A Look at the English + Vongerichten Empires; Food Trucks Beget Restaurants; Kids and Restaurants; Picky Eaters Cooper + Seinfeld on Pancakes vs. Waffles

Despite all the scenes at Monk's in Seinfeld, Jerry isn't much of a foodie.

Dining and restaurant news…

* Pair of kings. A look at the culinary empires of Todd English and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. [HuffPost]

* Keep on truckin’. Or not, if you wind up with your own brick and mortar restaurant. [Chicago Business]

* When Jerry met Anderson. Picky eaters Anderson Cooper and Jerry Seinfeld complain about food. [HuffPost]

* The kids are all right. In defense of children in restaurants. [Aurora Sentinel]

* Symon says. Celeb chef Michael Symon talks about life on the line and in front of the cameras. [Cleveland.com]

* Fake beef. A twitter war between chefs and restaurants erupts, thanks to a fake profile. [Portland Press Herald]

* Supper shutterbug tips. How to take better food photos. [DigitalPhotographySchool]

Top Chef Just Desserts Season 2 Episode 5: Like Water for Chocolate

Episode 5 of Top Chef Just Desserts season 2 tapped into two important childhood experiences — the candy bar and the water park. Le Bernardin‘s Executive Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis talks about both with us this week.

Pichet Ong! He’s all kinds of amazing. I am so curious to see his reactions to what he’s served. Can you talk about Ong’s reputation and his desserts?

Sally's bar beat the competition, bar none!

I first met Pichet some 10 years ago as he rose to prominence as pastry chef of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Asian concepts Spice Market and 66. In a way, he was a perfect judge for this challenge — he has a certain knack for updating and elevating simple classics and street-food desserts. He doesn’t flaunt it, but the guy’s a walking pastry encyclopedia; he seems to know every pastry chef on the planet!

What is your favorite old-school, when-you-were-a-kid, classic candy bar? And, would it still appeal to you today?

As a pastry chef, there’s always been something about a Snicker’s bar that appeals to me — the flavors and the textures are perfect. And, whoever came up the twist of the Twix — a cookie and a candy bar in one — that’s a cool idea. And, give me nougat in any form, I’m a happy guy.

Continue Reading

Fast Company’s 10 Most Creative People in Food: And the Winners Are…

jean-georges-vongerichten.jpgFast Company magazine released its list of the 10 most creative people in food. In addition to OpenTable CEO Jeff Jordan, chef-restaurateurs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dan Barber made the list.

Vongerichten’s restaurants include Chambers Kitchen, Jean Georges, JoJo, Market by Jean Georges, Matsugen, Mercer Kitchen, Nougatine at Jean Georges, Perry Street, Spice Market, Vong, Vong’s Thai Kitchen, and others. He plans to add 50 new restaurants to his dining dynasty in the next five years. Barber, a stalwart in the local foods movement, runs Blue Hill (where the First Couple recently dined) and Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

Congratulations to all the winners. Be sure to visit Barber’s and Vongerichten’s restaurants to see why their creativity is a credit to the industry.