Buvette, the book, debuts today, April 22, 2014.
Featured
April 22, 2014

The Buvette Chef and Author on Her New Cookbook, Loving Vague Recipes, and Why Intentions Matter

BON VOYAGE - Boulud Sud' Executive Chef Travis Swikard
Featured
April 11, 2014

Boulud Sud’s Executive Chef Travis Swikard on His New Dinner Series, Working with Daniel, and Moving Up the Kitchen Food Chain

ENZO AND ELVIS - My Lost Morning with Charlie Trotter
Featured
April 4, 2014

My Lost Morning with Charlie Trotter

B 6745
Featured
April 1, 2014

Gramercy Tavern was Born at the Food & Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen. Tom Colicchio Remembers.

NYT-Magazine-Food-Issue-Flynn-McGarry
Featured
March 31, 2014

Five Thoughts about The New York Times Magazine Food and Drink Issue

THE BOSS - In a Chef-Centric Age, Restaurateur Drew Nieporent Has Stayed as Famous as His Toques
Featured
March 27, 2014

In A Chef-Centric Age, Restaurateur Drew Nieporent Has Stayed as Famous as His Toques

  • Buvette, the book, debuts today, April 22, 2014.
  • BON VOYAGE - Boulud Sud' Executive Chef Travis Swikard
  • ENZO AND ELVIS - My Lost Morning with Charlie Trotter
  • B 6745
  • NYT-Magazine-Food-Issue-Flynn-McGarry
  • THE BOSS - In a Chef-Centric Age, Restaurateur Drew Nieporent Has Stayed as Famous as His Toques

Toqueland Wire

    April 4, 2013

    The Waiters

    Two Decades Later, a Short Film with a Restaurant Punchline Still Brings the Funny

    The other night, I had dinner at Carbone, one of the biggest openings of the season in New York City. I loved the food at this Mario Carbone-Rich Torrisi paean to Italian-American restaurants, in the former home of Rocco’s on Thompson Street. Early in the experience, while sitting with the skyscraper-sized menu (wish I had a photo) listening to the litany of specials from the tuxedoed waiter, I was reminded of a short film that ends with a deadpan, endless riff on the exact same type of recitation, complete with two (unseen) diners holding similarly gargantuan menus.

    The film, The Waiters, isn’t about restaurants — it’s an extended play on its title, an absurdsit, at times David Lynch-like look at various “waiters” that ends with the restaurant variety (that bit begins at the 5:10 mark).  Enjoy:

    I first saw this movie about 20 years back, when I organized a short-film series at Cascabel restaurant, in the space that is now home to Michael White’s Osteria Morini.  The film was made at NYU, written by Thomas Lennon, who went on to a successful career as a comedic writer and actor, and directed by Ken Webb. Though I hadn’t seen or thought of it in ages, it came right back to me at dinner. Guess it was there in my memory all along, just – er – waiting to be triggered.

    - Andrew

    Published in Depictions, Restaurants, Video
    April 3, 2013

    CIA Catch Up

    Culinary Institute of America President Dr. Tim Ryan Hints at New Courses in Entrepreneurship, Opines on Celebrity Chef Culture 

    CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan (photo courtesy Culinary Institute of America)

    As many Toqueland readers know, I’ve been working on a book about the American chefs and restaurants of the 1970s and 1980s. One of the great pleasures of this project is that it’s given me an opportunity to sit down with some of the most important figures in food, and hear their backstories firsthand.

    It also gives me a chance to check in on new developments which I did when I recently sat down with Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the Culinary Institute of America.  Over the course of about 2 1/2 hours, we had a fascinating and far-ranging conversation that covered everything from how he first got interested in cooking (a legendary Time magazine cover story about Paul Bocuse, whose name now graces the school’s flagship restaurant, had something to do with it) to his role in creating the American Bounty restaurant on the CIA campus, to who his classmates were at “the Culinary” (among them was Susan Feniger, whom Dr. Ryan recalls was easy to spot because she was one of but a handful of women on campus at the time).

