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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September 16, 2010 — Today, we're happy to be celebrating the two-year anniversary of the publication of THE FLAVOR BIBLE! Help us celebrate today: If you post an anniversary greeting on your website blog, Facebook and/or Twitter account, send us a link (at firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll link to it below!
Our thanks to THE FLAVOR BIBLE's second anniversary well-wishers, who include:
* Kendra Adachi, who Tweeted from Greensboro, North Carolina: @MyFirstKitchen: "THE FLAVOR BIBLE is amazing. It lists every ingredient and what goes with it. Great for creativity."
* Steven Boss, who Tweeted from Fairfield, Iowa @StevenBoss:
"Congrats on the anniv. of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. ALL their books are excellent."
* Gael Greene, who Tweeted from New York City at @GaelGreene: "Saluting my friends Karen& Andrew on 2nd anniversary of THE FLAVOR BIBLE."
* Tami Hardeman, who Tweeted from Atlanta, Georgia @RunWithTweezers: "Happy Birthday to THE FLAVOR BIBLE! Don't own a copy?I'm giving one away on RWT: "
* David Charles Mabe, who described THE FLAVOR BIBLE on Facebook from Los Angeles as "One of the best food references we know of; and, written by two dear friends!"
* Nuria Sepulveda, who Tweeted from Mexico @Nuria_SM: "Congrats to @ ...today is the second anniversary of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Muchas Felicidades!!!"
* Lucy Vaserfirer, who Tweeted from Portland, Oregon @LucyVaserfirer: "It's the 2nd anniversary of THE FLAVOR BIBLE by @! Why you need it: "
September 2010 — We're looking forward to participating in the American Harvest Workshop at Cakebread Cellars Sept. 11-15, and to Tweeting highlights of our time in Napa Valley at www.twitter.com/KarenAndAndrew.
The 2009 line-up of celebrity sous chefs at SHARE's event
Summer 2010 — We've been busy (understatement!) focusing on finishing our next book ON MASTERING WINE (Little, Brown; 2011) this summer, which we're very excited about. Hope your own summer is going great!
For one of the most delicious tastes of Manhattan we can think of, please consider joining us for SHARE's "Second Helping of Life" event on Monday, September 20th, at Pier 60 in New York City, which raises funds to support women with breast and ovarian cancer. Dozens of New York's best women chefs and pastry chefs (including Rebecca Charles, Alexandra Guarnaschelli, Anita Lo and Amy Scherber) will provide samples of their cuisine throughout the evening, each accompanied by an actress, anchor or author serving as her "Celebrity Sous Chef." Karen will be featured along with several friends including bestselling author Laura Day, actress Jill Eikenberry, and Oscar-winning musician and actress Marketa Irglova. For the complete line-up and details on ordering tickets, click here.
The Lodge at Woodloch's extraordinary Aqua Garden
The talented kitchen team at The Lodge at Woodloch,
including chef Peter Schott
At The Lodge, you can even get a burger at lunch!
Carnivore Andrew loved the grilled tofu salad
Tropical fruit salsa jazzed up fish over black rice
The Lodge's desserts often featured fresh local berries
After dinner, Lodge guests are invited to take
their drinks outside around the fire...
...but we opted to stay inside by the fireplace and
listen to guitarist and musical arranger John Curtin
Karen was thrilled to be able to kayak on The Lodge's lake
before we left, and to see the impressive beaver dam
On our hikes, our expert guides pointed out
vegetables, herbs and old grapevines
Hiking with fellow guests in Pennsylvania
Andrew and Karen, overlooking the lake during a hike
at The Lodge at Woodloch
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 — Sometimes great get-aways are carefully planned in advance; other times they simply happen. In the first half of 2010, we are grateful to have had two magical get-aways that fell into the latter category: at The Lodge at Woodloch and The Inn at Little Washington.
In May, as Karen fought intense neck/back pain, she found the best (temporary) pain reliever to be hot Epsom salt baths. As she began to fantasize about being able to spend 24/7 in a hot bath, she discovered online that this could be a real possibility given the therapeutic soaking pools at The Lodge at Woodloch, about two hours from Manhattan in Pennsylvania.
"Soothe your mind and body in our heated hydromassage WaterWalls at the Aqua Garden" beckoned The Lodge's Web site. "Perched in the treetops, soak year-round in our outdoor Horizon Whirlpool" it cooed welcomingly.
