It’s been a crazy last month – graduating from The Journalism School, moving to a new apartment and starting my career in culinary media. But I have big plans (with new video) coming up, including a healthy spin on one of my favorite foods (donuts!), my foray into fondant (what works and what wreaks havoc) and many other original and adapted recipes.
Stay tuned for updates and feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com with recipe requests or recommendations!
I had the opportunity to meet Eric “Badlands” Booker this past February when I interviewed him for a story I was working on. Booker is the world’s 13th ranked competitive eater, holding titles in everything from matzo balls (21 balls in 5 minutes, 25 seconds) to corned beef hash (4 pounds in 1 minute, 58 seconds). At the time, he was training for a crawfish eating competition (Eric “Badlands Booker on How to Eat a Crawfish), but now he has his sights set on the upcoming Super Bowl of competitive eating – Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest held every 4th of July on Coney Island.
Check out my article after the jump to find out more about Booker’s gastronomical greatness, his budding rap career and how the 6-foot 4-inch megastar is managing to get his stomach in top shape for the big event (Hint: It’s all about the cabbage).
I’m in The Bahamas for a brief vacation and I came across this amazingly refreshing cocktail called The Bahama Mama. Vanilla and coffee flavored liquors mix with fresh pineapple and orange juice. A splash of grenadine adds a final cherry touch to this cool cocktail. Top each drink with an orange wedge and several strawberries.
I had the opportunity to dine at Per Se this past week in celebration of completing my master’s degree at The Journalism School at Columbia. The restaurant is the New York flagship of famed executive chef Thomas Keller and for the past four years has been awarded a three-star rating by the Michelin Guide. Per Se offers an eclectic menu that changes daily according to the freshest available proteins and produce.
The four-and-a-half hour dinner began with a tuna tartare amuse bouche and a warm gruyère pastry puff. Appetizer, entree and dessert selections were made from an exquisite menu that boasted a selection of nine courses from every array of fish, meat and vegetable imaginable.
Clockwise from top left: White Asparagus Salad with Sunny Side Up Egg, Seared Foie Gras with Roasted Vegetables, Dark Chocolate Mud Pie, Lobster Macaroni and Cheese.
I opted for a first course of English peas and carrots, followed by gnocchi with rich morel sauce. Entrees included smoked duck, seared beef and a lobster macaroni and cheese. The nine course meal, which included several additional smaller courses, ended with a dark chocolate mud pie, warm doughnuts and coffee ice cream. The dinner was topped off with a tour of the kitchen, which boasted a staff of more than two dozen chefs executing each dish with precision and care.
The kitchen at Per Se, where preparations for lunch and dinner service begin at 5 a.m. each day.
A chef at the plating section arranges a bed of roasted corn for the next course to be delivered.
But Per Se was more than a dinner. It was a culinary experience that demonstrated one of the most exquisite and imaginative displays of flavor and gastronomical creativity. I can’t imagine a more pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere overlooking Central Park and I look forward to one day mirroring my experience at Per Se by dining at The French Laundry, Keller’s West coast equivalent in California’s Napa Valley.
The sign above the entrance to the kitchen reads, "Finesse: Refinement and delicacy of performance, execution, or artisanship."
Bruschetta is a great appetizer for summer months and can be made with any combination of healthy fruits and vegetables. I’ve topped these garlic-rubbed whole wheat toasts with marinated artichokes, mushrooms and tomatoes. A touch of Parmesan cheese rounds out this flavorful mixture, which is packed full of low fat, low calorie ingredients. Mushrooms provide antioxidants, while artichokes are a great source of potassium and dietary fiber.
If you’re a big bruschetta fan, you can also try my Guacamole Bruschetta for a southern California twist on this Italian favorite.