    All of that will stay in the vault until the book publishes but when I asked the good doctor if there were any new developments on the horizon at the CIA, he offered up a hint of a new column of courses centered on the business of cooking.  Though he couldn’t divulge the nitty gritty just yet, here’s the relevant snippet of our conversation:

    RYAN: I can’t tell you specifically what we’re doing, but it’ll be big. It’s how we do an even more effective job seating entrepreneurs, because that’s one of the things that starts back in this very era that you talk about [in your book] — chefs as entrepreneurs. And we’ve had great success everywhere from Grant Achatz as an entrepreneur at the highest end to [Chipotle founder] Steve Ells . .. . so how do we help even more people become entrepreneurs and avoid some of the pitfalls?

    TOQUELAND: You’re talking about classes that would be more in line with what people might think of as a traditional MBA-type program, but not exactly that.

    Expand

    March 29, 2013

    THE TRAIL: Battersby

    A Day (and Night) in the Life of Brooklyn’s Most Celebrated Open Kitchen

    Chefs Joe Ogrodnek (left) and Walker Stern, during a break in the action.

    For some time, I’ve had it in my mind to introduce a recurring feature about a day in the life of different restaurants.  The name of this intermittent series, “The Trail,” is the term used to describe a potential employee’s observation of, and sometimes participation in, a day of service at a restaurant where he or she hopes to work.

    Along with a lot of things here at Toqueland, I had to back-burner that concept in deference to a pileup of book deadlines.  But the perfect union of my book and blog lives presented itself recently when I needed to trail at Battersby, the successful Smith Street (Brooklyn) restaurant, for the purposes of a book proposal I’ve been writing with chef-owners Joe Ogrodnek and Walker Stern.

    I normally don’t bother trailing at a restaurant for literary purposes, but in this case, observing happened to be integral to the content of the book we have in mind.   As those who have dined there know, Battersby’s heart is its small, open kitchen, situated right at the end of the bar in the dining room, where three cooks engage in a game of culinary Twister, turning out an impressive roster of sophisticated food seven nights a week.

    In order to function in such a miniscule galley, Walker and Joe have devised a repertoire of dishes that can be mostly prepared in advance, then finished quickly and efficiently for service.  The book—Battersby: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Kitchen—will share the tricks they’ve developed for doing the lion’s share of the work in advance, requiring minimal time during service; in fact, each recipe’s ingredients list and methods will be divided into “To Prep” and “To Serve” sections.

    I divided my trail into two parts, as well: The first was spent watching the place in the daytime (prep), starting with the arrival of the cooks around 11:30am and ending around the time the first guests of the night rolled in at 5:30pm.  On another day, I arrived at 5:30pm and stayed until the last guest disappeared out the front door. Expand

    Published in Battersby, The Trail

    More Highlights from Our Conversation with the Author of Skirt Steak

    Charlotte Druckman's Skirt Steak, just out this week.

    Happy Friday, everybody!

    Here’s part 2 of my conversation with fellow scribe Charlotte Druckman, whose new book Skirt Steak: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat and Staying in the Kitchen, debuted this week.  Part 1 can be found here.

    TOQUELAND: How did Skirt Steak come about? Do you remember the moment when the idea popped into your head?

    DRUCKMAN: I wrote an article for Gastronomica, which was something I had been thinking about. .. there is a famous essay that art historian Linda Nochlin wrote at the end of the ‘70s called “Why Are There No Great Women Artists?” And it’s rhetorical.  It’s supposed to get you annoyed.  And it was sort-of the anti‑feminist’s feminist’s art-historical essay, because she kind of said, “Let’s stop looking at the differences between how men and women paint, and let’s look instead at what our institutions are doing to present a story of men or women, and in history what opportunities have been opened to women.”

    I worked at Food & Wine, and I really loved working there. .. I remember how much care went into picking the Best New Chefs but how there was always [just] one woman on the cover, possibly two [out of 10].  And you know, you’re in this office with these incredibly smart women who would like to support women, so why aren’t these chefs being found?  And I started to think, “What if you took that approach that Linda Nochlin used and stop thinking about it as, ‘who cooks better,’ but ‘let’s think about what the underpinnings are.’”

    TOQUELAND:  That’s interesting.

