Speak Up

Friday, May 30, 2008

Graduation Time

Congrats, Christofori!

I'm leaving in 3 minutes to go back home to Ohio to see my brother graduate high school. I am so happy for him! He's got a lot going for him and I can't wait to see his life unfold. So, I won't be able to post until at least Tuesday. Sorry! See you all soon!



Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Tailor makes us happy.

Amuse bouche


The following post is written by my chefhusband. He's much better at sharing restaurant experiences. Enjoy.

The opportunity to go to a restaurant that Hilary would not normally want to go to doesn’t come up very often. I have dragged her to countless restaurants over the years, but the modern “experimental cooking” genre is something that she has never liked. It is my birthday, so I took advantage of this opportunity to go Tailor.

Hilary prefers more accessible food with flavors that she is more or less accustomed to. I can understand that, I would take a great burger over a self indulgent ego trip of an acclaimed chef any day of the week. Very rarely does a restaurant succeed at both challenging and satisfying the diner. Tailor does.

Another reason we wanted to check it out is that one of my friends and former rock star cook at Perry St. and the subject of the blog post “Marks of a Chef”, Eric Simpson, recently joined the team at Tailor.

The meal started off with a crazy amuse bouche of a single quenelle of apple/bonito sorbet. Apple and bonito would have come up extremely low on my word association list of ingredients that would pair well together. But it worked. It was absolutely bursting with apple flavor, and finished lightly with the bonito. I loved it.

There was something that was extremely surprising throughout the course of our meal… Something I did not expect at a restaurant like this… There was actual cooked protein on the plates!!! At other restaurants from this genre, I didn’t receive a single significant piece of cooked protein. I personally feel unsatisfied without it. It was a breath of fresh air.

The composition of the plates all worked. Even though some dishes were complex in presentation, the flavors were bold and well thought out. I jumped to the conclusion that Sam Mason, with all of his press and dreamy photo shoots, was more of an artist than a craftsman. But his detail-oriented precision cooking showed me that he is definitely a master at both.

Hilary and I got a chance to say hi to Eric Simpson in the kitchen after our meal. It really is like a laboratory in there. Lots of cool toys! (I’ll admit I was a little jealous.) It was great to see Eric in this environment. It seemed like a think-tank atmosphere and a great place to develop as a cook… And it’s right up Eric Simpson’s alley.

The NY Times review was a tough blow for them, but it doesn’t seem to have thrown them off their game. I hope they get the recognition they deserve sooner than later.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Interview with Mike Colameco

Here is my interview on Food Talk with Mike Colameco. I had such a great time-this is a radio show worth pod casting because Mike knows restaurants. The whole show is in the video, but the interview starts at about 22minutes if you don't have the time to listen to the whole thing. I do recommend listening though, because Mike is such an approachable encyclopedia of restaurant and food facts.

Check it out!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

I got tagged. Love that Widow.

The lovely, beautiful, recycling chefswidow tagged me.

The Rules:
Once you’ve been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird, random, facts, habits or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 6 (but I'm changing it to 3) people to be tagged, list their names & why you tagged them. Don’t forget to leave them a comment saying “You’re it!” & to go read your blog. You cannot tag the person that tagged you, so since you’re not allowed to tag me back; let me know when you are done so I can go read YOUR weird/random/odd facts, habits and goals.

  1. I wish the NYC resto scene moved to Columbus, Ohio so I could live near my folks and BBQ on the weekends in my yard with animals and grass and space.

  2. My chef logs into this blog account to fix all my errors. He knows better than to tell me about them, he just sneaks in and does it while he's at work. Don't tell Jean-Georges.

  3. I don't have a large circle of friends and I like it that way. Please don't suggest that I "network" or "enlarge my social circle". I just don't need that.

