CMN Travels Catalunya: Exploring La Boqueria, Part 2

Chef Mark continues his tour of La Boqueria Market with Barcelona expert George Semler, who wrote the Fodor’s guide to Barcelona. Here, George shows Chef Mark the fishmonger Pilarin, and they talk all things jamon!

A production of the Culinary Media Network.
www.culinarymedianetwork.com

Travel & accommodations provided by INCAVI. Blogger trip organized and administered by www.catavino.net.

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Quick Bites: Chef Lee Anne Wong Tofu Cooking Demo


Quick Bites: Chef Lee Anne Wong Tofu Cooking Demo

Chef Lee Anne Wong of Top Chef fame demonstrates the many uses of tofu in a demo for House Foods International Tofu at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Here she shows how to make a Tofu Panna Cotta with Blood Orange and Pistachios. (See below for recipe)

A production of the Culinary Media Network.
www.culinarymedianetwork.com

House Tofu Panna Cotta with Blood Orange and Pistachios

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 block House Foods soft tofu
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon powdered gelatin
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup soy milk, room temperature
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1/2 blood orange, peeled into 1-inch wide strips
2 blood oranges
1 recipe blood orange syrup (recipe follows)
1 recipe candied pistachios (recipe follows)
Fresh mint and tarragon, fine chiffonade

Directions

Stir the powdered gelatin and sugar together. Place the soy milk in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar and gelatin, adding in a thin stream. Allow the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes.

In a blender, combine the soft tofu, honey and a pinch of salt. Blend on high until smooth. Add in the gelatin soy milk mixture and blend again until homogeneous.

Transfer the tofu mixture to a saucepan. Bring the tofu to a simmer while stirring constantly, but not t o a boil, just until the mixture begins to bubble. Whisk once more and remove from the heat. Pour the tofu into 4 ounce ramekins lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.

While the panna cotta is chilling, bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch the strips of blood orange zest for 15 seconds, then strain. Repeat this process twice more, boiling a fresh pot of water each time. Run the zests under cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Julienne the strips finely crosswise into 1/2-inch long strands. Set aside and add to the gastrique.

Cut off the tops and bottoms of the blood oranges to expose the pulp and then stand it on one end. Cut away the peel with your knife, following the curve of the fruit. Working over a bowl, gently cut the filets of orange out, slicing between the pith/membranes, being sure to remove the seeds. Squeeze any excess juice from the core into a separate bowl, using the extra juice towards the blood orange gastrique.

Make the gastrique and pistachios according to recipes below. To serve, gently run a knife along the inside edge of the ramekin and invert the ramekin onto a plate. Spoon a few tablespoons of syrup onto each panna cotta and top with several orange filets, candied pistachios, and julienned herbs for garnish.

Blood Orange Gastrique

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 piece vanilla pod, seeds scraped

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cook the syrup over medium-high heat unti it has reduced by 70% and has a syrupy consistency. Remove from the pan and stir in the blanched zest. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.

Candied Pistachios

Ingredients

1 cup shelled raw pistachio nuts
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon water
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup Demerara sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, water, salt, and granulated sugar until smooth. Toss the pistachios and Demerara sugar in the honey mixture, stirring to coat.

Spread the nut mixture onto a parchment lined sheet tray in a single layer and bake until the nuts are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool to room temperature and then break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container until needed.

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ReMARKable Palate #244: An Irish Culinary Celebration


ReMARKable Palate #244: An Irish Culinary Celebration

Jennifer and I chat with 3 Irish chefs who were guest chefs at the Park Hotel Kenmare for a special weekend celebrating the special products of the Emerald Isle. Chef Ross Lewis of Chapter One, Chef Derry Clark of l’Ecrivain, both in Dublin, and Chef Mickael Viljanen of Gregan’s Castle in County Clare sat with us over a glass of Irish Whiskey and discussed their love of Irish food.

www.parkkenmare.com
Euro-Toques Ireland

Theme Song: “Go Fish”, by Big Money Grip, from the Podsafe Music Network.

