#SCBDExclusive: Mother’s Day Dining Destinations!

scbdexclusive

Mother’s Day is approaching quickly. Looking to go out and celebrate in New York or New Jersey? We have a couple of recommendations to enjoy this day to honor our Mother’s…

Photo Credit: Eventective.com

Photo Credit: Eventective.com

SouthWest NY, nestled in the heart of Tribeca, serves up Southwestern classics with a refined twist. Infused with the bright and bold flavors of Mexico and Latin America, Oaxaca-born Chef Antelmo Ambrosio has created a Mother’s Day menu that will be sure to please your turquoise earring-wearing, Southwestern loving mom. Or any mom for that matter. SouthWest NY’s special Mother’s Day menu is on offer from 12 pm to 9 pm. Dine outside and enjoy starters like Smoked Salmon Flat Bread ($13.50) with shaved red onion, capers, crème fraiche and chives or Duck Foie Gras ($15.00) with mixed berries compote and fennel crostini. Healthy delicious entrees like Jumbo Grilled Shrimp ($19.00) with grilled asparagus and blood orange vinaigrette will undoubtedly leave room for a Raspberry Lemon Drop ($ 8.00) with lemon mousse, raspberry preserve, lemon glaze and fresh raspberries. 

galli

Galli in Soho this Mother’s Day and really give mom a treat — the luxury of not having to cook! She can enjoy Italian classics (such as baby rice balls, mozz chips, Pasta Norma, Chicken Parm, & more) passed down from Steven Gallo’s (Chef & Owner) own mother.  So this Mother’s Day come to Galli and really feel like your at home with the family!

Sarabeth’s is the quintessential Mother’s Day restaurant and in addition to their full dinner menu on May 12th, the sprawling Tribeca location will also offer a specialty menu. Executive Chef Lee Scheffler cooks from the heart, which is evident in items like Filet Mignon ($31) with sautéed spinach, Portobello mushroom and mashed potato, Lobster Salad ($17) baby vegetables, frisee and citrus vinaigrette. And for a sweet end to your meal, try the Plum Peach Tart ($8.50) with fresh whipped cream.

RAYMI, NYC

Let mom enjoy dishes inspired by Chef Ramirez’s own family dinners as a child at Raymi in Flatiron. Mouths are sure to water with a variety of dishes rich in flavor and cultural influence. The prix fixe menu is only $38 a person and offers a variety of dishes sure to please anyone.

Mother'sDay 2013

The Orange Squirrel – offers Mother’s Day Brunch with 3 seatings at 11 am, 12:30 and 2pm.  Brunch includes choice of a main dish, a dessert and one complimentary cocktail or beverage for $35/adult or $30/child (see menu above).  Make your reservations today!

RARE The Steakhouse: Will be serving their a la carte menu from 1 to 6:30pm reserve at www.rarestk.com.

 The Dining Room at Anthony David’s brunch:  $22.95 includes fruit & donuts, entree, & coffee/tea.  Reserve at 201-222-8359.

Photo Credit: Lisa Curran

Photo Credit: Lisa Curran

 Bin 14 is offering a make your own “Momosa” Bar $8 with fresh fruits/juices. Reserve at 201-963- 9463.

Cheers to a great Mother’s Day!

scbdteaser01

Advertisements

#SCBDExclusive Interview with Executive Pastry Chef & Playing with Fire star Julie Elkind!

scbdexclusive

Two weeks ago, E! premiered a new show, Playing with Fire which is based on the lives of some of the heavy hitter’s in New York’s culinary scene such as Candice Kumai, Anna Boiardi, The Koch twins, and Julie Elkind. With her drive and motivation at the age of 26, in four years Julie became the Executive Pastry chef for the ESquared hospitality group and  just recently took on the position as the Executive Pastry Chef at Executive Chef/Partner  Michael Ferraro’s Delicatessen in SoHo (see her intro in the show in the clip above). I spoke with Julie and we discussed life, her path to success, favorite dessert to make, new position at Delicatessen, and of course, Playing with Fire.

E SQUARED HOSPITALITY

SCBD: You’ve been doing pastry for a while now, who influenced you to get into it?

JE: It’s been in my family ever since I can remember. I grew up around some really great home cooks, we’d always be working on different projects in the kitchen. It’s amazing to do pastry for a living. I never really feel like I’m working because it’s a labor of love.

SCBD: In the show, Playing with Fire we see that you are always out to prove yourself, did this start when you were back in school?

