Blog of Award-winning authors
ANDREW DORNENBURG & KAREN PAGE
Named one of GourmetFood.About.com's "Top 10 Food Blogs"
Named one of The Fifty Best Links for Epicureans
Named to MUG 400 for "distinctive contribution to life in New York"
"Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page monitor the pulse of the food world like nobody's business. There's a fantastic database of restaurant reviews, too."
— Babbo pastry chef Gina DePalma
"Page and Dornenburg also write one of the most informative and engaging food/wine blogs on the planet. Check it out."
— Bestselling author Michael Gelb
"If you asked me what I came into this world to do,
I will tell you: I came to live out loud."
— Critic and novelist Emile Zola (1840-1902)
"There is nothing under the sun better for man than to eat, drink, and be merry. Go, therefore, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with cheer.”
— Ecclesiastes 8:15
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L: Author Barbara Bonfigli
R: Barbara's new book Café Tempest
Thursday, August 20, 2009 — We had the pleasure of meeting Barbara Bonfigli — author, lyricist, and theatrical producer — a few years ago through our mutual friend Marilynn Preston, and were excited to see her come out with her book Café Tempest: Adventures on a Small Greek Island: A Fictional Memoir the other week. We're delighted to host her today for a stop on her Virtual Book Tour — and to feature a Q&A with her:
Q. Barbara, congratulations on beating the odds to see your first book published! It's an amazing accomplishment. What were some of your biggest surprises on the route to authorhood?
A. I was surprised when my manuscript came back from the publisher with corrections and questions. I thought it was pretty perfect just the way it was. Then this perfectionist editor wanted dates to match up, Thursdays to follow Wednesdays, a dinner between lunches. And please not so many Theos — though it takes place on a Greek island where there aren’t more than a handful of men’s names to go around. I ignored a certain amount of these queries, having learned the phrase “poetic license” in fifth grade. But eventually I did try to clarify certain slightly obscure references. Her rationale was that most readers can read my manuscript but not my mind. And it’s true that my tendency to imaginative leaps sometimes leaves the reader swinging from one allusion to another without a rope. In fact the rewrites did make the book more accessible — better. And there’s only one Theo, but two Peros and a few Marias; just can’t be helped.
The other big surprise was that an author has to become her own media champion. Getting the book between covers was the end of the writing process and the beginning of a full time marketing job. I had imagined you just handed the book to your publisher then went off to Maine or Majorca to write the next one. Ha!
Q. What's been your most exciting moment as an author these past few months?
A. A friend who was visiting from out of town the day the proofs came back from the publishers asked to read it. He’s a macho guy, very critical, basically likes nothing, and he ran a huge film studio until last year. I dreaded handing it over. When he flew away the next day and I didn’t hear from him for a week I knew he’d either left it on the plane for the cleanup crew or was postponing a heartbreaking review. I opened his email slowly…if that’s possible. “It’s a triumph!” was his opening line. And he went on to praise the writing style the characters the atmosphere the narrative. He told me to start casting it in my mind. Aha, I thought. People are going to like this book. Men too.
The next best thing was receiving the color proofs of the cover. There was Gaia Franchetti’s fabulous painting against the background blue of a Greek afternoon sky. And there was my name, on a published novel, spelled correctly.
Q. What are your hopes for Café Tempest?
For people to read it: to laugh, to nod in delight and recognition of unknown characters, to relish the language, to drink in the atmosphere, to open their minds to the hero’s philosophy that “you love who you love” — that is, to embrace the idea of the enlightened heart. And I’d like it to be made into a movie; naturally I want first crack at the script.
Q. Are you already thinking about your next book — and if so, are there any details you can share with us?
A. I had such a good time with Sarah and Alex that I’d miss them if we didn’t meet again. Just not sure where. I imagine they may set out from Greece and row on to the rest of Europe, or to India, Alaska, the British Isles. Being a Pisces, I have to keep my fins wet. Of course I have no idea what will actually happen when I sit down again to write. I’m reminded of the riddle: “How do you make the gods laugh? Tell them your plans.”
