Speak Up

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dessert Fourplay

I'm watching the Today Show now, something I normally don't have an opportunity to do and I'm glad for that. But today they've got a fellow school of Jean-Georges chef on. None other than Johnny Iuzzini himself. He looks a little more Johnny Bravo these days with his supreme sideburns, but he's still one of New York's sexiest chefs. And his new cookbook "Dessert Fourplay" goes on sale today. He was generous enough to send a signed copy over to Erik but I haven't got to browse through it yet...except via webcam/iChat. I hope there are some things in there even a baking bomb like me can handle.



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Worst Christmas

I haven't been as attentive to my blog as I'd like to be, but this Christmas has been a nightmare. I can't go into details; I'd like to save the integrity of my family that is what is left of any integrity. I grew up in a home that was dysfunctional. Now as a 25 year old woman I know that all families are dysfunctional. However, the pain of my childhood just won't let me grow up. I'm in Ohio and Ive got good mind to leave several days early to to home. I'll keep this post short as I'm sure it's annoying to read this with only a skeleton of the whole story. Please just keep me in your thoughts.

DCW_Columbus, Ohio

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Deal of the Recession

Due to a tight budget I had an opportunity to Christmas shop while practicing my favorite act: saving money. I saved so much money this year on gifts that I should really get a plaque for my hard work. I used coke rewards points to earn a magazine subscription. I took advantage of the Linens and Things going out of business sale, where Erik and I bought most of our gifts. And this isn't really a deal, but I bought some jewelry from my chefwife pal, J and felt good supporting her wallet. Plus I'm not ashamed to admit that I regift unopened, valuable gifts. Not to mention the benefits of the huge sales at the suffering department stores. But the biggest deal I got this year would have to be the $50 Amazon gift card I earned with my credit card reward points.

Any major deals this season?


I love http://www.gifts.com/ for great ideas!! I usually find their good ideas on another site for cheaper, but it's a great place to start for some inspiration.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kitchen Gifts

With our stale economy and the pressure of the holidays on food service workers, my generous chef decided to buy gifts for his kitchen staff. This act of kindness blew me away. My husband generally isn't this giving. Now, that may sound like an insult to you, but I certainly don't mean it that way. It's not right or wrong, but it's just the way it is. And isn't it perfect that he ended up with me because I seem to worry about everyone else and forget about myself. 

Well, he bought his staff each a paring knife, a spoon, and two red bulls. This may not seem like much but I anticipate my jolly husband being well received today at work as he unpacks his red bag.  

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here I Am

I've been neglecting this blog but certainly not because I want to. I got a monster cough this week and nearly lost my voice. I sound scratchy and I cough roughly 759 times a day, but I feel fine now. The good thing is, I've got all my Christmas shopping done, my lesson plans for the first week in January are finished, and my students performed like rock stars at their holiday show.

Tuesday is the last day of school before break and I'm driving out to Ohio that day.

"...Oh, there's no place like home for the holidays..."

What is everyone else doing to celebrate? My chef is working of course, but that's my life and its okay that way.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jean-Georges Shares Christmas Love/Holiday Deals

Mr. Vongrichten, finally posted a blog again. He's spreading some of this prix fixe deals from Perry St's yearound deal to all his NY eateries. Hopefully this will bring some people back out to eat again this season.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dear Santa,

As the year quickly rolls to an end and I reflect on the past 11.5 months I've got one thing on my mind. Will I be on the naughty or nice side of your list? Ok, so I admit I never followed through with Pilate's or the wii fit. But I have been eating more vegetables (sort of). And I guess I may have lost my cool with my husband more than a few times this year. I spit some gum on the street. I didn't always hold the elevator for my neighbors. I used fake promotional codes to get free stuff online. I re-gifted. I hit my cat once when he scratched the leather couch. I deleted forwards from friends without even opening them. I watched way too many hours of reality television. And I ate an astronomical amount of Dino nuggets.

BUT I'd also like to plead my case for that coveted spot on the nice list. I donated (and shopped at) the Goodwill. I drove carefully all year. I saved my cat's life. (The other one, not the one I hit.) I voted. I conserved energy. The fake codes I told you about were for pictures books for my students. I wore sunscreen. I flossed, a lot. I used moisturizer daily. I worked really hard at speaking with Non-Violent Communication. I went to all the PTA meetings. (so far). I teach kids!

I think the good outweighs the bad and I'd like you to consider the following gifts.

1. A safe trip home to Ohio.

2. A new ironing board and iron.

2. The Miss Sixty purple coat at Macy's.

3. More of my chef!!!

Hilary Anne

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Meal Plan

I'll admit, my last blog post was written in desperation. But after all, isn't that the name of the game?

I had an opportunity to talk with my chef and it seems things aren't as bad as I imagine. We'll work together to plan smaller meals. No biggie. But I am starting to turn into a nagging wife. I'm only 25! Perhaps being married to a chef doubles the age rate of a marriages. Young guys like our men are supposed to be go-getters and it seems they're already started to get burned out. I'll keep an eye out on things.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Too Much Food

My chefs spends too much money on food.

Disclaimer: If you're a chef you just heard:"My chef is completely normal."

AHH! I don't know what to do anymore. All I see in the future is a home and a kid. And there is no way that we are going to be able to get those things before 2038 unless we save. Yes, we put away money each month, but sometimes I just don't think it's enough.

I'm so tired of hearing that we NEED to eat at all the new (expensive) restaurants for "research". Yea, f-ing right. And it's not only restaurants; we spend way too much money for two people at the grocery store. We shop together on Sundays and Erik makes a big meal that night that lasts for a few days. However, after the first day, Erik won't eat any. All of the sudden Tuesday rolls around and he's making a pizza, or buying gyros, or stopping at the taco truck. I don't care what we do. But at least we shouldn't be buying food times two! Fine, eat at the taco truck, but then we shouldn't be buying so much food that we end up WASTING. I hate to sounds cliche but there are people in the world who would kill for some leftovers.

In case you can't tell by my CAPITAL LETTERS, I am super annoyed and enraged right now. I never buy coffee before work, I never get food from a taco truck, and I certainly never order in like the rest of the staff does on Fridays. That too makes it hard for me to watch Erik spend money on things that we could just make at home. If he wanted tacos so bad, why didn't we just make them on Sunday night. Or, instead of making one big meal, why not make one small meal? Then at least if I'm the only one eating it-it won't go to waste. I'm pretty sure 6 quarts of chicken soup is too much for one person.

After a semi-fight over the phone last night my Sunday meals were taken away from me. Cry me a river. I may not be a fancy chef, but I can certainly make my own dinner. And I'll be looking forward to it from now on. Plus I'll be doing all the grocery shopping around here. There is no way I'm letting him ruin our finances after I've been pinching pennies for the last four years. NO WAY.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Somewhere between California and New York....Kansas I think.

