Seduction Meals is about food + romance and the premise that everyone should learn to master one dish that is their signature dish—a Seduction Meal, to enchant and captivate that special someone in your life...
Monday, the 15th of November 2010, marked the launch of Marja's Dumpling Academy at the newly-opened "2nd floor on Clinton" on the Lower East Side.
I had the pleasure of joining Marja Samsom, The Dumpling Diva &
Hiromi, Sake Somelier Extraordinaire, for a delightful food & wine
tasting that included sipping an array of sake that was perfectly paired
with a variety of sweet and savory dumplings.
DUMPLING & SAKE TASTING MENU
Mushroom Dumpling with Mushroom & Enoki Salad paired with Bichuwajo (Junmai Ginjo sake)
Salmon Tartard Dumplings with Shiso Cucumber Pickle paired with Nanburyu (Junmai sake)
Pork & Prune Dumplings with Red Rabbage relish paired with Tomoju (Junmai Ginjo sake) Fig & Dark Chocolate Dumplings with Pomegranate Seeds paired with Yuzu Omoi (Yuzu sake)
During the evening Marja shares her dumpling secrets as she prepares,
fries and serves up each dumpling dish; you get to wrap a few dumplings
at your table, and you are given a recipe to take home to try this on your own. While the invitation states this is a "hands on cooking class", I found this a bit misleading. This is not a cooking class, rather it is a food & sake tasting where you listen and watch as Marja prepares her dumpling dishes. You do not have a food station, a frying pan and learn how to cook on the spot, which to me is more "hands on". Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed each course and watching Marja do her "thing".
Each and every dumpling served was delicious. My favorite dumpling and sake pairing was the Salmon Tartare/shiso cucumber pickle that was paired with Nanburyu Sake, and the dessert dumpling of Fig & Chocolate - just divine! At the end of my evening I left fully inspired to add dumplings to my list of Seduction Meal recipes to try, and I bow down to the much deserved title bestowed upon Ms. Samson--the Dumpling Diva!
Marja's Mushroom Dumpling Filling
1 box of bottom mushrooms, chopped in a food processor
4 pieces of medium sized dried shitake mushrooms, soaked until soft, then chopped
4 whole water chestnuts, roughly diced
4 cloves of garlic, grated
1 small knob of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp canola oil
sweet butter to flavor (optional)
Heat canola oil in a 9" skillet
Add chopped bottom mushrooms and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated
Add grated garlic and ginger
Add chopped shitake mushrooms, heat thoroughly
Add water chestnuts
Flavor with soy sauce
Add a lump of sweet butter to your taste
Your dumplings are ready to stuff
Marja's recipe card ends here. Having done some research and hopefully remembering correctly the details of the night here is how to assemble and fry the dumplings.
Filling the Dumplings
Take one won ton skin at a time and place 1 heaped teaspoon of the mixture in the center of each.
Then moisten the four edges of the won ton skin
Fold the dumpling in half to form a triangle, pressing down on all edges to enclose the filling. Or you can gather or four corners and bring them to the center and pinch to form a pouch.
Deep-fry them for 15-20 minutes until the bottom is crisp. You can slightly push down on the dumpling as it fries.
Drain on paper towel and serve while still hot with your favorite dipping sauce.
Discover true romance in New York's Hudson Valley where you will be surrounded by breath-taking views including cliffs, valleys, the Hudson River, majestic mountains and waterfalls. This is the land of the Culinary Institute and a locavore, or local, food movement that boasts artisanal purveyors and exceptional farm-to-table dining experiences--making this a wonderful choice for your romantic get-away for two.
There are many choices for lodgings from boutique Inns to spas and extraordinary Castles. In-between your daily activities and evening slumber, you can experience local restaurants that are sure to satisfy every culinary desire. Here is a list to get you started: a
295 Tinker Street
Woodstock, NY 12498
Blue Hill Farms 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, New York 10591 914 366 9600 630 Bedford Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591 http://www.bluehillfarm.com/
Cucina 109 Mill Hill Road Woodstock, NY 12498 845.679.9800 http://www.cucinawoodstock.com
Love Chocolate? Consider a Chocolate Tour for your next date. Carmen Botez's passion shines through as you experience custom tours that stir your senses, combining a drop of fantasy, a dash of stylish adventure and a spoon-full of great taste.
The Union Square Chocolate, & Wine Tour is an enticing walking tour that will take you and your date on a fascinating journey into the cultural and chocolate history of the Union Square area. Of course you will be joined by others, but when it comes to chocolate--does it really matter? And, when you pair the best chocolate and pastry with a fine selection of wines; everyone else will seem to disappear as you close your eyes and savor each and every chocolate morsel. On this 3-hour guided tour you will:
Get exclusive behind the scenes access to the kitchen of one of the most popular New York-based artisanal chocolatiers.
Enter a Flatiron District bakery that is an institution in its own right, and has all the locals lined up and ready to buy their buttery croissants and crunchy breads first thing in the morning.
See a factory where they produce chocolate that is organic, natural, gluten-free and low in sugar - the best possible chocolate for your health that also tastes divine.
Enjoy some of the finest chocolates in the world at an upscale French chocolatier's only American retail outlet. Their goods are used by many confectioners to create luxury bonbons.
