Tag Archives: Gordon Ramsay

Local 9 Year Old Connecticut Girl Competes on Fox’s MasterChef Junior!

4 Nov

We’ve watched every single MasterChef season since it began, but we couldn’t help ourselves when they put out the first ever MasterChef Junior last year. The premise? 16 young and talented kids compete in mystery box challenges and pressure challenges to see who will become the MasterChef. Our favorite from last year, Alexander, actually won, so it was great to see his success. What did he get? $100,000, the MasterChef trophy, and world-wide recognition . . . the same things that are up for grabs this year!

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Casting Call: Can You Take the Fire of Hell’s Kitchen? Chefs Wanted for Season 12!

16 May
Hell's Kitchen Season 12 Casting Call
Signs that you’re a rabid fan of Hell’s Kitchen:
  • You know all the lyrics to the theme song, “Fire” by Ohio Players
    • You actually have “Fire” in your iTunes collection (guilty as charged, lol)
  • You yell at people in a British accent, calling them “donkey”
  • You scream out, “It’s RAWWWW!” when you get undercooked food at home or at a restaurant
  • You create elaborate challenges (such as capturing a squealing pig or tasting ingredients blindfolded) for friends and family members to see who can cook the best and get down and dirty
  • You throw food down if you don’t like it, then shove it in people’s faces, proceeding to tell them why it’s disgusting
So, we’re sending this out to all rabid fans, chefs, and cooks…Gordon Ramsay is looking for the new cast of Hell’s Kitchen.  There’s always high stakes involved like a hefty cash prize that is tied to the chance of becoming head chef at a very prestigious restaurant.  This year’s winner (Season 11) will become head chef at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Las Vegas.  Can you stand the heat of Hell’s Kitchen and think you’ve got what it takes to make it to the top in Season 12?  Here’s what you need to do:

Now Casting: Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay

1 May

Kitchen Nightmares Now Casting

Is your kitchen and restaurant, well, a nightmare?  Then you’ll need the help of world-renown Chef Gordon Ramsay.  He’s been helping restaurants turn themselves around since 2004 when he premiered Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC and brought his successful show over to America in 2007 as Kitchen Nightmares.

We’re excited to announce that Gordon is looking for more restaurants to help out that need his help, expert advice, revolutionary thinking, and tough love.  The casting call begins immediately and here’s the info:

  • If you’re interested, e-mail both kitchennightmares@theconlincompany.com  and knauditions@gmail.com.

  • Put the name of your restaurant and the city in the title:  Johnny’s/Bellmore LI, for example.

  • Include your name, phone number, contact information, name, location of your restaurant, your restaurant’s website (if you have one), type of cuisine, how long you have been open, and why you deserve and need Gordon’s help.

  • Download the application or apply online at www.TheConlinCompany.com.

Just a note:  restaurants need to have been open for at least a year, can’t be a franchise, and need to have at least 35 seats.

Chefs Kevin Cottle and Van Hurd of Jordan Caterers in Cheshire Honored to Cook at James Beard House in NYC

9 Jul

They met on the set of Hell’s Kitchen Season 6.  You could say it was love at first fight, with Gordon Ramsay doing any of the following to the chefs in the kitchen:

• Calling him/her a donkey

• Yelling that something is overcooked

• Yelling that something is raw

• Then, 50% of the time when it’s raw, throwing it so that it splatters everywhere

• Kicking someone out of the kitchen

• Screaming for the chef to wake up and get in the game

• Spewing a tirade of words that are bleeped out by censors

• Complaining that the Beef Wellington isn’t done properly

Yes, both Kevin Cottle and Van Hurd, now lead chefs at Jordan Caterers, walked through the flames of Hell’s Kitchen.  As they endured the fire, their friendship grew:  a friendship that has now lead them out of hell and into heaven.  While Van was eliminated near the end of the season, Kevin made it to the finale but lost to Dave Levey.  Upon being eliminated, Van said:  “The main lesson I’ve learned about myself is when you get down, don’t stay down.  I want to go out of here with my head up.”

Well, Van and Kevin now have a major reason to keep their heads up.  On July 11, they will be cooking at The James Beard House in NYC.  This is one of the greatest honors a chef can have because it shows passion, culinary knowledge, and awesome skill.  They were selected for these reasons, but also due to their outstanding reputation in Connecticut and beyond.  In addition, their focus on seasonal and local ingredients was a major reason why they were asked to cook at The James Beard House.   They are cooking up a “Softshell Extravaganza” that will feature Maryland softshell crabs, paired with wine from Master Sommelier Stephen Greenwood.

