Michel Nischan on Making Changes, Cruising the Mediterranean, Meals with Pepin and Andres, Favorite CT Restaurants + More15 Sep
Chef Alex Guarnaschelli has become synonymous with Food Network, and there’s good reason: she’s an integral part of their food programming. Whether it’s through her culinary prowess as an Iron Chef, her show Alex’s Day Off, dishing about her favorite eats of all time on The Best Thing I Ever Ate, or throwing down her expertise as a judge on shows like Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay, Chef Guaranschelli’s resume speaks for itself. In addition, she’s executive chef of Butter in NYC which brings in stellar reviews and press.
We recently had the chance to interview Alex and talked to her about her most difficult challenges, what she really does on her days off, the importance of social media, a sneak into her recipe creation process, and more. Don’t forget, you can see Alex at this year’s Greenwich Wine + Food Festival. She’ll be hosting a sustainable dinner along with Marc Murphy which includes local chefs, she’ll also be a judge during the Burger Battle, signing copies of her book at 2:00, speaking at 1:30 in the Green Room, and cooking up an amazing demo at 3:00 at Dacor Kitchen Two. Continue reading
Hmm, when you have the chance to chat with a man as complex Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, where do you start? He fought his way to the top against a slew of other chefs to gain his spot on Iron Chef America! You see him as a judge on Chopped and he brightens your Saturday morning on The Kitchen with Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, and Marcela Valladolid. Chances are, too, that he’s in your kitchen . . . well, in cookbook form at least with My Perfect Pantry and Town | Country. But maybe most interesting to you, our Omnomivores, is his Greenwich roots: yes, The Avenue was his old stomping grounds and soon he’ll be stomping it more as he opens up his new restaurant, The National Greenwich. He goes into depth about that, not following restaurant trends, how he handles critiquing others, his appearances at the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival, Kathie Lee, becoming the new President of the Food Council for City Harvest, and what’s in the works next for him in our interview, so go ahead and get your reading on below . . . Continue reading
We’ve come across plenty of people in the food world who amaze us. Chefs whose culinary creativity blow our minds, oenophiles whose brains are virtually wine encyclopedias, brewers that can taste the slightest variation in their brews, and people who can give you a killer restaurant recommendation (with corresponding menu item) to any city in the whole frickin United States in less than 3 seconds flat. That last one describes the one, the only, Adam Richman. In terms of knowing all the great spots to eat across America, he’s a legend. From taking down legendary meals in Man vs. Food, to searching for the best sandwiches in Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America, to traveling across the country to find the best grub in The Traveler’s Guide to Life, it’s tough to find a more knowledgable dude.
Now, while we’re sure you all know Adam from one of those shows, or maybe even his new NBC show, Food Fighters, where experienced home cooks go up against talented and well-known chefs, you’ll all get to know him a little bit more at the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival. He will not only be doing a demo there (he dishes about what he’s making in this interview) at 3:30 on 9/27, but he’ll also be the host of the Burger Battle that starts at 4:30 the same day.
To prep you for the big day we asked him some serious questions about how to make and where to get a great burger, his favorite baseball team (and the only team that matters)…the Yanks, prime spots to get food in his hometown Brooklyn, his new show, how he keeps things so healthy, and his plans for complete world food-domination.
Kristien: So, obviously we know why they picked you as the perfect judge for the Burger Battle at the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival…you know your way around a burger for sure. We wanted to know, though, what do you really look for in a good burger?
Adam Richman: You know, I think everything has to be balanced. Sometimes you’ll find these burgers where it’s an average burger and an average bun with a pitchfork full of toppings. Or, sometimes the bun is overwhelming, or the burger is falling out. I think that it has to be balanced. I think that you can over topping a burger. Because everything, more or less, can go on a burger…it doesn’t mean everything should.
Even before we started our food blog, we would hit up EOS on Summer Street in Stamford. We loved the fresh, inspired dishes that were contemporary plays on classic Greek dishes. And, we loved sitting outside on their patio, letting the day float by. Years later, we still love EOS and keep it at the top of our list for restaurants that we love here in Fairfield County. Part of the reason why EOS has been rated top Greek restaurant year after year and remains at the top of restaurant lists in Stamford (and Fairfield County) is definitely the food, but there is a whole family behind the success. One of those family members is Nikki Glekas. She’s part chef, part owner, and 100% fireball. Whether you see her at the restaurant, at a charity event, a cooking contest, or a catering party, Nikki brings it…and brings it hard.
From Catering Intern, to Chopped, to Kitchen Pro: an Exclusive Interview with Hannah Bukzin of Westport, 1420 Jul
Think back to being a teenager and try to remember the things that you accomplished. Maybe you had a job and maybe you did a few great community service projects, but let’s be honest. You probably spent 1/4 of your time playing video games and hanging with friends, 1/1000 of those years doing HW, and 1/2 just putzing around. But that’s not the case with Hannah Bukzin, 14, of Westport. She has already done some amazing things like win The Marcia Selden Ultimate Dinner Party Contest with Judges Marcia and Robin Selden as well as “Sweet Genius” Ron Ben-Israel. Also, she recently kicked off her summer internship with Robin, Marcia, Jeffrey, Nicole and the amazing crew at Marcia Selden Catering and has been having a great time. And, yes, she’ll be on a little show airing 7/29 at 10 on Food Network that you might have heard of: Chopped. Hannah’s episode is Part Three of the Teen Tournament, so if she goes on to win she’ll face the three other winners at the Finale on 8/12 and pull in a $25,000 culinary school scholarship.