So off we went. Within a half-hour of arriving, we found ourselves in Muscular Pain Sufferers' Nirvana. We weren't able to take, and haven't yet found, a photo of The Lodge's Aqua Garden that does proper justice to its stunning beauty. The eight- and four-foot waterfalls are absolutely spectacular, and we loved being able to seat ourselves in the pools beneath them with the water crashing on our backs, creating an unforgettable aqua-massage.
During our first 24 hours at The Lodge, Karen mostly soaked and stretched (in excellent yoga and Pilates classes) while Andrew ventured out on well-organized hikes and bikes. However, the aqua-massage worked so well that by the time we left, Karen was able to hike and even kayak in the lake behind the Lodge with much greater ease of movement than when we'd arrived.
Spa cuisine tends to get a bad rap, but the food served at The Lodge ranged from quite good to truly excellent. We loved getting to meet the kitchen team during the culinary demonstrations (complete with tasting!) that take place every afternoon in the demo kitchen. We were able to enjoy a glass of wine every evening, along with live music — and one of our greatest pleasures was discovering guitarist John Curtin who performed the best cover of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" we'd ever heard outside of hearing Neil Young himself perform it at Madison Square Garden.
This exquisite destination spa is simply not-to-be-missed.
The Lodge at Woodloch is at 109 River Birch Lane in Hawley, PA 18428. (866) 953-8500. Web: www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com
The anticipation builds all along the road to The Inn...
The gorgeous Thomas Keller Room at The Inn at Little Washington
Downstairs in our two-level guest room
Our room felt homey with our framed photo on display,
causing us to wonder yet again how The Inn works its magic!
The Thomas Keller Room bathroom has exquisite mirror detailing
The view of the garden from our room
Having black truffles shaved over our boxes of popcorn...
...for a giggle-inducing start to our dinner
A few mouthfuls of perfect pea soup
A Tin of Sin: American Osetra Caviar w/Crab & Cucumber Rillette
A Quartet of Maine Oyster Slurpees
Pan-Seared Four Story Hill Farm's Pekin Duck Breast
on Sweet Corn Pudding with a Local Cherry Sauce
More shaved truffle over our Macaroni & Cheese
A Limoncello Souffle with Lemon Ice Cream
Our box of petits fours to take away with us
Breakfast at The Inn at Little Washington
A quartet of freshly-squeezed juice blends
Karen's beloved oatmeal souffle with currants and maple syrup
Strolling after breakfast, you can visit the sheep resting in
the shade of trees, and visit the "Chicken Pavilion"
Andrew with Gregory Britt, The Inn's amazing floral designer
"Our alliance with local farmers and artisanal producers was an adaptation born of necessity more than 30 years ago when nothing but milk was delivered here. Long before the farm to table movement had a name, we began cultivating fruitful relationships with our neighbors — many of whom have a strong connection to the land and a heritage of self-sufficiency. Their dedication yields ingredients unparalleled anywhere else in the world."
—From our June 21, 2010 menu at The Inn at Little Washington
Readers of our eNewsletter know that we've previously described The Inn at Little Washington, the Relais & Chateaux property that is frequently cited as one of the world's very best inns and restaurants, as the site of The Greatest Meal of Our Lives. We had hoped to try to make it there for a celebratory visit some time this summer, given that it is the year of our 20th wedding anniversary (in August) and our 25th anniversary of meeting (in November), but we weren't sure we'd be able to squeeze it in.
Then Karen's teenage brother Peter decided to visit us in New York City, and we made plans to take him to Washington, DC for a private tour of The Capitol. We'd found a reasonably-priced room in the city for the three of us for Sunday night, and when we contemplated staying for a second night ourselves after Peter left to drive home to Chicago we learned that the same room would more than double in price for Monday night. We were outraged: "Why, for that price we could stay at The Inn at Little Washington!" Thus are great ideas born.
The Inn was in the cards: They were (and still are) running an extraordinary all-inclusive special called "Far From the Maddening Crowd" that includes accommodations, a welcome cocktail, afternoon tea, a six-course dinner, and breakfast for two. If you have an extraordinary occasion to celebrate (indeed, the couples enjoying dinner on either side of us were celebrating their 30th and 35th wedding anniversaries, respectively), there is simply no better place or time to do so.
We stayed in the newly-redesigned two-story Thomas Keller Room and, with many of the rooms named after culinary luminaries, we felt surrounded by friends our entire visit. We borrowed bicycles and took ourselves on a scenic one-hour bike ride during the afternoon. Dinner was whimsical and filled with one extraordinary delight after another after another. It's always a surprise to find oneself hungry again when breakfast rolls around, but thankfully we were — as we'd hate to miss the oatmeal souffle with rum-soaked currants and maple syrup (Karen's favorite) or what turned out to be the best fresh herb omelet Andrew has ever tasted.
At the end of our March/April 2005 eNewsletter, we posed the question, "Is The Inn at Little Washington the world's greatest restaurant?" and answered it ourselves by writing that "It is — without a doubt — the most extraordinary, magical place either of us has ever experienced this side of Heaven!"
And it still is.
The Inn at Little Washington is at Middle and Main Streets in Washington, Virginia. (540) 675-3800. Web: www.theinnatlittlewashington.com
Four Sisters' new location on Strawberry Lane in Falls Creek
Four Sisters ("Huong Que" in Vietnamese) still displays its
write-up from our 2001 book CHEF'S NIGHT OUT
Spring rolls at Four Sisters
Caramelized pork and papaya salad with shrimp
We learned about the Four Sisters Vietnamese restaurant when we were researching our 2001 book CHEF'S NIGHT OUT, and had visited it nearly a decade ago when it was housed in a Falls Church strip mall. This month we were happy to discover its relatively new digs have a much more upscale setting. Our mention in CHEF'S NIGHT OUT might have been nearly a decade old, but it's still on display over the hostess stand. And, happily, our lunch was just as good as we'd remembered the it to be.
Four Sisters is at 8190 Strawberry Lane in
Falls Church, Virginia.
(703) 539-8566. Web: www.foursistersrestaurant.com
Gaga over Zaytinya's cinnamon baklava ice cream!
After a visit to the Spy Museum (fascinating and fun!), we headed to Jose Andres' restaurant Zaytinya for dinner. This restaurant just keeps getting better and better, with new delights such as cinnamon baklava ice cream (which instantly became a new favorite of Peter's). The only way it would be better still if there were one in our neighborhood in New York City!
Zaytinya is at 701 9th Street, NW in
Washington, DC. Phone: (202) 638-0800. Web: www.zaytinya.com
Watermelon carving of the late James Beard
Emily Cleveland of Citymeals-on-Wheels and
Andrew show off Gael Greene's sparkly hat!
Karen Page, Daniel Boulud, Rikki Klieman, Bill Bratton,
Drew Nieporent and Georgette Farkas
Chef Daniel Boulud with vodka
(Nobody but nobody is more fun to hang out with than Daniel!)
Chef Jean-Francois Bruel of Daniel in NYC
Karen with Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar & Grill
Karen with Barbara Lazaroff of Spago
Chef Bradley Ogden of Bradley Ogden at Caesar's Palace
Chef Cesare Casella of Salumeria Rossi in NYC
Chefs Charlie Palmer and Chris Lee of Aureole
Chef Traci Des Jardins (r.) with Chef Joachim Splichal, who
gave her her first professional cooking job
The team from the East Coast Grill in Cambridge
Andrew (r.) with Chef Chris Schlesinger of the East Coast Grill,
who gave him his first professional cooking job
Chef Eric Klein (r.) with Chef Wolfgang Puck (l.), who gave
him his first professional cooking job
Chef Eric Klein of Spago - Las Vegas
Chef Ed Brown of Ed's Chowder House with Andrew
Chef David Myers of SONA in Los Angeles
Chef Gerry Hayden of North Fork Table & Inn
in Southhold, NY (Where's Claudia Fleming??)
Chef Jimmy Schmidt of the Rattlesnake Club
Chef Joachim Splichal with Rikki Klieman and Bill Bratton
Chef Jody Adams (far right) & her team from Rialto in Cambridge
Bill Bratton and Rikki Klieman with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa
Chinatown Brasserie chef Joe Ng
Karen with Chef Stephan Pyles of Dallas
Bill Bratton, Karen Page, Richie Notar of Nobu, and Rikki Klieman
Our friend Jeff Penney with Karen
Chef line-up at Rockefeller Center at 9:30 pm
"For 25 years, the world's most acclaimed chefs have volunteered to help us raise enough money to deliver an additional three million meals to the doors of New York's frail aged at times when they would otherwise be hungry and alone. James Beard's memory lives on in the inspired cooking of these chefs and his loving concern for vulnerable elderly New Yorkers is his enduring legacy."
