Friday, December 29, 2006

A Gilded Year

My Chef's Table reflection on the end of a great year...

What a year it’s been for me! Twelve months ago I was in paradise, but also in a small version of hell: I was working as a private chef for a billionaire, traveling back and forth between New York City and a private island in the Caribbean on a tricked-out 727. What a glamorous life, eh? Well, actually, when you’re the one charged with making it glamorous, it’s not exactly a walk in the park.

As a huge fan of the work that Jennifer was doing, I had been contributing recipes and articles to this site in between jet-set jaunts. I came to realize that I was much more excited about what was happening on these pages than anything I was making for unappreciative rich people, no matter that I had an unlimited food budget. Being told by an aging British Aristocrat that my exquisite Mixed Seafood in Ginger Broth with Confetti Vegetables “looked lovely but smelled horrible” confirmed for me that I would much rather spend my time with true epicures than classless wealthy people with no taste.

When Jennifer told me that she was planning on some major changes for the Gilded Fork, my yearning to be a bigger part of it became even greater, so I made the choice to leave behind the life of a jet-setting private chef and return to what I love. It’s been one of the best choices of my life. I was so honored that Jennifer would take me on as a business partner, and that she was so open to some of the innovations I was excited to introduce to the Gilded Fork.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Champagne: Join the Club

This comes from The Greene Grape wineshop's latest newsletter, and is great information for those of you on the hunt for a great champagne for toasting in the New Year:

So maybe you know that sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it is from the Champagne region in France and if it undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle. But do you know what ‘club’ champagne is? Club Champagne is a subset of grower champagne, so stick with us for a small digression.

In Champagne growers grow grapes – pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay to be specific. Some growers sell their grapes to larger champagne houses (these are the brands you see everywhere and they’re called negociant champagnes). But some growers keep their best grapes and make their own champagne – thus the term ‘grower champagne.’

Club champagne is a grower champagne crafted to best represent the particular domaine where it is created. In order to be designated a Special Club champagne and be bottled in the signature bottle, the champagne must undergo peer review by other champagne producers including two blind tastings. So now you know more than enough to bridge any lull in the conversation on New Year's Eve.

Our friend Lenn Thompson of has created a New York Cork Club with Greene Grape, so you can have the best of New York State wines sent you each month.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Chicken and Grapes

I featured this recipe on my ReMARKable Palate Podcast #71. Here's the recipe for you to print out and follow along!

Chicken and Grapes
Chicken breast filets lightly floured then sautéed in a herbed orange sauce with seedless grapes

Servings: 6

6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1/3 cup flour
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons orange marmalade
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups seedless grapes, cut in half
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
black pepper

In a ziplock bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and shake well. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the chicken breasts and sauté on each side for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet. In the same skillet, sauté the onion in the remaining pan drippings. Add the chicken broth and orange marmalade. Stir well. Add the rosemary and lemon juice and cook 3 minutes. Add 1/2 of the grapes and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken back to the skillet and cook for 10 more minutes. Make a slurry of the cornstarch and the water. Add to the skillet and cook until sauce is thickened. Add the rest of the grapes and the pepper to taste. Cook for 1 more minute.

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ReMARKable Palate Podcast #71

ReMARKable Palate #71: CityMeals on Wheels and Chicken and Grapes

Jennifer and I speak once again with Gael Greene, founder of CityMeals on Wheels, on the occasion of the organization serving its 34 millionth meal to homebound elderly New Yorkers. Consider making a donation to this holiday season to help in the effort.

And I go into the kitchen to show you how to make an easy weeknight meal of Chicken and Grapes (yes, grapes!)

Voice Mail: 646-787-3196
Skype: remarkablepalate

The ReMARKable Palate Podcast is a production of The Gilded Fork.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

ReMARKable Palate #70

#70: Food and Wine Pairing at Pour

I visit the new wine shop Pour on Manhattan's Upper West Side and speak with owner H. Tres Meyer and Beverage Director Jerri Banks about their novel approach to selling wine for food pairing.

Be sure to check out Food Philosophy #34 for Jennifer and my interview with husband and wife team Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, who were at Pour signing copies of their book What To Drink With What You Eat. It was the perfect setting for focusing on stripping away the pretense and the enigmas of food and wine pairing.

