April 18, 2012
By Jordan Kisner | Food

New York Culinary Experience Offers the Ultimate Food Camp
Larry Busacca / Getty Images

For a foodie, nothing is more exciting than the prospect of meeting a chef–turned–personal idol and, of course, tasting his food. The New York Culinary Experience, a weekend-long event taking place April 28 and April 29 at the International Culinary Center, is taking this idea and expanding on it: Guests will have the chance to cook beside master chefs in small seminars, learning to make the dishes that are close to each chef’s heart. Love pastry? Learn to perfect it with François Payard himself. Intrigued by Spanish food? Learn the art of soccarat from Seamus Mullen. There are 25 classes to choose from — split into morning and afternoon sessions — that are supplemented by lunchtime lectures from the likes of Jacques Pépin and evening cocktail receptions, which present the perfect opportunity to clarify recipe details with Jean-Georges Vongerichten. An added delight? The leftovers are yours to keep. Single-day tickets are $745, weekend-long tickets are $1,395;

April 04, 2012
By Francesca Giacco | Food

Relais & Chateax Grands Chefs Dinner
Francois Durand / Getty Images

On April 16, Relais & Chateaux, the prestigious network of luxury hotels and restaurants, will host its second-annual Grands Chefs Dinner, this year titled Springtime in New York. This exclusive black-tie gastronomic event will gather more than 40 of the world’s most celebrated chefs—including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michael White, Daniel Boulud and Mario Batali—in New York’s elegant Gotham Hall. The chefs will work together in teams of three, each team serving their assigned table a five-course meal of their loftiest interpretations on lobster, scallops, fish and lamb, sourced entirely with American ingredients. The meal promises to be not only decadent but wholesome: A portion of the ticket proceeds will go to benefit Citymeals-on-Wheels. Tickets, from $1,500;

March 20, 2012
By Susan Michals | Food

UMAMIcatessen Opens in Los Angeles
Courtesy UMAMIcatessen

Remember the food court at the mall? The 21st century’s hipper, trendier, and infinitely more delicious version has arrived – UMAMIcatessen. Located in Los Angeles’ ever-evolving downtown, the newly opened UMAMIcatessen is a 6600 square foot complex comprised of five different concept restaurants. Umami Burger, the latest offshoot of the Umami Burger empire, whips up everything from a wild shrimp patty infused with Japanese spices, (aka, the Shrimp Burger with Yuzu-Kosho) to the Earth Burger, made of edamame and mushrooms, topped with truffled ricotta cheese and white soy aioli. The Cure offers the delights of a traditional kosher deli, and Spring for Coffee and & a Donut satisfy with fried-to-order donuts and organic soft-serve. But the real star is PIGG, which experiments with porcine preparations from all over the world—including edgy creations like "Brainaise," a sauce similar to mayonnaise but made with pig brains. Order “Around the World in 8 Hams,” which features the chef’s choices from a two-story glass tower displaying a nonstop rotating selection of pork for your viewing —and dining— pleasure.

846 South Broadway; 213-413-8626;

December 06, 2011
By Nick Fauchald | Food

Courtesy Anna Maria Fish Company.

Your annual caviar consumption probably peaks around the holidays. This year, you can celebrate with a clean conscience thanks to Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory. This nonprofit marine conservation center uses eco-friendly aquaculture practices to produce sustainable caviar from Siberian sturgeon, an otherwise overfished species. The Ossestra-grade eggs have already found their way onto the menus of top restaurants like New York’s Ai Fiori, Napa Valley’s Meadowood and Los Angeles’s Gjelina, and are awaiting your blinis and Champagne. Save some leftovers for New Year’s Day scrambled eggs. $78 for 1 ounce;

November 30, 2011
By Nick Fauchald | Food

Courtesy Sur La Table

Last year you bought your favorite food nerd an immersion circulator —a chef-y gadget that takes an entire weekend to cook ribs and turns your kitchen into a laboratory. Oops. This year, instead, get a gift that will speed up the cooking process. A favorite tool of TV chefs competing under the clock, pressure cookers raise the boiling temperature of water, thus reducing cooking time. Stove-top pressure cookers have been the standard for years (including back when they were prone to explosions), but we prefer the new countertop model from All-Clad, which can cut hours out of making stocks, soups, stews and other slow-simmered foods. $300;

November 09, 2011
By Nick Fauchald | Food

Courtesy Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook. © Francesco Tonelli.

When one of the world’s best restaurants releases a cookbook, you don’t buy it expecting to find a recipe for your next chicken dinner inside. You probably don’t plan to cook anything, for that matter, unless you’re the type of home cook who’s immersed in immersion circulators and has a liquid nitrogen hook-up on speed dial. But the latest coffee-table cookbook, from New York’s vaunted Eleven Madison Park, offers a trove of easy-to-make staples and flourishes among all of the wild boar torchons and dehydrated milk foams. We’ve been stealing individual components from complex dishes (aromatic braised potatoes from a sea urchin salad, say) and adding compound butters, vinaigrettes and pickles from the dozens offered at the back of the book to our Thanksgiving menu. You can’t copy an artist’s brushstrokes, but you can mix his paints. Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook is available Nov. 11;

November 02, 2011
By Nick Fauchald | Food

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.

October 26, 2011
By Christina Ko | Cooking, Food

Marja Vongerichten's Kimchi Chronicles book
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!

October 19, 2011
By Marnie Hanel | Food

© 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;

October 12, 2011
By Nick Fauchald | Food

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;