April 17, 2014
Let the youngsters hunt for Easter eggs, your guilty pleasure will come later when you sip a cool, refreshing signature drink that’s one of the treats assuring a place on every serious culinary enthusiast’s map for the new Billfish Grill at Palm Cay...
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April 14, 2014
Most people don't really spend their time thinking about limes, the tangy green fruit we use in margaritas and as food garnishes. But across the country, people are starting to take notice as the price of limes skyrockets — $100 for a 40-pound box, from $25 a year ago. The reason? A Mexican cartel war...
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April 12, 2014
Good Friday without a hot cross bun is akin to a sacrilege, so right about now, bakers around the island are making preparations for next week's run on the sticky treats for fans who don't have the confidence to make their own and those who, quite plainly, won't feel like doing it. Word has it that one of the hottest bakeries with the best buns around is Platinum Pastry Bakery owned by Chef Bernard Bodie.
The man who is known for tweaking his bun offerings every now and then just to keep things hot and deliciously tasty will, this year, offer a whole wheat bun - for the seasonally-spirited health nuts - along with his crowd-pleasing, regular buns. Both will have the signature sugar cross topping.
Bodie anticipates he will have to bake at least 450 dozen buns to satisfy demands, as last year's 300 dozen were not enough to prevent the crowds from beating down his bakery's doors. However, unlike previous years, Bodie will not be taking orders this Easter, in hopes of avoiding past problems with customers who had placed orders requesting more buns at the last minute. This year, customers are free to walk in and purchase as many buns as they want. He guarantees people will want to walk away with more than just a dozen buns for their Good Friday meals, as they're just that good.
"You can try everyone else, but I can guarantee my buns are the best," said the chef. "Our buns are so light that they melt in your mouth."
He promises that anyone who tastes his buns will be back, and first-time patrons will love them so much that they'll already be looking forward to visiting his bakery next year. Encouraging the crowds to try for themselves, Bodie will be offering hot cross bun samples at his bakery on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I'm the type of person who likes people to be able to try the product before they put their money down, because the proof is definitely in the taste, and if you don't like it you have the option to go somewhere else, but I guarantee they will be back once they've had our buns."
Platinum Pastry Bakery will open at 7 a.m. on Thursday, and will remain open until 8 or 9 p.m. that evening, to accommodate fans of the Easter buns, which will retail for $10 a dozen.
"As long as the people keep coming, we will still be here," said the chef.
A veteran of the pastry industry, Bodie worked in the kitchens of the hospitality sector for years before opening Platinum Pastry Bakery, six years ago. Since opening his bakery, his skills have made him known for swoon-worthy sweet and savory treats, such as his famous conch patties; "Off Da Chain" cake which he says people have to see to believe; "Sex on Da Beach" cake, which he says tastes just like the drink; the aptly named "Bodie" cake, a three-layer, red velvet, chocolate and vanilla concoction; and, of course, his hot cross buns. They're cakes he has developed in the last year and which have become top sellers for Platinum Pastry as well.
To try his hot cross buns or any of his best selling cakes, visit Platinum Pastry Bakery on Faith Avenue South (14th building on the left after crossing over Carmichael Road).
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April 05, 2014
Never had the chance to taste a Ruffino wine? Well, the opportunity is here as the Burns House Group of Companies hosts a 'Ruffino Wine Lover's Tasting' event at which you can sample white and red wine offerings from the winery that has been producing wines for more than 130 years.
The wines will be paired with hors d'oeuvres prepared by Compass Point chefs.
The Wine Lover's Tasting event will be held on Thursday, April 10 at Butler & Sands, Caves Village from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. showcasing the wines with price points that range from $15 to $40.
Patrons will be able to indulge in the white offering, a Ruffino Orvieto Classico, a wine that has fresh floral aromas, a crisp acidity and said to be an alternative to a Pinot Grigio.
