Posted by Top Chef on May 23rd, 2013
While many Web sites and apps devoted to dining rely on peer reviews and star ratings, a spate of new apps has eschewed this democratic approach, bypassing the masses for the experts: chefs themselves.
Where Chefs Eat, an iPhone and iPad app released this month, features about 2,300 restaurants recommended by more than 400 chefs, including René Redzepi, Andy Ricker
and April Bloomfield, in 400 cities across the United States and around the world. From humble noodle shops to Michelin-starred restaurants, the app offers an eclectic mix — and is much more portable than the book version, a 704-page reference published in January.
The iPhone app Chefs Feed, which made its debut in 2011, sorts suggestions from about 700 chefs, including Mario Batali, Thomas Keller and Scott Conant, according to cuisine, price and neighborhood. The app features approximately 5,000 restaurants in 20 American cities, plus London, and the company said it will add Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal to its roster this month.
Come November, Chefs Feed will follow the lead of Where Chefs Eat, publishing its own printed guide. Chefs Feed also allows you to follow specific chefs to receive updates on their new finds. And Find. Eat. Drink., an iPhone app released in January, offers a similar service, but branches out a bit — it includes suggestions from sommeliers, bartenders and purveyors in addition to chefs.
Where Chefs Eat App Chefs Feed App Find. Eat. Drink App
Posted by Top Chef on May 17th, 2013
Lunch at the office can be a no-win situation.
Sure, you can go out everyday, but it’s expensive and, let’s be honest, most of us use at least part of the lunch hour working at our desks so having to go out for lunch takes time away from your latest project.
It’s also more difficult to eat healthy because of the temptation of those fantastic looking pictures (of high calorie foods) you have to stare at before you order.
Doing the brown-bag thing can be a cheaper, healthier alternative, but it can get boring always eating the same thing you just had for dinner a few hours ago.
The way to turn lunch from a no-win into a win-win is to start cooking at work.
Channel Your Younger Self
Think back to your college days where you spend hours inventing ways to cook your favorites without leaving your dorm room. You eventually figured out how to cook about anything in your dorm room right? Bring that ingenuity to the office.
Check Out Your Options
The first thing you need to consider is what types of cooking appliances are available, and what others are legal for you to bring.
Microwaves and refrigerators have become relatively standard in most offices, but it’s important to know what other small appliances are available, or legal for you to add.
Items to consider:
- Chiller bag, if you don’t have a fridge
- Tea kettle (to prepare couscous, cook angel hair pasta, etc)
- Toaster over
- Sandwich press
- Small crock-pot
- Rice cooker
Next, check out the shopping options around the office. If there is a local grocery store or small shop, become more familiar with their offerings so you know what is available in a pinch.
Remember, you are not cooking at home, and your mother will not be cleaning up after you. You’re sharing the kitchen space, and the air with many other people.
With this in mind, here are some tips to follow while cooking at work:
- Be careful about cooking items with a strong smell. If too many people are annoyed with the smell of your fish, bad things could happen.
- Make sure there is space available to properly clean up after yourself… and do it!
- Don’t monopolize the entire kitchen area.
If you’re ready to take control of your work lunches, here are some great resources to find recipes that will work.
Put your thinking cap on and get started with cooking at work!
Posted by Top Chef on May 16th, 2013
Beneath the rose glaze lies some pretty genius pastry engineering.
Remember you heard it first from Recipe For Success…The new hot pastry will be the “Cronut” Because it’s part croissant and part doughnut the pastry chef is, appropriately, calling it a cronut. (Go ahead, say cwaahh-nut, you know, French style.) Each one of these puppies is made from pastry dough that’s been sheeted, laminated, proofed, then fried like a doughnut and rolled in flavored sugar. But that’s not all: Cronuts-to-be are also filled with a not-so-sweet Tahitian vanilla cream, given a fresh coat of rose glaze, and bedazzled with rose sugar. Got it? Good. Let’s briefly examine the sheer implausibility and engineering genius that goes into each one of these things.
