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What Will You Be Eating in 2019? #TheNextBigBite

Curious what the next food and drinks trends will be for 2019? Why wait until January when everyone is talking about this topic. Get an early forecast at The Next Big Bite, What We Will Cook, Eat, Drink and Crave in 2019in Four One-Act “Bites”  presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY) on Monday, October 1, 5:30-9 p.m. at New York Law School, 185 West Broadway. (link for information and tickets)

 

LDNY has assembled an impressive a lineup of speakers who have their fingers – and palates- on the pulse of the food and beverage industry, from what we drink and eat to how we approach cooking, dining and imbibing. Participants include: Master of Ceremonies, Joe Yonan, and panelists Jacques Pepin, Gesine Bullock-Prado, Dame Carla Hall, Molly Yeh, Lettie Teague, Natalka Burian, Dorie Greenspan and Christina Tosi.

Of course, what is a Les Dames d’Escoffier event without food? A delectable selection of wines and hors d’oeuvres  will be served courtesy of Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships

Brussels Waldorf by Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships
Harvest Lobster Rolls by Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships

Founded more than 35 years ago by longtime food editor, Carol Brock, Les Dames d’Escoffier is the premier, invitational, non-profit organization of women leaders dedicated to education, advocacy, and philanthropy-through the support of its partners and members in the food, fine beverage and hospitality industries. One of the organization’s most important missions is to provide scholarship and mentoring to women pursuing careers in food, fine beverage and hospitality. A percentage of the ticket admissions from The Next Big Bite will go to Les Dames ‘d’Escoffier New York’s scholarship program. Info: New York (www.ldny.org) International (www.ldei.org)

Click here to purchase tickets   Share #TheNextBigBite.

This evening is generously sponsored by

Don’t forget to purchase your ticket a snag a seat at #TheNextBigBite.  Click this link

The Connected Table Live is pleased to support The Next Big Bite as a Media Sponsor, and Melanie is proud to serve as a longtime member since 1993 and a past- president in 2012 and 2013.

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Uncategorized

Happy 40th Anniversary to Inn at little Washington!

I once spent the right night with the wrong man at the Inn at little Washington in the 1990s. It was oh-so-right because the meal was beyond fabulous; the rooms were decorated down to the littlest detail. Even the stair railings wore pretty sleeves. The big claw-foot bathtub in our room was a sensual experience for a long soak. I was thrilled to be checking off a place I always wanted to visit on my lengthy travel and dining bucket list (thanks to my boyfriend’s credit card).  Too bad “William” passed out after imbibing  copious amounts of wine and Armagnac at our dinner and complained about the cost when we checked out. That’s a Big No No in my Code of Conduct.  We broke up soon after.

A member of Relais & Châteaux the list of awards and accolades both Patrick and Inn at Little Washington have received in 40 years could fill an entire wall, or maybe a room!

Flash forward to 2018. The Inn at little Washington celebrates its 40th year with a series a over-the-top events that guarantee an extraordinary experience for those lucky enough to snag tickets (details at this link). But anyone who stays and dines at Inn at little Washington has won the extraordinary experience lottery.

The Inn at Little Washington is a setting for romance. It’s like listening to a soft sonata after spending a work week amidst the loud percussion of the city. Forty years after opening in a former garage in tiny Washington, Virginia in 1978, Patrick O’Connell keeps a watchful eye over every detail. And that’s why he’s been referred to as “the Pope of American Cuisine.” Not King, but Pope!

Patrick O’Connell, Proprietor and Executive Chef, Inn at Little Washington. He is a self-taught chef who shared in our radio show that he once worked flipping burgers and called it a “great learning experience.”

Patrick’s vision begun 1978 is being celebrated this year as his “magnificent dream.” When we’re talking about Inn at Little Washington, it’s “go big or go home.” On  June 16 he hosted a “garden party” at George Washington’s Mount Vernon which also fêted culinary pioneers from around the world. In September he’s planned two more. Wish we were going but, alas not. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones!