    DRUCKMAN: I thought it would be awesome to talk to women chefs about this, but to do it in that same way where it’s not like everyone’s going to give you a sob story.  There are going to be some great epic moments of sexual harassment, obviously, but it’s not going to be about that.  Because I don’t think that’s the real problem at the end of the day.

    TOQUELAND: Without getting too specific about it, was it easy to sell it?

    DRUCKMAN: No. It was really hard to sell it because no one had heard of what I was trying to do, which was to write a communal memoir, if you will, that has a strong narrative voice but isn’t about me.  Everyone now wants—especially if you’re a food writer—for it to either be about you or wants it to be about one person dishing.

    TOQUELAND: Was it was easy to get interviews? Expand

    The First of a Two-Part Conversation with the Author of the new book Skirt Steak

    When I re-booted this blog back in January, one of the things I had it in my mind to do was to meet up with fellow scribes and talk about what we do and how we see things in the chef world.  For my long-delayed first rap session, I selected Charlotte Druckman, who I’d never met, but had read and admired, and had always heard nice things about. In addition to writing for the Wall Street JournalTravel + Leisure, and myriad other publications Charlotte also collaborated on Anita Lo’s cookbook Cooking Without Borders.

    The reason I picked Charlotte to kick off this new, occasional feature: her first nonfiction book, Skirt Steak: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat and Staying in the Kitchen–for which she  interviewed more than 70 of the best female toques in the business–officially debuts this week. This is a topic I’ve long had an interest in, having discussed it with a number of chefs myself, and having noticed the almost total absence of women competitors in the Bocuse d’Or competition when I covered it a few years back.

    Charlotte and I had a long conversation, the highlights of which I’m sharing in two posts. Herewith, Part 1:

    Skirt Steak author Charlotte Druckman (photo courtesy Charlotte Druckman)

    TOQUELAND: Why food writing?

    DRUCKMAN: Why did I choose it as my linchpin? I say this in the introduction of my book: For me food is the sugar that helps the medicine go down. You can talk, especially now, about politics, agriculture, economics. You can talk about, if you want, gender. And you can talk about any of that stuff using food because it’s become the fixation point for the country, high and low.

    You can finally talk about things like hunger and the fact that it’s a problem because, thank God, Jamie Oliver is doing a prime time show on it. But for such a long time, you couldn’t do that. So I think if you love food, you already had that interest anyway. You’re interested in the people making it. But now I just think it’s cracked wide open. So I think writers should think about it possibly in a different way than food writers, right?

    TOQUELAND: It’s funny, I saw Josh Ozersky recently and he asked me if I liked being called a food writer. And I kind of don’t. I always say I consider myself a “chef writer,” not a food writer, because that’s what I know more than anything else—-the people and the life. I don’t know why, but it’s become almost like a literary ghetto a little bit in that non-food writers sometimes don’t give it equal respect.

    DRUCKMAN: Those ghostwriter stories in the spring solidified it for me by positing the whole question of ghost recipe testing versus ghost writing.  Because I am full-on a writer. I like to test recipes when I do my Wall Street Journal stuff, but I am by no means professionally trained to be a recipe tester.

    And, if you think about when you’re writing a cookbook, it’s left brain/right brain. The person who’s working on it–if it is a book that is really personality-shaped, the kind of work that you have to do to give it a point of view and organize it and then capture that voice is very different than what’s going into writing a recipe and making sure that the recipe’s okay. They’re two entirely different things.

    So again, when you say “food writer,” what do you mean? Are you writing recipes? Are you coming up with recipes? Or are you sitting down and writing about maybe the culture of food, or the person behind the food?

    So yeah, I think it’s easier to say, “I’m a journalist who writes about food” .. . [but] now I just say “food writer” because people seem to get confused or bored if you go into it too much.

