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Alex Guarnaschelli Talks Her Upcoming Restaurant and Love for Chocolate


She’s a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, but she has a soft spot for chocolate and Michael Symon. The Daily Meal sat down with Iron Chef, Food Network star, and executive chef at Butter Alex Guarnaschelli, and spoke with her about her partnership with Dove Chocolate. She also gave us a few details about her new restaurant and upcoming Food Network show “All-Star Academy,” which premieres this Sunday and features talented home cooks working with all-star chefs Michael Symon, Curtis Stone, Bobby Flay, and, of course, Guarnaschelli herself.

On the topic of chocolate, what is your favorite unexpected way to work with chocolate in the kitchen?

I have a recipe for tuiles, paper thin cookies baked with cocoa powder and cognac. The cognac magnifies the bitter side of chocolate. The older I get, the more I like chocolate with bitter notes, or coffee or soil notes. My daughter likes a good old candy bar. She does like the Dove chocolate fruit, though. Chocolate is something that your taste evolves for. I eat a Hershey bar now and I’m like… I can’t.

Can you tell me about your new show, “All-Star Academy”?

There are so many different personalities. Michael is the bomb. So is Bobby. And Curtis… well… the whole set was like “Curtis! What can we get you!” and almost swooning. And I was like “Uh, can I get some wine?” ::laughs:: You’re talking about taking high-powered competitive cooks and turning them into mentors. We often have these shows where a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, but these home cooks already know what they’re doing. Some of the cooks were like “Oh, I can do this, I’ll just make a roux.” So the mentoring was on another level. They fought for their own independence but also were like “Uh, can you help me?” sometimes. I think the show will resonate emotionally with people. It’s very Shakespearean.

Is it a tragedy or comedy?

Somewhere between “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Hamlet.”

Who is your favorite person to work with? Michael Symon, Bobby Flay, or Curtis Stone?

I think I might say Michael Symon for this one. We have similar sensibilities and are both competitive, but we can laugh at ourselves. We’ll get competitive, but then we will both crack up at each other. But I really like them all.

What can you tell me about your new restaurant?

I don’t have a name to give you yet, but it’s going to be in Miami. It’s just going to be French-American food. That’s what I do. You pick a lane in the swimming pool and stay in it. I’m not going to have a sushi bar anytime soon. A sushi bar in a French restaurant… ratatouille wrapped in rice. That’d be something.

What is the atmosphere behind the swinging doors at Butter?

We have a great atmosphere. We’ve been working together a long time; we’re always trying new stuff. I want to have the kind of work environment — where people are proud of where they work. I like when chefs stay for the staff meal. I have people who finish the late shift and eat the staff meal at 4:30 before they go home.

What’s the staff meal like?

I try to have the newer cooks cook staff meal. When it’s not good, we chat it out, and I explain. It’s an opportunity for learning. I have a Colombian gentlemen who makes a lot of his mother’s dishes, and he cooks a lot for us. With staff meal, you can’t afford to serve scoops of caviar on lobster, but you can make it taste good. You want the food that you cook to be as good as what you eat at the restaurant.

Have you ever really felt like you were a minority as a woman in the restaurant industry?

It’s all how you frame the picture. Of course I have, but there’s always something. When I worked in Paris it was “Ugh, you’re American.” Gender is a sensitive topic to everyone. But if you like what you’re doing and cooking, ignore it. If you have the skills, gender erodes, and a mutually respectful environment ensues. That’s been my experience. It hasn’t been smooth, but that’s what I’m always aiming for.


How To Prepare For Mother's Day From Food Network Star Alex Guarnaschelli

I recently had the chance to talk with Food Network's "Supermarket Stakeout" star Alex Guarnaschelli about how to stay busy in the kitchen while stuck at home, easy recipes for Mother's Day and the future of the restaurant industry.

If you're looking for simple and easy recipes for Mother's Day, Guarnaschelli talks about three dishes using Hood Cottage Cheese. Recipes for the dishes can be found below!


Celebrity Chefs Share Their Favorite Dish Inspired By Their Moms

In honor of Mother’s Day, some of the country’s greatest chefs are reflecting on the original inspiration for some of their favorite dishes.

Chefs credit their moms with some of their greatest kitchen inspiration.

Alex Guarnaschelli, Iron Chef, Chopped judge and host of Supermarket Stakeout on Food Network

Alex Guarnaschell's Tortilla Española

The celebrity chef who is also executive chef at New York City's Butter restaurant was inspired by a dish that is rather, well, cheesy!

“When I was growing up, my mom made a cheese soufflé that is on my short list of favorite recipes of all time. I always say this was one of those foods that made me want to become a chef and cook dishes like this professionally. I love to make this and some new variation of it every Mother’s Day and this year the variation is Tortilla Española. The potatoes and onions are almost like a layer of home fries, the cottage cheese (this year, I’m loving Hood’s Cottage Cheese) and eggs are unctuous (and loaded with protein) and the crunchy chips add a tasty, mischievous note to the dish. Making a variation of my mom’s cheese soufflé is my tribute to all she shared with me about cooking and eating. I guess it’s a way of looking forward and looking back at the same time.”

Anne Burrell, host of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition on Food Network

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“My mom used to make this yummy stuffed cabbage with meats, sausage, chopped ground beef, rice and braised in tomato sauce. Another dish she made was this amazing caesar salad that was eggless - every night in the summer we would go out to the garden and pick lettuce for it - the salad was so good because it was light and garlicky and lemony - we would beg for it every night!" said the celebrity chef.