The four offerings from the red selection on the night will include a Ruffino Nobile De Montepulciano, which has a round palate that offers velvety, steady tannins for an elegant and well-balanced structure, highlighting the wine's fruity core. The flavors persist through a lingering and smooth finish; The Ruffino Chianti Aziano is fruity and harmonious, with a taste that reveals velvety tannins and an elegant texture. A long and persistent aftertaste with hints of plums and violet characterizes the wine; The Ruffino Chianti Reserva Ducale is well balanced and medium-bodied on the palate. The taste reveals deep, elegant tannins, firm acidity and a lingering finish of rosemary and figs. The Ruffino Chianti Florentine DOCG's is soft on the palate with a medium body and nice balance, displaying pleasantly fruity characteristics.
The tasting event will pair the Ruffino Orvieto Classico with snapper chive; the Ruffino Nobile De Montepulciano with pork kabobs; the Ruffino Chianti Aziano with stuffed artichoke and goat cheese; the Ruffino Chianti Reserva Ducale with lemon butter shrimp and the Ruffino Chianti Florentine with beef sati.
Tickets for the tasting are $30 per person.
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March 29, 2014
The Bahamian national squad that will represent the country at the upcoming Taste of the Caribbean, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's (CHTA) annual culinary competition is stacked with talent and experience to compete at this level.
Named to the squad which is comprised of two senior chefs, one junior chef, one bartender, one pastry chef and one manager was One&Only Ocean Club executive chef Emmanuel Gibson; Le Sprouts Private Catering proprietor and team pastry chef Sheldon Tracey Sweeting who captured the 2013 Pastry Chef of the Year award and is an inductee into the Taste of the Caribbean Hall of Fame; One&Only Ocean Club chef Jamall Small; Lyford Cay Club sous chef Charon McKenzie; Albany Resort sous chef Aviva Richmond Fowler; Aura Night Club bartender Marv Cunningham; ice artist from Atlantis Indra Solihin, and junior chef Dwayne Sinclair, a culinary student at Lincoln Culinary Institute.
Sweeting who was inducted into the Hall of Fame twice -- in 2013 and 2006 by virtue of his Pastry Chef of the Year awards -- will lead the Bahamian team into battle, as the team's manager.
The only other Bahamian to have garnered a Hall of Fame induction since the competition started in 1996 was Sally Gaskins in 2004. She too was inducted via the Pastry Chef of the Year award.
Atlantis chef Michael Adderley will manage this year's team.
The Bahamian squad will be one of 10 teams competing in the hot food/culinary team competition, bartender competition and pastry competition taking place June 28-July 2 at the Hyatt Regency in Miami, Florida.
Cook-offs are usually held leading up to the competition with chefs hoping for selection to the prestigious team and the opportunity to compete against the region's best where they vie for honors including Caribbean Culinary Team of the Year, Caribbean Chef of the Year, Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year, Caribbean Bartender of the Year and Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year.
In an effort to raise money for team expenses, the Bahamas' National Culinary Team will host fundraising events prior to the CHTA culinary competition -- a tapas cocktail reception, two fundraising luncheons and a gala dinner. In addition to the fundraising events, the national team will host a mentoring session with student chefs from The College of The Bahamas.
The team is to date sponsored by the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, the Bahamas Culinary Association, Bahamas Food Services, the Atlantis resort, LeSprouts Private Catering, One&Only Ocean Club, Lyford Cay Club, Atlantis' Aura night club and Bristol Wine and Spirits.
Bahamians hoping to take in the Bahamian team at the competition can take advantage of CHTA special prices that include full Taste of the Caribbean event registration, applicable to hoteliers, government entities and food/beverage professionals attending the entire duration of the event.
The price is $175 for CHTA members and $225 for non-members. The registration fee includes access to all educational sessions, all events on the program including the awards dinner and access to the tradeshow.
Competition events are not included and are an additional $40 for Taste of the Islands and $50 each for the competition lunch and competition dinner. CHTA is also offering two package options for the competition events: $85 per person for the competition lunch and competition dinner or $110 per person for the competition lunch, competition dinner and Taste of the Islands festival.
For those seeking to attend the 2014 Taste of the Caribbean competition, CHTA has arranged a group rate of $139 plus taxes and service charges (run of house, single or double occupancy) per night at the Hyatt Regency Miami. The group rate is available until May 23, and can be reserved via resweb.passkey.com.
The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) facilitates the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members' needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner. CHTA is the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 600 member hotels and over 300 allied members.
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March 29, 2014
Culinary arts students at the Culinary Hospitality Management Institute (CHMI) students hosted a fundraising luncheon yesterday to assist the school's five-man team that will participate in the American Culinary Federation Southeast Regional Junior competition in Charleston, South Carolina, April 26-29.
Jannae Meadows, pastry chef and team captain; Corrie Smith, entree cook; Aliea Rolle, appetizer cook and Tramaine Shearer, salad cook comprise the squad.
Chef Addiemae Farrington, an instructor at CHMI will be the team coach. Donna Williams, head of food and beverage at CHMI will travel as the team manager.
On Tuesday, April 1 the students will again showcase their cooking talents for the public offering breakfast and lunch between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the school on Thompson Boulevard.
The lunch menu offers fried fish fillet, oven-roasted or guava barbecue chicken, peas and rice, garlic-infused vegetable medley, coleslaw and macaroni.
They will also host an exclusive 80-seat dinner on Friday, April 4 at $60 per person for a six-course meal.
Funds from both events will go towards defraying the cost of team travel.
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March 27, 2014
Bahamian Chef Tim Tibbitts of Flying Fish in Freeport has been named one of the Top 25 Chefs in the Caribbean by esteemed culture magazine, Caribbean Journal. Tibbitts was named next to such huge culinary names as Top Chef star Nina Compton and Celebrity chef Ron Duprat...
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March 18, 2014
A Bahamian chef who travelled the world studying exotic and cutting edge-cuisine has ended up in his own backyard as the new executive chef at Billfish Grill, the latest amenity to grace the fast-growing marina and beachfront community of Palm Cay...
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March 17, 2014
While continually striving for perfection in food service, the Food and Beverage team at Atlantis, Paradise Island recently launched a brand new dining series entitled “Dinners of Discovery”...
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February 22, 2014
New Providence is set to become a culinary mecca when the inaugural Minority Chef Summit rolls into town.
The four-day event, May 1-4 will showcase the talents and creativity of some of the leading minority professionals in the food and beverage industry worldwide.
Taking place at The College of The Bahamas, the summit will include an array of seminars, hands-on classes and competitions, as well as a culinary market. The conference will allow culinarians to come together to network, educate and to support the minority culinary community.
The Minority Chef Summit was founded by chef and chocolatier, Erika Davis, who formerly served as creative director for Graycliff Chocolatier in Nassau, and who is a highly-celebrated chef within the culinary field. Chef Erika has been in the chocolate-making industry for over 22 years, and recognized as one of the United States' top chefs. She has received many note-worthy commendations, among which include: Competing Chef 'Top Chef Just Desserts' inaugural show by Bravo; First Black female chef to receive Detroit's Chef of the Month; Showcased in several culinary magazines and invitational culinary events; Featured chef of 'Sunday Dinner' promotion with Publix Grocery Stores and Chocolatier Ambassador of Cocoa Barry Chocolates.
Chef Erika's time spent in New Providence working with and teaching aspiring Bahamian chefs lies at the heart of her inspiration for creating the Minority Chef Summit.
"This is a unique opportunity to come together, recognizing not only our individual craft, but the true excellence of our culinary community," she said.
The 2014 Minority Chef Summit keynote speaker will be Chef Jeff Henderson, an award-winning chef, public speaker and author of the New York Times best seller 'Cooked'.
Additional featured culinary artists include:
Chef Asha Gomez, owner/chef of Cardamom Hill Restaurant and Third Space in Atlanta, GA. Cardamom Hill was a 2013 James Beard nominee for Best New Restaurant.
Chef Jerome Brown, a celebrity private chef whose clientele include Shaquille O'Neal, Colin Powell and Priscilla Presley, to name a few. Chef Brown also has his own TV show, 'Cooking with Rome'.
Chef Guy Wong, owner/chef of Miso Izakaya, who was recently named one of Atlanta's 2012 Rising Stars.
