ALL FORKS ASIDE: #MEETTHECHEFS

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FIRST (OR BEST!) FOOD MEMORY?

FABIO: I baked an apple cake, two actually, and took with me to the Vatican. I personally gave one to the Pope. 

Wait, why were you there? That's hilarious.

FABIO: (I was) too hyper! My grandfather managed to get me there to be blessed in person...not sure that it worked! laughs.

BLONSKY: My parents took me to San Francisco back in 1993, I was 13 years old. We found this little place off the beaten path called Cafe Sport. It was a small, dark bar with only 4 booths in the back. The waiter approached us and asked where we were from, not have we eater there, and proceeded to say "trust me" and that was that. The food started coming out in waves! Fresh delicacies that made us feel like we had been transported to some small town in Italy...and we were the only ones eating there. To date, the best homemade cavatelli with vodka cream sauce I have ever had...and still dream about.

A RECIPE YOU WANT TO MASTER. GO.

BLONSKY: Making ramen noodles from scratch. It's a simple recipe, but is more of an art that anything that can take years to master. 

FABIO: Maybe not a recipe, but better at baking! Three problems: 

1. No patience. 

2. I don't have the patience

3. I hate measuring things! 

 

SAY YOU WERE BEING BRIBED...WHAT FOOD WOULD DO THE TRICK?

BLONSKY: If someone were trying to bribe me with food, they would have to bring the most perfectly aged ribeye I have ever had in my life. I'm a sucker for a good steak!

FABIO: I would do anything for an IN-N-Out burger.

Wouldn't we all?

 

FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND A SATURDAY AFTERNOON?

FABIO: n my dream? On the couch with my feet rested. Petting my dog. Watching a movie. Also a glass of red wine with Ashley! Reality? On a plane going somewhere since I travel most weekend. No dog. No wife. No wine. NOT COOL. 

BLONSKY: Waking up and going to the gym then coming home to take my dog (Maddie) for a walk with my wife! Grabbing a coffee. Just hanging out and enjoying our time together. You can throw a good backyard BBQ in for good measure when the weather is "nice."

 

WHAT KIND OF CAKE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?

FABIO: Three cakes! Mississippi Mud Pie, heart attack waiting to happen, in the form of chocolate. Tiramisu just because I'm Italian and there is always room in my day for this. Bomboloni. It's the Italian answer to donuts and that's where donuts want to be when he dies and goes to pastry heaven you know? 

 

WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO HAVE DINNER WITH RIGHT NOW AND WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

BLONSKY: I actually just meet Daniel Boulud at Buccan restaurant in Palm Beach and he was the nicest, most humble well-known chef I have ever met. I would love to go to the French Riviera and eat at great seafood place to learn about his life becoming a chef.

 

 

 

 

TEST KITCHEN: EGG IN A JAR

Brunch.

A combination of breakfast and lunch eaten during the week usually in the late morning but it can extend as late as 3pm on Sundays. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch. 

The word brunch instantly creates an overall feeling of warmth. You heard the soft, crispy noise of butter spreading on toast. The steamy aroma of espresso. The taste of gelato. Housemade granola. Lobster hash. An array of hollandaise creations. There is no limit when it comes to savoring this mid-day food-venture.

Last week, we wanted to try something new. More than toast. More than truffle eggs. Egg, in a jar.

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After our noteworthy "Pasta in a Jar" debuted on Good Morning America this fall for a hearty dinner dish, we knew it was time to tackle brunch. The scoop? Crispy crab. Grilled asparagus. Calabrian hot sauce. Micro greens. Arugula. Preserved meyer lemon. One poached egg.

What do you think? Brunch-worthy or BRUNCH-WORTHY? #egginajar #testkitchen #sitwithsiena

 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: THE JAMES BEARD DINNER

On August 18th, 2013 the DineAmic team packed their mixing bowls and hopped a plane to prepare a dinner at the James Beard House. With a set theme of “Modern Mediterranean” cuisine it was definitely a food-venture to remember…and we plan on giving you the scoop of all scoops. Our social gal and photographer, Lindsey, got to experience first-hand what it means to have your cilantro and eat it too.   

Last week I packed my bags for a 3 day excursion into the foodie jungle, the cosmic apple, the city that never sleeps (this is confirmed). A city where even street tacos are romantic. New York. Although I have been many times before I have come to realize one thing…

I have never seen the same skyline twice.

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Arrival: 167 West 12th Street, New York

A quaint building with instant character. I immediately thought of all the people that must be busting at the seams to walk through this door. The masters of culinary. People that pronounce thyme correctly. People that  without question have worked their butts off to be invited. Go team! I made my way to the kitchen and spotted Chef David and Chef Jeremy wrestling with Jersey corn and pecorino. Chef Fabio in the flour trenches making fresh linguini. A real power team.

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The menu for the evening was as follows:

  • Hors d’Oeuvre
    • Coccoli with Prosciutto di Parma
    • Anchovy Cichetti
    • Wagyu Beef Tartare
    • Tomato Gazpacho
  • Hamachi Crudo
  • Tomato Brûlée with Burrata and Crispy Speck
  • Squid Ink Linguini with Grilled Lobster
  • Balsamic-Glazed Rack of Lamb
  • Warm Chocolate Butter Cake and Hazelnut Gelato
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After countless hours of prep, it was time to begin. Our team had 7 minutes to plate each course for 82 (quite hungry!) house guests. To be honest, it was unlike anything I have ever seen. Each dollop of spicy balsamic reduction done with the utmost grace. Every shallot dropped thoughtfully. You know, at first glance an evening at The James Beard House might appear to be just a blur of smart hands and quick feet with the ability to palette please. When you look closer, it’s about passion. The most desirable marinade of all. Everyone I encountered that evening possessed such an ever-present adoration for food in that warm-fuzzy have another glass of Selvapiana type of way…and don’t forget the cheese.

This foundation is really doing something right. 

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When I introduced myself to Chef David Blonsky he said, “Just call me David, I’m here to cook good food… it’s not like I’m curing cancer!” and thats when I knew it was going to be an amazing event. Both David and Fabio are so passionate about food, feeding their guests and ensuring that everyone is have a great experience. For me, Modern Mediterranean by Fabio and David was the epitome of a James Beard Foundation event. They put together an amazing menu and their dishes spotlighted quality ingredients that made all of the guests truly excited to eat. After working with the chefs all morning, it was really interesting for me to see them work with the film crew. Their personalities stayed the same on and off camera, lots of laughter and professionalism.  -Justine,  Little Miss Local 

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Moving on, I will say that my camera has definitely racked up some hours in between tiramisu prep and housemade bomboloni. More often times than not my shoes are sprinkled with flour and I love that. With each shot I gain more and more respect for what goes on behind the scenes. Every time I work with Chef David, Chef Fabio, or Chef Jeremy they make what they do seem effortless. I walk away thinking that I, too, can make a flawless gazpacho. That’s what it’s all about, right? Sharing the love of what you do with other people. Genuinely being able to translate that feeling of excitement without words, but maybe through a bite of coccoli instead. If I had a box full of lemons for every moment I wanted to jump up and down or smack one of the chefs on the back during those seven minute prep intervals let it be known that I’d have my own fruit stand. 

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James Beard himself one said, “The secret of good cooking, is, first, having a a love of it. …If you’re convinced that cooking is drudgery, you’re never going to be good at it, and you might as well warm up something frozen.”

You’ll find no drudgery in these parts. I walked away smelling like a cookbook on the best sellers list.

Forever impressed and grateful to work with such creative minds.

Until next time New York,

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