    TOQUELAND: Do people assume you’re a critic when you tell them you’re a food writer? Expand

    Guest Poster David Mahler Shares the Story of Getting a Book Done .. . the Hard Way

    [Editor's Note: I've struck up several e-pan-pal relationships with chefs around the country since re-launching Toqueland in January. One I've especially enjoyed corresponding with is David Mahler, who recently succeeded in the daunting task of self-publishing his book, Cooking At La Cusinga with the Chef of the Jungle. I invited Dave to share a little about what it took to persevere on the less-taken road to book-dom, and his reflections are published below. If you want to check out his book, it can be ordered through Amazon.com in a paperback edition or as a download for Kindle, and is also downloadable from Google Books. A quality signed paperback edition is available directly from David by sending a check for $24 to David L Mahler; PO Box 397; Scotts Mills, OR  97375, or by paying directly through PayPal to chefofthejungle@yahoo.com.* You can find Chef Dave's own musings on food, life and cooking at www.chefofthejungle.blogspot.com. - A.F.]

    Chef David Mahler’s Labor of Love (photo courtesy David Mahler)

    I am a chef. And I am the author of a cookbook, a real live cookbook (Cooking at La Cusinga with Chef of the Jungle, available on Amazon and Google). Finally. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Lots of chefs write cookbooks, and lots of people who are not chefs write cookbooks. How hard can it be to write down some recipes, especially if you create them every day? As it turns out, the writing is the easy part, but self-publishing a finished, beautiful, heft-it-in-your-hand-and-drool-over-the-photos cookbook took a lot more steps than I knew existed.

    The writing and publishing spanned two countries and two years. Working at eco-lodge La Cusinga on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, new recipes tripped over one another as I discovered the underutilized bounty of amazing ingredients available. Shrimp, mangos, ayote, mandarinas, hearts of palm, artisanal goat cheese—these ingredients don’t show up in the faux French restaurants that tourists flock to, and the locals stick to beans and rice. I got to know the owners of tiny organic farms and bought fish right off the boats. The lodge was full of guests and rare was the day when I wasn’t asked for a recipe for one my “fabulous” fresh tasting dishes. “You should have a cookbook, why don’t you have a cookbook?” I heard it so often I started to believe it. My boss offered his backing, and we were off and running.

    It took about 250 hours of writing and menu testing to get the recipes down on paper. The photos I took on the fly as we served the food. With a talented local artist working on the cover, we were getting closer to production. Until the vagaries of life stepped in, and I found myself moving to the Willamette Valley in Oregon to be with my fiancée, leaving the tropics behind but confident that I could find a small publishing house interested in “Chef of the Jungle”. After all, isn’t Costa Rica the darling of high-end vacationers in the U.S. and elsewhere? But I got a quick turndown in some cases and no response at all in others. “No one cares about Costa Rica” was the opinion of one publisher. I shelved the book. I sulked. I immersed myself in cooking.

    Fast forward six months. With strong encouragement (read kick in the pants) from my fiancée and family, I pulled the files back up and took a look. It wasn’t bad. It was better than I remembered. In fact, it was even pretty good. Good enough that I blithely thought, in this day and age of on-line wizardry, “I’ll just publish it myself.” Ha.

    It helps if you have a team. My sister, a professional indexer, edited and indexed it for me. (We all know how crucial a good index is to a cookbook; how many times have you cursed when you couldn’t find an entry for “chard” because it was under “Swiss”?) My brother-in-law worked on the cover. Together they formatted it and dropped the color photos into the right places. My younger sister did the copy editing, weeding out stray commas with a vengeance. They all, bless their hearts, made “suggestions.” Suggestions incorporated, final adjustments to color, indexing, and table of contents made, photos in place and text formatted, it was starting to look like a book.

    A shrimp dish from Cooking at La Cuisinga (photo courtesy David Mahler)

    But there are more steps than that. A book has to be copyrighted. It has to have a barcode. It has to have an ISBN number, two in fact—one for the hard copy and one for the .pdf version. Check, check, check. It was ready to sell.

    Sell, yes, but how? So many people had told me that it was incredibly simple, a piece of cake (no pun intended) to create an ebook through Google or Amazon. Uh huh, right. That would be for those of you that are versed in the intricacies of .pdf and jpeg files, of royalty and pricing platforms. I floundered in the minutiae of Google’s instructions. I did manage, after several false starts, to get the book into a Kindle format using Amazon’s KDM program. Still working with Amazon I dug into their Create Space program to turn the book into a “print on demand” paperback. Create Space reported the book ready to print and sent me a proof (not free). Some issues remain, but with Create Space you can fix things as you go.