But, honestly, I’ll be happy to settle in for another night (or two)  at the Inn at Little Washington for any occasion to enjoy another fabulous meal and a dreamy stay in one of the Inn’s gorgeous rooms. This time it will be with the Right Man, my husband, David.

 

Patrick told us he actually attended the original Woodstock Festival. We’re trying to envision this well-tailored chef as a hippie. INNStock will be a Day of Peace, Love & Feasting with Fireworks, of course!

September 2: Innstock. It’s not quite three days of peace, love and food. But, the town of Washington will be smoking hot with even more great food and entertainment. This event is a “family reunion” of 20+ alumni chefs of the Inn; each will prepare a signature dish at a two-hour reception that will be followed by a magnificent buffet. The evening will end with fireworks. Pow! https://www.theinnat40.com/innstock

 

Feast like a King! Patrick O’Connell is recreating one of France’s most historic, and decadent, meals at this Chateau.

September 30: For a truly decadent three-day experience, consider the “Spectacular Soirée” which will take place in France at the 17th century Château Vaux le Vicomte, just outside Paris. The inspiration for Versailles, it’s where King Louis XIV (“the Sun King”) hosted a gluttonous 6000-person feast prepared by Chef François Vatel. Only 150 guests will be able to relive this extraordinary experience which includes touring the magnificent gardens over cocktails and dining by candlelight in the grand ballroom with a feast inspired by the actual menu served to Louis XIV. Info & tickets:
https://www.theinnat40.com/chateau-de-vaux-le-vicomte

Listen to our show with Patrick O’Connell here:

 

Categories
Cookbook Drink Eat

What Would Julia Say?

I’m a bit clumsy in the kitchen and have a habit of making a big mess. David just shrugs his shoulders and grabs my knife to save my fingers.

But when I’m really inspired, I put my hands together, look upward and ask, “What would Julia say?” Will I ever be a good cook or just better at making reservations?”

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” ― Julia ChildMy Life in France

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

And when I spend a week eating greens after a weekend of what feels like gluttony, I wonder, “What would Julia say?” Is it worth giving up food with taste to trim my waste?

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” ― Julia Child

And, when I finished breast cancer treatment in 2010 and debated when and whether I could eat what I want and drink wine again without fearing for my health, I looked upward and asked, “What would Julia say?” She was a sister survivor who lived well, long and fearlessly.

…small helpings, no seconds, no snacking, and a little bit of everything. –  
― Julia Child

And when I realize every day that much of what I do is a labor of love working hard to monetize, and the time clock is ticking, I ask myself, “What would Julia say?” She found her greatest success in her fifties and well into her eighties. Can I do it?

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.-  Julia Child

Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.
― Julia Child

Julia Child photo courtesy of Schlesinger Library at Harvard University

Happy Birthday Julia Child! August 15, 1912- August 12, 2004

While researching an article I’ve written to remember Julia Child on her birthday that appears in Wine4Food this week, I spoke to a few people close to her. Each shared some delightful Julia memories. I could not include them all in the story. I am sharing a few more here.

Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan, co-author, “Baking with Julia” – At the end of a day of shooting, we’d sit on the set, which was her kitchen, eat Goldfish, drink wine and talk.  I’d never been a fan of (Pepperidge Farm) Goldfish before, but ever since, I’ve snacked on them to bring back the memories of those good times.

Julia Child and Sara Moulton. Photo provided by Sara Moulton.

Sara Moulton, Chef, TV Host of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” (PBS) and and protégé of Julia Child – “One of my favorite Julia Child quotes hangs in my kitchen, ‘Never apologize. Never explain.’ You don’t have to strive for perfection. After all, there is almost nothing you can’t fix. If your soufflé falls, just call it pudding cake.”

 

Geoffrey Drummond

Geoffrey Drummond, Executive Producer, “Julia & Jacques: Cooking at Home,” “In Julia’s Kitchen,” and “Baking with Julia.” – She was forever curious…relentless in wanting to know how things were done, and why, and then wanted to share what she learned. 

 

Julia-and-Jacques-Cooking-at-Home. Photo courtesy of The Schlesinger Library at Harvard-University

Jacques Pepin, Co-Host, “Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home” – She thought you should enjoy eating as much as cooking. She used to say, “If you don’t eat it with gusto and happiness, you are missing out.

