I first met Paulette Satur over a game of tennis. She was pretty good as I recall. At the time she worked in wine sales for Martin Scott. But this Pennsylvania born farm girl had a bigger vision. After 12 years working in wine she decided to buy a farm on the North Fork of Long Island.
Initially the sustainably grown produce and herbs harvested at Satur Farms was intended to supply the restaurant where Paulette’s chef husband worked. Chef Eberhard Müller was known for his exacting standards when it came to his raw ingredients and wanted better than what was available at the time. Eberhard shot to fame at Le Bernardin, took over the kitchen at Lutece after Andre Soltner retired and then moved on to Bayard’s when Lutece closed.
As the saying goes, “If you grow it they will come.” Other chefs wanted what Eberhard was serving and asked who his produce purveyor was. Satur farms took off. Now Eberhard works full time as a partner with Paulette at Satur Farms which now includes 250 acres on Long Island and another 500 acres in Florida during the winter months. Satur Farms provides millions of people in the Northeast and Florida area locally grown produce in season.
Two annual events always signal the holiday season for me aside from Thanksgiving. Both are seasoned with sentiments of delicious years past and take place the same week.
The first is the third Thursday of November with the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. For four years I had the honor- and challenge- of creating and staging Beaujolais Nouveau arrival happenings for Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Preparation started months in advance well before the first grapes started to bud on the vines. Each year we attempted to stage an uncorking ceremony more inventive and outrageous than the last. By Thanksgiving I felt like I’d given birth and was flat out exhausted from pulling off all the multiple events, but, oh, what fun! Here’s the list:
The Beaujolais Biker Brigade (2008): The wine was delivered/escorted by chefs and Harley Davidson Hogs on motorcycles from the southern tip of Manhattan to Bouley Restaurant in Tribeca. A similar event was held in Miami the same day.
Peace, Love & Beaujolais Nouveau (2009): The wine was delivered by hippies escorting vintage Volkswagon buses and staging Sip-Ins in New York and Miami.
Cirque Nouveau (2010): The wine was dropped into Franck Duboeuf’s arms by a trapeze artist in a room filled with contortionists and acrobats.
Year 4: Art Nouveau (2011): A vintage Cadillac custom painted by graffiti artist, Kaves, delivered the wine into giant warehouse turned art gallery filled with hip hop dancers.
These days the celebrations lean toward tasteful wine and food events with more refined fanfare. The dinner we attended November 17 at Bouley Botanical in Tribeca featured a spectacular menu by Chef Daniel Eddy of Rebelle and an evening of festive toasts amidst wine industry friends. We had the chance to catch up with Franck Duboeuf and his wife Anne.Georges Duboeuf was in Japan for the arrival celebration which is one of the largest in Asia. It’s a wonderful tradition that always puts us in the mood for the holidays, toasting friends and being thankful for our deliciously abundant life. Kudos to our friends, Marsha Palanci, Cornerstone PR, and Kimberly Charles, Charles Communications, who now carry the PR torch for Duboeuf’s very special delivery.
The second event is Citymeals on Wheels Power Lunch for Women held at The Plaza Hotel November 18 attended by a Who’s Who of leading ladies in NYC, including many who work in the wine and food industry. This year’s 30th annual lunch honored Citymeals on Wheels Co-Founder and Chair Gael Greene who has been a guest on this show (Here is the link).
Gael Greene has raised over $410 million for Citymeals on Wheels in its 35 year history, and she never stops. This year’s Power Lunch for Women has raised over $1 million providing 136,000 meals for New York’s homebound elderly.
It is always an honor to be among such talented and well meaning leaders of our city to support this important cause. New York City is home to over 1.4 million seniors. 66% of them are women since we ladies tend to outlive men. But, 73% live alone; 40% never leave their homes; 8% have no one to talk to. Citymeals on Wheels fills the void of isolation and provides physical and emotional nourishment through meal deliveries and conversation. Just $1,200 covers the cost of a full year of meals for one person. These days that’s four dinners at a top NYC restaurant if you carefully order your wines.
Citymeals on Wheels’ “Chefs Deliver”program brings together a rotating cast of culinary stars who, once a month, lend their talents to Citymeals – cooking and often personally delivering meals right to the doors of homebound elderly New Yorkers.
The month of November is both bitter and sweet for us. Both David and I lost our fathers in November. Both our fathers inspired our lives in wine. Jack Ransom owned Rivendell Winery in Ulster County where all three of his sons worked. Mel Young taught wine classes for more than 30 years in Chattanooga and had me tasting wine with him when I was in my teens. Both of our fathers served in the U.S. military, and we will remember them on Veteran’s Day this Friday and toast them when we host Thanksgiving later this month.
