#SCBDEvent Alert: THIS Sunday, April 6 – Chef Francesco Palmieri of The .@OrangeSquirrel .@WilliamsSonoma #Montclair for Demo & #EatInk Book Signing

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Chef Francesco Palmieri of the

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will be at

 

Williams-Sonoma

Sunday, April 6, 2014

630 Valley Road, Upper Montclair

(973) 783-1799

1pm-3pm

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for a Demonstration and Book Signing with

“EAT INK” Author, Birk O’Halloran -

Chef Francesco is a featured Chef in this NEW book about Chefs, Recipes & Tattoos

#SCBDEventRecap: #SCBDTeam takes Pizza Making Class at .@MilliesOldWorld

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Recently, the SCBD Team attended a pizza making class at Morristown, New Jersey’s own Millie’s Old World Meatballs and Pizza. Millie’s is a family style restaurant that was first opened by two brothers in honor of their grandmother and boasts an extensive menu of authentic Italian cuisine prepared in wood-fire and coal-burning ovens. Read what the team had to say about Millie’s, but be warned: your taste buds will soon be screaming for a taste of Millie’s dinner menu!

Being founder & Editor-in-chief of SCBD, I am always happy and love to give my team and I awesome experiences that we all love, whether it be a food and beverage adventure, fitness, etc! I came across Millie’s this summer when Jason & I were walking through Morristown looking for a place to have dinner. We didn’t want to go to a place we ate at before and Millie’s looked interesting, and we really liked the menu. We had a superb experience that time we went so once I saw Millie’s offered pizza making classes I knew the SCBD Team and I had to check it out and fill you in on the amazing experience.

Mind you, I was jetlagged that day due to work travel the week before and I had a great time and tried not to let it get in my way. Our instructor was the executive chef, Pete. He gave us the basics on the pizza dough, showed us how to properly roll it and last, create and cook our pizzas. We were treated to lunch filled with Millie’s specialties from their vodka and marinara meatballs, signature salads, prosciutto and handmade mozzarella and more. They also provided us with their variety of fountain drinks and they had ice for us to put our wine in.  I would recommend this to any foodie who wants to have a fun party or celebration, you learn a lot about pizza making and get to enjoy the great food serve.
 - Sara Monica, The Small Chick

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This Small Chick, Big Deals team event was a Pizza Making Event, and I do recommend doing this with your friends or family. We were taught how to properly roll out the dough, some history of the restaurant, and the options of pizza we have. Then, our instructor explained all the choices of toppings, cheese, and sauces we could use. They had a ton of choices. I couldn’t choose just one, so I split my pizza into three sections. The first two sections I put red sauce and a white pizza base with a vegetable mix (which included eggplant, peppers, artichokes, zucchini, and mushrooms,) and I topped it with basil. The final section was a white truffle cream and Prosciutto. Once the toppings were on it, we had the chef take the pizza and cook it. It took less than 90 seconds to bake! Then it was done. I loved all three types, but my absolute favorite was the Truffle cream and Prosciutto.

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Once we got back to the table, we had meatballs waiting for us in two different sauces: Vodka and Marinara. We also had two salads, the Arcadian Salad (which had candied walnuts, gorgonzola with apple smoked bacon in an apricot vinaigrette) and an Antipasto Salad. Everything was so good, the meatballs were so big and tasted so fresh. I couldn’t choose which sauce I liked better, both were so tasty. -Kristen Heard 

My first time at Millie’s was definitely a memorable one. Pete, our instructor, was very friendly and patient with us pizza novices, and I really enjoyed learning about what it takes to make some delicious pizza. I loved how hands-on the experience was and that we could make mistakes and Pete was there to help us get it right. The best part was being able to be behind the counter and make my pizza just like the employees do. Watching the process while dining is one thing but to be a part of it was fun and exciting. The sauces and toppings to choose from were delicious from freshly made mozzarella to a truffle sauce, (what?!) which were both absolutely amazing on my pizza. After making our pizzas we came back to a table full of meatballs, salads, fresh mozzarella and prosciutto as well as an antipasto. We ended the meal with a Nutella pie which was the cherry on top of a delicious meal. I highly recommend going to Millie’s for some amazing food and a friendly staff. I will definitely go back for more deliciousness! -Kristen Lefkus 