 

Chef Patrick O’Connell, Inn at Little Washington, serving Julia Child on her 90th birthday

 

At The James Beard Foundation Awards in 1997. From Melanie’s photo archive.

 

Categories
Drink Eat Events

Playing with Fire!

We Came. We Saw. We Ate & Drank.

A Smoking’ Good Time! Chefs “Play with Fire” August 11, Hudson NY. With Zak Pelaccio (center in white hat) and team

A damp day and mud on our shoes didn’t stop us from heading to Fish & Game Farm in Hudson, NY Zak Pelaccio’s “Play with Fire” outdoor feast and music fest. Presented with Resy and Ketel One Vodka, this event combined open-fire cooking from visiting chefs, live music from an amazing band called Club d’Elf, badass Ketel One cocktails by Elad Zvi (Broken Shaker) and Yana Volfson (ATLA and Cosme) and some terrific natural wines from  Critical Mass Selections, Goatboy Selections, Zev Rovine Selection, Fifi Imports and Rosenthal Wines. This event benefited The Heirloom Foundation which helps employees of the hospitality industry deal with quality of life and other work-related issues.

Seamus Mullen with a giant pan of pork and snail paella. The the sweet surprise was the inclusion of fresh figs.

The food was all locally sourced, from Fish & Game’s smoked pork (Zak Pelaccio) and pork and snail paella (Seamus Mullen, El Colmado and Whirlybird + Greens) and corn-husked wrapped bluefin tuna with olives (Victoria Blamey) to heads of flame- licked cauliflower (Cortney Burns, TOURISTS wit Elise Kornack) and grilled peaches with candied cherry tomatoes with honey-chamomile ice cream. Oddest dish was, and we’re going to try it at home because we loved it: grilled whole kirby cucumbers.

Roasted cucumbers by the chef team at Estela,
Cafe Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar

The Ketel One cocktails also used locally sourced fruits.

“B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe” Ketel One cocktail
created by Elad Zvi, Broken Shaker

 

Blackberry Bramble Ketel One cocktail
Perfect for blackberry season! Evan Sung photo

This is only the second Play with Fire event that Zak has produced. The last one was four years ago, and we hope it will continue. One of the most striking things about this event were the one-of-a-kind grilling stations at each cooking tent- actually works of art- created by Hudson Valley sculptor, Kris Perry.

Congratulations to Zak and his team and thank you to the chefs, sponsors and donors. Great idea for an event and for a good cause!

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Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

The Most Happy Fella in the Restaurant Industry- Drew Nieporent

Photo: www.myriadrestaurantgroup.com

Drew Nieporent always make you feel welcome, even if you are not entering one of his own restaurants, which include critically acclaimed Bâtard, Tribeca Grill, Nobu Downtown, Nobu 57 in NYC. Many of Drew’s restaurants, current and former, launched the careers of many top chefs; he continues to serve as a mentor and seasoned voice within the industry.

Service and congeniality have run in Drew’s DNA  ever since this born and bred New Yorker graduated from Cornell School of Hotel Management. He worked on cruise ships as a culinary student and then started his restaurant management career working for the late Warner Le Roy at Maxwell’s Plum and Tavern on the Green.

His Myriad Restaurant Group has opened and operated 39 restaurants around the world from New York to London, Seattle to Moscow, and consults for some major names in the hospitality industry (www.myriadrestaurantgroup.com). What’s next for number 40?

Drew donates his time and talent to myriad charities as well, including Citymeals-on-Wheels. Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation, DIFFA, Share Our Strength and City Harvest. We hear he’s a pretty good auctioneer as well for charity events.

Show airing: Wednesday, August 8, 2pm EST on The Connected Table Live at www.W4CY.com

Listen to this this show on iHeart. Click this photo:

 

Categories
Eat

San Francisco’s Jardin of Culinary Delights- Traci Des Jardins

Traci Des Jardins from www.tracidesjardins.com

We weren’t quite sure who to schedule after Drew Nieporent, if anyone, on the August 8 edition of The Connected Table Live! But, then David ran into Traci Des Jardins recently in the Aspen airport as they were heading home to opposite coasts from the Food & Wine classic and we said, “She’s the one!”