With the Presidential election now over, half of Americans woke up with a bitter taste in their mouths and half now relish sweet victory. To distract myself from the news and look for home-baked holiday gift ideas, I’ve been poring over Dorie Greenspan‘s gorgeous new book, “Dorie’s Cookies” Maybe her cookie called “World Peace” (pp 335-337) would be most appropriate right now.
The story behind the World Peace Cookie, from “Dorie’s Cookies”…
The World Peace cookie has a long history, starting sometime before the turn of the millennium, when Pierre Hermé, recently named the Best Pastry Chef in the World (something I knew decades earlier), created it for Korova, a then-new, now gone restaurant in Paris.
Revolutionary when it was born and beloved ever since, the cookie is a chocolate sablé, a French shortbread cookie, but because Pierre was inspired by the all-American chocolate-chipper, it has brown sugar and so it’s chewier. It also has a generous amount of chopped bittersweet chocolate and an immediately discernible amount of fleur de sel, moist, French sea salt. While we take salt in a cookie for granted now, sprinkling cookie-tops with flake salt and adding more than a pinch of salt to just about every cookie, it was startling then and still so appealing.
Baking Expert Dorie Greenspan says she dreams of cookies in her sleep. She notes she has at least 300 cookie recipes to her name. Dorie managed to narrow her recipes down and create even more….to 170 for her just released 12th cookbook “Dorie’s Cookies,” including some very interesting savory cookies (not crackers, she notes!)
Who doesn’t have a cookie memory? My favorite is a crunchy white meringue made with whipped egg whites, sugar, almond extract and cream of tartar. The recipe was passed down from my grandmother, Mimi. My mother calls them “forgotten cookies” because she says she puts them in the oven and just forgets about them. For years, there wasn’t a holiday homecoming for me where my mother didn’t have meringues waiting. Dorie’s version of “Meringue Snowballs” is on pages 224-25.
Dorie joins us November 9, 2:25pmET, to discuss her passion for baking and cookies. She’s a multi-James Beard Award recipient and the “Everyday Dorie Columnist” for Washington Post who divides her time between homes New York, Connecticut and Paris. Life sure is sweet!
Dorie shared her cookie memories with us November 9th on The Connected Table LIVE! Listen to our show on iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.
Dorie’s Cookies is a great gift for cookie lovers and bakers. Buy it now!
Chef and restaurateur Nora Pouillon is Washington, DC’s- and the nation’s – Forever First Lady in the world of organic food and sustainability. When she arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s from her native Austria, our country was on a diet of processed foods and agricultural products treated with chemicals -and in too many communities still is. Determined to feed both her family and her customers healthy, farm fresh food like she grew up eating in Europe, Nora set out to find local farmers to supply her food. It wasn’t easy but Nora was committed to finding a better and healthier solution to serve
local, seasonally prepared meals. Restaurant Nora opened in its 19th century red brick building in 1979 (the same year McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal just to give you an idea of what many Americans were eating). Twenty years later in 1999, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant, which means 95% of all ingredients must be produced by certified organic farmers, growers and suppliers. Thank goodness Nora stuck to her guns; many restaurants don’t even last 20 years.
Nora has received countless awards, too many to list here. But what struck me at the panel discussion where she spoke about Chef-Activism is how she cultivated farmers and helped nurture their businesses by organizing bus tours to introduce DC area chefs to the farmers. In the process she sustained both their businesses and hers by helping ensure the viability of their farms. Nora also initiated DC’s first producer-only farmer’s market, FRESHFARM Markets, which now includes eleven markets in the metropolitan area.
These days “Farm-To-Table” is a frequent phrase in restaurants around the nation. Sustainability and ethical cooking are top of mind. We all have Nora Pouillon to thank for leading the way. She recently announced plans to pass the torch at Restaurant Nora. Somehow we know there’s an interesting new chapter to be written. If you haven’t read Nora’s full story, check out this book. And listen to our show here:
The role of food as a cultural identity and brand builder for a country, how food can be used as both a weapon of war and vehicle for peace, and how ethical cooking and a borderless kitchen factor into international relations were among the topics addressed in a presentation by Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman.
