks (for everything else), plus a thermometer, a timer and a convection fan for even cooking. After a 45-minute warm-up, the oven can hit temperatures upward of 700 degrees, which rivals the fire-breathing beast at your local pizzeria. And come Thanksgiving, it'll swallow your turkey whole and spit it out burnished and kissed with smoke. From $5,000, williams-sonoma.com.
Why bother cooking yourself? Here's how to find a private chef
September 08, 2011
Courtesy of One&Only.
How do you know things are getting serious in Los Cabos? A tequila sommelier shows up. From November 2-6 at the One&Only Palmilla, shot-master Manuel Arteaga will host evening tastings—and that's just the beginning of the resort's five-day Mexican Culinary Festival. The first annual event will feature a new star chef from a hot Mexican restaurant each evening: Pujol's Enrique Olvera, Paxia's Daniel Ovadia and Sud777's niño prodigo Edgar Nunez will host cooking demonstrations and prepare special menus. Meanwhile, Guadalupe Valley vineyards Roganto, Vinisterra and Singergi VT will provide wine pairings. The festival is all the more delicious due to the One&Only's special weekend package, which offers 30 percent off luxury accommodations and two $50 spa gift certificates. Tastings and suppers are included, por supuesto. From $590 per room; palmilla.oneandonlyresorts.com.
Still hungry? More on Mexico's culinary scene
September 15, 2011
Beef: It's What's for Dinner. Photo courtesy of Random House.
If one judges a cookbook by its idiosyncrasies, this fall's best comes from Canada. The Art of Living According to Joe Beef, by Frédéric Morin and David McMillan, will teach you how to cook a horse steak, make absinthe, tour Canada by train and cure a hangover (kale with bacon and fried egg). For whatever reason, the authors' Montreal restaurant, Joe Beef, is less hyped in America than the city's other meat palace, Au Pied du Cochon, but The Art of Living should help to change that. To be clear: This isn't a book you'll cook from cover to cover—unless you can envision a dinner party wherein pork fish sticks, dining car calf liver and éclair Velveeta share a table. However, many of the book's bourgeoisie recipes have made their way through our kitchen with great success (chicken-skin tacos and beef tartare, particularly). But what makes this cookbook so great—and Momofuku Ko chef David Chang's "favorite restaurant in the world," according to his foreword—is the confidence, humor and lack of pretense that allows Morin and McMillan to serve a mound of caviar next to a martini garnished with a Vienna sausage. Oh, those Canadians. $40; randomhouse.com
Plus! From the latest issue: Exploring Montreal's coolest neighborhood
October 13, 2011
Courtesy Romera. © Oliver Brenneisen.
Do brain doctors make better food? Earlier this month, Argentina-born Spanish neurologist Miguel Sánchez Romera opened his eponymous restaurant in Manhattan’s Dream Hotel. At Romera, diners are guided through a small library (stocked with the chef-doctor’s books) into a dining room that—with its white surfaces, curtain dividers, overhead lamps and plants on the periphery—evokes a very fancy hospital room. Dinner is paced out over 11 courses, each paired with a glass of “acqua gourmand,” or flavored water meant to complement and enhance the dish. Also accompanying each course is a card bearing a detailed, often poetic description of the food. For example, a checkerboard of dried vegetables with vegetable soup (pictured) is explained thusly: “By looking at nature with eyes of solidarity we will see that is always expressing something to us.” Brainy, indeed. At 355 West 16th Street; 212.929.5800; romeranewyork.com.
October 20, 2011
© Evan Sung
The Milanese chefs’ council, Identita Golose, will be in New York from October 31 to November 1. For the occasion, six renowned Italians chefs have been recruited to join six American chefs for a bonanza of wine classes and cooking demos. It remains to be seen if WD-50’s Wylie Dufresne will take liquid nitrogen to Carlo Cracco’s pasta, or how Michelin-starred American Jonathan Benno will play off Michelin-starred Italian Moreno Cedroni, but it’s certain to be a delicious exploration of Italian and Italian-American cuisine. The event culminates in the 12 chefs joining forces for one seven-course feast on November 1. For that special evening, the hostess is Lidia Bastianich, the patroness of Italian kitchens. As ever, Mario Batali leads the charge at the event’s home, Eataly. Cooking demo, $125; dinner, $225; wine class, $50; eatalyny.com.
November 30, 2011
Photo by James T. Murray
This summer Marja Vongerichten launched Kimchi Chronicles, a PBS series of her culinary journeys with her chef husband, Jean-Georges, through Korea’s markets, farms and restaurants. Half Korean and adopted at age 3, Marja has been rediscovering her roots since meeting her birth mother in 1995. With her newfound knowledge, Marja also published The Kimchi Chronicles cookbook (Rodale) in August. Here, she shares her thoughts on Korea.
Q: After spending so much time in Korea, how would you describe it?
A: The people are warm and as curious about you as you are of them. In the U.S., when people think of Korea, they think of the North. Most have no idea that South Korea is the size of Kentucky. Yet out of this small nation, we’ve become a leader in auto and electronics. And our history is filled with amazing stories about kings and queens and famous courtesans.
Q: Korea’s often overlooked as a travel destination. Would you recommend it?
A: It’s one of my favorite places to vacation. Korea is mountainous, so for outdoorsy types, there’s hiking, temple stays and camping, and the beach is never far away. If you like fast-paced, go to Seoul or Busan [in the south]. The language barrier is challenging, but there are lots of translation apps.
Q: What’s a favorite dish of yours?
A: My must-have is the kalchi jorim, braised belt fish in a spicy sauce with daikon.
Q: Has Jean-Georges incorporated Korean food into his menus?
A: He makes a steak with gochujang butter at Perry Street and a kimchi hot dog at Mercer Kitchen. I think I influence his cooking…I just let him think it was all his idea!
November 03, 2011
Courtesy Blue Hills
Meals at Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant are as memorable for the one-of-a-kind serving pieces as they are for the just-picked ingredients. And now those who can’t make it to the legendary farmside New York restaurant can get both delivered to their doorstep via Blue Hill Market. In addition to the restaurant’s own line of soaps, candles and pantry staples (jams, pickles, honey), it’s also selling a series of limited-edition tabletop pieces made by local artisans. Inaugural offerings include porcelain plates embossed with heirloom grains and long-necked, hand-blown crystal decanters made by glassware designer Deborah Ehrlich. Blue Hill design director Laureen Barber (sister-in-law of chef Dan Barber) says more bespoke pieces—and the restaurant’s amazing granola—will hit the store before the holidays.