This year for Mother’s Day, the menu will be a bit different. “I’ll be making my Balsamic Braised Brisket for Mother’s Day (and it’s also my mom’s birthday on Saturday) along with what we call potato pancakes - it will be for my mom and my sister because we are all sheltering together right now - and the kids are planning to make some type of special dessert!"

Molly Yeh, host of Girl Meets Farm on Food Network

“Growing up, I’d wake up to fresh coffee cakes and scones every weekend because my mom has a habit of waking up at 5 am and baking. For the longest time, I thought this was a normal thing that everybody’s mom did! My mom definitely passed down a love of baking to me (but not a love of waking up at 5 am!) and I can’t bake any scone or coffee cake without thinking of her. Inspired by my mom, I make a scone loaf that is particularly great because it’s made in loaf form, meaning it stays fresher for longer and you don’t actually have to eat it the day it’s made. So if you want to bake it the night before Mother’s Day and then sleep in, do it!”

Maneet Chauhan, restaurant owner, and judge on Food Network's Chopped

Maneet Chauhan, restaurant owner, and judge on Food Network's Chopped

Amelia J Moore Photography

Known for her role on Food Network's Chopped , Maneet Chauhan says that Aloo Paratha (or potato-stuffed flatbreads) reminds her of her mother. It used to be a Sunday tradition while growing up in India: "I'd wake up in the morning to the sound of her rings hitting the wooden handle as she churned fresh butter and think 'yes, we're having aloo paratha!'"

Robert Irvine, host of Restaurant Impossible on Food Network

Robert Irvine's roast chicken

“When you take the time to put some love into a roast chicken dinner, to me that’s the best meal in the whole world. Chicken is a bit of a culinary blank slate, so if it turns out well, that’s because of the love you poured into the effort. My mom? She poured all her love into us kids. When I can cook her something like this, it’s a modest way of trying to return some of that love.”

Judy Joo, host of Korean Food Made Simple on Food Network

Judy Joo’s sweet memory is that of strawberry sundaes with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. “My mom would make the best ice cream sundaes and with fresh strawberries just in season now, it was so delectable too,” said Joo. “My mom would vary it and put bananas in it sometimes too, and even soda to make it a float as well. I have memories of my sister and I sharing this dessert, and fighting over the whipped cream, which was always from a can!”

Says Joo: “My sister and I would wake up at the crack of dawn and wreak havoc in the kitchen. One year, we decided to make our mom mother’s day breakfast and serve her tea. We, for some unknown reason, thought it would be a good idea to put our goldfish in the tea kettle sans water. We killed them all in some kind of sick or amazing mother’s day sacrifice. I have no idea why we did this. Our mom never yelled at us about it though. Maybe she saw the sincere thoughtfulness in the atoning act, who knows!”

Thomas Keller, restaurateur, and cookbook writer

Bouchon Bakery's pecan sandies

"My mom, Betty Keller, was a creature of habit. She worked very hard at her job managing restaurants while raising five boys and a daughter as a single mother. She loved to have cookies on hand at the end of the day, and she especially loved the Keebler pecan sandie. It was part of my childhood, and it’s a flavor combination, vanilla and pecan, that I associate with her. It was an adult cookie to me. There was always a bag of them in the cupboard.Or almost always. We were six kids, and we were voracious. That was a problem when it came to my mother's cookies. We had our own cookies, Oreos and Nutter Butters, but when we’d dispatched those, there would be that bag of Mom’s pecan sandies, daring us. It was really hard. Those cookies were sacrosanct, but sometimes, guiltily, we ate her cookies, one by one, until they were gone.Mom had very few things she could call her own. She had no real luxuries. We didn’t have winter family vacations we didn’t go to a cabin by a lake in the summer. She worked, and she gave us everything we wanted and needed. But we didn’t appreciate it then. How could we know? How could I, youngest of the boys, know? But I do now. Day after day, year after year, Mom set an extraordinary example for me. An example of hard work, attention to detail, and an all-consuming love for our family that I still have today.Food is a powerful connector of who we are to who we were, to our past, to our memories, and, for me, to a different and simpler time. Even the smallest thing—a cookie—can help us understand what we feel now while reminding us of what we once felt and who we’ve become versus who we were then. So much of who I am today is tied to who my mom was, the choices she made, the way she worked, and how she lived her life. What success I have today, I owe to her. All of which is why the pecan sandie is so important to me."

The recipe for Bouchon Bakery's pecan sandies, inspired by Thomas Keller's mother, is featured in an upcoming e-cookbook, "Serving New York: For All the People Who Make NYC Dining Unforgettable, " created by New York City chefs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 100% of the cookbook proceeds go to the ROAR x Robin Hood Foundation NYC restaurant worker relief fund.

Devin Alexander, formerly of NBC’s Biggest Loser former host of Healthy Decadence on Fit Tv & Discovery Health and host of PBS’s America’s Chefs on Tour

Devin Alexander's cabbage casserole.

“I grew up eating cabbage casserole, one of my mother’s (and our whole family’s) favorite dishes. It’s a much quicker and simpler twist on golumpkis (Polish stuffed cabbage rolls). I’ve always been such a fan, so I lightened it up to include it in the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook . I called it Stuffed Cabbage Strata since that sounds so much more special!

