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#foodbeast Culture Features Restaurants

This Italian Chef Is Using ‘Ancient Pastas’ To Breathe New Life Into The Cuisine

 

In a city deeply rooted in age old tradition, where heritage holds true, and the mettle of a chef is tested everyday, Chef Jordan Frosolone of 10 Corso Como is breathing new life into Italy’s storied pasta making history.  Applying old school Italian techniques, Chef Jordan brings history to the forefront to resurrect and refresh pasta recipes that date back centuries.  By taking this singular approach to Italian fare, you are sure to find a unique and authentic experience seldom found at most Italian places. Their ever-changing menu takes you through various regions of Italy that inspired these “ancient pastas” to be brought back into the spotlight.

Since 2003, Chef Jordan has worked as a Chef de Cuisine at Hearth, and more recently, the Director of Culinary Operations for the Momofuku Group in New York.  At 10 Corso Como, Chef prides himself with creating an approachable dining experience that is unrivaled in quality and attention to detail.  The thoughtful use of sustainable, seasonal ingredients, and fresh pasta milled in-house guarantees an immersive Italian episode you won’t soon forget.  Located in Manhattan’s Seaport District, the space is refined, trendy and distinctive; a complement to the fine-dining experience.

With respect to tradition and the desire to develop a deeper understanding of Italian culture and cuisine, Chef Jordan spent two years in Florence and Spoleto, Italy to cultivate his own philosophy of authentic Italian cooking.  It was his time there that drew him to the lore of forgotten traditional recipes that were once commonplace hundreds of years ago.

For example, the “Pasta Struncatura” on the menu is a multi-grain pasta from the Calabria region of Southern Italy, known to be the poorest.  Historically, this pasta was made from whatever scraps or “sawdust” leftovers were available from the floor of the grain mill, typically put together with anchovy paste to compensate for taste.  Also, the “Pasta Suddhi,” is a dish made using barley flour. The use of the robust barley grain is uncommon in today’s practice and was typically used when other grains were scarce.

When asked about his motivation in resurrecting these ancient techniques of pasta making, Frosolone said: “It’s a fascinating history… it is great being able to explore the culture and learn how these communities thrived. I wanted to gain a better cultural understanding and a grasp of its significance firsthand.”

Chef Jordan’s inspiration is drawn from the land itself.  He creates multifaceted dishes that portray Southern Italy’s different regions; serving pasta indegenous to certain areas.  It becomes a subtle history lesson, a beautiful case study on the Italian experience, if you will.

“We highlight simplicity above all, without bringing anything unnecessary to the table.” Says Chef Jordan.  While these dishes are unique and modern in their creation, they stay confident in their roots. It can be seen that these dishes are a true testament to the history of the art of pasta making — walking the line of tradition and innovation.

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Meet The Chef Who Has Fed Millions Of Children Free Pasta For Over A Decade

One of the country’s most renowned fine dining restaurants has to be the Anaheim White House. This opulent Italian steakhouse and its celebrity chef, Bruno Serato, has been recognized with James Beard awards and more for its delicious take on Italian fare with a slight French twist.

Photo courtesy of Anaheim White House

Serato hasn’t had it easy over the past couple of years, however. In February 2017, the Anaheim White House suffered over $1 million in damages in an electrical fire, causing the restaurant to shutter for over a year as it rebuilt. It’s been reborn exactly the way it was before, though, and Serato has kept the menu and his mission consistent the entire time.

Photo courtesy of Caterina’s Club

That’s included his philanthropic work with Caterina’s Club, an organization named after Serato’s mother that provides over 4,000 meals a day across 29 different cities. Serato kept that work going even while his kitchen was being reconstructed, and to date has helped provide nearly 3 million pasta meals in need.

All of this happened while his organization trained over 100 children in the hospitality industry and helped close to 200 homeless families move into a safe home.

With the White House now back up and running, Serato hasn’t changed a single thing about day-to-day operations. The pasta dinners that will feed thousands are still prepared in the same kitchen space as his extravagant menu, showcasing his commitment to both high-quality food and giving back to the community that’s supported his rebuild.

You can learn the full account of Serato’s inspirational story and drool over some of his specialties, including an exquisite poached salmon with white chocolate mashed potatoes, in the above episode of Foodbeast’s Taste The Details.


Created in partnership with Visit Anaheim

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Culture Video

Watch These Kids Experience 100 Years Of Fine Dining

Fine dining has evolved tremendously in the last century. We’ve seen simple ingredients fully transcend their simplest shells into a higher form of taste through decades of tinkering and conceptualization.

In one of Bon Appetit’s newest videos, a group of children experience the rich history of fine-dining dating back from 1920 to the present.

Dishes throughout the last hundred years include blini with caviar, pheasant, waldorf salad, lobster thermador, frog legs, mushroom cappuccino with lobster, risotto, tuna tartare, and farm-to-table veggies.

Check out the video to see how these adorable tots react to trying these fancy dishes originally intended for adults and the wealthy.

Man, it’s fascinating to see the decades where these iconic dishes were at the height of popularity. Wonder if the film crew got to try any of the foods these kids didn’t want to mess with?

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Feel Good Hit-Or-Miss Opinion Toasty

Cannabis-Themed Dinners Are High-Key Becoming More Frequent

The latest in dope things that chefs are bringing to the table are cannabis “infused” multiple-course dinners. What a time to be alive! With recreational marijuana gaining speed in way of legalization it’s about time that it’s recognized in fine dining culture. Garden to table has taken on a whole new meaning with the inventive and elegant cannabis-themed dinners, and they’re a beautiful thing of the very near future for all of you Foodbeast marijuana enthusiasts.

Chefs are collectively one of the most creative groups of people in today’s society, so it’s no surprise that they’re continuing to find ways to introduce new and exciting techniques in the culinary industry.

One young California chef, Chris Sayegh has established quite a name for himself as the “Herbal Chef.” Born in New York, educated in Santa Cruz, and trained in Michelin-starred restaurants, he cultivated a successful career combining cannabis culture with his passion for cooking after growing tired of the pot-brownie edible scene. Sayegh has a background in molecular gastronomy so naturally, the science behind the infusing of ingredients with THC was something he found intriguing.

Said “infusing” consists of using cannabis oils and a vaporizer to very literally, infuse any ingredient with THC. This results in a strategically dosed ingredient that makes up an entire dish, therefore yielding diners with a precisely desired high.

Sayegh hosts these unconventional pop-up infused dinners around LA for $200-$500 a seat with the catch being, according to LA Weekly, “can only be hosted by a medical collective of which all diners are a member.” So you’ve got to be a part of the club.  Other cannabis pop-ups around NY and LA occur at undisclosed locations and are held in “secret,” but not for long.

A little taste of what you can expect from a pop-up hosted by Sayegh include dishes like: confit carrot gnocchi with cannabis infused pea emulsion, NY strip steak with parsnip puree and a “medicated” red wine reduction, and a sticky toffee pudding with toasted coconut and cannabis-infused chocolate. 

Now, I’m the kind of person who will order dessert before the main course, (some of you will call this gluttonous, I call it “priorities”) so this is like music to my ears as dessert is often my most highly valued course of a meal. I fully embrace the opportunity to experience one of my favorite things like dessert in an entirely new way: getting high by way of THC-infused sugar. 

Chefs across the globe are beginning to incorporate these infusions and other techniques and influences of the herbal dining in their upscale and multiple course diners. The primary focus still lies heavily on the use of fresh ingredients and unique dishes, as the cannabis infusions are only a way to elevate the fine dining experience to make it that much better. 

Some other big names in this cannabis cooking game include: Melissa Parks, who helped write the cookbook Herb: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Cannabis, which teaches us how to make cannabutters and cannaoils, then use them in various recipes.

Top Chef winner Hosea Rosenberg orchestrates another kind of elevated herbal dining experience with his “strain-pairing dinners.” He prepares several courses and appropriately pairs each dish with a complimenting strain. According to High Times, one of the parings at a Harvest Dinner hosted by Rosenberg included the use of a “more intense and spicy” OG White paired with the main entree of Boulder County flatiron steak, potatoes and squash, charred corn and herb sauce, supplemented by a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley. Rosenberg is also the guy behind the cannabis infused YOGA BRUNCH in Colorado this past August.

An expertly paired and prepared cannabis brunch following yoga with a view is something that likely came out of my dreams.

Come November, I sincerely hope that we are all fortunate enough to experience one of these extra special cannabis dinners as they’ll likely be popping up somewhere near you.

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Fast Food

For One Day, McDonald’s Is Turning Itself Into A Fancy Pop-Up Called RESTAURANT M

McD-Restaurant-M

A McDonald’s in Japan is turning itself into a fancy pop-up for a single day. Called “Restaurant M,” a Roppongi Hills McDonald’s is offering customers full course meals inspired by the fast food menu.

Items include deconstructed burgers served with skewers, french fry vichyssoise, veggie jelly and McDonald’s desserts served in fancy glasses. A far departure from the traditional fast food experience, everything at Restaurant M is eaten with utensils and plates.

Set to open on July 27, Restaurant M will only serve 10 groups of 20 customers who sign up through McDonald’s Japan’s website. Would you be down to try?

Photo: Kotaku

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Technology

‘Reserve’ App Completely Manages Your Restaurant Experience

Reserve-App

The fine-dining experience can often leave you flustered if you’re new to that world. Usually, things like recommendations and reservations can be a tad overwhelming. Because relying on technology is all the rage now (Black Mirror, anyone?), there’s an app that will completely take the wheel of your fine-dining experience. It’s called Reserve.

From recommending a restaurant to dine in to making a reservation for you, Reserve takes care of everything. The app will also pay for you and pretty much show you a night on the town. It kind of sounds like Reserve is taking you out on a date. Which is exactly what’s happening. If you bring someone along, they’ll more than likely be third-wheeling it.

