Organic Avenue: Menu Development Project

Organic Avenue is a small yet fast-growing organic juice and foods retailer in the New York Metro area. They have 12 stores but have plans for significant expansion in the near future. In June they hired me to consult on a menu development project for them.  Organic Avenue’s current products are focused on their amazing [...]

In The Recipe Lab: Pizza Dough Challenge! Round 3

The code has been cracked.  When I started this process a few weeks ago I might not have known quite what I was getting myself into.   Or maybe I was just being dishonest with myself.  Under the guise of testing out two different types of flour for pizza dough, I might have actually been doing [...]

Recipe Lab: Amateur Gourmet’s Damon Wise ‘Umami Meatloaf’

Reading the Amateur Gourmet’s very entertaining food blog, I came across his post, ‘The Best Meatloaf I’ve Ever Had’.  In it chef Damon Wise of Tom Colicchio’s Craft Restaurant details the preparation for his ‘Umami Meatloaf’.  The video is fun and the recipe looked very good.  A day or two after that, and of pure coincidence, [...]

Recipe Lab: Thomas Keller’s French Laundry ‘Prime Beef Short Ribs’

Working through Thomas Keller’s recipes in his French Laundry cook book can be hard work.  Not to mention time consuming.  And I haven’t even gotten to the tough ones yet.  But I know that through it all my cooking only improves.  To follow the directions and then at the very end, after the dish is [...]

In The Recipe Lab: Thomas Keller’s Duck Confit

All of my cassoulet meditation recently provoked me to the point of tracking down pigs feet and making Fergus Henderson’s Trotter Gear.  Then, with a fridge full of the porcine pedal goo, I figured the only logical thing to do would be to put some of it to use and make the cassoulet that had [...]

In The Recipe Lab: Pizza Dough Challenge! Round 2

The experiment continues…
Based on the outcome of the original Pizza Dough Challenge, my findings were less about which type of flour, Italian ‘00′ or regular ‘all purpose’, was better and more about how both lacked the doughy pizzeria characteristics that I was looking for.  Although good, the pizzas I produced were not near enough to the quality [...]

In The Recipe Lab: Pizza Dough Challenge! ‘00′ vs. ‘All Purpose’

There is so much ink spilled about correct pizza technique and so much on-going conversation about it from every angle that it can be difficult to keep all the opinions straight.  Let alone figure out the best method for producing superior pizza at home.  Should you knead or not knead?  How long should you let [...]

In The Recipe Lab: Fergus Henderson’s ‘Trotter Gear’

These recent wintery days have had me thinking about great cold-weather meals that I have had.  One such memory is from Christmas 2006 when the boss and I spent the Holiday kicking around Paris.  We had no agenda (an no relatives to visit) other than to wander the city for a couple days with only an eye [...]

In The Recipe Lab: Pickled Garlic

I don’t know where the idea came from… other than the fact that my dad gave me an unusually large amount of garlic over the Holidays.  He grows five varieties in his bucolic Pennsylvania garden and sells most of it at a farmers market.  But there are always a bunch of loose cloves in need of a home.  So he [...]

Recipe Sketchbook: Chestnut Soup

A Thanksgiving guest brought us a bag of chestnuts that ended up not getting eaten that night.  So the next day I was looking at them sitting on the counter and wondering what to do with them. Some relatives came back from traipsing around the city and told me they had bought some roasted chestnuts from a [...]