JE: I was always great at Science & English in school. Math was never my strong point until I was able to bring it into pastry and use it everyday. I always felt like I had to prove to my parents that I could do well since they set such a high bar for me. The most important for me to prove something to is also myself. I am always challenging myself with new concept and ideas that the mainstream may not accept right away. I’m still always learning everyday and feel even as a veteran being in the industry thus far I still have to prove myself in the kitchen. I also think its important that people in the industry listen to the next generation of chefs and our ideas.

SCBD: Where did you go to school for pastry?

JE: I attended the Culinary Academy of New York which is now the Star Career Academy of New York. During my time there I learned a lot of basics and everything to prepare for my hands-on experience in the kitchen.

SCBD: When you started did you ever imagine you’d come this far?

JE: I believe when you start doing anything you love you want to come far and I always wanted to be a successful pastry chef. I never imagined the show would come about but I’m always making sure I am staying humble. In my opinion, staying humble is the key to the growing and creating process.

SCBD: What advice would you give to aspiring pastry chefs?

JE: Never rush yourself. A lot of my generation feel that they have this sense of entitlement that they will be a famous chef once they are out of school. It may look easy but it’s not, it requires time and must be a labor of love. They should be patient and keep creating their own ideas.

Also, I believe its important to never rush into a job that your not ready for. If you don’t think its meant for you, wait your turn and take a job when the time is right. That was some of the best advice someone gave me. Never be afraid to ask questions and never assume. Always use your commonsense especially in the kitchen. You gain your place and respect in the kitchen by hard work.

SCBD: At the young age of 26, you’ve gained so much success and recognition as a pastry chef and now with Playing with Fire. What advice do you have for millennials on the path to success?

JE: I am always giving my staff tough love as a manager but I always give them encouragement when they do something worth rewarding. I just want them to be able to teach other chefs what I taught them. Staying humble is key and you must believe in your own food or brand. Being a pastry chef is what I always wanted to do. I personally find success when customers are enjoying the food I create. I want my food to bring a sensory and memory connection to them that may not necessarily be a food trend. Any dish I make is something I am personally proud of and would not sell it if I wasn’t.

SCBD: On that note, congratulations on your new position as Executive Pastry Chef for Delicatessen in SoHo. What do you like most about the new position?

JE:  Executive Chef/Partner Michael Ferraro (Delicatessen) has the same style as me just on the savory end so it’s the perfect collaboration. It’s good to work with another chef that’s an equal because we work as a unit. When I took the job my instincts told me it was right and it’s been great to be respected by a fellow chef. It’s a great positive atmosphere because where I can grow.

SCBD: What is your favorite dessert to make at home? On the job?

JE: I love making ice cream and gelato because you can make tons of flavor combinations. I love coming up with new ideas, it’s the best part! I get butterflies when I change a menu because I am so proud and excited of my food. I am always checking to see what is in season by going to the local green market. I am alwayss painting a picture of a new dessert just by spotting a fruit or citrus I can use there. I love taking different flavor profiles on successful dishes rather than just using what worked before.

SCBD: Playing with Fire is really taking off, what should see expect to see from you this season? How does it feel to be part of this successful show?

JE: This season on Playing with Fire you will see what I did at the previous company I worked for to get where I am now. You will also see my constant balance between relationships, time in the kitchen, as well as my social life. You will see how it’s possible to have it all with the right people by your side. I believe you always have to keep pushing through even if you hit a speed bump. You will see how I handle bumps in the road but with strength and endurance I keep moving forward. You will get to know me personally and see some of my stressful moments at home and at work. New York City is a demanding city to live and work in. I don’t want to give too much away but you’ll have to tune in to find out more.

SCBD: Last, where do you see yourself in five years and what are some quotes you live by?

JE: If you asked me five years ago, I’d never imagine I’d be where I am now. I am constantly challenging myself and making sure I serve the best quality desserts. I’d love to work towards getting a James Beard award and being recognized by the James Beard Foundation for my work. I really aspire to be like the previous James Beard award winners who give back and leave a legacy, it’s a lifetime of work.

Since not everyday is the same, I just want to do great work and get recognized for it.

I actually have a few quotes I live by:

“Commonsense isn’t always common”, which I am always saying in the kitchen.

“Do what you love for nothing, and turn it into something”

“Never take a job for money or sell yourself short.”

“The only person who can judge you is yourself”

“Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid of anything.”

“Don’t knock it til you try it.”

