Tag Archives: Renee Marton

The Georgetown Cupcakes that Ate New York


by Chef Renee Marton

I’m so over cupcakes, but at the urging of my friend Ming, I trekked to Soho to taste Georgetown Cupcake’s treats.

I may be sick of the sweet round morsels, but these cupcakes were very tasty. I sampled just two—vanilla with coconut butter cream frosting and chocolate banana with a chocolate frosting.

We checked out Georgetown Cupcake—decorated in what seems to be the de rigeur cupcake color scheme of pink and more pink—one early weeknight. We were the only customers in the place.

Both the vanilla and the chocolate banana, priced at  $2.75 apiece, were very tasty if a bit too sweet. They were moist and fluffy, with a generous swirl of frosting. Uniformly creamy and smooth, the frostings are made from butter cream and cream cheese. A little salt in the icings would have lent these cupcakes greater dimension.

After Ming took a bite, she declared that the cupcakes were topped with too much frosting. Some folks, of course, would say that there’s no such thing as too much frosting when it comes to cupcakes.

Georgetown Cupcake
111 Mercer Street (between Spring and Prince)
New York, NY

212 431 4504

Monday – Saturday

10am – 9pm


10am – 7pm

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Recipe: Gazpacho for an End of Summer Soup Treat

Normally, when tomatoes start coming in, I like eating them right off the vine with a sprinkle of sea salt. But this summer, tomatoes aren’t at their best. That’s because the late blight fungus has taken a severe toll on this year’s tomato crop. So if your tomatoes aren’t looking too great, why not use them to make gazpacho?

Gazpacho.  Photo: gwarcita via flickr

Gazpacho. Photo: gwarcita via flickr

Here’s Chef Renee Marton’s version:


“Salad in a glass” describes this version of gazpacho. While some prefer it chunky and others smooth, I like it in between. This recipe is easy to make and serve, always available if you keep a pitcher full in your refrigerator.

Garnish with rye croutons, toasted almond slivers or lots of chopped chives. Serve chilled in old fashioned glasses, with a straw and spoon. If you’re lucky, you may have some vintage soup bowls lying around, adding a fun retro touch to the whole enterprise.


3 pounds fresh, juicy and really ripe tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (save the seeds and juice)*

1 large red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed and coarsely chopped

1 large green bell pepper—same as above

1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into large dice

2 cucumbers. If the cucumbers have a thick skin, peel them completely and remove the seeds, then cut in large dice

1 bunch Italian parsley, coarsely chopped, including the thinner stems. Discard the large woody stems.

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 cup very good olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2  teaspoon kosher salt

1/2  teaspoon freshly ground pepper


8 servings (there’s no point in making less since you can store left overs in the fridge)

Equipment: you will need to use a blender (not a food processor)

Make this soup a few hours in advance so the flavors “marry. ”Fill the blender 1/3 full with tomatoes and juice. Add of each of the other ingredients but do not fill the blender to the top—the ingredients need room to expand as they turn into soup. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds. Remove top, stir if necessary, and continue blending until you get a consistency that is thick but not too chunky.

Repeat the process until you have used up all the ingredients. Then stir them all together so that they mix well. Chill several hours at least.

*To peel tomatoes, take out the core, draw an “x” opposite the core on the bottom of the tomato, and put in boiling water for 30 seconds. Chill right away in iced water. The skins will slip right off.

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All Corn Dinner: With Cocktails Try Chewy Corn Nibbles


At this time of year, when corn is at its peak, what could be better than an all corn dinner made from local corn on the cob?

Chef Renee Marton has constructed a corn festival dinner so get to the farm market and buy that corn!  I’ll post the individual courses throughout the week, starting with corn nibbles to serve with cocktails.  We’ll finish up with a corn ice cream by noted pastry chef and North Fork Table and Inn proprietor, Claudia Fleming.

Here are the courses:

  • Chewy Corn Nibbles
  • Grilled corn on the cob with basil jalapeno oil and garlic chips
  • Clam and corn chowder with chives and scallions
  • Claudia Fleming’s corn ice cream

What’s your favorite corn recipe?