    Some of us are still adherents to real books, made with paper and with pages you can turn, and I wanted printed copies that I could sign and sell, that you could prop up in your recipe holder or give to your aunt for Christmas. I needed a small, high-quality printer that would do a run of 100 books or less, all that my budget would stand. On a lead from an old Mennonite bookbinder practically in my own backyard, I found a small printer, Gorham Printing, up in the tiny town of Centralia, Washington. The price was right, and off went the .pdf files. Now I had both digital and hard-copy books I could sell.

    The View from Chef Dave Mahler’s Old Kitchen at La Cusinga (photo courtesy David Mahler)

    Ah, yes, sell. As in, marketing. Ugh. I turned to Facebook—mocked by many, but still a great way to reach people. A copy of my book cover posted, I sent it to every “friend” I could think of, and, by virtue of Facebook’s pervasiveness, to some I couldn’t think of as well. I pushed the ease and familiarity of buying it on Amazon. I pushed yesterday, I pushed the day before yesterday, and I pushed this morning. I wangled a full-page story in a Costa Rican newspaper, and put an ad in a coastal magazine. I’ve been lucky enough to have a good number of pre-orders, some Kindle downloads, and a handful of “print on demand” paperbacks. I got great help getting here from friends and family, but now it’s up to me. Sales, R&D, bookkeeping, inventory control, and tech support. And, oh yeah, I’m also the author of a cookbook. And a chef.

    David Mahler

    * Toqueland takes no responsibility for fulfillment/delivery, but we’re required to say that. Make no mistake: We encourage our readers to support Chef Dave, and any chefs/writers brave enough to put it all out there like he has, by buying their books and visiting their blogs.

    An Upcoming Two-Part Class at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City Takes a Look at All Aspects of Selling, Writing, and Publishing a Cookbook

    There are still some seats available for a two-part class I’m co-teaching at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City next week. The class, Developing a Cookbook from Conception to Publication, will take place on two consecutive Wednesday nights, October 3 and October 10. I’ll be joined on the dais by my agent, David Black, and Pam Cannon, executive editor of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House; among other projects, Pam is editing my forthcoming cookbook collaboration with Michael White.

    David, Pam, and I will examine all aspects of the cookbook process, from ideation and proposal-writing to the pitch/sell to the writing, editing, and marketing/publication.

    In addition to whatever wisdom I have to offer, this is a rare chance to hear from some of the top people in the publishing game. If you are a writer or aspiring writer who might be interested, you can register here. If you know somebody who has cookbook aspirations, I’d appreciate if you passed this along.

    - Andrew

    Published in Appearances, Writing Life

    One of Today’s Rising Chefs on Hating High School, the Challenges of an Open Kitchen, and the Meaning of a Dining “Experience”

    Matthew Lightner, left, visits New Jersey’s Well-Sweep Farm (photo copyright by Nathan Rawlinson, courtesy Atera)

    Matthew Lightner, the chef of Atera, has been having quite an inaugural year in New York City.  With rave reviews from The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York Magazine, and – most recently – Bloomberg, Lightner has announced himself as a major talent. Still in his early thirties, Lightner comes to Manhattan by way of Spain’s Mugaritz and Portland, Oregon’s Castagna, where he was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2010. As readers of this site probably know, Lightner’s style is an arresting marriage of two of-the-moment movements–modernist and foraging–set within that most au courant of dining contexts: the countertop restaurant.

    Following a dinner at Atera in the late spring, I had a chance to sit down with Lightner, whom I found refreshingly understated and thoughtful. Herewith, the highlights of our conversation:

    TOQUELAND: You’re getting a lot of attention right now among chefs and critics. Are you enjoying the spotlight?

    LIGHTNER: For me it’s not so much about the spotlight; it’s more about the food and the experience always. So if I get recognized now for it, if I get recognized in five years or two weeks ago, I think that’s what’s more precious and important.

    TOQUELAND: I’m sure there are a lot of faces you recognize –

    LIGHTNER: Yeah

    TOQUELAND: Is that something you have to try to shut out and say, “I’m just doing my thing?”