Q. What's your favorite Greek food and/or wine experience of all time (either there or here in the U.S.)?
A. I said very rude things about retsina in my novel: it removes toenail polish, starts your motorbike, cures you of thought. All possibly true, but I also love it and drink it every day that I’m in Greece. Being from California, quite close to Napa Valley, I think this may be proof of reincarnation. Anyway, I decided to make amends by creating a cocktail based on retsina. Marilynn Preston and I fiddled with lots of ingredients, some of them actually healthy. But it was the bartender Adnan at Periyali, the Greek restaurant in Manhattan where we had the book launch party, who solved the mystery. He added the sweet Greek muscat wine called Samos to our concoction and eureka! The “Tempestini” was born.
The highly skeptical patron of Periyali really liked it. So did everyone at that party. Americans have open cocktail minds, so they’re no problem. But Greeks! Now we serve it at every book signing/reading before I begin to read. It’s amazing how it opens the imagination and the heart…and the wallet. Tell Me Press, the publisher of Café Tempest, has printed the recipe on great looking bookmarks. If we didn’t give them away I think people would buy them. Two drinks and you’re speaking Greek — or so you think.
Our thanks to Barbara for sharing her experiences with "the author's life," and our congratulations again on the publication of Café Tempest. To purchase your copy on Amazon.com, simply click here.
To see Barbara's complete tour schedule, visit http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/05/cafe-tempest-by-barbara-bonfigli-summer.html
Barbara Bonfigli’s Web site: www.cafetempest.com
Coming up on its first anniversary next month!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009 — We're used to long workdays, but the 12-to-15-hour days we've been putting in this week on our forthcoming wine book are on a whole new level (especially now that we're not 20-somethings anymore). So we're officially taking an unheard-of-in-these-parts "day off" today. And as we're on deadline to finish our next book by the end of summer...well, our apologies in advance if it takes us a bit longer than usual to answer your email or return your phone call!
THE FLAVOR BIBLE will be celebrating its first anniversary next month on Wednesday, September 16th. How should we celebrate? Ideas? Email us at DornenburgPage@gmail.com.
Sunday, July 26, 2009 — We love learning how readers are using our book THE FLAVOR BIBLE to create their own recipes. Just today, we read how mixologist Kevin Ludwig is using it to create new cocktails at Beaker & Flask in Portland. And artist Melissa Munding uses it to spark her creativity in her Orange, California, kitchen. "I'm in heaven. I'm in love with this book...." Melissa gushed.
Well, we love our readers, too. Keep those stories a-comin'....
Wednesday, July 8, 2009 — Not only can you catch up on our latest news via Twitter.com/KarenAndAndrew, but you can also read about some of our (and others'0 favorite wine and food pairings at Twitter.com/WhattoDrinkBook.
Also, today BecomingAChef.com was just named #5 on MurrayNewlands.com's list of the Top 10 Food Blogs: "...This blog is the magnificent teamwork of Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (husband and wife). Awesome running journal of their dining out experiences."
Today's competing mixologists at the NYC 2009 Sidewalk
Cafe Drink Mix-Off pose with NYC Commissioner Jonathan
Mintz and ICE Presidnet Rick Smilow
at The Institute of
Culinary Education on West 23rd Street in NYC
Competing mixologists prepare their mise en place
Winner Chris Russell of Southern Hospitality restaurant
with his award-winning cocktail "901-derful"
ICE instructor Michael Cecconi (judge), authors
Dornenburg and Karen Page (judges), winner Chris Russell,
restaurant critic Gael Greene (judge), NYC Commissioner
Jonathan Mintz, NYSRA's Andrew Rigie, and the first runner-
from Ovelia Psistaria Bar in Astoria
Thursday, June 25, 2009 — What a day....Between tasting 10 cocktails starting at 10 am as judges in the NYC 2009 Sidewalk Cafe Drink Mix-Off held at The Institute of Culinary Education to losing two generational icons in Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, it's been one to remember.
We're off to attend our dear friends Michael Gelb & Deborah Domanski's wedding, but look forward to catching up on our blogging once we're back home — including an amazing recent dinner at Aldea, which is an exciting new restaurant with great promise that we're confident you'll be hearing more about. Speaking of cocktails, we'll also report on some fascinating cocktail and appetizer pairings we experienced at the Indian-Latin restaurant At Vermilion.