Sample some of the most delicious French-style cakes and pastries at a Union Square bakery that serves and uses specially-chosen Venezuelan cocoa for its products.
Learn how to match the best wine with the most glorious chocolates and desserts right in the heart of Manhattan's Union Square. Take this unforgettable journey through New York's past and its cultural legacy, and you will get the scoop on the chocolate industry right where it happens.
About Zoom Media Productions Zoom Media Productions offers the ultimate chocolate tours of New York City for chocolate
lovers. Get closer to New York's most cherished chocolate boutiques with your VIP behind the scene pass to this very special world of chocolate artisans. In addition to the fabulous chocolate tours, Zoom Media publishes the Chocolate
Zoom Magazine, bringing you the latest news and trends in the cacao
Spice up your home cooking with tips from the Pros. Gourmet food retailer Dean & DeLuca has launched a new, complimentary in-store chef consultation service. Every Wednesday from 4:00 - 6:30 pm, Dean & DeLuca's Madison Avenue Market (at 85th) will give its customers access to top New York City chefs to teach customers new cooking techniques, help them plan menus, and answer any and all cooking questions.
Dean & DeLuca 1150 Madison Avenue (at 85th) Every Wednesday 4:00 - 6:30 pm No appointment necessary.
ABOUT THE CHEFS: The initial two expert chefs, who will be at Dean & DeLuca's Madison Avenue market on alternating Wednesdays, are Josh Capon, Executive Chef at Lure Fishbar and Diane DiMeo, Executive Chef at The Red Box Bistro and 1834 Burger Bar.
Chef Capon has many years of experience working in serious kitchens all over the world. He's been featured in The New York Times, New York Magazine, Wine Spectator and other media outlets. Recently, he served as a judge on Food Network's Chopped, and appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Chef DiMeo has over 22 years of experience and has opened up restaurants, bars and a Culinary Arts school. She is a recent Chopped winner, and she is working on her first cookbook.
Much to my surprise, I just realized that I never posted my experience at the annual James Beard Soft Shell Crab Event hosted by chef Joe Isidori, of Harbor Restaurant. As is the case every year, the event sold out and was attended by a diverse group of culinary enthusiasts of all ages. A few items on the menu were replaced with selections that did not include soft shell crabs, a bit disappointing to say the least, other than that one let down the food and wine pairings were very good. The original menu is shared below.
It is always a pleasure dinning at the James Beard House. You should
consider this as an option for your next date out on the town. You will
definitely be seduced by extraordinary food, drinks and company. Here is a link to upcoming events.
James Beard Invitation: Every summer, East Coast food lovers wait for that fleeting moment when local crabs shed their hard shells and can be eaten as delicious soft shell crabs. Join Joe Isidori of NYC's Harbour restaurant to celebrate this limited-engagement crustacean with a menu designed to keep guests happily sated until next season.
Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer
Pea Soup with Blue Softshell Crabs
Sweet and Spicy Softshell Crabs
Crispy Softshell Crab Balls with Lime Kewpie
Softshell Crab and Shrimp Spring Rolls with Lop Chum
East Hampton Cocktail: Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Gus Grapefruit Soda, and Thai Basil
Brick-Roasted Softshell Crab with Garden Vegetables and Buttermilk Dressing paired with a glass of Paumanok Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Cornmeal-Dusted Softshell Crab with Summer Corn, paired with a glass of Paumanok Chenin Blanc 2007
Pan-Braised Softshell Crab with Tomatoes and Parsley Purée, paired with Mattebella Famiglia NV
Softshell Crab Tempura with Avocado and Cantonese Black Beans paired with Paumanok Vin Rosé 2008
It has been a whirlwind year for sushi superstar O Ya of Boston, which has reeled
in accolade after accolade. Named to the top spot on Frank Bruni's list
of "Ten Restaurants that Count," O Ya dazzles diners with, as Bruni
writes, "intricate, stunningly creative dishes grounded in, but not
restrained by, Japanese tradition."
A culinary event creatively curated and prepared by Chef Tim Cushman and Sake Sommelier Nancy Cushman, the Modern Sushi & Saki Dinner at the James Beard House was perfectly paired and beautifully presented. For me there were three outstanding dishes that will be remembered whenever I think of O Ya:
Kumamoto Oysterwith Watermelon Pearls and Cucumber Mignonette served with Dassai Niwari Sambu Junmai Daiginjo Sake,
Hamachi with Vietnamese Mignonette Sauce, Thai Basil, and Shallot served with Chikurin Karoyaka Junmai Ginjo Sake,
Kabayaki Foie Gras with Balsamic-Chocolate Sauce and Raisin-Cocoa Pulp served with Hanahato 8-Year-Old Kijoshu Sake.
I never considered Foie Gras an ingredient for dessert, let alone pairing it with chocolate! You had to close your eyes while eating this delightful morsel. O Ya!