  4. I obsessively search through Craigslist at least 3 times a week. For what, I don't really know yet.

  5. One of my most amazing accomplishments is this blog.

  6. I was extremely bitter when I wasn't in the Desperate Chefs' Wives photo shoot in Page Six Magazine. At the time I had to remain anonymous; instead of wearing a gown with my hair and make up done, posing with some amazing chef's wives, I got a generic shadow outline. Maybe there will be another magazine that wants to do another article and I can include all my new chef wife friends. Oh, how about this idea: The wives of Jean Georges's Chefs? Yes!

  7. I drove across this stunning country of ours from California to New York with Erik when I was 20. We hardly had any money, only a car full of possessions each, and a lot of naive dreams that actually turned out to be not-so-naive. When we arrived in Harrison, NY it was creepy and dark and stormy and I cried all night. I can't believe I stayed. Who was that girl?

  8. I dance every single day.
  9. I love babies a lot more than I allow people to know. I just don't want everyone asking when I'm going to get prego. I think being (getting) prego is a really intimate experience and no one needs to know until after the fact. I'd love to start in a year, (or two-I have to put that because of Erik) but I'd also really love to adopt or at the very least become a foster parent. My aunt and uncle have four sons of their own and on top of that they have been the foster parent to some wonderful, lovable children. I just think the world of them.
  10. It was difficult for me to write this list, more so than I thought it would be.

You're It!:

1.Nurse Rosen because she's wicked cool, LA style.

2. Go Erin Go! because she's a running wife.

3. Eat Me because she takes great pictures.

Honorary Tag: Jean Georges. I can guarantee that he won't do it, but hey-it's worth a shot. Not really.



Don't forget I'm on the radio tomorrow! (see previous post)

Memorial Day Weekend Sans the Chef

Damn. I'm pissed now because when I get a Monday off it's like "wow, we're regular people. we get two days off, in a row, together!" But not this Monday, not this fantastic Memorial Day weekend. Erik's sous chef decided to take the weekend off to go to his great aunt's birthday party or something like that. All I know is now Erik has Tuesday and Thursday off. Beautiful. (note the sarcasm) Oh well, I'll be grading papers at the park this weekend gazing across the river at the P. But alas, this is life of a chef's wife. I accept this path in all its glory as well as non-glory.

As the unofficial spring board into summer, Memorial Day is a great time to start thinking about picnics. I love a good chat in the park under the sweet sun, over a soft blanket and surrounded by all the craziest, snobbiest, prettiest people in the world. I've caught wind of a new blog/club in the city that I presume would interest many of you. The Picnic Club, founded by two picnic lovers, and in it's freshman stages has yet to hold its inaugural picnic due to less than desirable weather. But when they do I think it's going to be great. These two seem to really know their picnics. From their original post:

The Picnic Club is a members-only club dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of the classic picnic, a prized relic of post-modern antiquity that we believe should be restored to its fullest capacity. In this effort, we, The Picnic Club, formed an organization to establish picnics at various parks and outdoor venues around NYC to bring together picnic enthusiasts of all colors, shapes and sizes, unified by an unrelenting rapture for gingham plaid, wicker baskets, pasta salad, and freshly cut watermelon.

I can smell the BLTs and potato salad now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Desperate Chefs' Wives Radio!

Mike Colameco courtesy wor710.com

For those of you who only know me through my countless typing errors and web-based social chef observations-you're about to be awakened. I'll be a guest on WOR Radio's Food Talk with Mike Colameco this Monday, May 26. I am a little nervous about this. No more hiding behind the ability to click the delete key over and over. I'm going live, people!

The show airs weekdays 11 AM -12 PM and on Sundays 10 AM to noon and if you don't get 710AM radio in the New York area, then PLEASE podcast it via this link. Also, you can listen live, and play back the interview.


P.S. Top Chef really sucks this season. I am more than annoyed, yet I can't stop watching. Dale, if you read this blog-you are better off leaving when you did. It's only going down-hill.

ERIK READ THIS: DO NOT BUY A NEW KNIFE! I got you something way better for your birthday! It has nothing to do with herbs, aerogardens, wii games, or even laptops- but you'll love it.

