On Friday night, food lovers took over the cobblestoned streets of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District in search of tasty bites, good wine and a Cooking Channel star sighting or two. Stationed within a half-mile perimeter in the trendy neighborhood, Cooking Channel’s Meatpacking Uncorked was a three hour food, fashion and fun-fest that involved 50 local restaurants, food trucks and boutiques.
While shopping, attendees were able to sample wines and sparkling beverages and meet some of their favorite Cooking Channel chefs. Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey’s Essentials greeted fans at Trina Turk, Ben Sargent of Hook, Line & Dinner was stationed at Levi’s Meatpacking and Extra Virgin’s Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos were at the heart of it all at Diane Von Furstenberg. Lively hosts Mo Rocca and Lee Anne Wong popped by Scoop NYC Men’s and The Earnest Sewn Co.
Continue Reading Bottles and Bites at Meatpacking Uncorked
Ben Sargent's Spicy Fish Curry Soup. Photo: Roberto Ferdman
This past weekend, food-crazed crowds flocked to New Jersey’s famous boardwalk for Atlantic City’s 2011 Food and Wine Festival. With a star-studded line-up of Cooking Channel and Food Network chefs behind the burners, familiar faces were abound and good food was aplenty. A celebration of everything edible, drinkable and down-right delicious, the four-day feast featured tons of loosen-your-belt-worthy eats like Ben Sargent’s fiery Fish Curry Soup (pictured above).
Like Cooking Channel favorites Ben Sargent, Kelsey Nixon and Roger Mooking we couldn’t help but join in on the festivities. From Guy Fieri’s Cheese Steak Battle to Fire & Ice (an outdoor food and booze party), we made sure to bring back some of our favorite leftovers. Here’s what caught our eyes — and stomachs.
Continue Reading Best Bites: Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival
Surfing, scuba diving, sunshine and sea urchins in San Diego: now we’re talkin’.
It was time to move on from the cold weather, burly man stuff. I wanted sunshine and surf and that’s just what I got in beautiful San Diego. The first thing I discovered is I need to work on my West Coast surfer lingo — “gnarly,” “rad” and “hella cool” are in frequent use. I also discovered my actual surfing skills could use some work. Compared to the locals, I was totally not “one with the ocean” that day at all.
Continue Reading All in a Hard Day’s Work
How would you describe your ultimate summer weekend getaway? Spending some time on the beach, browsing a charming boardwalk and indulging in plenty of delicious seaside food? How about spotting celeb chefs and attending over 30 parties, food and beverage seminars, cooking demonstrations and tastings?
The Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival — sponsored by the Food Network since 2010 — offers all these enticing escapes during three days of sweet, savory and booze-filled fun. From July 28 to July 31 (starting with back-to-back parties on the evening of the 28th) you’ll have the opportunity to mingle, drink and dine with over 20,000 food people.
Continue Reading Cook with Kelsey, Ben, Roger and More in Atlantic City
On my way to Santa Barbara
Ah, Santa Barbara, Calif. — a welcome relief weather-wise after Oregon. The sun shone brightly for three days straight, and I could feel my fingers for the whole trip (which are essential for braking on a motorcycle). Craig Lewis, a local trawler who traded the high seas of Alaska for the area, refers to it as “cupcake cove,” because the weather is nice and the fishing so good. As he would say, “No worries in this bay, right mate?”
Continue Reading Halibut and Rock Crabs in Santa Barbara
Swan Oyster Depot is my favorite place to stop by when I’m in San Francisco. It’s a San Francisco institution that’s been serving nothing but seafood since 1912. Leaving aside the fact that this was the only place I got skunked on the fishing, I still hold strong to my belief that San Fran has some of the best seafood in the entire world. And who better to help me prove this point than Tommy Sancimino, owner of Swan Oyster Depot?
I was determined to learn the secret to Tommy’s “off-the-menu oyster chowder.” It’s a dish known to locals, but it’s extremely hard to come by if you are not in the know. It’s quite possibly the best stew I have ever tasted in my life.
Continue Reading Secrets to a Better Oyster Chowder
When I decided to ride my 1973 BMW motorcycle for this entire seafood odyssey, I neglected to factor in something major: Oregon. While Oregon is one of the most beautiful places on earth, the elements of the Pacific Northwest can be far from friendly. I think I averaged about three layers of clothing and a hot chocolate or coffee every 40 miles.
By the time I got to the fishing boat, I had to dig deep to muster the enthusiasm needed to layer on rain gear and head out on high waves. If you caught the episode, you noticed I had some issues with those waves (or was it the sardines?). But, I have to say, after all that, the crab cakes sure were worth it!
Continue Reading Where to Find the Best Crab Cakes
“I went to Dooky Chase
To get me something to eat
The waitress looked at me and said
Ray, you sure look beat,
Now it’s early in the morning
And I ain’t got nothing but the blues”
—Ray Charles, “Early in the Morning Blues”
For anyone traveling to New Orleans on a food pilgrimage, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant is a must-stop. Thanks for the tip, Ray!
Leah Chase, co-owner and star chef at Dooky Chase, was just about the coolest person I have ever met. I don’t just mean that in the sense of nice or friendly; cool is a much more suitable word. Even better, she had moves in the kitchen and makes a mean shrimp gumbo.
Continue Reading Gumbo Secrets From the “Queen of Creole Cuisine”
Ben Sargent's not-so-secret anymore lobstah roll.
For about a year, Ben Sargent sold lobster rolls out of his Greenpoint, Brooklyn apartment. He was dealing 150 buttery, succulent, fresh-from-the-sea sandwiches per night — illegally. Then, just as he was about to go legit, while he was away taping a pilot for a show on seafood for Cooking Channel, his underground lobster pound was shut down by the city of New York. Ben Sargent and his lobster roll-slinging alter-ego Dr. Klaw were lobster roll pushers no more.
Now that he’s legit, the host of Hook, Line & Dinner will no sooner share his top-secret lobster roll recipe than he would eat imitation crab meat. It just won’t happen.
But he did walk us through the process at a recent visit to the Cooking Channel and Food Network test kitchens, and smart cooks just might catch on . . .
Continue Reading The Secret(s) to Ben Sargent’s Famous Lobster Roll
I am ashamed to say my knowledge of crawdads (also known as mudbugs, yabbies, mudpuppies and crawfish) goes only as far as Buck — the bright blue one I have in my fish tank at home. I watch him every day, but at no time have I ever thought to eat him because, to me, he looks like a terribly undersized lobster. You would be shot at the docks up North for eating a guy of his size. So this was the first hurdle I had to get over while hunting for these little critters down in the bayou.
Continue Reading Crawfish in the Bayou