It seems as though the subject of moving is quite serious and surprisingly important to chefswives. After all, the success of their careers is oftentimes dictated by the city they live in. And you know they can't live without us. I'm not sure if anyone besides me would be willing to share their feelings of resentment towards their chefs for "making them" move.

I know I suffered the first year I live in NY. I hated it here. I hated being far from my family, I hated having not a single friend AND being left alone each night that Erik was working the line. "Why did I move here?...This is all his fault....I'm miserable". Oh yeah, I had some deep resentment, and I still do. I'd like to think that if Erik's job wasn't restraining him to NYC that we'd live on a small 15 acre farm outside of Columbus, Ohio. We'd spend long weekend with my family, host wiener roasts and canoe trips. The state of my dream life, though vivid, is still a dream.

I the end, I love where we live now and I'm pleased with my decisions to move to NY with Erik. Being married to a chef comes with so many things, one of them being a one way ticket to WhereHeWantsToLive-ville.

Knowing all of the heartache I suffered the first year out here I don't think I'd change a thing. And tomorrow if Jean-Georges offered Erik a job in Europe, I'd go. In a heartbeat.



Don't forget to answer the poll on the right.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

ChefWife Advice

SK from Chicago left a comment on a previous post today. She'd like our advice and since you are the best advice givers I know I thought I'd share her quandry again so we can leave comments to help her out.

Hello all...I am not married to a chef (cook, as it were), but I am in a
very serious relationship with one. He's currently working in Vegas (while I'm
still in Chicago) and was planning on being back in August, but after three
months he had a wonderful opportunity: they brought in people from Europe and
had him interview with them. On the spot he had to whip up a four course meal,
etc. and blew them away. Now they're setting him up for some place in Europe (we
still don't even have the full details) and it sounds like they want him there
sometime after the first of January.

I guess I'm just looking for some guidance in this. I'm a very family
oriented person, and I'm very close with mine, but I don't know if I should try
to go with him or if its better to end things here. We've only just started
talking about it, and I know he's going to take this opportunity which I do not
blame him for, it's amazing. But we're not quite at the marriage stage yet, and
now that I'm reading some of what these women go through with families... being
in the one I was in, I don't know if I could handle it. I want kids, and so does
he, but I never wanted to be a single mom and it sounds as if that's what I'd be
in line for.I guess I'm just looking for some advice on making this extremely
difficult decision. Some perspective from people who have been there.

SK - Chicago

My advice: TALK! Talk to him! Is this the type of man you want to be with forever? Would you be willing to move? Willing to visit? Willing to live without him. Having a chef boyfriend who lives in Europe isn't all that much worse than living in the same home as one. But of course, it's also much, much diffferent. If you're not completely committed to long distance phone calls at odd hours in the night, no dating, no sex, and no person-to-person companionship, then it might be time to say good-bye.

Apple Confit Update

It seems that a couple people are going to make Jean-Georges's apple confit-hooray! I think I'm going to make a smaller version tomorrow. I'm such a recipe cheater; I never follow the directions all the way. Since I don't have Granny Smith apples, I'll use Fiji. And since I don't have 15, I'll shrink my recipe to make it with only 7 apples. I cheat!

Let me know how yours turn out!

Here is the full Apple Confit (said "confee") Recipe:

2 cups sugar
5 oranges
15 Granny Smith apples

1. Melt 1 cup sugar in a saute pan over medium heat, stirring only occasionally, until it bubbles and turns golden brown. Immediately pour it into a standard 9x5-inch loaf pan, or a 3-inch deep, 9-inch round cake pan. Swirl the melted sugar around so that it coats the bottom, and set it aside. It will harden while you prepare the oranges and apples.

2. Use a zester to remove the orange zest in long, thin strips. Place the zest in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 1 minute. Drain, then refresh under cold running water for a minute or two. Drain again.

3. Peel the apples, then halve and core them. Cut them by hand or with a mandoline into even sliches about 1/8 inch thick; keep the slices neatly stacked.

4. Using only flat pieces (discard the rounded ends), place a layer of apples neatly in the bottom of the loaf pan. cover with another layer, keeping the layers as level as possible, and pressing down to event them out. Sprinkle with a bit of the remaining 1 cup sugar, then some of the zest. Repeat, adding sugar and zest every 2 or 3 layers.

5. When you get to the top of the pan, keep the lines straight and continue to build layers beyond the top, going about 3 or 4 inches above the pan. Cover the top with plastic, then wrap the whole pan in aluminum foil. Place it in a shallow tray - it will drip - and refrigerate at least overnight, preferably for 24 hours.

6. Drain the juice from the tray (you may reserve it for sorbet or other uses), then unwrap the pan. Drain the excess liquid, then wrap the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil. Place the pan in a large, deep roasting pan, and fill the roating pan with water halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake at 300 degrees fahrenheit for 5 hours, then check: The confit is done when all the apple slices are dark brown, it has shurnk to fill only about 3/4 of the mold, and a thin-bladed knife pierces it easily. Cooking time is usually between 5 and 6.5 hours; check and replenish the water bath (use boiling water) as necessary.

7. Unwrap the confit, cool, then chill for several hours, up to 2 days. Slice thinly and serve.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful Thoughts

It's too bad most of us only stop once a year to give thanks for all the things we have. Occasionally a near-fatal accident or sickness lends a thankful heart, but giving thanks is as important on Thanksgiving as it is on a Tuesday.

Top Ten Things I'm Thankful For:

1. My husband. Erik is my best friend and I'm not just saying that. For the longest time it's been just us, and I like it that way.

2. Family. They drive me crazy in the best way. No one in the world makes me laugh as hard as my sisters-which usually involves laughing at my mom. Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters and parents make my life uniquely complete.

3. Teaching. If there were no teaching I would be poor and lonely with too much time on my hands. Besides that, all those mushy emotional rewards are great too.

4. The Internet. The glory of the Internet-someone should write some sonnets about it. I could not live without it. Take my phone, my car, my chapstick, but I cannot live without Google.

5. Jersey City. The best city in the world, for me, for now. This place has given me a home when I had nothing. I'm committed to this place and I like that.

6. Bravery. I never knew I was brave, but I am. So I guess I owe some of that to bravery itself.

7. Equal Rights. Fairness is cool!

8. I Love Lucy. Funny, comforting, and safe. You can't go wrong with Lucy.

9. Toothbrushes. Do I really need to explain?

10. Lotion. Winter is killer on skin and without lotion I'd have to use every muscle I have just to stretch my face to speak.

Thank you, too for reading and supporting my blog! I love you!

