Saturday, September 30, 2017

10 Picture Perfect Pies for Thanksgiving


Stuck in a rut with Thanksgiving desserts? Let us inspire you with this tantalizing selection of pies for Thanksgiving which are sure to tempt you into donning your baker's apron.

From classic pumpkin pie to a lemon meringue dessert, for the traditionalist or the experimentalist, there's a pie to satisfy your sweet tooth and that of your guests.

Keep autumn flavors alive by serving sweet potato pie, sophisticated pumpkin tartlets, traditional apple pie or go for a chocolatey Mississippi mud pie. Feeling energetic? You could always try making up a couple of options to include a gluten free pecan pie.

Take a look and embrace the holiday with a picture perfect pie for Thanksgiving.


Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a pumpkin pie.

Here's a classic recipe with the festive addition of sugar frosted cranberries on top.

Sweet potato pie is a Southern favorite. Not only are sweet potatoes delicious but they are highly nutritious thanks to being rich in heart-friendly vitamin A and fiber.

In the video above Youtube chef Laura Vitale show you her special recipe for sweet potato pie.


These individual pumpkin tarts are topped with meringue for extra flavor.

The tasty recipe comes to us via Heather Scholten from the food blog Farmgirl Gourmet. 


Traditional pecan pie is always a crowd pleaser.

Learn how to make this whisky-infused pecan pie recipe topped with sweet cream.

Here's a fun twist on traditional apple pie: a rose apple custard pie! It's a stunning pie that will have your guests raving about your baking skills.

Youtuber How To Cook That shows you the step-by-step process in the video above.


Looking for a vegan and gluten-free pie? This alternative version of pecan pie is the answer.

The crust is prepared with almond flour and maple syrup while the filling is made extra creamy thanks to the addition of coconut milk.

Learn how to make this pie for Thanksgiving.


SmittenKitchen has knocked it out of the park with a few traditional apple pie recipes perfect for Thanksgiving.

Check out Deb's pie recipes, with her review notes and decide which works best for you.

Photo: Courtesy of


Looking to try something new? Make up individual servings of this banana and meringue dessert and take a break from pumpkin pie.

Click here for the easy recipe.


A chocolate crust, coffee ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce make this a perfect pie for Thanksgiving if you have chocoholics at the table.

Learn how to make it.


A sweet and zesty dessert is bound to make a refreshing change at the end of a Thanksgiving feast.

Get this pie recipe here.

Fun Food Art though the Lens of Federica Cogo


A selection of pictures from 'Ritratti industriali', a food photography project by Federica Cogo, portraying the duality of animals and the food they produce.

Hens, cows and pigs: they produce food, yet also end up as food themselves. With her project titled Ritratti industriali (Industrial portraits) Italian photographer Federica Cogo has turned her attention to food and, more specifically, to the relationship between animals and people. As consumer products, the animals are portrayed amidst what they produce, or what they are destined to become, all of which is interpreted in a “light-hearted” pop style.

We interviewed Federica Cogo, asking her to tell us more about her Ritratti industriali, a project centred on the topic of food and expressed in the form of still life photography. Here are some amazing pictures of Ritratti industriali, click on the images to enlarge.

How did you first become interested in still life food photography?
Photography is a medium which enables you to give a material form to your ideas. My interest in photography dates back to when I realized that this was the best way for me to objectify the conceptual matrix of a project. I find still life particularly stimulating because it allows me to construct the image I am trying to achieve in a reduced format, while exerting complete control over the subject. My interest in food came about as a result of a more far-reaching research. My artistic interest was largely focused throughout this process on animals and subsequently on the relationship between human beings and the animal world which, in the Ritratti Industriali series, takes the form of a portrayal of animals as food. This is how the Food element crept into my work.

How was the project first conceived and in what way was it developed?
The conceptual root of the project is based on the relationship between people and animals. The first part of my research comprises a series of pictorial works in which I tried to represent their role in our society: animals are not only food but they produce food too. Hence the idea of producing a series of portraits depicting various meat animals surrounded by the product they are destined to become or those they produce themselves. I wanted to create sweet, light-hearted images dressed in wallpaper.

What were your main sources of inspiration?
The ToiletPaper magazine: they often use food-related still lifes and this is artistically stimulating. They create a mood, based on surrealist images, and transform food into an identity. Erwin Olaf, an artist photographer who has carried out research into still lifes in photography by studying figures such as Jan Weenix, a painter of the 1700s.