Aldea is at 31 W. 17th St. (Fifth and Sixth Aves.). (212) 675-7223. aldearestaurant.com.
At Vermilion is at 480 Lexington Ave. (at 46th St.). (212) 871-6600. thevermilionrestaurant.com
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs is at www.nyc.gov.
17th Street's three-tiered BBQ sauce fountain
Andrew and Karen flank Amy Mills Tunnicliffe,
Mike's co-author of Peace, Love and Barbecue
Ft. Worth's Tara Wilson with legendary pitmaster
Mike Mills of 17th Street
Checking out Big Bob Gibson's pork sandwich with cole slaw
Karen and Andrew run into Union Square Cafe chef-partner
Michael Romano and Spanish gastronomy expert Gerry Dawes
and their respective female friends at the Big Apple BBQ
(We have no idea who the guy waving in the background is.)
Thursday, June 18, 2009 — If you've been following us on Twitter (and we hope you have been, at twitter.com/karenandandrew), you know what a delicious time we had at this past weekend's Big Apple BBQ Block Party. But even those who don't yet Twitter deserve to know about this unique Manhattan event. When Gael Greene recently Twittered that she wished she'd gone, we immediately offered to have her join us next year so we could help her navigate the 'cue. We're on! Hope you'll all join us there, too.
Snapple Big Apple BBQ Block Party is at bigapplebbq.org.
Scenes from last week in Paris:
We happened to be at a sidewalk cafe across from Notre
President Obama was due to arrive there
Paris is called the most romantic city in the world for good
reason, including the view from our bench on Ile St. Louis
Dickfish novelist R.S. Moore
and friends on Ile St. Louis,
shortly before we ended up sharing several glasses of wine
Our second Andouillette (sausage made of pork tripe) of the
day, at Brasserie Balzar in Paris
We followed the advice on DavidLebovitz.com to brave the
lines at L'As du Fallafel for tasty fallafel and shwarma
Grated cabbage lightened the shawarma and fallafel
We adore the cuisine of Mon Vieil Ami chef Frédéric Crochet
Mon Vieil Ami managed a miracle: the only
herb-enhanced dessert we have ever truly
loved: strawberries + basil + meringue
The 2nd annual Gastronomy by the Seine festival in Paris
Gastronomy by the Seine demos: samples for the crowd
Bernard Lahousse signs a copy of his book
The Flemish Primitives (in which we're
featured as Jan. '09 speakers)
With chef Damian Sansonetti of Bar Boulud in New York,
who blew away the crowd with his amazing charcuterie
Tasting various canapes made with escargot caviar, which
had an earthy, woodsy forest floor kind of flavor
After tasting us through the snail caviar,
Bruno pours us some bubblies to sample
Michel at Select Hotel near the Sorbonne turned us on to
the Corsican restaurant Le Cosi around the
corner, and its
specialty wild boar dish with chestnuts
Andrew reads on the train from Paris to Strasbourg
Passing Hugel in Riquewihr on June 9th, the day Alsace
wine scion Jean Hugel, age 84, passed away
Unforgettable Alsatian white asparagus, on its last day in
season, at Le Lion d'Or in Kaysersberg which was served
with a light, frothy mousselline sauce made with a softly
The brothers Ancel who run Le Lion d'Or (built in 1521) in
front of the largest fireplace in Alsace:
Jean-Marc, chef Jean-Joseph (eldest), and Daniel (youngest)
13th generation winemaker Anne Trimbach gave us a tour
of her family's cellar before we chatted with her uncle Jean
...and tasted our way through several Trimbach wines,
including the "treasured" 2002 Close St. Hune
Coco pulls a tart flambee out of the oven at Le Marroinais,
something he repeats hundreds of times on a busy night!
Le Cerf offers organic apple juice for breakfast...