Chef Ron Duprat, a fierce competitor on season six of Bravo's 'Top Chef.' Chef Duprat is author of "My Journey of Cooking" and is affiliated with organizations that contribute and give back to the community and people around the world, including United States First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative.
Chef Keith Rhodes, voted Wilmington, NC's Best Chef for three consecutive years.
Chef Hugh Sinclair, executive chef and owner of Irie Spice personal catering in South Florida.
Chef Bryant Terry, eco-chef, food justice activist, and author. Terry was a 2008-2010 Food and Society Policy Fellow, a national Program of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Chef Dana Herbert, owner of Desserts by Dana and winner of TLC's 'Cake Boss Next Great Baker'.
Chef Kenny Gilbert, executive chef of Plainfield Country Club and contestant on season seven of Bravo's 'Top Chef'.
Chef Nedal Mardini, chef de cuisine of Matthews Restaurant in Jacksonville.
Chef Thierry Delourneaux, executive pastry chef at Fairmont Singapore and Swissotel The Stamford in Singapore.
Chef farmer, Matthew Raiford, a sixth generation farmer behind Gilliard Farms and executive chef of Little St. Simons Island a private resort located off the coast of Georgia.
Chef Dwight Evans, who was recently awarded Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation.
Chef Duane Nutter, chef at One Flew South, voted one of the best airport restaurants; as well as mixologists, Tiffanie Barriere and Tokiwa Sears, from One Flew South.
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February 15, 2014
There are bakers and there are cooks. It takes a chemist's love of precision to be a baker. Me? I'm a cook.
However, I do love to bake bread. In fact, I've been on a bread baking kick for several years, experimenting with everything from the old-fashioned knead-it-up method to neo-hippy, grow-your-ownwild-yeast-before-you-evenstart-mixing-the-dough recipes. Recently, however, I learned a method so wonderful that my experimental wanderings may be over.
The breakthrough occurred when I took a class with the legendary Jim Lahey, founder of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York and the man behind a sensational recipe for noknead, slow-rise, no-fuss bread. Maybe just reading about it left me skeptical. Could baking bread really be as easy as he suggested?
Yes, it can. I went home after the class and adjusted his basic formula to my liking, adding extra whole-wheat flour, toasted walnuts and rosemary. Otherwise, I followed his instructions, weighed the ingredients, mixed them together and turned out an attractive, delicious loaf of bread.
One of the ways to ensure your success here is by measuring your flour by weight, not volume. When you scoop and measure flour by volume -- such as using a measuring cup -- the amount of flour you get each time can vary widely, sometimes by several ounces. The discrepancy is due to how tightly or loosely the flour is packed. A few ounces may not sound like much, but it can make a big difference in baked goods.
That's why I recommend investing in a good kitchen scale if you're going to bake bread. The one I own, which registers both ounces and grams, has turned out to be useful for any number of kitchen tasks.
And please remember, this is not your grandmother's bread, or at least it's not your grandmother's method of making bread. So don't be thrown off by the wetness of the dough (it's very wet), the temperature of the water added (it's cool, not warm), or the temperature at which the dough first rises (it's room temp, not warmer).
The only down side to this recipe is the need to plan ahead. Even though mixing the dough takes no time at all (30 seconds), you have to let it rise for at least 12, and preferably 18, hours. Then, after you've shaped it into a loaf (another 30 seconds), it needs to rise for yet another hour or two. Finally, it takes 45 to 60 minutes for the bread to bake, and it has to cool completely before you can eat it.
But if you can deal with the amount of time necessary for the dough to set up, you may find yourself eating really scrumptious, fresh and healthy artisanal bread several times a week. And every time you bake one of these loaves, your whole house smells wonderful.
