Showing posts from October, 2015

Star Chefs ICC- Congress Cocktail

On night two of Star Chef's the conference space turned into a fabulous cocktail party with bartenders from all over shaking up wonderful new drinks.  This year the ever popular Negroni was the theme with cocktail guru's like Jim Meehan pouring an East India Negroni made with Island Rum right beside his PDT predecessor Jeff Bell.

Each bartender had a different spin on the drink.  Nacho Jimenez of the Daily created the delicious Solera Negroni made entirely without gin.

James Beck from the Patterson House in Nashville, TN created a frothy pink Dee-Dely-Dee made with coconut and cocoa nib infused Ford Gin, vanilla infused Cocchi Americano, Campari, whole egg and dusted with fresh cinnamon.

It was great to see some NYC newcomers on scene like Katie Stipe from one of Brooklyn's best new bars Grand Army creating an incredible espresso bean infused Campari cocktail.

But it was Williamsburg's Extra Fancy that stole my heart with the Chennai Express; an experiment using the Nespre…

Star Chefs ICC- Hey Asia and RANGE

Day two of Star Chef's Congress the EAT@ICC moved from the all American hot dog to the flavors of Asia for the lunch showcase.

Angus An of Maenam in Vancouver, BC rolled out a gorgeous Thai Smoked Salmon Salad...

...while Mike Gulotta from MoPHo in New Orleans, LA went rich and hearty with a Backbone Stew with fermented beans, pork blood and lime leaf aioli.

And who can resist a piping hot nugget of Tori Karrage from Ed Ross & Gabe Rosen of Biwa in Portland, OR.  There was a hint of ginger and a twist of lime; this was seriously awesome Japanese fried chicken. 

Each day Steelite International hosted a pop up restaurant inside the Congress where guests could reserve seats for a three course lunch.  I was lucky enough to dine when Chef Mattie McGhee New Jersey native and current chef of RANGE with Bryan Voltaggio was at the helm.  Chef McGhee actually won the title of Rising Star Chef from Washington, DC at last years Congress. 

He began with a hearty Butternut Squash soup with pepit…

Star Chefs ICC- Hot Diggity Dog

The annual International Chefs Congress took over the Brooklyn Expo Center again this year and Day One was all about the wiener at Hot Diggity Dog day.  Five different restaurants from all over the country showcased their spin on this American staple.

Matt Gennuso from Wurst Kitchen in Providence had two different styles; the Classic Frank with house kraut & Dijon mustard and the Smoked Hot Link with a sweet bacon jam.

Bill Kim from the Belly Shack in Chicago created the Belly Dog; an all beef hot dog with egg noodles and pickled green papaya.

Phillip Gilmour from nearby Hi Hello in Brooklyn concocted a crazy Icelandic Hot Dog made with Meat Hook Lamb, remoulade, sweet brown mustard, ketchup, chopped onions and fried shallots on a Martins potato bun.

I absolutely loved Michael Hudman & Andrew Ticer's Beef and Cheddar Frank on a salty warm pretzel roll from Porcellino's out in Memphis, TN.

But it was the Spicy Okra Dog with choron sauce and scallions from Benjamin Thompson a…

Wines of Macedonia at the 21 Club

My knowledge of Macedonian wine before this week was extremely limited.  I remember having a glass during an event last year that was surprisingly solid but after this showcase  I can truly say this is an exciting new region.

Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer guided us through lunch with twelve wines from four different wineries paired with four courses from the 21 Club.

To begin an Antipasto with Marinated Feta, Smoked Sujuk, Roasted Pepper & Olives with three whites including one of my favorites of the afternoon Zilavaka; a dry, nutty white with hints of peach and honey that would be perfect for just about any occasion. 

The next white wines were two very different Chardonnays one aged in stainless steel and the other fermented in French oak barriques; both exquisite with the Crab Cake apple, celery and fennel macedoine.

Then it was onto the the Vranec (pronounced "Vra" "netz") which translates to a strong, dark powerful horse.  These reds were every bit as big a…

Dorothée Selz at the French Cheese Board

There only a few weeks left to check out a fantastic exhibit by one of the original members of the Eat Art Movement at the French Cheese Board in Midtown.

Dorothée Selzhas been creating exhibits throughout her home country of France since the 1970's but this is just the 2nd time she has brought her stunning array of culinary creations to NYC.

Just look at these cool edible creations from the gummy bear and Swiss cheese rounds to the whimsical slices of rainbow bread.  The entire space is like some wonderful Willy Wonka land of cheese and yeast.

There's also a whole timeline of her past work with some amazing pictures of the extravagant edible art shes constructed throughout the world.  It's a short, fun exhibit; perfect for a stroll during lunch or a pre-dinner show.  The exhibit runs from 11:00 AM- 7:00 PM weekdays through November 15th; so catch it while you can.

The French Cheese Board
26 West 39th Street between 5th & 6th
New York, NY 10018

Return to Sripraphai

Now that I've been to Sripraphai five or six times I've got the perfect lunch order. To begin Papaya Salad with dry shrimp, crushed peanuts and tangy cherry tomatoes...

...a super spicy Tom Yum Shrimp Soup with sliced mushroom...

... and one of the best Pad Thai's in the city filled with fried egg, peanuts, tofu and chicken.  

Not one thing greasy about this dish; just pure deliciousness.

Sripraphai Restaurant
64-13 39th Avenue
Woodside, NY 11377

Birthday Weekend- Sour'd in September & the Nomad

The birthday weekend continued on Saturday with a trip to Captain Lawrence for their sour beer festival.  I hadn't been to the new brewery since it moved and the space was amazing. So much room!  And what a well run festival; no lines, good food and tons of great breweries all pouring delicious sour beers.

We stayed there all afternoon then hopped back on MetroNorth to the Nomad Bar for a casual dinner.  We got a table on the 2nd floor overlooking the dining room below which was fantastic for people watching.

We began with the Bay Scallops marinated with yuzu and pistachio...two of my all time favorite flavors together in one delicious bite.

Then it was onto their incredible Dry Aged Beef Burger with cheddar cheese, onion and a special house sauce. 

This thing is one huge sloppy mess of a meal that I wouldn't pass up any day.

And of course what's a birthday burger without a side of thin, crispy french fries dusted with sea salt and fresh rosemary.

Mr. T got their famous Chicken …

The Musket Room

To kick off my birthday weekend Mr. T and I began with dinner at the Musket Room.  This New Zealand restaurant down in SOHO gives off a cozy rustic vibe. It feels like an old farmhouse with the delicious smell of wood from the oven warming the front entrance as you enter.  We began with a few of their specialty cocktails; the Elizabeth Street Mara with cucumber, basil and black lime for Mr. T and a frothy Lady Rutherford for me with cachaca, brazil nut and toasted coconut orgeat.  

The Musket Room offers three menus; a six course tasting, a ten course chefs tasting and an a la carte.  We decided to do the $75 six course with two additional add-on's not listed on either of the tasting menus.

To begin an amuse bouche from the chef including a trio of veggies asparagus, daikon and celery...

... and a basket of warm cheddar brioche rolls served with a rich creamy bone marrow butter.

The Duxbury Oyster with nasturtium vinaigrette was our first add-on of the night and easily my favorite cou…