Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A little Video after the Astor Center Event

Here is a little video of Jeff (Mall) and Josh (Silvers) after the event at the Astor Center, NYC.

More to come!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 2 in the Big Apple

Tuesday, October 20

This is the first day the chefs have to prepare a meal for guests and these aren't just any guests...they are "the press". There are folks from magazines, print media and bloggers. Cooking in the kitchen are Jeff (Mall), Josh (Silvers), me, Josh's wife, Regina Silvers and our God-send, Noah Senitz. Noah has worked with us on the farm, has worked catering jobs with us, now lives in San Diego (my home town) and paid his way to fly to NYC to cook with us. He kept laughing as we thanked him, and as he laughed he shook his head and told us he couldn't believe we were thanking him for crashing our gig! Guess it is all the way you look at it!

The site of the event is the Astor Center. It is the most amazing event space with state of the art equipment, great dishes, a well stocked kitchen and all very new! That is saying a lot for a kitchen! We had to do a little shopping before we got there and arrived with Noah outside the venue waiting for us!

The theme of the event was, of course, the cookbook, Down Home: Downtown - Seasonal Recipes from Two Sonoma Wine Country Restaurants. The chefs each prepared items which were reflective of their personal styles. Here is the menu: (Jeff is Down Home, Josh is Downtown)

Tray Passed Items
Down Home - Fried Green Tomatoes topped with El Rancho Dressing (we picked, and packed our very own green tomatoes!)
Downtown - Potato Latkes topped with an Apple Fennel Slaw
Paired with Rodney Strong Chardonnay

First Course
Down Home - Mixed Greens with Bellwether Farms Pepato Cheese, Pickled Onions and Candied Pecans
Downtown - Simple Green Salad that is wrapped in a cucumber with goat cheese and enoki mushrooms and flower petals
Paired with Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course
Down Home - New Orlean's-style Red Beans and Duck Cassoulet
Downtown - Deconstructed Cassoulet
Paired with Rodney Strong Symmetry (Rhone-style blend) and Syrah

Down Home - Apple Upside-Down Cake with Salty Caramel Sauce
Downtown - Buttery Apple Cake with Mascarpone Ice Cream

I didn't get any pictures of the food because I was too busy helping to shop and cook! I was able to get pictures of diners, and of the chefs and guests. Here they are:

*Photographer Alan Campbell is standing to the left in this photo

The "fun" part of cooking at the Astor Center, the chefs are reminded that they are mortal. This my way of saying that they can't skate out of there...they have to help clean up! Here is proof:

The next posting: The Big Event at the James Beard House!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

We're Not in Kansas, Toto

We traveled a long way from home...all the way to New York City! We went to the big city to promote our cookbook, Down Home: Downtown, by Jeff Mall (FarmerJeff) and Josh Silvers, along with photos by Alan Campbell, produced and sponsored by Rodney Strong Winery.

Our first stop was the "Green Market" in Union Square. I had scouted out the market when I was in New York in July, so I knew the guys could find some really great "local" produce. Here are some of the fun things we saw.

After shopping with the crowd, off we went to Katz's Deli, a temple to Pastrami, Corned Beef, Kosher Salami and all culinary wonders of the lower East Side. We were so enthralled with the food that we didn't take time to take pictures...we just ate! From there we ducked into Russ and Daughters Appetizers, another famous culinary institution. Being the crazy food people we are...we of course had to get knishes from Yonah Schimmel's famous Knish spot. On we wandered to the Bialy bakery, buying something for breakfast, and then we went off in search of the famous pickle place. Apparently the most famous was closed (sorry...can't remember the name) but ended up at Two Pickle Guys where we purchased many pickled items.

We had a break (shower, check email, make some calls) before we went out again for DINNER! We went to the temple of Cheese, Artisanal. There we ate...cheese! We ordered fondue, cheese and onion and bacon tart, a mushroom and cheese risotto and ended with ...CHEESE! Here are some photos to enjoy!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Down Home: Downtown Cooking Demo

Yes, folks, the new cookbook is OUT! We were lucky to have Rodney Strong Vineyards, Josh Silvers of Syrah Bistro, and Alan Campbell, photographer, as partners in this venture.

The wizard behind it all, Robert Larsen, of Rodney Strong, took this little video clip of Jeff (Mall) and Josh giving a cooking demo at the Windsor Farmers Market.

I hope you enjoy the clip! The cookbooks are available online at Zin Restaurant

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