Pour: 321 Amsterdam Ave. @ 75th St., NYC 212-501-POUR

Voice Mail: 646-787-3196
Skype: remarkablepalate

The ReMARKable Palate Podcast is a production of The Gilded Fork.
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

ReMARKable Palate Podcast #69

ReMARKable Palate #69: Chef Francis Paniego

It's back to Spain this week. I bring you into the dining room with me as we enjoy a tasting menu at El Portal de Echaurren, in the small Rioja town of Ezcaray. Chef Francis Paniego sits with us and explains his food philosophy (actually, he claims he doesn't have one, but I got it out of him!).

We then go on a Tapas crawl in the Calle Laurel section of Longroño, enjoying the many small dishes and probably a few too many glasses of inexpensive, quality Rioja wine.

If you need cooking help this holiday season, we’ve made special arrangements with our friends at Chefs Line so you can get 30 free minutes of consultation with a live chef through January 1st, 2007.

ChefsLine: 800-977-1224 enter code 986445#

ChefsLine memberships are also available in the Gilded Fork Boutique, and make a perfect holiday gift! (

Voice Mail: 646-797-3196
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Shrimp and Avocado Canapés

This recipe was designed for our Finger Lickin' Fridays segment on Adam Curry's Daily Source Code.

Since it’s Holiday time, we’re featuring cocktails and hors d’oeuvres all month at the Gilded Fork. Here’s a recipe for a quick and easy Shrimp and Avocado Canapé that’ll knock their socks off at your office party!


12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 avocado
1 lemon
4 cherry tomatoes
1 TB fresh dil
a splash of red wine vinegar, salt pepper and cayenne, and some dark pumpernickel or seeded rye bread.


Start with your thinly sliced bread, and cut out rounds with a 1 ½ inch diameter cookie cutter, and set them aside.

Next, devein and shell some medium shrimp, removing the tails (or you can just buy them that way from your fishmonger). Blanch them in boiling water for a minute or two, just until cooked through. They should curl up nicely. You always want to be careful not to overcook shrimp, or it will become rubbery. Remove the shrimp from the water and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to cool. When cooled, blot them dry with paper towels.

Next, make a puree of avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice, a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of cayenne.

Chop a little fresh dill and toss it with the shrimp along with a small splash of red wine vinegar and tiny dash of salt to season.

Assemble your canapé by spreading a little of the avocado puree over each round of bread, and top with a dilled shrimp, then thinly slice your cherry tomatoes and finish the hors d’oeuvres by topping the shrimp with a tomato slice and a small sprig of dill, and enjoy!

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

ReMARKable Palate Podcast #68

ReMARKable Palate #68: Kitchencasting!

I take you into the kitchen this week and show you how to prepare an easy Argentinian-inspired weeknight meal: Dry-rubbed Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, and a side of Balsamic Roasted Green Beans with Red Onions.

Dry Rub:
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika

Pat the flank steak dry. Stir together salt, cumin, coriander, pepper, and paprika, and rub on both sides of the meat. Broil steak on a hot broiler about 4 inches from the heat, turning once. 10-12 minutes total for medium rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes. Holding a knife at a 45 degree angle, thinly slice steak against grain.

1 large garlic clove
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt

With motor running, add garlic to food processor and finely chop. Add cilantro, parsley, vinegar, oil, cayenne and salt and pulse until herbs are finely chopped. Serve steak with chimichurri sauce.

Voice Mail: 646-797-3196
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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Benefit Performance of "Rags" Dec. 11th

I usually don't post non-food related content here, but I thought I'd point out to you a great concert that's coming up on December 11th, which is a benefit for a great organization. This podcast is from my Remarkably Mark Podcast (A Chef's Life outside the Kitchen!)

Rags, the 4th Annual World AIDS Day Concert

I was blessed to be invited to a special rehearsal of Rags, the legendary musical by Joseph Stein, Charles Strouse, and Stephen Schwartz. These legends of the Broadway community are responsible for some of the greatest shows, including Fiddler on the Roof, Zorba, Bye Bye Birdie, Annie, Pippin, Godspell,and Wicked. I interview all three, as well as stars Carolee Carmello (Parade, Lestat and Mamma Mia) and her husband Gregg Edelman (Wonderful Town, Passion, Into the Woods), and Carol Di Paolo of the Joey Di Paolo AIDS Foundation.

Rags, directed by Stafford Arima and produced by Jamie McGonnigal, will be performed in concert on Dec 11th at the Nokia Theatre on Broadway as a benefit for the Joey Di Paolo AIDS Foundation, which serves youth with HIV and AIDS by sponsoring Camp TLC and other projects to enrich their lives. Tickets are available at, and more information can be found at, or at

Theme Music: "Viva Remarkably Mark!" by John Ong.

Voice Mail line: 1-646-797-3196
skype: remarkablepalate

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