Wild Bluefin Tuna Nigiri with Soy-Braised Garlic and Microgreens
Salmon Nigiri with Unfiltered Wheat Soy Moromi and Yuzu
Wild Bluefin Toro Nigiri with Republic of Georgia Herb Sauce
Kabayaki Eel with Thai Basil and Kyoto Sansho
Served with Chikurin Hou Hou Shu Sparkling Junmai Sake
Dinner Kumamoto Oyster with Watermelon Pearls and Cucumber Mignonette Served with Dassai Niwari Sambu Junmai Daiginjo Sake
Assortment of Nigiri Sushi > Hamachi with Spicy Banana Pepper Mousse; Fried Kumamoto Oyster with Yuzu Kosho Aïoli and Squid Ink Bubbles; and Homemade La Ratte Potato Chip with Périgord Black Truffle Served with Shichi Hon Yari The Seven Spearsmen Junmai Sake
Assortment of Sashimi > Shima Aji and Sea Urchin with Ceviche Vinaigrette and Cilantro; Hamachi with Vietnamese Mignonette Sauce, Thai Basil, and Shallot; and Wild Bluefin Tuna Tataki with Smoky Pickled Onion and Truffle Oil Served with Chikurin Karoyaka Junmai Ginjo Sake
Grilled Chanterelle and Shiitake Sashimi with Rosemary-Garlic Oil, Sesame Froth, and Homemade Soy Served with Shichi Hon Yari The Seven Spearsmen Junmai Sake
Seared Petite Wagyu Strip Loin with Tiny Smoked Potato, Grilled Onion, and Fresh Wasabi Served with Ichinokura Taru Junmai Cedar Sake
Dessert Kabayaki Foie Gras with Balsamic-Chocolate Sauce and Raisin-Cocoa Pulp Served with Hanahato 8-Year-Old Kijoshu Sake
Another James Beard Extravaganza--the Modern French Degustation dinner was a culinary delight from start to finish. Let me start by saying the Fluke Crudo with Pomegranate, Grapefruit Granita, and Crispy Leeks was out-of-this- world delicious as was the chestnut soup with foie gras croutons served with a 50-Year-Aged Sherry Vinegar, and Brown Butter Crème Fraîche. Just divine!
Chef Jason Weiner presided over this gourmet event at the James Beard House. He was most recently executive sous chef at the acclaimed AQUA in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas after working at the original AQUA in San Francisco for five years. Today, along with his business partner Eric Lemonides, they serve up imaginative, bold French Bistro fare at their restaurant Almond in Bridgehampton; and lucky for me, the newly opened, much closer, Almond on 22nd Street in NYC.
Housemade Pastrami with Grain Mustard
House-Smoked Bluefish with Dill
Truffled Twice-Baked Fingerling Potatoes
Salt Cod Croquettes with Saffron Aïoli
Paired with Domaine Gaujal de Saint Bon Cuvée Dames Picpoul de Pinet 2007
Dinner Fluke Crudo with Pomegranate, Grapefruit Granita, and Crispy Leeks Paired with Domaine Gaujal de Saint Bon Cuvée Dames Picpoul de Pinet 2007
Chestnut Soup with Foie Gras Crouton, 50-Year-Aged Sherry Vinegar, and Brown Butter Crème Fraîche Paired with Triennes Sainte Fleur Viognier 2007
Seared Diver Scallops with Guinea Hen Ravioli, Salsify, and House-Cured Pork Jowl Paired with Domaine Antugnac Pinot Noir 2007
Roast Veal Rib with Caramelized Mirepoix and Spinach-Oyster Coulis Paired with Domaine de la Guicharde Côtes du Rhône 2007
Banana Cake with Caramelized Bananas and Homemade Banana Ice Cream Paired with Taylor Fladgate 10-Year-Old Tawny Port
The Black Winter Truffle Extravaganza dinner at the James Beard House was one enticing dish after another. Hosted by truffle connoisseur Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve
in Old Town Alexandra, Virginia, each dish creatively embraced the
essence of black truffles from appetizers to main dishes to desserts.
One of the most surprising treats of the evening was a cocktail
prepared by Sommelier Todd Trasher called The Ghost, which of course included truffles. I am going to have
to beg for that recipe, it was incredible!
As stated on the James Beard site: Described as "diamonds in the kitchen" by Brillat-Savarin, black
truffles are at their peak in January, when their subtle perfume lends
a whiff of intoxicating earthiness to even the most humble of dishes.
Frogs' Legs Tempura with Truffle Vinaigrette
Truffle Fritters with Truffle Reduction
Marinated Shimaaji Sashimi with Shaved Truffles
Paired with Thibault-Jannison Brut NV and special cocktails prepared by Todd Trasher
Dinner Handmade Celery Root Ravioli with Black Périgord Truffles and Micro-Celery Paired with Orsolani Vignot S. Antonio Erbaluce 2004
Butter-Poached Dover Sole with Baby Fennel, Tennessee Truffle Purée, and Truffle Vinaigrette Paired with Vincent Girardin 1er Cru Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot 2006
Roasted Beaver Creek Farms Partridge with Caramelized Pears, Périgord Truffles, and Foie Gras Paired with Ken Forrester Vineyards The Gypsy 2004
Shaffer Farms Venison Loin with Parsnip Gratin, Onion Confit, and Périgord Truffle Jus Paired with Bodegas Catena Zapata Catena Alta Malbec 2005
Housemade Emmental Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Burgundy Truffle Soup Paired with Remelluri Rioja 2003
Bittersweet Chocolate and White Chocolate Ganache with Tennessee Truffle Ice Cream Paired with Broadbent 10-Year-Old Malmsey Madeira 1996
Years of restaurant experience in Paris, Sausalito, and Portland have led chef Pascal Chureau to a unique style of cooking best described as modern European cuisine. His intriguing blend of flavors breathe life into dishes exotically laced with unexpected creativity and ingredients: absinthe creme fraiche, yuzu vinegrette, bourbon gastrique. I had the pleasure of dining at the James Beard House for the Nothwest Passage to Modern Europe dinner hosted by Chef Chureau. Each dish was a tempting, seductive experience.
