Archive for the ‘Culinary’ Category

Celebrate Spring with a Recipe from the Flower Show

March 30, 2012

Chef Sarah Fioroni, from Fattoria Poggio Alloro (Laurel Hill Farm) in Italy, showed us how to make this saffron risotto during her Flower Show culinary demonstration, sponsored by Organic Gardening. Subtly flavored and full of fresh vegetables, this dish is straight from her family’s organic farm/resort in the Tuscan hills.

Saffron Risotto with Spring Vegetables

Makes 8 servings

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced red onion
2 cups diced zucchini
2 cups sliced fresh asparagus spears, woody ends discarded
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth
½ teaspoon saffron
4 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, 14-inch sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is wilted and transparent, about five minutes. Add the zucchini and asparagus, stirring to blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add ½ cup of water as vegetables are cooking. Combine another one cup of the water with the vegetable broth and saffron in a heavy-bottomed, three-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat until hot,  about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Stir the rice into the vegetable mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and sauté for one minute, then add 1⁄3 of the vegetable broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice absorbs the broth. Add one cup of the water, and stir until it is absorbed. Continue to add broth and water, alternately, cooking and stirring, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid between each addition. When the rice becomes creamy, add the broth and water more sparingly, or the rice will become mushy. Cook until rice is creamy but still al dente, about 25 to 30 minutes total. Stir in the butter and scatter a little Parmesan cheese over the top, if desired. (Don’t add too much of the cheese, or it will overpower the delicious taste of the saffron.)

Liquid Luau Voters Pick a Favorite!

March 22, 2012

With almost 300 discerning participants sipping tropical libations around town during the Flower Show, a tally of the responses found that the winner—by a healthy margin—was the Toloache (Hawaiian for “enchanting wild flower”) from Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti!

The Nani (meaning “beautiful”) from Bridget Foy’s came in second.

In partnership with Center City District, the Liquid Luau gave everyone a chance to experience a taste of Hawaii at some of the area’s best bars and restaurants. A heartfelt “mahalo” to all of the venues and voters who participated, and to Center City District for making this special event possible.

Click here to see the list of recipes.

Who’s Cooking at the Flower Show March 9-11?

March 8, 2012

Things have been heating up at the free culinary demonstrations that are not only educational, but also entertaining! Show favorite, the great Chef Joseph Shilling and students from JNA Institute of Culinary Arts host and assist, respectively.

Click here to see the schedule and presentation titles. The impressive bios of our speakers are below.

Eugenia Bone is a journalist and food writer, as well as co-president of the New York Mycological Society. She has written four books, including the critically acclaimed, Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird and Wonderful World of Mushrooms. She is a frequent contributor to culinary magazines such as Saveur, Fine Cooking, The New York Times Magazine and Food & Wine.

One of the most recognized personalities in Philadelphia dining, Aimee Olexy truly understands what hospitality means. She managed several restaurants in Colorado and attended L’Universite du Vin in France before settling back in Philadelphia in 1999, where she embarked on a variety of ventures with the Starr Restaurant Organization. She is currently the owner of Talula’s Table, which was dubbed by portfolio.com as “The Toughest Table in America” because reservations must be made a year in advance. The New York Times praised the “handsome, deceptively complex and masterfully executed” food, likening the experience to a “spiritual retreat.” Talula’s Garden, which Olexy opened in partnership with Starr in April 2011, aims to capture identical sentiments. “I work a lot and I love it,” says Olexy. “My work is who I am—and that is the only way I know to live.”

Master Chef Joseph Poon is known for his Asian fusion cuisine. He prepares fresh meals with simple elegance—and a dash of adventure. From his quirky venue in Philadelphia’s Chinatown, he hosts private events, conducts “Wok ‘N Walk” tours of Philadelphia Chinatown, and teaches cooking classes. He also leads trips to China and participates in dozens of philanthropic events each year. He recently published an autobiographical cookbook, Life is Short…Cooking is Fun. His warmth and exuberance have earned him appearances on The Tonight Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Food Network’s The Best of… He is regularly featured on The 10 Show and on many television and radio shows. He has also been featured in Nation’s Restaurant News and many consumer magazines, as well as in newspapers from Philadelphia to New Orleans.