JGV on Regis and Kelly

Mr. Vongerichten graced the studio kitchen on LIVE today, making an apple confit and lemongrass turkey. The apple confit actually seemed easy enough for me to do. Peel 15 apples, slice them, layer them over some caramel in a pan, add some orange peels and sugar, cook for 4 hours...that's it! But I'm not feeling brave enough to go near a turkey anytime soon.

I'm off to a Balloon Party tonight to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade balloons get inflated. It's a creative party theme and I'm really looking forward to it.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chef Mumbles...Only Worse

Talking in your sleep is one thing, but getting up in the middle of the night and changing into work clothes is sickening. Erik! Come on, you need a vacation.

Last night Erik woke up, took off his flannel pants, put on his work pants, then went back to sleep for another three hours. Really? This is getting a little out of hand. He did this once before and actually started to leave the apartment, but that was over 4 years ago. I thought the chef-sleep walking was over.

Jean-Georges, if you're reading this: give my husband a day off. Oh, and I heard you can ice skate. There's a rink on my street, can you cross the Hudson and teach me some cool moves? I really want to learn an axel.


Milk Bar

I was reluctant to go to Milk Bar, David Chang's newest eatery, because I'm not really a dessert person. It's not that I don't like dessert, I just don't like it after I eat. I like cake and ice cream, cookies and chocolate as much as everyone else, I would just rather eat them in the morning. But we were a few blocks away from Milk Bar on Sunday, which is attached to Momofuku so we walked over.

The size is small with tables to rest your elbows on (don't tell Molly Manners) but no chairs. They've got a generous menu with pies, cakes, soft serve, cookies, flavored milk (a la Milk Bar) and even those delicious pork buns Mr. Chang is so famous for. The blondie pumpkin pie was so good I felt guilty eating it. The soft serve flavors we got were snicker doodle and fudge brownie and they were tasty, too. But my favorite thing was the corn cookie. I love corn. I love cookies. I really love corn cookies. I liked the open kitchen, it definitely made the place feel warmer and more roomy.

BUT as much as I love Mr. Chang, I've got to give him some advice. And please, Mr. Chang-these are free. Let's call them your Christmas present.

1. Speed up the service! I don't mind waiting for quality food, but the pies, cookies and cakes were already made. Pre-cut those suckers.

2. If #1 is not an option for you, may I suggest this: I didn't order a drink because I wasn't thirsty. But after all those sweets I wanted a soda really bad. The thing is, the line was out the door. I wasn't about to wait 30 minutes for a drink. So, what you could do is get a vending machine with your own drinks in it. You know, flavored milk and Dr. Pepper. I'd pay double to have a cool drink ASAP.

Hope this helps!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chef Doctor

Just when I thought I've exhausted the avenues of all things that trouble wives of chefs, I have realized that getting a doctor's appointment is damn near impossible. My chef is off on Sundays and Mondays. Sundays are a waste as far as doctors go, and Mondays are not much better. My chef sleeps in until about noon on Mondays, then takes a nap from 1-3PM. But at least he's able to alter that for one day if needed. Erik doesn't have a car but luckily we live across the street from the doctor and one train stop away from the dentist. Don't get my started on the sleep lab though. Since Erik is getting a sleep test done he has to stay all night at the lap until 3PM the next day. I tried explaining to the receptionist, that he can only come in on Monday, but he'll have to take Tuesday off, which is a nightmare, because then he's not off on Sunday. And who is going to pick him up at 3PM since I've got meetings on Mondays?? AHH. This is so annoying. Perhaps a taxi is needed.

The point is there needs to be special services just for chefs. Like a chef doctor that open on Sundays all day and all other days from midnight to 3AM. He'd get a lot of patients and he could specialize in drug and alcohol rehab, high cholesterol diets, and stress tests. Then the chef services would catch on and the dry cleaners would be open late along with the bank, DMV, and bookstores. All of these chef accommodations might lead to more people wanting to go to culinary school and we don't really need any more of that. I suppose nothing is completely perfect.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pressure Cooker Documentary Screening

Wednesday, December 10th, Pressure Cooker will be screening at the IFC Film Center. This documentary, directed by Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker, is near and dear to my heart since it was inspired by the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), founded in 1990 by Richard Grausman.

From their website: "C-CAP works with public schools across the country to prepare underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. A national nonprofit, C-CAP manages the largest independent high school culinary scholarship program in the United States. Since 1990, C-CAP has awarded students $25 million in scholarships and donated $2.2 million worth of supplies and equipment to classrooms."
To purchase tickets visit: http://www.ifccenter.com/index

Three seniors at Philadelphia's Frankford High School find an unlikely champion in the kitchen of Wilma Stephenson. A legend in the school system, Mrs. Stephenson's hilariously blunt boot-camp method of teaching Culinary Arts is validated by years of scholarship success. Against the backdrop of the row homes of working-class Philadelphia, she has helped countless students reach the top culinary schools in the country. And under her fierce direction, the usual distractions of high school are swept aside as Erica, Dudley and Fatoumata prepare to achieve beyond what anyone else expects from them.

Hope you get a chance to go!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thanksgiving Sans the Chef

View from above the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2007

Of course Thanksgiving is without the chef. I couldn't imagine it any other way. Well, that's not true. I can imagine a long drive back to Ohio to eat a 32 pound turkey and mom's famous cheesy "bataduhs" while sitting around the table laughing at old time. Wow, I've got some wild imagination because that won't be happening for at least another 78 years.

Now, normally I wouldn't be so bummed out around Thanksgiving. I'd drive to Ohio, or my folks would head out here for some NYC holiday magic. NOT THIS YEAR. My weekend is too short for the drive and my folks and brothers and sisters aren't able to come out. Boo freaking hoo, I'm mad. What the hell and I supposed to do on Thanksgiving? Have dinner with my cats? Has my life turned into that of a middle-aged homebody eating a microwavable TV dinner, watching Will and Grace reruns on TV? No, not yet at least.

I'm contemplating a few things. But nothing is as good as eating turkey with the fam and decorating for Christmas with my favorite holiday album in the background.



Friday, November 14, 2008

Chef Wife Health Life Update

After walking with the ten thousand pound weight of not knowing, I finally found out what is going on with my heart. The doctor looked over the results with me and told that my heart pumps an extra beat occasionally in my lower right chamber. I was in such a daze when he was telling me all of this that I forgot what it's called. But in the comment below you can see that the Los Angeles Nurse Rosen reminded me they're called Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVC). The feeling doesn't last long and when my heart speeds up it doesn't speed up all that much. I just have to drink more fluids, and get more Potassium in my diet. (I ate two bananas today!)

The best part of learning the results was that Erik came with me! I was so grateful that he did that. It may seem like something all husbands "should" do, but it means the world to me that mine chose to.