Donatella Arpaia, Iron Chef, and chef/owner of Prova Pizzabar

"Without question, it is the dish that has garnered me much praise and awards - her famous meatballs. Not only did I win the NYC Meatball Madness 2 years in a row with this meatball recipe, but I also created a successful line for HSN with my award winning meatballs,” said Arpaia. "This dish is so special to me because it is the essence of my childhood. Sundays were sacred in my home because it was the one day that my dad's restaurants were closed and they didn’t work, so it was very important that we ate as a family and celebrated the Sunday meal. I have vivid memories of waking up to the smell of onions and garlic simmering and her frying the meatballs right before heading to Sunday mass."

Ming Tsai, host of public television cooking show, Simply Ming, advisor to catering startup HUNGRY

Ming Tsai grew up cooking with his mom.

The chef/owner of Blue Dragon and author of five cookbooks is reminded of his mom every time he makes scallion pancakes (made from water dough), having grown up making them with her.

Chef Tsai thinks of those special memories every time he makes it! “Besides rice and noodles growing up, scallion pancakes were my third starch. Both parents and grandparents used to make me not only traditional scallion pancakes, but also ones filled with meat. In my family, my mom has the most deft hands bar none for making scallion pancakes and dumplings. At 85 years old, she still makes better dumpling skins, far better than I will ever achieve. Which subliminally irks me!”

Chef Ming’s Scallion Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4-cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 bunches scallions (save a few greens for Tzatziki sauce garnish)
  • ¼ cup Grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Instructions:

  1. Using a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook attachment, add flour and add 2/3 of boiling water. On medium speed, keep adding water until well mixed and a ball is formed and the dough is not too hot to handle, this will take 3-5 minutes. You may need to sprinkle a little more flour if it gets too wet.
  2. On a floured surface, transfer and knead dough until it becomes a smooth elastic ball. Place back in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rest for at least 1 hour.
  3. Flour a work surface very lightly and roll out hot water dough into a log. Cut log in half. Roll out one half of a log very thinly (1/8-inch thick) into a large rectangle.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the grapeseed oil and toasted sesame oil and brush over the pancake.
  5. Cover the pancake with half scallions. Starting with the long side nearest you, roll the dough jelly-roll fashion to make a tight log. Twist each end of the log in the opposite direction 4 or 5 times (this will make additional pancake layers), then wrap the log around itself to make a coil, tucking the outside end beneath the coil. With a rolling pin, flatten the coil to ¼-inch thick.
  6. Repeat process.
  7. Heat a cast iron or wok over medium heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add pancake, cooking one at a time and cook until golden brown and delicious, turning once. Cook the second pancake. Slice each pancake into 4 wedges and serve with dipping sauce.

*Note, if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a large stainless steel bowl and mix with chopsticks. Once the ball of dough is no longer too hot to handle, knead the dough on a floured work surface until it becomes smooth and elastic, 15-20 minutes. (It takes longer here because the dough hook helps knead a bit.)


The Enthusiastic Amateurs

Anthony Bourdain’s Mom, Gladys

Anthony Bourdain may have owed his appreciation of good food to his mom’s early examples, or he may have simply inherited it. He once said his mother taught him that food should not be taken for granted or simply “shoved into one’s face like fuel”—and she recalls that her son “always had this interest in good taste, good smells. From a very young age, he loved to try new things,” whether that was snails on a French vacation, or gingerbread cookies at Christmas.

Martha Stewart’s Mom, Harriet Martha Kostyra (“Big Martha”)

Martha learned a whole slew of lessons from her mom, including lots of specific recipes, but perhaps one of the most important things Mrs. Kostyra gave her daughter was “complete freedom in [the] kitchen” that encouraged young Martha “to experiment and create” whatever she could dream up. And on that creativity an empire was built.

David Chang’s Mom, Sherri

Sherri Chang doesn’t approve of her son’s potty mouth (on full display in “Ugly Delicious”), and she may only half-jokingly criticize his food as too salty and not as good as her own, but he recognizes that she’s “an amazing cook”—who is also not afraid to do things unconventionally as long as they taste good, like using 7UP in noodle dishes and beef stock. Following in her footsteps, David Chang uses it for fizzy white kimchi.

Marcus Samuelsson’s Grandmom, Helga

As a young boy, the chef lost his birth mother to tuberculosis and was adopted into a Swedish family. His mother Ann Marie cooked some things (like spaghetti with meat sauce and peas), but he credits his grandmother for his love of food. During summers at her home in coastal Sweden, Helga taught him and his sisters “to pickle fresh vegetables, and make meatballs, ginger snaps, cookies, and apple jam.”

Emeril Lagasse’s Mom, Hilda

Much of what Emeril knows about cooking, he learned from his mother she always let him help in the kitchen. One of the earliest specific lessons was how to make vegetable soup, but she also imparted to him how food can satisfy much more than a physical hunger: “Our family life really revolved around the kitchen and eating and cooking together, and it was then that I learned how happy food can make people.”

Jos é Andr é s’ Mom, Marisa

Jos é Andr é s learned a similar lesson from his mom: “the power of food to evoke memory.” That’s partly why he serves her flan recipe at his Washington, D.C. restaurant, and cooks Spanish food for his own children. “It is a way of reconnecting with home”—and of course, it’s delicious.

Anne Burrell’s Mom, Marlene

She taught her daughter a practical lesson everyone should take to heart–read the recipe all the way through before actually starting to cook from it! Really and truly important advice.