Here’s a copy of the menu from the night:

  • Hors d’Oeuvre
    • Gazpacho Shooters with Connecticut Lobster
    • Connecticut Blue Point Oysters and Pearls
    • Softshell Crab Tacos and Miniature Key Lime Margaritas
    • Braised Certified Angus Beef® Short Rib–Roasted Corn Pudding with Sake–Ginger Glaze
    • Foie Gras Pops
    • Vilarnau Brut Cava NV
  • Dinner
    • Kumquat, Red Miso, and Yuzu–Glazed Softshell Crab with Shaved Fennel, Plums, Sweet Tomatoes, Summer Bean Salad, and Honeydew, Corn, and Sichuan Pepper Nage
    • Viñas Del Vero La Miranda De Secastilla Garnacha Blanca 2010
    • Applewood-Smoked Softshell Crab with Heirloom Tomato Salad, Lime-Enhanced Goat Cheese Mousse, American Caviar, Ancho Chili–Honey Sauce, and Cucumber Sorbet
    • Andeluna Torrontés 2011
    • Big Easy–Style Softshell Crab with Sweet Summer Corn Gnocchi, Lobster Mushroom–Roasted Hog Jowl Ragoût, and Champagne Sabayon
    • Viña Ventisquero Pangea Apalta Vineyards Syrah 2007
    • Banh Bao and Pho Duo > Tempura Softshell Crab Banh Bao with Housemade Hoisin Sauce, Pickled Watermelon, and Cucumber Jam; and Pho with Spicy Ginger–Lime Broth, Rice Noodles, and Rare Beef
    • David Bruce Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2009
    • Brandie’s Original Blueberry Pie with Salt-Churned Honey and Lemon Thyme–Honey Ice Cream
    • Quady Essensia Orange Muscat 2010

Although this event is sold out, you don’t need to fret.  Chef Cottle and Chef Hurd can be seen every week on FOX 61 Hartford on a cooking segment called “Midday Chefs” every Wednesday at 11 am.  You can also taste their food (and if you’re lucky, meet them) at Jordan Caterers events.  They have won Connecticut Magazine’s “Best of Connecticut” for 12 straight years, the Brides Connecticut Editor’s Choice Award in 2011, The Knot Best of Weddings Pick 2011, and Weddingwire.com’s Bridges Choice Award in 2011.

You know, it was great to see Kevin and Van cook their way through Hell’s Kitchen, but it’s even greater to see them soar.  They might have had to give their aprons away to Gordon Ramsay, but something tells us they’ve got some nice new ones now.

From Press Release

About Chef Kevin Cottle:  Chef Cottle hails from Plymouth, Massachusetts and was formally educated at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York. Cottle’s professional culinary journey has taken him to the finest restaurants, hotels and  resorts in Philadelphia, Boston, Vail, New Hampshire and Cape Cod and he has earned numerous awards and accolades, including AAA’s four diamond award and  the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence.  As Jordan Caterers’ Executive Chef, Kevin focuses on the highest-quality ingredients, prepared with clockwork precision and abundant creativity.  He fuses contemporary New England cuisine with the elegance of French Gastronomy.  Cottle has aggressively been involved with the Department of Agriculture’s “Farm to Chef” program which helps consumers realize the bounty of food grown locally in the State of Connecticut.  Cottle lives in
Middletown with his wife and son.

About Chef Van Hurd:  Chef Hurd grew up in the South and was formally trained at The Art Institute of Dallas where he graduated at the top of his class.  He went on to hold a key position at Dallas’s fabled French Room which
maintains a AAA Five Diamond designation and is considered one of the best restaurants in the country.  Van, a member of the Texas Chef Association and the Connecticut Club Chefs Association, enjoys keeping food rustic, farm fresh and local while layering natural flavors that explode on the palate.  He currently holds down the position of Executive Sous Chef of Jordan Caterers. When he’s not in kitchen, Hurd volunteers for a wide variety of nonprofit ventures, including coaching troubled teens, March of Dimes Signature Chefs and Connecticut Farm to Chefs.  Van lives with his wife and daughter in Hartford.

Three Hopeful Locals Compete to Be the Next MasterChef on FOX!

9 May

An attorney, a pilot, and a homemaker from our area compete in MasterChef Season 3 (pic from MasterChef site)

MasterChef is a blast to watch.  100 people from all walks of life compete with each other, week after week, in hopes of becoming the next MasterChef.  Kristien and I have faithfully watched both seasons and we’re super excited for the third season.  Chefs must learn skills or cook with specific ingredients, then they are judged by Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot.  We’d probably both pee our pants if faced with being criticized by the judges, so we’ve gotta give major props to all the contestants.

Things are hitting close to home this time around, though.  For Season 3 of MasterChef we have two Connecticut chefs and one Westchester chef that beat out 29,900 people to hopefully win the $250,000 prize:

Jason “MaurPowerFoodie” Maur:  attorney and food blogger extraordinaire from Monroe, CT

Arnaud Bourgeois:  a pilot/captain from Woodbury, CT

Kim Maloof:  a homemaker from Katonah, NY

Starting watching the season premiere on 6/4/12 at 9 pm that continues on 6/5/12 at 9 pm, also.  Root, root, root for the home team!  We hope the judges go pretty easy on them and that they kick it seriously.  The final 18 contestants will be revealed on June 11.

