By Bethany Kocak
Best Chefs America tuned in to an exclusive Google+ Hangout event sponsored by Williams-Sonoma and hosted by Tasting Table’s Andy Sachs. The topic of conversation focused on Best Chef Daniel Boulud’s newly released cookbook, Daniel: My French Cuisine. Joining him on the web were Best Chefs and culinary icons, Eric Ripert and Marcus Samuelsson.
As the face of French-American cuisine, Boulud lends valuable insight into melding traditional French techniques with the modern culinary landscape. Daniel: My French iisine celebrates the 20-year anniversary of Restaurant Daniel in NYC. The book includes over 75 signature French recipes plus an additional 12 recipes for dishes Boulud prepares at home. Informative essays and more than 120 photographs complete the book, which Samuelsson describes as “a gift from Daniel to us to keep for many generations.”
Image courtesy of Amazon.com.
Boulud’s intention is to provide a source of inspiration and a tool to explore the past in order to present what’s new for the future.
Samuelsson: ”For me, Daniel is not a restaurant or a book. It’s much more. It’s not just about a recipe, it’s a lifestyle and a commitment to a craft. If you get the book, you will find out much more about the ‘how’ but also the ‘why.’”
French cuisine defines the culinary vocabulary, providing the basis for classic technique. As a non-French chef, Samuelsson says there are two kinds of chefs: French chefs and those who want to be like French chefs. As a chef from Lyon, France and working in NYC, Boulud is among the generation who are bridging the traditional with the modern. Ripert describes Modern French cuisine as being centered on technique with the ability to use exotic ingredients rather than just butter and crème fraiche, which has become somewhat of a cliché.
Best Chef Eric Ripert
Towards the end of the conversation, Sachs asks the chefs where they have dined recently. Currently in San Francisco, Boulud mentions Saison, SPQR, State Bird Provisions and Benu as restaurants delivering amazing, personal work with delicate ingredients and the perfect setting. The chefs also give acknowledgement to their neighborhood NYC restaurants Mission Chinese, Atera, Roberta’s in Brooklyn, Aldea, Blanca, Betony and Estela.
Boulud: ”I’m going to start a secret society where nobody will know who is around the table. I will make dishes for maybe 10 people and everybody can talk about any subject they want. Maybe we’ll bring food critics inside and maybe even you, Sachs. [You can't] go public with this, you know, we’ll keep it a secret.”
Best Chef Marcus Samuelsson
Samuelsson: ”There is only one chef president in our country and it is Daniel. He is our ambassador and brings us together, always. He is a guide for us.”
Congratulations to Chef Daniel Boulud on his 20-year anniversary of DANIEL and thank you to Chef Ripert and Chef Samuelsson for sharing their time. Follow this link to purchase your copy of the soon to be classic, Daniel: My French Cuisine. http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-My-French-Cuisine-Boulud/dp/145551392X
Watch the Google+ Hangout in its entirety:
September 1st – Thursday, October 31st, Ten Cities Nationwide
James Beard Foundation Taste America Local Dish Program
Each restaurant has created a special Taste America Local Dish, and will donate $1 from every Local Dish sold to the JBF Taste America education drive. Hours vary by restaurant.
Tuesday, October 22nd
Bid Against Hunger
Bid Against Hunger is New York City’s most anticipated tasting event, featuring exceptional food and wine with some of the city’s best chefs. Guest can also bid on auction packages that include exclusive dinners with top chefs, special travel and entertainment experiences, and much more!
Wednesday, October 23rd – Friday, October 26th
Harvest on the Harbor celebrates its sixth year as Maine’s Premier Food + Wine Festival! Eat, drink, and enjoy exceptional food, beer, wine, and spirits from Maine and around the world. Award-winning chefs, epicurean presentations, and live entertainment – all happening on Portland’s waterfront!
Best Chef Chad Conley, Gather, Yarmouth, ME
Best Chef Jason Kennedy, Black Tie Company, Portland, ME
Best Chef Sam Hayward, Fore Street, Portland, ME
Thursday, October 24th
Best Chef Carl Thorne-Thomsen will compete in the 2013 Best of Kansas City Chefs, a celebrity chef throw-down on October 24th benefiting Harvesters, Kansas City’s local food bank.
Food Day 2013
Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food.
Friday, October 25th – Sunday, October 27th
Taste of Atlanta
Taste of Atlanta is a food lover’s dream festival that attracts thousands of people every year to enjoy the culinary creations from some of the best restaurants in Atlanta, GA.
Saturday, October 26th
Cook it Raw: BBQ Perspectives
Best Chef Sean Brock hosts local and international culinary professionals in Charleston, SC.
Bon Appetit LA Grub Crawl returns to Los Angeles for a second year, not simply to celebrate the #1 restaurant of the year (Best Chef Ari Taymor‘s Alma), but also to dive appetite first into the kitchens of the most noteworthy restaurants that have sent the culinary scene soaring in the City of Angels.
Life is Beautiful Festival
Life is Beautiful Festival, a new two-day music, food and art festival, plans to attract tens of thousands of locals and tourists to Downtown Las Vegas in the fall of 2013.
Sunday, October 27th
No Kid Hungry Palm Beach Dinner
Hosted by Best Chef Clay Conley at būccan
Best Chef Zach Bell, Addison Reserve Country Club, Delray Beach, FL
Best Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, Bibiana, Washington, DC
Jamie DeRosa, Tongue & Cheek, Miami Beach, FL
Victor LaPlaca, Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar, New York, NY
Jennifer Reed, The Sugar Monkey, West Palm Beach, FL
Do you have an event coming up that should be included in the Best Chefs Calender? Send details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Bethany Kocak
We’ve all been there. A beautiful entrée arrives at your table, senses are on overload, and your hand twitches for your phone. The desire to snap a quick picture overwhelms you and you give in to one “discreet” photo. The next ten minutes are dedicated to choosing the perfect filter and finally your entire social network knows what’s for dinner.
