July 4, 2009 |
Hundreds of South Africans moonwalk for Jackson Several hundred South Africans gathered yesterday for a moonwalking tribute to the King of Pop that reflected the diversity of the rainbow nation. They were in Johannesburg's Nelson Mandela Square for one reason: an abiding love for Michael Jackson's music. "He's the king and will always be the king," said 28-year-old Siviwe Mazwana. To "Man in the Mirror" and "Smooth Criminal," dancers of all ages emulated the hip-jutting, crotch-grabbing, moonwalking moves that made Jackson famous.
June 4, 2009 |
It was a bit of a surprise all around last fall when Martin Hamann showed up in the sprawling kitchen of Philadelphia's old-line Union League. The accomplished chef, a product of Morton, Delaware County (where his father ran a bakery specializing in Danish and after-church pastries), had spent fully half his 50 years at the classy Four Seasons hotel, working his way up from apprentice to top chef. He'd ascended to that post in 2001 when his friend and mentor Jean-Marie Lacroix stepped down.
May 28, 2009 |
NEW YORK - Dan Barber emerges one recent afternoon from the Union Square Greenmarket with a spring bounty: asparagus, purple kohlrabi, ramps, fiddlehead ferns and dandelion greens. They're luscious, fresher-than-fresh and Barber can't wait to get them into the kitchen. When he does, what will he do with them? The answer is pure Dan Barber. "Not a lot," he says with a smile, sipping iced coffee near the market. "As I get better and better as a chef, I'm doing less and less.
March 5, 2009 |
For all the clattering, sizzling and bravado that courses through the reality series Top Chef, yesterday's Philadelphia casting call had - well - none of that. Those hoping for a chance to wow the judges in the Bravo show's sixth season patiently waited their turn under crystal chandeliers at hushed banquet tables at Nineteen restaurant at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue. (Well, there was a little snippiness, as three hopefuls snickered when a guy in a lavishly embroidered and highly starched chef's jacket walked in.)
February 22, 2009 |
From the moody, palm-fringed dining room at Fork, you can view the catch that is Terence Feury, framed in the stainless steel of the open kitchen, dark bistro apron past the knee, shaven head glinting in the light from above. He's a trophy fish, an exceedingly big fish (time at Le Bernardin in New York, top chef jobs with various Ritz-Carltons and, most visibly, before its demise, the city's celebrated Striped Bass), suddenly, though ostensibly contentedly, aswim in a far, far littler pond.
August 31, 2008 |
It's a pity the Geneva Conventions haven't been invoked to end the cruel abuses regularly inflicted on Cajun and Creole cuisine hereabouts - horrible bread suffocating the po'boy, gumbos salty beyond belief, gummy rice, unrecognizable jambalaya, odd olive salads that insult the great state of Louisiana. I have taken to squirming and averting my eyes upon encountering Cajun-themed eateries, unleashed by the blackened-redfish craze of the 1980s, still popping up now and then, often in the worst of all possible hands.
June 12, 2008 |
The venerable Fountain Restaurant is bringing reality TV to the city's restaurant scene, with the installation of a new flat-screen for viewing its own top chef, Martin Hamann. Diners can book a private room to watch executive chef Hamann prepare dinner via closed-circuit television, and then see the food on the screen delivered to their table, less than 10 seconds after the last drizzle of sauce or tuft of micro arugula has garnished the plate. The luxurious restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel may draw followers of the popular reality cooking shows with its new "Virtual Kitchen" program, which offers not only a view of the preparation, but also the satisfaction of eating the finished product.
June 11, 2008 |
Amy Jordan is director of the Media and the Developing Child Sector at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania I am a fan of the Bravo TV program Top Chef, in which charismatic young chefs compete week after week by creating inspired dishes for a panel of easy-on-the-eyes judges. Sometimes my 13-year-old daughter, Julia, watches with me, rooting for her favorite chef. Recently, she also figured something out about the commercials aired during the show.
July 27, 2007 |
The subset of reality TV involving dirty dishings in kitchen settings - Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen, The Next Food Network Star - tries to put a soupcon of sexiness on the menu, but usually ends up looking like some kind of restaurant porn: The hottest moments are reserved for the main courses. In contrast, the big screen's No Reservations, a romantic comedy-drama opening today, goes for its steam simply by letting stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart occupy the same space while wearing tasty white cooking smocks.
March 8, 2007 |
Fear of fish - of cooking it, that is - is a culinary malady that afflicts many home cooks. The cause, most often, is a lack of experience handling this delicate, even fragile, food. That is to be expected, since many Americans, especially the young, know fish only in its frozen fish-stick form - really more breading than fish. Americans consume, on average, a total of just over 16 pounds of fish and shellfish per person annually. Five pounds of that is fresh or frozen finfish, which breaks down to about one 6-ounce-plus fresh or frozen fish serving a month.