    LIGHTNER: Yeah. I’m just kind of a quiet, laid-back kind of guy so it is kind of shocking when we have chefs come in here. It’s amazing.

    TOQUELAND: Three-part question: How often do you change the menu? Does it have to change? And how hard is it to change a thing that has a very clearly thought-out ebb and flow and rhythm to it? In other words is it difficult to incorporate a new element?

    LIGHTNER: That’s always the big challenge. Right now, we’ve worked very hard to get a really flowing menu together. And we think that it’s good, but it’ll change. Seasons and nature continuously evolve and we want to evolve with them. So right now we’re starting to get little lovage shoots. The lovage will get larger, more intense, and we’ll have to implement it in a different style. And then finally it goes to seed, and it kind of moves on. We want to feel like there’s a life to the food.

    TOQUELAND: With a menu that has as many courses as yours, and which is built to change all the time, how finalized does a dish need to be before it’s ready to come out of the kitchen?

    LIGHTNER: I think before it stays on the menu, it has to be very final.

    TOQUELAND: Is your success rate pretty high? When you have an idea for something and you take it out for a test drive in the kitchen, do you usually get pretty close to what you had in your mind on the first go?

    LIGHTNER: It just depends. For instance, sometimes if I want to come up with a dish and it just happens to be the day that nothing’s going right, it’s not going to go right. But now, if I come up with a dish when everything’s going right, it seems to go right . .. it’s funny, because it’s almost like destiny, as if sometimes a dish was meant to kind of happen, as if it were somewhere hidden in the back of my head or hidden in the back of my notebooks of old experiences that I can bring into the new and into my style. And then some things might not ever work.

    TOQUELAND: How did you first get interested in cooking?

    LIGHTNER: I got into cooking out of necessity. I wanted to make money. Because I wanted to buy my own shoes and I wanted to buy things for myself and take care of myself, and I felt like that was the way. So I started washing dishes.

    TOQELAND: I assume this was a high school job?

    LIGHTNER: Yeah. When I was 14-years old, I started washing dishes at a cafe. I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. Family owned place that did tons of covers. I washed dishes. It was funny because it was probably one of the cleanest places I’ve worked. And really hard working. The idea was always to beat the cooks: the dishwashers always had to beat the cooks.

    I really wasn’t interested in academics whatsoever. I had real issues at high school.

    TOQUELAND: Were you just bored with it?

    LIGHTNER: I don’t know. My interest was very low. Didn’t really care. I was one of those kids. Didn’t care. I’d just sleep all day in class. But I’d go to work and I loved working. I loved working with my hands. And the people I worked with really appreciated me.

    TOQUELAND: When you say you didn’t have any interest: You seem like a highly intelligent person. Were you able to coast by and get okay grades not doing very much, or were you really academically challenged?

    LIGHTNER: I had some really bad issues my senior year in high school because academically I was pretty much failing. I really just wanted to work on my feet. I wanted to work with my hands. I also always loved art, loved sculpture, loved painting. That interested me more.

    TOQUELAND: So you did stuff like that as a kid?

    LIGHTNER: Yeah, but it wasn’t something that I wanted to pursue. .. so I started working at different restaurants . .. and then started learning a bit more through cookbooks. I think I was 17 and I found out that there was a whole world of mother sauces in France. And then I started reading books about how some of these chefs were so organized and perfect and clean. And I was, like, “That’s what I want. I want to be a part of a profession that seems kind of dingy or bad, but that’s not, that is actually very respectable.”

    I think it might have been Thomas Keller who said this a while ago, but chefs are looked up to just like lawyers and doctors. It’s amazing to see that come along. But there’s also a lot of responsibility with it. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of cleaning. It’s a lot of organizing. It’s a lot of perfectionism.

    TOQUELAND: Not a lot of margin for error.

    LIGHTNER: No, and you don’t get paid like those guys do, but sometimes it’s more rewarding in the end because you get to see it every single day.

    So, I ended up going to Portland. I went to culinary school up there. Just a small program; it was about twelve months. Started working in kitchens. I was lucky enough that I got into a sous chef position very early, started learning to manage people very early.

    TOQUELAND: At that time–this was 10, 11 years ago–did you have a sense of the style in which you wanted to work eventually, or were you even thinking in those terms?

