All Posts By Sarah De Heer

5 Questions With Aaron London: James Beard Rising Star Chef Nominee

by in View All Posts, May 5th, 2011

aaron london
On Monday, May 9th, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Andrew Zimmern, Anne Burrell and many others in the food industry will don their best as they join the James Beard Foundation at its annual Restaurant and Chef Awards Dinner.

In honor of their Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, we’re chatting with the 2011 nominees in this category. Yesterday, we caught up with Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland, Ore. Today, we’ll get to know Aaron London, chef at Ubuntu in Napa, Calif. London says, “I keep hearing things like ‘this is the Oscars for chefs.’ It’s really hard for me to say until I have experienced it for myself.”

FN Dish: How does it feel to be a James Beard Foundation Award nominee for Rising Star Chef?
AL: It feels awesome and kind of unreal. What a huge honor! I’m just excited to have the chance to go to NYC and hang out with some of the great chefs who are responsible for cooking today in America

Find out which two ladies Aaron would like to cook for »

5 Questions With Gabriel Rucker: James Beard Rising Star Chef Nominee

by in News, May 4th, 2011

gabriel rucker
On Monday, May 9, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Andrew Zimmern, Anne Burrell and many others in the food industry — will don their best as they join the James Beard Foundation at its annual Restaurant and Chef Awards Dinner.

In honor of the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, we’re chatting with the 2011 nominees for this category. Yesterday we caught up with Thomas McNaughton, chef at flour + water in San Francisco. Today we’re talking with Gabriel Rucker, chef of Le Pigeon in Portland, Oregon. Being nominated is “the highest honor you can receive as a chef,” Rucker says. “And just being nominated makes me feel like a winner already.”

FN Dish: The theme of this year’s awards is “The Ultimate Melting Pot,” so what is your favorite type of ethnic cuisine?
GR: Mexican

Read what Gabriel would like to change about the food industry »

5 Questions With Thomas McNaughton: James Beard Rising Star Chef Nominee

by in News, May 3rd, 2011

thomas mcnaughton
On Monday, May 9, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Andrew Zimmern, Anne Burrell and many others in the food industry — will don their best as they join the James Beard Foundation at its annual Restaurant and Chef Awards Dinner.

In honor of the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, we’re chatting with the 2011 nominees in this category. Yesterday, we caught up with Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City. Today, we’ll get to know Thomas McNaughton, chef at flour + water in San Francisco. McNaughton says that the Beard Awards, “Are a testament to the people that I’m surrounded by, not only in the kitchen but in our organization. It feels humbling to be among such talented peers.”

FN Dish: The theme of this year’s awards is “The Ultimate Melting Pot,” so what is your favorite type of ethnic cuisine?
TM: Korean

Find out what classic rock band Thomas would love to cook for »

5 Questions With Christina Tosi: James Beard Rising Star Chef Nominee

by in News, May 2nd, 2011

christina tosi

On Monday, May 9, Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons, Andrew Zimmern, Anne Burrell and many others in the food industry — will don their best as they join the James Beard Foundation at its annual Restaurant and Chef Awards Dinner.

While categories like Best New Chef and Best New Restaurant tend to steal the spotlight, one category to keep your eye on is Rising Star Chef of the Year. According to the Foundation, “This award is given to a chef, age 30 or younger, who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to have a significant impact on the industry in years to come.” Past winners who hold this title include Nate Appleman and Andrew Carmellini.

Starting today, we’ll get to know each of the 2011 nominees up for this category a little better.

First up: Christina Tosi from the famed Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City. Tosi, who worked at WD-50 and Bouley before Milk Bar, is now known for her outrageously addicting desserts like Crack Pie, cereal milk soft serve ice cream and recently cake truffles.

“It’s an overwhelming honor to be singled out in a city and country of so many great chefs,” Tosi said when we asked her how it felt to be a James Beard nominee. “The awards have always been a great opportunity to get to know what’s going on in kitchens around the country, make new friends and celebrate one another’s passion for food, hard work and dedication to the job and industry.”

Find out what Christina can’t live without and the one person she’d love to cook for »

5 Questions With Gabriella Gershenson of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle

by in Food Network Chef, Shows, April 28th, 2011

gabriella gershenson
Last Thursday, the second season of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle premiered, promising an all-new set of contestants aspiring to open their own restaurants –- all in just one day.

We asked three of the judges to talk about the new season, the drama we can expect and advice they can share. Last week, Alison Brod gave us her advice from a public relations standpoint. Today, we’re talking with Gabriella Gershenson, a senior editor at Saveur magazine.

Tune in tonight for a new episode of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle at 10pm/9c.

FN Dish: For the new season, what are some changes we can expect?
Well, you’ll be seeing more of the original four—Alison, Scott, Geoffrey and myself—but there are also some great additions to the judges table. For instance, David Sax, a deli expert and contributing editor at Saveur magazine, where I work, joins us when two Jewish-style restaurants face off.

FN Dish: What is the most common mistake you come across?
Some chefs serve dishes that they have never attempted before coming on the show. Huh? I don’t get that. Second most common: chefs who don’t taste their dishes before serving them.

Read Gabriella’s one piece of advice to the contestants »

Chef Marcela Valladolid at The White House

by in Food Network Chef, April 26th, 2011

marcela valladolid white house

On Monday, April 25, Food Network’s own Marcela Valladolid had the rare opportunity to participate in a cooking demo on the South Lawn at The White House as the First Family hosted the 133rd Easter Egg Roll.

With 30,000 people in attendance, everyone took part in this year’s theme “Get Up and Go,” which focuses on promoting health and wellness, a key initiative for the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign. According to the Let’s Move! website, it’s important to “put children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years.” An easy to way to do this is by getting them into the kitchen — kids are more likely to try new foods when they’ve invested themselves in the process.

Read more about Marcela’s time at The White House »

5 Questions with Alison Brod of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle

by in Shows, April 21st, 2011

alison brod
Get ready — another season of 24 Hour Restaurant Battle premiers tonight at 10pm/9c with an all-new set of contestants aspiring to open their own restaurant –- all in just one day.

In honor of the new season, we asked three of the judges to talk about the new season, the drama we can expect and advice they can share. First up, Alison Brod, of Alison Brod Public Relations.

FN Dish: With this new season, what are some changes we can expect?

AB: Well, Scott Conant (host) is looking a little older this season … just kidding, he is only getting better. The sets on the show are kicked up a bit – more lighting, color and design. Also, the themes are more closely matched per show now, so the comparisons are more straightforward, which could be helpful to aspiring restaurateurs.

Find out if Alison thinks she could pull off a restaurant in 24 hours »