Can you tell us more about the selection process of your photographic elements?
Right from the start, I wanted to put the spotlight on certain animals, the ones which are generally associated with the food industry. I carried out a lengthy research into their selection, mainly with regard to miniature models. I wanted them to be as realistic as possible, without looking like plastic, and accurately detailed, so my selection process took place principally in toyshops.

Did you encounter any difficulties in the preparation and execution of your project?
Yes, when I was unable to find a satisfactory light that was neither too hard nor too soft. The elements I chose also presented problems since I had to check them as I proceeded: milk, plasticine eggs, cheese and bacon.

Does this particular work end here or do you think it will have a follow-up?
Yes, I believe it is now complete. At the moment, I have no interest in further pursuing my research into the man-animal relationship. I do not, however, exclude the possibility of doing other still life projects in the future, focused on topics more closely associated with people and society.

Ritratti industriali by Federica Cogo are part of the Alidem collection, an Italian Milan-based gallery representing different photographers. Alidem's collection is constantly developed and extended, in collaboration with curators, critics and business professionals.

Grant Achatz: Aviary New York is The Testing Ground


It’s showtime in Manhattan for Grant Achatz this week as he completes a “personal goal” with the opening of The Aviary restaurant in New York, a huge dining space on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

“Since The French Laundry and opening Alinea, there’s always been a mythical thing with New York as the best culinary city globally,” explains Achatz just hours after opening night, "to be a part of that fabric is always something I’ve aspired to do.”

The Aviary is a powerhouse that kicks out a distinct combination of cocktails and cuisine, Achatz and his long time business partner, Nick Kokonas, have been operating the same venue in Chicago for seven years but, apart from one-offs and pop-ups, this is their first opening outside the city.

“I’ve always bucked against the idea that you have to be in New York,” explains Achatz, “I joke with my chef friends here, they’ve always poke and prod at me, ‘you’re a big fish in a small pond in Chicago, if you really want to prove yourself you have to come to New York’. Come on, I always say, Chicago is serious and we have great restaurants, but they’re right, New York is a world stage. I’m not downplaying Chicago in any way, I think the city is amazing and it’s culinary power has been growing increasingly, especially since getting the James Beard Awards. I think the restaurants there are amazing, it’s just become very apparent here that at any moment you can have Pete Wells, Will Guidara, Daniel Humm, Kate Krader, all these folk just popping in, we don’t get that in Chicago.”

On top of the extra spotlight and surprise of VIP guests, the New York opening is also very different for Achatz because it’s the first time in his career he’s been asked to produce an all-day menu. “We’ve never even considered doing a breakfast or brunch menu, it was only the hotel that told us that everyone wants to come to our area and look at the view, it would be foolish on both of our parts if we didn’t afford that opportunity. At first I was super apprehensive but when I started to think about it I started to think that creatively this could be kind of cool. Then what really flicked the switch was being in Melbourne, the breakfast is so good there. The irony for me was that I came originally from a breakfast place, I started in a diner, and I never thought at that time food could be creative. Now our whole brand is about being creative and I have to apply this to breakfast. It was fun writing the menu.”

“We’re not going to change the world but it’s certainly not poached eggs on English muffin with Hollandaise and ham, but it might be a riff on that. It’s very Alinea-fied breakfast, we’re still in a hotel, a very high-end hotel in Manhattan, some people still want to come down and have breakfast. How do we provide that opportunity but also identify it with the Alinea brand? So, what I did was start by going through everything you would typically find at a breakfast establishment: what is the Alinea version of omelette? What is the Alinea version of eggs over easy? What is the Alinea version of oatmeal? You have all these categories and you just kind of twist them, somehow approachable, somehow breakfast food but with the hallmark of creative cooking."

One wonders how this might translate to dishes? But with items on the upcoming breakfast menu carrying titles such as ‘Not Quite Avocado Toast’, you get a small idea of how the menu, when it launches in the coming months, will look.

“By my own admission, it’s obligatory to have some pancakes but I hate having heavy, drenched, syrup-soaked pancakes,” says Achatz. “Our thought was, ‘what is the alternative?’ Easy, you make super light, fluffy pancakes - what about even making a pan cake? In my mind the pancake is basically a vessel for flavour, it’s a medium, you either throw syrup, fruit, cream, bacon, eggs on them. They’re basically a vehicle for all those other things. So, what if we take that idea and push it? Make something that’s kind of like an Angel Fruit Cake, something like an English Pound Cake, something big, fluffy, light, luxurious. Something that doesn’t resemble an American pancake at all, but we give you this giant Lazy Susan that has everything: a garnish of bacon, whipped cream, caviar, eggs that have been steamed with a cappuccino steamer so they are super light, fruit, syrup - all of these condiments and you just customise.”

