Thursday February 14, 2013
by MK Burnell
Happy Valentine's Day, lovers!
In our article A Late Winter's Date in NYC
, we told you all about West Village sensation Barraca. Now, as a special treat to cap off our Rhapsody in Red celebration, meet the talented master chef who creates the magic. Chef Jesús Nuñez, master of combining exquisite flavor with artistic presentation, was kind enough to grant us a Valentine's Q&A.
How is your work at Barraca different from the dishes you created at Gastroarte?
JN: Although the style of food is very different, it is the same in one aspect: I try to make the best food possible. At Barraca I'm cooking genuine, authentic Spanish food--comfort food, casual dishes that bring a bite of Spain to the table. At Gastroarte, I was transforming Spanish recipes and creating contemporary interpretations of traditional dishes--melding ideas together and playing with food.
Where do you find inspiration when thinking up innovative ways to present a dish?
JN: I don't have a concrete answer for this question. My inspiration comes from everywhere--from a color, a texture, an ingredient, a picture, a dream, a form, a crazy idea, a sunset, a conversation, a building, an artist. I don't look at food as just food; I look at is as the medium through which I can be creative. Sometimes when I walk in the kitchen, I know what I'm going to do. But sometimes, I play with a dish, using the ingredients as legos, trying to fall in love with the presentation. Of course, though, the most important thing is the flavor, and this is something that I never forget.
Can you describe your most memorable/romantic Valentine's Day meal? Was it created by you, or for you?
JN: The most memorable Valentine's Day meal was cooked for me by my girlfriend, who created an entire menu in just one dish. Let me explain: She was following a pasta recipe that called for spinach, but when she finished, the pasta ended being more like a soup (first course), with rough, raw spinach piled on top, resembling a salad with walnuts and cheese (second course), and then a pasta (entrée). But love was in the air!
What advice would you give the casual chef on plating a dish to create an extraordinary Valentine's Day meal?
JN: Cook with love and passion--this is the secret. Don't drive yourself crazy; prepare something simple. The extraordinary part of dining on Valentine's Day is enjoying a meal with the person you love.
What is your favorite seductive dish?
JN: Foie gras terrine with sea urchin, Iberian ham sauce, persimmon and passion fruit. This is an explosion of flavors and textures that you can't forget. When you eat this dish, you fall in love with it, and then with me (haha).
What kind of romantic gift or special treat do you like to give your lover for Valentine's Day?
JN: A nice card written from the heart. Then I try to get home early from work to giver her a massage. Simple, honest and effective. Anyway, I'm not really a Valentine's Day guy; I'm an "every-day-is-Valentine's-Day" guy.
Thanks to Chef Nuñez for taking the time to answer our questions! Take his advice and remember that the love and passion you pour into the preparation of a meal is what makes it truly special, and the time you spend savoring it with the one you love is the most important part. May your day be filled with romance, delicious food, and sweet seduction.
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Thursday February 07, 2013
by MK Burnell
We're fascinated by the art of the love letter. Ever since we started coming across these intimate pieces of romantic history, we've felt compelled to share them with the world. So to celebrate our Valentine's Day Rhapsody in Red, here's one more installment in our series of love letters from famous figures throughout the ages. Don't forget to check out part one
and part two
These letters, and many more like them, came from the fabulous and fascinating blog Letters of Note
First, a letter of love and longing from artist Rockwell Kent to his wife, Frances:
"Frances! I am so lonely I can hardly bear it. As one needs happiness so have I needed love; that is the deepest need of the human spirit. And as I love you utterly, so have you now become the whole world of my spirit. It is beside and beyond anything that you can ever do for me; it lies in what you are, dear love -- to me so infinitely lovely that to be near you, to see you, hear you, is now the only happiness, the only life, I know. How long these hours are alone!
Yet is good for me to know the measure of my love and need, that I may at least be brought to so govern myself as never to lose the love and trust that you have given me.
Dear Frances, let us make and keep our love more beautiful than any love has ever been before.
Forever, dearest one.
No less lovely for its wildly different style, here's a letter from beloved comedian George Carlin to his wife, Sally:"SALLYBURGER,
If you took THE NUMBER OF SUB-ATOMIC PARTICLES IN THE UNIVERSE and multiplied that number times itself THAT MANY TIMES; and then added the total number of MICRO-SECONDS since the beginning of time, times itself; and then added 803--you would STILL have only the tiniest fraction of A BILLION-BILLIONTH PER CENT of the amount of love I HAVE FOR YOU.
your candle partner, the romantic Mr Carlin, your eternal flame."