Joan Nathan’s Mom, Pearl

Cookbook queen and Jewish food expert Joan Nathan says her mother was all about organization, so now she herself makes it a point “to clean up before guests arrive and do as much prep as possible a day in advance…always…so that I am more relaxed and probably there is less to clean up the next day.” Words of wisdom, indeed.


24 Awesome Food Events Worth Traveling to This Year

This year, expand your cultural horizons&mdashand eat some amazing food while you're at it. Here's how to make 2016 the year you travel the world in search of good food.

Food and travel go hand-in-hand. The best way to truly understand a new place is to experience its cuisine𠅊nd how better to do that than to attend an internationally renowned food festival, where top chefs, mixologists, sommeliers come together to share their expertise? At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, you can take in the sweeping Colorado vistas while tasting food from the world’s premier chefs at the Cherry Bombe Jubilee, you&aposll learn what new and fascinating work women are doing in the industry and at the Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, you&aposll get to sample the state&aposs incredible number of artisan cheeses. Planning a trip around a food festival can be a great excuse for traveling the world. Here, 24 domestic and international ideas to start you off.

JANUARY
Walland, Tennessee: Taste of the South at Blackberry Farm, January 7�, 2016

These three days of cooking demos and tastings that benefit the Southern Foodways Alliance bring chefs, vintners and scholars alike to Tennessee every year. The festival explores the South&aposs evolving food culture, which has been returning to its literal roots in recent years by celebrating its rich native agriculture. In 2016, for the 12th year of the festival, chefs such as JJ Johnson of New York and Steven Satterfield of Atlanta, among others, join cookbook author and journalist Dr. Jessica Harris and vintner-in-residence Raj Parr for presentations and group meals.

Cayman Islands: Cayman Cookout, January 14�, 2016
Escape the January cold with Eric Ripert, who hosts this year&aposs cookout. He&aposs bringing along José Andrés, Ludo Lefebrve, Tom Colicchio, Anthony Bourdain and many more for incredible meals, educational demos, and wine and mixologist tastings𠅊ll in a gorgeous Caribbean setting.

FEBRUARY
Miami, Florida: South Beach Wine & Food Festival, February 24�, 2016

This much-talked-about festival brings all your favorite Food Network personalities and celebrity chefs to Miami for five days of events, from intimate dinners cooked by Sean Brock to a late-night Tacos After Dark session with Aarón Sanchez. If you&aposve always dreamed of drinking tiki cocktails with Guy Fieri or having a rosé brunch with Martha Stewart, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival can make your wishes come true.

Montreal, Quebec: Montrບl en Lumière, February 18–March 5, 2016
The beautiful city celebrates all facets of its culture during this week-long festival, but it puts a spotlight on its inimitable gastronomic scene. This year&aposs roundup features a Quebec Chefs and Cheeses evening, which will let 400 guests and a jury of 12 experts try the creations of four up-and-coming chefs to see who will win a $5,000 prize, in addition to a fine-dining program that is not to be missed.

MARCH
Tokyo: Cherry Blossom Festival, Monthlong
To fully experience Japan&aposs majesty, it&aposs best to go at the end of March. Cherry blossoms are blooming throughout the country, but in Tokyo, you can experience their beauty while also going on a ramen crawl. 1,000 lanterns illuminate the park, and you can also hit up an antique market located within.

APRIL
New York: Cherry Bombe Jubilee, New York, April 10, 2016
The Cherry Bombe Jubilee, hosted by indie women-in-food magazine Cherry Bombe, brings together chefs, writers, and activists for a day-long series of panels and interviews, with lunch and snacks curated by chic purveyors. Last year’s event featured talks by Elise Kornack of Brooklyn’s Michelin-starred Take Root and legendary writer Mimi Sheraton, among others.

Austin, Texas: Austin Food and Wine Festival, April 22�, 2016
World-class talent and Austin&aposs rock-and-roll charm collide for this yearly festival. Over 40 demos and tasting sessions with chefs like Hugh Acheson, Andrew Zimmern and Food & Wine&aposs Gail Simmons, among many others, are followed up nightly with live music. It&aposs a laid-back fest that&aposs very serious about food.

MAY
New Orleans, Louisiana: New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, May 26�, 2016
For 23 years now, this Louisiana festival has been pairing up the distinctive Creole-influenced foods of the region𠅏rom crawfish to andouille sausage—with complementary wines. They also donate part of their profits to food banks and culinary schools, meaning all the revelry is for a good cause. Many of the South&aposs best chefs and the city&aposs most exciting restaurants will be in attendance.

Cape Town, South Africa: Good Food & Wine Show, May 26�, 2016
The Good Food & Wine Show brings celebrity chefs and TV cooks to Cape Town to do demonstrations, while over 200 exhibitors show off brand-new wines, chocolate, spirits, cooking tools and more. It’s an ideal event for the serious home cook to get a glimpse of what’s new in the market.

JUNE
Aspen, Colorado: Food & Wine Classic,
June 17�, 2016
Hosted by Food & Wine, this star-studded two-day annual event features an incredible lineup of chefs (think Hugh Acheson, Curtis Stone, Jacques Pepin, Gail Simmons and Christina Tosi) holding forth at all sorts of food- and drink-related experiences, tastings, and panels. Last year’s panels included Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi demonstrating her signature baking style, Stephanie Izard previewing her new restaurant, and Richard Blais teaching attendees how to up their sandwich game. Don’t miss a chance to get in on the fun.