Northwest Passage to Modern Europe
Potato Pillows with Coffee-Smoked Wild Salmon and Absinthe Crème Fraîche
Guanciale-Wrapped Squab Breast with Prunes and Tangerine Confit
Sea Bass Carpaccio with Cured Foie Gras and Yuzu Vinaigrette
Paired with Soter Beacon Hill Brut Rosé 2003
Siri & Son Farms Petite Greens with Roasted Porcini, Quail Egg, Brioche, and Maple Vinaigrette Paired with Champagne Gosset Célèbris Extra Brut 1999
Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Pain d'Épices, Lait de Poule Froth, and Bourbon Gastrique Paired with Anam Cara Cellars Estate Riesling 2006
Rabbit Loin Crépinette with Nougat de Montélimar, Persimmon Tarte Tatin, and Jus Paired with WillaKenzie Estate Terres Basses Pinot Noir 2002
Cardamom and Blood Orange Spritzer
Seared John Dory with Cauliflower Velouté, Chanterelles, Chestnut Tuile, and Veal Essence Paired with Champagne Jacquesson Avize Grand Cru Extra Brut 1997
Dark Chocolate Mille-Feuille with Cacao Nib Tuile, Apple Confit, Candied Beets, and Salted Butter Glace Paired with Privé Vineyard Pinot Noir Port NV
Next time you are in Portland, Oregon be sure to make reservations at Chef Pascal Chureau's recently opened restaurant, Lucier. And of course, to experience
some of the best food and wine tastings in New York City, check out the upcoming events at the James Beard House.
Winner of the 2006 Marrriot Chef of the Year Award, Ryan Littman of JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa located in Tucson, AZ was the guest chef at this savory southwestern dinner at the James Beard House. The meal was deliciously seductive from the first bite to the last.
Duck Liver Crosti with Piquillo Salad and Mesquite Salt and Pepper
Hot Iron Melted Black Mesa Goat Cheese and Tomato Fundido
Flash-Fried Manchego and Chorizo with Mesquite Molasses
Miniature Salt Cod Cakes with Avocado-Tangerine Salad
Paired with Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Champagne Rosé NV
Red, White, and Blue Osage Corn Posole with Pork Mole Roulade and Radish-Cilantro Salad Paired with Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Local Beans and Fiore di Capra Goat Cheese with Mâche and Charred Tomato Vinaigrette Paired with Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling 2005
Jalapeño-Cheddar Biscuits with House-Churned Butter and Local Honey
Guajillo Chile-Poached Monkfish with Elote and Melted Fennel Paired with Sanford Pinot Noir Barbara Country, 2006
Double Check Ranch Rib-Eye and Buffalo Short Rib Picadillo with Chives and Cilantro Gremolata Paired with Two Hands, Gnarly Dudes Shiraz Barossa Valley, 2006
Valrhona Manjari Chocolate Cake with Wild Strawberry Syrup, Cinnamon Basil Sorbet, and Almond-Cocoa Nib Florentine. Paired with Campbells Rutherglen Muscat NV
Friandise: Chocolate-Coated Pecans with Cocoa Powder and Sea Salt
After a long, hectic day I welcomed the opportunity to have dinner at
The James Beard House with executive chef Carmen Quagliata of renowned NY restaurant, Union Square Cafe. While I've had many
wonderful meals at JB events, this meal was something else. After
tasting one seductive morsel after another, savoring the vast array of flavors and
artfully prepared dishes, I realized that food can in fact alter your
being as I was whisked away from a chaotic day to a state of
At that very moment I decided the title of my story..."divine
intervention". Thank you Carmen!
The title of the dinner hosted at the James Beard house--Quintessentially New York: An icon of American gastronomy and hospitality for more than 20 years,
Union Square Cafe recently reclaimed the top spot in Zagat's list of
the most popular NYC restaurants (a distinction it has held no fewer
than eight times). Find out why when executive chef Carmen Quagliata visits the Beard House
Ever dream of becoming a chef? Running your own restaurant? Or perhaps becoming a contestant on Iron Chef competing against Mr. Batali himself. I had the pleasure of dining with chefs in training at the Northhampton Community College student run restaurant--Hampton Winds. Each student performs all functions of operating a restaurant and preparing the finest quality gourmet meals.
Their were five of us and each and every meal was meet with praise. The dinner was splendid; the service impeccable. Take a look at this slide show for inspiring ideas for your next Seduction Meal.
Hampton Winds Dinner is $30 Pre Fixe - Select one item from each meal Reservations can be made by calling 610-861-4549 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Grilled Flat Iron Steak, Shoe String Potatoes, Creamed Spinach, Sauce au poivre
Chicken Breast, Spiced Sausage, Northern White Beans with Vegetables, Red Wine Reduction
Seared Tuna Fillet, Eggplant Baba ghanoush, Bok Choy, Sweet Chili Sauce, Crisped Lotus Root
Sweet Potato Agnolotti, Sage Cream, Brown Butter, Potato Crisps
As a finale to your dining experience at Hampton Winds a dessert cart comes to your table filled with sweet temptations that will please all gourmands in the house. All you have to do is select one--the most difficult part of this wonderful dining experience.
