Speak Up

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.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eggplant Three Ways

Today Erik ordered an eggplant pizza, eggplant parm, and an eggplant sub sandwich from the Italian place that delivers.

Ya think he likes eggplant?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

He's My Favorite

Obviously those of you who read this blog have a chef you hold dear to your heart. He or she may be your husband, wife, son, father, neighbor, or all time crush. But I want to know about your number two. Who is the chef (besides your husband) who you adore? Does he host a tv show? Does he boast a soothing European accent? Does he cook the daily special at your local bistro?

My number two shouldn't be a shocker to most who know me. Jean-Georges Vongerichten is my favorite chef, besides Erik. Sunday night at Matsugen I was lucky enough to bump into Mr. Vongerichten. Ahhh, Jean-Georges. I don't know exactly what it is, but I just love the guy. I certainly don't have a crush him, but I explained it to Erik in this way: Jean Georges has supported and guided my husband for the last five years and anyone who cares for Erik in the same way I do deserves my appreciation. And when I think of JG, he's more than an Alsatian born restaurateur. The idea of JG is a combination of the culinary world that has been so good to us, Greg Brainin and the end product (thus far), Perry St.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Freedom of Choice

Spice Market

It's Sunday today. This is the first -and only - full day off together so a number of things are going to happen (as soon as Erik wakes up or course). Some weekend activities include, but are not limited to:

  • Grocery shopping: For some reason Erik and I have always done the food shopping together. Due to odd circumstances I've had to push the cart alone and it's torture! I don't really enjoy grocery shopping anyways, but with Erik it turns into an event. Almost like a date.

  • General Errands: Maybe we'll make a stop at our favorite love/hate store Wal-Mart for turtle food or Q-Tips. We might end up getting haircuts together. Or possibly we'll even walk to the bank to deposit :-), or withdrawal :-( some money.

  • Veg Out: The word homebody doesn't begin to describe my love of relaxing at home. I love my home, my cats and my the general space and mood of this place. Erik and I watch movies, play games , and have now taken up exercising with the Wii Fit. Plus, staying at home seems to really help recuperate for another week at Perry St.

  • Taking Walks: We don't have dogs, but we are beginning to walk a lot more, especially during the nice summer months. We have nice a nice neighborhood to stroll in with the NYC skyline right across the street and park right on the Hudson.
  • EATING OUT: We have to, must, definitely need to eat out every weekend. Sometimes even three times in a day. I'm the CFO of this family so of course if there is food in the fridge, I'll want to stay home. But before the factory bell whistles on Saturday night, Erik is already planning our weekend eats. Sure, I should take his advice, he is a chef after all and knows a lot of great places. But I'm a human, I eat too and I don't know that I've ever picked our places of dining out. Once in a while when it's between two local joints, I will have my voice heard.
What is it with chefs eating out? Is it just Erik or are they all like this? Does he feel like he's earned it since he's done the cooking all week for others? Or is is trying to avoid cooking at home, again, since he's done the cooking all week for others?

Am I the only wife who feels I follow my husband blindly to any restaurant he wants to go to? Am I the only wife who would rather stay in more and eat out less? They say to pick your battles, and I think for now I'll let this one go. It's not terrible at all that my husband brings me to so many restaurants. After all, I wouldn't have the exposure to cuisine that I do without all the experiences of dining out.

And tonight: Matsugen.



PS Check out the new poll to the right!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Picnic Cancelled, Boo Hoo

Unfortunately the First Annual Chefs' Wives Picnic will have to be postponed due to uncooperative weather. I wish I could transform the weather to meet our picnic needs, but it looks like thunderstorms most of Saturday. I'll let you all know as soon I am able to plan another.

In other news, my most favorite gymnast, Nastia Liukin won the Women's All Around Championship. She is the true definition of Artistic Gymnastics.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tell Me!

A solid marriage should be based on a many number of things. Trust, love, friendship, respect...I'm sure you could all add some of your own. But what about communication? Yes, discussing concerns and being honest is necessary but I'm wondering how much communication is necessary regarding each others' careers. By the end of September, Erik will know all the names of my students, which ones are struggling in math, and which ones make me laugh. But sometimes I feel like Erik only shares his work stories when they're pleasant.

Last Monday his phone rang and I could tell right away by his tone that it was the kitchen calling. Later while we were shopping he got another call, this time sounding more intense and worried. Finally, at the end of the day he got another call and went into the bedroom and closed the door! What the heck is going on? I couldn't even spy. I asked him several times throughout the day what was going on, but he didn't want to spill it. Eventually when Erik was able to relax about the situation he told me about it and it really wasn't a big deal.

So how come he doesn't want to talk about it? I feel useless if I can't console him about kitchen nightmares (ha ha). But seriously people, I feel so left out when I don't know everything. I suppose I should try and relax about it, and trust that if Erik needed to vent he could.


Picnic Update

Hello Everyone, 

Just a reminder that the Chef Wife Picnic is this Saturday at 1:30 at Central Park's Sheep's Meadow. You don't want to miss out!!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Juiced Up Chefs

Right now I'm listening to my husband and brother exchange secrets of staying pumped. Erik, the chef needs energy to keep the line going 70 hours a week. My brother, a 19 year old BMX biker and soon to be college coed needs energy for who knows what. The things I'm hearing are making me laugh. And wonder.

At Perry St. the staff has developed a series of mixed drinks with more energy than they know what to do with. Erik thrives not only on the rush of energy, but it also elevates his mood, and gives him increased focus and mental clarity. These guys must keep the bodega in business with coffee, tea, and energy drinks. I'm glad my husband hasn't fallen into drugs like Bourdain and so many other chefs, but I'm not sure being drugged up on caffeine is much better.