Pembrokeshire, Wales: Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival, June 25–July 3, 2016
Experience this coastal Wales county&aposs rich fishing heritage during the weeklong fish festival. Here you can sample restaurants&apos fresh catch specials, try fresh Welsh oysters, and maybe even learn how to fish yourself.

JULY
Shelburne Farms, Vermont: Vermont Cheesemakers Festival, July 17, 2016
Between Ben & Jerry&aposs and Cabot Creamery, Vermont is certainly best known for its dairy it actually has the highest number of cheesemakers per capita. The state&aposs Cheesemakers Festival is the best way to sample them all, as well as local beer, wine and spirits, and all manners of artisanal food products. With a panel on women cheesemakers and cheesemaking demos, it&aposs a must-visit for dairy enthusiasts.

Singapore: Singapore Food Festival, Monthlong
Singapore’s top chefs come together to present their regional fares at this yearly festival, at which you can sample modern takes on Singaporean cuisine as well as traditional plates meanwhile, cooking demonstrations and opera performances provide a glimpse into the country&aposs arts culture.

AUGUST
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival, Dates TBA

This Los Angeles fest celebrates the best of the city&aposs food culture and beyond. The 2015 edition boasted a concert by The Roots along with demos from chefs such as Thomas Keller, Alex Guarnaschelli, Jenn Louis, and hometown hit Bestia&aposs husband and wife team Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis.

Buñol, Spain: La Tomatina, August 31, 2016
If you like to get messy, you need to get to Buñol, outside Valencia, for the last Wednesday of August. That&aposs when their annual tomato-throwing festival—the world&aposs biggest food fight—takes place. Revelers throw over-ripe tomatoes at each other until water cannons break it up.

Copenhagen: MAD5, Dates TBA
"Mad" is the Danish word for "food," which is a fitting name for the nonprofit and festival begun by chef René Redzepi to encourage mindful, sustainable eating—in restaurants and at home. Past editions have featured Dan Barber discussing the evolving taste of wheat, David Chang talking food microbiology, Roy Choi on how street food can feed the world, a demonstration by Pierre Koffmann on how to clean an artichoke in 20 seconds, and much more. Redzepi and his team took 2015 off in order to ensure MAD5, the fifth edition, has a real impact on how the world eats.

SEPTEMBER
Toronto, Canada: Toronto Food & Wine, September 18�, 2016
If you&aposve been meaning to visit this up-and-coming culinary city (now home to a new David Chang Momofuku outpost), make sure to get there for next year&aposs festival.The event is jam-packed with presentations by celebrity chefs—the 2015 festival featured a brunch with Daniel Boulud and famed Chicago chef Jason Vincent.

OCTOBER
Saugerties, New York: Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, October 1𠄲, 2016
The Hudson Valley has a reputation for having exquisite produce what better way to immerse yourself in it than to attend the area&aposs famed garlic festival? It&aposs a taste of upstate&aposs bounty, featuring local agriculture experts, food vendors and farmers.

San Juan: Jose Enrique Invites, Dates TBA
Food & Wine Best New Chef 2013 Jose Enrique’s yearly event brings international chefs to Puerto Rico to celebrate the island’s produce and locally made spirits, and it highlights the work of rising chefs from the burgeoning local scene. The 2015 edition featured Claire Robinson, Matthew Gaudet, Wilo Benet, Franco Seccarelli, Mario Pagan, Jose Santaella and Jason Vincent, who whipped up a range of dishes𠅏rom ceviches to pâtés to sweet confections𠅏or attendees. The festival is a chance, in Enrique’s words, “to create a different perspective not only locally but also internationally” on Puerto Rican cuisine.

Italy: Alba International White Truffle Fair, October 15–November 16, 2016
Forget pumpkins. Spend your harvest season at the festival known as the mother of all truffle fairs. It began in 1999 and includes not just a white truffle market, but wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, a wide array of tasting opportunities, and even a medieval parade. In addition to truffles, beloved Italian regional specialties will be available as well. Leave with cheeses, cured meats, olive oils and more to enjoy with your precious tuber.

NOVEMBER
U.S.: TMBQQ Fest, Austin, Texas, Dates TBA
Texas Monthly is the only magazine in the country (that we know of) with a dedicated barbecue editor each year, that person taps into his or her extensive knowledge to cull a list of the Top 50 BBQ Joints in the state. Then, to celebrate the list𠅊nd, presumably, the excellent state of barbecue in this nation—the magazine throws a one-day festival, in which the pit experts serve up their most prizeworthy meat.

Jamaica: NYAMJAM Festival, Dates TBA
This festival, taking place at the famed GoldenEye resort on the north coast of Jamaica, pairs international celebrity chefs with local culinary talent. Mario Batali, April Bloomfield, Seamus Mullen, Jose Enrique, and Johnny Iuzzini all participated in the inaugural 2015 edition, cooking local produce alongside the island chefs Colin Hylton and Gariel Ferguson. The festival also boasts a culinary and music bazaar that will feature DJs, performances and a variety of street food stalls.

DECEMBER
Yosemite National Park, California: The Bracebridge Dinner, Monthlong
If you have a sense of humor or perhaps a penchant for renaissance fairs, this theatrical dinner series, which takes place throughout the month, is an excellent way to celebrate the holidays. Christmas pageantry is paired with the scenic national park as well as The Ahwahnee Hotel&aposs gorgeous accomodations. The hotel&aposs chefs prepare a feast, and you also get a professional portrait to commemorate the evening.

