Last week’s Power Tables piece in the WSJ featured a sneak peek at a maitre d's book—at D'Amico Cucina. I think it’s the first time that’s ever been done. Cucina's client list continues to be impressive, as is the lobster gnocchi.
Looking for a cool holiday gift for the food freak in your life? How about a set of recipe binders, organizers, and note cards from the GORGEOUS russell+hazel line? The set includes everything for the stove-bound, design-focused, obsessive menu planner in all of us.
Ferrara Pan Lemon, Apple and Grape Head candies are ridiculous. I have rediscovered their stunningly cheap and artificial deliciousness. What's your guilty pleasure for cheap, nasty candy? Cherry Bings? Are there any regional candies that you long for but can't get here: Goldberg’s Peanut Chews from the mid-Atlantic states, Reed’s hard candies from NYC? Does anyone go to dylanscandybar.com and buy the party baskets or hit groovycandy.com and check out the retro briefcases loaded with candies representative of each decade. Oh, boy, check out the ’70s box.
Who are the five best restaurant chefs in town? You heard me, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. It's the mspmag.com Chow & Again salute to 2006. First, I look at chefs for their skill level when it comes to putting together a dish. Then I blend in their sense of composition and ability to flawlessly execute the standards, as well as a penchant for innovation. Do they balance?
I want to know your Top 5, my eager blog floggers? Who do you think is the best of the best?
My list includes, in no particular order, the chefs below. Do I have to winnow it down? Who am I missing and why?
Steven Brown at Levain
Doug Flicker at Auriga
Alex Roberts at Alma
Seth Bixby Daugherty (he's not done yet!) at Cosmos
Jay Sparks at D’Amico and Partners
John Occhiato at D’Amico Cucina
Jack Reibel at Dakota
Vincent Francoual at Vincent
Don Saunders at Fugaise
Scott Pampuch at Corner Table
Lenny Russo when he was at Heartland
Lisa Carlson at Spoonriver
Peter Botcher at Barbette
Lucia Watson at Lucia’s when she is actually there and cooking
Pastry Queens? I'd go with these ladies and one dude for my top 6:
Let us know who your five best of the best chefs are and why, then pick two great pastry people and make an all-star team impressive enough to get even me excited, and I'll send the winner a two-year subscription to the magazine and a killer cookbook from my collection. Game on!