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Do Chicago Gourmet Like A Boss

Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 03:09 PM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

This weekend, September 26–28, marks the seventh annual Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet—one of the nation’s premier culinary festivals. To help guide event-goers through the weekend-long epicurean experience in Millennium Park, Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport shares his expert advice on tackling the weekend like a pro.


This year, Adam will be leading the Hamburger Hop burger battle, the official Chicago Gourmet kick-off event, and serve as emcee of three interactive seminars over the weekend: The Mexican Takeover with Rick Bayless; The Whole Fish with Masaharu Morimoto; and Carla’s Comfort Foods with Carla Hall from ABC’s The Chew.

adam rapoportHere are Adam’s top five insider tips for navigating the festival in style:

Pack Your Sunscreen. You’re going to be eating, drinking and hanging out in the sun (yes, it’s going to be sunny) all day. Play it safe with SPF.

Explore. Reach beyond your boundaries, meet different chefs and try foods you haven’t tasted before. One of the great things about Chicago Gourmet is that the festival features restaurants from all across the country. So use your afternoon in Millennium Park to try all those restaurants you normally don’t get to.

Be Punctual. Be the nerd who gets there early. That way you can eat everything before everyone arrives, then hit your favorites for a second time.

Get Prepared. Know who’s going to be cooking and where, then map out a plan of attack. Download the official Chicago Gourmet app for Android and iPhone for the ultimate smartphone companion.

Learn Something New. Take your wine, beer and spirits cred up a notch by attending the interactive seminars. Your knowledge will dazzle all at your next dinner party.

Hungry for more advice? Follow Adam’s exciting culinary adventures on Twitter and Instagram.

Image and video courtesy of Bon Appétit

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Food, Fun, Farmers & Fowl at the 2014 Duckathlon

Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 10:05 AM - Posted by Megan - (0) comments

Tickets are now available for the 9th annual Duckathlon hosted by D’Artagnan—a leading purveyor of all-natural and organic poultry and game. Taking over New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion on June 14th from 12-5pm, this experiential “farmers-to-table” event will pair acclaimed chefs Anita Lo, Harold Moore, David Waltuck, Brad Farmerie, Cedric Tovar, Shane McBride, Saul Bolton and more with sustainable farmers, as they lead a series of interactive experiences and compete against each other for ultimate duck domination.

DARTAGNAN
“D’Artagnan has always worked with small farms that share our commitment to sustainability and humane practices,” said Ariane Daguin, co-founder and CEO of D’Artagnan. “With the Duckathlon, our goal is to literally bring the farm to a larger Manhattan ‘table,’ and this event reflects our company-wide belief that product excellence begins with a true passion for animal husbandry.”

Throughout the day, game-loving gourmands can also enjoy a variety of hands-on challenges, live demos and on-stage events such as a fierce French dessert face-off between famed Master Pastry Chefs François Payard and Jacques Torres.

Another reason to join in all the fowl-filled fun? Duckathlon tickets benefit global hunger organization Action Against Hunger and its FoodLove initiative, connecting those who celebrate food and care about hunger in support of lifesaving nutrition. Now that’s something to quack about.

Find more details and snag your tickets HERE.

Image courtesy of TimeOutNY

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SOBEWFF 2013: Getting to Know Giada De Laurentiis

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:02 PM - Posted by Megan - (3) comments

giada de laurentiisBeautiful, successful, talented, funny and down-to-earth. They say you can’t have it all, but Italian culinary icon Giada De Laurentiis sure seems to come close. And whether playing the role of wife, mom, chef, host, spokeswoman, mentor, cookbook author, TV star or pasta perfecter, the sexy Food Network starlet manages to make it all look effortless.

Last Friday during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, I had the pleasure of sitting down one-on-one with Giada at Miami’s Casa Tua restaurant, before her ‘Italian in Paradise’ dinner event. She candidly shared details of her incredibly busy life and dished about cooking at home with her family, embarrassing moments, common misconceptions and more.

I’ve seen you at at all these food festivals, in NY, LA, everywhere — what makes SOBEWFF so special?