Here are all 100 contestants (via TVbytheNumbers):

  Mesa Anis “Nino” Jabbes Server
  Page Renee Berthiaume Office Manager
    Laura Frederick Retired Teacher
    Hollie Schoppman Convenience Store Owner
    Dwayne Slate Repossession Agent
    Nicholas Smith Marine Mechanic
  Phoenix Preethy Kaibara Family Physician & Attorney
  Scottsdale Jason Clouse Contractor
  Apple Valley Stacey Amagrande Farmer’s Market Manager
  Bakersfield Gregg McDonnell IT Manager
  Brentwood Justin Weiss Business Analyst
  Cluco Vanessa Larsen Hair Stylist
  Corona Taylor Wilder Sales Associate
  Hidden Hills Carrie Portman Senior Real Estate Account Executive
  Hollywood Felix Fang Food Runner
  Encino Melanie Lowry Account Executive
  Laguna Niguel Jeff Cohen Wealth Manager
  Los Angeles Monti Carlo Homemaker
    Trevor Janus Composer
    Patti Negri Witch
  Northridge Regan Forston Ventriloquist
  Playa Del Rey Becky Reams Food Photographer
  San Francisco Laurence “Larry” Hing Lawyer
  Santa Monica Craig Victor Call Center Assistant
  Studio City Victoria Redstall Author
    Kelly Ryan Professional Speaker
  Westminster Barry “Bear”  Plunkett Software Sales Executive
  Monroe Jason Maur Attorney
  Woodbury Arnaud Bourgeois Pilot/Captain
  Newark Tianna Wood Inventory Control Specialist
  Aventura Ladda Cooper Restaurant Co-Owner
  Boyton Beach Thomas Wright Criminal Lawyer
  Davie David Mack Caviar Sales Director
  Deerfield Beach Penny Suzuki Firefighter and Paramedic
  Jacksonville Sonya Welch Administrative Assistant
  Miami Samantha de Silva Design Consultant
    Jordan Fein Credit Services Director of Operations
    Zelick Gimelstein Musician
    Dolores Royale Real Estate Investor
    Charles Vidales Interior Designer
  Miramar Joel Ringrose U.S. Army Station Commander
  Palm Beach Gardens Kate D’Hondt Bartender
  West Palm Beach Andrew Rosenthal Plastic Surgeon
  Blackshear Bubba Strickland Singer
  Marietta Lindsay Tarquinio Non-Profit Co-Founder
  Powder Springs Mike Hill Contractor
  Rowell Bobby Manheim Primate Therapy for Special Needs Children (Monkey Doctor)
  Savannah Alysha Augustus Homemaker
  Chicago Tali Clavijo Musician
    Vladimir Giuliano Djurkovic Assistant Manager
    Aleithea Ellis Student
    Greg Tomaras Field Service Engineer
    Elisa Veal Administrative Assistant
  Glencoe David Martinez Educational Administrator
  Stilwell Becky Reams Food Photographer
  New Orleans Heber Dunaway Music Teacher
  Cohasset Julie Mitterando Emergency Physician
  Boston AJ Rossi Director of Sales (Antiques and Fine Art Magazine)
    Anna Rossi Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  Fall River Adam Camacho Mechanical Engineer
  Nantucket Pete Nevers Carpenter
  Baldwin Helene Leeds Health Coach
  Baltimore Elizabeth Etzel Real Estate Agent
  Bethesda Amy Holmwood President of Life Insurance Company
  Silver Spring Kaimana Chee Director of IT Training
  Windsor Mill Sherine Taylor Benefits Counselor
  Ada James Lee Retired Police Officer
  Royal Oak Brian Kho Business Student
  Biloxi Michelle Gollott Food Services Sales Consultant
  Jackson Joshua Marks Contract Specialist for US Army
New Jersey    
  Florham Park Samantha McNulty High School Student
  Manahawkin Jessika Morgan Nutrition Sales
  West Orange Nandini Anant Homemaker
New York
  Astoria Luca Manfe Restaurant Manager
  Brooklyn Raiza Costa Artist
    Jack Hazan Children’s Wear Assistant
  Earlville Gabe Fowler Journalism Student
  Harlem Courtney Carey Professional Opera Singer
  Holtsville Frank Mirando Stock Broker
  Katonah Kim Maloof Homemaker
  Levittown Al Matousek Teaching Assistant
  Long Beach Alessio Vella Sales Manager
  New York City Ryan Umane Unemployed
    Nichelle Wright Dancer
  Woodside Michael Petroff School Aide
  Cincinnati Krystal Mandap Food Sales Representative
  Clackamas Josue del Castillo Rios On-Air Radio Personality
  Portland Jessica Glenn Book Publicist
Rhode Island    
  Cranston Cheryl Manzi Admissions Representative
  Austin Michael Chen Meteorology Student
    Tanya Noble Student and Hospitality Assistant
  Dallas Rami Rassas Used Car Salesman
  Frisco Audrey McGinnis Homemaker
  Houston Christine Ha Graduate Student
  Annandale Scott Little Interactive Producer
  Arlington Matthew Duffy IT Manager
    Joe Maiellano Political Consultant
  Kirkland Shami Marangwanda Recruiter
  Seattle Jaeger Stoltz Hair Stylist
  Sun Prairie Derek Distin Medical Device Sales Representative


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