—Marcia Stein, Executive Director, Citymeals-on-Wheels
Monday, June 14, 2010 — Citymeals-on-Wheels celebrated the 25th "Silver Spoons" anniversary of its incredible Chefs' Tribute tonight at Rockefeller Center, and other than seeming bigger and better than ever, it was "deja vu all over again." Many familiar faces were on hand that have been part of this foodie must-attend event to support New York's homebound elderly for years, even decades.
Participating chefs and the dishes they showcased included:
Jody Adams, Rialto Restaurant (Cambridge, MA)
Salt Cod, Polenta, Calamari, Saffron Broth & Shrimp Salad
Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare (Wynn Las Vegas)
Pesce del Mediterraneo in Crosta di Sale agli Agrumi Sicilani (Mediterranean Fish Baked in Sea Salt Crust with Sicialian Citrus)
Jonathan Benno, Patina Group Restaurant at Lincoln Center (New York)
Crostini con Fegatini di Pollo
(Chicken Liver Pâté with Arugula and Fennel-Raisin Semolina Bread)
Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)
Potato, Sweet Onions, Parmiggiano Reggiano Capuccino with
Villa Manodori Balsamic Vinegar
Daniel Boulud & Jean François Bruel, DANIEL (New York)
Chilled Watercress Soup with Lobster Gelée & Porcini
Ed Brown, Ed’s Chowder House (New York)
Ed’s Soft Shell Crab Po’Boy
Cesare Casella, Salumeria Rosi (New York)
Jawn Chasteen & Michael Gabriel, The Sea Grill (New York)
Fluke Sashimi with Yellow Curry
Summer Strawberry Sundae, Lemon Sponge
Josh DeChellis, La Fonda del Sol (New York)
Cochinillo, Morcilla Marmalade (Suckling Pig with Blood Sausage Marmalade)
Franck Deletrain, Café Centro (New York)
Smoked Halibut, Sea beans, Tomato Confit, Cracklings
Robert Del Grande, Restaurant RDG/Bar Annie (Houston, TX)
‘Texas Redfish & Rider’ Smoked Red Fish with BBQ Gulf Oysters
Traci Des Jardins, Jardiniere (San Francisco)
Ahi Tuna Carpaccio à la Niçoise
Todd English, The Todd English Restaurant Group (New York)
Toasted Wild Ramp Corn Muffin Lardo, Porcini, Ricotta
Gennaro Esposito, Torre del Saraceno (Vico Equense, Italy)
Paccheri in 2 Bowls: Mozzarella & Meatball
Claudia Fleming & Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn (Southhold, NY)
Nature’s Pride 12-Grain Bread Tea Sandwich: Dill-Marinated Salmon, English Cucumbers and Horseradish Mousse
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Nature’s Pride Honey-Oatmeal Crumb & Goat Cheese Cream
Larry Forgione, An American Place (St. Louis)
with Marc Forgione, Marc Forgione (New York)
Oyster & Sea Urchin Pan Roast, Sharing a Shell
Melissa Kelly, Primo (Rockland, ME/Orlando/Tucson)
Pork Belly, Pickled Vegetable
Strawberry Gelato & Anise Gelato
Richard Leach, The Hurricane Club (New York)
Lime in the Coconut
Number 17 shot
Zarela Martinez, Zarela (New York)
Salpicon di Huachinango: Flaked Red Snapper, Jalapeno, Tomato, Scallions, Cilantro & Aromatic Spices
Nobu Matsuhisa, Nobu (New York)
Assortment of Hand Rolls
Michael Mina, MICHAEL MINA (San Francisco)
Tartare of Ahi Tuna with Sesame Oil & Scotch Bonnet Peppers
David Myers, Sona/Comme Ça(Los Angeles)
Marinated Crab with Lime-Pickle & Cucumber
Joe Ng, Chinatown Brasserie (New York)
Steamed Watercress & Shrimp Dumpling with Kaffir Lime Leaf & XO Sauce; Sirloin Tart with Curry Coconut Sauce
Bradley Ogden, Bradley Ogden at Caesar’s Palace (Las Vegas)
Spiced Lamb Sausage, Peach Salad
Frozen Heirloom Tomato Bloody Mary
Charlie Palmer, Aureole / Charlie Palmer Group (New York)
with Christopher Lee, Aureole (New York)
Slow Cooked Lamb Loin w/Cous Cous, Pinenuts & Balsamic Jus
François Payard, François Chocolate Bar (New York)
Roasted Strawberry Tiramisu with Candied Fennel
Mark Peel, Campanile/The Tar Pit/The Point (Los Angeles)
Duck Slider, Crisp Duck Confit, Buttered Roll, Cointreau Sauce;
Sautèed Cherries in Red Wine Sauce with Bitter Almond Ice Cream
Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill (New York)