First off, call your friendly neighborhood pastry chef and ask him or her what happens when you try to fry croissant dough. It’s not pretty. Even if the laminated layers don’t separate instantly and part ways in the hot oil six ways to Sunday, chances are that yeast-leavened dough will have a lumpy, sad, and uneven ascent before it ever gets to the golden brown stage The trick seems to be to fry it in grapeseed oil at one specific (and somewhat secret) temperature.
The fried cronut looks like this on the inside:
To finish, it’s filled with cream, another feat that’s also a bit difficult to pull off in a pastry that has a punched-out center hole. The finished cronut tastes a lot like a classic glazed doughnut, but much more awesome.
Bye Bye Cupcakes (thank god),
Posted by Top Chef on May 15th, 2013
What are you waiting for…It may be inappropriate to wear white before Memorial day but not for grilling. I have been known to use my grill in a snow storm.
What’s the best thing to BBQ? no competition it’s St Louis style Ribs. Here is my favorite recipe…Enjoy!!!
For the ribs and rub
- 3 3 racks baby back pork ribs (about 7 pounds), or 2 racks pork spareribs (6 to 8 pounds total)
- 1/4 cups sweet paprika
- 4 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoons celery salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
For the mop sauce (optional) Highly recommended
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1/2 cups yellow (ballpark) mustard
- 2 teaspoons salt
Step 1: Prepare the ribs and rub: Remove the thin, papery skin from the back of each rack of ribs by pulling it off in a sheet with your fingers, using the corner of a kitchen towel to gain a secure grip, or with pliers.
Step 2: Combine the paprika, black pepper, brown sugar, salt, celery salt, cayenne, garlic powder, dry mustard, and cumin in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Rub two third of this mixture over the ribs on both sides, then transfer the ribs to a roasting pan. Cover and let cure, in the refrigerator, for 4 to 8 hours.
Step 3: Prepare the mop sauce (if using): Mix together the cider vinegar, mustard, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and place a large drip pan in the center.
If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips in the smoker box and preheat the grill to high; when smoke appears, reduce the heat to medium.
If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium.
Step 5: When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss the wood chips on the coals. Brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the ribs on the hot grate over the drip pan. Cover the grill and smoke cook the ribs for 1 hour.
Step 6: When the ribs have cooked for an hour, uncover the grill and brush the ribs with the mop sauce (if using). Recover the grill and continue cooking the ribs until tender and almost done, 1/4 to 1/2 hour longer for the baby back ribs, 1/2 to 1 hour longer for spareribs. The ribs are done when the meat is very tender and has shrunk back from the ends of the bones. If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add 10 to 12 fresh coals to each side after 1 hour. Fifteen minutes before the ribs are done, season them with the remaining rub, sprinkling it on.
Step 7: To serve, cut the racks in half, or, for a plate-burying effect, just leave them whole.
My mouth is watering
Posted by Top Chef on May 14th, 2013
Experts have discussed the merits of eating insects for years, but even though it still seems strange and freaky in the U.S., it’s becoming increasingly popular around the world. Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization released a 200-page report at a news conference at the U.N.’s headquarters in Rome. It made a strong case for why humans should eat bugs: They can help fight hunger and pollution while providing high-quality protein and nutrition. We’ve summarized the most persuasive arguments about why you should consider eating lemony ants and popcorn-flavored crickets.
1. 2 billion people already eat insects around the world. And Angelina Jolie is one of them.
2. After two decades of living underground, cicadas are about to attack. They’re actually a rare delicacy that taste like shrimp when boiled, and have a nutty flavor and a buttery texture.
3. There’s already an insect-themed tasting menu. French chef David Faure serves a special bug-centric meal for 59 euros ($76.50) at his Michelin-starred restaurant, Aphrodite, in Nice. He serves crickets, which taste like popcorn, and mealworms, which carry a subtle, nutty flavor.