The only work you’ll have to do is a few finger swipes and chewing your food. You might also have to put out, after.

Reserve can be found on both iPhone and Androids.

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Restaurants

We Ate Everything on Fleming’s New Late Happy Hour Menu

deconstructed balvenie whisky s'more

The more I talk to restaurant professionals, the more it confirms the lengths fine dining restaurants are willing to go to bring in the heavily coveted millennial consumer. Gone are the days of the $150 floor prices for a full bottle of wine. You can thank the recession. And with Americans having more fast food, QSR, mobile delivery and casual dining options than ever before, the competition is fierce. Even within the fine dining industry, the National Restaurant Association reports that eight out of 10 tableservice operators say: Competing with other tableservice restaurants poses a significant or moderate challenge for their business. And to top off that sentiment, nine of 10 believe that the competition will only become more challenging or stay the same.

Since 82 percent of all adults list good value as a top priority at a tableservice restaurant, the puzzle pieces start coming together about why fine dining establishments, like the 66-US-location Fleming’s Steakhouse, has been placing more attention on value menus. Case in point, the new 8-9-10 Fashionably Late Happy Hour menu features eight shareable plates and eight cocktails/wines for $9 from 8-10pm, including the pictured Deconstructed Balvenie S’more. Yeah, that’s laced with Balvenie DoubleWood scotch and an entire mound of house-made marshmallow. But this menu is in addition to the other numerical alliteral 5-6-7 happy hour menu available from 5-7pm.

But why multiple menus? At first this tactic comes off as a bit desperate. I mean, there’s only an hour per evening from 5-10pm when you can’t order something under 10 bucks (a la you blew it showing up at 7pm). But I don’t think it’s desperation, rather a hedging of bets. These restaurants need us to walk through that door to build the future generation of patrons. Because old money dies. And to grab two cocktails and a shareable plate, then walk out the door circa $30 later, I think we’re going to walk through that door. And their hope is that the next time you’re making a reservation, it will be for the main dining room to grab their deconstructed porterhouse for two ($99, not on the regular menu).

Pictured below are a few of the items we sampled from the 8-9-10 Fashionably Late Happy Hour Menu. Not shown are the Savory Ahi Tuna Tacos, The Prime Burger and the rest of the wines/cocktails, including a Bourbon Peach Martini, Winter Chai Mule and Spiced Mango Smash, among others.

With the seemingly endless S’more dessert options available now at restaurants across the country, the S’more option from Fleming’s stands out. First, there’s alcohol involved. We like that. Second, they give you a heaping mound of charred, house-made ‘mallow at the table. Probably smart too, since restaurants that give patrons an open flame to char the ‘mallows seems real risky (we’ve seen it).

Dessert seems to take the cake since the other standout was the Chocolate Lava Milkshake with Maker’s Mark Bourbon. Imagine that lava cake you already order but in a frosty, boozier form. For those looking for a savory option, the best shareable seems to be the Filet Mignon Flatbread. You also can’t be mad at restaurant burger of that quality for under 10 bucks.

Warm cinnamon crusted donuts flemings

Warm Cinnamon Crusted Donuts

Housemade Burratta flemings

House-made Burrata. I could take a bath in Burrata. 

filet mignon flatbread flemings

Filet Mignon Flatbread with Danish Blue/Monterey Jack cheeses and red onion confit

chocolate lava milkshake flemings

Chocolate Lava Milkshake

lobster lettuce wraps flemings

Lobster Lettuce Wraps with bacon, onion strings, radish jicama slaw and soy lime aioli

short rib empenadas flemingsShort Rib Empanadas with roasted poblano sauce

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Cravings

CRAVING: Pancetta-wrapped, Sausage-stuffed Chicken Breast & Leg

pancetta wrapped sausage stuffed chicken breast leg Baywolf

Most days I know before I enter a restaurant if I’m going to post about something here on FOODBEAST. While we love dining out and sharing our experiences, not every meal we experience is noteworthy enough for you guys. But this was a stark exception.

I got the chance to try Baywolf, a Berkeley/Oakland area restaurant to celebrate my brother’s recent graduation from the Haas Business School. Again, I didn’t plan on writing about anything – just wanted to spend time with friends and family – but then I read this:

Pancetta-wrapped chicken breast and sausage-stuffed legs with mushrooms and spring onions

Immediately I knew that was going to be a contender for my entree choice ($18.50), even while the pan-seared salmon with saffron risotto cake ($24, delicious, thanks vanessa) and the moroccan-style lamb ($22.50, more delicious, thanks John) with couscous seemed to stare seductively into my soul/belly. But pancetta-wrapped anything (or bacon-wrapped for that matter) is hard to pass on, let alone it being stuffed with sausage as too. And it didn’t disappoint.

innards pancetta wrapped sausage stuffed chicken breast leg Baywolf

Excited to come back to this place since the menu offerings seem to change every couple of weeks (farm-to-table) and the ambiance and service was just overall well-done. If you’re in the bay – make the trip.

Baywolf

3853 Piedmont Ave., Oakland CA 94611