#ProducePlayoff Benefit for #NoKidHungry at Betony: Dish, Drink + Behind-the-Scenes Pics

Produce_Playoff_0126Betony general manager Eamon Rockey and chef Bryce Shuman joined forces with No Kid Hungry on Tuesday, August 25th, at the 2015 Produce Playoff to help end childhood hunger in America. The event was an epic culinary throwdown featuring the season’s best bounty, which the chefs and wine and spirits experts, including Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park), Eli Kaimeh (Per Se), James Kent (The NoMad), Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske (Contra), and Rebecca Isbell (Betony), Jeff Taylor (Betony) and Thomas Pastuszak (The NoMad), personally selected in the #ProducePlayoff draft several days ago. Curious to see what Kevin Denton made with all those carrots? How about what chef Stone created with that lovely baby lettuce? Did the chefs all play nicely together in the kitchen? Check out our slideshow of pictures shot by New York photographer Simon Lewis for a look at how the delicious evening unfolded in the front of the house, in the kitchen, and, randomly, in the middle of 57th Street.

With a menu of Greenmarket-driven food and drink, live music, and words of inspiration and enlightenment from Debbie Shore, founder of No Kid Hungry, the 2015 Produce Playoff is a shining example of the magic that can happen when talented culinary professionals unite. Co-host Rockey noted, “The more talented people there are rallying together behind the same cause, the greater the impact and the more powerful the momentum.” Shuman said of his and Betony’s support for the organization, “No Kid Hungry seriously strikes a chord with me, having a daughter, and they maintain goals that are small enough to achieve and big enough to matter.”

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Save $15 on #Brunch When You Pay with OpenTable This Weekend

Pay with OpenTable

There’s no better way to celebrate the weekend than with brunch (Hello, socially acceptable day drinking!), and this weekend you can save $15 on this most delicious midday meal. When you book a table and pay through the OpenTable app* at brunch on Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30, you’ll save $15** on your dining experience — so go ahead and treat yourself. Here’s how it works:

* Make a reservation and dine August 29-30 at a restaurant that accepts OpenTable mobile payments.

* Add the promo code brunch in the top right when you view your check in the app. (You can only use it once!)

* And there you have it —  $15 credit toward your bill. Now, how about another Bloody Mary?

View participating restaurants in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Find all participating restaurants here. Book a reservation today to save $15 on brunch when you Pay with OpenTable!Continue Reading

Heirloom Tomatoes: 24 Chefs Share Their Favorites

Sure, the end of August signals that summer is almost over, but it also heralds the height of heirloom tomato season across the nation. There are a seemingly endless number of varietals of heirloom tomatoes from which to choose, including Black Krim, Hungarian Heart, and more (and endless debate as to what constitutes an heirloom tomato, which we won’t get into here). To narrow down the field we asked chefs to share their favorites and showcase how they’re serving what is arguably the most delicious ingredient of this year’s harvest.

Philippe Bertineau, Benoit, New York, New York
“Deliciously flavored Sun Gold, Red Currant, and Green Zebra heirloom tomatoes pack more sweetness.”
Order them in: The heirloom tomatoes from Eckerton Hill Farm with red onion, basil, sherry vinegar, and olive oil.

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Eric Brennan, Post 390, Boston, Massachusetts
“We are now getting our heirloom tomatoes from Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell, Massachusetts. Owners Carl and Marie Hills grow some great tomatoes, especially the Black Prince, Pink Brandywine, and Green Zebra. After they did some research on other areas that were growing heirlooms, they started their own in 2004 and soon became the award-winning growers of heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes in the state.”
Order them in: Kimball Fruit Farm’s heirloom tomatoes + charred sweet corn with griddled halloumi, fig balsamic, and purslane pesto.

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Matt Christianson, Urban Farmer, Portland, Oregon
“At Urban Farmer, we grow heirloom tomatoes on the restaurants’ rooftop garden. My favorite variety is the Indigo Blue Berries tomato because of its rich, dark color and because they are high in anthocyanins, which protect against a myriad of human diseases.”
Order them in: The heirloom tomato salad.

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Kevin Cuddihee, TWO, Chicago, Illinois
“In-season tomatoes are one of my favorite ingredients, green zebras have a great natural acidity that goes great with burrata, and the red onion basil vinaigrette rounds out the dish nicely. We like to let the ingredient shine on the plate and in- season heirloom tomatoes are the perfect star.”
Order them in: The Green Zebra tomatoes with burrata cheese, Vidalia onions, and red onion-basil vinaigrette.

Heirloom TWO Green Zebra Heirloom Tomato Salad

Laurence Edelman, Left Bank, New York, New York
“Any heirloom tomato that is perfectly ripe is going to be the best tomato you’ve ever had. There are a few that are particularly beautiful. There’s an heirloom tomato that is shaped like a heart called Hungarian Heart. It’s a good mix of flesh and juice and they’re really big and cool looking. Sometimes they are so big that one tomato could be a light meal.”
Order them in: The heirloom tomato salad with Spanish goat cheese and marinated eggplant.

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Michael Ferraro, Delicatessen, New York, New York
“The Cherokee Purple are my favorite because they’re very plump, juicy, and large in size. Plus, they’re very flavorful and taste a bit less acidic than other heirloom tomato varietals.”
Order them in: The heirloom tomato + burrata salad with green olive pesto and focaccia croutons.