“Limerick’s Lament” (Irish Traditional), by Karin Leitner & Cormac De Barra, from “Music of the Great Irish Houses”. www.karinleitner.com

ReMARKable Palate is a production of The Culinary Media Network. www.culinarymedianetwork.com
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Travel and accommodation provided by Tourism Ireland. www.tourismirelandinfo.com

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ReMARKable Palate #243: A Smörgåsbord of Chefs


ReMARKable Palate #243: A Smörgåsbord of Chefs

This week, it’s a Smorgasbord of chefs, as I speak with Chef Jordi Artal of Cinc Sentits Restaurant in Barcelona about this Catalan food, then Chef Lee Anne Wong of Top Chef fame after a tofu cooking demo she did at the French Culinary Institute. It wouldn’t be a smörgåsbord without a Swedish chef! I also speak with Chef Daniel Couet from F12 Restaurant in Stockholm, who shared some of his dishes with us at Scandinavia House in NYC.

Theme Song: “Go Fish”, by Big Money Grip, from the Podsafe Music Network.

ReMARKable Palate is a production of The Culinary Media Network. www.culinarymedianetwork.com

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CMN Travels Peru: Chef Dan Barber at Mistura Fair


CMN Travels Peru: Chef Dan Barber at Mistura Fair

We were privileged to attend the Mistura Gastronomic Festival in Lima Peru last September, where Chef Dan Barber from Blue Hill Farm and Stone Barns Restaurant in NY was a guest speaker. Chef Barber was there to talk about his farm to table concept, which is not so unusual in Peru as it is here in the States. After Chef Barber’s talk, he spoke with Chef Mark about how we can learn from Peru and balance the scales in favor of more farm fresh food here at home.

www.bluehillfarm.com
www.mistura.pe

A production of the Culinary Media Network.
www.culinarymedianetwork.com

Travel and Accommodation provided by PromPeru.

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ReMARKable Palate #242: The Alta Cucina Society & Garofalo Pasta


ReMARKable Palate #242: The Alta Cucina Society & Garofalo Pasta

This week, I have lunch at the Alta Cucina Society in New York City, a membership society for the celebration of Italian cuisine from all over Italy. I chat with Alberto Paderi and Amadeo Angiolilli about their mission over lunch of 3 different dishes made with Garofalo Pasta. First, Piero Signorini from Garofalo tells us about his company’s long tradition of pasta making in Campagna. We’re also joined by Susannah Gold, who paired the lunch with some tasty wines!

Theme Song: “Go Fish”, by Big Money Grip, from the Podsafe Music Network.

ReMARKable Palate is a production of The Culinary Media Network. www.culinarymedianetwork.com

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Chef Mark Quoted in NYPost’s “Celeb Chefs Dish On The Stars”

I was interviewed last week by a reporter from the NY Post, who was interested in the new Food Network show “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills“, and the article just came out in Wednesday’s NY Post.

I managed to steer her to how we as personal chefs are different than private chefs, and just how accessible the service is to regular folks. Although I had to give her a few tidbits of capricious requests from my days as a private chef to a billionaire…

I pointed her towards the lovely Chef Debbie Spangler of Yummy~issimo in Cincinnati, who was quoted, and a friend who cooks for “The Boss” in New Jersey. She also quoted my good friend Denise Vivaldo of Food Fanatics.

Despite the celeb dishing, she wrote a very balanced article, I think, and kept in much of what I stressed to her about how a personal chef service is great for regular folks, and not JUST for celebs.

“You hear stories — ‘I want this particular ice cream [so] send the pilot to go get it,’ ” says Mark Tafoya, who briefly worked as a private chef for a New York-based billionaire with a jet and his own island in the Caribbean.

It’s not uncommon for a private chef to get a last-minute order to cook a luncheon for 60 people or to produce a favorite dish on a yacht in an exotic locale. (“I brought a lot of bagels,” recalls Tafoya of his frequent trips to the Caribbean.)