...with a delightful array of Kugelhopf and pastries
Winemaker in the ancient cellar below the Strasbourg city
shows us a wine from 1472
Karen and Andrew outside the Tomi Ungerer Museum
Perfectly ripe fruit salad at Le Chut
Cod with French and Moroccan flavor notes at Le Chut
Le Chut's multi-talented chef-owner architect
Mojgan Henriet, in the stairway of her hotel
Karen shoots Le Chut's executive chef from hotel window
Checking out the Riesling to be turned into Helfrich wines
Helfrich's eye-catching visual display of its Alsatian terroir
Hubert Maetz's Epaule d'Agneau facon Baeckeoffe was
served with two white wines: 2006 Riesling Grand Cru
Steinklotz and 2008 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Steinklotz
Frederic and Orianne Helfrich behind Valerie Dirringer, with
Karen and Andrew flanking Rosenmeer chef Hubert Maetz
Sunday, June 14, 2009 — We're finally back from a week in France — including speaking at the June 8th Gastronomy by the Seine festival, and paying our first-ever visit to Alsace — and are still catching up on email, let alone blogging. Today, we're posting just a few photos, with more photos and details to come....
Cave Historique des Hospices de Strasbourg is at www.strasbourg.info/sights/wine-cellar
Le Cerf is at www.lecerf.com.
Le Chut is at 4 Rue de Bain aux Plantes, Strasbourg. www.hote-strasbourg.fr
Helfrich is at underdogwinemerchants.com/brands/helfrich.html
Hostellerie du Rosenmeer is at 45 Avenue de la Gare, Rosheim, France. www.le-rosenmeer.com
Le Lion d'Or restaurant is in Kaysersberg, France. www.auliondor.fr
Le Marronnier is at 18 Rue de Saverne in Stutzheim, France. : www.restaurantlemarronnier.com
Museum Tomi Ungerer is at www.musees-strasbourg.org
Trimbach is at www.maison-trimbach.com
L'As du Fallafel is at 34 Rue Rosiers in Paris.
Brasserie Balzar is at www.brasseriebalzar.com
Le Cosi is at www.paris-restaurant-cosi.com
Gastronomy by the Seine is at www.gastronomyfestivals.com
Mon Vieil Ami is at 69 rue St-Louis-en-l'Isle, Ile St. Louis, Paris. www.mon-vieil-ami.com
"John Gutekanst was the only American chosen in the Heinz Beck trophy
award, which is Michelin-rated. John placed 17th out of 100 contestants from around the world."
Friday, June 5, 2009 — Here's one from our emailbox....We love hearing from our readers. It keeps us going, more than any of them could ever know. The email we received this past week from Athens, Ohio, is a case in point:
"You are FABUOUS! It's people like you that make cooking a wonderful experience.
Yesterday was the glorious death of my tattered and torn cooking
companion CULINARY ARTISTRY. It has gone to the World Pizza Championships
3 years running and has recently helped me become the only U.S. finalist to make it into the final round of the Heinz Beck Trophy (3 Michelin star Chef-La Pergola) at Salsomaggiore, Italy.
It fell into my 20-gallon bucket of wonderfully fragrent poolish that was destined to help make just over 300 Fougasse, Couronnes, Pizza al Taglio, Pissalidiere, Flamiche, etc. (I knew I should have done a Biga instead!)
Your compendium has been the best and most useful reference for me in my business.
I now have to break out THE FLAVOR BIBLE, which I've been keeping in the
'On Deck' circle in my home kitchen. It's much better — I love what you do. Keep it up.
Thank you — from a small town pizza guy,
Avalanche Pizza and Baking Co.
John, congratulations on your culinary accomplishments — which we were tickled to read were inspired even in part by our book CULINARY ARTISTRY, and impressed to read more about on your Web site:
USA World Pizza Championships
Salsomaggiore Italy, 2009
North American Pizza Competition
Columbus Ohio, 2006
First Place Finalist
U.S.A. Heinz Beck Competition
for a cleaner earth 2005
Best Pizza in the United States of America
World Pizza Championships
Salsamaggiore Italy, 2004
Vegetarian Category, International Pizza Expo
Pizza Festiva Competition,
Las Vegas 2004
First Place, Gourmet Category,
North American Pizza Competition,
Columbus Ohio, 2004
Second Place, Gourmet Category,
North American Pizza Competition,
Columbus Ohio, 2004
Third Place, Gourmet Category,
North American Pizza Competition,
Columbus Ohio 2003
Voted Best Pizza NINE Years Running!