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If you have a chance to take one of Millie’s Worlds Pizza making classes, it is definitely a must do! Not only do you get to make your own pizza, you also get to eat it along with learning some cool facts about Millie’s Restaurant. While attending this class, I learned about two different kinds of ovens they use for their pizza making: coal-fired and wood-fired, each adding a little different touch. Peter the Chef at Millie’s teaches the class and gives hands on instructions of how to properly roll, flatten and prepare your pizza. Next, we went over to the kitchen where we were able to get creative with as many toppings and sauces as we would like. Since I couldn’t choose just one, I made four different slices in one! Our pizzas were cooking in the wood-fired oven, which bakes at 900 degrees and is finished in a matter of 90 seconds. When our pizza was finished we got to try some of their antipasti salads and their fresh mozzarella platter with prosciutto. We also had their famous meatballs! This recipe was passed down by the owner’s grandmother. You have a choice of marinara meatballs or meatballs with vodka sauce. Everything was to die for at Millie’s, but my absolute favorite was the Nutella pie for dessert which is topped with fresh cannoli cream. My experience at Millie’s was so good, I was back the next week for more! -Jessica Danto 

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Despite running late due to a “light dusting” of snow, I had a really awesome experience at Millie’s Old World Meatballs and Pizza. I walked in to a table full of beautiful salads, mozzarella cheese platters, and meatballs. I started with a plate of the arugula salad and some homemade mozzarella. The salad worked so well together, especially with the prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks. I tried the arcadian mix salad next and was equally impressed; however, the star of the dish was the applewood smoked bacon. The strips were thick and crispy, with a really deep smoky flavor. The mozzarella was creamy and incredibly fresh. There is a huge difference between mozzarella made in house and mozzarella that is brought in. Because I was late, my pizza lesson was a private lesson. I went into the kitchen prepared to show off my pizza-making abilities only to find that Neapolitan pizza is very unique. After a valiant first attempt at stretching the dough, I was ready to top my pizza. I decided to make a ½ margherita, ½ Helena pizza. I topped the margherita side with fresh basil, homemade mozzarella, tomato sauce, and sprinkled it with parmigiano reggiano. The Helena side was my own creation of white truffle cream sauce, broccoli rabe, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and diced onion. The pizza was so light and crispy and restored my confidence in my pizza craftsmanship. For dessert, we had nutella pizza with scoops of cannoli filling on each slice. Pizza, nutella, and cannoli: there is so much beauty in this world. I am so glad that we had this experience as a team, and I will definitely be back soon. -Helena Riede

I am so pleased that I was able to take part in the experience of learning how to make wood-fire pizza at Millie’s Old World Meatballs & Pizza. Chef Peter and the staff provided a fun and interactive class for our group. What made the class special was learning the background and technique of what makes Millie’s pizza dough so unique. Chef Peter exudes passion for everything from the fresh and homemade ingredients down to the final product. This really shone through in his teachings and demonstrations. Savoring our homemade pizzas paired with some other house specialties that Millie’s shared with the group was the perfect end to a great afternoon. Millie’s Old World Meatballs & Pizza will definitely become a regular in my restaurant rotation!  -Missy Somers

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The Wood Fire Pizza Making Class is new to Millie’s. It is around $25 per person (tax & tip not included) and involves you making your own pizza, meatballs & salad for the table. Contact 973.267.9616 or email events@milliesoldworld.com for more information or about having your own event or private party!

#SCBDReview: Rocco’s Tuscany Bar & Grill – Madison’s Best Kept Secret

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On Friday night, the Small Chick and I had a press dinner at Rocco’s Tuscany Bar and Grill in Madison, New Jersey. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to get a hold of Rocco’s so easily and quickly considering we casually told him we were coming in a few hours before. Chef Gino was very excited to receive us. He was a breath of fresh air from many chefs in the industry who act unnecessarily superior to restaurant patrons who might not be foodies.

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The moment we entered Rocco’s, Chef Gino had a huge smile on his face at the host stand. He was the first to greet us at the last to bid us a farewell. The Small Chick and I both drank Vino Arancia, a cocktail mixed with St. Germain, Orangecello, and Riesling served over ice. The orange was extremely overwhelming, but it was strong and delicious nevertheless. Chef Gino also gave us roasted peppers that came fresh from the garden as an appetizer. The roasted peppers were, in fact, extremely fresh.

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The Small Chick had shells Florentine for her entrée while I had a deep dish pizza pie with cheese, mushrooms, and anchovies. Excuse me as I wipe my mouth with my nonexistent napkin. I’m drooling again at the thought of the food. After we attempted to conquer our massive entrees, we saved just enough room for coffee and dessert. The Small Chick had a cappuccino while I had a single espresso. We both had a cannolo stuffed with a sort of fruity cream. It was an interesting take on the traditional cannolo.

