With prices ranging from 40 cents to 9 dollars per pound, it is very difficult to decide what kind of bird it makes sense to buy. Today's legal and marketing terminology makes the choice confusing. I have put together a glossary along with some facts that are important to best determine which turkey to buy so that you and your guests can enjoy the culinary experience Thanksgiving can and should be.
Josh is a very talented chef, a successful caterer and restaurateur and one of the leaders of the Hudson Valley fine-food scene. His style of "New American" cooking blends classic French technique with the tastes of Italy, Asia and the American Southwest. I finally caught up with him last week for this interview, in which he explains his new approach to cooking.What made you become a chef? It was the family business. My grandfather, an Italian immigrant, was a chef. My uncle had a restaurant in Pleasantville, New York—Vinny's, where I worked after school. I went to college and earned a degree in engineering, but once I started in that field, I realized I yearned to get back in the kitchen. So I returned to work at Vinny's, attended the French Culinary Institute and became a chef.
Did you start your own place right away? No, no. I worked in other kitchens and saw how it was really done first. One of the chefs I worked with was Bobby Flay. In 1998 I opened a small restaurant in West Hurley, and in 2003 I moved it to the current location in Rhinebeck.
Heat, air, and light are the enemies of oil. With too much exposure, oil turns rancid prematurely and creates a bad taste. Fine olive oils usually come in dark tinted bottled to protect them. In Italy, where people buy their olive oil in large jugs, which they store in dark and cool cellars, they pour some for daily use into ceramic bottles. One of the most beautiful of these I saw at Limone Imports at their opening this week. I hope they have more than one, because I intend to buy this one myself. It is also available online: http://www.limoneimports.com/product-p/abtu-le04.htm
Probably the most revered chef and restaurateur in the Hudson Valley, Peter Kelly owns Xaviar's in Piermont, Restaurant X in Congers and Xaviars X2O in Yonkers. Xaviar's received a 29 out of 30 rating in Zagat and the New York Times’shighest rating (Extraordinary).
The Valley Table magazine held a kickoff party at the Millbrook Winery for its November 4 through November 17 Restaurant Week. Participating chefs and restaurant owners were invited to taste the culinary products of some of the Hudson Valley's top purveyors of fine food and drink. Star performers such as Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Harney and Sons Fine Teas, and the Millbrook Winery offered tastings of their splendid products. Since we have already done articles on and interviews with each of them, I will focus on the discoveries I made of enterprises clearly deserving of recognition.
She makes it look so effortless. Kamini invited me to taste some of her specialties, and I must say I was wowed. The lentils with butternut squash, the spinach pies and all of these new gluten-free grains I had never really tried. Her cooking makes being gluten-free, sugar-free and/or a vegan feel like no sacrifice at all. Let her know how much we want her to provide take-out from her new kitchen on Franklin Avenue: Kamini Oppenheimer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mother Nature blessed both the harvest and the Harvest Party this year at the Millbrook Winery. A record three hundred people were in attendance, many coming in trains and buses from Manhattan. After admiring the red, yellow and orange autumn leaves reflected in the pond, they went on to the more serious business of food and wine in the tent in front of the winery. Each year a well-known guest chef prepares a gourmet meal for the festivities, but this year's menu featured a pair of culinary luminaries. Certified Master Chef Ken Arnone and Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, the co-writers of "Pairing with the Masters," presented each dish paired with two different Millbrook wines and asked everyone to choose which pairings were most successful. It was both fun and educational to experience this firsthand.