Tasmania, Australia: The Taste of Tasmania, December 23–January 3, 2015-16
One of Australia&aposs most popular food festivals takes place off the mainland. All of Tasmania&aposs food vendors and alcohol purveyors come out to celebrate the island&aposs unique culinary culture. It&aposs open all day and into the night, with live music, cooking demonstrations and more rounding out the festivities.

F&W&aposs new series reveals the best ways to maximize your food year through travel, wine, cooking, tech, style, events and experiences. Use #BESTFOODYEAR on Twitter and Instagram to tell us about the ones you want to try. We&aposll continue to share more tips with the hashtag throughout the year and want to hear about how you celebrate food every day, too.


J. Kenji López-Alt

J. Kenji López-Alt is the Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats, author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, and a columnist for Cooking Light. He lives in San Francisco. A New York native, Kenji cut his cooking chops the old-fashioned way by working his way up through the ranks of some of Boston's finest restaurants. With an education in science and engineering and as a former Senior Editor at Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, Kenji is fascinated by the ways in which understanding the science of every day cooking can help improve even simple foods. His first book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science will be released this September, followed by a second volume in September of 2017.

Hi, I’m Kenji López-Alt. I’m a cookbook author, children’s book author, New York Times columnist, and restaurateur. You can read more about me here, if you really want to.

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My children’s book, Every Night is Pizza Night, is now available for preorder, wherever books are sold, though if you purchase it through my shop on bookshop.org, not only will a portion of sales go towards independent book shops across the country, but my full commission (10% of revenue) will also be donated directly to charitable causes. Currently those funds are being used to produce and distribute meals to folks who are in need during the ongoing pandemic.

Every Night is Pizza Night is an illustrated story about inclusivity, community, family, and pizza. It is illustrated by my wildly talented partner Gianna Ruggiero, without whom the book would have been a few hundred black and white words. She is the one who brought the story to life. I hope you enjoy reading it with your family as much as I do.

Pipo thinks that pizza is the best. No, Pipo knows that pizza is the best. It is scientific fact. But when she sets out on a neighborhood-spanning quest to prove it, she discovers that "best" might not mean what she thought it means.

Join Pipo as she cooks new foods with her friends Eugene, Farah, Dakota, and Ronnie and Donnie. Each eating experiment delights and stuns her taste buds. Is a family recipe for bibimbap better than pizza? What about a Moroccan tagine that reminds you of home? Or is the best food in the world the kind of food you share with the people you love?

Warm and funny, with bright, whimsical illustrations by Gianna Ruggiero, Every Night Is Pizza Night is a story about open-mindedness, community, and family. With a bonus pizza recipe for young readers to cook with their parents, Every Night Is Pizza Night will make even the pickiest eaters hungry for something new.

A grand tour of the science of cooking explored through popular American dishes, illustrated in full color.

Wildly popular from its inception in 2009, the Food Lab column on SeriousEats.com has explored the science of home cooking with recipes and experiments every week. Now it's coming to you in a gorgeous new book form with all-new material and recipes lavishly photographed in over 900 full-color pages.

Ever wondered how to pan-fry a steak with a charred crust and an interior that's perfectly medium-rare from edge to edge when you cut into it? How to make homemade mac & cheese that is as satisfyingly gooey and velvety-smooth as the blue box stuff, but far tastier? How to roast a succulent, moist turkey (forget about brining!)―and use a foolproof method that works every time?

As Serious Eats's culinary nerd-in-residence, J. Kenji López-Alt has pondered all these questions and more. In The Food Lab, Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes, delving into the interactions between heat, energy, and molecules that create great food. Kenji shows that often, conventional methods don’t work that well, and home cooks can achieve far better results using new―but simple―techniques. In hundreds of easy-to-follow recipes with over 1,000 full-color images, you will find out how to make foolproof Hollandaise sauce in just two minutes, how to transform one simple tomato sauce into a half dozen dishes, how to make the crispiest, creamiest potato casserole ever conceived, and much more.


Let Them Eat Cake! 120+ Delicious Cake Quotes That Are Sweet As Sugar

There’s something really special about cake. Whether it’s one you’re making from scratch for a birthday party full of kindergartners (good luck!), or yet another slice of unicorn cake marking a celebration, or even just a piece smuggled in between Netflix and chilling. The universal truth is that cake is bae.

Cake was there for you when no one else was. It was sweet and warm and took your mind away from the troubles of the world. Many literary greats, intellectuals, and celebrities have acknowledged the importance and beauty of this baked good. So we’ve collected a bunch of quotes that will remind you of the value of this sugary treat. They might even inspire you to bake one yourself.

With that in mind, here are 101 cake quotes that celebrate everyone’s favorite dessert.

Interested in more sweet and creative content? We can help you build diaper cakes , Halloween cakes , and more.

