Friday, August 29, 2008

Lessons of a Sushi Chef

When a restaurateur is faced with a serious sushi chef shortage...what next? Open up a sushi school? Um...yes.

And in September, master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi of the Katsuya restaurant empire will team up with the president of Japanese food importer Mutual Trading Co. to launch a professional sushi school in downtown Los Angeles.

Uechi is chef-owner of Sushi Katsu-Ya in Studio City and Encino and executive chef of SBE Entertainment Group's growing chain of Philippe Starck-designed Katsuya restaurants -- there are three in the L.A. area and more are slated for Miami (in 2009) and Las Vegas (in 2010). By opening a sushi school, Uechi says he hopes to address a shrinking pool of professional sushi chefs in the U.S. (Other Los Angeles sushi schools include the 10-year-old California Sushi Academy and the Sushi Chef Institute, founded in 2002.)

In any case, pass the Wasabi... and read more here

Friday, August 22, 2008

Chem Lab Cuisine


Even if you failed most of your science courses in school, I still say: Not to worry.

If you're in or around the New York City area, the
Astor Center
at 399 Lafayette Avenue, presents,
Chilling Out with Liquid Nitrogen
, hosted by Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot of the culinary blog
Ideas in Food

Liquid nitrogen has gained much popularity for its innovative use in making instant ice creams, creating innovative twists on cocktails, and cryo-blanching.

Discover these techniques and more while tasting some samples of what cooking with liquid nitrogen can actually produce. The class will take place on Tuesday, August 26th, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
See ticket informtion

Hey, I'm serious. So, see you there.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pint-sized Hell In the Kitchen

After recently being touted as "Little Gordon," the foul-mouthed child actor playing celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay "junior," returns in a second video at the UK online jobs recruitement website, which has the chef dressing down the manager of a failing restaurant.

In the second viral video produced by Rebel Virals, Little Gordon accompanies his parents on their wedding anniversary to a local restaurant. After waiting an hour for their starter the Ramsay Junior can take no more.

He summons the manager and lets rip as the celebrity chef has been seen to do many times in his series Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares where the celebrity chef attempts to turn around failing restaurant businesses.

In any event, having once been a parent of a child of Little Gordon's age myself, I don't know how I'd really see the "cuteness" value in having my child spewing these four-letter words for the camera -- only (and hopefully) to turn around later and try to instill in him that this type of language is not exactly "polite" social behavior in restaurants -- or anywhere else. But then again, child actors cussing on cue like sailors on a 3-day pass, has never really been my general idea of "cute" to begin with, so I guess I'm really probably not your best judge on this one.

Anyway, see for yourself as Little Gordon Ramsay pitches his latest culinary Holy War in this clip:

Friday, August 08, 2008

Getting Better


Do you know the difference between pancetta and streaky bacon? How about what makes a good egg? Or, why frozen peas can be better than fresh? And why goose fat is better than butter?

Well, the answer to these questions and more, are in a recent addition to my cookbook shelf titled, How To Be A Better Foodie: A Bulging Little Book for the Truly Epicurious by well-known food writer and gourmand, Sudi Pigot .

Simply put, this is more than just a book. Since its release in 2007, its been a virtual "celebration" of food that will appeal to anyone dedicated to finding the finest, latest, rarest, and most delicious culinary knowledge. How To Be a Better Foodie serves up entertaining and informative morsels to satisfy even the most insatiable cravings, such as:
Unusual delicacies—prawn shells, radish leaves, parmigiano reggiano rind and more

The latest in culinary trends such as belly pork, wagyu beef, lotus root crisps, green tea iced meringue, and sousvide preparation

International foodie pilgrimages and an almanac of seasonal delicacies

It also features quizzes to test readers' true foodie wisdom, with page after page of foodie facts and illustrations.

About the author: Sudi Pigott is passionately obsessed with good eating and has been writing about the best ingredients, artisan producers, specialty shops, culinary trends, and food destinations for more than a decade. She has written for a wide variety of publications including The Financial Times. She lives in London with her equally "foodie" husband and son.

And don't forget to stop by and spend some time at the "Sudi The Better Foodie" website.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Iron Chef America: Taking The Lid Off

Iron Chef, Cat Cora

Nightline did a long segment on Iron Chef America this week and although the segment was more promo than exposé, there were some good tidbits along the way that the show's many fans might not be aware of.

• Mark Dacascos, the diminutive martial-arts actor who portrays the presiding “chairman” on the show, insists on being called “The Chairman” at all times. (Or, at least, he did that day.)

• The chefs are constantly cutting themselves (accidents that are then, presumably, edited out). “Sous-chefs do most of the work in restaurants, so they have the best knife skills,” host Alton Brown tells Nightline. “Chefs get a little sloppy on the knife skills.”

• When the Iron Chef is selected, the shadowed figures to his left and right are stand-ins. Only one Iron Chef comes in at a time.

So, that's how they do it, huh?

Anyway, if you're a fan of the show (and I have to admit that for me, this one will *never* measure up to the old original Japanese version of the 1990s), you'll want to read this.