There is an undeniable phenomenon among diners to document their food through photos and social media. Until now, these photos have really only been an outlet for foodies to show how distinguished their palate is. But what if these photos could do something greater? Developed by The Lunchbox Fund, Feedie is a free app that enables the food photo obsessed to provide meals for disadvantaged and at-risk school children in South Africa.
The concept is incredibly simple: every time a Feedie user takes a photo at a participating restaurant and uploads to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare), the restaurant donates to The Lunchbox Fund. The donation is $0.25 per photo, the estimated cost of a meal for a child. Participating restaurants make an annual, flat-rate, tax deductible contribution of $500 which is where the donations are pulled from. Feedie incorporates filters such as “leafy” and “seared” to showcase the specific photographic beauty of food. User profiles display the photos taken and track how many meals have been donated on their behalf, while the restaurant benefits from the public exposure for their meals. Founder and South African native Topaz Page-Green says, “Feedie creates a wonderful symmetry between tech and philanthropy. It also nourishes the users of the app by giving them the opportunity to do something incredibly positive.”
With the help of Best Chef Mario Batali and co-chairs Liv Tyler and Maggie Gyllenhall, Feedie was officially launched on October 9th at a benefit held at Buddakan in New York City. So far, 851 meals have been provided through the app. The Lunchbox Fund is on its way to growing nationally in the coming months, but as of now the majority of participating restaurants are concentrated in New York and include Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, STK, The Spotted Pig, and La Esquina.
Actress Liv Tyler, Founder Topaz Page-Green, and Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal attend The Lunchbox Fund Fall Fête at Buddakan, New York on October 9, 2013 in New York City.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Lunchbox Fund
Best Chef and Spokesman Mario Batali attends The Lunchbox Fund Fall Fête at Buddakan, New York on October 9, 2013 in New York City.
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Lunchbox Fund
For a quick run-down of how to utilize the app, watch the video below and check out wethefeedies.com. Feedie is currently available for iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5 is downloadable for free on the iTunes App Store.
Download here: https://itunes.apple.com/app/feedie/id638131854?mt=8
Feedie from Feedie on Vimeo.
By Bethany Kocak
Chef Chris Siversen
Best Chef Chris Siversen discovered the current home of Maritime Parc in 2009 when he visited Liberty State Park to unwind. He had always wanted a combination of restaurant and event space under one roof. What he discovered, sitting empty and unused, was a once-intended office complex with octagonal sides, vaulted wood ceilings, grand staircases and wraparound terraces. Along with Maritime Parc CEO Marc Haskell, Siversen transformed the building into a fine dining restaurant and 18,000 square feet of private event space. The modern fish house with magnificent views of Manhattan and the Hudson River has received accolades for its friendly vibe and fresh, sustainable cuisine.
Maritime Parc’s event space offers views of Manhattan and the Hudson River.
Siversen’s culinary experience includes landmark restaurants and catering businesses, high fashion runway shows, and cooking for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Today, he devotes his time equally between his restaurant and his full service catering operation. He believes each endeavor offers a unique approach to cooking. While cooking at the restaurant, he found that he can focus on particular dishes and make things more complex. “You have the ability to cook something and put one dish together. Even though you have to do it quickly and you have a lot of orders, you’re still concentrated on that one dish and you can do things that are more complicated,” Siversen said.
While working on the catering side, he found that he must keep it simple in order for things to run smoothly. Siversen said, “I think where most chefs fail is when they make it too complicated. You’re never going to get it out the door. If you keep it simple with great quality food and ingredients and just enough of a twist that it doesn’t look like your standard rubber chicken, then you’re going to be successful.”
The open plan kitchen at Maritime Parc allows diners to watch Siversen and his team prepare their meals.
Although the volume and size of private events takes up a larger portion of overall business, both the restaurant and the catering operation need equal attention according to Siversen. “They’re just two different beasts with so many different levels of things going on. You have to be both places at the same time.” Maritime Parc hosts between 20 to 30 events per month, weddings and corporate events being the most typical. The average party is around the 200 person mark, but a holiday party last season included over 1,500 attendees. Siversen said, “It’s exhilarating when you have a large event. At the end of the night, you feel pretty damn good. You look back and you’re like, ‘wow’. It’s a rush.”
Siversen believes there are advantages to having both a restaurant and catering operation, especially in the same venue. He has found that the restaurant showcases what he is able to do on the catering side and also adds legitimacy to the operation. “It’s a great back and forth, you get someone to eat in the restaurant and they’re like, ‘Wow I can have an event here.’ Other way around, someone comes to an event and tastes and sees what we do, and they want to come back. It’s a great marketing tool.”
Sake and Soy Braised Pork Belly “Kung Bao” Style.
Photo by Noah Fecks.
Spice Roasted Duck, Beet Infused Wheat Berries and Jerusalem
Artichokes in Duck Pan Sauce. Photo by Noah Fecks.
Siversen says it’s important to have a restaurant fundamental on the catering side. When it comes to producing a product at a larger volume, a chef must be confident and consistent according to Siversen. “If you’re new in the [catering] business, you really have to not be afraid of the number,” said Siversen. His first big party included a thousand guests. “I walked in and saw a hundred tables of ten set up and I freaked out thinking, ‘how am I ever going to do that?’ It’s daunting, but you have to look at it as a number and know that’s what it is: just a number.”
Best Chef Chris Siversen is the executive chef and owner of Maritime Parc in Jersey City, N.J.
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