2001 to 2009
Athens Ohio News Readers Choice Award
We can't wait to try your pizza for ourselves. Hmm....when are we due to be in Athens, Ohio?!
Former Emeril's pastry chef Jenny McCoy, who is now ensconced at A Voce in New York City, writes:
I have finally written an entry on Emeril's blog about THE FLAVOR BIBLE....It will post on June 5th.
Thanks in advance, Jenny — we're looking forward to reading it when it posts later today!
Great view of Boston from our window at Nine Zero Hotel
Arriving in time for Nine Zero's complimentary
wine reception in the lobby from 5-6 pm
All guests at Nine Zero drink and eat well -- even canines!
Pitchforks on the 2nd floor, signaling K.O. Prime's entrance
Ceiling of K.O. Prime continuing "American Gothic" theme
Our salad at K.O. Prime with Wisconsin feta cheese was
one of the best salads we've had in recent memory
We loved our deconstructed raspberry cheesecake dessert
Arriving for Dutch Leonard's presentation on Shackleton
Karen spied this bunny contentedly snacking on grass at HBS
Our fantastic sausage and 'shroom pizza at Picco in Boston
Hot fudge was unnecessary on the amazing caramel ice cream
Section B-ers Anders Fauerskov, Karen Page, Jim Balsillie,
and our own
Section B couple Greg Alonzo & Linda Shein
Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Steve Wilson, and Don &
Tish Burton at Friday night's Section B dinner
Karen Page, Dave Sikora, Rona Haig-Fairhead, Steve Wilson,
Karine, and Don Burton on Friday night
Lamb pizza was the winner at brunch at Scampo in Boston
The irresistable bakery case at Flour in Boston's South End
Sunday, May 31, 2009 — We're happy to be back in New York City after reconnecting with many of Karen's former classmates at her 20-year reunion at Harvard on Friday. ("There's no B.S. like H.B.S.," as the saying goes.)
We packed more into our 36 hours in Boston than even we could believe! Of all the rich, intoxicating treats we enjoyed, our very first bite in Boston remains our fondest memory: our perfecty fresh, perfectly dressed salad at K.O. Prime in the Nine Zero hotel made with Wisconsin feta. Sure, we also went crazy for K.O. Prime's deconstructed raspberry cheesecake, for Picco's pizza and ice cream, for Flour's fantasy recreation of an Oreo cookie....But it's that salad moment we'd wish to experience again first!
We have often enjoyed staying in Kimpton hotels (such as Nine Zero), because their staffs tend to be very well-trained and they understand hospitality. One's first impression of a hotel doesn't start in the lobby; it starts with the valet who takes your car, often after a long journey. The valets at Nine Zero were uniformly polite, upbeat, and helpful, whether retrieving our rental car or flagging us a cab or even directing Andrew to the nearest Starbucks.
A special shout-out to the very helpful concierge at Nine Zero, who took our distress call from Harvard Square when we couldn't find the name or address of Rick Katz's pizza place, and wanted to use some unexpected free time to check it out. He was later rewarded with not only a tip for this prized information, but also a slice of Picco pizza!
Nine Zero is at 90 Tremont Street in Boston. (617) 772-5800. Web: www.ninezero.com
K.O. Prime is on the 2nd floor of 90 Tremont in Boston. (617) 772-0202. Web: www.koprimeboston.com
Flour is at 1595 Washington St. in Boston. (617) 267-4300. Web: www.flourbakery.com
Picco (Pizza & Ice Cream Co.) is at 513 Tremont St. in Boston. (617) 927-0066. Web: www.piccorestaurant.com
Scampo is in the Liberty Hotel at 215 Charles St. in Boston. (617) 536-2100. Web: www.scampoboston.com
Harvard Business School is at www.hbs.edu.
