I forever run the risk of singing the praises of dynamic duo Gentl and Hyers. This master photog team deserves a whole essay about them, they are out of this atmosphere brilliant and talented but its how they are so down to earth and ever loving that makes them true gifts to all who know them. Working on this Kinfolk shoot with them was our first real job together and I’ll forever cherish these photos.
The lovely and talented Sharon Radisch shot the recent puff pastry demo for Food 52 with me. We thought it would be fun to take it to the next level and develop some savory and sweet pastries applications. We came up with these… A pear tart with honey and sage salt, a rose petal croissant and a parsnip and nigella seed tart.
Here’s another video, this one was in collaboration with the crew from First We Feast, Complex Magazine, Action Bronson, directed by Shawn Regruto, edited by Claire Malloy with special help from Butchdiva and 10 over 10.
'Tis the season for viscous reds and seats next to the croquembouche. Croquembouche lliterally means, ‘crunch in mouth’.This architectural showstopper was first created in the early 19th century by the first ever celebrity chef and founding foodie father, Antonin Carême.
Hop on to my Food52 Beyond The Basics column this week for more photos and a step by step guide to pate choux, creme patissiere, and croquembouche.
What a fantastic year. This time last year I decided to give the restaurant life a break and I dove right into food in media. I have had the extreme pleasure of working with some of the top noted photographers in this field this year… And I want to specifically thank Gentl and Hyers, Maria Robledo, Tara Sgroi, Nicole Franzen , Tuukka Koski and Daniel Krieger for taking a chance with me and allowing me to be comfortable enough to create along side you. As well I’d also like to thank, superstar food stylist Susan Spungen who among other things taught me how to give a roasting chicken a facelift, as well her great organizational skills spoke mountains to me. To Bon Appetit who also took a chance with me and gave me my first big food styling job, thanks for your patience and trust. To Food 52, who encouraged me to write a bi-weekly column and find my voice. And lastly, my new found family from a dinner series started this past summer The Bowery Banquet, I love everyone of you dearly, thank you for your hard work and charms.
This year was also the year I gained over 50K followers on Instagram. Last January I set fourth to posting at least 3 images a day, that commitment pushed me to understand light and composition in a way I never imagined and in turn I feel has made me a better food stylist. And I’m so thankful to the positive and encouraging people I have met through this medium who have inspired me so much on an hourly basis.
In August we visited the lovely family that runs Violet Hill Farm. The crew squeezed into a rental and up we went… we brought my dear friend, fellow chef and all round bad ass Lee Anne Wong.
We went wild crafting at the guidance of Mary and Paul who run the farm. We collected the most beautiful herbs, plants, crab apples and mushrooms then cooked it all on a fire pit. Lee Anne the wonder chef that she is took milk weed bulbs and blanched them, dipped them in batter and deep fried them. Like stuffed zucchini blossoms but better.
1/2 cup apple cider 1 lemon, zest and juice 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 pinches of salt
5 large cooking apples
3 tbl butter
-mix the first set of ingredients in a bowl. Peeled, core and slice apples adding and tossing them into the mixture as you go. -roll out the two pie dough disks. -line a pie tin with the first of the rolled out dough. -pour the apple mixture into prepared pie shell and dot with butter. -cover with 2nd rolled out dough or use it to make a lattice or other decorative pie technique. -allow to chill in the freezer for 1/2 hour. -warm oven to 375 degrees. -crack an egg, whisk and use to gently brush the top of pie then sprinkle a good and even amount of sugar atop. -bake pie till golden brown on top, 40-60 minutes. -allow to rest on a cooling rack for 1/2 hour before cutting into it.
2 1/2 c flour 1 tsp salt 2 tbl sugar 2 sticks of butter, cut into medium size cubes
With a food processor, pastry cutter or hands mix the flour, salt and sugar.
Add butter and pulse or cut until a course meal texture in achieved with obvious butter flakes throughout.
Add cold/iced water slowly until dough forms. Up to 1/4 cup of water generally.
Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, form two disks and wrap individually. Allow to rest in refrigerator for at least one hour.