Artisanal Fromagerie in NYC Seeks the Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe!

I adore cheese, so it's probably not a surprise that I adore Artisanal Bistro!

Do you make the best grilled sandwich ever? If so, please send me one. Also, enter today for a chance to win the Artisanal Grilled Cheese Contest! Entering is simple. Like Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro & Wine Bar on Facebook, and then visit their contest page. The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2012, at 5PM EST.

Grilled cheese has weathered many a diet craze and cuts across an array of cuisines, and they are now more popular than ever. Chef Brennan explains, “Grilled cheeses are hot right now for several reasons. First, everyone can relate to the sandwich from their childhood, so it evokes nostalgic emotions. Also, everyone has made one! And, with talented chefs now getting into the game and using Artisanal,  high-quality products, it’s bringing this humble sandwich to another level. Plus, given the economic climate,  it’s an affordable luxury.” Artisanal’s features several variations on grilled cheese sandwiches. We’ve had them on the menu for about eight years, and it is one of our most popular sellers. My favorite is the ‘Frenchie,’ with the ‘Spaniard’ being a close second.”

Chef Terrance Brennan of Artisanal on the Art of Dining Out with Kids

Photo: Courtesy of The Artisanal Group
Photo: Courtesy of The Artisanal Group

With a little more than a week until Mother’s Day, we continue our series of interviews with famous chefs who are also parents. Today, Artisanal’s Terrance Brennan talks about dining with his three children and navigating their unique appetites.

Known for introducing the traditional European cheese course to American diners through his restaurants and Manhattan’s Artisanal Premium Cheese Center, Terrance Brennan’s growing restaurant group also includes the Michelin-starred Picholine, a longtime favorite of New York’s gastronomes. As he expands his restaurants in Seattle, this ambitious chef has still managed to find time to be a dedicated dad to his three children, ages 11, 15, and 17.

Chef Brennan emphasizes the importance of manners when introducing children to the world of fine dining. “My number one piece of advice would be to teach your children manners.” Modeling good dining behavior is also helpful. He says, “Lead by example. Parents should show respect to waitstaff and other members of the service team, so children can see how to handle themselves in a restaurant.” Interacting with each other during the meal is important, too. “Whether dining at home or dining out, it’s valuable time at the table meant for conversations, checking in, and not just playing video games and playing on iPhones. That being said, don’t be overly strict with too many rules!” He admits that his children eat too quickly. “Remind your children to enjoy and chew and really experience the food…this is something I am always encouraging.”

To help create a successful dining out experience, he recommends trying to find a restaurant at which your children will be able to eat something they love. He shares, “I have three kids and each of them likes different things. So, make sure you pick a restaurant that’s flexible and has diverse options. My daughter is adventurous, and my two boys are not so adventurous.  The boys won’t eat fish, but my daughter will; she loves lobster bisque.” As for their favorites at his restaurants, Brennan says, “At Artisanal Bistro, my children love the gougeres, Jamón Ibérico, steak frites, profiteroles and chicken under brick. They also love the pizza at Bar Artisanal.”