Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Food News: Top Chef and Bocuse d'Or

This just in...

Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia/Spiaggia Cafe in Chicago and Downtown Disney's Portobello was just announced as one of the cheftestants on Top Chef Masters: Season 2. Thank the gods he updated and revamped Portobello at Downtown Disney. It's finally a worthy restaurant again. He'll be up against Marcus Samuelsson (rowr!) and others in the culinary firmament.

Norman Van Aken and the team at Norman's Orlando (Ritz-Carlton) competed in the foodgasm Bocuse d'Or USA this week at the CIA in Hyde Park and the restaurant is doing a special $150 per person dinner tonight recreating the menu.

You can read my interviews with both of these uber-talented men in Orlando Style Magazine (Van Aken in October 2009 and Mantuano in November 2009).

Friday, February 05, 2010

A Spoonful of Happiness: World Nutella Day!

It's so appropriate that this is my 100th post!

I’m not one to let a faux-holiday pass (see also: National Punctuation Day; I made a cake), especially not one that has to do with food. And especially not one that celebrates the wonders of Nutella! I’ve posted my recipe for Nutella Soufflé on my blog before, but this time, I shared my love of Nutella with my coworkers at Tupperware.

This year, World Nutella Day happened to fall on February 5, 2010, my 26th birthday. I couldn’t pass this up; a chance to celebrate my life and something that has made it worth living at the same time? I grabbed myself a box of devil’s food cake mix, some crème de marróns (chestnut crème, lying in wait on my pantry shelf for a moment such as this for a while) and a jar of Nutella and went to work.

In all honesty, we don’t keep Nutella in the house. This is for two reasons, which I will explain in one sentence. I didn’t even get home from the grocery store before I opened the jar. Yes. I started eating the Nutella IN THE CAR. I should be ashamed. But if you’ve ever had a spoonful of this chocolaty liquid happiness, you’ll understand and won’t judge.

Here's how to make an amazing Nutella-themed cupcake. Just make the boxed mix like the directions instruct, drop a dollop of crème de marron in the center of the cupcake, bake, cool and spread with Nutella. Add some strawberries or bananas or whatever your heart desires to the top. Crushed hazelnuts, if you can find them, would be delicious.

Don’t you like my Tupperware® Cupcake Taker? It’s pretty. You can get one, here.

Happy World Nutella Day!