4. Bugs are a great source of protein and nutrients: Biologists say that the high-quality protein that bugs like beetles, ants, crickets, and grasshoppers provide rivals lean red meat and fish. Insects are also good sources of nutrients like copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and fiber.
5. Eating insects benefits the environment. It’s easy and efficient to convert bugs into edible meat, and they produce few greenhouse gases and feed on human and food waste.
6. Bugs are omnipresent and reproduce quickly — just take a look at your legs come July. Family-run insect farming happens mostly in forests, but with mechanization, it can become more mainstream.
7. Noma chef René Redzepi loves preparing lemony black wood ants and fermented crickets.
8. If you eat bugs now, you’ll be bold enough to try a spider in years to come. The Food and Agriculture Organization says that its Edible Insect Program is studying the benefits of eating arachnids. Scorpion, anyone?
UN SAYS: WHY NOT EAT MORE INSECTS? [AP]
Cicadas: “The Shrimp of the Land” [NBC Philadelphia]
French Chef Puts Crickets on Menu in Push to Use Insects as Food [Bloomberg]
Earlier: Are Bugs Really Going to Be the Next Big Thing?
René Redzepi Brings Bugs to New York, Imagines a Bleak Food Future
Posted by Top Chef on May 13th, 2013
After 60 years of service on Sullivan Street, Joe’s Dairy is closing due to “lagging walk-in sales”. What??? you say, in this day of everyone talking about how important fresh natural ingredients are for good health and good flavor. I thought small batch producers were all the rage in the food world. Joe was one of the original “artesenal” producers and will be sorely missed. If Joe’s store front becomes another Cup Cake store I’ll scream.
Posted by Richard Cooper on October 12th, 2011
As the temperature begins to drop and the leaves start to fall I find myself thinking about the holidays that will be upon us all too soon.
If your company is like most you will celebrate the holidays with a company wide or department holiday party. Having spent some 25 years in the corporate world I have attended many holiday shindigs, they were always fun but pretty shallow at the same time. The best part of the party was usually the next day when the scuttle butt about who over indulged and who made fools of themselves in various ways (and you know who your are) would rapidly make the rounds.
As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.
As a youngster my parents taught me that the holiday season was about Good Cheer, Bringing Tidings of Joy, Acts of Kindness, Good Will to Men, Peace on Earth, Loving, Sharing and Charity by Giving Back to the Community and the Less Fortunate. I wish I could say that I always remember to think of the holidays in those terms, but like many people this time of year sometimes looses its meaning.
Does your company subscribe to the “real” meaning of the holidays when it comes to your party? You can you know. …
We at Recipe For Success have developed a way for you and your firm to give back this holiday season. Our Cooking For a Cause program is designed to bring people that work together a unique way to celebrate together. Instead of your normal Holiday party, Cooking for a Cause offers a fun way to celebrate and give back to your local community.
Cooking For a Cause is a three prong program where everyone cooks food for a local charity…
First, we prepare a hot dish like Lasagna.
Second, we make lunch bags for children. The bags consist of PB&J sandwiches, fruit, and a healthy snack. We make the Peanut Butter from scratch.
Third, we stuff Family Bags full of staple items to help fill the pantry’s of those less fortunate than we are.
We invite a representative from the charity to come to the gathering and give a short talk on how they will use your donation and the state of Hunger in America and your local community.
Just how important is this notion of “giving back”…
The U.S. poverty rate reached 15 percent in 2010, the highest level in almost 20 years — and it would have been much higher without significant government support.
46.2 million people are living in poverty — defined as below $22,000 for a family of four — is equal to the population of California and Colorado combined, an all-time high.
Last year, the homeless population grew by 56 percent — not among chronically homeless tent campers, but families with nowhere to go.
30,000,000 Children go to bed hungry each and every night
Please see our web-site for more details on Cooking For a Cause and our other Culinary Team Building events.
The Holidays are not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.