A third-generation restaurateur with more than 40 years of culinary experience, Chef Walter Staib began his career in Europe in some of the finest hotels and restaurants before coming to the United States. Chef Staib is currently the driving force behind one of the nation’s most unique dining establishments: Philadelphia’s City Tavern, a faithful recreation of an original eighteenth century tavern. His passion for culinary excellence has earned him many awards, including the prestigious Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole de la République Française in recognition of his dedication to the advancement of the restaurant industry and the image of France world-wide. In 1986, he was appointed Commandeur by the Association Internationale des Maîtres Conseils en Gastronomie Française and in 1987 was awarded the Silver Plate, the hospitality and restaurant industry’s highest honor. In 1995, he was honored as the first inductee into the Caribbean Culinary Hall of Fame in recognition of his pioneering work founding the Caribbean Culinary Federation. Mr. Staib serves as Ambassador to the Culinary Institute of America and in 1996, was also appointed the First Culinary Ambassador to the city of Philadelphia.

Mike Stollenwerk, chef and restaurateur, has rapidly become a respected key player in Philadelphia’s restaurant scene thanks to his innate culinary understanding, drive for innovation, and steadfast work ethic. After learning the intricacies of the Philly dining scene in the respected kitchens of Davio’s and Avenue B, he purchased Bella Vista’s Little Fish in 2007, and opened Fish in Rittenhouse Square in 2009, boasting a contemporary dining and bar space, an impressive wine list and, and an expertly crafted menu. Stollenwerk’s Fish has garnered recognition from The Philadelphia Inquirer, Food & Wine, and others. Philadelphia magazine named Fish “Best New Restaurant of 2010,” as well as naming Stollenwerk’s dish—Japanese Sea Bass—one of the “230 Best Dishes to Eat in Philly.”

Masterful in the kitchen, Guillermo Tellez has an impeccable 20-year restaurant résumé–from the Trotter empire in Chicago and Los Cabos, Mexico, to Philadelphia’s own celebrated Starr Restaurant Organization, where he was director of menu development for the brand and executive chef at Striped Bass. At his current restaurant, Square 1682, Tellez introduced a “new American” menu that thoughtfully jets from Asia to Mexico, then to India, and circles back home. Each dish is handcrafted using sustainable and organic ingredients, from local seasonal produce to free-range meats and ocean-friendly seafood.

Townsend Wentz is one of the true great culinary talents of Philadelphia. He’s equally comfortable crafting house-made charcuterie, expertly butchering animals, and is well versed in French technique, Spanish influences, and Italian specialties. An alum of The Fountain at the Four Seasons and Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, and executive chef at Twenty21, Wentz has also worked with London-based Chef Yvonnick Lalle in New York City and Connecticut. He currently brings his expertise to McCrossen’s Tavern.

Big thanks to Organic Gardening magazine for sponsoring the culinary room.

Who’s Cooking at the Flower Show? March 6-8

March 5, 2012

The free culinary demonstrations at the Flower Show on March 6 – 8 run the gamut from food preservation techniques, to recipes from Ireland, to the use of salsas and sauces as flavor boosters, and more. Show favorite, the great Chef Joseph Shilling and students from JNA Institute of Culinary Arts will host and assist, respectively.

Click here to see the schedule and presentation titles. The impressive bios of our speakers are below.

Victoria von Biel is the new consulting food and wine editor for Organic Gardening magazine and former executive editor of Bon Appetit. She has studied cooking in both the United Kingdom and the United States and completed a post-graduate course in wine studies at the University of California. She has appeared as a judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef and speaks frequently about food and travel writing.

