Part of my passion for what we do: An interview with chef Anthony De Palma of Evviva Cucina

Living a bit north of Boston is a blessing and a curse. I love the access to great restaurants, but sometimes it can be tough finding something of that quality a little closer to home. Finally, though, there are some great spots popping up north of the city including a great Italian restaurant called Evviva Cucina.

Living a bit north of Boston is a blessing and a curse. I love the access to great restaurants, but sometimes it can be tough finding something of that quality a little closer to home. Finally, though, there are some great spots popping up north of the city including a great Italian restaurant called Evviva Cucina. At the helm in the kitchen is Executive Chef Anthony De Palma, who made his bones in all manner of great kitchens (working alongside the likes of Jim Dodge, Chris Douglas, Gordon Hammersly, Chris Slesinger, and Jody Adams), and his skill and passion come across in the great food at Evviva.

Continue reading “Part of my passion for what we do: An interview with chef Anthony De Palma of Evviva Cucina”

Chef Recipes: Pasta Bologenese

Courtesy of Anthony De Palma of Evviva Cucina in Westford, MA.

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Courtesy of Anthony De Palma of Evviva Cucina in Westford, MA.

Continue reading “Chef Recipes: Pasta Bologenese”

Meatless Monday Recipes: Farro Risotto courtesy of inSHAPE

Kids love rice, but plain rice, even brown rice is stripped of most of it’s nutritional value. White rice has zero nutritional value. Now we aren’t suggesting that you never serve it, but you can opt for quinoa, bulgur, spelt, farro and others that offer high levels of fiber, protein and other essential nutrients – AND they can taste great! This easy recipe cooks farro down then cooks it down more, and with a few other ingredients turns it into a yummy risotto. 

Kids love rice, but plain rice, even brown rice is stripped of most of it’s nutritional value. White rice has zero nutritional value. Now we aren’t suggesting that you never serve it, but you can opt for quinoa, bulgur, spelt, farro and others that offer high levels of fiber, protein and other essential nutrients – AND they can taste great! This easy recipe cooks farro down then cooks it down more, and with a few other ingredients turns it into a yummy risotto.

Continue reading “Meatless Monday Recipes: Farro Risotto courtesy of inSHAPE”

Meatless Monday Recipes: Portabello Pilaf courtesy of inSHAPE

When you go meatless, you really need flavorful ingredients that will please your palate and sate your tummy. Few options match the quality of portobello mushrooms, which is why they can shine as brightly as some of the more traditional stars of a cookout.

When you go meatless, you really need flavorful ingredients that will please your palate and sate your tummy. Few options match the quality of portobello mushrooms, which is why they can shine as brightly as some of the more traditional stars of a cookout.

Paired with one of the all-time favorite grains in our house, bulgur, we prepared a pilaf that can be enjoyed on its own or with the company of burgers, fish, or whatever else you might be cooking up this weekend.

Continue reading “Meatless Monday Recipes: Portabello Pilaf courtesy of inSHAPE”

An amazing culture of team work: Chatting with Chris Flint, Chef de Cuisine at Eleven Madison Park

Want to start an enormous war of words amongst food nerds anywhere? Declare a restaurant “the best”, sit back with your fernet and watch the forks fly. All things told, though, there are restaurants across the globe that do stand out for cuisine, hospitality and overall dining experience. Eleven Madison Park is one of those restaurants. Check out my interview with Chef de Cuisine Chris Flint.

Want to start an enormous war of words amongst food nerds anywhere? Declare a restaurant “the best”, sit back with your fernet, and watch the forks fly. All things told, though, there are restaurants across the globe that do stand out for cuisine, hospitality, and overall dining experience. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants (sponsored by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna) strives to highlight such restaurants.

This year’s list thrust Eleven Madison Park in NYC to the forefront of American gastronomy (again), ranking the Daniel Humm and Will Guidara restaurant #4 in the world (highest in the U.S., a bump up from the #5 ranking in 2013). Anyone who knows the work and effort required to run a successful restaurant, let alone one of this stature, understands just how important the entire team there is. An integral part of the EMP team? Chef de Cuisine Chris Flint.