Andrew contemplates the menu at Locanda Verde over a
Falanghina and some housemade focaccia
with yogurt and mint at Locanda Verde
Marinated beets with walnuts under grated pecorino
Lamb meatball sliders with caprino and cucumber
Chef Andrew Carmellini and his team in the open kitchen
Andrew Carmellini's book Urban Italian
Monday, May 25, 2009 — Loving Locanda Verde....We've been missing chef Andrew Carmellini's cuisine terribly ever since he left A Voce. But with his shiny new spot (that opened Thursday) in Robert DeNiro's Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca, Andrew's definitely back — and better than ever.
Let Josh Nadel (ex-Cru and Veritas sommelier) help you select a wine from the jam-packed list on the back of the menu. Start with housemade focaccia, accented with tomato paste. Beyond that, you're on your own — we loved everything we tasted, so it's not like we can be much help to you in narrowing down your own choices. The kitchen (where Carmellini again has his right-hand man chef Luke Ostrom at his side) is equally adept with vegetables as it is with pastas as it is with fish.
We'd happily return for the Piccolini (including Blue Crab Crostino with jalapeno and tomato), Antipasti (including Rabbit Terrina with sour cherry mostarda and Lamb Meatball Sliders with caprino and cucumber), Pasta (including Spaghetti with lamb amatriciana), or Secondi (including Roasted Trout with new potatoes and giallo sauce).
We couldn't guess the source of the bread we enjoyed on other dishes, after realizing it wasn't one of the usual suspects ("Amy's Bread? Tom Cat? Sullivan Street?..."), so Andrew finally shared that he uses Royal Crown Bakery in Bensonhurst. There's a breakfast menu in the works, which we hope might include some of Royal Crown's chocolate bread.
Locanda Verde is at 379 Greenwich Street (bet. No. Moore and Franklin) in Tribeca. (212) 925-3797.
Just last month, we visited the Pond du Gard aqueduct
featured on the cover
of today's NY Times Travel section
Talk about an "insider's tour": Karen walking
through the top of the aqueduct, where the
water used to travel, last month
Sunday, May 17, 2009 — Today's New York Times Travel section cover story "Roman France" features a gorgeous sun-gilded photo of the Pond du Gard aqueduct in southern France. It brought back delicious memories of our own visit to the region just a few weeks ago, where our "insider's tour" of the attraction had us walking the span of the aqueduct from inside its stone walls.
Two bees in a seemingly never-ending field of dandelions
We made the acquaintance of several donkeys on Friday...
...when they were introduced to us by their friend Don
Karen's birthday weekend rainbow
later became a double!
Karen's birthday dinner: lamb
(& 2006 Etude
Pinot Noir &
2003 Iron Horse Russian Cuvee)
with Susan, Andrew & Bernard
Friday, May 15, 2009 — It's been a week since we traveled hours outside New York City to celebrate Karen's birthday weekend with our dear friends Susan and Bernard, but the memories are still vivid. After all, it's not every weekend that two Manhattanites make the acquaintance of nine donkeys and two newborn calves — or see such blinding rain followed by a burst of sun that results in a double rainbow!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 — In the e-newsletter we sent out on Sunday, we asked our 27,000+ readers to keep their collective fingers crossed for THE FLAVOR BIBLE at last night's James Beard Awards, which were held at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. Well, it worked! We couldn't be more thrilled by our 2009 James Beard Book Award win:
"Congratulations on your win last night. You guys gave the
absolute best acceptance speech. Very sweet...."
—Jessie Price, Deputy Editor, EatingWell
"Congratulations to each of you on the award for THE FLAVOR BIBLE... Your acceptance speech was among the highlights of the evening...."
—Pamela Chirls, Senior Editor, John Wiley & Sons
"...You two were adorable onstage at Beards! Love, love, love your 'BIBLE.' Used it yesterday, in fact...."
—Hank Shaw, 2009 James Beard Award-nominated blogger
at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
We were really touched by how many people — friends and especially strangers — complimented us on our acceptance speeches, with a number even admitting that listening made them teary-eyed:
Karen: Thank you — from the bottom of our hearts — to the James Beard Foundation and especially the Book Awards Committee for this incredible recognition of our eight-year labor of love, which means more than we can say.