Patrick McLarnon is the head chef at Francesca’s Restaurant in the four-star Brooks Hotel in Ireland. Sponsored by Tourism Ireland, Chef McLarnon will demonstrate the art of Irish cooking.

David Boyle is the executive chef at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse in Philadelphia. A graduate from the renowned Restaurant School in Philadelphia, Boyle won acclaim in France and Philly, including at Jake’s in Manayunk, where under his stewardship the restaurant won the first of what would become three consecutive Mobil Guide Four-Star Awards, and a “Best of Philly” Award for Best Brunch from Philadelphia Magazine. His food received a rating of 27 (out of 30) from Zagat for two years running, and a rare “three bells” rating from the discerning Philadelphia Inquirer food critic, Craig LaBan.

Dana Jacobi is known for creativity and innovation in recipes, food writing, and product development. Dana has written 10 bestselling cookbooks, including two ground-breaking cookbooks on soy, both honored by distinguished culinary awards. She writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column, Something Different, and has produced numerous magazine features. She was also the first food writer to work full-time online and to host a food chat-room. Dana has marketed her own specialty food line, created products, run a catering service, and served as spokesperson for companies and commodity boards.

For a complete list of culinary demonstrations, click here. Big thanks to Organic Gardening magazine for sponsoring the culinary room.

Inspired Dining Awaits at the Kaua’i Kafe

March 2, 2012

You, the loyal Flower Show fan, requested more seating and we, the Flower Show staff, listened! When you need a moment to recharge your batteries, swing by the new Kaua’i Kafe, conveniently located in the middle of the Flower Show floor.

The menu has been carefully crafted to reflect the “Islands of Aloha” theme—and it will make you drool. There’s roasted jerk chicken, spiced tomato gazpacho, conch chowder, and other delicacies to transport you to the tropics.

The full menu can be found here. Warning: don’t click this link on an empty stomach.

The Kafe is open from Show open to Show closing every day (but will close at 5 pm on Wednesday and Thursday for private events). When you go, take a picture of your scrumptious meal and post it on our Facebook wall.

17 Ways to Enhance your Flower Show Experience

March 2, 2012

With so much to see and do at the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show, it’s best to plan ahead. In addition to the outstanding exhibits, you may want to go beyond the Show floor to some of these special attractions—there’s sure to be something for everyone. Most of the experiences listed below require a special ticket, so click the links for details.

Bear with us, this is quite the list, but there is just so much to do!

The Flower Show After Dark

1. Flower Show Preview Party: (Saturday, March 3, 6:00-8:30 pm) Not only will you be one of the first to see the Show, you’ll also be at the best place for people-watching! Don your finest for this black-tie cocktail party and (optional) dinner.

2. Preview Party After Party: (Saturday, March 3, 8:30 pm-12:30 am) When the Preview Party is over, the fun continues with dance music, desserts, and drinks. Admission is included for Preview Party attendees.

3. LGBT Night Out: (Monday, March 5, 6:00-8:30) The LGBT community is invited to an evening of networking and an opportunity to meet Phillip Watson, QVC garden expert and author.

4. Wedding Wednesday: (March 7, 5:30-8:30 pm) Brides and their attendants can sip champagne and plan the perfect wedding as local experts lend advice.

5. Girls’ Night Out: (Thursday, March 8, 5:30-8:30 pm) Get the girls together for a special evening of food and wine tastings, health and beauty samplings, and more from Philadelphia’s most coveted brands. The first 250 guests receive a special gift bag.

VIP Experiences

6. Early Morning Tours: (Monday-Friday, 8:00-10:00 am) This special ticket includes an intimate guided tour, a flower-arranging demonstration, a ticket for another day’s admission, 10% off at the Flower Show Shop, and more.

7. Design Workshop and Reception with Hitomi Gilliam: (Wednesday, March 7, 2:00-4:00 pm, Room 108 A-B) Designer and educator Hitomi Gilliam will delight audiences with her outside-the-box approach to floral arrangements. At the reception, featuring light refreshments and a cash bar, Hitomi will sign copies of her book.