When you are looking to impress a lover with discerning taste, take cues from Sirio Maccioni the owner of Le Cirque
and his executive chef, Christophe Bellanca--the masterminds behind the
magic of the legendary New York restaurant that has built a reputation
on offering a dining experience filled with opulence and pure
"Le Cirque has always been a place where the worlds
of food, fashion, art and culture collide", says Mr. Maccioni,
who has wined and dined high-society in New York for nearly half a
So with full enthusiasm and ready to surrender to indulgence, I happily open the door to the James Beard House
for a dinner with Christophe Bellanca to pamper my palate. And as you
can see in the slide show below...each dish was bold, beautiful and
done to perfection.
Champagne Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV
Tuna Tataki with Marinated Vegetables, Miso Gelée, and Celeriac Blancmange Trimbach Cuvée Frédéric-Emile Riesling 2001
Foie Gras Ravioli with Green Cabbage Marmalade and Black Truffle Emulsion Trimbach Cuvée Frédéric-Emile Riesling 2001
Langoustine with Mixed Asian Vegetables and Coconut-Lemongrass Jus Newton Red Label Chardonnay 2005
Chilean Sea Bass with Osetra Caviar, Leeks, Honshimeji Mushrooms, and Champagne Sauce Newton Red Label Chardonnay 2005
Walnut-Crusted Squab Breast and Squab Leg Confit with Lentil Ragoût and Prune Beignet Rocca di Frassinello Le Sughere di Frassinello 2004
Crêpes Suzette Il Pollenza Pius IX Mastai 2004 Château Suduiraut Sauternes 1995
Le Cirque is located at the Courtyard of One Beacon Court 151 East 58th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenue 212.644.0202
Jack is an occasional restaurant that it is only occasionally in existence. Recommended by a friend and run by a fellow food blogger, I took a ride to Brooklyn to support and explore this interesting concept restaurant. I love the idea of restaurants, clubs, and bars that move from place to place or come and go as they please. You have to "know someone" to find out where these hot spots are. This is one to check out.
Run by Danielle and Dave, I asked this highly creative culinary couple why the name Jack? "We spent a while thinking about names before settling on simply naming it "Jack". Being "jacks of all trades" ourselves; you need Jacks. We are the elements of change that lets the world happen. For us, Jack is just another expression of that --doing as much as we can and keeping ourselves active and interested in what we do. And a nod to the fairy tale archetype. Also, it happens to have been Dave's grandfather's name."
Lawyer by day--food blogger by night. Danielle got into blogging a little over two years ago when she started Habeas Brulee. "I was reading a lot of food blogs at the time and just itching to create my own and take part in the community and teh discourse about food and cooking that was starting to develop. The name of my blog comes from habeas corpus, a legal term used primarily in criminal defense law meaning "you should have the body", and creme brulee, the creamy custard dessert with the crunchy burnt sugar on top".
Danielle is an attorney with a general practice (http://www.sucherlaw.com) and while she loves her legal practice, it is not the only way she likes to spend her time. Her co-chef and fiancé Dave is programmer and feels the same about his work. They spend a lot of time cooking and experimenting in the kitchen together. "We love feeding people and have always loved serving elaborate multi-course meals for friends and family. Running the restaurant sounded like fun, a way to push ourselves to constantly experiment with food and reach out to share it with more people".
Amuse Bouche fava beans, seaweed pop rocks
Ramp Udon Soup bacon consommé, asparagus tempura
Roasted Marrow Bone radish watercress salad, toast
Pan-Seared Red Snapper soupy saffron rice, braised leeks with hazelnuts and balsamic vinegar
Jack is open for one seating per night at 7 pm on Saturday nights, once a month or so at the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope. Check out their web site for details. They serve a fixed multi-course tasting menu changes that changes each time. Menus are posted in advance on this site, BYOB, and reservations are absolutely required. You can find the complete list of dates when Jack will be open in 2008 on their web site.
The cuisine is eclectic, innovative, and very tasty. The service impeccable. The ambiance...100% theatrical, I felt as though I was dining on a stage. The food delicous and wildly creative.
Truffled-cured foie gras, truffle salt-crusted prime rib with red wine Jus, French fries, and truffled hollandaise sauce, fried squash blossoms stuffed with fontina cheese, and tuna-watermelon tiradito--how could a truffle-loving, foodie turn down this seductive dinner?
Hosted by celebrated chef Michelle Bernstein of Michy's in Miami, also an Iron Chef America winner, and the 2008 James Beard winner for Best Chef in the South; this Black Summer Truffle Extravaganza held at the James Beard House was filled with an array of spectacular dishes, enticing flavors--overall a meal to be remembered.
As described in the James Beard brochure: "...Truffles are considered a fall fungus, but as its name implies, the black summer truffle (Tuber aestivum) is plentiful in the warmer months. Celebrated Miami chef Michelle Bernstein will take a break from her busy schedule to prepare a feast that celebrates this seasonal delicacy." Naturally I grabbed my camera and happily embraced this gourmet celebration. Take a look at the slide show below for some seductive eye candy. And trust me, each bite was as delicious as it looks.