  1. “Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people it does for me.” — Audrey Hepburn
  2. “A lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake.” — Alfred Hitchcock
  3. “Cakes are special. Every birthday, every celebration ends with something sweet, a cake, and people remember. It’s all about the memories.” — Buddy Valastro
  4. “Freedom is not to be bound by my wounds. And to be able to eat cake every day.” — Amanda de Cadenet
  5. “I love eating chocolate cake and ice cream after a show. I almost justify it in my mind as, ‘You were a good boy onstage, and you did your show, so now you can have some cake and ice cream.’” — Steven Wright
  6. “A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.” — Benjamin Franklin
  7. “In my experience, entrepreneurship tends to be kind of cumulative, like a layer cake. Taking some time away can make it hard to rev up.” — Andrew Yang
  8. “If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.” — Elon Musk
  9. “All I ever wanted to do with my life was own a little house. I did that way back with ‘Rocky,’ so now everything I do is just icing on the cake.” — Mr. T
  10. “You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘See if you can blow this out.'” — Jerry Seinfeld
  11. “Because the sweeter the cake, the more bitter the jelly can be.” — Lady Gaga
  12. “You have to have really wide reading habits and pay attention to the news and just everything that’s going on in the world: You need to. If you get this right, then the writing is a piece of cake.” — Terry Pratchett
  13. “Would ye both eat your cake and have your cake?” — John Heywood
  14. “I don’t really cook much. I’m more of a baker. My favorite things to bake that everybody loves, and I can only keep in the house for about 10 minutes, are 7UP cake and pineapple upside-down cake.” — Jada Pinkett Smith
  15. “The most dangerous food is wedding cake.” — James Thurber
  16. “All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much.” — George Harrison
  17. “I want people to fall in love with themselves and to be really proud and full of joy for the space they take up. If someone else appreciates the space you take up, then that’s icing on the cake.” — Jonathan Van Ness
  18. “My music is like a baby-pink frosted cake with sprinkles, but when you cut into it, there’s a gooey, dark chocolate center.” — Melanie Martinez
  19. “I could be hit by a Sara Lee truck tomorrow. Which is not a bad way of going: ‘Richard Simmons Found in a Freeway in Pound Cake and Fudge, With a Smile on His Face.’ Let’s face it. We don’t know anything.” — Richard Simmons
  20. “Music’s been around a long time, and there’s going to be music long after Ray Charles is dead. I just want to make my mark, leave something musically good behind. If it’s a big record, that’s the frosting on the cake, but music’s the main meal.” — Ray Charles


11 Flavorful Celebrity Chefs on Twitter

Anthony Bourdain attends the premiere of Julie and Julia at The Ziegfeld Theatre, in New York, on July 30, 2009.

It has never been a better time to be a foodie. From coast to coast, chefs and eaters alike are enjoying a restaurant world flooded with incredible talent.

Thanks to the power of social media, food fanatics can connect with their favorite chefs. It’s a great tool for the cooks, too. Twitter’s short missives and focus on photos are perfect for capturing life in and out of the kitchen. They can share new menu items and build buzz for their projects.

Whether you need culinary advice, want to know the chefs in your town, or are just a starstruck fan, here are eleven chefs that are making Twitter a tastier place to be.

1. Alton Brown, @altonbrown

Alton Brown is a nerd icon. He hosted Food Network’s Good Eats for years, teaching viewers about the science behind cooking. Plus he’s an avid motorcycle guy what’s not to love? Brown is still on the air at Food Network with Cutthroat Kitchen and Iron Chef America, and his Twitter feed is a catalog of his work and adventures all over the country.

2. Anthony Bourdain, @Bourdain

He’s the bad boy of foodies. While he does occasionally tweet about food and cooking, Anthony Bourdain’s Twitter account reads like the social media equivalent of his television shows. Expect to see photos of his travels across the globe, all captioned with Bourdain’s signature no-holds-barred commentary.

THIS is what a truly great cook looks like pic.twitter.com/046KMpvnqe

— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) March 9, 2014

3. Rick Bayless, @Rick_Bayless

The master of modern Mexican cuisine, Rick Bayless gives Twitter fans a glimpse into his busy life. He might be sharing photos of new menu items, announcing details about his cookware collections or traveling for inspiration. In between all these activities, Bayless also frequently responds to the people who tweet at him, answering their questions or sharing their attempts at his recipes.

Next Frontera menu preview: goat barbacoa enchiladas w pasilla sauce, olives, capers, queso añejo http://t.co/VzISMIKOyF

— Rick Bayless (@Rick_Bayless) March 13, 2014

4. Stephanie Izard, @StephAndTheGoat

An alum from Bravo’s reality show Top Chef, Stephanie Izard now helms Girls and the Goat, one of the hottest tables in Chicago. She also operates the nearby Little Goat Diner, where her fans can get a more casual experience of her food philosophy. Izard is a busy chef, and Twitter is mostly updates about her latest projects, such as hosting themed family-style Sunday dinners at Little Goat.

Cubano-naan-na for blue plate today #littlegoat w jerk sausage, ham, lotsa pickles and bit of cheese! pic.twitter.com/BWYx29QwlZ

— stephanie izard (@StephAndTheGoat) March 13, 2014

5. Grant Achatz, @Gachatz

After training at Thomas Keller’s legendary French Laundry restaurant, Grant Achatz became a culinary celebrity in his own right. He and his team push the boundary of molecular gastronomy at Chicago restaurants Alinea and Next, as well as bar The Aviary. On Twitter, Achatz is all business, posting his latest thoughts about food, cooking and the restaurant industry.

6. Marcus Samuelsson, @MarcusCooks

This chef has a truly global perspective on food, thanks to his Ethiopian and Swedish family and his years spent in the culinary melting pot of New York City. He has restaurants dotted across the U.S. and Sweden, and you can see the food and fun happening at them through Samuelsson’s tweets.

7. David Chang, @davidchang

As chef and founder of the Momofuku restaurant empire, David Chang is a well-known figure in the restaurant world. His skills in the kitchen and in business have attracted many fans, as has his brash attitude about the food world. His tweets are frequently updates from the various Momofuku kitchens, but he also has plenty of opinions about restaurants, chefs and food that he’s happy to share.