And what about those faux avocados? “Well, we also poke at things," explains Achatz, "I like avocado toast, I think it’s awesome, but how does Alinea treat that? We come up with interesting ways to manipulate the avocado, but then we also say, ‘wait a minute, do we even need avocado?’ What is the next avocado toast? My mind immediately goes to young coconut, I feel like that texture, it’s healthy, lends itself to breakfast. So then I’m looking at using young coconut, let’s just have a little bit of avocado in there, maybe a little avocado pudding? Maybe we make with no avocado at all? That’s kind of how we are thinking at the moment.”

New Yorkers and its visitors to the city will be happy to finally sample Achatz outside of Chicago, but the rest of the world can also get a little excited as Achatz explains the plan has always been to expand the operation to other locations. “We always knew that The Aviary was the concept we could scale, we never anticipated scaling Alinea or Next but we always knew that Aviary had that potential. For us, this is an opportunity to really test that idea, we’re entering basically the hardest city in the world. Despite the fact that we’re looking at Tokyo, London, Singapore, Hong Kong and all of these other far flung places, some of which we don’t even speak the same native language, we always felt like New York would be the hardest one to crack. I feel this is kind of a testing ground for us to enter other cities.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

Another Restaurant Wants to Return its Michelin Star


A restaurant in Scotland is following the lead of French chef Sebastian Bras, who last week announced that he would like his restaurant Le Sequet to be stripped of its three star status.

According to a report in Big Hospitality, the family behind the Boath House Hotel close to Inverness, the Mathesons, want to relinquish their one Michelin star because they feel the pressure of living up the expectations of what a Guide restaurant should be is hitting them financially and causing them immense personal stress.

Having held a star for 10 years, the restaurant has no idea if they will retain it in the upcoming Guide, but the Mathesons say they are seeking a switch to a more informal style of dining and plan to launch a more casual cafe next year, having already changed their menu.

The Michelin Guide to the UK and Ireland is released on 2 October. Check out last year's guide here.

Cherimoya from A to Z: 26 Things to Know

Cherimoya from A to Z: 26 Things to Know


A list of cherimoya facts and figures you can't miss: varieties, nutritional facts and how to enjoy this tropical fruit at its best.

Annona cherimola. is the scientific name of this fruit bearing plant.

Banana. How can we describe the taste of cherimoya? Try this: a unique mix of banana and pineapple, maybe with a touch of strawberry, pear, papaya and peach. Like the banana, its taste varies a great deal according to how mature the fruit is.

Custard Apple. This is another name given to the cherimoya.

Diet. An ideal fruit for those wishing to control their appetite, since it has a filling effect, is nutritious and protein-rich.

Ecuador. Together with Peru, Ecuador is the homeland of this fruit which can only be farmed in particular climatic and environmental conditions.

Fino de Jete. A variety of cherimoya that comes from Malaga and Granada, in Southern Spain, which has been awarded European PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin). It has a delicious and slightly sour taste.

García. Michelin starred and multi awarded Andalusian chef Dani Garcia is a cherimoya fan: its appealing characteristics and that touch of sourness make it a perfect ingredient for use in sweet and savoury recipes – or so he claims.

Heart. The fruit of love! Cherimoya is heart shaped. A unique characteristic…

Ice-cream. An ice-cream that has no need for ice-cream! Cherimoya is used for making desserts, comprising ice-creams and sorbets but, if you want to eat a delicious bowl of fruit, just chill a perfectly ripened cherimoya and then cut it in half and enjoy its creamy flesh with a teaspoon, taking care to avoid its shiny black poisonous seeds. You will realise why cherimoya has also been dubbed the “Ice-cream fruit”.

Jamaica. Cherimoya flowers are aromatic. In Jamaica, they are used as snuff!

Keep cool! Like the avocado, cherimoya can take a long time to ripen but once ripe, it quickly deteriorates. However, its flesh may be frozen to keep it fresh and delicious for longer periods.

Lima. A very sweet, delicious and typical dessert of the Peruvian capital, Suspiro Limeño (or Suspiro de limeña) is made from manjar blanco (the recipe containing condensed milk similar to dulche de leche) and meringue. Some chefs prepare a particularly gourmet version with one layer of delicate white cherimoya flesh.

