Archive for the Celebrity Chefs Category

What I’m Reading: Dessert FourPlay

Posted in Book Review, Celebrity Chefs, Inked Rogue Chefs: The Book, Pastry Chefs on January 2, 2009 by winechef

2481036697_88fb9be4dfAs New York’s sexiest chef Johnny Iuzzini has committed to being an Inked Rogue Chef I was compelled to pre-order his book Dessert FourPlay, which finally arrived after Christmas, and after months of anticipation. I had no idea what to expect and had no intention of actually reading a recipe book (I know, not a typical chef’s perspective). Instead I found myself unable to put it down and inspired to do pastry again professionally (now if only there were any jobs…). The pictures are almost three dimensional and the desserts are all doable in a home kitchen. There is very little of the “molecular gastronomy” techniques or ingredients,which is impressive considering how inventive, haute and modern everything seems, and all of the ingredients that seem like they might be remotely inaccessible, Johnny clearly lists where to find them on the same recipe page! He uses tomatoes, parsley, balsamic vinegar, beets,  basil, and rhubarb pickles combines with vanilla, cream, chocolate, simple syrup and cake…and it all makes sense!

Most intriguing to me at this point? Powdered Coconut milk (used in a portion of the Strawberry FourPlay), Candied Beets, Herb scented fruit leather, and homemade Japanese Mochi!

Johnny plays with texture, flavor, temperature, innovation, and technique throughout the book, offers ways to cheat by “making it simpler”, and provides accessible resources. Each theme or ingredient is presented in four completely distinct versions that will be sure to open your mind and send your palate into another dimension. Dessert FourPlay will be the most invaluable book to the home or professional Rogue (pastry) Chef in recent memory.

To see a video clip of Johnny on ABC click here.


Eric Ripert part 5 of 5

Posted in Celebrity Chefs, Inked Rogue Chefs: The Book on December 12, 2008 by winechef

Eric Ripert at Omnivore

Final Part of Book Signing at Omnivore.

Iron Chef: Cosentino vs Symon

Posted in Celebrity Chefs, Inked Rogue Chefs: The Book on October 27, 2008 by winechef

Why didn’t I live blog this?! Damn me and my need for a large screen computer instead of a laptop!!! A cone of fried offal?! Lamb heart tartar?! Liver ravioli with pistachios in brown butter?!

I can’t take it! ( I made reservations at Incanto during a commercial break.)

And it’s…It’s…


P.S. How about the tension between Knowlton and Ruhlman? It sounded like Knowlton’s palate needs refining and that he has never tasted masterfully prepared offal before…just a thought.

Amuse Cochon

Posted in Bay Area Festivities, Celebrity Chefs, Inked Rogue Chefs: The Book, Pork on October 22, 2008 by winechef

Guess where I’ll be November 2nd? Stuffing my face with amazing porky dishes from amazing pork obsessed chefs. Join me.

Just for fun: Charm City Cakes FAQ

Posted in Celebrity Chefs, Inked Rogue Chefs: The Book, Uncategorized on October 8, 2008 by winechef

I think I’ll highlight and italicize my faves:

How much are your cakes?
Because all of our cakes are priced individually by the complexity of their design, we do not have a standard price list.

Due to the care we give to each cake and the one-of-a-kind nature of each order, we require a minimum of $1000 on all of our cakes. 

How do I order a cake?
To start the order process, please send an email to with the following information:

  • the date of your event
  • the occasion/nature of your event (wedding, bat mitzvah, etc)
  • the event location and delivery time
  • how many people you will need to feed
  • your daytime phone number
  • your email address
  • six flavors from our flavor list you would like to sample
  • an idea of what kind of cake design you are looking for

We will contact you to to discuss your order.

Our bakery is open by appointment only, we do not have any cakes pre-made for sale. Every cake we make is custom made to order from start to finish.

What’s your payment policy?
A 50% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your order; the remainder is due at least two weeks prior to your event.

Your order is not confirmed until we have received your signed contract and 50% non-refundable deposit.

Payment can be made by cash, check or credit card (Visa, AmEx, or Mastercard). Cake orders placed with less than two weeks notice require payment in full by credit card at the time of ordering.There is no refund on orders canceled within 5 business days of the event date.