Continue reading “An amazing culture of team work: Chatting with Chris Flint, Chef de Cuisine at Eleven Madison Park”

Meatless Monday Recipes: Senegalese Sweet Potato Dumplings courtesy of inSHAPE

Sweet potatoes are a staple in African cuisine, and this week we pay homage to the flavorful cooking of a dumpling drenched in Senegalese peanut sauce.

Sweet potatoes are a staple in African cuisine, and this week we pay homage to the flavorful cooking of a dumpling drenched in Senegalese peanut sauce.

Continue reading “Meatless Monday Recipes: Senegalese Sweet Potato Dumplings courtesy of inSHAPE”

The Future of Junk Food: Part two with Chefs Samuel Monsour and Mark O’Leary

If ever there was a pop up dinner that would be in my wheel house, The Future of Junk Food, a six-part pop-up put together by Chefs Samuel Monsour and Mark O’Leary, would be it. When thinking about my eating habits as a kid, it brings to mind an intriguing question: What if junk food wasn’t junk? It’s the question that Monsour and O’Leary are aiming to answer.

If ever there was a pop up dinner that would be in my wheel house, The Future of Junk Food, a six-part pop-up put together by Chefs Samuel Monsour and Mark O’Leary, would be it. As a child and teen growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I was a part of the junk food generation. We’d gladly stuff our faces with cheeseburgers made with meat of highly questionable, and sometimes unidentifiable, origins. Carcinogenic coloring to make those reds über red? Hell yes! So what if one of the ingredients has 18 syllables? I just bought 5 tacos for a nickle! Continue reading “The Future of Junk Food: Part two with Chefs Samuel Monsour and Mark O’Leary”

Meatless Monday Recipes: Soup ‘on’ a Salad courtesy of inSHAPE

Making good use of items already in the fridge prevents food waste and often leads to the greatest of creations. This week’s recipe took about 15 minutes to whip up, with another 15 or so to simmer, and we ended up with an earthy, spring like (but also soothing) dish that is hard to ignore.

Making good use of items already in the fridge prevents food waste and often leads to the greatest of creations. This week’s recipe took about 15 minutes to whip up, with another 15 or so to simmer, and we ended up with an earthy, spring like (but also soothing) dish that is hard to ignore.

Continue reading “Meatless Monday Recipes: Soup ‘on’ a Salad courtesy of inSHAPE”

Meatless Monday Recipes: Bulgur Arancini courtesy of inSHAPE

Meatless Monday doesn’t have to be a painful exercise in dull food. And full disclosure, we love meat! When consumed in small quantities, wild and small farm meats taste wonderful and sate the body! This vegetarian option, a take on an Italian delicacy, is a treat.

Meatless Monday doesn’t have to be a painful exercise in dull food. And full disclosure, we love meat! When consumed in small quantities, wild and small farm meats taste wonderful and sate the body! This vegetarian option, a take on an Italian delicacy, is a treat.

Continue reading “Meatless Monday Recipes: Bulgur Arancini courtesy of inSHAPE”

Happiest when I was cooking: An interview with Katie Button of Cúrate in Asheville, NC

A winding road is one that many chefs tread. Schooling, stages, back breaking days on the line, many with a dream of opening and owning their own restaurant.

A winding road is one that many chefs tread. Schooling, stages, back breaking days on the line, many with a dream of opening and owning their own restaurant. The road for Chef Katie Button was most certainly winding, and supremely fascinating, considering that she start off earning a degree in Chemical Engineering from Cornell and a masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. Katie made her way through the kitchens of Jean George in NYC and Jose Andres’s Bazaar in L.A. before working for a time at elBulli in Spain. She opened her first restaurant, Cúrate in Asheville, North Carolina. I recently had the chance to speak with Katie. She told me a bit more about her path to working in a kitchen, her excitement about being a finalist for the 2014 James Beard Award Rising Star Chef of the Year, and her favorite food memory.

Continue reading “Happiest when I was cooking: An interview with Katie Button of Cúrate in Asheville, NC”