Who was the first person to put the sauce swoosh / schmear on the plate?

Let's decide on an expiration date for it.

— Dave Chang (@davidchang) January 12, 2014

8. Alex Guarnaschelli,

New York chef Alex Guarnaschelli does it all. She’s the executive chef at an established Manhattan restaurant, a member of the Iron Chef America team, a frequent judge on Chopped, a cookbook author, and a busy parent. On Twitter, she also answers questions from her fans, telling them about the chef life and doling out advice.

“@LadyArdrox: @guarnaschelli what would you recommend someome make to go with grilled balsamic chicken?” Roasted broccoli//Braised rutabaga

— alex guarnaschelli (@guarnaschelli) March 20, 2014

9. Dominique Ansel, @DominiqueAnsel

Ansel has been living the sweet life after achieving sudden fame for his invention of the Cronut. While the croissant-doughnut hybrid catapulted him to stardom, Ansel is still innovating. Find out about his newest creations, like the Milk and Cookies Shot, and his press appearances on Twitter.

3pm is #cookieshot time! Who's tried it with Baileys at home?

— Dominique Ansel (@DominiqueAnsel) March 17, 2014

10. Rachael Ray, @rachaelray

More than just a cook, Rachael Ray is also a television host, a teacher and an author. She leads a fascinating life and documents her work on food, cooking, and TV with lots of tweets and photos. Her latest includes updates from her Feedback Festival at SXSW, upcoming guests for her talk show and promotion for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program.

[email protected] stopped by with a great program that encourages kids to start everyday with a healthy breakfast. @FLOTUS would be proud! #letsmove

— rachael ray (@rachaelray) March 12, 2014

11. Ming Tsai, @chefmingtsai

Before the Food Network began bringing the kitchen into our living rooms, Ming Tsai was the king of television cooking. The Boston-based chef hosts Simply Ming, which has been on public television for eleven seasons. He’s also the owner of two successful Boston restaurants, Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon. Tsai shows off his same charm on Twitter, frequently answering his fans’ questions or sharing photos from his kitchens.

1 of 15 bowls of ramen offered 2nite at Blue Ginger for Sunday Ramen. Come Slurp! http://t.co/rHsna51y1q

— Ming Tsai (@chefmingtsai) March 2, 2014

Anna Washenko is a freelance writer covering digital entertainment, social media, science, and tech. Her work has appeared on USA Today, Mashable, Yahoo and Digital Trends. Follow her @Ann. More


The Best Food Shows to Watch Right Now

For bite-size entertainment or bingeing, as you please.

“The Great British Baking Show” (Netflix)

It is incredibly soothing to watch these friendly home cooks as they bake their pastries, cakes, and breads in this gentle competition set in a tent on an English country estate. (Fans of Nadiya Hussein from season six of “The Great British Baking Show” will want to check out her new Netflix show “Nadiya’s Time to Eat,” focused on time-saving tips and recipes, too.)


Duff Goldman Is a Married Man! The Chef Weds Johnna Colbry at the Museum of Natural History

The Ace of Cakes star and his girlfriend of nearly three years said "I do" under the T-rex exhibit.

Duff Goldman whipped up something extra sweet this weekend: his own wedding!

The pastry chef and his girlfriend of nearly three years Johnna Colbry tied the knot at the Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles on Saturday, PEOPLE confirms.

Goldman, 44, and Colbry, 25, said “I do” in front of 250 of their closest friends and family under the T-rex exhibit before moving the party into the museum’s Hall of North American Mammals.

The couple, who shared the first look at their wedding with our sister publication Martha Stewart Weddings, told PEOPLE the event took on a “romantic yet tropical” vibe with palms and dark roses used throughout the wedding. Colbry compared it to a “Gatsby party” because of the “random elements” like a petting zoo that were incorporated.

As a master cake maker and star of the upcoming Food Network show Buddy vs. Duff, which will showcase Goldman going head-to-head against Cake Boss‘s Buddy Valastro, the desserts at his nuptials were bound to be showstopping, but the couple really did not disappoint.

The first of three cakes they served was an underwater-themed confection hanging from the ceiling. It was decorated with sugar sea glass, bubbles, and leafy sea dragons.

“I don’t know how Johnna feels about me likening her to a leafy sea dragon but they are beautiful and graceful and they’re gentle and they’re sweet and so is Johnna,” said Goldman.

Goldman’s pastry team also put together a traditional white wedding cake for Colbry and a “meat cake” for Goldman.

“The bottom tier is meatballs, the second tier is meatloaf, third tier is lamb shawarma, the top tier is scrapple,” he said. “Then it’s iced in mashed potatoes, with bacon roses and then we have a chocolate fountain that we put gravy in.”

As for the main courses, guests—including fellow Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli—munched on Los Angeles street tacos, a baked potato bar, barbecue and pizza. They also set up a pretzel bar where guests could “tie the knot” themselves.

“We wanted fun food that people actually really want to eat,” said Goldman. “No airline chicken breast and roasted sweet potatoes.”

Immediately following their big day, which was put together by celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss, the bride and groom took off to Thailand for the first of two honeymoons. When they return, Goldman will continue filming for a few weeks before they leave for a two-month vacation around the world.

“We’re gonna go everywhere: Asia, North Africa, the Middle East𠅊ll over the place,” he added.