Milkshake. Cherimoya, milk and/or yogurt and ice: a popular Latin American milkshake to which other ingredients may be added, such as banana and coconut.

Nutmeg. A spice that teams up perfectly with cherimoya, possibly in combination with vanilla (or vanilla ice-cream!).

Orange. The pairing with orange is extremely palatable but these two fruits are closely related for another reason: in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Andalusia in Southern Spain, a plague destroyed the orange groves in the 40’s and 50’s of the last century. They were replaced with cherimoya trees and, since then, the region has boasted the largest cultivations of this fruit on European soil.

Pulp. Creamy and sweet, fleshy and juicy, aromatic and slightly sour, the white pulp of this fruit has a combination of consistency and taste you will not forget in a hurry.

Quechua. The name “cherimoya” derives from the Andean Quechua language: “chirimuya” means “seeds of cold”, indicating that this plant grows in subtropical areas but at high altitudes.

Reggio Calabria. In this city and its coastal area, located on the toe of the Italian boot, the exotic cherimoya fruit has been grown since 1797, and it has even obtained the De.Co. Italian label of municipal origin.

Sugar apple. The “scaly” cousin of the cherimoya, it also belongs to the Annona family. The artificial cross between these two fruits has produced a hybrid called “atemoia”.

Twain. Marc Twain, author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, declared that the cherimoya is “The most delicious fruit known to man”.

Unique. A truly unique fruit: a single cherimoya tree can contemporarily yield fruits whose aroma and internal and external consistencies are completely different.

X-rated? This fruit is thought to have aphrodisiac powers.

Whaley. Just one of the many varieties of this fruit which, in this case comes from Hollywood: California is the North American state producing the largest quantity of cherimoya fruit.

Vitamins. One of the qualities of this fruit is to be rich in minerals qnd antioxidants, not to mention vitamins, comprising those of the vitamin B group.

Yeah! Some scientific studies have demonstrated – at least on mice – what many populations, the Mexicans in particular, have known and applied in their home cures for centuries: the power of this fruit to combat depression, stress and melancholy.

Zany. With its reptilian skin and buttery flesh, studded heart, extreme sweetness and poisonous seeds: cherimoya is certainly one of the zaniest fruits on the planet…

González Beristáin Receives Lifetime Achievement Award


Chef Guillermo González Beristáin is The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement winner for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017.

Beristáin, mentor at S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016, owns and operates the kitchen at the Pangea restaurant in Monterrey, Mexico, where he has spent over 20 years opening restaurants and training young chefs from across Latin America.

Food snaps: Pangea Facebook.

He describes Pangea as the project of his lifetime and, in the video below, talks about his love for cooking and the evolution he’s seen happen across the Mexican food scene.

Beristáin will receive his award at Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony on October 24th in Bogota, Colombia.

Get ready as we’ll be bringing you all the news from the night, plus a livestream of the event as and when it happens.

Grant Achatz Opens Aviary New York: Here's The Menu


Grant Achatz has opened the doors to The Aviary New York, a project that’s been in the works for nearly six years and a restaurant that’s ready to wow visitors with an eclectic mix of delicious cuisine and delectable cocktails.

Sitting on the top floor of The Mandarin Oriental hotel with epic views of New York, The Aviary is the first time Achatz and his long-time business partner Nick Kokonas have opened in the city - and they’ve done it with a bang.

The Aviary is a beautiful, heigh ceiling, hotel restaurant that’s packed with sleek design and comfortable luxury. The menu consists of a diverse collection of cocktails produced by drinks director Micha Melton and his team of highly trained liquid chefs. (Seriously, there is an open kitchen at the front of the room packed with chefs shaking, twisting and balancing drinks - they even shout out orders like most pro kitchens)

The drinks menu is split between classics and Aviary creations and we highly recommend opting for the latter - the birds on the menu even show which cocktails come with more theatrical presentations. Such as the Wake n Bake: a rye, coffee and orange infused Vermouth with coffee liquor, a short drink that's delivered inside an airtight bag filled with the deep aroma of an Everything Bagel. There's also Science A.F: blueberry, lemon, honey, ginger and scotches that are infused using high heat, steam and a Roald Dahl-esque device that bubbles, spits and pops at the table.

The first Aviary New York menu: the birds on the left side signify the theatrics of a drink, the longer the distance a bird flies, the more surprising the presentation.

