Many people refer to the Memorial Day weekend, now more than two months past, as the unofficial end of summer grilling season. But those of us who love to grill know that you can't stop just because you've turned the calendar page.
There are diehards, of course, who brave the elements to continue grilling outdoors. I've even ...Read more
I've seen it happen many times in my restaurants, and you've no doubt been on the receiving end of this phenomenon: Guests order a classic dish, something they've enjoyed elsewhere many times before, and when it arrives it looks nothing like what they'd been expecting.
The first reaction may be puzzlement or consternation or delight -- or a ...Read more
When people think about "autumn cooking," what comes to mind most often are ingredients that seem to offer the warmth and comfort we crave during the season: earthy, meaty-tasting mushrooms, savory-sweet mellow squashes, juicy-crisp apples combining spiciness and tanginess with their sweetness, and so on.
And all that produce I mentioned also ...Read more
People often tell me that when they invite friends over for a dinner party, they realize too late that they've been overly ambitious, planning elaborate menus with too many ingredients and too much preparation. Even if the food turns out great, as it usually does, the hosts find themselves exhausted the next morning and swear that they'll wait a...Read more
Who wants mashed potatoes? I can imagine hands and voices happily raised in response to that question, whether it's asked around a family table, at a casual diner, or in the finest restaurant.
My sons and I love mashed potatoes (or potato puree, as I was trained to call it during my early years as a chef). Whenever we put them on the menu in ...Read more
Food lovers hear a lot of talk these days about seasonal cuisine. Still, there are also some dishes that know no season--or are, to put it another way, foods for all seasons. One of my favorites, served in many of my restaurants, falls into this wide-ranging category: pizza.
When you think about it, of course, the reason has everything to do ...Read more
More even than deepest winter, I always think of autumn as soup weather.
The very fact that it seems like a transitional season -- with still summery days gradually giving way to cool weather and then, eventually, the first rains or snows -- suits it to all kinds of different soups, from light broths to robust bean concoctions. Not to mention ...Read more
Everybody seems to take apples for granted. They're always there in supermarkets and farmers market stalls, parents are packing them in kids' lunches, and some fast-food places now offer sliced apples as a healthy alternative to french fries (not that many guests necessarily go for that option). The fruit is also featured in some of the most ...Read more
Is it too soon to start talking about sick days?
I'm sorry to bring this up, but with two school-age boys at home, I know firsthand that children everywhere are back to their studies after a summer break.
We all want our kids to stay healthy and happy, of course. But it's hard to avoid the fact that at some point they'll have to stay home from...Read more
Is there really any other style of entertaining than casual during the summer months? Even for the most formal occasions my team and I focus on a warm, relaxed feeling this time of year. Same goes for at-home cooks. And that doesn't just apply to meals that you cook outside on the grill.
Indoors, too, casual style food is the right way to go in...Read more
We're in the middle of the best season for eating with our hands! Just think about it. Whether its burgers, hot dogs, ribs, fried chicken, sweet corn, ice cream cones or watermelon, summer often seems like the time of year dedicated to doing away with utensils.
Sweet corn may be my favorite food to eat with my hands. I'm always on the lookout ...Read more
Just as summer's days begin to feel the hottest, we can enjoy peaches at their best: sweet, incredibly juicy and unbelievably refreshing. They've been around, of course, all season. But the late-summer harvest, ripened under the warm sun, always provides the best specimens of all: more intense, even a bit spicy-sweet, and so plump that when you ...Read more
As a chef who is fortunate to be well known, journalists often ask me my thoughts about hottest food trend of the moment. Over the years, I've shared my thoughts about everything from gourmet pizza and Asian fusion cuisine (two major trends in which I played a role) to authentic barbecue to kale to the keto diet.
When questions have come lately...Read more
At the height of summer, I often happily imagine that Mother Nature has gone wild. What else could you think if you walk out into your vegetable garden or through the aisles of the farmers market and see tomatoes, zucchini, summer squashes, kale, chard, sweet corn, peas and other produce at their most beautiful, freshest, and most flavorful -- ...Read more
What a wonderful time it is when sun-ripened tomatoes come into season, as they are right now during the heart of summer.
Sure, you can find tomatoes -- even heirloom varieties of all colors, shapes and sizes -- in the market throughout the year, thanks to hothouse agriculture and international shipping. But tomatoes that have grown locally ...Read more
When I walk through my local farmers market right now, I couldn't be happier. Why? We're right in the middle of summer stone fruit season. Peaches. Nectarines. Apricots. Plums. Cherries. Some of the most succulent fruits imaginable are at their peak right now. I could make a meal for myself by just strolling past the stalls and enjoying all the ...Read more