Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Congratulations to the winners of Round 2 Iron Chef "Vegetarian"

Jimmy's Menu for Iron Chef Vegetarian.
Cauliflower Soup, Caramelized Cauliflower, Crispy Capers & Matchstick Radishes.
Wild Mushroom, Leek & White Truffle Tart, Mushroom & Sherry Coulis, Goat Cheese Fondue, 10yr old Balsamic Drizzle & Micro Liquorice.

Jacinto Torres - Plymouth
Stephanie Sanchez - Lunch Box
Bobby Siu - 5IVE
Jimmy Wilson - Pintxo

SEMI-FINALS - ALL SEAFOOD - January 26, 2009

Jacinto Torres Plymouth vs.
James Wilson Pintxo

Stephanie Sanchez Lunch Box vs.
Bobby Siu 5ive

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Round 1 Results of Iron Chef " No Theme"

Jimmy's Round 1 Menu
Cream of Parsnip Soup,Carmelized Shallot, Apple, Thyme & Black Pudding (Blood Sausage)
Seared Loch Duart Salmon, Champ (Northern Irish Potato Dish) & Warm Bacon & Rocket Dressing,Micro Beet Tops (Bulls Blood)

Baljit Sekhon Euro
Cecile Macasero AMT
Bobby Siu 5IVE
"The" Patrick Marzo 150
Angel Hernandez Charlies
Joseph Batchelder Basic Deli
Sythouane Vongchantha Moma
Daniel Deaver Fourteen
Albert Rivera Cafe 7
Frederico Ortiz Oasis
Luis Rodriguez PIC
Jose Manuel Hernandez Big Table
Kevin O' Conner No Name
James "Jimmy" Wilson Pintxo
Stephanie Sanchez Lunch Box
Jacinto Torres Plymouth

Today's Iron Chef Results
Congratulations to the Round 1 Winners!

Kevin O' Conner - No Name
Jacinto Torres - Plymouth
Cecile Macasero - American Table
Jose Manuel Hernandez - Big Table
Stephanie Sanchez - Lunch Box
Sythouane Vongchantha - Moma
Jimmy Wilson - Pintxo
Bobby Siu - 5IVE

Iron Chef details at Google Campus

The Rules

* Each cafe chef must select one cook or lead cook from their cafe to compete in the challenge.
* They will be competing against a cook from another cafe.
* Names will be selected at random to decide who is challenging whom and which cafe they will be competing at.
* The competitors must submit their menu to the hosting Cafe Chef 1 week in advance (Jan 5th).
* The cafe chef is responsible for ordering those items in the menu.
* The winners can not repeat the same menu in following rounds.
* Competitors must prepare food for 100 Googlers (2 oz protein portions) consisting of 1 entree and either a soup or salad.
* Food expenses will be costed to the hosting cafe

* All day event

The Challenger

* 6:30am - Competitors arrive at designated cafe and meets with cafe chef
* Receive prepared rolling cart of ingredients
* 7:00am - Begin preparing their menu to be served at the opening of lunch service for that cafe
* 11:30am/12:00pm - Serve food
* Clean up
* 2:30pm - End of Competition - Winner announced!

The Cafe Chefs

* Prepare rolling cart with food for competitors
* Show chefs around the kitchen
* Prepare serving area in cafe for competition
* Put up signage (attachment below) & baskets for Googlers to judge food
* Hand out marbles and encourage Googlers to try the food and to vote
* Announce the winner!

*Note: Cafe chef must engage in the event for it to be successful!

The Judging

* A group of 100 Googlers will be voting on the dishes, using the marble system.
* The determined winner moves on to the next round.

Upcoming Schedule

* Round 1 - Mon, January 12th
* Round 2 - Tues, January 20th
* Semi Finals - TBD
* Finals - TBD

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Eating at home back in the day in Charlotte

Sweet Potato Puree, Cornmeal Crusted Scallops, Braised Chard & Chipotle & Molasses Glaze.
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$1500 Mai Tai from SF Chronicle last week.