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My only concern with Rocco’s was the fact that the free bread was a bit stale. Otherwise, the restaurant was perfect. There are two parts of the restaurant. One side is the dining room with a bar where the Small Chick and I dined, and the other side is the more casual pizzeria. Rocco’s staff was wonderfully accommodating and left a lasting impression on us. We will be back soon per mangiare e bere. Grazie and cheers!

SCBD’s take on Rocco’s:
I loved our dinner at Rocco’s. I thought the dinner itself was great because the food was fresh and the portions were filling. I agree with Kelly that the staff was on point and welcoming, I’d definitely come back and try other cocktails they offer and other dishes they offer. I loved my shells, and am glad I tried them as they were a special that night. Thanks for inviting us in Chef Gino, we’ll definitely be back!

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CONTACT

ROCCO’S MAIN PAGE http://www.roccostuscanybarandgrill.com/

- Ask for Chef Gino and tell him that Sara from SCBD sent you ;) -

#SCBDExclusive: Identità Golose @Eataly

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On Saturday October 5th, the Small Chick and I were invited to attend the fourth edition of Identità New York featuring Chefs Sara Jenkins and Mauro Uliassi. Identità Golose is a culinary organization from Milan that highlights contemporary Italian cuisine. The international chefs’ congress took place at La Scuola Grande in Eataly; the largest artisanal Italian food and wine market with locations in Turin, Italy and the Flatiron District here in Manhattan.

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Upon entering La Scuola, the Italian word for “the school”, we were given a choice between Berlucchi Brut and Berlucchi Rosé. I chose the Cuvee ’61 Brut Franciacorta DOCG. The Brut was a sparkling floral and fruity wine with subtle greenish highlights. The Small Chick chose the Cuvee ’61 Rosé which was a sparkling wine with a soft, abundant mousse, described as complex, fragrant, and lively. We were given two additional wines: the Fontanafredda Briccotondo Dolcetto Langhe DOC 2010 and the Marchiopolo, Ribolla Gialla Collio DOC 2011. We tasted the famous Italian beer, Birra Moretti La Rossa which is a double malt beer with a distinctive amber color.

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Mauro Uliassi was the first to cook. Uliassi is charismatic, the perfect Italian chef who clearly prepares dishes with passion and enthusiasm. He wooed the audience as he explained his background as a chef. Uliassi and his sister Catia have a Two Michele Star restaurant called Uliassi which opened in 1990. He also taught for ten years at the Hotel Management and Catering School Panzini in Senigallia, Italy. For the seminar, he prepared a crudo dish of red shrimp with yellow tomato and yellow plum Béarnaise sauce. The shrimp was incredibly fresh, and the dish was wonderfully simple, showing that you do not need to have complicated ingredients or a distracting plate presentation to make a bold statement. The Béarnaise sauce and fresh seafood spoke for itself.

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Sara Jenkins cooked after Uliassi. She made pasta al pomodoro, better known as pasta with tomato sauce here in the United States. Jenkins explained that it was important to understand this dish.

“If you don’t understand pasta al pomodoro,” she smiled, “you can’t even begin to understand Italian cooking.”

At this moment, the entire audience at La Scuola clapped for Jenkins. As an American, my favorite element of Jenkins’s dish was the fact she made her pasta al dente. The traditional American palate does not tend to enjoy the harder pasta, whereas the traditional Italian palate prefers the pasta to be al dente to emphasize the texture of the pasta. The Italians cook their pasta al dente to allow for more appreciation of the actual noodle, and to not to drown the pasta in sauce and have wilted noodles.

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Even if you are unable to attend a seminar or class at La Scuola Grande in Eataly, I highly recommend visiting the marketplace, winery, and various restaurants at Eataly in the Flatiron District across from Madison Square Park. There are seven full-service eateries including a café that serves Lavazza coffee and gelato. The marketplace offers a prodigious selection of artisanal cheeses, cured meats, handmade pastas, baked goods, books, and housewares.

 LINKS:

Previous Review of La Birreria  http://smallchickbigdeals.com/2013/09/26/scbdfavorite-eat-a-lot-at-eataly/

Identità Golose Main Website www.identitagolose.it

Eataly Main Website www.eataly.com

 

TWITTER ACCOUNTS:

@Eataly

@identitagolose

Skuna Bay Salmon Unlike Any Other

I recently attended a dinner at the renowned James Beard House, which featured chef Nicholas Elmi from Pennsylvania’s Rittenhouse Tavern. The James Beard House has adopted Skuna Bay as their official salmon and hosted the elaborate dinner to highlight it, along with other seafood. I was seated with Skuna Bay salmon farmers, as well as representatives from their local distributor, Gotham Seafood. While chatting with these dedicated men, what struck me was their enthusiasm and passion for their trade.