With more than two decades of experience in the international arena, working on post-conflict transition and democratization issues, Johanna holds a wealth of expertise and insights into the role of food in driving conflict and connecting people and communities. An Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service where she teaches Conflict Cuisine®: An Introduction to War and Peace Around the Dinner Table, Johanna encourages new ways of looking at diplomacy, conflict resolution, and civic engagement. She is also a Senior Adviser at the Stimson Center where she directs the Food Security program.
Johanna has written extensively about food and conflict, and topics related to Latin America. Her work has been published in a wide-range of publications including, the Miami Herald, Washington Post, Americas Quarterly, The Globalist, VOXXI, Estadao, El Universal, and World Politics Review, and has been cited in NPR’s The Salt, LeFigaro, Salon, and Italia Oggi, and This Week. She has lectured on food related topics at the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program, Johns Hopkins University Bologna Campus, New York University’s Washington Program, and at the United States Pavilion at the 2015 World Expo in Milan, Italy. She also writes a column on conflict cuisines for the DCist, a local Washington blog post.
Listen to our show November 2 show with Johanna Mendelson Forman:
The word “authentic cooking” bubbled to the surface at Les Dames d’Escoffier New York’s symposium, “The Next Big Bite: Media’s Influence on What We Eat, Drink & Crave,” which took place October 17 at Institute of Culinary Education. The distinguished panel moderated by CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, Martha Teichner, includedChef/Restaurateur and Co-Host of ABC’s “The Chew,” Carla Hall, Bloomberg Pursuits Food Editor, Kate Krader, and PUNCH Editor in Chief, Talia Baiocchi.
The panelists debated what is a “fad” or a trend.” Trends included: gluten free, vegan, southern food, low alcohol wines. Fads included: cronuts, super-charged burgers and kale. Sustainability, food waste and food as medicine all weighed in as important developments.
Everyone agreed that “authenticity” is important. “Terroir, ancestry, origin, raw materials and the story behind the product, brand or dish all appeal to the consumer and, especially, to Millennials.
We were excited to hear this because the mission of The Connected Table is to share the stories behind the people who shape our industry and food and drinks we enjoy.
A sunset stroll on a warm September evening in lower Manhattan while watching party boats cruise the Hudson River had us reminiscing about the New York restaurants we’d loved and lost. The occasion that prompted this was a dinner at Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) with Chef David Waltuck who was recently named Director of Culinary Programs.
David prepared five signature dishes from his landmark restaurant, Chanterelle, which closed in 2009 after 30 years in business. It was lovely to see David in action and catch up with his wife and partner at Chanterelle, Karen, as well as Andrew Friedman who collaborated with David on the book, “Chanterelle: The Story and Recipes of a Restaurant Classic.”
I could write a memoir based around restaurants that played an important role in my life. Some were clients. Others were host venues for my events. Many participated in programs I produced such as New York Restaurant Week, The James Beard Foundation Awards and the Bon Appétit Wine & Spirits Focus. Many took good care of me when I paid a visit either as a solo diner or when I dined with good friends or my parents when they paid me a visit from Tennessee. Many owners became close friends.
We made a list sitting on a bench watching the sunset. We named it “the restaurants we loved and lost.” The sun may have set on these restaurants, but they each left a special imprint in various aspects of our life in Manhattan. The reason why some of them are included is another story for another time!
Our list: An American Place, Arizona 206, Beppe, Bolo, Capsouto Frerès, Chanterelle, Cité, Danube, Hudson River Club, Lespinasse, Lola,The Four Seasons, Giovanni’s Atrium, La Caravelle, La Cote Basque, La Fourchette, Les Célébrités, Le Madri, Les Halles, Lutece, March, Mesa Grill, Nosmo King, The Oak Room, Pastis, Peacock Alley, Princess Pamela’s Little Kitchen, Picholine, Pipa, Quilted Giraffe, Rainbow Room, Restaurant Florent, San Domenico, SD26, Sign of the Dove, Tabla, Union Pacific, WD50, Windows on the World, Verbena, Veritas, Zarela. And then there are the original locations no more: Bouley, Le Cirque and Union Square Cafe. More recently it was announced that Carnegie Deli will close the end of 2016; its rival, Stage Deli, already shuttered.
I know you have more to add to this list based on your own personal experience. We found list on Gayot.com.
The above photo is of the late Giovanni Natalucci of Giovanni’s Atrium in Lower Manhattan. (Credit: Downtown Express file photo by Maria Yoo). Our back story: A small group of us tried to “save” Giovanni’s Atrium after the September 11th terrorist attacks by hosting events there. At a dinner party in 2003 I reconnected with David after not seeing him for more than a decade. Both the restaurant and its owner left us in 2008, a year after David and I were married.