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Michael Goodman, Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
“I like the versatility of Brandywine tomatoes. This sweet tomato has a pinkish flesh and a wonderful acidity that is great for salads. Seared or grilled, they work very well with a nice, cold pressed extra virgin olive and sea salt and paired with a sexy white wine.”
Order them in: Zucchini “spaghetti” with zucchini pesto and heirloom tomato tartare.

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Todd Kelly, Orchids at Palm Court, Cincinnati, Ohio
“I prefer the smaller Black Cherry heirloom tomatoes because they are sweet and juicy with a more moderate acidity, making them very versatile. “
Order them in: The heirloom tomato and mozzarella “balloon” caprese salad with saffron tomato gelée, pickled onion, arugula, and shallot lavosh.

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Michael Kornick, mk, Chicago, Illinois
“I love Brandywine tomatoes because of their rich flavor. Brandywines have a balanced amount of acid and are thick and meaty with a delicious juice. Their skin peels easily for quickly cooked pasta sauces and with freshly grilled fish.”
Order them in: The colorful heirloom tomato salad with watermelon, pineapple, mint, oil-cured olive, and a buttermilk crisp.

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Chris Macchia, Labriola Ristorante, Chicago, Illinois
“My favorite type of heirloom tomato is the Cherokee Purple because it has fantastic tomato flavor—and of course, it’s fun to say!”
Order them in: The caprese salad with tomatoes, pesto powder, heirloom tomato sorbet, buffalo mozzarella, and basil foam.

Heirloom Labriola Purple Cherokee Caprese (3)

Aaron Martinez, Intro, Chicago, Illinois
“The Sun Gold tomato is always consistent in flavor and texture. Very sweet tomato and not mealy. I chose this tomato for a melon dish because of its sweetness that pairs so well with the seaweed-infused tomato water. The savory and sweet combination really balance each other out.”
Order them in: The tomato and summer melon plate.

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Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, Wisconsin
“We use a large variety of heirlooms for this dish, but my choices this year are Cherokee Green, Cherokee Purple, Yellow Brandywine, Jaune Flamme, and Aunt Ruby’s German Green. I pick tomatoes with low acid and small seed to meat ratios. Then, all you have to do is add salt.”
Order them in: Part of the seven-course tasting menu, Miller serves Snug Haven Farm heirloom tomatoes with baby cucumber, radishes, peekytoe crab, and pine nuts.

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#ProducePlayoff Draft for the #NoKidHungry Benefit in NYC on 8/25: ICYMI

On Tuesday, August 25th, Betony restaurant in New York will host the Produce Playoff benefit in honor of No Kid Hungry. In anticipation of the event, participating chefs and beer, wine, and spirits experts, including Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park), Eli Kaimeh (Per Se), James Kent (The NoMad), Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske (Contra), and Rebecca Isbell (Betony), Jeff Taylor (Betony) and Thomas Pastuszak (The NoMad), gathered at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan to officially draft the fruits and vegetables they’ll be showcasing next week.

Emceed by Eamon Rockey of Betony, the draft had strict(ish) rules set forth by host chef Bryce Shuman. Everyone could select one vegetable or fruit in two separate rounds. We ran (all around the market and even into chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten), we laughed, we perspired in the hot sun, and a few chefs even made a couple of under-the-table trades. It was all in good fun for a good cause — helping to end childhood hunger in America. Follow their exploits as they raced against the clock and each other to claim the most coveted local bounty of the season, with these shots from photographer Simon Lewis. Then, purchase your tickets to join us on Tuesday for a delicious meal prepared by these talented culinary professionals while supporting No Kid Hungry.

Bryce Shuman practices his game face in the hopes of intimidating his fellow chefs.
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Chef Daniel Humm mugged for the camera before the fun began.
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The Union Square Greenmarket’s most promising players waited patiently, hoping to be selected.
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On your mark, get set…
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Do these ‘maters have what it takes to make the cut?
In a last-minute bid, they accessorize in the hopes of catching the participants’ eyes.
In a last-minute decision, they accessorize in the hopes of catching the participants’ eyes.
File this one under ‘Great New York Moments’: Chef Daniel Humm bumps into chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who was browsing the market over his morning coffee.
File this one under ‘Great New York Moments’: Chef Daniel Humm bumps into chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who was browsing the market over his morning coffee.
Is it a coincidence that chef Humm chose French breakfast radishes after his run-in with Jean-Georges? We think not.
Is it a coincidence that chef Humm chose French breakfast radishes after his run-in with Jean-Georges? We think not.
The corn tries to act natural while chef Shuman ponders his decision.
The corn tries to act natural while chef Shuman ponders his decision.
Chef Shuman sinks his teeth into his Produce Playoff pick with corn from Sycamore Farms.
Chef Shuman sinks his teeth into his Produce Playoff pick with corn from Sycamore Farms.
True story: Chef Eli Kaimeh went straight for the gorgeous fairytale eggplant.
True story: Chef Eli Kaimeh went straight for the gorgeous fairytale eggplant.
I really hope he remembered to use the #produceplayoff hashtag.
I really hope he remembered to use the #produceplayoff hashtag.
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There were grape expectations around the pours the wine experts would pick.
Some of the somms got really into feeding their fellow competitors grapes.
Some of the somms got really into feeding their fellow competitors grapes.
Seriously, what's up with the wine guys and the grapes?
Seriously, what’s up with the wine guys and the grapes?
No, really.
No, really.

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