Unlike all other salmon companies, Skuna Bay truly has a personal touch. The craft-raised salmon company based in Vancouver raises their fish in their natural environment – the first year to year and a half in fresh water and a year or two in the ocean. Once the fish are fully grown, only 6% are chosen by the company’s salmon experts to be Skuna Bay salmon. Any fish with blemishes or imperfections are nixed from the mix. But one of the most impressive aspects of this company is that once the fish are packed on ice and boxed, the next person to open that box and touch the fish is the chef who’s going to prepare it. Their philosophy is that if the salmon farmers themselves can have the freshest salmon, why can’t everyone else? Skuna Bay allows its customers to experience that same fresh fish. Furthermore, the salmon is never flown, but driven right to its final destination.

I never imagined the process of cultivating salmon to be quite so meticulous and learned that it was really fascinating to learn about the lengths to which this company goes to ensure quality salmon to their customers. After hearing all about it, I was excited to try it! And luckily, I was not disappointed  Skuna Bay truly was the freshest salmon I have tasted and it was prepared excellently. Some of the best chefs nationwide are using this salmon, including Ed Brown and David Burke. If you want to see for yourself what all of the fuss is about, dine at the James Beard House or any of chef David Burke‘s New York restaurants to try it out! Best of all, right now Chef Burke is donating a portion of the proceeds from all his salmon dishes to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in New Jersey. So not only can you eat well, you can do something good for others while you do it!

Amanda Mactas

Amanda originally hails from Connecticut, but has lived in the Big Apple for two years now. She has since scoured the bouroughs for the best food and cocktails she can get her hands on. As a contributor to Joonbug.com, SheckysNightlife.com, and SocietePerrier.com, she has a taste for all that is NYC – whether it be a good restaurant, an awesome cocktail bar, or a unique fashion show. When she is not exploring the city, she can be found reading a good book, cheering for the Yankees, or quoting Harry Potter. You can follow her @NYCNightlife411!

#SCBD Exclusive Interview with Aida Mollenkamp, Chef & Author of Keys to the Kitchen

A few weeks ago I was looking at cookbooks with my friend Ashley at Williams Sonoma. We came across Keys to the Kitchen by Aida Mollenkamp and we knew we had to get it! It has 305 recipes, 40 fundamental techniques, and 300 photographs & illustrations! It’s an ideal cookbook for any amateur chef since it covers all the basics.  Before Superstorm Sandy hit, I had the opportunity to interview Aida Mollenkamp about her first cookbook Keys to the Kitchen, life and following your dreams.

SCBD: Hi Aida, thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview you and tell my readers about your new and first cookbook, Keys to the KitchenYou have always been passionate about cooking, which eventually led to you studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. What was your favorite experience while at Le Cordon Bleu?

AM: There are so many memories from Le Cordon Bleu that it’s hard to pick one, but they all seem to come down to the experience and interaction that the French culture fosters with food.

One of my favorite moments was when my classmates and I gathered in the middle of the night in order to visit the Marché de Rungis when it opened in the pre-dawn hours. Rungis is one of the largest wholesale markets in Europe and has whole hangars dedicated not just to one animal but to one section of the animal, like offal! It was the first time I really understood that nose-to-tail eating was a very real concept and that the French had been doing it for years.

Aida Mollenkamp, Photo Credit: Robin Jolin

SCBD: I’ve been thinking of taking cooking classes so I can be a better cook & writer. Do you think it’s a good idea? Why?

AM: Well, I think that it’s important to learn something new everyday whether it’s a shortcut on your way to work or trying a new food when you eat. I personally really enjoy classes and like working collaboratively so cooking school really gave me a lot. It may not be for everyone but my belief is you build a solid and then you’ll be able to find your own voice, be it on the page or in the kitchen.

SCBD: You’ve had tons of editorial experience, what was the best part of working for a food magazine like CHOW?

AM: That too comes down to the things I learned. CHOW was founded by Jane Goldman who has had an impressive editorial career that’s included Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, Wired, and Industry Standard. Her journalistic approach to food reminded us that food writing doesn’t have to be precious and that we can and should talk about it in plain terms. That concept imbued the whole editorial vision and allowed us a lot of creative freedom in our recipes, food photography, and story concepts.

SCBD: You have quite a record and had two shows. Ask Aida which aired on Food Network followed by foodCrafters on The Cooking Channel, what was your favorite part about filming? What was your most memorable segment (on both or either show)?

