Tag Archive | Celebrity Chef

Gail Meets Chef Eric Ripert!

“I Am A Dreamy French Sex God, and Also a Great Chef”

Since there are arguably no real Rock Stars anymore, I like to say that the new Rock Stars are Artists, Comedians and Celebrity Chefs. Last night I was out with my friends and fellow Foodies, Mark and Michelle, enjoying a (seriously) once in a lifetime dining experience at Le Bernardin restaurant. I say “once in a lifetime” not because I wouldn’t want to go back there – because the food is insanely, mind-blowingly delicious and the service is the most attentive service you will ever get in any restaurant anywhere – but because it costs a small fortune to eat a meal there.  Somehow though, the folks at Le Bernardin make you feel that paying them hundreds of dollars to eat all kinds of tiny bites of tasty, weird food is totally worth it. One of the reasons people throw down the big bucks to eat at Le Bernadin is Chef and co-owner, Eric Ripert, whose gorgeous face is familiar to fans thanks to his many appearances on Top Chef and his own cable show, Avec Eric. Ripert is not only one of the world’s top chef’s but he is also wildly charming, charismatic and, in the looks department, just about as hot as it gets. Hotness!

We had just finished our amuse bouche (an oyster in truffle foam with something  something, so delicious) when Michelle looked up and spotted  Ripert, who had come out from the kitchen into the dining room, standing just  a few feet from our table. Holy Guacamole! For us, this was as exciting as seeing Mick Fucking Jagger! I was still trying to process the scene when Michelle – who is a goddess – says just loud enough for him to hear, “Excuse me, Chef?” And he fucking came over to our table! It was just insane.  I got all red in the face when he shook my hand and I said something mindless like, “I love seeing you on Top Chef” – like a total fan girl. Retarded. The entire encounter lasted less than a minute, but darn if meeting Chef Eric wasn’t an unexpected treat that made the meal that much more special.

Toward the end of the three-hour gastronomic extravganza, Mark worked his magic on the Table Captain and got us invited into the kitchen. You know: Back Stage at Le Bernardin!  The Kitchen was immaculate and so Zen, it was like a food church or something.  I was impressed. I would also like to give a special shout out to Le Bernardin’s Sommelier, Jared, who has the best job in the universe, talking about wine and being all cute and charming. Sign me up. After endless courses and countless glasses of awesome wine, the check arrived and we all handed over our mortgages and caught a cab downtown. Even if I can never afford to go back, I will never forget meeting Chef Eric and our wonderful dinner at Le Bernardin.


Epicurious Dot Com Presents: A Dinner with Chef Lidia Bastianich!

Chef Lidia Bastianich

I probably get as excited in anticipation of a really nice dining experience as most people get about seeing a Broadway show or a concert at Madison Square Garden. Because, seriously, food is my thing. Last night, I was very fortunate to be able to attend a special gourmet meal event featuring the culinary skills of Chef and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich (of Lidia’s Italy) – which was sponsored by the gourmet food website, Epicurious Dot Com as part of its annual Epicurious Entertains NYC events series. Tickets for these events are pricey but well worth it, as not only is the food amazing, but the proceeds also benefit several charities and local food banks that help feed people, so it is for a good cause as well as being a fun evening.

Prior to dinner being served, my mystery date and I enjoyed a relaxing cocktail hour on the outdoor deck of the evening’s venue, The Soho Mansion, while we snacked on passed appetizers that included oysters on the half shell, caviar with whipped ricotta cheese, peanut butter and jelly foie gras (not a typo) and detectible bruschetta. For dinner service, we were seated at communal banquette tables impeccably decorated with pristine white cloths dotted with beautiful miniature flower arrangements and tiny potted shrubberies. Elegant, yet very modern. The meal’s four courses, each prepared by a different chef from one of Lidia’s many restaurants, arrived paired with an appropriate wine selection and everything was just superb.

Here’s what we ate:

Antipasto: Crudo Del Mercato. Swordfish Crudo with Citrus Infused Olive Oil and Toasted Almonds. Wine: Martin Códax Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain. I am not normally a raw fish kind of gal, but this was excellent.

Pasta: Ravioli con Cacio e Pere. Ravioli stuffed with Fresh Pear and Pecorino cheese in a butter sauce with fresh black pepper. Wine: Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand. This delicate ravioli dish was the most delicious thing I can recall eating in, well, forever maybe, and the wine was my favorite of the evening.

Secondo: Costine di Manzo Brasate con Risotto di Orzo. Braised Short Ribs with Fall Vegetable Barley Risotto. Wine: William Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California. This course was insanely delicious: hearty but not overpowering.