Now the food which has been created by Achatz alongside his executive chef Dan Perretta. At the moment, the menu is à la carte with a tasting menu and chef’s table option coming soon, there's also the option to order a tasting of three or five drinks paired with food - probably the best way to experience the restaurant. Achatz says the team will eventually open all day, even serving breakfast which he says has beeen inspired by his recent trip to Melbourne, a city where breakfast is taken very seriously.

Left to Right: Lime leaf cured Kampachi with Thai green curry, cucumber, heart of palm and caviar lime; Takoyaki: Spanish octopus, ginger, nori, bonito and sweet onion; Frozen corn custard, Char roe, mango, yellow tomato tom yum snow.

The food menu is truly global, with Thai, Japanese, Italian and even Peruvian ingredients combining to create plates that pop with intense flavours. There’s classics such as the famous potato, parmesan and truffle explosion, a pasta dish that screams 'just one more'. There’s also a wonderful Latin American style dish simply called Pineapple: a fresh hit of frozen passionfruit on top of a deep, chocolaty mole that’s punctuated by tangy notes of black mint and different presentations of pineapple.

From left to right: Heirloom Tomatoes, Pineapple, Black Truffle Explosion.

Another dish, Heirloom Tomatoes, is a modern take on the famous caprese combination of Italy, except at The Aviary, the tomato base is now a raspberry gaspatcho, and the slices of expected mozzarella are replaced by frozen chunks of burrata cheese that create a creamy melt as soon as they hit the tongue. It's a caprese combination direct from the future.

At the end of the meal, guests who book a table, can also step next door and experience The Office, a speak-easy style bar also created by Achatz and Kokanas. Here, guests can sample a whole new menu of cocktails and food - plus a dessert Sundae that will take you back to childhood before you’ve even opened your mouth.

Here's a look at how they go about making ice at The Aviary - this video should tell you all you need to know about their approach.

Restaurant Faces Backlash for Hanging Cow


A restaurant in Australia has faced an online backlash after hanging a taxidermy cow from its ceiling over diners tables.

Etica Pizza in Adelaide, which serves both meat and dairy products, hung the preserved eight year old Fresian-Hereford to draw attention to “the true consequence of consuming dairy,” they say. The restaurant prides itself on the high welfare standards of its producers.

But it seems the message hasn’t quite got across, with many people taking to the internet to brand the installation ‘disgusting’ and ‘obscene,’ the BBC reports.

An online petition asking the restaurant to remove the cow, known as Schvitzy, has thus far drawn over 5000 signatures.

Co-owner Federico Pisanelli told the BBC that the the cow has provoked many positive responses too since it was hung three months ago, and that all of the meat was consumed following slaughter.

Read a statement below.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

4 Cocktails to Try at London Cocktail Week 2017


London Cocktail Week returns from 2-8 October, with over 250 bars participating in the celebration of all things shaken, stirred and strained, now in its eighth year.

Thirsty drinkers will be treated to all manner of pop-ups, tastings, masterclasses and booze fuelled-festivities all over the capital, with participating bars offering cocktails at a very reasonable, for London, £6 a pop, provided you have a special digital pass, available from the website.

One pop-up of note sees Jillian Vose, Beverage Director at New York's The Dead Rabbit, which topped The World's 50 Best Bars 2016 list, heading to The Star of Bethnal Green to serve a special Irish whisky-focused menu.

With all this going on, it's difficult to know where to start on the drinks front, so here are four cocktails that have caught our eye, and where to drink them.

Ketel One Vodka, Goji Berry Juice, Bee Pollen and Pineapple Juice

Ron Zacapa 23yo, Black Cherry & Montepulciano Liqueur, Pineapple Soda, Chocolate Bitters, Prosecco

Both available at OSLO, E8

Spice Velvet

Patrón Silver, Suze, Cactus Flower & Honey Cordial, Green Tea Kombucha

Mint Gun Club, N16

Martin Millers Westbourne Strength Gin, Lemon Juice, Orgeat and Grapefruit Bitters

Graphic Bar, W1

Watch a Teaser for Noma 2.0


The team behind Noma, the pioneering Copenhagen restaurant headed by chef René Redzepi, have released a new video teaser ahead of the restaurant’s reopening at a new site in the city in early 2018.

As you may know, the restaurant shuttered in February 2017. Since then the team have been busy with a much talked about pop-up in Mexico and have spent the summer travelling Northern Europe sourcing ingredients for the all new menu, which we’re hugely excited to see.