Hors d'Oeuvre Menu
Clams with Pork Belly
Fried Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Fontina
Chilled Green and White Asparagus Soup
Rocche Dei Manzoni Valentino Brut Zero 1999
Truffle-Cured Foie Gras with Toast and Fava Bean-Orange Marmalade Domaine Dirler-Cadé Reserve Riesling 2000
Hand-Cut Pappardelle with Truffle-Poached Egg and Mushrooms Trenel Clos des Moriers Fleurie 2006
Sautéed Turbot with Truffle-Poached Oysters, Crispy Oysters, and Celery Domaine Huet Le Mont Sec Vouvray 2006
Truffled Salt-Crusted Prime Rib with Red Wine Jus, French Fries, and Truffled Hollandaise Château Redortier Suzette Gigondas 2003
Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberries, Strawberry Consommé, and Truffles J. Laverriere Banyuls Clos Chatart Grand Cru 1993
Wines generously provided by Robert Chadderdon Selections
As quoted on the new James Beard web site: "There are decadent dinners and then there are those that are downright sinful. For this event, guest Chef Thanawat Bates created an inspired menu of indulgent dishes that embody the seven deadly sins. You may have to say a few extra Hail Marys, but each delicious bite will be well worth the penance." I immediately called James Beard to reserve my place for
this seductively sinful dinner.
Being in a kitchen with Thanawat Bates is like being in an artists studio. The way in which he creatively "paints" each dish is something to behold. Watch the slide show below for a step-by-step lesson on how he plates his Wagyu Beef dish, or the two images showing his salad creation. I could easily see his dishes in a gallery. So let's shift gears now and focus on his concept of presenting the evening's masterpieces as the 7 deadly sins.
Guest Chef: Thanawat Bates of Palace Arms at the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, CO. The hotel is a Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond luxury landmark and Palace Arms has been referred to Denver's eminent equivalent to New York's 21 Club.
Pride Enjoying one of our first spring like evenings, Pride was served and devoured in the outdoor garden Whimsical
Coq au Vin with Caramelized Onion-Mushroom Duxelle, Red Wine Reduction,
and Bacon Chips. Rossini with Toasted Brioche, Bison Roulade, and
Madeira-Foie Gras Hollandaise Gin-Cured Tuna with Toasted Nori, Watermelon, and Chinese Black Vinegar Served with Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé NV
Wrath Represented by the anger and wrath of the Scorpian, this dish was artfully prepared. I love the big yellow swoosh on the plate.
Scorpionfish with Spicy Slaw, Roasted Poblano Sauce, and Micro-Cilantro Served with Don Olegario Albariño 2006
Sloth Beets were chosen because they are easily cooked to perfection with little fuss. Roasted, steamed, or boiled there isn't much effort required to ensure great results. However, rest assured an easy preparation was not taken, as this chef flavored the water, combined distinct elements of contrasting tastes,
and added his enchanting artist's touch to plating this abstract artistic salad.
Beets with Watercress Salad, Candied Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Horseradish Vinaigrette Served with Louis Jadot Pinot Noir 2005
Gluttony Foie Gras, Sweetbreads, and Bone Marrow. What more needs to be said...Pure gluttony!.
Foie Gras with Sautéed Sweetbreads, Bone Marrow, Sabayon, and Hazelnut-Mustard Streusel Served with Inniskillin Vidal Icewine 2006
Greed The most expensive beef you can find, Wagyu, also known as Kobe beef, combined with Truffles - deliciously extravagant.
Wagyu Beef with Sautéed Abalone, Truffled Potato Purée, Sea Urchin, and Shallot-Sherry Vinaigrette Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Envy Envy and jealousy are represented by the richness of this panna cotta, not to mention the Jackson Pollock splash of red sauce the sets the stage for this wonderful dessert..
Lemon Panna Cotta, Vanilla Cloud, and Orange-Vodka Caramel Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato 2007
Lust And last but not least, let us not go home without the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate which just screams LUST!
Truffles with Strawberry-Champagne Gelée, Gold Dust, Rose Aroma, and Chocolate
In a recent interview to
promote her new memoir, author Isabelle Allende said it best. While
having lunch with Sunday Star Times writer Janet Hawley, Isabelle
served a specially prepared meal served with Chilean white wine.
"Gluttony and lust are the only deadly sins worth the trouble, my
dear," she says, raising her glass. "Please eat more."
You've got to
Chef Thanawat Bates, thank you for a truly seductive, sinful gourmet feast!
future events at the James Beard House, sign up for the James Beard
newsletter--there is no better place to learn from the pros.
The one thing about attending an event at the James Beard House is the endless creativity and inspiration unleashed by each chef starting with the event's menu and the unique selection of food and wine pairings, the use of exotic spices and flavors, to the way in which they plate each dish. This modern Peruvian dinner was hosted by Jean Paul Desmaison of La Cofadia (Coral Gables, FL). Who would have thought that goat cheese ice cream would be so delectable? And the very idea of saving the lobster shell to use as an adornment for my seduction meal will be remembered.
Rooted in one of the world's oldest cuisines, Jean Paul Desmaison's modern Peruvian cooking reflects the ancient culinary traditions of his Latin American homeland and his classical French training, all wrapped up with a dash of contemporary American flair. Take a look at this slide show to witness modern gourmet Peruvian splendor. By the way --Breaking News: Check out the newly designed James Beard Foundation's web site. Great Job!