Job Hazards

I can't really talk in specifics, but my chef is working so hard that it is taking a serious toll on him. I haven't seen him work this hard since his days as a young, fresh line cook traveling 5 hours to and from work. And of course this is inducing a tremendous amount of stress on me because I just want Erik to have the smoothest work schedule possible. It's a given that chefs work a lot of hours that are packing with sweat, blood, and tears but sometimes the threshold of stress and exhaustion is pushed to the limits. I wish I could fly us both away for the weekend, but we're both too responsible to leave work behind.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Family Meal

The men who feed us have got to be fed themselves. They work hours and hours over the heat of the line to serve the patrons who grace their restaurants each night. They prepare fabulous food that earns them stars, ratings, and silver flatware. But each night they also work up an appetite that is fed by the family meal. 

Whether you call if family meal, crew meal, or staff meal, it's a lunch/dinner made by a member or several members of the kitchen staff to be eaten by the entire staff throughout the night. At Perry St, things can get interesting around family meal time. 

They've made several pieces of artwork from the food, but this one is my favorite. Putting this amount of meatloaf into one large loaf would take too long to cook so they came up with this prideful delight. 


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Help! Big Pig Problems!

Every year my school holds several fundraisers. And before you run for cover, I'm not asking for any money. I need your creative genius. Since more than half of my class participated in the last fundraiser, I get the chance to participate in a teacher vs. teacher pig race and pig beauty pageant. The winner of each gets $100 to spend on their classroom.

Last year I lost the race and my super Punk Rock Pig was beaten by a pig in a Superman dog t-shirt. My pig had a tri-colored Mohawk, two different earrings, a rock and roll t-shirt with studs and safety pins, and pleather pants. I was SO mad when I didn't win. But I'm going for it again and I want to win that $100! So my big idea is to make an Obama Pig! My students all adore him and I think it will be a big hit. Any ideas on how to decorate my pig to look like our president elect.

If you've got any different ideas for pigs I'll take them too. Some other teachers are doing American Idol pig, Michael Phelps pig, and and Irish pig. What about a High School Musical Pig? I also thought about doing a school pig and putting it in the students' school uniform, but that's not very fun. HELP!

Punk Rock Pig!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Election Please, and Hold the Chef

There is no doubt that our voting system is outdated and severely flawed. For instance, I went to vote at 6:30 this morning in the lobby of the building next door. The line was about 50 people long, so I decided to vote after work (half day) and I waited about 25 minutes then. I did warn Erik that he'd have to get up early to vote...but by the time he got there the wait was over 3 hours. Of course he couldn't wait and he just went to work. And being a chef he won't be done with work until after midnight. Missed opportunity. Too bad for him, because we voted for different candidates and got my vote in.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Picky Picky

I am more than grateful that my husband is a chef. I love when he treats me to dinner at a new restaurant doing outrageous things with food. I've been exposed to some of the world's best restaurants; I've tried everything from fois gras to lamb's testicles (well, actually I only ate one testicle, but still). And my rule of thumb when dining out, is that I'll try anything- once.

BUT, there are several things I do NOT like to eat. I've tried them all, most more than once but there is just something about them I don't like. My mother always said, "Life is about choices, and I choose not to."

I now present you with the list of foods/food types I do not enjoy eating.

1. anything that has been bruleed.

2. chunky mushrooms

3. ginger...unless in cookie form

4. fatty meats. SICK. I can't stand that floppy chunk of clear goo on a nice piece of beef.

5. fermented black beans

6. anything that has been turned into a gelee. I'll eat it, but after a while that texture-less glob sort of makes me gag

7. foams. They look like spit.

8. Unfried spring roll wrappers

9. hot mustard. I'm a French's yellow mustard gal

10. wasabi, I like spicy, but not that kind of spicy.

** This one is the one I hate the most!
11. cooked fruit chunks! Because of this phobia I don't even like apple pie. There is something about cooked fruits that makes me say "pass".

I'm sure most foodies would be surprised to know this list was written by a chef's wife. But oh, well. Notice, lamb's testicles didn't make the list. They aren't that bad after all.


Head Toward the Light (of bacon)

You know, the bacon alarm clock really had me excited, but now I'm plotzing. A bacon lamp might be the best invention ever. Thank you Serious Eats for brining this to my attention.

So in my dream world, I'm waking up to the fresh smell of bacon, rolling over and popping a piece into my mouth as I hit the alarm and turn on my bacon lamp. Ah, heaven...
I wonder if the lightbulb works like an easy-bake oven and cooks the bacon. Now THAT would be amazing.



Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

I dressed up for my students today and they seemed to enjoy. Although, they did call me Ratatouille, which is a food so I think we need to work on comprehension next week.
And you know, I like wearing this coat...I feel sort of superior and prestigious. No wonder the chefs act the way they do, it's all in the whites. What are your plans tonight? I'll be passing out candy in full costume. It's been a long week and as nice as it is outside, I'm happy to be dishing out the good to the little ones.
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chef and Wife

I loved my dress. I hate my bangs! I loved my old blunt bangs, but my hairdresser/friend said they made me look like a kid so she swept them over and now I kind of hate it. I look like a nerd-girl.

PS. My computer is fixed!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sure, I'll Eat Anything!

Erik and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary this past weekend. We drove upstate to Tarrytown to eat at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. It was fantastic! They brought us some of the produce, still dirty from being pulled right out of the Earth, to show us the before and after. The presentation was fun and interactive, too. The food came out on large flat stones, the same kind that the barns are built of. Also, there were wood blocks with nails sticking out that held the freshly seasons vegetables. And the craziest part was when the server brought us a small plate with an egg over something unidentifiable. He hinted that we should eat before he told us what is was. Keep in mind that Blue Hill has no menu, they serve what they serve. Well, I looked at this kid and with an air of coolness I leaned back and said, "I've eaten pretty much everything there is to eat. Come on, what is it?"

Lamb's testicles. 

My jaw dropped, but I ate it and it tasted like sweetbreads. Not great, but I'm so proud of myself for even trying it. 

So the big question is, would you eat lamb's testicles??

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hydroponics: Lettuce Update

How fast did this lettuce grow? I cannot believe it! And this picture was taken today after I picked a bowlful for my salad. I highly recommend growing lettuce if you've got a hydroponic set up because it's much easier than any other plant and it grows so fast. 


Friday, October 24, 2008

ChefMumbles: Spanish Edition

Dios Mio! Mi esposo molestame en la noche. 

The other morning I was creeping by Erik to day good-bye when he mumbled:

"Tiempo! I need the timer. Tiempo!"

I know most of you enjoy reading this segment of the blog, however I'm taking this personally now. I mean why can't he just turn on at least 5% of his [English speaking] brain to mumble the words I want to hear? ....I love you...good-bye...have a good day....you look so sophisticated in that sweater....something!