AM: Oh, the crew would be my favorite part about filming – you get to work with amazingly talented people and it really is a group effort to make a show come to life. As for my most memorable segment, that’s really hard to say as I had some seriously awesome experiences. On Ask Aida, it would probably be one of the first days when I was told to never stop or call cut and to leave that to the producer. I began doing the show intro and had a pan with oil heating on the stove. Well, I went on a little too long and the pan caught fire but I was thinking, “the show must go on.” The producer thought I had a screw loose but I was just trying to follow orders!

On FoodCrafters it’s really hard to say because each experience was really unique. I adored making orange marmalade in traditional copper pots with Rachel Saunders of Blue Chair Fruit  because her work is proof that attention to quality ingredients and detail really makes a simple product like a preserve that much more exceptional.

Aida Mollenkamp, Photo Credit: Bonnie Tsang

SCBD: Those eventually led to you writing your first cookbook, which I bought this past weekend Keys to the Kitchen. It’s a cookbook that covers all the basics that every chef should know along with some delicious innovative recipes. How does it feel to have your first cookbook published?

AM: It’s really quite surreal. Keys To The Kitchen has been over two years in the works yet nothing really prepared me for the publication day. A fellow food writer told me it was like having a baby and, though I haven’t had a child, I do feel like this book was almost as much effort, attention, and work. The fun part is that now I get to travel around and share this book with people and do what I love: encourage people to have fun in the kitchen.

SCBD: All the recipes look delicious, what’s your personal favorite in the cookbook? Which should I start with?

AM: The great thing about Keys To The Kitchen is you can pretty much start anywhere. If you’ve really never cooked before, I’d take it easy and make baked eggs or one of the pastas. If you feel like baking, the Sage-Maple Cornbread is a lot of flavor for minimal effort. And if you want to try something different and a bit challenging, try out the Caramelized Fennel Tarte Tatin.

Aida Mollenkamp, Photo Credit: Bonnie Tsang

SCBD: Why do you think it’s so important for every chef or just newbie cooks to know basic techniques?

AM: My other love aside from cooking is music, and many a great musician would claim that you can’t make it your own and riff until you know the basics. Those basic techniques function like directions on a compass, without them you wouldn’t really know which way you’re headed.

SCBD: What’s your favorite dish to cook?

AM: That’s a hard question because it’s constantly changing. If I’m in the kitchen, it’s almost always about recipe testing so I don’t have a ton of time to cook just any old thing. I do really enjoy doughs and pastas because it’s a really apparent payoff as the effort and time you put in directly results in the level of quality of the finished product.

SCBD: You have a cookbook tour going on, what should people expect at the tour?

AM: What’s really great about this tour is that I’ve got an assortment of events as we’re doing almost 40 events in nearly 20 cities. I’m traveling with Williams-Sonoma to do cooking demonstrations in a variety of their stores; I’ve been holding cocktail parties in locations such as urban farms; am collaborating with some of my favorite food stores for hands-on cooking classes; and am doing a number of ticketed dinners through mid-December.

My belief is you eat three times a day so you might as well have fun with it, keep in interesting, and know how to make a few things and all these events weave in those concepts.

SCBD: What was the last dish you cooked?

AM: Let’s see, that would be veggie tacos I made for the site yesterday. I have a series called Pretty. Easy. where I teach simple recipes and ways to dress them up or further simplify them and this month will be quinoa, black bean, and caramelized onion tacos.

SCBD: What’s your life motto?

AM: I aim to seek adventures – be it as little as a new nail color or as massive as a trip somewhere foreign – every single day.

Aida Mollenkamp, Photo Credit: Bonnie Tsang

SCBD: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone trying to break into the many facets of the food industry?

AM: Well, it’s a lot of hard work so do what you love. Think about why you want to be in the industry – if you like making food gorgeous, you should aim for food photography; if you like food science, maybe a test kitchen is for you – and find people doing those jobs. Ask them what they’ve done and how they’ve gotten where they are. Finally, always be willing to take a bit of risk to go after what you want – I started as an unpaid intern at CHOW because I wanted that badly to be a part of something new and different like CHOW.

SCBD: You’ve accomplished a lot in a few years, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

AM: To be honest, I’m just focused on the next 5 weeks. After that I’m going to need some serious rest and then I’ll start thinking about the long term future.

 Click here to order a copy of Keys to the Kitchen.

Aida Mollenkamp on Facebook & Twitter.

Be sure to grab a copy of Keys to the Kitchen!