The drinks that drive them:

1. Coffee/Espresso- self explanatory

2. Energy drinks- this includes Red Bull, Monster, Rock star, Arizona Energy, 5 Hour Energy and even Energy Rush, a 4C powder you add to water (equal to TWO 8.3 oz energy drinks!)

3. Tea- again, you know about tea

4. Arnold Palmer- a classic mix of tea and lemonade

5. Tiger Woods- a Red Bull mixed with a quart of iced tea

6. Michael Jordan- an Energy Rush powder packet mixed with a quart of iced tea

7. Michael Jackson- an Energy Rush powder packet AND a Red Bull mixed with a quart of iced tea

6. Yet to be named- a quart of iced tea mixed with FOUR espressos

Really? Erik described it like an illegal drug addiction in the sense that the "high" is never enough. They call it "chasing the dragon". These guys are always looking for something else to keep them going all night. More coffee, more energy drinks, more caffeine. The sad part is, they seem to get sick afterwards yet they all do it again the next night.

What does your chef use to stay awake and energized? (if anything at all)


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tossed Salad: Family Hour, Summer Hot Chocolate, and Olympic Fever

Top of the Rock with my bro Chris

My brother (19) came to visit this week before he starts at Ohio State this fall. Right now he's in Boston BMX biking, checking out thrift stores, and rocking at a concert. I love when family comes to visit because I get the chance to go around the city to events/places I've never been. We made our way over to the MoMA, Top of the Rock, Chinatown, Little Italy, Nolita, Soho, Pinkberry, NYU, The West Village, and eventually we found ourselves slurping up Frozen Hot Chocolates at Serendipity 3. It was an hour wait at 7 PM on a Friday, but well worth the wait. I would never order food from that place, it looked just a step above plastic play food. But the frozen hot chocolate was tasty and the REAL whip cream made it perfect.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Oh, wow. I've got it bad. Olympic fever has got me bedridden. This connection to the bed is partly due to being so exhausted from the above listed activities though. Anyways, I coached gymnastics for 8 years after I failed miserably at anything but the dance moves. I've always been a fan of the sport and the Olympics is the ultimate showdown of world athletes in the sport. Not only that, but the opening ceremony blew my mind. Never have I seen a artistic performance on such high intelligence and discipline.

My early gymnastics days and my favorite on the USA team, Nastia Liukin.

There you have it. My first "tossed salad"- not sure if I like the name yet. I'll take ideas if you've got something better to describe a whole bunch of different things.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Chill TakeDown

This Sunday Melissa, from Fork This Magazine is competing in a chili contest in Brooklyn. It's only $10 to go and you get all the chili you want! There is also a People's Choice Prize so you get to participate, too!

Union Pool, 5 PM, Sunday, August10, Brooklyn, NY

First Annual Chef Wife Picnic!!!

Thanks for pushing me on this ladies! I'm very excited for this gathering of wives!

When: Saturday August 16 1:30 pm-whenever

Where: Central Park, NYC, Sheep's Meadow -Closer to 66th, southwest corner-ish

Who: All chefs wives, and DCW blog readers, and their children

What to bring: Bring your own picnic supplies, feel free to bring more than enough to share, any picnic materials you like: food, blanket, basket, cooler, music, sunglasses, camera, whatever!

No RSVP needed (it wouldn't hurt though) but if you're thinking about coming email me for my phone number so you can call/text if you can't find me. I'll be sitting on a ridiculously dated 80s green bed sheet.

Of course, if the weather doesn't permit I'll reschedule for Saturday the 23rd as soon as I can. If you're coming from far-don't forget to check the weather.

I'm looking forward to meeting you, chatting, munching, laughing, and chirping on about who we love most, those chefs.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tofu Video

The Tofu Around the World contest has long gone, but I just discovered a video of it. Be forwarned though this video is in Japanese, but it's okay they have subtitles! Check out my chefs fried tofu and basil tofu ice cream!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chefs, Doctors, and Truck Drivers..Oh My

I've been thinking that since I'm not alone in the world of chefs' wives (thanks for that ladies) then there must be people like us dealing with the same issues only married to a different industry.

How would it feel being married to a truck driver? Not only do they work long hours but they can leave home for days even weeks at a time depending on their route. I remember asking my cousins when Uncle Mike would be home, they usually say, next Saturday night. Luckily now my Uncle drives a local route and he's home every night. But it's not always like that.

What about medical students and doctors? Hospitals don't close for holidays and they are open 24 hours a day. Plus doctors have those beepers and can get called into work at any time when they're on call.

Businessmen and women too. They put a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves to perform. I think of Nicholas Cage in The Family Man. He worked so hard and even worked on holidays but a la A Christmas Carol a ghost visited him and gave him a chance to see what life would be like if he stayed with his g/f/ wife Tea Leoni and their kids.

All these jobs have hard workers, long hours, holidays, and the opportunity to work yourself into the ground. There has got to be more jobs sharing the agonies of chefs. Can you think of any?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Wake Up to Bacon

Thanks Serious Eats.

What a geniously fattening device. Oh, how clever! Wake n' Bacon is an alarm clock that wakes you up with a piping hot slice, and smell, of bacon. I would have ordered one right away but the inventors haven't sold their product yet. Please do! So you put a piece of frozen bacon in the alarm clock and set the alarm time at night. When it buzzes in the morning the bacon is cooked and ready to be eaten. Mmmm, bacon.

Right it's totally bad for you to have bacon everyday, but this is a perfect gift especially for a chef or any bacon lover.