Posted by Richard Cooper on May 6th, 2011
I have two major life passions (besides my family, who will always be first)…the study of Human Nature and all things Food. As you can tell I’m not a very complicated person. This is my first real Blog attempt, yesterday I couldn’t spell Blob… I am committed to writing at least 2 entries a month that hopefully will catch your attention and keep you reading and motivate you to join in the conversation. I am going to be running at the mouth about 2 things, any guesses? You got it… Food and People, more specifically …how can cooking help us work more effectively together in the corporation, or simply put… Team Work and Team Building.
I am fortunate that I get to travel often, meeting interesting people and eating in great restaurants (and not so great). I am planning to bring you my impressions of restaurants and their chefs, and all types of food establishments from the various cities I visit. In addition, recipes, cooking techniques, kitchen gadgets and equipment and other Foodie subjects you might be interested in. I would love and hope to hear from you on what you read here and any topics that you would like to talk about or that might just pop into your head…Please help me, I know I will run out of ideas all too soon.
Whenever someone asks me what kind of work I do (people always ask about your work, don’t they) I know I am in for a conversation, when I tell them I am the founder of “Recipe For Success” which produces Team Building events for corporations. More specifically Culinary Team Building events… I don’t wait for them to ask, I try and provide a simple explanation. The objective of this Team Building program is to use food preparation and the gourmet meal that is produced, as an active and powerful metaphor. The group will experience all the components of a functioning team, bond together and get to know each other in a unique environment outside of the work place. Typically we are part of a multi-day off site meeting. We break large groups into smaller teams…each team is responsible for cooking one dish as part of an International Buffet that they will eat for lunch or dinner that day… “So”…, they ask with interested eyes, the eyes give it away, I know I will be there a while. Well, the teams prepare their dish without a recipe…, “What do Team Building and cooking have in common????” You’ll just have to wait until my next Blog entry to find out.
Food Funny…1 small Roast of beef
1 large Roast of beef
Take the two roasts and put them in the oven.
When the little one burns, the big one is done.
Posted by Richard Cooper on July 27th, 2010
Be the first to answer our Trivia question and win a great prize!
Tokyo, never really considered a culinary Mecca by most, in my humble opinion belongs near the top of any Foodie’s list of the world’s great cuisines.
A bold statement I know, and I will most likely receive some comments from my French, Italian and American foodie friends, asking if I have finally lost my mind. These retorts I am sure will come from those who have never visited this world class gastronomic city.
I recently returned from producing our first Recipe For Success Culinary Teambuilding event ( www.recipeforsuccess.com ) in this part of the world, lucky me.
First, I would like to send my heartfelt thanks to my new friends Sara, Akemi and Iwoo who took me under their wings and showed me places and things I would never have found on my own. They took me to unbelievable restaurants and introduced me to some of the best food that has ever passed through these lips. Their warmth and hospitality was second to none and indicative of their city’s citizens and culture. Thanks!
The Team Cuisine event was a great success, in large part due to the quality of the ingredients. I have been fortunate to travel to many great “eating” cities but never have I had the good fortune to work with ingredients of such high quality. The shrimps (with heads still on) were so fresh I could swear they were moving. The produce was fresh and bursting with flavor. Everything looked and tasted as if it was picked or caught that day.
Prior to the event I was a bit nervous about the language barrier as most of the participants did not speak English and I can’t count to three in Japanese. I guess the old adage “ Breaking Bread together brings people together” is true. Imagine what making and breaking bread together can accomplish. Cooking has shown itself to be the true international language.
So, what did I eat in Tokyo and why was it so good? Those wonderful ingredients were served in every establishment I ate in, be it a formal high end restaurant or a street stall with 10 seats serving Yakatori (usually chicken or strange chicken parts, hearts, liver etc.) grilled on skewers with some sort of terrific BBQ type sauce, Yum. Needless to say I ate my share. IF I saved all my skewers and brought them home, my bag would have incurred overweight charges from the Japan Air. One of the items I needed to close my eyes before putting it in my mouth was a Yakatori of raw chicken. Well not really raw but seared on the outside and very rare on the inside like we cook Tuna here. Delicious once I got passed the cultural thing…. Don’t try this at home.