THE FLAVOR BIBLE has been described in reviews as both "radical" and "revolutionary," so it definitely took a leap of faith on the part of many to bring it to this moment.
Our thanks to everyone at Little, Brown, and especially our editor Michael Sand, for not freaking out when he saw that the manuscript for our "cookbook" didn't contain a single recipe (Thank you, Michael!); our literary agent Janis Donnaud; our photographer Barry Salzman; and most importantly, all the amazing chefs and pastry chefs [and other experts] featured in THE FLAVOR BIBLE — many of whom are here tonight — who were so generous with their time and insights, and who trusted that we'd do them proud. We hope they're feeling proud tonight!
I'd like to dedicate this award to my alma mater for its own leap of faith: When I was a high school senior, I dreamed of becoming a writer, and of one day writing books that would make a difference in the world. However, I was the first person in my family to apply to college, so I didn't understand that writing a college essay was important and foolishly didn't submit one. Yet Northwestern University took a leap of faith by believing in a bright but naive 16-year-old and admitting me to its journalism program anyway — which changed my life forever.
And before turning over the mike to him, I'd like to especially thank Andrew — my incredible husband of 18 years and co-author of 16 years — for every day spoiling me with his wonderful cooking, and "everlong" for "promising not to stop when I say when." Thank you, sweetheart.
Andrew: I'm really glad that this year's James Beard Awards are celebrating "Women in Food," because there are so many women who still haven't received their due. Tonight, I would like to pay a special tribute to a woman I work with every day. On our first 7 books, Karen and I listed our names alphabetically. This led some to believe that I — a dyslexic former line cook — was the lead author. Tonight, I'm happy to set the record straight: Karen has always been the lead visionary and writer of all of our books. It's been my pleasure and privilege to work with a co-author whom I not only respect but deeply love. And on this night of recognizing women, I could not be prouder that the James Beard Foundation is recognizing our first book on which Karen's name comes before mine!
It also happens to be Karen's birthday this week, so I can't thank you enough for giving her the perfect birthday present and taking all the pressure off me! I can't imagine a better gift than this. Thank you very much.
Scenes from a magical night:
Daniel Boulud (l.), Deann & Rick Bayless (c.), arrive in rain
On arrival, with L.A. uber-restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff
Co-host Stanley Tucci with Karen and Andrew
Andrew & Karen with Emeril Lagasse & Traci Des Jardins
Andrew & Karen flank Patrick O'Connell (The Inn at Little
Washington) & Phyllis Richman (long of Washington Post)
Andrew and Karen flank Ellen Rose (of The Cook's Library)
and Matt Sartwell (of Kitchen Arts & Letters)
The stage at the James Beard Awards at Avery Fisher Hall
The 2009 James Beard Award goes to...THE FLAVOR BIBLE!
With Little, Brown editors Judy Clain (edited Julie & Julia)
& (our own!) Michael Sand
Celebrating with our literary agent Janis Donnaud
We were almost as happy about Babbo pastry chef Gina
DePalma's 2009 James
Beard Award win (as 2009
Outstanding Pastry Chef) as we
were about our own!
With Best Chef: New York nominee Terrance Brennan (of
Picholine, Artisanal, Bar Artisanal, et al) & friend
With 2009 Outstanding Wine Service Award winner Aldo
Sohm of Le Bernardin and his wife Margit
With uber-Michelin-starred chef-restaurateur Alain Ducasse
Andrew Dornenburg, David & Karen Waltuck of Chanterelle,
Karen Page, Marisa May of San Domenico, and Chloe Mata
With A Voce chef Missy Robbins & pastry chef Jenny McCoy
With 2009 Award presenter Lorraine Bracco
With San Francisco chef Gary Danko
With Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver
Joanne Weir, Emily Luchetti, Andrew, Joe Yonan & Karen
With Who's Who inductee Dorothy Cann Hamilton (of the
French Culinary Institiute)
& her very proud daughter
With 2009 Outstanding Chef Dan Barber (of Blue Hill and
Blue Hill at Stone Barns) & friend
With chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin and his wife Sandra
At Bar Boulud, with The Bazaar chef Katsuya Fukushima
With legendary Jacques Pepin at the Bar Boulud after-party
At The Modern after-after party w/sommelier Belinda Chang
and 2009 Best
Chef: New York City winner Gabriel Kreuther
With Washington Post Food Editor Joe Yonan
By the way, we were also very happy to be a part of yet another 2009 James Beard Award-winning team: The Washington Post took home the 2009 James Beard Foundation Award as Best Newspaper Food Section. Our congratulations to Food Editor Joe Yonan — who had submitted for consideration last year's June 18th and October 29th Food sections that featured our wine columns "Grape and Grill Sessions" and "Big Flavors Need Big Wines" — and the rest of our colleagues at the Washington Post Food section for such outstanding work in 2008!