We previously teased a taste of some of the ingredients you might be seeing at Noma 2.0, but the new video, shot on the Faroe Islands, gives the full lowdown on exactly what they’ve been doing and where they’ve been.

Stay tuned for more news about one of the most anticipated restaurant reopenings of recent times.

Watch the video below and further down watch Redzepi speaking at the recent #50BestTalks event in Barcelona.

3 Ways To Make The Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding Of Your Dreams


Chocolate pudding is one of those comforting desserts that no one can resist. How can you pass up an opportunity to indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate pudding? Traditional chocolate pudding is made with milk and eggs. So what's a good alternative for a dairy-free chocolate pudding?

Here we have three different chocolate pudding recipes that are vegan, gluten free and 100% dairy free so you can indulge in all your chocolatey dreams. Take a look:

First up is an interesting dairy-free chocolate pudding recipe from Whole Foods.

This recipe calls for dates, bananas, cocoa and an unconventional ingredient: avocados! The results are to die for.

Coconut cream takes the place of milk in this delectable Paleo chocolate pudding. The recipe is sweetened with honey and flavored with vanilla extract. Yum!

Find the recipe here.


Jamie Oliver shares a luxurious recipe for dairy-free chocolate pudding. It is thick, creamy and so delicious you won't believe it actually contains tofu.

The Ultimate Kitchen Thermometer


You might not think the kitchen thermometer needs any reworking but the Swedish design team from Professional Secrets certainly don’t agree with you.

That’s why they set about created a new professional thermometer that can deliver great quality results at a price affordable enough for passionate home cooks.

The company are calling their creation 'the ultimate kitchen thermometer' and are seeking funds on Kickstarter to get begin production of their design. (so far they’ve raised $37,000 towards a $49,000 goal).

They say they have worked with professional chefs and engineered a device that will deliver industrial results at home appliance prices, the thermometers will cost $79 when they launch in 2018.

The design of the finished product is good with some cool features, for example, the display will always read the right way as it changes depending on whatever way the thermometer sits, it displays decimal readings for super accurate monitoring and the super thin probe makes it easy to slip in and out of foods.

Gavin Kaysen: It Takes Discipline, Humility and Drive

Gavin Kaysen: It Takes Discipline, Humility and Drive


We catch up with the USA S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Mentor, Gavin Kaysen, to find out more about how he will approach his role for the upcoming competition.

Gavin Kaysen is the owner of the Spoon and Stable Restaurant in Minneapolis and is one of a handful of chefs from the USA to stand and represent his country at the biannual Bocuse d’Or culinary competition in Lyon, France.

It was 2007 when Kaysen first competed at the event, placing 14th, but it’s a position that shouldn’t be overlooked. It was Kaysen’s participation that marked the beginning of a long journey for team USA, Kaysen himself playing a huge part in the running of a foundation formed by Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and Paul Bocuse to help strengthen the performance of team USA at what has been called the Olympics of food. It was 2015 when they won Silver, following up in 2017 with Gold, Kaysen was Vice President of the team.

Kaysen will offer up some of this experience and mentorship when he takes part in the upcoming S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 event, mentoring the winning canididate for team USA. We caught up with the chef to find out a little more about his past experience and how he will use that to help his young chef achieve success.

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?
I would be in something creative. Not really sure, but I have a love for promoting, marketing and overall storytelling.

Can you explain a dish that defines your cooking well?
Pot Roast. It's a dish we have had on Spoon and Stable’s menu since day one and it's inspired from my grandmother. It's warm, comforting, and technical.

What’s exciting you right now in the world of gastronomy, an interesting trend, ingredient, style of cooking?
I love to see see how easy it is to share and see what others are doing. I feel like it is making our world of food a stronger community.

What was your biggest triumph as a young chef, and is there anything you would consider your biggest failure?
Winning the James Beard Rising Star Chef award at age 28 was a huge goal for me that I was able to achieve. My biggest failure was placing 14th in the Bocuse d’Or competition….but in hindsight, it also inspired us to create a foundation and support for Team USA, and ten years later we took #1 in the world. It all worked out at the end of the day.

As a mentor, what do you expect from your young chef, and what do you think you can offer him / her?
I expect to see discipline, humility and drive. If they have that, it will go further than any technique they have read about.

What would victory in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition mean for a young chef?
It would teach them that when you dream big, you can achieve that - that is the goal here... dream as big as you can and go after it, have no fear about what can happen, only fear not to have the courage to do it in the first place.