The weather was hot, very hot and humid to boot, but that doesn’t stop the Japanese people from eating hot soup. It seems that some kind of soup was served at every meal, breakfast included. In the USA we have Starbucks on every corner, in Tokyo they have Ramen Shops (Noodle Shops serving mostly big steaming hot bowls of rich noodle soup with veggies, seafood , pork or beef). The hot weather didn’t stop me from having a bowl just about everyday. The culturally correct way to partake is to “slurp” the noodles and soup. With every chop stick or spoon full, I thought about what my mom would say about slurping. Ramen has become very popular in New York and new shops are popping up almost every day. Some are very good but for the most part don’t measure up to Tokyo’s rich broth and hand pulled noodles. Will I continue to eat Ramen in the summer? You bet, and all fall, winter and spring too.
I’m getting a bit long winded and have lot’s more to say, stay tuned in to my next Blog installment. In the meantime try your hand at this week’s trivia question. The first person to e-mail me the correct answer will win a copy of Japanese Cooking A Simple Art, 25Th Anniversary Edition
• By Tsuji, Shizuo
Since its release twenty-five years ago, Shizuo Tsuji’s encyclopedic and authoritative work has been the acknowledged bible of Japanese cooking. Unrivaled in its comprehensive explanation of ingredients, tools, and techniques, the book guides readers through recipes with clear prose, while technical points are made understandable with deftly executed line drawings.
After introducing ingredients and utensils, the twenty chapters that make up Part One consist of lessons presenting all the basic Japanese cooking methods and principal types of prepared foods—making soup, slicing sashimi, grilling, simmering, steaming, noodles, sushi, pickles, and so on—with accompanying basic recipes. Part Two features 130 carefully selected recipes that range from everyday fare to intriguing challenges for the adventurous cook. Together with the recipes in Part One, these allow the cook to build a repertoire of dishes ranging from the basic “soup and three” formula to a gala banquet.
Trivia Question: New York boasts some 40,000 restaurants… How many are said to be in Tokyo?
Posted by Richard Cooper on July 26th, 2010
Being on the cutting edge of team building is a hard job but someone has to do it. When we introduced TeamCuisine almost 6 years ago, cooking and team building were not the hit they are today. Foodies and non-foodies have enjoyed our cooking team building events and while I was putting together some testimonials, I thought that our clients can tell you about it better than I ever could. Thanks to all of you for some great events these last 6 years!
“Everyone enjoyed the evening and thought the cooking was a blast. They really had a good time with it and we will do it again. Overall, it was very very positive and I thank you for pulling it all together at the last minute.”
Flik Conference Services on site at Pfizer Inc
“Stewart and Ann put on a wonderful event for our group last night!! Thank you for bringing “your best” to our dinner. The group was really engaged and the food tasted wonderful. I can’t wait to share this success with all of my colleagues.”
“The event was fantastic and all the guys had a great time. Richard was great!”
Nissan Canada Inc.
“Feedback from last night has been awesome!! Thanks so much for a great event.
“It went well! Our people really enjoyed themselves and for those who normally don’t cook, learned something new. I’ve received a lot of good feedback.”
Deloitte Services LP
“The event was a big hit!! I can’t thank you, Jeff and Craig enough! I look forward to working with your company again.”
Booz | Allen | Hamilton
“Your team did a fabulous job with the event, they actually handled the first hour on their own while we set the dining area. Our store directors had an amazing time and the meal was very good. Thank you for pulling this together so quickly…”
Note: This event was produced in the clients office
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank you and Richard for another “outstanding” event. I hope to get to meet you someday, as I am sure ExxonMobil will continue to do business with you in the future.