KORIN: DO NOT sell a knife to my husband. He does NOT need a new Japanese knife.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


At Ko, Mr. Peter Serpico in the background

Has your chef ever come home uttering the words of a kitchen? Your face tilts to the side and you squint your eyes as your face says "huh?" and he says something about a low-boy. Low-boy, what's that? Sounds like some kind of adolescent boy hired to run around the kitchen sweeping up purple Peruvian potato skins. But really it's a little fridge kept beLOW the counter height to store sauces and other things needed to easy access during service. (right, Erik?)

I'm beginning to pick up and even apply the kitchen lingo to real life, now. At Momofuku Ko I totally spotted the salamander right away. No, not a slimy amphibian from a pond, but a its kinda like a heat lamp - except it is used to cook food, not just heat it. . It applies heat food from above. (again- right, Erik?) Chang is rocking a gas salamander which is apparently better than the electric version.

Plus you can't forget the phrases they use during the dinner service rush. "in the weeds", "86'd" and "going down".

Recognize any of theses kitchen terms? If you can't then consider yourself lucky-maybe you chef talks about other things, things from real life, when he comes home.
  • Ninth Pan or nine pan
  • flat top
  • robot coupe
  • vita prep
  • walk in
  • tasting spoon
  • santoku
  • bain marie
  • mise en place
  • quenelle
There are definitely differences in kitchenspeak between different schools of cookery. Since Erik has mainly worked for the JG corp during his cheffing career that's the main one that he (and I) know.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

KO at Last

As the previous post stated my chef and I went to KO tonight. Here is what he's got to say on the event. Thanks, Erik!

The obsession started well before the restaurant opened. The other Momofuku restaurants have been among my favorite in NYC. I loved what the restaurant represented to me. They play by their own rules, and cook food that chefs and serious foodies want to eat, completely without pretense.

When the Ko reservation system went live my obsession became unhealthy. I truly wanted to go, but what I was really obsessed with was getting a RESERVATION. I wonder if the Momofuku website has a counter for all of the attempts made by each registered user. I have no doubt that if there was, my counter would be in the thousands. I actually looked into getting a new computer to increase my connection speed in order to give me an edge during the 4 seconds a day that reservations are available.

At 5:15 today when I tried one of my random middle-of-the-day reservation attempts I saw an open slot at 6:15 for today. I immediately clicked on it knowing that if someone got to it faster than me, it would be over. So after countless failed attempts, I actually got a reservation during a time that Hilary and I could actually go to! We had about an hour to get dressed and drive from Jersey City to the East Village.

Ko was an experience I will never forget. I will spare you the details of the food. Everyone with a computer has written a detailed documentation of each course with pictures to go along with it. In that sense, the surprise was somewhat ruined for me, because I knew what to expect. But by no means was the experience ruined. The food was exciting and playful. He pushes the envelope with combinations of certain flavors, without getting too avant garde. At least for me. (Hilary will tell you that she will eat anything. I am telling the world right now: HILARY IS A PICKY EATER!!! I had to eat at least 3 of her courses because she was wierded out by soft, custardy textures.)

The place is not for the masses. No wines by the glass, only pairings or bottles. No coffee, no tea, only espresso. Wooden backless stools. However, it was so incredibly up my ally, it’s incredible. Ko is a restaurant that many chefs (including myself) have always dreamt of doing. I congratulate David Chang on having the balls to actually do it.

Momofuku Ko-here I come!

WOW! Erik just snagged a ressy for tonight...in about 45 minutes! So I'm out the door. And weird timing too because Mr. D. Chang himself just at at Perry St.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Winner of the T Shirt-BB!

BB and chef George Mendes

The day she joined the club.

Congrats to Miss BB for winning a DCW t shirt by commenting on my post about your chefs' [pipe] dream jobs. Bonna and I have been trying to meet in person now for while and I finally scheduled to give her the prize on Tuesday, but I forgot to bring it! Oh well, I guess we'll have to get together again.