Dolce: Torta al Rosamarino. Rosemary and Olive Oil Cake with Red Wine-Preserved Plums, Spicy Toasted Walnuts and Yogurt Gelati. So yummy! The perfect end to a divine meal.

A very lovely evening wrapped up shortly after 10:00 PM and we were sent on our way with a souvenir Epicurious canvas tote containing a few sweet treats and assorted cooking swag. Many thanks to Epicurious and Chef Lidia! I can’t wait for next year’s events!

Shang's Most Awesome Singapore Slaw: How to Make It

19 Ingredient Singapore Slaw: So Effing Good

Last week Diane (aka “Diaaaahhhnne”) and I made a humble pilgrimage to Shang restaurant, located  at 187 Orchard Street, which is owned and chef’d by the awesome Susur Lee of Top Chef Masters fame. Holy Cow, what that guy does to food is just insane. We ate a whole bunch of amazingly delicious treats including the Asian Slaw you see pictured above, which arrived at our table like an edible tower to food heaven and was suitably tossed and served to us by our very nice waiter. Geezus, this stuff is seriously yummy – and there is so much of it we each had two plates, just as our appetizer. If you are a vegetarian, it could  easily be a main dish.

Anyway, Diane and I have been singing the praises of this slaw to anyone with ears for the past week, and today she did some searching on the Google and found the recipe! Diane! It looks like it would take about a gazillion years to prepare at home, so I would just much rather go back to Shang, pay them 20 bucks and have them make it for me, because that is how I roll. But if you feel like putting in the man hours, check  out the recipe for what is officially called Singapore Slaw With Salted Plum Dressing, which you can find at this link.

Thanks to Diane Anderson for The Tip!

Chef Susur Lee!

Epicurious Entertains NYC: An Evening with Chef Daniel Boulud!


While I was out in California a couple of weeks ago, I received a text from my friend Diane (aka Diaaaahhhne!) back in NYC. Diane said she was really missing me at work, because no one else in the office was interested in “talking about every television program, or every meal they ate.” That text message made me laugh pretty hard, because it is so true: one of the major things that Diane and I have in common as friends is that we both love to eat, talk about food and watch TV shows about food. So it was a big drag that Diane had another obligation and couldn’t accompany me to last night’s kickoff event for Epicurious Dot Com’s Epicurious Entertains NYC, a five night series of gourmet dining events – each one featuring a different celebrity chef! Wednesday’s event featured the cuisine of world famous French chef and restaurateur, Daniel Boulud.

Chef Daniel Boulud

Chef Daniel, How Cute is He?

Between the end of the cocktail hour and being seated for dinner, Chef Daniel came out and spoke to the crowd, and he was very charming and very cute! I have seen Daniel on shows like Top Chef, where he is sometimes a guest judge, but I had never been to one of his restaurants – mostly because dinner for two runs about $400 – so I was really excited to sample his delicious gourmet treats. I was not disappointed. Here is the evening’s menu:

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Me Gusta Top Chef!

Top Chef Cleaver

We’re already about five weeks into the latest season of Bravo’s awesome reality cooking competition, Top Chef – one of my very favorite TV shows. This season, which is set in Las Vegas, is very, very good indeed! But I’ve yet to blog about Top Chef Las Vegas because there are so many other sites (Best Week Ever, Television Without Pity, Gawker) that recap this show weekly with so much more snark and mean-spirited hilarity than I could ever even hope to muster. And you know me: if I can’t be the best at something I don’t even try to get in the game. But even though I bear a serious grudge against Gawker for mysteriously banning me from commenting on their typo-ridden posts, their live-blog recap of last night’s Top Chef episode is just too hilarious not to share the link. Be sure to read all of the reader comments at the end of the post for their added value.

Hell Comes To Your House

How many of you guys watched last night’s much-anticipated second part of the Hell’s Kitchen finale? Man, I love that show! I admit I was totally pleased with finalist Christina taking top honors over Petrozza. Both were decent chefs, but Petrozza was kind of a spazz. He would never be able to survive as head chef in Gordon Ramsey’s new LA restaurant for more than ten minutes if the wasn’t being filmed for a reality TV show. Anyway, while all of us Gordon Ramsey junkies are waiting for the new season of Kitchen Nightmares to start, why not relive the excitement, stress and incessant screaming of the “rigorous culinary bootcamp” that is Hell’s Kitchen with the Hell’s Kitchen Home Game? Scalding hot oil burns and severed fingertips are sold separately.