Well, we had a chance to talk with Hannah about cooking, her favorite foods, what it’s like working with adults, interning, and more. Here we go:
So, when people used to ask me this question I said, I’m not really sure. But after some deep thinking I realized that it was probably around 6 or 7 years ago. I was going through a stage where I only ate pasta and lettuce (as I used to say, a salad) for dinner. I started realized what other people were eating and there were other foods out there! I decided it was time for me to make a change, and voila! I made my first piece of tilapia with some sautéed carrots. I still have the photo! My, have I come a long way from that.
I get asked this question a lot and it’s really a difficult choice. I love experimenting with different flavors but if I had to choose it would definitely be a marinated skirt steak with a homemade chimmichurri sauce- roasted potatoes on the side
Ironically I actually really like Latin food too! I can tell you I love to eat Italian food better than anything else! Cooking wise, though, I would say its not my favorite cuisine that matters as much as my style – classic dishes with a modern twist. This can go with any and every cuisine that I cook.
What are some of your favorite restaurants in the area?
I definitely love Local and Geronimo’s in Fairfield. If I’m looking for comfort food its Grilled Cheese Eatery all the way—but I can’t eat there too much!!
Wow, a protegé? I didn’t know I qualified! Well, it’s really difficult to understand how much it really takes to put yourself out there in the kitchen. Many people I have worked with have strong personalities (which I love) and are much older than me. It is difficult to sometimes stand out and really show that I am not just another annoying kid who walks in thinking she knows everything. Despite this, I am lucky to have worked with some amazing people who have made me feel welcome and make my job of “being an adult in the kitchen” much easier.
This internship is one of the best things I have ever done in my entire life. I am so lucky and grateful for this amazing opportunity to work with fantastic chefs and people. They definitely threw me right in! I am doing things that I never knew that I could do—I told my mom that this isn’t an internship where they are babysitting me. The chefs in the kitchen, Robin and Marcia are counting on me to put out great food that represents Marcia Selden Catering Company in the light they deserve. I have done everything from plating up to-go meals to prepping for a wedding tasting. Who knows what is coming next?
It was absolutely amazing! A once in a lifetime opportunity. All I did was send in an application like thousands of other kids and I was elated when they called me!
Unfortunately, I can’t make any comment on the show but I did meet some amazing people and I can’t wait for it to air (even though I won’t watch it)!
A family of four walked through the door, haggard disappearing into happy, and Kory Wollins was already on them like white on rice. “Hey, how’s it going? Is this your first time here?” he asked as they looked a bit overwhelmed as they tried to figure out their orders. It turns out they were there from Texas and visiting family in Norwalk for a wake, so they stopped at Burgers, Shakes & Fries, hearing about their reputation. We know they like it big in Texas, so Kory broke down the menu for them. They got their order in and Kory (owner of BSF Greenwich and co-owner of the Darien spot) kept talking to them about Texas, Connecticut, and just life in general. When they got their burgers, the buttered-toast hamburgers didn’t last too long, quickly being devoured by the hungry Texans.
This was just 10 minutes of one day (while even more people came in to order during this time), of one week, of one year at BSF, but to that family, Kory made a difference. On that day, Kory met with Dan and they talked about burgers, the restaurant biz, blogs, his quest to conquer making Fior di Latte mozzarella, and waxing philosophical about life. During previous conversations they talked a lot about how blog culture tends to bury the good restaurants that have been around in a while in favor of the newest and hottest spots. There was one comment that stood out from our most recent conversation that we want to start with: “In the end the most important question to ask is, ‘Did you walk out with a smile when you left?'” We always smile when we leave, especially when we have the smell of burgers and fries wafting from our bag as we speed our grub home. So, let’s dig in and grill Kory for a bit…hey, he’s not the only one who can grill.
We’ve been a fan of Liz Rueven, editor and founder of Kosher Like Me, ever since we get into blogging. Not only is she very kind and supportive of our work, she’s an overflowing font of knowledge in all things regarding food, especially the veg-life. Her blog covers events, restaurant news, recipes (oh the recipes!), reviews, and tons more of nomworthy goodness. Liz was even recently named one of 5 Jewish bloggers that you need to be following by Relish.com…well, duh.
But, it would be a crime to paint Liz’s work into a corner as just Jewish, just Kosher. Yes, the recipes she shares and the foods that she talk about are kosher, but it’s the deep respect for food, farms, local food, and the art of all things culinary that cements Kosher Like Me as a blog to be reading…whatever your religious beliefs or dietary restrictions are. And, if you’re ever on the lookout for great spots to hit up in CT (she lives in Westport) or NY, KLM is your jam.