Bonna is married to chef George Mendes formerly of Bouley, Tocqueville, and Wallse who is currently well on his way to opening a modern American resto at 31West 17th street. His new place is set to open this coming September. Will our bartender/actress BB be at the door? You'll have to be there opening night to find out. Check out George's bio and some museum worthy food pictures on his homepage.

I'm more than happy that BB won the shirt because she's such a great participant on this site. [Thanks!] We went for a quick drink with my bff chefwife J and once again realized all the similarities in our chefs including their huge egos. We love it though.


Update on Summer: She's home with me but on a serious amount of meds including a subcutaneous fluid therapy (the hanging bag of IV fluids). Thanks for all the love, Jami and everyone else who has been thinking about Summer.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook

Looking for a new summer hobby? How about cooking with beer? The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook, just released today, has over 400 recipes all including beer. This would make the perfect father's day gift or anytime give for your chef. He can try all the recipes on you!
From John Schlimm's website:
Now beer fans everywhere can have their favorite brew and eat it too! Dating back thousands of years to ancient Babylonia, beer is the most famous and beloved thirst quencher the world has ever known. The Bible praises it, Egyptians were buried with it, our Founding Fathers depended on it, medical journals prescribe it, and Noah and the Mayflower set sail with it. Whether, kegged, bottled, canned, free-flowing, or whipped into Golden Cheesecake, beer is all about friendship, laughter, and celebrating life to the fullest.

More than ten years in the making, The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook is an unprecedented collection of more than 400 food and drink recipes containing beer as a main ingredient. From scrambled eggs made with beer at breakfast and a cheese steak sandwich with onion rings or a beer burger and Chocolate Beershake for lunch, to a surf 'n' turf beer-infused combo of lobster and steak for dinner (and a midnight snack of chocolate-dipped strawberries), beer lovers can feast on brewskis at any time of the day. Every genre of food is included: appetizers, breads, soups and chili, salads, fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, sauces, marinades, beef, poultry, pork, wild game, stews, fish and seafood, past, and desserts.

The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook also serves as a party drinks handbook, with a comprehensive collection of recipes for mixed drinks, chuggers, shots, chasers, party punches, milkshakes, and flaming drinks — all made with beer. From the Buzzy Navel, Beer Bullet, Red-Headed Mary, and Beertini to the Woodpecker, Atomic Diva, Garden of Eden Punch, and Flaming Sake Bomb, this anthology of beer's greatest pairings is sure to leave beer lovers spinning for joy.

With an introduction chronicling beer's history, as well as hilarious beer quotes by the world's most illustrious beer fans peppered amidst the recipes, The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook is a rousing tribute to a tasty icon more than 7,000 years in the making.
An update on my cat, Summersault. She is still in the hospital with a liver infection. She's hooked up to an IV getting nutrients, but she's not eating on her own. Today was the first day she was holding down the food they force her to eat. Tonight and tomorrow are the most critical days-please pray for her! I visit her every day at the Hoboken Animal Hospital, but my life just isn't the same without her. I'm not a "cat lady"...but actually...I am. I've got a subscription to Cat Fancy Magazine and a huge bumper sticker that says: "I love my CATS!" Yeah, I'm THAT lady.
Thanks for all of your support!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Summersault, the cat.

This beautiful cat is very sick. My life is flipped upsidedown. Be back later.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

My beautiful mom and I in my classroom.

I know it's Sunday so most of you should/might be with your chefs, but it's also Mother's Day-so probably not. I am one of the few who got the keep my chef today-and good for him because his father and step-mother are in town. We'll be at Spice Market tonight to celebrate.

Even though my own mother cannot figure out how to open her own email, let alone turn on a computer she is worthy of a radio style "shout-out" on this Mother's Day.

"Hi Mom! I love you, you're the best mom. I hope you like the Japanese knife we got you. Don't use to garden-keep it in the kitchen! See you soon!"

