Posts for January 28th 2009
The ideal dessert for Super Bowl is something that can be made in advance: that way you won't miss a minute of the game! I prefer a deliciously decadent dessert that can be consumed without the aid of a knife and fork. Rich chocolate brownies with a layer of peanut butter frosting and chocolate ganache are so scrumptious they're sinful! Make the cake-like dish the night before the party to allow plenty of time to chill.
The two-day culinary Olympics, known as the Bocuse d'Or, took place yesterday and today in Lyon, France. A 28-year-old chef, Geir Skeie, from Norway won the competition. There was much hope in the food industry that the American competitor, Timothy Hollingsworth, would win. However, Hollingsworth didn't even place. A Swedish chef took home the silver, while the French chef walked away with the bronze. This year was the first time that the Americans made a conscious effort to win the competition. Thomas Keller and a team of American chefs searched the country for a possible contender to represent the US. In July eight American semifinalists were announced. Hollingsworth won the highly-publicized competition in September and spent the next several months preparing for the finals at a special training facility near the French Laundry in California.
In the Bocuse d'Or finals each chef has to prepare two dishes: a seafood entry and a meat entry. The food is judged by 24 chefs from 24 countries. Two-thirds of the score goes to the quality of the food, while the final third counts for presentation.
Hollingsworth has yet to comment on the competition, but he is no doubt feeling (like most American foodies) a little disappointed in the outcome. To check out a huge gallery of images from the cooking competition, read more
Don't knock it 'til you've tried it: Cream cheese smothered in pepper jelly and served with crackers is an easy and irresistible party appetizer. (Seriously, try it for Super Bowl.) Left with a deliciously sweet and spicy jar of Tabasco jelly from a recent gathering, I assembled an adult rendition of the old-school kiddie combo of cream cheese and jam.
As a nod to childhood bagged lunches, I cut the crusts off the bread for a sandwich as pretty as it is simple. Decadent and gooey, the pepper jelly has just the right amount of spice, which is gracefully cut by the creamy spread. I also threw in some baby romaine leaves to create a festive color palette of orange, white, and green and to add a bit of extra texture. The only danger of this sandwich is that I could easily eat five in one sitting. To get the recipe and step-by-step photos, read more
- The complete, illustrated guide to ordering the Cantonese brunch known as dim sum. — San Francisco Chronicle
- Get a head start on Spring cleaning by updating your pantry items. — The Oregonian
- This Super Bowl Sunday, forget rising chicken wing prices and turn to turkey. — Los Angeles Times
- A recipe for the Bacon Explosion has swept the Internet. — New York Times
- Argentine Malbec, with its peppery, crisp, berry flavors, has become wildly popular. — Wall Street Journal
- During Winter's coldest days, stay cozy with cassoulet. — Boston Globe
- Master the art of flavor with the current bestselling cookbook, which codifies ingredient combinations. — Chicago Tribune
- Toaster ovens make countertop cooking for one an easy feat. — Washington Post
It seems that Tyler Florence and Andrew Zimmern aren't the only ones to have a public feud. They're in the company of Mario Batali and Gordon Ramsay, who reportedly aren't getting along.
According to Page Six, Batali banned the Hell's Kitchen host from entering any of his restaurants after Ramsay began calling him "Fanta Pants" behind his back to make fun of the orange shorts that Batali often sports. The Italian chef told the Guardian, "I've banned him from my restaurants. Ramsay's people call, trying to book tables, and I say no. I won't have him in there." The feud allegedly goes back more than a year, when Batali first dissed Ramsay's food as dull and outdated and declared that the UK chef didn't get New York.
Here's the catch: New York magazine's Grub Street, skeptical of the feud, recently put Batali's claims to the test and discovered that Ramsay isn't exactly getting turned away from Batali's restaurants after all. A magazine intern, posing as an assistant for Ramsay, managed to get reservations for at least three of Batali's restaurants right away.
What do you think of this brouhaha? Are you on Team Mario or Team Gordon? And did Batali really ban Ramsay, or do you simply think this feud is one huge publicity stunt?