Category Archives: Chefs

Pastry Chefs Vie for Top Honors in NYC Desserts Faceoff

Paco Torreblanca puts olive oil to use in lieu of butter. Photo: StarChefs.com.

How sweet it is. The winner of the The 3rd Annual StarChefs.com International Pastry Competition taking place now in New York will walk away with a $5,000 cash prize. But first, the 20 chefs vying for top honors in the annual pastry contest have to get through two elimination rounds in order to make it to the finals Oct. 2.

A host of pastry luminaries have been tapped to judge the flour faceoff. “Top Chef Just Desserts” star Johnny Iuzzini will lead a team that includes Alex StupakJeffrey SteingartenElizabeth FalknerStephane Treand, and Michael Laiskonis.

I’ll be live-tweeting the final round Oct. 2, which pits two pastry chefs against each other. Follow me at @Foodandthings.

Click here for daily updates.

Here’s a brief summary of each day’s events:

Pre-competition, September 29: Pastry training and prep for Round 1.

Round 1, September 30: Pre-dessert competition–20 chefs compete for 10 spots to advance to Round 2.

Round 2, October 1: Plated dessert competition–10 chefs compete for three finalist spots and prizes and advance to the final round.

Round 3, October 2: Finalists create three corresponding desserts, each showcasing a different technique–1 pastry chef wins the grand prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fairway Upper West Side Does Food Demos Saturday

Fairway Upper West Side. Photo: Courtesy of Fairway.

If you’re shopping at Fairway Saturday, you can get free samples and watch some demos by the supermarket’s chefs and other food experts. No, there’s no demo of how to avoid mixing it up with the market’s famously aggressive shoppers.

The program takes place from 11am to 3 pm at the Upper West Side store  (2127 Broadway at 74th Street).

Here’s what’s on tap:

Michael Lewin—cookies.

Hannah Howard—cheeses

Benny Lanfranco—international coffees

Ray Venezia—Hereford shell steaks

Vinnie Olivieri—asparagus pasta

Produce—Uncle Vinnie’s green salads

Lori Levy—pancakes with maple syrup

Will Sneddon—shrimp salad

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July 4 Recipe: Red, White and Blue Soup

By yogamam.co.uk via flickr.

Red, White and Blue Soup sounds kind of, well, trite when it comes to a July 4 recipe. But, really, this is a colorful and healthy sweet/tart starter for any July 4 meal, says Chef Renee. There are a lot of ingredients, but the prep couldn’t be easier. All you need is a knife, a cutting board and a blender, and you’re good to go.

July 4 Recipe: Red, White and Blue Soup

Yield: 6 servings

RED

Soup base:

1 red seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed.  Save all the juice.

½ cup grenadine

Juice and zest from 2 lemons

1 cup white grape juice

1 teaspoon white sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender. Don’t fill blender more than halfway. Blend the mixture until it is fully liquefied. This will take 2-3 minutes.

Refrigerate for at least one hour and stir periodically.  The soup should taste sweet and tart.

WHITE

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tablespoon honey

1 lime, juice only

Mix all together and refrigerate for one hour.  Put into a squeeze bottle, or you can use a spoon to make dollops onto the soup when you serve it.

BLUE.  This is the “salsa” that will garnish the soup.

½ pint blackberries, coarsely chopped

1 pint blueberries, coarsely chopped

1 medium shallot, peeled, finely diced

3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

6 mint leaves, shredded into thin strips

1 teaspoon white sugar

pinch salt

pinch pepper

1 lemon, zest and juiced.

 

Mix all the ingredients of ‘Blue” together and wait an hour—keep at room temperature.

When ready to serve the soup, remove it and yogurt from the refrigerator 15 minutes ahead of when you plan to serve it.

Stir soup well, and pour into 6 chilled wide soup bowl.

If you are using a squeeze bottle, make a design on top of the soup, or with a spoon place a dollop of yogurt in center of soup.

Place a spoonful of blueberry “salsa” on top of yogurt.

Garnish each bowl of soup with a sprig of mint.

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A Man-Pleasing Recipe for Father’s Day: Bacon Chive Rice

Bacon. Photo: by shawnzam via flickr.

This man-pleasing bacon and rice recipe for Father’s Day—or any day you want to please your man—comes from a 1971 booklet called Man-pleasing Recipes, published by the Rice Council of America.

The cover photo, explains Chef Renee, shows a huge rare roast beef, along side a casserole of colorful seasoned rice. You can also pair this bacony rice with gazpacho and a salad.

As for the bacon?  A recent study revealed that Americans eat more bacon today than at any time in the last 15 years!

Bacon Chive Rice

INGREDIENTS

3 slices bacon, diced

3 cups cooked rice

¼ cup chopped chives

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

METHOD

Cook bacon until crisp. Add rice, chives and seasonings. Blend well and heat thoroughly.

Makes 6 servings.

 

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Holiday Cooking Class: Christmas in Provence Workshop

The Culinary Loft, which puts on food events throughout the year, is giving their holiday offerings a French twist.

Paule Caillat, owner of Promenades Gourmandes in Paris, and Rosa Jackson, owner Les Petits Farcis in Nice, will teach a series of four pre-Christmas workshop from December 16 through 19.

Paule’s workshops will focus on cheese and chocolate. In Rosa’s workshops, you will explore two ingredients more closely associated with southern France and the Mediterranean: saffron and honey. Dishes such as chicken bouillabaisse with saffron-scented rouille and pear tart with hazelnuts and lavender honey are on the menu.

Here’s the schedule, as well as a detailed menu for Christmas in Paris–All About Chocolate, below

Christmas in Paris-All about Cheese – 12/16/2010

Christmas in Paris- All about Chocolate – 12/17/2010

Christmas in Provence – Flavors of Provencal Honey! – 12/18/2010

Christmas in Provence – Flavors of French Saffron – 12/19/2010

Christmas in Paris–All About Chocolate

Date: Friday, December 17, 2010

Time: 6:30 – 10:30 PM

Cost: $155.00

Location: The Culinary Loft, 515 Broadway, Suite 5A, New York, NY 10012

Instructor: Paule Caillat, owner of the cooking school Promenades Gourmandes (www.promenadesgourmandes.com) in Paris.

~Menu~

Crispy Triangles of Duck Confit and Chocolate

Pork Tenderloin with Chocolate Sauce

Camembert, Dried Fruits and Crushed Cocoa Beans

A Surprise Chocolate Dessert!

To reserve, call The Culinary Loft at 212.431.7425.

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