Hors d'Oeuvre Peruvian Corn Anticuchos with Huancaina Sauce Scallops Bloody Mary Slow-Braised Pork and Grapes with Pisco Champagne Gosset Brut Excellence NV
Dinner Peruvian Ceviche with Spicy Lime Juice-Marinated Lemon Sole, Octopus, and Shrimp S.A. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett Riesling 2005
Piquillo Peppers Stuffed with Beef, Pork, Peanuts, and Raisins with Creamy Rosemary-Parmesan Sauce Marchesi di Barolo Ruvei Barbera d'Alba 2004
Risotto del Cofrade Peruvian Yellow Chile Risotto with Sautéed Florida Lobster Tail Jean-Luc Colombo La Belle de Mai Saint Peray 2004
Duck Confit with Couscous and Black Currant Gastrique Grand Clos Finca El Puig 2001
Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Port-Sautéed Berries and Balsamic Reduction
Grilled or steamed lobster. Sweet meat dipped in melted butter. Licking fingers to capture each and every drop. Wonderfully sensual and very seductive. Not to take away from the pleasures of sharing a simple lobster seduction meal; however, when you want to really dazzle your date, take a cue from these top chefs as they exquisitely prepare and present a new slant on the king of crustaceans.
A Lobster Degustation Dinner--another delicious gourmet food and wine tasting event held at the James Beard House. The food is sensual and artistically presented; the colors, contrasts and shapes inspiring. Degustation means "a careful, appreciative tasting of various foods" and this dinner certainly held up to its promise. For future food and wine tastings at the James Beard House, go to this link for a list of upcoming events.
Lobster Degustation Dinner
Star Chefs from some of the finest restaurants in Colorado Ryan Blanchard - Walter's Bistro and Plate World Cuisine Bryan Byard - Plate World Cuisine Jason Gust - Ritz Grill Jeff Knight - Craftwood Inn James Camron Welch - Sonterra
Tempura Lobster Tails with Peanut Sauce
Lobster Ceviche in Blue Corn Tortilla Cones
Lobster Maki with Wasabi Aïoli
Served with Mont Marcal Reserve 2005
Roasted Lobster and Scallop Medallion with Artichoke Hash and Creamed Leeks Served with Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling 2006
Lobster & Vegetable "Shabu-Shabu" Served with Domaine William Fèvre Champs Royaux Chablis 2006
Grilled and Chilled Lobster with Field Greens, Black Winter Truffles and Truffle Vinaigrette Served with Huia Pinot Noir 2005
Grilled Kobe Beef Hanger Steak with Lobster Ratatouille, English Peas & Mint Sauce Served with Tablas Creek Vineyard Côtes de Tablas 2005 (this was a big hit at my table)
Lemongrass-Ginger Panna Cotta with Pomegranate Soup Served with Selaks Ice Wine, Eastern Coast New Zealand 2005
The Hindu festival of Diwali is a four-day celebration throughout India with feasting and the lighting of small oil lamps in honor of the goddess of good fortune. People from all age groups participate--lighting earthen 'diyas' (lamps), decorating the houses, setting off firecrackers, and inviting friends and family to their homes to share a sumptuous feast. The Festival of Lights is celebrated around the world in many different cultures where the lights or lamps signify victory of good over the evil within every human being.
Those fortunate enough to celebrate the holiday at the James Beard House enjoyed an illuminating meal prepared by the talented chefs behind Dévi: Suvir Saran, Hemant Mathur and pastry chef Surbhi Sahni.
All New Yorkers in the know, welcome the recent news of the reopening of restaurant Devi, the place to go for authentic home cooking with authentic flavors, aromatics, condiments
and inspirations from homes of the diverse regions of India. Check out the rave review by Gael Green of New York Magazine.
For our special evening the menu included one hit after the other:
Potato and Pea Samosas with Tamarind-Date Chutney
Masala Chicken Wings
Shammi Kebabs > Lamb and Chickpea Lentil Cakes with Mint-Yogurt Chutney
Crab, Shrimp, and Salmon Cakes with Pickled Green Chile Mayonnaise
Raats Family Wines Original Chenin Blanc 2006
Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2006
Spinach Chaat with Crispy Spinach Leaves, Black Chickpeas, Chickpea Noodles, and Spiced Yogurt Sauce
Buitenverwachting Riesling 2006
Shrimp, Calamari, and Sweet Pepper Fritto Misto with Curry Leaf-Scented Tomato Sauce
The Foundry Viognier 2006
Bombay-Style Koliwada Halibut with Lettuce, Radishes, Tomatoes, Scallions, and Naan Croutons
Tokara Chardonnay 2005
Goat Cheese and Garam Masala Pesto-Stuffed Chicken with Saffron, Currant, and Spice-Scented Rice Pilaf
De Toren Z 2004
Emperor's Morsel Shahi Tukra > Indian Bread Pudding with Cardamom Cream and Candied Almonds
Klein Constantia Vin de Constance 2001
Dining with the Devi team was an experience in itself. It was the first time I saw people sharing food in the kitchen at the James Beard House family style. The chefs truly embraced this communal experience, offering up plates to everyone as they entered; as I am sure they would do in their homes. Suri was the perfect host, stopping by everyone's table to chat and talk about each dish; he even asked me if I had tried the food while I was in the kitchen shooting--all ready to plate a special dish for me. The food was delicious and Devi's desserts are incredible! Next time you are in NY, treat yourself to a truly wonderful experience.
