I’ve been saying it for years: Celebrity Chefs are the new Rock Stars! It is no secret that I love writing about Food and that Top Chef is my favorite food-centric reality TV show. So, it is always serious fun for me when I get to meet Cheftestants from various seasons of Top Chef as well as the celebrity chef judges that make the show so educational and entertaining. Top Chef!
You can imagine then that it was particularly thrilling to be invited to attend party at Colicchio and Sons Restaurant, owned by Top Chef judge and host, Tom Colicchio, at which I not only got to eat Tom’s delicious food but also got to meet him. The purpose of the event was to promote the excellent workof Happy Family Organic Foods, and I will be writing a separate blog post about that. In the meantime, I needed an excuse to post this photo of Me and Tom taken at the event, because I’ve had a crush on him for about five years, and let me tell those of you who feel similarly that he is even hotter in person than he is on TV. Hotness! Plus, super nice and cool. I am also saving up my cash so I can eat at his restaurant again, because the food was just insane.
Fine Dining in Manhattan isn’t always all about molecular gastronomy and tiny portions served on over-sized plates. While “Fine Dining Bargain” is not a phrase you are likely to hear at any time other than during restaurant week, there are upscale restaurants in town where you can get an exceptional value for your hard earned cash while also indulging your inner Foodie. One such destination is Philippe on East 60th Street, which has become a favorite of celebrity clientele from Lady Gaga to President Obama, and we think we know why: the location is discreet and food is off the hook.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2011 is to enjoy the company of good friends while dining in fine restaurants as often as possible. No one can accuse me of not sticking to my resolutions, because last night I had an amazing meal at chef Jonathan Waxman’sBarbuto Restaurant on Washington Street near the Meatpacking District. My dining companions were my longtime friend Ivy, her charming husband Rick and their adorable daughter Violet, who is the best kid you could ever hope to have, let me tell you. We’re all huge fans of Bravo’s Top Chef, and having enjoyed the most recent season of Top Chef Masters we are also admirers of Waxman’s “keep it simple” philosophy/approach to gourmet cooking. Dining out is always so much more fun, and a much richer experience, when you are accompanied by true foodies like Ivy, Rick and Violet. We had an amazing meal and a really fantastic time catching up.
If I were a wealthy woman, I would certainly be much more of a devoted Foodie than I already am. Because the availability of massive amounts of dispensable cash is really the only thing separating me from eating truffles and Kobe beef, followed by gold-leaf-flecked hot fudge sundaes several times a week. I am totally not kidding. The Food Network is to me what Porn is to Frat guys. Me gusta la comida! If you are also a fan of food, and you enjoy a good story about friendship and love, passion and cooking, then Julie & Julia needs to be added to your “Films I Must See” List. This movie is just so adorable! Meryl Streep’s portrayal of famous TV chef Julia Child is going to win her another Oscar, I would be willing to predict. And Amy Adams, who I generally find a bit twee, was quite excellent also as blogger/amateur chef Julie Powell. I am not going to say much more than that, because I doubt I could top this really great review of the movie from Empire. I recommend going to see Julie & Julia with a friend, at a showing that will let out just around dinner time. That way, you can head over to your favorite French Bistro and chow down, because you will definitely be starving. As Julia would say, “Bon Appetite!”
I missed most of this past season of Hell’s K itchendue to me being otherwise visually occupied with HBO’s Big Love— one of my very favorite shows. But thankfully my sister turned me on to Chef Gordon Ramsey’s BBC series Kitchen Nightmares(Thursdays at 8:00 PM on BBC America) , a show which masquearades as being more tasteful, but actually has just about as much swearing and back stabbing. And while it’s not likely to be as smashing as the original, Foxis set to debut an American version of Nightmareson September 19th. Unless that conflicts with the debut of Survivor: China! I’m making my reservations now.