You were involved a lot with Bocuse d’Or over the past years, what does the USA team win for American gastronomy?
It was the most meaningful event to happen to me professionally - it was not about proving the US could do it, it was about showing that a team of people can come together and believe in the same goal, year after year and even if we did not win the first year we could come back with our heads high and go after the same goal again.

What’s your favourite dish to eat?
I love Thai food.

What’s the one food you really dislike?
I don't love calf's liver.

Best Pubs and Restaurants in The UK 2017



The results of the AA Hospitality Awards, which ranks the best restaurants and pubs across the UK, have been released.

The awards, now in their 20th year, represent a number of different categories, including specific awards for the best pubs in Wales, England and Scotland.

The overall Restaurant of The Year went to The Freemasons in Clitheroe, while Phil Howard’s newest venture, Elystan Street, won the category of Best Restaurant in London.

The Pub of The Year in England went to The Bell in Wiltshire, while Pub of The Year in Scotland was The Bow Bar in Edinburgh.

The awards also highlighted a Chef of The Year, recognising the work of John Williams who works as the executive chef at The Ritz.

Below is a list of some of the highlights.

  • Restaurant of The Year: The Freemasons
  • Pub of The Year in England: The Bell
  • Pub of The Year in Scotland: The Bow Bar 
  • Pub of The Year in Wales: Bryn Tyrch

  • Restaurant of the Year London: Elystan Street
  • Restaurant of the Year Scotland: The Dining Room
  • Restaurant of the Year Wales: Beach House Restaurant at Oxwich Beach

  • AA Customers' Choice: The Savoy, London

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Make Edward Lee’s 22-Ingredient BBQ Sauce


Here’s a great video from the Mind of a Chef archive, featuring Edward Lee’s 22 ingredient version of a BBQ mop sauce.

BBQ sauces differ from State to State in the US, as this infographic explains, and from chef to chef, something Lee eludes too when explaining why his sauce has so many ingredients – essentially he’s taken the secret ingredients of all the people he’s met and combined them into one sauce.

Those ingredients include bourbon, coffee, cola, Chinese fermented black bean paste and raisins. That’s on top of the standard base flavours of tomato, vinegar, mustard, sugar and spices.

It’s called a mop sauce because you just gently mop it onto the meat, in this case smoked goat. We’d happily mop all of that sauce up, straight from the pot.

Restaurant Offers Chefs £1K Golden Hello


A London restaurant is offering new chefs a £1000 ($1340) golden hello in an effort to tackle the city's chefs shortage.

Gauthier, helmed by French chef Alexis Gauthier, has promised chefs the figure as a signing on bonus if they pass their trial and commit to working there for a year. Chefs will also have access to a research and development fund of up to £250 a month that can be used for eating out expenses and staff trips.

Speaking to Eater London, Gauthier said a “toxic cocktail” of high living costs, Brexit and other factors was making the UK capital less attractive to young chefs at a time when the city has probably never had a better gastronomic offering.

“London is not such an exotic destination for chefs anymore,” says Gautier. “It is the best place on earth to eat but it’s a very expensive to live. Chefs now have to think twice before moving to London because often they are not well remunerated.”

Alexis Gauthier

Gauthier says he has faced skepticism from an unnamed Michelin-starred chef, who told him he was “too generous,” be he believes restaurants have to do more to attract committed staff and that the funds are there.

“It’s easy to find a head chef but it’s different when it comes to commis chefs and chefs de partie. It has to be an exciting proposition financially … We need to pay the staff better; there is a lot of money in this industry,” he says.

See the job advert, posted over on The Caterer, below and have a listen to what restaurateur Danny Meyer had to say about eliminating tipping in his restaurants as a way to stop culinary grads abandoning the kitchen for front of house.

How To Prepare Leeks for Soup


If you like the taste of onions but find them a bit too pungent try cooking with leeks instead. Leeks are a relative of onions and garlic and although they look like giant scallions their flavor is much milder.

Native to the Mediterranean, leeks offer not only a world of flavor but they rich in vitamin A and K. Leeks also possess compounds that may improve eye health and may even prevent cancer, according to this medical study.

Sautéed leeks make a great base for egg dishes and braises but they are especially delicious in soups. Just follow these tips for how to prepare leeks for soup:
wash the leeks under running water
trim off the dark green leafy tops and the roots
slice the leeks in half and cut into thin slices
place the leeks in a bowl of cold water
swirl the leeks and allow the grit to fall to the bottom of the bowl
remove the leeks and place in a colander to drain

Then follow this easy recipe for cream of leek and potato soup with caramelized saffron.