Of course, if the price is right, some say no request is too extravagant.

“I always say I don’t work with celebrities because they’re interesting and brilliant. I work with them because they have money,” says Vivaldo, who wrote the primer, “How To Start a Home-Based Personal Chef Business.”

And then there is the intimacy that comes with cooking another person’s meals three times a day, seven days a week (with the occasional day off).

“I haven’t had anyone walk in naked on me, thank God,” jokes Debbie Spangler, a personal chef for musician Peter Frampton (a strict vegetarian) and several members of the Cincinnati Bengals. (“I’ve never seen a group of men eat so much in my life!” An average meal consists of a pound of protein per player — from stuffed pork tenderloin to bacon-wrapped turkey medallions — plus trimmings.)

Unfortunately, Vivaldo wasn’t spared the following burst of oversharing: A client once asked her to brew up a pot of joe — because they wanted to make a coffee enema.

“I said, Is that regular or decaf?” she recalls. “I was astounded.”

All of this explains why so many in the business ultimately choose to forgo a full-time job as a private chef to an eccentric celeb or blue blood, opting instead for the role of “personal chef,” which involves working for multiple clients, often at different income brackets.

“We’re not just for the uber-rich [who want] caviar spoon-fed to them on their private yacht,” explains Tafoya, who runs his own personal chef business, the Manhattan-based Remarkable Palate. He says he’s seen an “enormous upswing” in demand for his services in the past decade — especially among single workaholics and double-income professional types busy starting families.

While private chefs can earn as much as $100,000 a year, personal chefs usually charge by the hour or flat fee (about $50 to $75 an hour, plus groceries). Some whip up a whole week’s worth of meals — neatly labeled and ready to reheat — as part of a day’s work. Others prepare swoon-worthy engagement and anniversary dinners, or meals are sometimes “given” as wedding gifts. (A dinner for two typically costs somewhere between $300 and $500.)

But even ordinary New Yorkers can act like high-maintenance celebs when it comes to their food. No matter what or where he cooks in the city, Tafoya says one thing remains constant: “The size of the kitchen and the niceness of the appliances is inversely proportional to how much they’re used.”

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ReMARKable Palate #241: The Six O’Clock Scramble To The Rescue


ReMARKable Palate #241: The Six O’Clock Scramble To The Rescue

I speak with Aviva Goldfarb, author of the new book SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble To The Rescue, about strategies for making meal time easier on parents, and more healthful and nutritious for the whole family.

www.thescramble.com

Theme Song: “Go Fish”, by Big Money Grip, from the Podsafe Music Network.

ReMARKable Palate is a production of The Culinary Media Network. www.culinarymedianetwork.com

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RP240: More Spanish Wines from Alimentaria


ReMARKable Palate #240: More Spanish Wines from Alimentaria

Today, it’s more from my trip to Barcelona for the Alimentaria Show. First, I speak with Sonia Anglada Verges from Freixenet, the largest producer of Cava in the world. Then, it’s Ricardo Arambarri Perez from Vintae.com, which has wines form all over Spain. Finally, we speak with an American importer, Andrew Booth, from The Spanish Table, who was there to discover new products for the American Market.

Theme Song: “Go Fish”, by Big Money Grip, from the Podsafe Music Network.

ReMARKable Palate is a production of The Culinary Media Network. www.culinarymedianetwork.com

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CMN Travels Catalunya: Exploring La Boqueria, Pt 1

Chef Mark gets a great one on one tour of La Boqueria Market in Barcelona from author, expert and travel writer George Semler. George explains the history of the market, takes us through some of his favorite stands, and introduces us to the great food at Pinotxo Bar. We’ll have more in the series soon.

A production of the Culinary Media Network.
www.culinarymedianetwork.com

Travel & accommodations provided by INCAVI. Blogger trip organized and administered by www.catavino.net.

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