Cranberry Dishes You Won’t Find At Thanksgiving

There’s no doubt about it: Jessi Rezin has both a very unusual, and very messy job. Continue reading “Cranberry Dishes You Won’t Find At Thanksgiving”

Festival of Food De”light”: Diwali Dishes that bring India to the Table


A little over a week ago, clay lamps, also known as diyas were lit by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists for five days to commemorate Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

Diwali symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and is most widely celebrated in India, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, and a province in Pakistan.

But Diwali is most anticipated in India, where it is considered the most significant holiday of the year. The first two days of Diwali are ones of preparation and reflection: houses are cleaned, lamps decorated, and, in some instances, designs made from colored sand, called rangoli.

But food–and plenty of it–takes center stage in the remaining days, as families gather for feasting and the exchanging of sweet treats. Continue reading “Festival of Food De”light”: Diwali Dishes that bring India to the Table”

Meatless Comfort: Vegetarian Swaps for Fall Classics (That Actually Taste Good)

Chef Matthew Kenney is no stranger to transformation, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at him now. He’s the author of best selling cook books, a culinary instructor and owner of Matthew Kenney Cuisine, a culinary company which provides numerous services, including catering, speaking engagements, workshops, and even chef placement services.

But twenty years ago, Kenney’s career was full of doubts. Back in 2004, Kenney and his girlfriend, Sarma Melngailis opened Pure Food and Wine, a New York City based restaurant with an emphasis on beautifully prepared meat and fish entrees. But even though Kenney’s career had, to that point, stemmed from his expertise in both meat and seafood, he found himself slowly drawn to vegetarian cooking in New York. Continue reading “Meatless Comfort: Vegetarian Swaps for Fall Classics (That Actually Taste Good)”

Chili, Six Different Ways

The 1959 edition of Diccionario de Mejicanismo, the authoritative Mexican dictionary, makes clear its opinion of what Americans call chili. It’s described as detestable food passing itself off as Mexican, sold in the U.S. from Texas to New York.”

Chili truly is an American tradition, not a Mexican one, as many might believe. But it’s equally clear that Americans would find fault with it being called ‘detestable’. For canned and prepared varieties alone, over 125 million Americans are projected to consume chili by the close of 2017. Continue reading “Chili, Six Different Ways”

No Crockpot, No Problem: Slow Cooker Taste Without The Nuisance


One of the most popular kitchen appliances began with Cholent Stew, a traditional Jewish entree that requires half a day to cook. By 1936, Irving Naxon had been eating his grandmother’s signature dish for years but noticed a consistent problem: cooking over long periods of time can result in uneven cooking, leaving, for instance, the vegetables well done long before the meat was tender. Continue reading “No Crockpot, No Problem: Slow Cooker Taste Without The Nuisance”

Autumn, the Best Season to be a Personal or Private Chef? Here’s Why.

French-born Chef Gregory Czarnecki has been called the “Picasso of the Plate”, known for his locally sourced but stunning dishes. After traveling for years, he’s currently the head chef at Waterkloof, an innovative restaurant in South Africa that sources directly from a biodynamic winery. Eschewing conventional fertilizers, all plates are filled with organic and fresh from the land products.

In an interview with Fine Dining Lovers, Czarnecki explained that all his meals come down to three words: contemporary, minimalistic, and French. Presentation and flavor go hand in hand; while presentation “creates the mood” of the dish, the dish itself, he insists, must be full of hearty, natural flavors.

His favorite ingredients? Artichokes, celeriac and quince, “all three of [which] are grown in Autumn, which is [his] favourite season” for developing “very subtle, elegant flavours.” Continue reading “Autumn, the Best Season to be a Personal or Private Chef? Here’s Why.”

Street Fare: Secrets to Steal from New York’s Festivals

Food festivals are the essence of American summers, with trucks, street vendors, and private chefs dishing up everything from classic street fare to elegant tapas. But in New York, the grandest festival arrives mid October, just as scarlet and crimson leaves line the sidewalks and the air turns cooler. Continue reading “Street Fare: Secrets to Steal from New York’s Festivals”

Take Advantage of Fall with these Sweet Squash Treats


Whitney Otwaka’s career began almost by chance: after taking a few culinary classes at University of California at Berkeley, she decided to apply to a waitressing job, even though she had never worked in a restaraunt.

She didn’t get the job. Instead, she was hired as a cook in a small kitchen-with only one other chef. On her official website, she recalls how that first encounter shaped her:

“I discovered my innate discipline and rigor, and a passion that would allow me to thrive in the grueling environment of a restaurant kitchen…” Continue reading “Take Advantage of Fall with these Sweet Squash Treats”

Falling for Flavor: Two Spices to Add Now

Padma Lakshmi is anything but a conventional chef. Best known as both a Top Chef star and executive producer, her career in the public life is multifaceted; she’s also worked as a model and as an ambassador to the ACLU.

And just like her career, her food does not follow conventions. Her four cookbooks showcase her love of blending multiple cultures from dish to dish. But almost all of her dishes have one thing in common: spice, and plenty of it. Continue reading “Falling for Flavor: Two Spices to Add Now”

Go Naked: Why Fondant is No Longer the Only Way to Decorate

He’s sculpted a submarine and shaped a guitar, constructed a fortune cookie box and molded sharks. And that’s only a few of his often eccentric, and usually towering,  projects.

Buddy Valastro, fondly known as the “Cake Boss” of the TLC show, never shies away from a challenge, creating lifelike cakes unimaginable to even most pastry chefs.

Aside from sugar, flour, and eggs, his number one ingredient? Fondant, and lots of it.  He uses fondant to shape certain designs that would prove nearly impossible with buttercream frosting, but even the “king” of fondant admits it’s not intended for everything or everyone: Continue reading “Go Naked: Why Fondant is No Longer the Only Way to Decorate”