Devi 8 East 18th Street between Broadway & 5th Avenue 212-691-1300
Eating out is a great inspiration for learning how to impress your loved one. Whether aroused by an exotic delicacy, captivated by a creative presentation, or enchanted by the overall mood of the experience--the lighting, music, or the decor; you can learn a lot from the masters.
The James Beard Foundation has been at the forefront of America's culinary revolution for over 20 years. Throughout the year chefs from America's finest restaurants and hotels cook in the kitchen of James Beard's legendary Greenwich Village home, presenting their culinary art to Foundation members, guests and friends.The lunch events are less expensive then the dinners and are a great way to sample the goods so to speak, before becoming a member and attending lunches, dinners and other James Beard Events--all of which you will want to do.
I attended a wonderful food and wine tasting prepared by chef Roberto Lamorte of Trattoria Dopo Teatro. Born in Pisa, Italy, Roberto's food-loving family inspired his culinary passion. After working at two highly acclaimed NY restaurants, Le Cirque and Da Silvano, Lamorte now pays homage to the regional cuisine of Tuscany.
It was a lovely Friday afternoon and a welcomed opportunity to enjoy an outdoor cocktail reception in the James Beard Garden.
Chicken Liver Pâté Crostini
Tuna Tartare with Avocado
Arancini with Green Peas and Parmesan
Beef Carpaccio with Arugula, Parmesan, and Truffle Oil
Sausage, Spinach, and Gorgonzola-Filled Fried Ravioli with Tomato Sauce
Wine Served: Mormoraia Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2006
We moved inside for the main meal. The food served was exquisite and creatively presented, each coarse perfectly paired with select wines.
Lunch Porcini and Ricotta-Filled Homemade Crêpes with Four-Cheese Sauce Firriato Altavilla della Corte Grillo Bianco 2006
Stracci all'Aragosta Homemade Pasta Ribbons with Lobster, Cherry Tomatoes, and Tuscan Pesto H. Lun Sandbichler Pinot Noir 2004
Osso Buco alla Milanese Braised Veal Shank with Saffron Risotto and Citrus Zest Fontodi Chianti Classico 2001
Sfogliatina di Mele Puff Pastry Layered with Baked Apples and Chantilly Cream, Served with Chocolate Sauce Icardi La Rosa Selvatica Moscato d'Asti 2006
Trattoria Dopo Teatro is a unique combination of extraordinary Italian cuisine, exquisite décor and affordable prices. Appearing deceptively small from the outside, this Theater District favorite is home to one of the most beautiful interior gardens in New York City,
Address: 125 West 44th St. NYC (betw 6th & B'way) (212)869-2849 Saturday Brunch 12:00-3:00pm Pre & After Dinner Menu ushrooms
The James Beard Foundation does it again. Artistically prepared, seductive Mexcican food paired with assorted mezcal all night long..now that's a Seduction Meal!
Sean Yontz, recognized as one of Denver's top chef's with a passion for Latin influenced cuisine, and Chris Douglas, known for artfully combining his experience and love of fine dining with the flavors and flair of central Mexico; togetgher hosted the Contemporary Mexican Celebration at the James Beard Foundation creating one artistic culinary masterpiece after the other.
They were joined by Ron Cooper, founder of New Mexico based Del Maguey whose prized mezcals are produced in small quantities which may help explain their prices: $40 to $200 per bottle. Here's a link to some of Ron's Mescal recipes: you've got to love names like "Fire Between the Thighs" and "The Xiuhtecuhtli O (The Fire God)" or "Chocolate and Mezcal Volcano Cakes".
Hors d'Oeuvres Tastings
Butter Poached Spiny Lobster with Crisp Potato Cakes
Foie Gras Torchon with Carmelized Plaintains and Onion Salsa
Tuna Nachos with Guacamole and Fresno Peppers
Huitlachoche Quesadillas with Smoked Jalapeno Salsa (looked more like empanadas to me)
Smokin' Marg > Del Maguey Blanco Mezcal with Orange and Lime Juices and Cointreau or,
If you enjoy the social experience of food and wine tastings,The James Beard Foundation offers a special alternative to yet another night at your favorite restaurant. When I first discovered the place, I thought: what a wonderful place for a first or second date (and then some). Throughout the year the foundation features ongoing chef hosted events. The cost is $100 - $200 per person per tasting event, perhaps a bit pricey I agree (luncheons and workshops are less). However, if you do not find this a big ticket item the overall experience could serve as inspiration for your next home cooked Seduction Meal.
I experienced my first James Beard event-- The Annual Soft Shell Crab Experience. What a night! First, it was completely booked when I called to RSVP. Happily someone canceled so they dialed the waiting list...I was thrilled when the call came through. This year's event was orchestrated by Michael Sullivan of Brouwers restaurant in New York City.
The Menu: Hor d'Oeuvre / Cocktail Reception
Salmon & Spinach Strudel
Main Crab Cakes with Chipotle Tarter Sauce
Mini Crab Cake Quiche
Tuna and Mango Tartare
Open-faced Grilled Brie Sandwich with Bacon and Tomato