Tag Archive | Top Chef Masters

Gail Meets Chef Jonathan Waxman!

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’s Barbuto 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.

When we were seated, Violet asked our server if Chef Waxman was in the restaurant that evening. She replied that he had been there earlier that afternoon, but had left to run some errands, though he might be back later. Less than five minutes passed before she returned to our table saying that the chef had come back into the restaurant and would we like to meet him? Of course, we enthusiastically confirmed that we would. Because celebrity chefs are the new Rock Stars. After our meal, Chef Waxman came over to our table, dressed casually in his signature pink polo shirt and khakis and looking very adorable. He spoke to us for several minutes and answered some of our questions about the time he spent as a contestant on Top Chef Masters. He was super cool and friendly and also very, very cute! Jonathan Waxman!

Here are some of foods we enjoyed eating:

Appetizers:
Soft polenta with lamb ragu
Bruschetta with chickpeas and fresh mushrooms
Smoked trout salad with frise, black rice and orange (amazing!)

Main Courses:
Barbuto’s signature roast chicken with salsa Verde
Scallops, which were delicious but I’m not sure how they were cooked
Homemade Gnocchi with walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese

Sides:
Roasted Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts, to die for
Crispy fried potatoes with pecorino cheese

Alcohol:
Two bottles of amazing red wine, which by the time I was on my third glass I could not tell you what variety it was. (Rick would know.)

Desserts:
Lemon Crema with coconut crisps
Chocolate pudding with whipped creme and biscotti
Two kinds of Gelato: toasted pistachio and maple cinnamon

Barbuto’s menu changes seasonally, so you never know what delicious creations Chef Waxman will be serving up. You can only rest assured that whatever you put in your mouth will blow your mind. Be prepared to throw down some serious cash, but to feel that it was totally worth it.

Barbuto is located at 775 Washington Street New York, NY 10014 @ West 12th Street. Phone 212-924-9700 for Reservations.

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!