John Tesar will not be stopped. The former (fill-in-the-blank) chef has inked a deal to take over the former La Tramontana space on Westchester in Preston Center. In January, Tesar announced he would be opening Spoon Bar & Kitchen in another space. However, the landlord killed the deal and Tesar moved his operation down the street. Tesar has a signed lease, architect, and contractor and is scheduled to begin later this week.
Spoon will seat 68 and feature a 15-seat bar with a built-in raw bar and small plate menu. Tesar will be center stage in an open kitchen whipping up “three unique dining experiences”: an a la carte menu that will change weekly; two nightly tasting menus (one from the land and the other from the sea); and a private chef’s table for 10. Cooking classes! Wine maker dinners! Eight seats almost in the kitchen! He plans to open fall 2012. Bring it, Tesar! Let’s Spoon! According to JT’s PR machine: Spoon is “ranked number seven on Eater National’s “25 Most Awaited Restaurant Openings of 2012.”5 Comments »
Baked Spice, the cute little spice store on Lovers Lane is closing. Owner Lola Miller has marked her entire inventory down 50 percent.
Get ready for Central Market’s yearly culinary salute to foreign food. In 2010, we celebrated Argentina (Hi, Francis!). Last year we pigged out on Spain (Hola, Paco!). This year they are throwing a two-week soiree for France, specifically the southern region of Provence, which will begin on May 9 and run through May 22.
Here’s a little poop I learned: Zee hottest ticket will be a seat in the outdoor tent where the kick-off event, “A Taste of Provence,” will feature a sampling of dishes prepared by Chef Patrice Olivon! C’est magnifique! You know Olivon, oui? He’s the cute French dude who won Iron Chef hosts “Dinner is Served,” a lovely show on PBS. It is set for Wednesday, May 9, and begins at 6 p.m.
The menu includes some personal favorites from his childhood (served family-style at long tables), which will be paired with French wines (shocker!). Think: Pissaladiere (thick, pizza-like dish popular in Nice and Marseilles); tomates farcies (tomatoes stuffed with beef, rice & herbs); cod with aioli; roasted lamb with ratatouille; and warm seasonal fruit cooked in red wine served over vanilla ice cream (really?). So frugal Francophiles, get a cheap trip ($35 per person) to Provence, if only for one evening. Tickets can be booked by clicking here or by visiting the Cooking School reservation site for Dallas.
Sancerre! Profiteroles! A truffle in every pot! Vamos, I mean, nous permettre d’aller!
(Below, I will copy and paste an actual MEDIA-ONLY release so you can get an insider’s look on how real food writing works. I will pair it with commentary from a professional media person.5 Comments »
I burn things often. I’ve been known to set off a fire alarm or a million, depending on how complicated the recipe is, and even my lucky roommates didn’t know what to do with me. Smart friends now refuse my offer to bake them birthday cakes because they’ve learned that my green tea experimental cakes will always taste funny no matter how hard I try to add the right amount of sugar and baking soda.
I’m a kitchen klutz, which is why these classes offered by Bliss Raw Cafe look perfect for a screw-up like me. Beginning April 22, Bliss is holding Raw Food Classes for those of you who want to live the raw lifestyle. Raw food extraordinaire Paula Sepulvado and one of the Bliss chefs will lead attendees “on an overview of methods, techniques and demonstrations on preparing select entrees from the Bliss Raw Café menu.”
Classes run from 6:00-7:30pm, and the cost is $40 including dinner. RSVP to EventsAtBlissRawCafe@gmail.com.
This just in from our friend Freda: The Farmers Market Cooking Class Schedule for the Spring 2012 session. These cooking classes are co-sponsored by The American Institute of Wine & Food and the Dallas Farmers Market Friends. Details are below. Here are the stars of the show:
Class (1) April 7, Chef Jason Weaver. Texas Spice at the Omni Dallas Hotel Theme: The Farmers Market Welcomes Back Chef Jason
Class (2) April 14, Chef Tre Wilcox. Marquee Grill. Theme: Spring Cooking with a Top Chef
Class (3) April 21, Chef Joel Harloff. The Second Floor. Theme: The Second Floor at the Market
Class (4) April 28, Chef Bruno Davaillon. The Mansion Restaurant at Rosewood Mansion. Theme: The Mansion Cookbook
Class (5) May 5, Chef Jeffery Hobbs. Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar. Theme: Cinco de Mayo1 Comment »
Yesterday, I was invited to lunch at Trinity Groves. I sat at a large table surrounded by the partners involved in the massive project and several members of the Food and Concept Advisory Committee. As one of the partners, Phil Romano, chewed my ear off with details, Mike Babb filled my plate with barbecue.