And of course I cannot even mention Mother's Day on this blog without giving many many thanks to my supportive mother in law, Lisa. She made my amazing logo and even comments on the blog when she can. She's been a great support for Erik and his career. Thanks, Lisa-Happy Mother's Day!

I hope you all are able to call and thank you mothers and grandmothers today. And if you are a mother-RELAX! Put the chef to work!

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Perry Street Ressy

Tonight I dine at Perry St. You all know how it goes. Sometimes it's the only way to "have dinner" with your chef.


In the great scheme of things chefs are incredible people. I could go on all day about the wonders and amazements of a chef. But I'm not. I want to talk about those habits that make chefs so irritating slash lovable. Mostly irritating though.

The blog has touched on this in one form or another but let's really attack this, shall we? I don't know whether to blame it on the fast paced service rush or the meticulous demands of diners and foodies, but chefs are obsessive. Some might bring it to the level of an OCD but most are just adamant about having and doing certain things. Take my chef for instance, he's got several obsessions some of which are related to cooking and some are just unexplainable.

  1. Cleanliness. This is definitely something he was taught through coming up the ranks of Jean Georges working under Greg Brainin. However, this applies ONLY the to the kitchen at Perry St and NOT our own kitchen. Of course when it's time to get the shiny grease off-he's great at it.

  2. Drinks. Erik can't make the 20 train ride via the PATH to get to work without bringing a drink. He has a drinking problem. If we leave the house, for any reason, he brings a drink in a plastic bottle, aluminum can, or glass bottle. Baby. (...he'll make me take that off...well I'm not going to!) Our fridge may not have a lot of food in it by the end of the week-but we've always got drinks! Soda, Snapple, Gatorade, Milk, WATER, tea, and coffee take up most of the space. His night stand on any given day will have at least 4 bottles of something. Luckily, he's not big on the alcohol. yes!

  3. Video Games. I've said it before but it bears repeating. Erik is crazy for video games. We've got an XBOX, XBOX 360, Wii, Original Nintendo, PSP, Sega Game Gear, and TWO Nintendo DS Games. Plus all the extra controllers, microphones, games, carriers, chargers and whatever else. Not only that, but he subscribes to and reads TWO different video game magazines. PAH-LEAZE. I've seen this in other chefs as well. But come on, Erik is turning 25 this month-a bit old for these toys? But he swears, "The demographic for the games I play is ages 18-35" Uh, huh. Right.

  4. Kitchen Gadgets. And I KNOW there are many who would agree that their chefs share this similar obsession. His lists of kitchen "needs" (aka WANTS) is about a mile long and we'd need a massive kitchen to store them all. My SECOND slow cooker is in the coat closet. We have two coffee makers and we hardly use them. I'm the banker 'round these parts, so I'm pretty tight on the money flow thus limiting the amount of gadgets we have.

So which came first, the obsessions that leave these men left with nothing else but a culinary career, or the industry that drives them to becomes irrational obsessive men??

Thanks to Katrina for bringing this great topic idea to me!



Thursday, May 8, 2008

Chef's Favorites

Some men follow sports via ESPN and the Times, but my husband follows food-specifically the NY 'scene'. I always knew he was uber-interested in reviews, ratings, and the like-but when I learned of his massive favorites links list, I was stunned. Actually, it wasn't the size of the list that sent me whirling it was the fact that he said he checks ALL of the sites DAILY, and many of them more than once. Whoa. So I asked Erik to send me his coveted list. I've added it to the left as a permanent fixture to this very blog. You may have seen some of these, but there also might be a few that are new to you. Overall, I want to add a flavor to the blog that it lacked. So there it is, straight from the chef's laptop in his coat closet sized office. And the best part: I know he's not the only one.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Momofuku Ko-not so fast

I hadn't even warmed my seat in Momofuku last evening when an older couple sits down to eat and I witness some serious Momofukcan't action. Cory (GM) comes over the the couple (who haven't ordered yet) and offers them a ressy at KO instead. They say they are regulars but haven't been there yet. Opportunity of a lifetime. Damn. We totally missed out. But so did the couple. No sooner had Cory walked them outside to call ahead to KO saying he got a couple to fill the spot, than a walk-in at KO got it right from under their noses. I couldn't believe it; KO can't even hold on to their own spots.

