Culinary Sagacity

~Thought for Food~

The Cathayans believed that the soul or mind is located not in the head but in the stomach.

Doubtless this explains why they fret so much about the preparation and serving of food.

It may also explain why their memories are so much better than ours.

Information is stored not in the finite head, but in the expandable stomach.

--Cyrus Spitama in Gore Vidal's Creation

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gordon Ramsay Wants YOU!

Are you a talented home cook with nerves of steel?  Or, like me, can you injure and burn yourself while preparing dinner for guests and just keep on cooking as if nothing happened?  Then maybe you should try out for Season Two of MasterChef on FOX, and put your skills (and nerves) to the test under the eagle (or is it evil?) eye of Gordon Ramsay.

The casting scouts of MasterChef are making their way across America on cattle calls for contestants.  But before you show up, be sure to visit the website to complete the application. You don't want to get yelled at when you arrive unprepared, do you?

Here's the list of cities and dates, for exact times and locations, follow the links provided below.

Los Angeles - Saturday, November 6
New York - Saturday, November 13 & Sunday, November 14
Boston - Saturday, November 13
New Orleans - Saturday, November20
Orlando - Saturday, November 20 
Chicago - Saturday, December 4 & Sunday, December 5 
Dallas - Saturday, December 4 & Sunday, December 5
Denver - Saturday, December 11
Portland - Saturday, December 11

If you can't make it to one of the open calls, then you can still apply by sending in a video submission.  Since there's plenty—if not more—fabulous home cooks who don't live in a big city, just follow this link to instructions on how to submit your video!

Good luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

13th Annual Chocolate Show in NYC

The 13th Annual New York City Chocolate Show kicked off last night with a Chocolate Fashion Show.  While not quite as spectacular as the fashion show at the original Salon du Chocolat in Paris, the models sporting chocolate couture still wowed the audience.  Among the pastry chefs who participated last night was Top Chef Just Desserts contestant, Zac Young.

The Chocolate Shows began in Paris 16 years ago, and have gone international, with events in Shanghai, Tokyo, Bologna, Madrid, and New York City.

The New York City Show is being held through Sunday, November 14 at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 125 W. 18th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenue).  Tickets are available online for $28.00.  In addition to last night's Fashion Show, the event includes a marketplace with about 70 chocolatiers, as well as demonstrations and workshops from chocolatiers and pastry chefs, including Jacques Torres, Nick Malgieri, François Payard, Johnny Iuzzini, Zac Young, and Carl Warner (the man who does the cool food landscapes--"Foodscapes").


Check out these pics from last night's Chocolate Fashion Show!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Eating Lamb Belly on Day Two of The International Chefs Congress

Day Two of StarChefs International Chefs Congress had a high-energy buzz. Maybe it took everyone a whole day to get into the swing of things, but there was a definite upswing in the energy level inside the Park Avenue Armory.

I started my day at the interactive workshop conducted by Ken Oringer of Boston's Clio restaurant. A regular to the International Chefs Congress, I first became an admirer of Ken when he made the most delicious oyster chowder for the cocktail hour in 2006. Served inside a hollowed-out egg shell with tiny straws, I must have consumed at least twenty of them.

Ken Oringer's Lamb Belly

Read the full article on my Huffington Post Food Blog: