Tabbouleh — the classic Middle Eastern cracked wheat bulgur salad with lemon and parsley — has gotten a brilliant makeover at Boulud Sud, Daniel Boulud’s elegant Upper West Side restaurant, featuring the lush flavors of the Mediterranean. Chef Travis Swikard’s duo of tabbouleh features a riot of flavors that includes mint, cilantro, jalapeno and za’atar, as well as dried barberries, figs, apricots, walnuts and pomegranate seeds. To accommodate gluten-free diners, Chef Swikard doesn’t use the classic bulgur in his recipe; instead he pulses blanched cauliflower until it’s the texture of couscous and uses that as the tabbouleh’s base. “We have a lot of gluten-free diners here, and I wanted to do something fresh with lots of textures,” he said.
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At il Buco, the beloved Italian restaurant in New York City’s East Village, Chef Joel Hough spans the Mediterranean for inspiration. “I like to play around with Spanish and Moorish influences and the flavors of Southern Italy,” he says. This means dishes like quail with pickled dried fruit and pomegranate; spaghetti with olive oil-poached swordfish, Calabrian chiles, capers and parsley; and Bella Bella Farms baby chicken with roasted baby beets, blood orange and mustard greens.
Chef Jeremy Lieb is one of those guys who manage to do it all. He’s the corporate chef of the Cincinnati-based Boca restaurant group, which also includes Boca, Sotto, and two Nada locations (one in Cincinnati and one in Columbus). He not only cooks, but also develops the menus and trains the staff. He’s obsessed with CrossFit and works out regularly with his wife and two young kids to keep the whole family in shape. Lieb also encourages his staff to stay healthy, promoting good eating, exercise and lots of sleep. “You have to do one thing every day that’s just for you that makes you happy,” he says. Now, that’s the kind of boss we’d all love to have.
The New York City dining scene is chock-full of options. But until King Bee opened, Acadian cuisine was not one of them. Now it’s here. Acadian food, you ask? Well, it’s inspired by the culinary evolution from the Acadian emigration to Louisiana. Think New Orleans country cooking meets the Pacific Northwest. It comes to the East Village in the form of a cozy little nest, decorated like a vintage cottage tucked into the mountains. A fire might as well be blazing on a hearth. Read more
The Chef’s Take: Jimmy Bradley’s Roasted Broccoli with Almonds, Parmesan and Red Onion at The Red Catby Andrea Strong in Chefs and Restaurants, Dining Out, February 4, 2015
If you’ve been around the food circles in New York City, the name Jimmy Bradley is a familiar one. He’s a rock star. Bradley opened his iconic restaurant The Red Cat in 1999, and since then has been serving New Yorkers a straightforward, market-driven menu that aims to please. No foams, no dusts, no deconstructed dishes or immersion circulators. Just good, local, seasonal American food with a nudge from the Mediterranean. It’s a formula that has been going strong for 15 years.
Known more commonly as hen-of-the-woods, the fan-shaped maitake mushroom devoid of the classic cap has gotten chefs’ attention for more than its standout flavor. “The maitake mushroom is the most medicinal of all the wild mushrooms,” says David Bouley, renowned chef and owner of Bouley and Brushstroke. “When I have fresh ones, I serve them raw, sliced thinly on the plate with a dollop of creme fraiche and caviar,” he says. “The earthiness, creaminess and saltiness blend together beautifully.”
It’s the dead of winter in most of the country, and a salad of sweet, juicy oranges is like sitting in the warmth of the summer sun. Gerard Craft, the five-time James Beard-nominated Best Chef: Midwest, is serving a beautiful Orange Salad tossed with picholine olives, tarragon leaves, red onion and extra virgin olive oil at Pastaria, one of his four St. Louis restaurants (others are Niche, Brasserie by Niche and Taste by Niche).
Take a glance around the airy dining room at Natural Epicurean — the health-minded restaurant at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. — and you may be surprised to find diners perusing tablets, not menus. The tablets are stocked with in-depth nutritional information, allergy alerts and gluten-free ratings for the menu developed by Sous Chef David Patterson with guidance from the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center. “A growing segment of diners are in tune with nutrition and diet, and they are reaching for our tablets, because they are looking to eat well, but they may have dietary restrictions,” said Patterson.
When Chef Brad Farmerie opened Public in New York City’s hip Nolita neighborhood in 2003, fresh from a stint at London’s Providores, he was already taking chances with dishes like grilled kangaroo on a coriander falafel with lemon tahini sauce and green pepper relish. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. The dish is like sunshine on a cold, gray day. It became a signature and it is a perfect example of his gift — marrying unorthodox ingredients with layers of contrasting textures and a riot of flavors. It put him on the map as a serious player among New York City’s culinary consigliere.
There was a time when carrot skins, radish greens and beet tops used to go straight from the cutting board to the trash bin. Then came the compost movement and all those vegetable scraps were destined for a future as fantastic fertilizer. Now comes chef Chris Barnett of Los Angeles’ Stir Market — a boutique California take on the classic European food-hall experience — who’s decided that one chef’s trash is indeed another’s treasure. Rather than toss his vegetable scraps in the garbage or compost bin, he uses them on his menu — think nose-to-tail cooking but with a carrot standing in for a pig.