New kids on the block y’all. Here are the 2007 Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chefs. The new trendsetters and hit-makers include:
April Bloomfield The Spotted Pig, New York,
Gabriel Bremer Salts, Cambridge, MA
Steve Corry Five Fifty-Five, Portland, ME
Matthew Dillon Sitka & Spruce, Seattle, WA
Gavin Kaysen El Bizcocho, San Diego, CA
Johnny Monis Komi, Washington, DC
Sean O'Brien Myth, San Francisco, CA
Gabriel Rucker Le Pigeon, Portland, OR
Ian Schnoebelen Iris, New Orleans, LA
Paul Virant Vie, Western Springs, IL
Everyone will have something to complain about, as they always do when lists like this are published. Local winners in the past have included Tim McKee, Seth Daugherty, and Stewart Woodman. I have eaten in several of these restaurants and can tell you from experience that Portland, Maine is one of the country’s best eating towns. My dad lives there now, and we spend a few weeks a year there. Five Fifty-Five is just one of the great eateries in a town filled with them. Portland, Maine, population 789. Who would have thunk it?
“If America is going to continue to grow as a food nation, we better start at the beginning. The reason I'm in the biz is because my mother cooked from scratch and was a great cook and taught me how at an early age. I look at The Junior Gourmet Club Dinner as having numerous opportunities: The parents can go out without getting a sitter, they can bond with their kids, meet new people. The kids can make new friends, learn about cooking, learn where food comes from, and learn how to behave in a restaurant. It starts at 6:00 p.m. with a reception in the lounge, and dinner starts sometime between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. It will be four courses for $55, including hors d'ourves.
Johnny Michaels, our bar master, will create a non-alcohol drink flight, and a wine flight will be available as well. Pat from Wild Acres will be here to talk about where food comes from, and, in the future, we'll do demonstrations in the kitchen and other things. “
Brilliant idea guys. Check out the website for more info.
Here’s a shout out to my pal Hannah Mack. Hannah is my best friend’s daughter, a sophomore at SPA and a very funny young woman. Over the last few years she has been dropping small bits of wisdom on me from time to time, keeping me aware of how teenage girls view the world, and most importantly, what words they like to use. As any writer will tell you, colloquialisms are everything in this biz. She calls "man bags" or "man purses" MURSES. While the rest of the world calls "man boobs" MOOBS, she calls them MITTIES ("man" plus "t*tties" = mitties!). Genius. So on vacation last month, she got me on a roll, merging the front and back of a phrase to coin a unique word, obviating the need for an abundance of syllables. This whole trend started years ago when Ben Affleck hooked up with Jenny from the block, and the gossip mongers dubbed them BENNIFER. Since then we have become a nation obsessed with these word games, a take on what Rich Hall famously called Sniglets. Down in Virgin Gorda I came up with some beauts:
1) Oftentimes we would see these mega-yachts, 200-feet-long and bigger. I thought of them as floating palaces, or "f-alaces." Get it? "Falace." Especially funny in light of the type of men who own them.
2) Tom Brady, Super Bowl MVP and uber-quarterback of the New England Patriots, has reportedly been calling a lot of his own signals outside of the huddle, impregnating both Bridget Moynahan (confirmed) and current flame Gisele Bündchen (if you believe what you read in Us Magazine). That’s some kind of year by any measurable standards. Since he is now a celebrity who has impregnated other celebrities that makes him a celeb-nator. Or as I refer to him, the serial celeb-nator Tom Brady.
Some of my kids have called me with some recent updates in local food news. According to them, Nochee will close in the next week or two and reopen as a brand spanking new restaurant. Good luck, guys. In my world, the best thing you can do is to stay closed for ninety days, so that the public feels like a really new concept has debuted. Several restaurants have failed miserably doing the opposite (from Aquavit to Bobino), and I'm wondering what readers think would be a short list of three restaurants that are treading water and should reopen as something else?
Spill the Wine is open and looks great! I think they will be a huge hit—the feel and look of the place is slick and hip, and assuming the food is great (fingers crossed), they should be doing very well.