I found myself in the Merchant Hotel in Belfast recently. It's a very fine hotel indeed. I'm tempted to say that it's posh and elegant and opulent and splendid and sumptuous and swank because it's all of those things, but there's something special about the Merchant that makes you forget that you're in a highfalutin joint - the atmosphere there is just about as down home and friendly as you'll find in any neighborhood tavern. You tend to forget your surroundings and just get on with having a great time when you're in the bar there.
On my third evening in Belfast I arrived at the Merchant's bar to meet up with my cousin and his son, who had popped over to Belfast from England to hang out with me for a few days; an old friend from New York was there and a few newfound Belfast bartender types were in attendance, too. I was about to order my usual Manhattan when Sean Muldoon, the beverage manager at the Merchant, suggested that I have a mai tai instead.
I had a mai tai the likes of which you won't find anywhere else in the world. It was whipped up for me by Jack McGarry, a splendid specimen of a Belfast bartender. The drink was heavenly. Just heavenly.
What makes the mai tai at the Merchant Hotel so special? Well, for a start, they charge 750 pounds sterling for it. Call it 1,500 bucks. Why? Because the Merchant Hotel is the only bar in the world that has a bottle of the original 17-year-old J. Wray & Nephew rum that Victor J. "Trader Vic" Bergeron used when he created the drink in 1944.
I doubt that many of you will be dashing off to Belfast to buy yourself one of these mai tais, though if you find yourself in that part of the world I highly recommend that you stop in at the Merchant Hotel. But to save you the trouble of going to the bar for a drink, here's a mai tai recipe, based on the original, that you can make at home.
I chose rums that, when mixed, come close to replicating the powerful punch, and the soft vanilla notes, of the original bottling that Trader Vic used, and instead of curacao, I went for Grand Marnier - the rich sweetness in this liqueur negates you having to make the rock-candy syrup that Bergeron called for in his recipe. Orgeat, an almond syrup with rosewater accents, isn't the easiest thing in the world to find, but nor is it impossible - Torani makes a good bottling that can be found via any decent search engine.
One question did come to mind as I left the bar that night. What's a fair tip on a $1,500 cocktail?
Mai tai
Makes 1 drink
1 1/2 ounces 10 Cane rum
1/2 ounce J. Wray & Nephew overproof rum
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
3/4 ounce orgeat syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 mint sprig, for garnish

Instructions: Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice and add both rums, Grand Marnier, orgeat syrup and lime juice. Shake for approximately 15 seconds, strain into a crushed-ice-filled old-fashioned glass, and add the garnish.

J and L Catering. The Dream Team.

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Old Style Pics !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Will Cook for Art.

I acquired this lovely painting from my good friend Moni at Ducks Nest for Howards Birthday Party. Lovely Painting.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Chimichurri Sauce or as I call it Jimmychurri Sauce.

This garlicky sauce from Argentina is great spooned over Grilled Meats. yield: Makes about 1 cup

1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
2 Jalepenos seeded and diced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 Limes Juiced
1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and vinegar in a bowl. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, and remaining ingredients. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Monday, January 5, 2009

20 Wines for $10 or Less

Bianchi 2007 "Elsa" TorrontésArgentina $8 A distinctive varietal, Torrontés is characterized by intense fruity-floral aromas.

Columbia Crest 2007 Grand Estates ChardonnayWashington $8 An elegant wine, rich with apple, pear, and a hint of oak.

Fish Eye 2007 Pinot GrigioCalifornia $8 Tropical fruit and intense citrus dominate in this dry, food-friendly Pinot Grigio.

Domaine de Bernier 2006 ChardonnayFrance $9 This excellent Chardonnay from the Loire Valley is rich with grapefruit and lemon.

Veramonte 2007 "Reserva" Sauvignon BlancvChile $9 Fruity and zesty, this has melon and lemony flavors with herbal notes and bright acidity.

Brancott 2008 Marlborough Sauvignon BlancNew Zealand $10 Grapefruit, tropical fruit, and grassy flavors accent this wine from the Marlborough region.

Domaine La Hitaire 2007 "Les Tours"France $10 This crisp, dry vin de pays ("country wine") from Gascony is a blend of less-familiar varietals, such as Ugni Blanc.

Ponte de Lima 2007 "Adamado" Vinho VerdePortugal $10 This young white is fresh with lime flavors and herbal aromas.

Tintero 2007 Moscato d'AstiItaly $10 This sweet, low-alcohol wine from Piedmont has citrus zest, pear, and apricot flavors.

Wolfgang 2007 "Concerto" Grüner VeltlinerAustria $10 In this versatile wine, ripe citrus flavors carry a hit of peppery spice.

Archeo 2006 Nero d'AvolaItaly $4 A favorite from Trader Joe's, this rich, earthy red with dark fruit has an oaky finish.

Banrock Station 2006 ShirazAustralia $5 Big flavors and a low price tag are a winning combination in this fine red with ripe plum and black-cherry flavors.

Bianchi 2007 "Elsa" MalbecArgentina $8 Argentina has become known for its big-value Malbecs: Here, blackberry and plum flavors are matched by a spicy finish.

Budini 2008 MalbecArgentina $9 This big wine is characterized by black cherries, blackberries, and spice.

McManis Family Vineyards 2007 Cabernet SauvignonCalifornia $9 Blueberry, blackberry, and chocolate flavors balance this Cabernet's spicy notes.

Monterra 2005 MerlotCalifornia $9 A rich Merlot with a hint of chocolate.

Di Majo Norante 2007 SangioveseItaly $10 Blackberries and spice with violet aromas make this an appealing wine to pair with the robust flavors of this time of year.

Eguren 2006 TempranilloSpain $10 for 1 liter From the Castilla y León region, this full-bodied red is loaded with raspberry fruit.

Goats Do Roam 2006 RedSouth Africa $10 This Rhône-style red has soft tannins, black-cherry fruit, and a spicy finish.

Vigne & Vini 2005 "Schiaccianoci" Negroamaro del SalentoItaly $10 This rustic red from Puglia shows concentrated, earthy flavors that are balanced by aromas of spice.