Babb is the first “graduate” of the Trinity Groves Restaurant Incubator program. In short, Trinity Groves is the 13-acre restaurant-retail-artist-and-entertainment development at the base of the west end of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge which developers Phil Romano, Stuart Fitts, and Larry “Butch” McGregor expect to be what Silicon Valley is to high tech or what Ghirardelli Square is to San Francisco.
As Romano eased back on his sales pitch, Babb told the story of how he ended up snagging the first restaurant to open in Trinity Groves. It’s a classic tale: Man with boring job loves to smoke meats on the weekends. He delivers it to church functions. Somebody at the function asks him to cater her daughter’s wedding. Someone at the wedding has to have Babb’s ‘cue for a family reunion. Babb loses his job and becomes a caterer. His friends love his barbecue and urge him to open a restaurant. Babb hasn’t a clue on what to do. Somehow he found Phil Romano. BAM!
“I love barbecue and the blues,” said Babb. “My place is going to be indoor and outdoor. It’s going into that space right over there.” He points toward a 2,500-square-foot space which is currently a hollowed-out purple building. The name of the restaurant hasn’t been finalized.
I was honored to be the first media person to taste the first “product” to come out of Trinity Groves. It wasn’t the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted but it was also cooked someplace else and delivered to the project offices in tin pans. The ribs were tender and the accompanying sauce was more sweet than hot. The cole slaw was the best part of the meal. Babb admits he’s still tweaking his banana pudding recipe. But that is what the incubator program is all about.
As the plates were cleared, Romano wound up for his next pitch: “We’re going to have a food center and entertainment zone. We’ll have a brewery [Four Corners Brewing], a 10,000-square foot cooking school, ice cream shop where we will put extra protein in the ice cream to make it healthier, a fish market bigger than Pikes [in Seattle] with a major player coming in to do it, an oyster bar, a butcher shop making sausages, a German market, a local cheese maker and I’ve already talked to Paula, a chocolatier, a South American florist, a coffee roaster, a baker. You’ll see artist galleries and designers, jazz clubs, belly dancers, and Luna tortilla is moving their tower here and we’re putting in a glass wall so you can watch. Real diversity.” (Yes, belly dancers. Remember, this is Phil Romano I’m talking to!)
Stay with me…18 Comments »
It was bound to happen: pizza lover and baseball writer, Evan Grant, finally met pizza maker and baseball lover, Jay Jerrier. The twosome came up with a publicity stunt. (SHOCKER) They invented “Name a Pizza for Mike Napoli” contest. (If you don’t know who Napoli is, you can go back to work.) If you love the catcher-first-baseman-DH lovingly referred to as “Dirtbag,” you will love this: Today, Grant and Jerrier announced four finalists plus Grant’s unofficial “look-how-funny-I-am”entry, “The (he wishes) Grand Salami.” Hear him brag:
2 Comments »
After much consideration, pizza-maker extraordinaire Jay Jerrier and pizza-eater extraordinaire Evan Grant (that’s me), have come up with four finalists for our Name a Napoli Pizza contest.Tuesday (Feb. 7 or tomorrow to most of you), we will roll out some samples of these fine entries for you to taste and, as always, the full Cane Rosso menu will be available. One of these fine recipes will end up as a special pie on the Cane Rosso menu for the next month and one of these neophyte pizza creators will walk away with a nice little prize package. Maybe we can come up with some other surprises, too. So, if you are free come on down. We’d love your input here and at the restaurant. Here are the finalists. Be there at 7PM.
Bolsa Mercado is officially a talent hog. It’s great if you happen to be cool (rich?) enough to live in The “fabulous” OC. However, it sucks for those of us who have to walk half a mile through a huge chain grocery store to buy a carton of milk. Or beer.
Deep Ellum Brewery has just released their first (only?) production of “Love Runs Deep” Cherry Chocolate Double Brown Stout (deets below). Think you’ll find it at Tom Thumb? Nope. Bolsa Mercado bought the entire batch. Each 22-ounce bottle is individually numbered and made with red tart and dark sweet cherries and Organic/Fair Trade cocoa nibs. Expect to find all 300 of them on the shelves of Bolsa Mercado during their next Open House on February 11.
If you can’t wait until the 11th to get a food fix from The ‘Cado, head over on February 8. If you are lucky, you may be able to look past talented chef chefs Jeff Harris and Matt Balke and spot the rare, elusive chef Sharon Hage in the kitchen. She will be creating a “Take Home Dinner For Two.” Who knows, by then Bolsa Mercado may have Alan McClure creating Fudgesicles or Grant Achatz doing dishes. Could happen. Pigs fly in Oak Cliff.