It’s a cookbook I highly recommend– happy cooking! :)

Why SCBD thinks you should see Robert Irvine Live!

In case you didn’t know I’m a huge fan of Chef Robert Irvine & so is my boyfriend! I also was fortunate to have to have the opportunity to interview Chef Robert Irvine for Jersey Bites before he had his show live in Red Bank, NJ on October 5th!

I figured the best way to tell you all why you should see it is through pictures! I will let you know that the night was filled with cooking, physical, mental, & cooking challenges. As Robert promised in my interview– a robot & of course getting to know him better and on a personal level! We had great seats– 2nd row to the left! It was a great night shared by both my me and Jason (my boyfriend) and let me tell you Count Basie probably smelt the best it ever did!

Here’s a peak of Chef Robert Irvine Live:

Started the show cooking a great piece of fish!

Speaking to the crowd with the lights up in the audience!

Speaking again– in tip top shape!

Getting ready for a challenge!

Telling us a story!

Time for a physical challenge, that was crazy!

It’s #hammertime

Bidding the hammer and proceeds go to the armed forces & vets!

If you are a fan of Chef Robert Irvine, I highly recommend you go to the show! It’s unlike any show you’ll go to and you really get to meet Chef Robert! It’s awesome that he is constantly interacting with his audience and they actually participate in the show! Check out if he will be in a theater near you– here.

For all the Jersey fans– Chef Robert Irvine will be back in New Jersey at Bergen PAC in Englewood, NJ on December 16th. I know I will definitely be there, especially since it’s so close to where I live now! If you plan on going to the Bergen PAC show, you can purchase your tickets, here.

If you’ve gone to the show I’d love to know what you thought of it! Also let me know if you plan on attending the show on December 16th, maybe I’ll see you there!

’til next time! :D

A Gem in FiDi: Battery Place Market!

About two weekends agp, I had the pleasure of going to Battery Place Market in the heart of the Financial District.  It’s unlike any market I’ve seen, filled with organic & unique groceries. It’s perfect for a foodie, who isn’t afraid to venture out of their comfort zone or even just wants a specific product that they carry, and they carry a lot! :)

It’s not just a market, you can also sit in their seating area in back and eat dishes made by Executive Chef Robert Sckalor.

From early morning breakfast sandwiches and frittatas using only the finest artisanal products, to a lunch that includes hot dishes or sandwiches on Sullivan Street or Orwasher’s breads, to picking up a dinner that has local or organic chicken, beef, fish, pork or vegetarian dishes that will warm the soul, Chef Robert  Sckalor creates it all. Sckalor has been cooking for the last 37 years in such establishments as the Waldorf Astoria, Agata & Valentina, and the Four Seasons. He cooks what many consider the best prepared cuisine from a specialty food shop in New York City.  The New York Times praised his incredible crab cakes and DOWNTOWN Magazine‘s staff enjoyed the first batch of Chef’s homemade turkey chili and according to the magazine, “One bite and you are hooked!” Chef Rob also teaches a weekly cooking class at PS-IS 276 across the street from Battery Place Market.  He just loves watching the kids help make unique dishes and seeing them and the teachers eating everything!

I was welcomed into the market to an amazing cappuccino to warm me up since it was cool that weekend. After getting a tour of the market, I had the pleasure of trying Chef Robert’s Kobe Beef Brisket on a light roll with his homemade coleslaw which was delicious for lunch. I was also able to try Mamma Chia which I really enjoyed since they have so many one of a kind products at the market. The brisket was unlike any brisket I’ve tasted & I could definitely taste the difference in the beef.

I was fortunate to meet the Chef during my visit who told me himself, “I am alway working on twists on classic dishes and utilizing the finest products I can find. The best thing about this market is working with awesome local and national vendors. It’s unlike any market you’ll find in Manhattan.”

The great thing about Battery Place Market is that they have tons of organic and non-organic products available. I was in heaven seeing so many products available to cook with and products you can’t get just anywhere– one of my favorite was the Jersey tomato ketchup, being that I am a Jersey girl.  There were also tons of things I was interested in using to cook with like fresh truffles, a full selection of organic and local NYC vendors and more.

Chef Robert’s Kobe Beef Brisket & homemade coleslaw from Battery Place Market.

I really loved it and would definitely get my specialty groceries there! I also would love to try more of Chef Robert’s dishes. I was extremely impressed with the brisket and the coleslaw. I would love to try more of his Kobe beef entrees and sides.  So if you are looking to find one of a kind, unique, or even organic groceries– go to Battery Place Market. It’s also a place where you’re welcomed to shop on an empty stomach because you will surely be satisfied by any of Chef Robert’s dishes. Compliments to the Chef on his unique dishes!