And finally, a letter of pure, raw emotion from writer Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolfe:"...I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn't even feel it. And yet I believe you'll be sensible of a little gap. But you'd clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it should lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is really just a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan't make you love me any more by giving myself away like this -- But oh my dear, I can't be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don't love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defenses. And I don't really resent it."
May these heartfelt words inspire you to send a love letter of your own. Happy Valentine's Day, lovers!
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Sunday January 27, 2013
by MK Burnell
Reading a love letter is like getting a voyeuristic glimpse into the most secret recesses of the writer's heart. It's even more fascinating when the writer is a famous figure from history - knowing their work inside and out is one thing, but to read their most intimate personal thoughts is irresistibly intriguing.
As part of our Valentine's Day Rhapsody in Red, we're bringing you the most beautiful, touching, funny, frequently sexy celebrity love letters we can find, in the hopes that they'll inspire you to express your own romantic feelings to the one you love.
from jimi hendrix to an unnamed lady friend...
happiness is within you....so unlock the chains from your heart and let yourself grow--
like the sweet flower you are.....
I know the answer--
Just spread your wings and set yourself
Love to you forever
from frida kahlo to diego rivera...
"Diego, my love,
Remember that once you finish the fresco we will be together forever once and for all, without arguments or anything, only to love one another.
Behave yourself and do everything that Emmy Lou tells you.
I adore you more than ever. Your girl, Frida
johnny cash to june carter cash...
"That's really nice June. You've got a way with words and a way with me as well.
The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout.
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on January 27 in Valentine's Day
, celebrity seduction
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Tuesday September 25, 2012
I have been following Jesus Nunez on Facebook
now for about half a year and every time he adds a new post he makes me smile. I just have to stop what I am doing to study a dish as if contemplating a painting in a gallery.
His whimsical, sophisticated creations are truly awe inspiring. He is one of the most creative chefs out there, painting provocative masterpieces with food.
Jesus is the executive chef/owner at Gastroarte
, a restaurant in New York City. I have never been there but it is on my To-Do list and I cannot wait to experience this modern cuisine. Take a look at some of his creations:
From the Gastroarte website: "It is Gastroarte's intention to bring New York an outlet for the modern cuisine that has put Spain on the culinary map as one of today's international gourmet destinations. In following Chef Núñez' passion for fusing old-world recipes with new-world preparations, Gastroarte is a meeting place for authentic Spanish flavors and nontraditional techniques, a crumble of Mediterranean and multicultural ingredients and molecular methods.
The menu showcases rich, imaginative cooking with a focus on simple yet robust flavors and also reflects Chef Núñez' youthful history as a graffiti and fine artist. In the kitchen, he draws inspiration from his love of urban design and street art, designing his dishes to be colorful creations that many diners say are "too beautiful to eat." The stage for these edible works of art offers its diners two unique dining experiences. In the Tapas and Bar Room guests can enjoy reinterpretations of Spanish tapas, while in the Dining and Garden Rooms a beautifully created dinner menu is available featuring the exploration of shape, color and most importantly flavor."
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on September 25 in celebrity seduction
, plating the dish
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Thursday August 18, 2011
Sexy, Domestic Goodess, Cookbook author, and now lover of a world renown chef, Suzanne Pirret is making headlines.
According to the Daily Mail
: 'In love with food and sex': Suzanne Pirret is now dating chef Heston Blumenthal. Blumenthal, 45, is now romancing actress turned cookery writer Suzanne Pirret, who has been billed as a 'goddess' by critics after writing The Pleasure Is All Mine: Selfish Food for Modern Life.
Here is your Suzanne's very sexy cookbook: The Pleasure is All Mine
- Check out the book promo
With The Pleasure is All Mine
, anyone can enjoy a Steak au Poivre with Frites, Three-Cheese Ravioli, Coconut Fish Curry with Homemade Naan Bread, or a Wild Blueberry Free-Form Tart without the expense and hassle of restaurants or fussy dinner guests.