8. Melissa Gorga Bottle Signing: (Friday, March 9, 5:00-7:00 pm) Meet Melissa Gorga of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, who will sign bottles of Voli Lyte Vodka, a line of low-calorie vodkas. No special ticket required.

9. Bethenny Frankel Bottle Signing: (Saturday, March 10, 2:30-4:30 pm) Made famous on Bravo TV’s Bethenny Ever After, Ms. Frankel will be on hand to sign bottles of her Skinnygirl products; no special ticket required.

10. PHS Community Brunch: (Sunday, March 11, 11:00 am) Brunch is the perfect way to support PHS while enjoying a delightful meal. PHS president Drew Becher will host a discussion, including updates on PHS initiatives.

11. Sprout Snack: (Sunday, March 11, 3:45 pm) Families can join friends from The Sunny Side Up Show, The Pajanimals, and The Berenstain Bears for an interactive afternoon snack. Characters will join you at your table for one-on-one time, photos, and autographs.

12. Garden Tea: Make reservations for Garden Tea. Seatings are twice daily and include a proper menu of fine tea and pastries.

Something for Everyone (and Free with Flower Show ticket)

13. Gardening Lectures and Presentations: From small-scale crop production to growing the perfect African Violet, there is a presentation sure to fulfill your quest for horticultural knowledge.

14. Culinary Demonstrations: Organic Gardening magazine is hosting demonstrations that will showcase a full-range of techniques and cuisines led by expert chefs.

15. Wine Tasting: Stop by the Grand Hall to savor wines and liquors from the world’s finest makers, including specialty products from Hawaii.

16. The Einstein Healthcare Network Family Lounge powered by Sprout: The Family Lounge is the perfect place for young ones (and their parents) to unwind—and look for special guests to drop in.

17. The Man Cave: Guys (and gals!) can relax in a plush theater seat while sipping a drink and catching up on their favorite team. Try a hand of poker or swing a club in a virtual golf match.

Who’s Cooking at the Flower Show? March 4 & 5

February 28, 2012

The free culinary demonstrations at the Flower Show promise to delight and educate audiences with a variety of international cuisines and cooking styles. The two chefs below will lead presentations on Sunday, March 4 and Monday, March 5. As always, the great Chef Joseph Shilling and wonderful students from JNA Institute of Culinary Arts will host and assist, respectively.

An inspiring and engaging personality, Chef Edward Lee will demonstrate his talents while exploring flavor combinations and creative vegetable dishes. A 2011 James Beard Finalist for Best Chef: Southwest, a winner on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, and a competitor on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Texas, Lee is chef/owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville. He draws inspiration from his Asian ancestry, his training in French kitchens, and his newly adopted hometown in the South.

In addition to cooking, Chef Lee is a contributing writer to Gastronomica, Organic Gardening, and other publications, and has written an upcoming cookbook of recipes and stories.

Chef Sarah Fioroni will bring a taste of Tuscany to the Culinary Room with her authentic farm-inspired recipes. A native of San Gimignano, Italy, she is the general manager and executive chef at Fattoria Poggio Alloro, her family’s organic farm/resort in the Tuscan hills.

Her book, A Family Farm in Tuscany: Recipes and Stories from Fattoria Poggio Alloro, will be released in April and chronicles the three generations of Fioronis who work on the farm using age-old practices of growing fruits, vegetables, and cereal crops such as wheat for pasta, olives for extra-virgin olive oil, and grapes for their award-winning wines. They also keep bees, produce saffron, and raise pigs, the basis of homemade prosciuttos and salamis.

For a complete list of culinary demonstrations, click here. Big thanks to Organic Gardening magazine for sponsoring the culinary room.