Insiders Note: They also have a smaller market that serves up the same great products right under the Goldman Sachs building– it’s located at 240 Murray Street  (North End Way)! Make sure you check it out!

Well, I have tons of more on the way– stay tuned!

Happy Eating! :D

*Disclaimer: The PR team paid for my meal. I was not required to write about these experiences and my opinions are my own and unbiased.*

Help the Fight Against Hunger this November at #NYTaste!

First of all, happy October– this year is surely flying by & to many people the fall means — pumpkin picking, apple cider, hayrides, & pumpkin spice coffee. In the food world, fall would not be complete without food events. From mid-September until early November you can find about 3 every weekend. One of the largest events in the New York City is next weekend is NYCWFF (aka New York City Food & Wine Festival)

One of the last food events of the season that I forgot to mention in my previous fall event round up is NY TasteNew York magazine’s 14th annual culinary event. It’s an event not to be missed & I’m pretty stoked about it!

 New York Taste, will be held on Monday, November 5, 2012 at The Waterfront in New York City. The signature event will be hosted by New York culinary editor Gillian Duffy, and will feature restaurateurs and mixologists from New York City’s most celebrated restaurants. A portion of the proceeds from the evening is donated to City Harvest to help fight hunger. Tickets are on sale at nymag.com/taste, and regular updates will be posted to Twitter with the hashtag #NYTaste.

The tasting event will host some world renowned talents, including Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem (Modern American), Abram Bissell of NoMad (Mediterranean), Laurie Jon Moran of Le Bernardin (French), Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto (Japanese), Dan Barber of Blue Hill (Modern American), and many more. The culinary masters will gather in a new historical setting—built in 1891 as the Terminal Stores building, the Waterfront was the most ambitious riverfront structure of its time, and 121 years later will set the stage for an evening of cocktails and great cuisine. This year’s event will also feature increased mixology offerings, with the main bar curated by media partner Liquor.com.

 The event hosts over 1,000 guests, with general admission tickets costing $175. VIP tickets can be purchased for $250, and include admission to a special preview hour, access to the VIP lounge, and a VIP gift bag filled with a variety of products, including culinary tools. VIP tickets are limited and sold on a first-come first-serve basis.

Also at the event, guests can preview In Season, a beautifully illustrated and user-friendly cookbook of over 150 recipes provided by the country’s finest chefs and restaurants. The recipes were compiled by New York magazine’s food editors, Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld, and were inspired by fresh farmers’ market ingredients. In Season will officially be released on November 8th, 2012. 
Guests will taste dishes from thirty-one of  New York’s elite restaurants:
  • A Voce
  • Aldea
  • Benoit
  • Bistro La Promenade
  • BLT Fish
  • Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns
  • Bobo
  • Booker and Dax at Momofuku Ssam
  • Brushstroke
  • Clover Club
  • Corton
  • Crave Fishbar
  • Ed’s Chowder House
  • FP Patisserie
  • Hill Country
  • La Silhouette
  • Le Bernardin
  • Le Cirque
  • Lincoln
  • Morimoto
  • NoMad Restaurant
  • Osteria Morini
  • Porter House New York
  • Recette
  • Red Rooster Harlem
  • Rouge Tomate
  • SHO Shaun Hergatt
  • Telepan
  • Tertulia
  • William Greenberg Desserts
  • Wong

 I don’t know about you but an event that helps fight hunger, tasting of over 30 restaurants, and has an exclusive cookbook sounds like an event that I do not want to miss! Don’t forget to purchase your tickets, here.

Stay tuned for more news, fun fall posts & my event coverage from Bergenfest and  Wingfest this past weekend!

Until then, happy eating & drinking– cheers to a great October!

Upcoming Fall & Fun Food Events: The #SCBD Edition

It’s official– food event season has begun and is going strong at least until November. I already had the pleasure of attending the Vendy Awards & Food Truck Rally. So in honor of the event season, check out this line-up of upcoming food events, starting with Bergenfest tomorrow night:

Bergen Health & Life Bergenfest 2012:

BERGEN COUNTY’S BIGGEST CELEBRATION!
No one knows the best go-to destinations in Bergen County better than the people who live here. You voted for your favorites and now we are bringing them all together for the 5th annual Bergenfest Party & Expo. at a New and Bigger Venue–with Great Parking.