Corn Festival Dinner: Corn Nibbles to Serve with Cocktails

Sometimes, at the peak of corn season, I want corn with everything. I want corn silk on my clothes, corn milk dribbling down my chin and soft chewy corn kernels in my hair. Well, not really, but I do like to have one meal where corn is the star of all the parts of the meal. So here is my version.

To have with cocktails

  1. Take 4 ears of corn, husk and remove silk.
  2. Remove kernels from cobs and make sure they are all separated from each other and clean.
  3. Toss with sea salt (just a little) and olive oil.
  4. Roast the corn uncovered on a roasting pan at 300°F for approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Stir them around once or twice. The kernels will shrivel and dry out somewhat.
  5. The roasting time varies because of the size of the kernels and the moisture content both vary. The corn should be just a little hard, a little chewy and a little brown at the edges.
  6. Serve this finger food with drinks.
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Recipe: Summer Fish Wrap

Photo flickr, via sekihan

Photo flickr, via sekihan

Looking for a for a summer fish recipe for the grill?  Here’s a  fish wrap from Chef Renee Marton.

You can make this recipe with wild Alaska salmon. But if you’re at the shore in the summertime, you could use blackfish, bluefish, monkfish or grouper fillet—basically any fish that’s thick enough to stand up to grilling. (No endangered species like bluefin tuna, please.)

Preheat the grill. Create a hot side and a cooler side so you can shift the fish around to different spots as you’re grilling.


It’s best to assemble what you’ll need before you start cooking.  This is called the mise-en-place (French for “everything in its place”).

Seasoning mix for fish:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder

½ stick sweet butter, softened
½ large bunch fresh basil leaves washed, dried and shredded
zest of one lemon

1.5 pounds thick fish fillet, cut into 4 equal pieces
8 pieces of thinly sliced Prosciutto
1 pound fresh peas in pod, shelled
8 scapes (young garlic still on stems), trimmed to about 4 inches from tops
2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
¼ cup dry vermouth
2 tablespoons good olive oil

Blend seasoning mix together, and rub on each side of the four fish portions. Then wrap each piece of fish in two overlapping pieces of Prosciutto until snug.

Mash basil, lemon zest and butter together until well blended—set aside

Into a small to medium pot of boiling salted water (you should be able to taste the salt), add the scapes. Wait 1 minute, and then add the peas. After 30 seconds, drain the peas and scapes into a bowl of iced water, to chill everything down and stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside once they are cool.


On an oiled and very hot grill, place the 4 portions of fish flat side down on the hot side of the grill. After 3 minutes, move the fish to the cool side of the grill and turn the fillets over. Finish cooking the fish—check them after 2-3 minutes. Salmon is fine medium rare, but the other fish are usually cooked all the way through.

On the cook top, heat a 10 inch sauté pan on a medium flame, and add olive oil to the pan. Wait 30 seconds and add the shallots. Stir until softened but not browned. Add the scapes, peas and vermouth. Reduce the vermouth by half. Turn off the fire and add the softened butter. Swirl it in to make the sauce.

Put the fish on a platter, and pour sauce over it.


Freshly made polenta, biscuits or corn on the cob would be great with this recipe, along with a sliced raw beet salad tossed with summer greens; a chilled red wine from the North Fork (or a still fruity Beaujolais or Provence rosé).

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Meet Chef Renee Marton

Renee is a chef, culinary historian and teacher.  From 1986 to 1992, she was Executive Chef of Restauant Florent, the legendary French bistro that was situated in New York’s

Chef Renee Marton: Photo: Institute of Culinary Education.

Meatpacking district.  During her career, Renee has run a catering company and worked as a food stylist and recipe tester.  Renee teaches at the Institute for Culinary Education and has also been a culinary instructor at Monroe College and CUNY’s Lehman College, as well as at the Astor Center where she co-taught a highly-regarded course on taste and flavors. Renee is currently writing a world history of rice.  She also holds master’s degree from NYU’s food studies program.

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