The food at Momofuku was great as always. Too bad my chef ordered things he knows I don't really care for: sweatbreads and other animals parts he didn't mention until after I ate. Which is better. The pickle plate was tasty and of course the steamed pork belly buns-I could eat about 12 of those.


Monday, May 5, 2008

In His Second Life (contest!)

Win this shirt!

Sometimes I wonder what my chef would be doing if he wasn't a chef. And I don't mean food purveyor, restaurateur, or caterer. I mean what NON FOOD job would he have? How different would my life be? Would I live in Jersey City? Would I have kids by now? Would I need a blog to vent my lonely heart to? Probably yes to the last one because if he's not dedicated in this way, he's dedicated in another.

Erik was a serious drummer starting at the sweet age of six. Upon graduating high school he would have become some kind of studio drummer. Again, working odd hours and possibly traveling. Doesn't sound much better.

Then I think about his dream job, the job that he'll never get but he thinks would make him a bad ass. According to Erik he'd want to be a spy. (I have to chuckle to myself as I write that.) And by spy he means a serious mission impossible/jason bourne/bond type of spy. Like I would marry a spy. Have you seen Mr. and Mrs. Smith? No way! But he can dream about it all he wants.

All I know is teaching and kids- it flows inside of me. If I had to do something totally not related to kids I think I would end up being some kind of personal organizer. I can organize and sort like its no body's business, but that's no fun. My bad ass dream job would be a detective. Someone also very bad ass a la Olivia Benson, Law and Order SVU. "Manhattan SVU, I need a bus!" I love that show. And yes I've been caught talking into my walkie (digital camera) asking for "backup". I think it's okay to dream about another life, another way of living that is completely different from your own.

So this contest is pretty straight forward. Leave a comment with your name/alias and email and I'll enter you to win a Desperate Chefs' Wives t shirt (medium). The comment topic comes in two parts.

  1. Tell me what your chef would be doing non-food related to make money.

  2. Tell me what your chef would be doing to fulfill his secret dreams. (totally unrealistic)

  3. Feel free to share your dream jobs, too!

Thanks for entering. I will pick a winner next Sunday the 11th. You'll have to respond to the email I send within 48 hours to win. Good Luck!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Taking Over the World

Nothing to do with this topic, but doesn't this porterhouse from BLT Prime look stunning?
It was!

As I'm catching typos on my site thanks to my brilliantly-eagle-eyed -grammar -dictator husband I stopped to really look at the title of this blog. I started calling it the Desperate Chefs' Wives of NYC because that's where the only chefswives I knew lived. But soon after this blog got going I was able to meet women all over the country and even the world. Just take a look at the map on the right. So I've dropped the "NYC" and thus broadened our horizons. I really can't believe how many people found us! I am so lucky to have met all of you and you each have such amazing stories and great advice. I'm even starting to get confused because I only know most of you by an email, a myspace page, or a clever pseudonym.

[As far as membership goes I hate to say that two people have emailed me saying they dumped their chefboyfriends! One of whom caught scandalous emails. I hate to see them go, but I'm sure they made the right decision. It can be so hard to walk away from something that although hurtful, is comfortable. So, bravo ladies!]

I have got in-laws coming in later this week so I'm going to try my best to be on top of emails and posts and such. But you know how it goes. I love when family comes because we get to eat our more. Perry St and Spice Market-yay!

PS. I've got a contest on the way so keep checking the blog!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Battle Scars

Thanks to Jessica Park for sharing this picture of her lovely chef, Bill. I almost didn't see the baby in the picture-the scar trumps all. Just kidding, Jessica your son is adorable-but probably much, much bigger now.

Thanks again for emailing the picture to me!

Gotta love those "mangled" chefs.