Where: Sheraton Mahwah, 5-9 PM
The 411:
VIP Ticket Admittance – Don’t miss a thing! Enjoy EARLY admission and the chance to win great prizes, and special gifts. 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. | $50 | $65 at the door
General Ticket Admittance – 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. | $35 | $50 at the door
*VIP tote bag will be given to the first 500 attendees!Order tickets here: http://www.bergenhealthandlife.com/Bergenfest2012/Sponsors:
Bergen Health & Life, Sheraton Mahwah Hotel, The Fountain Spa, Devon Fine Jewelry, Atlas, & Montvale Health Associates.

NYC Wingfest 2012:

The 411: WingFest returns, with some new challengers to try and de-throne back to back champion, Dukes NYC’s title. Join us for all you can drink drafts, and all you can eat wings from the city’s best BBQ joints.

All you can eat wings from:

When: Saturday, September 29th

Time: Noon to 7 PM (divided into two sessions)

Session 1: Noon to 3 PM

Session 2: 4 PM to 7 PM

Where: Center 548- 548 West 22nd Street, NY, NY

Robert Irvine Live:

When: Friday, October 5th 2012

Time: 8-11 PM

Where: Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ

The 411: Robert Irvine Live 2012” is Irvine’s first theatrical tour and he’s not taking the show lightly. “This is not just me cooking on stage for two hours because that has been done before. I wanted to do something totally different that makes cooking a vehicle for being able to create a theatrical event,” says Irvine. If his premiere performances in Florida are any indication, Irvine has truly taken the idea of theatrics to heart. Those performances found him rappelling down balconies and being challenged to feed members of the audience with no knowledge of the ingredients while a timer counted down. Of course, these challenges are nothing new to Irvine, whose Food Network shows “Dinner: Impossible” and “Restaurant: Impossible” often find him challenged both physically and creatively with deadlines that often seem nothing short of insurmountable let alone impossible.

Look out for my pre-show interview with Chef Robert Irvine on Jersey Bites & post show coverage coming up soon!

Fairway Foodie Programs:

FOODIE FRIENDS HALLOWEEN THEMED COOKING CLASS FOR KIDS

WHEN:   WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2012
TIME: 4-5 PM (AGES 4-6), 5-6PM (AGES 7-11)
WHERE: FAIRWAY MARKET WOODLAND PARK, 1570 US 46 WEST
THE 411: Hannah Netter, Children’s Culinary Instructor at Fairway Woodland Park, has over a decade of experience working in childcare and currently manages and teaches children’s cookingclasses as partof a NYC-based company.  The Fairway “Foodie Friends Class” will inspire kids to be independent with their food choices and with small responsibilities like preparing their own simple meals. Each participant will take home a Fairway lunch box that they will have time to decorate during the class; a coupon for their guardians to come back and shop; the food they prepared during the class; a Fairway grocery pad and pen; and a fun recap of what they accomplished for the day. Tickets are $5 per class and parents are welcomed but not required to attend as each class will be supervised. For more information, call or inquire within the store or email info@fairwaymarket.com. Purchase tickets at the Woodland Park store or online at www.fairwaymarket.com/foodie-friends-class.

6th Annual NYC Food  Film Festival: 

What: Where Guests Taste What They See on the Screen

When: October 17 – 21, 2012

Venues:

The 411: Returning to New York City for its 6th consecutive year offering a unique series of events where food and film lovers return to taste what they see on the screen, the NYC Food Film Festival is the only festival in the world that serves the food that is seen in the films. Produced in association with the James Beard Foundation and benefiting the Food Bank For New York City, the 2012 NYC Food Film Festival runs from October 17 through October 21 in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The NYC Food Film Festival has grown from an intimate food-nerd date-night destination to one of New York City’s most beloved festivals, and the largest of its kind in the world. Last year, the Food Film Festival made its 2nd trip to Chicago, where it will return this year from November 15th – 17th for the Chicago Food Film Festival. The NYC Food Film Festival was created by George Motz, the documentary filmmaker behind the award-winning Hamburger America film, book, and mobile app, and host of Travel Channel’s Burger Land, along with Harry Hawk. Through documentaries, features and short films, the Festival presents the best, and the most memorable, of the world’s favorite and exotic foods on the big screen…and then serves them to the guests. The NYC Food Film Festival is co-produced by Grease Bomb LLC and Food Films America.

TICKETS ARE FOR ON-SALE ONLINE AT:  www.thefoodfilmfestival.com

Hope to see some of you readers at these events! Let me know if you plan on coming! Look out for another event round up in the works closer to November. Comment me if you plan on coming out!

‘Til next time, happy Eating! :D

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