After all, I get up during my sleeping time to: fix a late night meal, watch tv, chat, clean up the late night meal, and even talk in bed. But on the other hand, I suppose he can't control his midnight mumbles. Unless he worked less than 72 hundred hours a week. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Healthlife Part 2

I just got back from the doctor and the news I heard wasn't something I wanted to hear. The good news comes in two parts. First, I don't have to wear the heart monitor anymore. Second, my blood work came back excellent. The thyroid is good, cholesterol is good, the liver is good...good, good, good. BUT, I have to wait another week to get the results of the EKG. And there is a chance it could be an arrhythmia. I didn't like the way my doctor said that was a "problem" either. So, until then, I'll just keep talking about this because that will help me to relax. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Computer Nightmare

Since I have the rights to www.desperatechefswives.com it's my responsibility to keep the website going. Well, let me tell you about my Sunday evening nightmare. I've been getting email reminders that I need to renew my domain registration. BUT I DID! And I have the receipt for it too. So I thought nothing of it until my website was shut down and it was taken over by some scamming search engine with my blog name! I was fuming! So I tried about a million ways to get the website back and nothing was working. I was in such a rage that I threw my laptop on the floor (trying to prove I was mad, not trying to actually do any damage) and now it won't turn on!! I am freaking out! Meanwhile, the website is back on, I guess google finally got it together. I am so grateful that Erik bought the Mac I'm typing on now. I'm bringing my laptop to the school's IT guy tomorrow and hopefully it will be ready by the weekend. If I had no computer...I'd probably suffer miserably. Luckily, I've got my iPhone, just in case. 


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hydroponics: Lettuce

Erik's sous chef Omar has got us going on bibb lettuce now that our basil has ended its life cycle. Hydroponics is so easy! I mean, after Omar does all the hard work of getting the seedlings going, really all you have to do is watch them grow! We've got a timer on the lights and the motor that supplies the bubbles/oxygen to the water runs all day and night. Once in a while the water has to be changed, but overall-this is so easy!

Check out these babies.



Friday, October 17, 2008

Apple Pickins

Last Monday while laying in bed enjoying my Columbus Day off, Erik and I decided at the last minute to go apple picking. We went to the same orchard that we went to last year, Barton Orchards in Dutchess County New York.
Check out Erik juggling some apples! We had such a great time picking apples, and although against orchard rules, we climbed trees like two little kids. The Hudson Valley is such a beautiful place and a perfect escape from the city.

Since we were so close so our old 'hood we drove by the "garden" apartment we used to live in. Wow, we've come a long way. Our new condo isn't drafty, potheads don't live all around us...at least that we know of, and we have wood floors instead of industrial carpet. But our old town of Wappingers Falls isn't all a mess like the apartments we lived in. We made a pit stop at Planet Wings for two #1s with hot sauce and Dr. Pepper...and 30 more wings to last us for a couple days. Then we headed over to Gymnastics City where I coached gymnastics and cheerleading before moving to Jersey City. It was so nice to see everyone I used to work with and even some of the kids I taught. If I had time and less residual back pain I'd love to get back into coaching. Maybe after I retire.



Thursday, October 16, 2008

ChefWife HealthLife

I just got back from the doctor and due to some odd heart palpitations I've been strapped with this heart monitor for four weeks. I have two pads on my chest and when I feel an irregularity I push the red button. It records what is going on with my heart. Then after thirty seconds I call this 888 number and playback the sounds the monitor makes over the phone and it faxes the info over to my doctor. I just went to the doctor thinking he would tell me to write down when the palpitations happen, but after only 45 minutes I had blood work done and I was strapped with this machine. Although I'm a little nervous about people noticing the Blackberry sized monitor clipped on my hip I'm so impressed with the speed and concern of my new doctor. 

Pray and think good thoughts about my little heart. 


Korean ChefMumbles

This one requires a bit of a backstory.

My chefhusband is a second generation half Korean. His mother (who designed my awesome logo) moved to the US when she was very young. Erik's grandmother, God rest her soul, taught him some Korean, but not enough to live on. I've always wanted to learn more Korean so I've been doing a little Rosetta Stone and I love it! But last night Erik busts out some of the first phrases he ever learned.

(Click to HEAR the Korean version)

How are you?

I'm fine, thank you?

So now he mumbling in Korean. AHHH!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Foodbuzz Publisher Community Launches

San Francisco – October 13, 2008: Foodbuzz, Inc., officially inaugurates its food blogger community with more than 1,000 blog partners, a global food blogging event and an online platform that captures the real-people, real-time power of food publishing in every corner of the world. At launch, the Foodbuzz community ranks as one of the top-10 Internet destinations for food and dining (Quantcast), with bloggers based in 45 countries and 863 cities serving up daily food content.
“Food bloggers are at the forefront of reality publishing and the dramatic growth of new media has redefined how food enthusiasts access tasty content,” said Doug Collister, Executive Vice President of Foodbuzz, Inc. “Food bloggers are the new breed of local food experts and at any minute of the day, Foodbuzz is there to help capture the immediacy of their hands-on experiences, be it a memorable restaurant meal, a trip to the farmers market, or a special home-cooked meal.”
Foodbuzz is the only online community with content created exclusively by food bloggers and rated by foodies. The site offers more than 20,000 pieces of new food and dining content weekly, including recipes, photos, blog posts, videos and restaurant reviews. Members decide the “tastiness” of each piece of content by voting and “buzz” the most popular posts to the top of the daily menu of submissions. Foodbuzz currently logs over 13 million monthly page views and over three million monthly unique visitors.
“Our goal is to be the number-one online source of quality food and dining content by promoting the talent, enthusiasm and knowledge of food bloggers around the globe,” said Ben Dehan, founder and CEO of Foodbuzz, Inc.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chef Vs. Family Man

Can a chef also be a family man? A few months ago I couldn't get Erik to acknowledge the fact that I'm a woman and thus capable of even getting pregnant. Finally now, we're able to at least begin to think about starting a family. BUT now that we're talking I'm getting nervous about life with children and a chef/father. Erik already asked me, "Who's going to take the kids to school?" and "Will they have to go to an urban school?" Uh, yeah. I mean he wants to live in NYC/Jersey City then the kids have to go to school here. Luckily I work at the best school in Jersey City and they'll be able to go there. But really I'm scared about being a "single" mother. Erik won't get up early enough to help in the morning and he'll be gone before the kids get home from school/daycare. And by the time Erik gets home the kids and I will be fast asleep. By then, the days of me sleeping on the couch and waking up to be with Erik at midnight will be LONG GONE.