I grew up Southern and Jewish in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I like to tell people Southern Jews grow up with Bubbas and Bubbies in their families. Brisket was served with biscuits. JELLO molds were our serving of fruit. What we didn’t have were truly authentic Jewish delis. Well, we had Shapiro’s, but it was a Jewish deli with a southern twist: pimiento cheese on challah bread.
My parents took me to New York City for the first time when I was 5 for a wedding with “those yankee family members who lived North of the Mason Dixon Line” (or so my mother told me). I was intent on having tea with Eloise at The Plaza and becoming her new BFF. My mother booked us tickets to see “Fiddler the Roof” for a dose of culture. My Dad just wanted to go to Carnegie Deli for pastrami on rye.
Well, Eloise never materialized. But we went to Carnegie Deli where I saw the Largest Sandwich of My Life. It was my first taste of pastrami. I spit it out! My parents ordered me a grilled cheese sandwich while they devoured pastrami and corned beef. Over the years my parents and I would come to New York for theater trips and debate between Carnegie Deli and Stage Deli. I always ordered turkey sandwich at either place. Mother chose corned beef. Dad always stuck to his pastrami.
I was always a fan of Second Avenue Deli and was fond of the late Abe Lebewohl whose untimely murder was never solved. Stage Deli closed in 2012. This past Friday, just before the start of the Jewish High Holy Holiday Days, Carnegie Deli’s owner announced the landmark restaurant will close at the end of this year. Another New York dining institution will make way for a corner bank (I bet!). Here’s what Carnegie Deli posted on its Facebook Page:
President Obama Called Him the “Master of the Crust”
Melanie says she grew up in The Crust Belt. It’s the section of the South she fondly refers as “the land of fries and pies where everything is better
with batter and butter.” That’s why we’re excited to have Bill Yosses on the show August 10th. As Executive Pastry Chef at the White House for both the Bush #2 and Obama administrations, Bill had his hand in everything from quiet First Family dinners to more elaborate State Dinners, and exhibits such as the Gingerbread White House.
Bill will share some of his White House memories and talk about his new ventures: the non profit Kitchen Garden Laboratory, which teaches food literacy to children in under-served communities. Kitchen Garden Laboratory uses the triad of food and cooking (Kitchen), planting and growing (Garden) and scientific experimentation (Laboratory) in its education programs to promote delicious, nutritious eating for better health outcomes, as well as foster food and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) literacy.
Bill joined us on The Connected Table LIVE! August 10th Listen here and share:
She’s called “The Queen of Creole Cuisine.” And we are honored to have a seating with this amazing lady who is truly Louisiana culinary royalty this week in New Orleans when we head to Tales of the Cocktail.
That’s right! We’re visiting with the venerable Ms. Leah Chase, owner of New Orleans landmark Dooky Chase Restaurant on our July 20th edition of The Connected Table LIVE!
Born in 1923, one of 14 children, in Madisonville, Louisiana, Leah moved to New Orleans to live with an aunt to pursue her education since there were no high schools for black children after the sixth grade. She juggled some pretty interesting jobs for a woman back in those days to make a living including managing two amateur boxers and becoming the first woman to mark the racehorse board for a local bookie. And she waited tables in the French Quarter where she caught the restaurant bug.
Leah married New Orleans musician Edgar “Dooky” Chase in 1946. Together they took over the po’boy and lottery stand opened by Dooky’s dad in 1941 and turned it into a full service restaurant. Dooky Chase has been the gathering place for political titans, food cognoscenti, literary lions and dedicated locals ever since. During the Civil Rights movement it was the only public place in New Orleans where mixed race groups could meet to discuss strategy. Maybe thought leaders need to gather at Dooky Chase for a soul nourishing meal and to discuss how to heal the challenges today faced in our nation.
At 93, Leah is still behind the stove and Dooky Chase, lovingly restored after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina, remains a hot spot on the New Orleans culinary trail. Leah has received numerous honors for her work in the community, in civil rights and for her role in American’s culinary heritage. She’s even been the inspiration for a Disney’s Princess; Tiana in Princess and the Frog. This past May, Leah was honored with the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and this Dooky Chase restaurant celebrated its 75th anniversary. That’s more than a lifetime for any restaurant!
We visited Ms Leah at Dooky Chase July 20 and enjoyed a delicious conversation about her life along with heaping portions of fried chicken. You could call it Ms. Leah’s “Fried Chicken for the Soul!” Listen here and share!