This morning chefs from all over the world gathered at St. Monica Church in Dallas to pay their last respects to Dallas’ most significant chef Jean LaFont. Once family and friends were seated, a parade of over 50 chefs dressed in chef whites filed down the aisle. It was a stunning moment. Forgive me for not getting all of their names in here. I hope if you were there, you will leave your name below. I recognized, with the help of Chris Ward: Chef Ewald Scholz, Chef Christian Gerber, Chef Cherif Brahmi, Chef Didier Viriot, Jean Marie Cadot, Chef Louis Vacher, Chef Joe Garza, Chef Laurent Champalle, Chef David Brawley, Chef David Sokol, Chef Chris Ward, Chef Sharon Van Meter, Chef Pete Curley. Other notable names include Phil Vacarro, Anne and François Chandou, and Patrick Esquerre. Hedda Dowd and Jim Deibel both spoke. Deibel told the crowd how he entered the “French-only” kitchen at Oz and applied for a job while all the other chefs snickered. Dowd, a longtime friend of LaFont, gave a moving speech on LaFont’s character. He left home at 13 to become a butcher and worked his way up through every station in traditional brigade system kitchens of France. “He was a “complete chef,” she said. “He was a rôtisseur, a patissier, a saucier, a poissonnier. He could do it all. He was a chef whose presence was known the second he walked into a kitchen.” To paraphrase Dowd, Jean LaFont taught so many chefs how to cook, the ripple effect of his talent will be with us for a long time. LaFont is survived by seven children: Sonia, Stephanie, Jean-Luc, Mireille, Jean-Pierre, Magali, and Marise; four grandchildren, two sisters, and two former wives. And a huge community of food loving friends. The family will be checking this site. Please feel free to leave them a note. (Or correct my spelling!) Short video after jump. Continue reading "Funeral Services Held Today For Chef Jean LaFont"7 Comments »
My family used to have the weirdest Chinese New Year tradition. When I was a young lass, my mother would scrub seven or eight coins really well and hide them inside her homemade pork dumplings so she could watch my brother and I go cockfight crazy as we each attempted to amass the most number of coins. To our disappointment, my father would always win; his superior chopstick skills and fast-eating ways would earn him a shining victory (plus some pained teeth from biting down too hard). His winnings meant that he’d have the most prosperity for the rest of the year.
Jump for more traditions.4 Comments »
In August 2008, I traveled to Savannah, Georgia where I dined at Paula Deen’s restaurant Lady & Sons. We ran a post titled “Paula Deen Wants to Kill You.” I wrote:
I can still smell the rancid butter that hit us in the face when we walked in the door. I’ve got to find the pictures I took of the food I ate–everything was dripping in butter. I remember the chicken pot pie was big enough for four and almost everything was fried. OK, she admits she’s “not your cardiologist,” but she really is contributing to the delinquency of dieters. The night we went, at least 75 per cent of the diners were beyond overweight–they were obese. It was sad–like people watching at the slots in Vegas–everyone was gambling with their lives.
Last week Paula Deen confirmed the rumor: she has Type 2 diabetes. I wonder how many of her dedicated fans also suffer from Type 2? This really chaps my sass because two members of my family didn’t have a choice: they both were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when they were young. They have to continually monitor their diet and control their blood sugar. However, Ms. Deen, and other people who put on blinders and continue to fill their body with fat and sugar, had an option. Like not eating a burger made with Krispy Kreme donuts. It’s now rumored that Deen may become the spokesperson for Novartis, a company with a drug designed to treat diabetes. If she personally profits from developing Type 2 diabetes (Hey yáll, I’m your endocrinologist!), I’m going to go berserk. I can already see the talk show circuit lighting up. It makes me sick.81 Comments »
As you can tell from the headline, I am deep in the process of procrastinating. While my real job calls for thousands of words about dining, I am convinced it is far more important that I drop what I am supposed to be doing and answer a question sent to me by PR boy toy Jef Tingley. Yes, he spells his name with one “f,” but I will save that analysis for a later procrastination post.
“Jef with one f” asked me how to boil an egg. Don’t laugh. How many times have you had tiny shards of shell pierce the delicate skin beneath your fingernail? I shared my secret with “Jef with one f” by private message on Facebook which made several people curious enough to email and ask (BEG!) for my secret.