Not only does my chef work typical chef hours (and then some) but he has no siblings, no aunts or uncles, and no cousins. He pretty much has no idea how families work. And I can't blame him either, how else would he know that when a baby is born you visit the family or at the very least send a card. Can I really raise a family with minimal chefhusband support while training my chefhusband how to be a family man??

HELP! I know there are plenty of you out there making it work. I'm counting on you.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Battes Kitchen Photo Tour

A chefwife commented on the Angus beef chart in my kitchen so I thought I'd give you a little tour of my kitchen and all of the things the chefs and I have got hanging out in there. 

I wrote about my husband's addiction to plastic wrap a while ago, but it bears repeating. This chef-and most I know- are mesmerized by plastic wrap in large quantities. Behind this 3000 square feet of boxed plastic wrap is an even large box of aluminum foil. 

This is MY most favorite part of the kitchen. My mom has had so many vintage bread boxes over the years that I've caught on to her love of bread containers. She bought me this one last year. Thanks, mom. 

Oh, the Boos Block. You know I wanted to buy a cutting board for-e-ver, but Erik only wanted a certain kind. The glass ones are "dangerous", the plastic ones are "cheap" and finally we bought this one...it was only like 40 bucks and I'm pretty sure it supposed to last about 350 years. 

We went to The Container Store in last January after my mom bought us a gift certificate last year for Christmas. Erik picked out these clever little containers that hold spices and are magnetic. The only thing is, Erik doesn't cook with dry herbs or spices! He won't buy fresh herbs because they are too much money at the grocery store but he says dried herbs are poor quality. Well then what are we doing with magnetic spice holders?! But now we keep wine corks in them, so it's all worked out. Also you'll see in this shot two leaves my sister sent me from Texas and a cigar someone gave Erik at Perry St.

This coconut man collection started back in California when a gymnast I was coaching and working with went to Florida and bought me the pirate coconut man in the middle. Then we bought one on the left in the Carribbean. THe one on the right- I have no idea where that came from, but I think it's also a piggy bank. 

This beef chart was drawn free-hand by my very own husband on this awesome HUGE, framed chalkboard from HomeGoods. He was inspired to draw the bovine based on a postcard from BLT Prime. He spent all day on it and I think it came out very...accurate. 

Below you'll see a tiny chef that I bought for Erik from a street vendor in London back in 02. He's a little rusty now, but I bought it when Erik was in culinary school so it brings me back to a much different time in our lives. 

Erik's mom gave us this wine holder and I love him! He's so sophisticated with his mustache and toque. 

Last Christmas my aunt Caralee have me this nutcracker chef. I guess when people know you're married to a chef they give you all kinds of chef related items. Oh, I forgot to take a picture of my kitchen towels that my mom bought for me. They've got an outline of a chef on them in black thread. 

This pressure cooker had made many a meal since we bought it. It's not like the kind my grandma used to use-its electric. All you do is put some beans, meat, salt and pepper in this bad boy and out comes a meal! 

I hope you enjoyed this walk through my kitchen. I had a fine time writing this; I seemed to have forgotten about most of the things in the kitchen. There are so many more things with sentimental value in here than I thought. 


Friday, October 10, 2008

Chef's Widows

I'm thrilled so many of you have made your way over to the new forum for chefs wives at: Chef's Widows. I am having such a good time chatting and sharing ideas with other wives. You can also share pictures, blogs, and even videos. Props and snaps and all that jazz to the Widow, Miss Amelia herself for setting up and maintaining the website. (Plus all the other family, chef, restaurant, and various other website stuff she does.) 

If you haven't made your way over there, get to it!

On another note I have Monday off, like most of you and my chef also has Monday off so what to do! We planned on going away to Chicago, but WOW that city is just as expensive as New York. Then we just forgot about this long weekend. I've been wanting to go to the Bronx Zoo for a while, or even the Turtle Back zoo. (I love zoos)Hmm...I'll let you know what we end up going. The only thing we WON'T be doing is eating out. We have been spending entirely too much money on dining and I want to SAVESAVESAVE for a new house/condo here in Jersey City. 


Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Seaweed butter-my new BFF

With it's rich history and new modern design, the opening of Corton was something Erik couldn't miss. We made our way over there on Monday night-without any traffic and parking spot right up front-perfect so far. Corton was great, all the food was very thoughtful and put together. My favorite was the lamb and the side that came with the amadai - gnocchi with bok choy and ham-so delish! I don't think the dining room was complete because I heard there was going to be gold leaf on the walls to embellish the embossed flowers, but I didn't see anything. It was nice to see Mr. Nieporent greeting guests and even seating them.

For more on Corton...


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Cauliflower Madness

Last week Erik made this amazing buttery Parmesan cheese covered cauliflower. But the most amazing thing was the size of this massive veg. With farmers in my family I've seen some large tomayters and potayters, but I've never seen a cauliflower this big. Luckily A & P had a sale and it wasn't per pound. I only paid three bucks for this basketball sized plant.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wanted: Single Chefs!

Time Out New York just did a story/wanted ad for some of the cities most eligible chefs. If I wasn't with my own chef, I'd be emailing Josh Eden of Shorty's 32. He seems to be the most genuine. But it's not just straight men, there are gay chefs and lady chefs, too. It was so refreshing to read an article about single chefs and NOT run into the names Johnny Iuzzini or David Chang. Love you guys, but enough already with that sex symbol nonsense.

The best part is that you can actually reply to the wanted ads by emailing a specific TONY email. Do it! I want to hear if anyone makes a love connection.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Chit Chat for Chefs Wives

My chefwife pal, ChefsWidow just started a forum/website for ladies like us to get together and chit chat about our chefs, our lives and hopefully we'll make some connections with each other along the way. If you haven't read her blog, wake up! It's awesome!



Friday, September 26, 2008

Chef Mumbles

These midnight mumbles are getting wilder and more far out than ever before. Two nights ago Erik rolled over and said something about who knows what....nothing concrete. But then, all of the sudden he said this:

"It's for the tasting menu. For Neil Patrick Harris."

WHAT?? Neil Patrick Harri? Dougie Howser, MD? The shroomer from Harold and Kumar? What is going through that-chef mind of his? And he'll start mixing his dreams with reality. Like this morning he was asking about the steak in the oven and if I was feeling better. I'm suffering from the worst soar throat ever. Yuck. But anyways, I don't know what to do about my mumbling chef, I suppose just deal with it.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Special Kind of Mushroom

From my the inbox and my friends at TMZ:

Emeril's Bro-in-Law -- The Shiitake Hits the Fan
Posted Sep 24th 2008 11:25AM by TMZ Staff

Looks like Emeril Lagasse and his brother-in-law are into different types of mushrooms, and this is an awesome story.Kent Lovelace just got the BAM! for illegal possession of mushrooms in Mississippi. The cops tell us he got pulled over on Sunday because his car was swerving. He allegedly claimed diabetes made him weave (Emeril not feeding him enough?), but a search of the car turned up shrooms and traces of MJ. Just to kick up the humiliation a notch -- we're told it was Emeril's wife (Kent's sister) who had to shell out for his $5K bond.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Going to Hell?