A protégée of Drew’s who worked at Montrachet in NYC and then opened Rubicon in San Francisco, Traci now runs her own group of restaurants which include her flagship, Jardinière, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last Fall. Eater SF named it among the most influential restaurants in the Bay area. Link to article. Her other restaurants include Mijita Cocina Mexicana and Public House in AT&T Park and The Commissary, Arguello and TRANSIT in the Presidio, and a cocktail bar called School Night SF.

Traci Des Jardins at the stove at Arguello. Photo provided by Traci.

Traci grew up in Firebaugh, California, to parents whose heritage was Louisiana French-Acadian on her father’s side and Mexican on her mother’s. Both influenced her sense of taste in food. A ski bum, working in restaurants paid for her passion, and cooking became Traci’s meal ticket into her professional destiny. She worked for Joachim Splichal at Patina in Los Angeles, who encouraged her to apprentice in France where she worked with Michel and Pierre Troisgros, Lucas Carton, Alain Ducasse, and Alain Passard and then in some notable restaurants in San Francisco. After working at Drew Nieporent’s Montrachet in NYC, Traci moved backed to the Bay area to helm the kitchen at Rubicon in 1994. That restaurant went on to have a successful 14 year run. In 1997 Traci ventured out to open Jardinière in 1998.

August 8, 2018 – The Connected Table Live @ www.W4CY.com

Listen to this show on iHeart. Click this link:

Categories
Eat

Adieu! Joël Robuchon

We did not know Chef Joël Robuchon personally, but we have dined in his restaurants in Paris, Las Vegas, and New York, and his silky mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving tradition at our table. We adore them! Maybe a little too much sometimes!

The news August 6th of Robuchon’s death from cancer at age 73 raced through the internet leaving many of us needing time to catch our breaths. With an accumulated 31 Michelin Stars and 20 fine-dining restaurants in 12 cities around the world, Robuchon, joins a seat at the angels’ table d’haute cuisine next to Paul Bocuse, Roger Vergé, and other great French chefs who served as mentors to many chefs around the world.

Maybe that’s why the night sky shined a little brighter on August 6. Heaven just gained some more Michelin stars. RIP Chef.

Chef Joel Robuchon (Photo from www.joel-robuchon.com/en)

 

Among the many tributes to Robuchon on Twitter:

The MICHELIN Guide‏ @MichelinGuideUK
Career Highlights of Joël Robuchon The legendary French chef, who died today at age 73, had a career spanning almost 60 years and more than 20 restaurants with a total of 31 Michelin stars….
“As the world takes in the news of the death of one of its most feted chefs, we look back at the career of the legendary Joël Robuchon. The French chef, who ran a chain of French fine-dining restaurants in 12 cities around the world, passed away in Geneva after a battle with cancer. He was 73 years old.” Link to article

Eric Ripert‏  @ericripert Aug 6
Shocked and very sad by the loss of my Mentor Joel Robuchon. The most rigorous, precise, demanding, ultra gifted King of all Chefs… RIP Monsieur Robuchon

French Embassy U.S.‏ @franceintheus
Joël Robuchon was a great ambassador of French cuisine. Named “Chef of the Century” in 1990, he was the world’s most Michelin-starred chef. Let’s honor his achievements by rediscovering one of his signature dish: potatoes purée, the best mashed-potatoes.

As for the recipe for his pomme purée, we selected this version and companion photo (beautifully shot by photographer, Bobby Fisher) from an article written by the late Anthony Bourdain in Food & Wine Magazine in 2016. We read it feeling sad knowing both Bourdain and Robuchon are now gone this year.

Robuchon’s vast creativity can be see in these stunning food shots on  his website. Here is a link: https://www.joel-robuchon.com/en/creations.php#

Mashed Potatoes, Kind Of Robuchon-Style”- link

Food and Wine Magazine 2016 © Bobby Fisher