Tag Archives: Graham Elliot

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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SoWe Food + Wine Festival 2014 Ft. Celebrity Chefs + Demos, Restaurants, Food Trucks and Drinks Galore

18 Aug

While we focus on Fairfield County, we sometimes can’t control ourselves when it comes to nearby towns and events: there’s the CT Brewers Guild Brewfest at Ski Sundown, Miya’s in New Haven, Coals in Port Chester, Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford, and there’s also the SoWe Food & Wine Festival.  That’s Southern Westchester Food & Wine Festival for you n00bs.

This event, now in its third year, (2012 was Taste of Scarsdale which morphed into the SoWe Food & Wine Fest) brings together the best of food in NYC, Westchester and Fairfield Counties, along with excellent wine (beer too) and exclusive experiences.  SoWe goes down from 9/19-21 with tickets ranging from $0 to $85 for the Celebrity Chef Battle on Friday.  They have also teamed up with WhyHunger, Scarsdale Volunteer Ambulance Corps, The Community Counseling Center, JDRF, Greyston, and the Food Bank for Westchester to donate a sizable portion of their profits from the weekend to these important charities.

Let’s take you through the different days and options that you can take part in.

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Chef Merlin Verrier Dishes about Primary Food & Drink Opening in Greenwich, CT

5 Dec
Primary Food & Drink is almost ready to go!

Primary Food & Drink is almost ready to go!

Update:  Primary Food & Drink is open and here is our review:  Primarily Underwhelming.

As Primary Food & Drink in Greenwich nears opening day, we wanted to dig a little deeper than we got with our original post.  What would the interior be like, what’s been challenging about opening, and what are some of the dishes that Executive Chef Merlin Verrier is excited about making?    We must admit that we got a little help from Merlin with these questions via phone, though.

The interior of Primary Food & Drink, from their @PrimarybyGraham

Starting off, the decor is described by Merlin as Mid-century with a timeless feel.  “It’s something that’s never been done in the area.  We’re not trying to be trendy, we’re just being us.”  Part of that Mid-century charm comes from custom pieces (a stunning chandelier and banquettes) that were created just for the restaurant and acted as the muse (as Chef Verrier calls it) for the decor.  There is enough room for 95 people in two openly connected rooms.  The space can be divided by a curtain, too, creating a private room that can seat 45.  Also, at the bar 36 people can sit and enjoy drinks and the full Primary Food & Drink menu.

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Full 3 Day Recap of the 2013 Greenwich Wine and Food Festival (We’re Still Full)

7 Oct

Greenwich Wine & Food Festival Collage 2013

Because of prior commitments, we were only able to attend the Grand Tasting at last year’s Greenwich Wine & Food Festival.  So, after having a great time at that last year, we vowed to hit up every event this year…and we did!

Thursday’s kick-off party was held at Miller Motors in Greenwich and featured wine, cocktails, finger food, and lot of goodies up for auction to help benefit the Hole in the Wall Gang.  We learned a great deal about the charity that Paul Newman founded to give children with disabilities a chance to attend a great summer camp and met some great people.

And, then there was Friday’s Grand Tasting (see our complete album with descriptions here).  This year’s event was in a bigger tent, so there was lots of room to stroll around and go from table to table.  This event was amazing and featured some of the best chefs from NY and CT including Michael William Batt from Food Design Catering, Rui Correia from Douro, Clifford Crooks from BLT Steak, Eric Gabrynowicz of Restaurant North, Bryan Gilmore of 121 Restaurant, Frederic Kieffer of l’escale, Michelle Klem of CakeSuite, Fritz Knipschildt of Chocopologie, Eric Korn of Good Life Gourmet, Tim LaBant of The Schoolhouse at Cannondale, Debra Ponzek of Aux Delices Foods, and Bill Taibe of LeFarm and The Whelk.  There was a nice variety of wine, plenty of great top shelf liquor, and even lots of sweets and coffee to wind the night down with.  We finally had the chance to meet Chris Barrett and Brianna Pennel from Steam, so that made us very happy.  And, we got to meet and talk with Raphael Palomino, owner and culinary brain behind the amazing Sonora and the newcomer to Greenwich, Bistro Latino.  We also finally had the chance to meet Graham Elliot who became part of the auction by offering up not one but two exclusive experiences at his new restaurant in Greenwich, Primary Drink & Food.

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Michelin-Starred Graham Elliot Opening Primary Food & Drink in Greenwich, Connecticut

3 Oct

Update:  Primary Food & Drink is open and here is our review:  Primarily Underwhelming.

We were reading The Greenwich Time over the summer and heard there were rumors that Joe Bastianich was opening up a spot in Greenwich.  Well, that made sense because he has lots of places in NYC and he has Tarry Lodge in nearby Port Chester.  While that rumor wasn’t true, they did say that a very famous celebrity chef from Chicago would be opening a restaurant at 409 Greenwich Avenue where Thataway Cafe used to be.  Immediately, we did our research and we were convinced it would be Graham Elliot…and our hunch was right.

Yes, the MasterChef judge and the owner of two Chicago restaurants:  Graham Elliot Bistro and Graham Elliot that has received two Michelin stars.  The name of his new restaurant in Greenwich is Primary Food & Drink, which highlights his exquisitely simple take on food and his commitment to keeping things at the highest possible quality.  Elliot will be serving Modern American food, rooted in the seasons and local food.

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Greenwich Wine + Food Festival Wants Your Vote for Best Burger in Westchester + Fairfield Counties

20 Sep
The Squeeler burger  at Plan B Burger Bar in Stamford Connecticut

Could Plan B Burger Bar win the brand new Foodies’ Choice Award this year?  Make sure to vote in your favorite!

One of the exciting activities at this year’s Greenwich Wine + Food Festival is the Second Annual Burger Battle.  Celebrity chef judges Graham Elliot and Richard Blais will be judging full, juicy burgers from local restaurants to see which are their favorites.  This entire event will be hosted by Joe Bastianich and the winner will walk away with $500 and the honor of being the best at burgers!  The Burger Battle happens at 4:30 on 10/5 and the winner will be announced at 7 pm on the main stage.

This is pretty awesome, but the Greenwich Wine + Food Festival is making things more exciting for fans with their brand new Foodies’ Choice Award.  All you have to do is head to www.facebook.com/GreenwichFoodWineFestival and vote for your favorite by October 1, 2013.

Here are restaurants that are duking it out, some quite the heavy hitters:

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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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