Hell's Kitchen Tryouts!

CASTING IMMEDIATELY:HELL'S KITCHEN FOX TVDO YOU THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO WORK SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH WORLD-RENOWNED CHEF GORDON RAMSAY?GORDON RAMSAY is back for another serving of the sizzling unscripted series HELL'S KITCHEN-and he's putting 12 new would-be restaurateurs on his chopping block!We are in search of America's culinary elite who not only have the experience, but the stamina to cook alongside the famous, and sometimes infamous, Gordon Ramsay.Do you think YOU can stand the heat in HELL'S KITCHEN?HELL'S KITCHEN is looking for Chefs, 21yrs & over, who are outspoken, competitive, passionate, SKILLED at their craft and aim to become the next winner of "Hell's Kitchen".If you are hungry to prove you can out cook the competition,WE WANT TO MEET YOU!This is a culinary opportunity of a lifetime!========================================If you are interested in auditioning contact us immediately: Twinsworld1@aol.comPlease put "HELL'S KITCHEN-" in the subject title & Include the city where you liveexample: "Hells Kitchen-NYC" You must include your full name, age, contact numbers, Recent PHOTO, where you live-what state, tel #, info about your culinary experience, why you would be the perfect contestant for the show & what sets you apart from the rest!Were you a private chef for a celebrity, a private chef for a major league baseball, football, sports team? Have you ever worked as a fry cook in a fast food restaurant, old age home, a summer camp, chef for the president, prison chef, OR anywhere interesting and different? Did you come from a long line of chefs or are just self taught! Tell us your story! ========================================If you are not already our friend on myspace or facebook,definitely send us a friend request.Thank youDebbie & Lisawww. twinstalent. tvwww. myspace. com/twinstalenthttp://www. facebook. com/profile. php?id=730865186


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A few things

It's been a while since I've written and I'm so sorry! Things are getting crazy at the school but I'm here now ready to give my time to this blog. (While watching Project Runway) A couple new things:

-I'm debating a haircut. The bangs are great and I love my in straight hair but I'm thinking it's time for a change. Maybe a super short choppy look about the same length as my bangs. I tried the bob look and its works well with my face, but I hate drying it into the shape. Hmm...any ideas?
-I'm loving this taste of fall weather! I love this season sooo much! My wedding anniversary is in the fall, the colors are fantastic, it's just the most romantic time of year. Some might argue that the holiday season is, but I don't associate the holidays with being near my hubby.

-Thursday night is the 4th Annual Great Gathering of Chefs held at the Prince George Ballroom and the proceeds go towards the Children's Storefront, a tuition-free school in Harlem. The event will give patrons the chance to have their Battman books signed by the chefs whose dishes are photographed in them. Erik's pea soup is featured so he'll be there. I wish I could go so bad and taste some of the soups. Oh well, maybe next year.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Help me! or Potayto, Patawto

Something has been on my mind ever since I moved to the East coast. Growing up I called that ball of soft cheese that goes on pizza, mozzarella. Said like: mots-er-ella. But I have heard so many odd variations that I need to know the right way to say it. I've heard it called mutz or mutzzarell. What the heck? It's spelled M-O-Z-E-R-E-L-L-A. So why not pronounce the rest? Is one pronunciation for Italians, one for Americans and one for Italian-Americans? What do you say? Oh! And don't get me started on ricotta, also heard as ri-gut. Huh, what's with these Italian cheeses? And you know I never heard any pronunciations like this back in California. So is it a New York, New Jersey thing? An Italian-American thing? I've asked my chefhusband and he's heard the heard the same strange cheese talk I have, but not from food professionals.

Help, this is driving me crazy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I can't believe that my chef isn't the only chef who mumbles in his sleep about work. I'm a teacher and I definitely take home my work-both papers to grade and emotional baggage, but I've never spoke about my students in my sleep. Well, at least not enough to wake anyone or myself. It must be about the job. Does anyone else speak/cry/wail out/mumble in their sleep?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

lobster run

I'm outside Chelsea Market right now, smelling sewer and fish. This was not the Sunday I had wanted to spend with my chef. Only minutes ago we were driving through the Holland Tunnel when he got a call from Perry St and my heart palpatated. Something about the driver being late because of pastries and the kitchen needing their order from Lobster Place ASAP. So my chef is now a delivery guy and my corolla is soon going to be a fish delivery car. Yuck! This is annoying to say the least. I would walk over to the tv news crew outside of Del Posto to snoop but I'm totally parked illegally. Anyone know what that's about anyway?

How ironic that we were on our way to sushi too.
-Hilary via iPhone

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chef Mumbles

Usually husband mumbles his chef-talk closer towards the morning hours. But this last mumble was in the middle of the night last night.

Erik sat up in bed, opened his eyes wide, looked at me and said:

"Go ahead. Try it."

"Try what?"

"The strawberry rhubarb tart. Try it."

This may sound like something on the Perry St menu, but it's not. Who knows, maybe his dreams and chef mumbles will be his inspiration for new dishes. In the meantime, I've now got a craving for a strawberry rhubarb tart.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Pick Your Own

The weather is cooling down and my sweaters are slowy starting to appear from the back of the closet. It's that time of year to head north and "pick your own ________". Last year Erik and I went apple picking at Barton Orchards in New York and had a fantastic time. We ran around that place all day picking apple, eating apples, and laughing ourselves silly with an apple high. I loved climbing the trees (though totally prohibited) and eating apples up on the highest branch. Very different from life in Jersey City/New York. And let me tell you, no other apple stands a chance against any New York variety. Those things are [golden] delicious!

I'm planning another trip, but I can't decided if I should go back to Barton in Dutchess county (we used to live there) or head someplace new. Does anything know of anything is Westchester or Putnam? It's got to be a farm with pick your own apples, and other fruit is a plus, too. Pumpkins don't really excite me, you kind of just pick them up instead of actually picking them off the tree. This place seems nice too, but I'm scared of driving all the way to a new place and having it suck.


Monday, September 8, 2008

No. 7

TK, otherwise known as Tyler Kord softly opened No. 7 this weekend in Fort Green Brooklyn. And it seems like only yesterday that he left Perry St. Of course my chef and I went over to applaud and support our friend and what a great time we had. For a soft opening, this place was bumpn'. There were so many people- I can already tell it's going to be the hit of Greene Ave. My most favorite dish was the pork face/cheek with artichokes, but I think it's only going to be on the late night menu. By the way, this place is open late. Once things get going to a hard opening (is that what its called? or maybe it's like tofu...soft and firm?) then the kitchen will stay open until 2. Right on. Oh yeah, and when this guy says Hungarian and Korean, he means it.

