Menuism….they think cheese is important.

So, along with all of the exciting graduation news….I have some exciting blog news too. I have been asked by the founders of the new website Menuism, a new website that combines restaurant menus, food/restaurant reviews, dining journals and social networking, to be an guest author! Menuism  was started as a means for friends, family, and community to enlighten each other about their dining decisions at local restaurants. Part of the Menuism project is to utilize experts to offer up opinion, advice and information about particular subjects pertaining to dining, food, entertainment and good living. And they asked moi to be the expert blogger on cheese!  I’m VERY excited about this project and looking forward to sharing the world of artisanal cheese.  So, check it out! The expert blog launch is scheduled for July 19th! There is a super neat roster of expert bloggers and more will be added as time passes.

You know you watch it…you know you are going to go to this:

“Top Chef coming to St. Louis”
by Gail Pennington

Bravo is launching a long list of “brand extensions” for Bravo shows, with the most emphasis on “Top Chef.” The cookbook is already out, as is a mobile game; the additions include a “Top Chef” cruise in May 2009 (sounds like so much fun to me, except for the cruise part), a “Top Chef” culinary school and — most interesting for us — a “Top Chef” tour that will visit 20 cities, including St. Louis, beginning in New Orleans in a couple of weeks. Here are the available details, with more to come.

Kicking off NCTA’s “The Cable Show” in New Orleans on May 18, Bravo will launch “Top Chef: The Tour, a 20-city tour featuring a cooking experience that replicates the challenges on the series and hosted by former “Top Chef” contestants. A customized “Top Chef” 18-wheeler semi-truck will travel to 20 key markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, St. Louis, Detroit and Denver, giving fans a first-hand look at how to make it as a top chef – complete with cooking demonstrations, gourmet tips and show secrets.

Food and Wine: June Issue

**Photo by Jonathan Swegle

Be on the lookout for St. Louis’ favorite new pastry chef in the upcoming issue of F&W. That’s right, Mathew Rice will be the featured pastry chef for The Last Bite. Wonder what they will feature….some would say red velvet cake….some would say the kulfi….what dessert do you think they will feature?

Whatever it is, it will be delicious. Be sure to pick up June’s issue of Food and Wine and support our local chefs!!

But they make it look sooooooo easy……

But Gordon Ramsay is costing you money…at least he is for the Brits.

E-sure, the online provider of home insurance, has noted a new trend in claims involving mishaps in the kitchen.

Since celebrity chefs tried to educate the nation and the blow torch moved in alongside the potato masher, amateur chefs have been getting into trouble.

According to the research, 14% of those questioned had experienced an accident or damaged their kitchen in some way, while trying out new recipes.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents had little faith in their ability as a chef; however 75% were keen to attempt a complex technique.

Esure estimates that £5 billion of household damage has been caused as a result.

Fast chopping, deep fat frying, steaming, tenderising meat and skewering are the most common causes of a mishap.

However, a diner party involving roasted peppers and crème brûlée could be disastrous because 37% of amateur chefs said they would get their paint stripping blow torch out of the shed to create these dishes.

Residents of Wales present the most risk when at the stove, while East Anglian cooks are the most competent, in terms of injury and material damage.

Only 30% of those questioned said they had a fire extinguisher or fire blanket in the kitchen.

By Gill Montia

Watch out for those crazy kilt-wearing Welsh!!!

And I’d like you to spoon feed me too….

How much do you expect from your chef? Some folks are pretty damn nervy if you ask me. Sitting at fine dining establishment recently (not in St. Louis…for those wondering) I saw countless amounts of patrons just walk back to the kitchen DURING DINNER SERVICE to thank the chef. While the praise is welcomed…the invasion of this kitchen was not. I just find this practice to be so very very rude. Unless you are good friends with the chef (and good friends know when their buds are busiest) you should not go back in the kitchen unless invited.

This rant was born after reading an article NY Times this afternoon. The role of the chef.

sung.jpg photo by Evan Sung; David Chang, chef at the new Momofuku Ko in New York, serves with a smile.

Grab a stool and belly up to a new brand of upscale dining, where closeness to the cook comes with your meal as routinely as bread. Although counter seating, open kitchens, and chef’s tables are not new to the scene, Momofuku Ko and a few other restaurants are reaching for a new level of intimacy. The chefs are not only cooking and plating the food, but also serving it, taking coats, recommending wine and confirming reservations.

“Everyone who works here is a chef, and everyone is also a dishwasher,” said Michael Carlson, the chef at Schwa in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, which serves elaborate multi-course menus of dishes such as parsnip custard with ice-wine vinegar caramel, candied sweetbreads and a lavender lecithin bubble. (It’s a dessert.)

So often patrons want that intimacy with their chef….and the feeling of prestige or entitlement arises when spending your valuable time & money in their restaurant.

But I ask this…how much can one person do? They are only human…why do we constantly expect super-human from a person who just has a passion for food and wants to share it with you.

Head to Tail Dinner NYC

pighead.jpg How lucky are you if you live in NYC. Master of all things offal and renowned chef Chris Consentino (Incanto, San Francisco) brings his signature “Head to Tail” dinner to New York City for the first time. Hosted by author and journalist Michael Ruhlman, the dinner will include an all-offal menu (including dishes such as beef heart tartar, venison liver crudo, and roasted lamb neck), wine pairing, and an “I Love Offal” commemorative button. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 4, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Astor Center