The Food Network just held their first, and hopefully last, awards show. What a horrible mess. I think so little of this type of thing, I wasn’t going to lower myself to mentioning the awards, but then I saw the show, and like a rubbernecking at a particularly horrible car crash, I had to look.
Here are the local awards:
Delicious Destination of the Year: Portland Oregon
Better Burger: Burgerville. (Better than what, I’m not sure)
Even more interesting (if anything could be interesting in this excruciating show), were some of the incredibly stupid awards:
Viewer’s Choice, Favorite Classic Read. Winner: Green Eggs & Ham. Huh? Books?
Professional Grade Kitchen Appliance You Can’t Live Without. Winner: microwave oven. Ooh! So professional!
Tasty Technology. Winner: PoliScience Anti-Griddle (“The Grant Achatz inspired “Anti-Griddle” is a traditional cooktop with an amazing twist: the device quickly freezes sauces and purees instead of heating them! This unique innovation allows you to effortlessly freeze sauces and purees solid or develop semi-frozen creations with stable, crunchy surfaces and cool, creamy centers.”).
What a show. Talk about reaching a new low. Actually, I don’t need to talk about it, because Anthony Bourdain already did, and he does a rather admirable job here (link no longer valid).
Nigella..the strange and fabulous Nigella Lawson!! Iconic in England– and internationally…. fabulously wealthy… a good cook…new to the Network– and this is her welcome. Surely she had no clue as to the horrors she was facing. She looked trapped up there on stage…”the information” as Martin Amis calls it, coming terribly, suddenly home with painful clarity. To be stripped of one’s dignity by one’s new masters so quickly and with such ferocity–all in the cause of some product placement cannot have pleased.
The selection and photography of “beauty plates” from winning “Delicious Destination, Portland, Oregon (in fact a terrific food destination) looked like somebody took a dump at McFunsters. Portland for f’s sake! They couldn’t find some good looking plates in Portland!?
Guess he likes Portland.
Daniel Mondok has moved to Olea.
As most of you have probably heard, Chef Daniel Mondok, the much celebrated foodie chef from Carlyle has moved to Olea, replacing the chef there who moved to Gracies. His first specialty dinner, the “Swine & Wine Dinner Series” for $45.00, sounds interesting:
First course: house made saucisson ▪ chorizo ▪ pork “pig in a blanket” ▪ boudin blanc ▪ fruited mustard. Second course: spit roasted porcheta roulade ▪ apples ▪ walnuts ▪ herbs ▪ honey ▪ dijon. Third course: braised pork shank ▪ black pepper pappardelle ▪ english peas ▪ cipollini onion. Fourth course: pig n’ pancake ▪ homemade aebleskiver ▪ egg ▪ walnut syrup ▪ bacon tuille
A wine pairing is available for an extra $20.
Mauro Pando, former executive chef at Red Star, has moved to the bay area.
From a breathless article in The Chronicle today:
“Mauro Pando, the former executive chef of Red Star in Portland, Ore., will take over the stoves at San Francisco’s Grand Cafe (501 Geary, at Taylor), replacing Ron Boyd, who is now at Aqua (252 California, at Battery). The Grand Cafe has seen three chefs in the last four years, but representatives of the Kimpton Group, which owns the restaurant, believe Pando has staying power.”
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t had a decent meal at Red Star in the last five years. Furthermore, I’ve heard nothing but complaints about chef Pando, from friends in the industry. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Link to the article here.
He has been replaced at Red Star by Chef Thomas Dunklin:
“a New Orléans native who arrived to Portland via Kuleto’s Italian Restaurant in San Francisco. Dunklin draws on his Southern roots and from a career that started in his hometown working with Chef Emeril Lagasse at Delmonico. “I use a scratch cook approach and create as much in-house as possible, using as many fresh and locally sourced ingredients as I can get my hands on. That’s why New American cuisine in Portland makes perfect sense. This is an up-and-coming culinary city where people are focused on their food and its origins.”
Aquariva restaurant to open on Portland’s SW Waterfront
With a website that offers little information, but lots of sexy soft focus shots of beautiful women Aquariva bills itself as an “urban Italian kitchen and wine bar”, set to open on May 18th. Aquariva, located in the Avalon Hotel and Spa on SW Hamilton Court, is one of the few restaurants in Portland set on the Willamette River, and offers terrific views from it’s many outdoor dining areas. It is also one of the only restaurants other than the Spaghetti Factory on the edge of the new glass tower upscale condo-land known as the South Waterfront District.
Chef Jack Yoss to Helm Ten 01 Restaurant
“Adam Berger and Michael Rypkema, owners of Ten 01 and Tabla, are excited to announce the appointment of Jack Yoss to executive chef at Ten 01, beginning Wednesday, May 23, 2007.
Yoss, who brings with him an impressive resume, plans to adapt the former menu to incorporate his own style, which is very much aligned with that of the owners. He describes his menu as “farm-to-table seasonal American cuisine” and notes that this “will be a great fit for all the local, artisanal ingredients already used in the restaurant.” Ten 01 will also introduce a spirited happy hour and bar menu featuring dollar sliders with lamb, beef, duck, salmon or tuna tatakai, oyster shooters, wild mushroom soup shots, and several gourmet thin-crusted pizzas, including one with smoked salmon and dill crème fraiche.
“We are thrilled to have Chef Yoss on board. When we tried his food, we immediately knew that he would take Ten 01 in the direction we want,” said co-owner Adam Berger. “Michael and I have learned some tough, but valuable lessons in the past few months. Obviously, the reviews were not what we’d hoped for and we’ve made positive changes as a result. We hope everyone – those who have either come in and been disappointed and those who have not come in – will come check us out and experience the food for themselves.”
Prior to joining Ten 01, Yoss was the executive chef at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, Calif., where he was responsible for all food and beverage operations for the 258-room hotel, including NINE THIRTY restaurant and The Backyard restaurant. His duties included creating and implementing menus for all hotel venues and events. Before that, Yoss was the chef de cuisine at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio Restaurant in San Francisco, where he headed up menu development for the dining room, café, room service, and catering. Yoss has also held positions at Deep Creek Fishing Club in Ninilchik, Ala., and Chinois and Nero’s at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nev.