I present, No. 7:
(oh, and you can use these pictures but you better give me credit because I was there first)

the man behind the beard

righteous lounge




Friday, September 5, 2008

Ko No You Didn't!

For those of you who don't subscribe to the heart-pounding suspense of the Ko diaries, Momofuku Ko is now open for lunch. Not such a huge deal for most restaurants, but for some reason David Chang has got NYC wrapped around his finger. Not only that, but the new lunch menu is longer and more expensive than the dinner menu. There are 16 courses at $150 per person and it's a three hour tour. Lunch is only served Friday-Sunday. And OF COURSE Erik had to get a reservation. For one. Now, this happened a while ago when he first got a single reservation to Ko. He got it on a day we both had off and was kind enough to cancel. Not this time. Although I won't see him Monday night (back to school night) he's taking a huge chunk out of our day to go to Ko. What a freak! And don't even tell me to go with him. 1. The ressy is a single. 2. I wouldn't spend that kind of money on Mr. Chang's food. Yes, it's good and I can totally appreciate the approach he takes to cooking. He's a stylized creator. However, it's just not my style. But have a great time, Erik. Really.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I have a screen name if anyone would like to chat. I use ichat but I think its compatible with most other messaging services. My screen name? You guessed it: desperatechefswives


Sweet Story

I just found out that Michael Lomonaco is married to his high school sweetheart. I married my HS sweetheart, too! '

As far as our anniversary dinner goes we are between Per Se and Alinea (in Chicago). Hmm...both seem expensive.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Interview Numero Dos

Here is the interview Erik and I did with Mike Colameco on Food Talk, WOR 710 AM. It was so much fun!! (we come in around 30 mintutes into it) Have a listen: DCW_NYC -Hilary-

Labor Day 2008

Surprise, surprise, the holiday invented to give the working 'man' a break actually fell on normal day-off for the chef. Otherwise, he'd be at work and I'd be at the park alone. But as a Monday normally goes he's home and we're just a few moments away from joining Mike Colameco on FOOD TALK WOR 710 AM. Yay!

Yesterday we had lunch alfresco here in Jersey City at one of our favorite stops, Lighthorse Tavern. Then we headed home to make some shrimp cocktail. I know it's not exactly the haute-st of cuisines, but its fun to make and we did it together, without arguing.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gordon Ramsay, Age 8

Though this isn't the real GR as a young boy, these two videos are sure to put a smile on your face. Especially if you're a fan of Kitchen Nightmares. The new season of the show starts this Thursday at 9 on FOX.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

ChefWife Airwaves

I'm making waves again, this time with my better half-Erik. Mike Colameco has been kind enough to host Erik and I for a second time on his radio show, Food Talk. Check us out this Monday from 11AM -noon on WOR radio AM 710. If you can't make it to a radio, check back here afterwards for a podcast of the show. You can even call in if you have questions or comments! 800.321.0710


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chef Crush Contest!

The girls over at ChefCrush are having a contest to win two of Jessica Conant-Park's books: Simmer Down and Turn Up the Heat. I've read both books and love them! Head on over to ChefCrush and email them a picture of your crush-worthy chef!

Dining Worries

The chef and I will be celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary in two months and we are trying to decide on a location to celebrate. Last year we went to Jean Georges and it was fabulous! But you know me, I could eat there to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, May Day, Secretaries Day...Anyways, this year Erik made the suggestion of skipping the gift giving tradition and going to Per Se. As much as I'd love to go there, I think $275 per person is a little much for my budget, even without spending money on gifts! I can't seem to think of another place that is nice and romantic and not going to give me buyer's remorse as I'm signing the check. Erik suggested the new menu at Momofuko Ko for lunch since it's about 14 course and more money than their dinner menu. (?) No offense to Mr. Chang, but there is nothing less romantic than a noodle bar. At lunchtime.

Any ideas?


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Reading

What a long week. As the blog days of summer come to an end and I get back to work, Erik works what seems like 30 doubles in a row, covering for his sous chef. Where did the summer go? Is anyone else feeling like they're trying to squeeze in a whole summer within the last couple weeks of August?

I am grateful for my extended weekends during the summer because I've been able to do a lot of reading. I just got my hands on a great book, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn. Complete with recipes, this non-fiction tells of an American attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
THE SHARPER YOUR KNIFE, THE LESS YOU CRY is the touching and humorous story of Flinn’s transformation as she makes her way through the school’s arduous
curriculum and finds her soulmate along the way. It follows the good (falling in love in the most romantic city in the world while learning to cook like Julia Child) and the bad (with only a very basic understanding of the French language, learning to gut fish and cut the heads off rabbits under the strict tutelage of ill-tempered chefs). “The sharper your knife, the less you cry,” Le Cordon Bleu’s Chef Savard told the class, referring to onions, but Kathleen came to understand his words as so much more.

I enjoy reading food related books, and this one was no exception. I felt like I learned so much about French cooking, and the history of one of the most famous cooking schools in the world. It seems very different than what I imagined. After reading, I almost wanted to enter culinary school and I certainly want to make another visit to Paris. I would recommend this book, especially those interested in the culinary industry from the educational route.It's also very interesting to hear this story from a woman, the clear minority in the culinary world. I was hooked by page one with this quote by Harriet Van Horne:

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon, or not at all."

You said it, sister! Chefs enter into this world leaving everything behind. Cooks give up so much, but not only the ones who choose to cook, the ones who love them sacrifice too.



Friday, August 22, 2008

Chefwife Wine

thank, Egullet.

A while back I heard about a wine called MV, named after Jean-Georges' wife, Marja. As it turns out, this wine is made exclusively for the Jean-Georges restaurants. This pinot noir is grown and bottled in Oregon at the Ponzi Vineyards. I wish I had more information on the wine, but since it's bottled only for the JG restos, there is not much press on it. If Jean-Georges or Marja are reading this, please email me! I've heard this wine is fantastic and I wish I could get my hands on some. I wouldn't mind having my initials on a bottle of delicious pinot noir. Actually I prefer something white.

By the way, I know NOTHING about wines. I wish I did but it seems so overwhelming. I thought about taking a class at the FCI, but again I get so nervous that I won't be able to contain all the wine knowledge in my little head, let alone tell the difference between grapes and regions. Though, it feels like my "duty" as a chef's wife to know all I can about dining, which includes wine. Hmm, maybe I'll start with etiquette classes. I could handle that.