    LIGHTNER: I always wanted to think of something different. I always felt like I wanted to just find my own path. I always knew that I wanted to have an amazing place. I always wanted to figure out what I didn’t have that other guys had, either three-Michelin-star chefs in France or at the time Thomas Keller had come out with the French Laundry book, and seeing that stuff was super-inspirational. A higher learning, a higher education, a higher place in restaurants exists, you know?

    TOQUELAND: Did you have from your own personal experience at that point a gold standard of a dining experience? Expand

    Published in Chefs, Interviews

    Ex-Stars Chef Project Selected by City Council

    That proposed New Rochelle project that Jeremiah Tower was attached to last month has won out over the competition and been selected by the town’s City Council to restore and operate a gargantuan food hall at the Echo Bay Naval Armory in New Rochelle, New York.

    Says Tower, in the press release announcing the victory: “This project represents the culmination of my career and will provide the opportunity to inspire and launch the careers of others.”

    A Rendering of the Armory as Envisioned in the Approved Plan

    I couldn’t be more excited about this development, and for purely selfish reasons: I’ve never had the chance to experience a Jeremiah Tower project, and look forward to being able to interview the chef right here in New York for my forthcoming book about the chefs of the 1970s and 80s.

    There’s not a lot more to report at the moment, but here’s the official press release:

    September 20, 2012

    For Immediate Release 

    New Rochelle City Council Approves Good Profit Plan for
    Echo Bay Naval Armory

    The Armory renovation will save historic structures, create jobs, make the waterfront accessible to the public and establish a center for education and local/regional produce and cuisine.

    New Rochelle – September 20, 2012 – Good Profit, the non-profit organization dedicated to public projects in architecture and design, public health and agriculture, announced that is has won approval from the New Rochelle City Council to move ahead with its plan to renovate the Echo Bay Naval Armory. The council approved the plan at a scheduled meeting last night.

    New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson said, “Good Profit brings to New Rochelle a compelling and exciting concept with enormous potential to activate our waterfront and energize our entire community.  The New Rochelle City Council was greatly impressed by the broad and deep experience of Good Profit’s first-rate development team, and we look forward to working in partnership to achieve this ambitious vision.”

    Expand

    Published in Food News

    Keep in Touch with Toqueland and Earn a Chance, or Chances, to Win A Copy of WHITE HOUSE CHEF, Signed and Personalized by Walter Scheib

     

    We’re delighted to announce the third edition of our fan contest, wherein we offer new followers a chance to win a suitably chef-related prize. This time around–in honor of election season here in the United States–one lucky Toquelander will win a copy of White House Chef, the inside story of how Chef Walter Scheib modernized the White House food program, personalized by Walter (and yours truly, who served as his coauthor).

    Billed as a cookbook, White House Chef is, for my money, actually a memoir with recipes. It details how Walter got the job at the White House (following a long interview process and some “audition” cooking for First Lady Hillary Clinton and her team in the early 1990s), oversaw the refurbishment of the kitchen and protocols, and threw dinners and parties far larger than anybody had previously envisioned or attempted at the White House, all with contemporary American food as the focus. From casual family meals to the grandest of State dinners, this book tells the story of how it all got done on Walter’s watch, and also details the dramatic change that took place when George W. Bush became president. (Walter served for one term of the Bush 43 presidency.)

    This edition of the contest will run through Inauguration Day 2013, which will be on January 21st because the 20th is a Sunday next year. On that day, we’ll select a winning name at random. The winner will be contacted privately so you can tell us how you’d like the book inscribed and to where we should ship it. It’s that simple. (Although we keep the winners’ names confidential, we have to share one amusing detail: The first two contests have both been won by Los Angeles-based chefs.)

    To qualify, you can subscribe to us by email, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook. (You can also follow our RSS feed, but we can’t track that, so it doesn’t count in the contest.) For each way you follow, you earn one more chance to win.

    We hope this gives you an extra reason to keep up with Toqueland. In the meantime, we promise to keep the content coming and make you glad you chose to keep in touch.

    Andrew

    Published in Contests
Page 3 of 1112345...10...Last »