The 100 uncomplicated, exquisite recipes in this collection are simple to prepare and require no fancy equipment. With just a skillet, bowl, knife, and a few perfect ingredients, Pirret makes great solo dining effortless-and she offers inspired wine and cocktail pairings, too, to make dinner complete. Edgy and bursting with personality, The Pleasure is All Mine is also filled with a wealth of devilishly entertaining stories based on her experiences living in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and London.
Source Eater.com: Pirret once wrote
for the London Evening Standard's ES Magazine
: "Images of food and sex have become one long billboard of licking, sucking, dripping and drooling. Food porn is ubiquitous... Food and sex. Two of my favourite things
, and the most powerful of all human drives. Best one after the other in either order, I'm not picky."
"100 excellent recipes-for-one" Wall Street Journal
"There's nothing domestic about this goddess" Evening Standard Magazine
"I couldn't put this book down" Bobby Flay
"Wickedly funny" Marie Claire
"Sexy, single, and good with a souffle" Esquire, Women We Love
"Intoxicating indulgent" Washington Post
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Posted by terry dagrosa at 11:11AM on August 18 in celebrity seduction
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Sunday May 29, 2011
We all know Park City is one of the premier ski destinations, but it's
also gorgeous in the summer and not to be missed. The city has been
known as the main host city of the Sundance Film Festival, but it has
also become a hot spot for the rich and famous. And recently, a dazzling
new star has arrived on Main Street:
508 Main St, Park City, Utah
The food focuses on fresh and local ingredients, accompanied by original cocktails and a very long wine list. The elegant, luxurious space, designed by the world-renowned Rockwell group, was host to several glamorous celebrity parties during Sundance.
We were lucky enough to speak to Silver's co-owner and owner of Vida Tequila, Lisa Barlow
What was the inspiration behind starting SILVER - and how is it going?
The inspiration is timeless, comfortable luxury. We wanted to bring something new and fresh to a town that is quickly becoming the "Hamptons of the West". Things are going very well. We had a star studded opening and continue to maintain the integrity of SILVER.
Check out this slide show:
(Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer)
Tell us what is was like to work with the one and only - David Rockwell (we are huge fans). Did you have a definitive idea for the Silver Brand and interior design or did you just "unleash" the brilliance of the Rockwell Group?
I knew we wanted cobalt blue, chain mail and lots of sheers. I love banquettes and think that all of these elements are timeless. I looked through the Rockwell website and brought in my inspiration and ideas from other properties in Prague, Berlin and NYC. We worked with David Mexico - he is a genius. Within ten days of our first meeting, we were back in NYC going over three distinct renderings for the space. He took all of our favorite things and inspiration pieces and combined them in one space. He is pure genius.The photos of your dishes are truly seductive. What is your signature dish?
I love the butternut leaf salad, the meatballs and love, LOVE the short ribs!What music is playing on a typical night at Silver?
I love our music. Depending on our featured DJ, we have lots of alternative music, hits from the 80's - some Madonna, Erasure, Aero Smith, Def Leppard, Michael Jackson- really fun music that makes you want to hang out, cocktail and dance with friends.Your restaurant has really taken off - hosting parties for the Sundance Festival and its been reported to be popular amongst the celebrity scene. What are your future plans for the restaurant?
Lots! Great programming that keeps SILVER fresh and current, continually raising the bar for Sundance, which is an international tastemaker, industry event in our city. I think it's important to maintain your vision with constant updates and change. The goal is to keep bringing something new to the very chic and cool Park City, a host of so many of the worlds most unique, interesting and successful people.Would you care to share which celebrities have been to your restaurant so far?
James Franco, Kate Bosworth, Vera Ferminga, Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes, Channing Tatum and Demi Moore, Penn Bagley, Ashton Kutcher, to name a few.As an entrepreneur, wife, mom and now restaurant owner - when planning a romantic evening, do you prefer to cook at home or eat out?
We eat out or I am happy to let my husband cook - he is amazing!
Lisa Barlow, co-owner of SilverAnd for our readers, can you tell us what is YOUR Seduction Meal?
What would you whip up for your husband if you had the time and were to
create a special night at home?
Good question! I'll go with
my signature: I would do a great spinach salad, followed by stuffed
shells, or a good cut of filet - and homemade ice cream served with
fresh creme and berries and VIDA TEQUILA cocktails of course :)
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