It’s the first food festival I ever did. Lee Schrager, years ago, took a chance on me and brought me to the festival. He said “let’s try you out, do one demo, we’ll see what the crowd says and we’ll figure it out. I have a good feeling about this.” Oh, I was so nervous. And Alton Brown, who I am good friends with now, at the time had some sort of conflict and wasn’t able to attend. So, Lee had me cover for him and all of a sudden I went from having one demo to three demos. I was terrified! But I just remember having the best time ever even though nothing went right—I couldn’t even get my water to boil because of the crosswind on the beach, so I kinda just did a Q&A. Even though it was the scariest, it actually ended up being the best. I feel like it all started here, and I have a really close connection to South Beach because of it.

 
What do you cook at home, when the cameras are off?

I make a lot of things that my daughter and husband like to eat because they are my favorite people to cook for. My daughter is a big pasta fan, so lately we’ve been making stuffed pastas, a lot of homemade raviolis, and pizzas too. She’s into anything in a ball shape—meatballs, burgers… she’s been grilling a lot with my husband. And lately, mac ‘n’ cheese cupcakes. She is in love with cupcakes, so instead of sweet cupcakes, we’ve been doing savory ones. My daughter, Jade, eats depending on her mood. She knows what she wants and when she wants it.

 
Other than Italian food, what types of cuisines do you like to cook and eat?

I’ve been cooking a lot more Greek food, and have been playing with Indian food too. And Thai food! My husband, Todd, is a huge Thai fan. And I just went to Thailand in December to shoot my show, so I’ve sort of come up with all these new Thai recipes. I brought a bunch of spices back with me, things that I don’t usually cook with, so I’ve just been experimenting and trying out dishes. It’s been a lot of fun to explore these new flavors.

 
What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you on TV?

The first time I ever did live television was on The Today Show, maybe 10 years ago when my first cookbook came out, and I made a grilled chicken breast with spinach and basil pesto. I was on the air with Al and Matt and there was also a food stylist on set. So I’m having a conversation with Al, but out of the corner of my eye, I see Matt cut into a chicken breast and I thought to myself, “that chicken doesn’t look cooked.” It had grill marks on it, but the food stylist never finished cooking it! Matt put the chicken in his mouth and realized it was raw. He ran off set to spit it out in the trash, of course the cameras followed him, and he came back and said “Giada tried to poison me! She will never, ever work on TV again.” I almost died! I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not, since I wasn’t used to him or his humor. I was horrified.

But that appearance got me a correspondent role on the show and I’ve been there ever since. Sometimes when you think of a disaster, it actually ends up being the best thing in the world. You just never know in life.

 
If you could cook a dream meal for one person, who would it be and what would you make?

Marilyn Monroe. I find her fascinating. It’s amazing to me that someone who died so many years ago could still be such an icon. And I kinda just wanna know what her secret was, what was going on in her head. I’d probably make her a nice creamy vodka sauce since I know she liked her vodka, serve it with a good bottle of wine and probably some chocolatey, luscious strawberry dessert. Sexy, romantic, sumptuous and sensual, like Marilyn.

 
If you weren’t a celebrity chef, what career would you want?

I probably would work in politics somehow. Or maybe be a CIA agent or something, I’m fascinated by people that can live in such secrecy.

 
But since you are such a public figure, what’s something most people don’t know about you?

I think people think that I am just so perfect all the time. Ya know, I’m more spontaneous than people think I am. And something I’ve been working on for years is to not use my potty mouth so much. I tend to speak a certain kind of language that I probably should not. And people that know me well say to me, “how can those words come out of that face!? How is it possible?” Hey, I’m working on it.

 
If you had to be stuck in a kitchen with one of your Food Network Star co-mentors, Bobby or Alton, who would you choose and why?

First reaction — Bobby. But, truly, I’d pick each one of them for different reasons. Bobby would have my back and and he’s a great chef. Alton, on the other hand, would make me laugh. He has such a witty personality, so he’d probably be more entertaining in the kitchen, but I don’t think he has the skill set that Bobby has. Alton thinks he has the skill that Bobby has, but he doesn’t. So they both would bring very different things to the kitchen.

 
What would you want for your last meal?

My last meal would be a seven layer chocolate fudge cake. I am such a chocoholic and if I could just eat cakes and sugar and chocolate for the rest of my life, I would. It’s my first choice, always and forever.

 
Grazie, Giada! It was an absolute pleasure chatting with you.

Follow @GDeLaurentiis on Twitter to keep up with all things Giada, including exciting new projects and shows, two children’s storybooks she’s putting out in September and a new cookbook in December.

 
Image courtesy of Food Network

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