Put an Egg on (or in) It: 13 ‘Eggcellent’ Dishes for #WorldEggDay

Eggs have long since migrated from breakfast and brunch staples to main attractions on lunch and dinner menus. A sexy, shimmery, perfectly slow-cooked or cheerful sunny side up egg brings rich flavor and lush texture, not to mention a protein punch, to many a dish. To inspire you on this delicious occasion, we’ve rounded up 13 ‘eggcellent’ dishes for #WorldEggDay.

L’Etoile, Madison, Wisconsin
A local duck egg gets top billing from chef Tory Miller in the farro salad at French fine dining restaurant L’Etoile. Made with duck confit, sweet potatoes, and shaved red onion, the duck-centric dish is topped with crispy kale and a sunny side up, farm-raised duck egg. [Photo by Samantha Egelhof]


Ramen-san, Chicago, Illinois
Chef Doug Psaltis’s Berkshire Ham & Cheese Okonomiyaki, crowned with a sunny side up egg, is Ramen-san’s version of the savory Japanese “pancakes” that are gaining popularity both in the U.S. and abroad. [Photo by Jeff Marini]

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Stella Barra Pizzeria, North Bethesda, Maryland
When the moon of Prosciutto and Egg Pizza from Stella Barra chef-partner Jeff Mahin hits your eye with its sunny side up egg nestled on a white base, four types of cheese, and chilies? That’s amore. [Photo by Rey Lopez]

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Melisse, Los Angeles, California
At the only two Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Angeles, Chef Josiah Citrin serves his Egg Caviar dish, a sublimely cooked soft poached egg appointed with a tangy lemon-chive crème frâiche and American Osetra caviar. The ingredients are served inside the eggshell for a stunning presentation and accompanied by toasted brioche for dipping. [Photo by Matthew Kiefer]

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Craftbar, New York, New York
Surf meets turf in chef Luke Wallace’s White Anchovy & Soft Egg Toast at Craftbar. With crunchy bread, plus lemon aioli and confit of leek, every one of your hungry taste buds will be deliciously served.

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Summer House, North Bethesda, Maryland
Bucatini and Brown Butter Carbonara, Summer House Santa Monica’s version of carbonara, elevates a classic dish to new heights with thick-cut braised bacon and heaps of parmesan – all brought together with a farm-fresh egg. [Photo by Anjali Pinto]

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Café Spiaggia, Chicago, Illinois
The Farm Egg at James Beard Award-winning chef Tony Mantuano’s Café Spiaggia is a stellar example of happens when a simple pantry staple is paired with fresh, high-quality ingredients, such as Lonesome Stone polenta, Scrozone nero truffles, and Grana Padano cheese. [Photo by Jeff Kauck]

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Osteria, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chef Brad Daniels serves a freshly thrown pizza with all the trimmings you could want in the way of his Lombarda pie. Topped with baked egg, Bitto and mozzarella cheese, and cotechino sausage, it’ll be love at first bite, guaranteed.

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A Taste of the Past: 5 Heritage Ingredients Making a Comeback

Not every taste withstands the test of time. Plenty of vegetables, herbs, and grains popular in the past have either gone of out style and are no longer cultivated on a mass scale or have had key flavors altered through breeding. Lucky for present-day diners, chefs are rediscovering and reviving these lost heirloom plants in contemporary cuisine. Here are five heritage ingredients making a comeback that will give you a taste of history.

Benne Seeds
You’re probably already somewhat familiar with benne seeds since they are the forefathers to modern sesame. The ovate seeds have a nutty character and add an umami quality to the dishes they’re featured in. They’re the backbone of Sean Brock of Husk’s Charleston Ice Cream, which is a warm savory starter made with Carolina Gold Rice, not a cold sweet finale. The seeds are incredibly versatile. Bourbon Steak’s executive chef Joe Palma used them to dapple a yeast doughnut, which served as a bun for his Big American burger topped with bacon, pimento cheese, and sweet ‘n’ spicy pickle relish .

Bourbon Steak Burger

Though it’s part of the grass family and can be used as a grain, sorghum is best known for being transformed into a dark syrup popular below the Mason-Dixon line. Tasting like a cross between molasses and maple syrup, it’s often used interchangeably with the two, either as a sweetener or drizzled on to flapjacks and biscuits. At Washington, D.C.’s Vidalia, it’s incorporated into the standout sweet potato sourdough in the restaurant’s complimentary bread basket. Conversely, it adds Southern-style sweetness to the butter accompanying the cast iron cornbread at Food, Wine & Co. in Bethesda, Maryland. Chef Erik Niel of Easy Bistro & Bar, Chattanooga, Tennessee, goes a different route entirely, using popped sorghum to garnish his tuna tartare (pictured below).

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This winter root vegetable’s nickname is the “oyster plant,” because it supposedly expresses that flavor when it’s cooked – though some think it tastes more like an artichoke. A relative of the parsnip, it works best when boiled, mashed, or fried. Gabriel Kreuther of New York City’s Gabriel Kreuther has used it in a decadent gratin made with plenty of butter, half-and-half, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, and a pinch of nutmeg. At City Perch in North Bethesda, Maryland, executive chef Matt Baker has showcased salsify in a seared scallops dish given a luxe lift with shaved black truffles.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.


#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.
Chef Daniel Humm mugged for the camera before the fun began.
The Union Square Greenmarket’s most promising players waited patiently, hoping to be selected.
On your mark, get set…
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.
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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