Curry Spiced Muscovy Duck Breast with Couscous, Currants & Harissa
Antonio Prontelli & Juan Branez, Rock Center Café/Cucina & Co. (New York)
Crisp Sliced Pork Belly, Baby Arugula, Grilled Peasant Bread
Wolfgang Puck, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group (Los Angeles)
Roasted Duck Bao Buns, Sweet & Sour Cherries
Hiramasa Sashimi, Crispy Rice
Stephan Pyles, Stephan Pyles & Samar by Stephan Pyles (Dallas, TX)
Lobster Enchilada with Red Pepper Crème Fraîche & Caviar
Chris Schlesinger, East Coast Grill & Raw Bar (Cambridge, MA)
Smoked Pork Taco with Curtido, Avocado Relish & Mango Mojo
Jimmy Schmidt, Rattlesnake/Morgan’s in the Desert (Detroit, MI/La Quinta, CA)
Crab Cake with Cracked Mustard Sauce;
Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with Roasted Fennel & Shaved Fennel Salad, Many Mustard Sauce
Joachim Splichal & Tony Esnault, Patina Restaurant (Los Angeles)
Marinated Hamachi, Cucumber Vinegar, Advocado & Granny Smith Apple;
Rabbit Ballotine, Raisins, Pequillos, Lemon Confit
Bill Telepan, Telepan (New York)
Rabbit-Mushroom Sausage with Mache, Radishes & Lemon Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolates (New York)
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges (New York)
Grilled Lamb Chop with Tangy BBQ Sauce, Sugar Snap Pea Coleslaw
Silvana Vivoli, Vivoli Il Gelato (Florence, Italy)
Assorted Gelati & Sorbetti
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto (New York)
Crispy Soft Shell Crab with Shaved Spring Vegetable, Lemon Confit & Crab Aioli
From the event press release: "More than 40 of the greatest chefs ever to cook at the event during its 25-year history reunited at Rockefeller Center and, once again, created a spectacular feast that raised nearly $700,000 for the preparation and delivery of nutritious meals, hand-delivered to frail, homebound elderly New Yorkers." Indeed.
Once our research associate on our book THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF, the lovely Gail Simmons (now a judge on "Top Chef") served as the event's emcee.
Our friends Terri Dial and Lynn Pike declared Chris Schlesinger's Smoked Pork Taco the best dish they'd tasted early in the evening. We loved it, too — even if we're a bit biased, as Chris was the first great chef Andrew ever had the privilege of working for.
Founded in 1981, Citymeals-on-Wheels is a not-for-profit organization and public-private partnership with the New York City Department for the Aging that raises private funds to prepare and deliver weekend, holiday and emergency meals to the homebound elderly throughout the boroughs of New York City. Last year, Citymeals underwrote the preparation and delivery of 2.1 million meals to 17,000 aged New Yorkers. One hundred percent of donations from the public to Citymeals goes toward the preparation and delivery of meals for the homebound elderly.
Citymeals-on-Wheels appreciates your ongoing support to feed New York's homebound elderly. Plan now to attend the 2011 26th anniversary Chefs' Tribute — and/or contribute online now at www.citymeals.org.
Kevin Zraly, Karen Goodlad, Karen Page, Daisy Martinez
and Andrew Dornenburg under the Brooklyn Bridge
(Photo credit: Carolina Penafiel)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 — We had a blast at the South Street Seaport judging last night's 2010 Paella Parade competition along with the lovely and extraordinary Daisy Martinez and wine author extraordinaire Kevin Zraly, with thanks to judging coordinator Karen Goodlad of NYC Technical College in Brooklyn.
Sunday, June 6, 2010 — Thanks to everyone who provided advice and/or assistance during Karen's "Month of Pain Management" in May 2010 while she was dealing with her neck/back pain. It's mostly gone now — and we've got lots of people to thank for that, especially acupuncturist Suzanne Hill. More to come on the amazing learning experience of the past month.
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