Watch helpful video on how to prepare leeks for soup from Youtuber Clean & Delicious:


If you are looking for more creative ways to cook with leeks give these recipes a try - you'll find everything from savory crepes and quiche to ceviche and roasted lamb.

The Science of Salami

The Science of Salami


A closer look at one of the most delicious charcuterie specialities: salami. Why is it so irresistible? Science answers.

The flavour of salami, according to its more expert enthusiasts, eludes any precise definition: spicy, sweet, hot and savoury. What can be defined without any shadow of a doubt is the satisfying sensation perceived by our taste buds when we pop a slice of it into our mouths. What is the secret behind so much enjoyment if we are not even able to describe its flavour accurately?

First of all, salami owes its wide spectrum of flavours to the way it is made, which consists of minced pork mixed with sugar, spices and saltpeter. The latter ingredient is a compound that was known long ago to the ancient Chinese and Greek populations, even though its use in food only became widespread in the Middle Ages. It is actually Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) and in charcuterie products it acts as a preservative, as well as enhancing the processes and flavours of “curing”. Apart from that, it prevents unwanted microorganisms from spoiling the taste of preserved meat.

The rest, of course, depends on the other ingredients. At the INRA (National Institute of Agronomic Research) laboratory of Clermont-Ferrand, scientits have been interested in salami from an analytical point of view and, after carrying out various tests, they have discovered that its complex taste derives from at least one hundred organic substances, largely attributable to the enzymes of the minced meat and to the bacteria making it ferment.

For this precise reason, the quantity of fats greatly impacts the final taste of the salami, since it is the oxidation of lipids which determines most of the aroma. If something goes wrong in the process of lipid oxidation, for instance, salami has a peculiar rancid aftertaste which causes discerning palates (and not only) to bin it immediately. This is why, to reduce the risk of failure, many producers tend to go overboard with the sugar content.

In fact, the degradation of sugar could lead to acetic acid being released and, in this case, the taste would tend to be vinegary, or 2.3-butanedione which offers a softer buttery flavour. In either case, the flavour is sufficiently pronounced to cover the rancid taste. Quality salami made from a well-balanced mixture of prime materials subjected to a long slow curing process obviously does not require the addition of too much sugar.

On the subject of curing, it is incorrect to think that salami reacts in the same way as ham. Neither is it true to say that the longer it is cured, the better it is. Excessive curing, in fact, tends to dry the salami and much of its aroma evaporates with the moisture. So, here is a useful tip for preserving the fragrance of salami and facilitating the formation of butanedione, making the flavour of your salami even more buttery: simply store it wrapped in cellophane. It may seem heretical but this will slow down the evaporation of moisture and “surgically” prevent the degradation of its sugar content.

Now if you are wondering if it is better “with or without garlic”, it is useful to know that, personal tastes apart, garlic confers sulphate molecules which also enhance its other flavours. So, generally speaking, it is better with garlic.

Finally, if you wish to use salami in your recipes, remember that this type of charcuterie, contrary to what most people believe, does not take kindly to being cooked. The meat hardens, the fats separate and the experience is not a particularly memorable one. It is preferable therefore to use it in fillings.

Have you ever tried making salami fritters for instance? Cut some salami into fairly thick slices and prepare a batter using 150 grams of flour, 200 ml of milk, 1 egg, and a pinch of salt. Dip the salami slices in the batter and fry them for one minute. The result is amazing.

Ex Jiro Ono Student Talks About His Sushi Lessons


Many people consume sushi without ever considering the art of the tradition, the rich cultural heritage behind the techniques, or the years and years it takes chefs to come close to mastering the craft of something that’s consumed in seconds.

Daisuke Nakazawa is a chef who certainly appreciates all of the above, mainly because sushi has been his life’s dedication.

He trained with Jiro Ono in Tokyo and featured on the world famous Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentary, and in the video below produced by Tasty, Nakazawa explains just what it took him to start his story into the world of sushi.

Nakazawa now runs the Sushi Nakazawa restaurant in New York and it’s fascinating to hear from a chef who has dedicated his entire life to the pursuit of sushi perfection.


Anthony Bourdain's Legacy Will Be Taught At This University

ANTHONY BOURDAIN'S LEGACY WILL BE TAUGHT AT THIS UNIVERSITY The late Anthony Bourdain taught the world many things through his travel...