Chef Rocco Lugrine’s Decadent Macaron Recipe

March 30, 2011

The mouth-watering confections of Chef Rocco Lugrine wowed Flower Show crowds. Now is your chance to test your culinary skills by trying this popular recipe at home. Whether you spell it macaron or macaroon, you’ll agree this is a tasty treat! 

Chocolate Macaron with Caramel Sea Salt Ganache

Chocolate Macaron

  • Whip 5.5 oz of egg whites with 3 oz of granulated sugar until firm peak
  • Sift together 10 oz powdered sugar, 5.5 oz almond flour, and 1.25 oz cocoa powder
  • Fold the sifted powders into the whipped egg whites until smooth
  • Pipe 1-inch onto a silicon-baking mat
  • Bake at 300F for 14-15 minutes

Caramel Sea Salt Ganache

  • Caramelize 7 oz of sugar
  • Add 13 oz of heavy whipping cream slowly, taking caution to prevent the caramel from seizing
  • Boil the caramel and pour over 15 oz of 64% dark chocolate and 9 oz of 38% milk chocolate
  • Make an emulsion
  • Pipe onto 1/2 of the macaron shells, then sandwich them together
  • Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Sandwich shells together and enjoy!

Shout Out to Chef Joseph Shilling

March 13, 2011

A huge “thank you” to Chef Joseph Shilling for emceeing the Culinary Room at the Flower Show. His commentary is always enjoyable and he makes everyone—even those who struggle with instant rice—believe they can cook like a pro. Thanks also to the JNA Institute of Culinary Arts; it’s been delicious fun!

Girl Power on Display in Flower Show Culinary Room

March 9, 2011

Rachel Gaffney

Although the title of “top chef” is often conferred upon culinary masters of the male persuasion, this year the Flower Show has a generous representation of female foodie professionals.  Some, like Christina Pirello, are veterans in the field. Others, like Maki Evans owner of Cupcakes Gourmet in Malvern, PA, are newer to the scene.  Nonetheless their reputation for quality eats and buzz-worthy creations all stem from a collective passion for food.

Beth Kennett is a farmer who, with her husband, runs Vermont’s Liberty Hill Farm Inn.  This fully functional farm and bed and breakfast provides guests with an authentic down home getaway.  Beth’s cows produce milk for the famed Cabot Creamery Co-op, makers of America’s best cheddar cheese.  Her cooking is inspired by family tradition. “My grandmother cooked from the heart, out of love.  It’s with that same spirit that I serve my guests, welcome them into my home to experience life on the farm.”

The importance of service is also key to Cupcakes Gourmet proprietor Maki Evans.  “Humility, pleasing the customer, diligence, efficiency are all important when starting your own venture,” says Maki who credits her passion for parties and love of celebration as a driving force behind her upscale bakeries and custom cupcake business.

Christina Pirello

Rachel Gaffney, dubbed the Irish Martha Stewart, has grown her desire to educate others and celebrate her heritage into a blossoming cooking and textile empire.  “The Irish love to tell stories, and I guess you could say I’m both proud and passionate about telling the story of Ireland.”  Rachel does so eloquently with a delicate brogue that is almost as pleasing to the ear as her baking is to the belly.  Even the novice baker can learn to perfect Gaffney’s Traditional Irish Butter Shortbreads by checking out the interactive cooking classes on her blog.

Christinia Pirello is a household name.  A pioneer of raw foods cooking, organic eating and the field-to-table lifestyle and philosophy, Pirello has long been an educator and food visionary.  When asked about the rising popularity of the natural food trend Pirello is frank, “The word ‘natural’ has become meaningless with all the hype we see, but all in all the country has a greater awareness of natural and organic food that in did not have previously.  Cooking with natural ingredients ignites my passion, “ says Pirello, “So let your passion drive you and be true to who you are.”

Culinary passion will be on display throughout the week at the Flower Show in Room 204C.  Catch Maki Evans at noon on Wednesday, March 9.  Beth Kennett follows Maki at 1:30pm and Christina Pirello will take over the stage on Thursday, March 10 at noon.


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