You are going to have to jump hard. Continue reading "The Perfect Procrastination: How To Boil an Egg"11 Comments »
The Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Food and Wine (AIWF) and Dallas Farmers Market Friends has a fine line-up for their winter cooking class series. The classes take place at the Dallas Farmers Market on Saturday mornings from 11:3AM until 1:30PM. Get up close and personal with some of the best, and most entertaining, chefs in the area for only $25 per session ($30 at the door if not sold out). Go below for the schedule of chefs and more information.
On your mark, get set, email. Kent Rathbun’s interactive cooking classes, The Dirty Dozen, sell out fast. They’re pricey but everyone I’ve spoken with who has taken one (or twelve) loves them. Jump for the details. Great holiday present for the budding chef in your life.
Jump for the joy of the season. Continue reading "Kent Rathbun Announces 2012 Dirty Dozen Cooking Classes"4 Comments »
Three years ago, I introduced you to Charles Phoenix, the “Ambassador of Americana.” More importantly, I introduced you to his “recipe” for the Astro-Weenie Christmas Tree. (I made several for the D Magazine holiday party in 2008. Co-workers still stalk me for my secret herbal ingredient.)
Well, thanks to SideDish, Phoenix’s career and has catapulted over hosting grade school field trips and roller skating parties to doing national TV spots with Martha Stewart and commenting on NPR. (Rawlins in drag?) I think it’s time to bring back the Astro-Weenie recipe. Remember, as they say in England, you can always make one suitable for vegetarians. Mind your head.
If you are a newly qualified dentist about to open your first practice, a major decision you will be have to make is what type of books will you place in the waiting room.You want your nervous clients to feel like you’ve been drilling teeth for 10 years notthan 10 hours. Fortunately, Jeff Scott and Blake Beshore have the answer. Their Notes from a Kitchen:A Journey Inside Culinary Obsession is a two-volume set that crosses the scale at a full 14 pounds. Although it might sound like a cookery book, it actually contains no recipes. Rather, its 1000 combined pages are devoted to extended conversations with, commentaries on, and soliloquies by 10 chefs Scott and Beshore judged to be extraordinary. The authors, along with Arizona cult farmer Richard Starkey, were in town last week. Joel Harrington, execuchef of Stephan Pyles and also a “character” in the book, cooked. It was a fascinating evening.
You will want to read this.3 Comments »
Jon over at TJ’s Fresh Seafood just let us know about two stuffings that have me counting the days until next Thursday. First he’s making an oyster stuffing, which is a simple affair with white & corn bread mixed with plump oysters and herbs and which he says he grew up eating back home in Virginia. Second is his crawfish & andouille cornbread stuffing, which he’s been making on the sly for a few customers every year and is finally making available to everyone.
Sounds great! But in all fairness, I’ll probably still make my own. It’s simple, it involves stale bread and chicken broth, and makes me feel like I’m eight years old and hanging out in my grandmother’s kitchen.
How about you? Will you be trying something fancy? ordering out? or making a family specialty?
Raya has told you where to go if you want to watch the game in public. However many of us prefer to view the game from the comfort of our own couch with a few friends and dogs. A commenter, who wants to party at home, asks what she can cook to represent each team. I know you will be tempted to say roasted a few Northern Cardinals. There are six of them in my front yard this very second. You can buy Nolan Ryan’s beef at Kroger and maybe do some toasted ravioli.
I say we get this party started! Get creative. Go Rangers!4 Comments »
The fall schedule for the Dallas Farmers Market cooking classes kicks off on October 15 with David Holben from Del Frisco. This is the DFM’s 18th year of putting together a schedule with some of the greatest culinary talents in Dallas. They are fun, worth the price $25!), and a chance to learn and ask questions. Here’s the new line-up. The details are below.
Class (1) October 15 with David Holben, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Theme: Fall Treats from Del Frisco’s
Class (2) October 22 with Lan Nickens, Chamberlain’s Steak & Chop House. Theme: South American Beef Specialties
Class (3) November 5 with Doug Brown, Beyond the Box Theme: Autumn Cooking with Doug Brown
Class (4) November 12 with Jim Severson, Sevy’s Grill. Theme: Sevy’s Back at the Market
Class (5) November 19 with Joanne Bondy, Old Hickory Steakhouse. Theme: Charcuterie: Cures, Brines and a Smoking Gun
How to sign up? Jump.
Oh, how I love anything made with pumpkin. Yesterday, I bought a dozen pumpkin bagels at Einstein’s. Starting today, I’m searching for anything made with pumpkin–desserts, soup, pancakes, bread, pasta—anything. If you see it or make it, let us know below.21 Comments »