Design/Tasting appointments are held for most, but not all, cake orders. There is a non-refundable $100 deposit required for appointments, payable by Visa, Master Card, or American Express. The $100 deposit will be deducted from the final cost of your cake.

Event dates are held for you through the date of your appointment, and five (5) business days afterwards.  If we do not receive a signed contract and 50% deposit within five (5) business days of your appointment, your date may become unavailable.

Do you deliver?
Delivery is available for wedding cakes and cakes that require on-site assembly only. We do not ship our cakes.

Delivery fees are calculated by distance traveled and are roughly $175 an hour. Our delivery range is roughly 4-6 hours from Baltimore. Baltimore is located in the great state of Maryland, on the East Coast of the United States of America. Please check a map if you are not sure how far you are from Baltimore.

Longer deliveries are occasionally arranged, but must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Cakes that are not sensitive to transportation and will be traveling within 2 hours of our shop in Baltimore can be picked up from our bakery. We do not recommend clients self-transport cakes over 2 hours, especially if 3D or structural elements are involved. Customers who choose to travel longer distances with cakes do so at their own risk.

Do you ship your cakes?
We do not ship our cakes.

Are you hiring?
We are not currently hiring any staff, interns, externs, unpaid grunts, or volunteers.

Can I come to your shop to watch you work?
We are a very small, very busy shop. Every cake we make is handcrafted to order, and while that makes for some really spectacular cakes, it doesn’t leave us with a lot of time for visitors and jibba jabba. So we can’t have people stopping in to watch. We do realize that you are special, but we simply do not have the time or resources for visitors.

Also, our evil lawyers have told us it’s a no-no to have folks traipsing through here. Would you want a parade of visitors walking through a place you were ordering food from? Didn’t think so.

If you ask to visit, we will be forced to say “no” (see above re: evil lawyers) and then we will feel like meanie heads. If you show up anyway, we will not be able to let you come inside and then we’ll feel like mega jerk meanie heads. We don’t want to let you down and we don’t want to feel like mega jerk meanie heads. We are very sorry to be so stern and such, but there are no exceptions to this policy.

We do not sell our merchandise at the bakery. Merchandise is available for purchase online via credit card only.

I have a question about decorating / cake making.
We wish we could answer every question in stupendously personalized detail. However, due to the insano crazy number of emails we get, that’s simply not possible and we can’t answer questions about decorating. If you’re looking for cake technique info, check out the books Cakewalk by Margaret Braun,Cakes To Dream On by Colette Peters, and Larry Powell’s Big Book of Cake Decorating. The web forums at and are also wonderful resources.

I have dietary restrictions. Can you help?
Our awesome baker Adam is a vegan and is able to make delicious cruelty-free cakes.

For wheat and gluten-free cakes, contact Chef Renee D’Souza at Sweet Sin Bakery.

Charm City Cakes is not a certified Kosher establishment and is unable to produce parve cakes.

Not sure what a parve cake is but this guy and his minions better want to be a part of my super awesome book of I’m gonna be bummed, and I will know that they are mega jerk meanie heads. So there. I bleed fondant this week!

Sexy Chefs

Posted in Celebrity Chefs on September 10, 2008 by winechef

As the book progresses I am meeting more and more sexy chefs, some are the size of vikings, others have the voice of the lead in a romance novel based in a remote dessert oasis. But the picture I stumbled on today after my rant on chefs being targeted for serving copious, yet conscious, amounts of meat is pure carnal beauty. Ms Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland, OR.

Bringing home more than just the bacon…

Posted in Celebrity Chefs, Food News on August 11, 2008 by winechef

Aha! Chef’s that can afford to pay back their culinary school loans!

Forbes just came out with the top ten money making chefs. 

1. Rachel Ray tops out the list at $18 million!!!

2. Wolfgang Puck – $16 million

3. Gordon Ramsay- $7.5 million

4. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa – $5 million

5. Alain Ducasse – $5 million

6. Paula Deen – $4.5 million

7. Mario Batali – $3 million

8. Tom Colicchio – $2 million

9. Bobby Flay – $1.5 million

10. Anthony Bourdain – $1.5 million