644182_523404671034663_1555980759_n

You can catch Julie on Playing with Fire on E! at 8PM EST on Friday nights. You can tweet her @JulieElkind & become a fan of her on Facebook, here. Don’t forget to follow Delicatessen @DeliNYC too!

Make sure you use #PlayingwithFire when you tune in! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#SCBDFavorite: One Pot Dinners Cooking Class at Sur La Table, Hell’s Kitchen

scbdfavorite

For my birthday this year I got a gift certificate to take a cooking class at Sur La Table in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. I looked at the schedule and the One Pot Dinners presented by Food & Wine Magazine sounded like an awesome class plus it came with a one year subscription to Food & Wine magazine.

The class started at 11:00 am in the studio kitchen in the store. We were greeted by our instructor Giselle and her assistants, who grabbed us a cup of coffee. Giselle told us a bit about herself and how she went to culinary school and how when she’s not teaching she is a pastry chef at Momofoku Milk Bar. After she explained how the class worked and gave us a packet with the recipes we’d be making in class.

photo 3

My favorite recipe we made.

We started the class making an easy Mexican Chicken Pozole Verde. Giselle would show us how to do each step and assist us along with the help of her assistants. It was a great class and each team worked together really well. After the Pozole, we made my personal favorite– Beef & Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits, followed by Rice Pilaf with Chorizo, Olives & Fennel, and last, Smoky Paella with Shrimp & Squid.

480681_10151269319590588_1480829693_n

Cooking in class at Sur La Table, Hell’s Kitchen NYC

We took a little break while some of the entrees cooked and had a tour of the store with our instructor Giselle. She told us what she recommended we purchase and what was used during class. We could also buy what we wanted then, but most of us waited until class ended. After our little tour, we came back to class and finished preparing then eating all the dishes. As I mentioned, my favorite was Beef & Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuits, it was delicious and perfect for a meal. It’s definitely a dish I’d love to conquer myself one night!

If you ever decide to take a class at Sur La Table, a huge plus is that all students receive a 10% off coupon that is good for a week. Since I still had money on my gift card, it definitely gave me an upper hand. I decided to purchase my very own food processor and scraper to add to my kitchen collection.

I’d highly recommend a cooking class at Sur La Table to any beginner in the kitchen, they really help you out and all the dishes are pretty easy. They have many cooking studio locations throughout New York and New Jersey and  have a huge roster of classes, you can see, here. They also aren’t costly and range between $55-99 which is not bad for a professional cooking class.

Plan on taking a class at Sur La Table?

Let me know what you thoughts here or tweet me @smchickbigdeals!

Happy Cooking! 😀

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

Chefday: A New Yorker’s Dream Come True

chefday

Hungry New Yorkers will have much to celebrate once they hear about Chefday. A new Brooklyn start-up, this company delivers fresh, pre-measured ingredients to your home in order for you to cook a custom recipe created by NYC restaurant chefs. Simply go to their website, choose your meal of choice, and all the ingredients will be delivered to you on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 3 and 5pm or 7 and 9pm. They can deliver it to your office or your home. Once you have your fresh ingredients, tune into the website and check out the video of the chef in action, cooking your meal. The videos are catered to cooks, pausing after each step so you can catch up. The ingredients can also be delivered in different quantities, so whether you are cooking for two or eight, you’re all set.

photo (1)

Chefday is also philanthropic! Through their Cook One Feed One program, for each serving you order through the company, they will donate an equal amount to the Food Bank for NYC. They are also all about eating healthy! All ingredients are fresh and natural and all dishes come with a calorie count.

photo (2)

Whether you are vegetarian, pescatarian, or a carnivore, they’ve got meals for you to choose from! You could try asparagus stuffed salmon, courtesy of Chris Leahy of Lexington Brass, Parmesan veal Milanese, courtesy of Victor Laplaca of Isola Trattoria e Crudo, or you can try the stir fried green bean vermicelli, courtesy of Jehangir Mehta of Mehtaphor – which is what I tried. It was easy to follow the step-by-step instructions and was fun to watch the video and make sure I was following the recipe correctly. Each ingredient was fresh and it was easy to identify each since they were all labeled.

photo (3)

Yummy Chefday meal

I may love food, but I am not a cook – luckily, they made it so easy! Without having to go out shopping for such specific ingredients in the right quantities it took away half the hassle of cooking. In fact, my dish turned out great! This is such an ingenious idea – ideal for those who love to cook and for those who love a restaurant quality meal. Make cooking fun with Chefday!