For a complete list of winners of 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards, click here.
"The Lucky" cocktail at Bar Artisanal features Scotch Whiskey,
Sweet Vermouth, Lapsang Souchong Simple Syrup, and Fresh Lemon Juice; Recommended pairing: Aged Gouda & Montgomery's Cheddar
Sunday, May 3, 2009 — We're happy to have had lots going on to distract us from thinking about tomorrow night's 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, where our book THE FLAVOR BIBLE is up for a Book Award. (Fingers crossed....) Last night, we checked out Terrance Brennan's new (and already hopping) restaurant Bar Artisanal at 68 West Broadway, one block south of Canal. With chef Bradford Thompson (ex-Lever House, Mary Elaine's, Daniel, etc.) newly in the kitchen and sommelier Jason Ferris (ex-Gilt) overseeing the wine and cocktail list, we're confident that it will only get better and better. Yet we're already in love with that amazing goat cheese-stuffed lamb burger...MMMmmm!
Armagnac & food pairing at Per Se: Marquis de Montesquiou 1865
On Friday, May 1st, we were invited to join a group of journalists at Per Se for a fascinating experiment: a seven-course tasting dinner pairing mostly vintage Armagnacs with each course. While Armagnac is more often served as an after-dinner drink, we were already well-acquainted with its affinity for foie gras and/or prunes, and our eyes were opened by how beautifully it complemented duck and veal in this menu:
May 1, 2009
White Truffle Custard
with Black Truffle Ragout
Marques de Montesquiou 1967
Terrine of Hudson Valley Moulard Duck Foie Gras
"Gelee d'Agrumes," Meiwa Kumquats, Wild Lettuces, Belgian Endive
Marques de Montesquiou, Cuvee Louis 1er
"Aiguillette" of Liberty Farm's Pekin Duck Breast
Buckwheat "Spaetzle," Michigan Sour Cherries, Purple Top Turnips "Parisienne" and Duck Jus
Marques de Montesquiou, Cuvee Comte d'Artagnan
Herb-Roasted Rib-Eye of Marcho Farm's Veal
Glazed Carrots, Oregon Morels, Caramelized Spring Onions with Black Truffle Veal Jus
Marques de Montesquiou 1934
Armagnac Poached Prune "Marmelade," Candied Pistachios, Petite Arugula and Pistachio Butter
Marques de Montesquiou 1904
Valrhona Chocolate Sorbet
with Manjari Pudding, Orange Oil, and Saigon Cinnamon "Financier"
Marques de Montesquiou 1893
Bartlett Pear and Almond Tart
Almond "Pain de Genes," Compressed Pear and
Honey-Ginger Ice Cream
Marques de Montesquiou 1865
Carrie Crespo, Jordan Mackay, Baroness Sheri de Borchgrave,
Aaron Hicklin, Scott Hocker, winemaker Jerome Margnat,
Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg at La Borie
Sunday, April 26, 2009 — This week's press trip to the south of France was an eye-opening introduction to the pleasures of Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, and even lesser-known grape varietals as expressed through the terroir of the Rhone Valley. Having spent the past seven days with a delightful band of colleagues, we pay tribute to them today by posting this group photo thoughtfully provided by Chateau La Borie winemaker Jerome Margnat (in the unforgettably cool orange pants!).
Chateau La Borie is at www.chateau-la-borie.fr.
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