Some of the comments / feedback I received…
“Please provide me with “Recipe for Success” contact information – I want
to use them for an upcoming / future event – I have haven’t had this much
fun at a Team Building Event in a long time”
“What a blast – it gave me time to bond with others in a fun and relaxing
“How and where did you find these people! They put on a great show”
“That was alot of fun – I never knew I could cook”
“We really had a great time at our meeting! This is definitely a night no one will forget.”
State Farm Insurance
“Thank you for everything from the food to the team building to the professionalism and then some. They raved about it and suggested I spread the word to the rest of the company for future events. From a planning perspective everyone was extremely helpful too.”
Valerie S., CMP Meeting Planner
American Express Business Travel
“The event went perfectly! I can’t even tell you how wonderful Craig and Jon (? – his partner) were. Everyone had a wonderful time!”
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals
“I’m going to pass your name on to a few folks that are taking lead on our different offsite events for balance of year. Of course, there’s always next year to plan for and believe me, you guys are at the top of my list! You did a wonderful job getting things pulled together for us last minute and you made me look great!!! That’s always a plus!”
PepsiCo Financial Shared Services
“Thanks for your wonderful event! It was such a pleasure to meet you and take part in such a unique team-building experience. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as well as the delicious dishes!”
Raytheon Missile Systems
“Thank you again, for a successful event. It is now the one to top.”
Raytheon Legal Department
“Thank you for a wonderful team event! Richard was great. Everyone is still talking about it.”
Oracle Technology Business Unit
“Thank You for a fabulous Team Cuisine event. Everyone seemed to have a great time…. a few of them were having too much fun! I really appreciate you making this event so successful, especially with such short notice. Thanks again for a fabulous event. I hope we have an opportunity to work together again!”
Jackie – Event Planner for Bank of America
“The session was very well received — we had had a difficult afternoon and it turned the group’s mood around — I was also able to leverage it with a deeper debrief the next morning. I greatly enjoyed the set-up and Nadine’s “gentle support” to the teams during the session was helpful … it was very professional and not “tacky”.”
Brian – Johnson & Johnson
“We had a wonderful time! Facing a set of challenges that were very different than what we do 50-60 hours a week, we all learned different and surprising things about each other and I think everyone appreciated the new perspectives we now have on our colleagues. I think we’ll be a closer, better team for it. You were an excellent, low-key, firm, helpful leader with a great sense of humor. Thanks so much. Everyone wants to do it again – so we’ll be in touch!”
Lea – Public Broadcasting Systems
“I loved it! (As you probably knew I would.) Lessons learned:
- Everyone has something to contribute.
- There’s a lot of creativity and imagination in this group.
- Things run smoothly when we check our egos at the door.
- Where one person is weak (e.g. my artistic sense is non-existent), another is strong (thank you, January); we complement one another.
- Even a near-disaster can be rectified (cf. the dessert, which, BTW, was divine).
- Even when there’s something you dislike or of which you disapprove, if it’s a necessary element, you just shut up and accept it. (I know this is anathema, but I hate tarragon – it’s such a fussy herb – but that’s what our recipe called for. And a lot of other people – even people I respect! – like it.
- We can COOK!”
Joan – Accenture
“It was a pleasure. We opened to rave reviews and I’m sure you’ll see us again!”
Vincent – Bank of America
Posted by Richard Cooper on June 25th, 2010
During Mr. Cooper’s 25 years of publishing trade magazines for the Food & Wine industries he traveled the world meeting and taking private cooking classes with top International chefs.
Richard left that world to follow his dream of opening a cooking school (My Mothers Kitchen) in New York. This transition led to understanding the many parallels of managing teams in the kitchen and the corporation.
As interest in these similar environments grew, Mr. Cooper developed Recipe for Success, and our flagship program Team Cuisine. These programs were designed to aid in effective Team Development, Team Building and Team Bonding, while enhancing a firm’s social capital, using the Culinary Arts as a metaphor for the corporate environment.
Richard lives in Connecticut with his wife and Daughter.
Recipe for Success