image description June 29, 2012

Venom is the New Sous Vide

Venom is the New Sous Vide

Dueling Chefs

G E Bowles kicks Steve Dolinsky out of his new eatery
Josh Habiger unloads on John Mariani 
Eddie Huang unloads on everybody, most recently Marcus Samuelsson in the Observer. And Marcus responded.

We all say sh*t we don’t mean to, but is it just me or is it odd that the Observer editors signed off on some of Eddie’s takedown? Marcus doesn’t need anyone to get his back, he is capable of taking care of himself and then some, but I have to say to take issue with the amazing work he has done  (UNICEF, Ethiopia, Harlem, Restaurants, Books, Style…need I go on) in so many areas….oh and he is a badass in the kitchen…well, frankly I was stunned. Marcus has done more for his community than anyone I can think of in the last decade. Jobs, awareness, stereotype smashing, leadership…you name it…I think the new venom being spouted is one thing, editorial encouragement of it is another, and it’s very dangerously close to the yellow journalism of generations past. Very disturbing.

Big Wednesday

Last night I did double duty…I was a guest on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live along with Joe Manganiello who plays the wolfish Alcide on True Blood and the equally well-endowed Big Dick Richie in the new movie Magic Mike. Then I got to see an idea that was a year in the making come to fruition, a ‘Minnesota in NYC’ chefs dinner that was a real career highlight for me.

Plead the Fifth

Where to begin. WWHL is a thrill ride, it’s one of my favorite shows on TV and Andy Cohen, the guy who runs Bravo, is the host. I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t watch it, but if so, you are missing out. We played Plead the Fifth, spun the wheel in a game of Bizarre Food or Nude? Did the after show for the www.bravotv.com and best of all, laughed our asses off. Joe is a lady killer, an exec from one of the TV production companies actually fell down staring at him…but he is also smart, funny, a great actor and a ridiculous Bizarre Foods fan. If you didn’t see it, go to Bravo’s website. Amazing television.

A Bit of Minnesota in the Big Apple

Before that I was a participating chef for the James Beard House’s Celebrity Chef Tour dinner at Tom Colicchio’s Riverpark. A year ago Bloomington’s own superstar chef Gavin Kaysen and I started talking about grabbing the Beard winning chefs in Minnesota, Tim McKee of La Belle Vie and 300 other restaurants, Alex Roberts of Alma and Brasa, Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery and Bar La Grassa and doing a big dinner in NYC with the mission of bringing Minnesota chefs to Manhattan to show off their stuff. I firmly believe that the food in Minnesota restaurants is on par with any city in America and I have been trying to prove that point for a while. Keep your eyes peeled for the next issue of Food & Wine magazine to see Kate Krader’s take on our dining scene. But I digress. I will put a bunch of photos on my instagram account and website, and  next year if we do it again I hope to see you in New York…maybe someone will let us do a comparable meal here in our own backyard!?!?!?!

Sisha Ortuzar made a summer squash salad, I did a giant pacific clam crudo with pea puree and pea shoot salad, McKee and Mike DeCamp made a riff on salt cod, bagna cauda, Med flavors and the hit ingredient of the night a golf-tee-sized cuke in pickle cure with its flower attached, Isaac made home made noodles with foie meat balls that I couldn’t stop eating as we plated it, Alex did a grilled quail and sweet potato dish that echoed Brasa flavors and Alma style, Kaysen and his team executed a flawless beef ribeye with marrow wrapped asparagus and Angie Lee put out a peach cobbler with lemon verbena ice cream….get to Riverpark next time you are in Manhattan.

Top Chef Masters returns!

Wednesday, July 25 is the premiere and betting blind, not even knowing who is in the running, and with apologies to anyone else in the field, my money is all riding on my pal Chris Cosentino from Incanto. Chris is one of the most skilled, creative, talented and technique obsessed chef-geniuses in the country, and one of the most under rated. My guess is that he destroys the competition. He is that good.

Look out for Bizarre Foods America

Why not head out to Vegas, stay the week at The Cosmopolitan like I did when I shot the Bizarre Foods America episode that kicks off the season on July 9 and sneak into the fancy schmancy premiere party they are hosting? Tell them I sent you.

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