NO-KNEAD WALNUT-ROSEMARY BREAD
Start to finish: 14 hours (20 minutes active)
Makes 1 loaf (10 servings)
1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 cups (266 grams) bread flour
1 cup (133 grams) whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (8 grams) table salt
3/4 teaspoon (2 grams) instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 tablespoons (6 grams) chopped rosemary
1 1/3 cups (350 grams) cool water (55 F to 65 F)
Additional flour, wheat bran or cornmeal, for dusting Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the walnuts in a shallow baking dish, then place in the oven on the middle shelf to toast for 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once the nuts are cooled, in a medium bowl stir them together with both flours, the salt, yeast and rosemary. Add the water and stir briefly with a wooden spoon or your hands, just until the dough is barely mixed, about 30 seconds.
The dough should be quite wet and tacky. If it is not, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water. Cover the bowl and let it rise at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours, or until it is more than double in bulk.
After the dough has risen, generously sprinkle a work surface with flour and gently, with the help of a plastic bench scraper, scoop out the dough onto the counter.
Working very quickly, with floured hands, fold the dough inward to the center on all sides to form a seam. Turn the dough over to form a round with the seam on the bottom. Generously sprinkle a clean kitchen towel with flour. Lay the towel flat on the counter and set the dough on top, seam down. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour and loosely fold the ends of towel over the dough.
Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or until almost doubled in bulk. You will know it is ready when you poke the dough and it holds your imprint. If the dough bounces back, it is not ready.
About 30 minutes before you think the dough is ready, heat the oven to 475 F. Put a rack in the lower third of the oven, and place a covered 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 quart casserole dish in the oven to heat.
When the dough has risen, carefully remove the casserole dish from the oven and remove the lid. With the aid of the tea towel, flip the dough gently, seam side up, into the casserole, put the lid on the casserole and return it to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and bake until the bread has browned nicely, another 15 to 30 minutes.
Remove the casserole dish from the oven and use a spatula or dish towel to carefully transfer the bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.
Nutrition information per serving: 180 calories; 40 calories from fat (22 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 6 g protein; 290 mg sodium.
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January 18, 2014
The Super Bowl won't touch down in New Jersey until next month, but the New York restaurant scene already is rolling out the turf carpet.
The city with the endless appetite for great food is going all out for the big game, mounting a culinary spectacle in keeping with the overthe-top nature of the event.
"We go crazy for things,"said Kate Krader, Food and Wine magazine's restaurant editor and a lifelong New Yorker. "But I'm kind of astonished at the level of things people are doing."
Exhibit A -- The 50 Yard Lounge. At the intersection of Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, the 50 Yard Lounge will offer what amounts to a five-day food and wine festival with athletes. Heated roof decks, tented plazas and restaurants will showcase themed menus from top New York chefs while current and former NFL players mingle with diners.
In some of the many chefand-athlete demonstrations, Michelin-starred chef Michael White will teach Football Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter to make pasta. And celebrity butcher Pat LaFrieda will show three-time Super Bowl champion Matt Light, formerly of the New England Patriots, how to break down meat.
"It's about New York City chefs, New York City music, and about experiencing the Super Bowl in New York City,"said Lonny Sweet, founder of marketing agency The Connect Group and creator of the event. "I felt I had an opportunity to show what makes this city so great."
The Super Bowl also will give rise to Forty Ate, a popup steakhouse created by hospitality giant Danny Meyer where VIP tables will cost $50,000 -- food and drink included.
Commissioned from Meyer by the NFL and hosted in the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, the restaurant will serve burgers, steak and pasta with a view of "Super Bowl Boulevard," which is a section of Broadway converted into a street fair featuring a giant toboggan run.
A more modest offering will be found in Brooklyn, where the charity Taste of the NFL will hold its annual fundraiser to combat hunger. The event, which costs $700 per ticket, will bring former players as well as chefs including Tertulia's Seamus Mullen and "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
Meanwhile, all across the city, independent restaurants from the famous to the obscure are getting in on the game. A.G. Kitchen on the Upper West Side will enlarge its famous Cubano, stretching the roast pork-ham-andcheese sub to 6 feet long.
"It gets away from the Italian subs people are used to,"said restaurant co-owner Spencer Rothschild. "All of New York is being transformed. Every restaurant should find a way to step up."The Asian-accented barbecue joint Fatty 'Cue is offering feasts of whole pig, brisket or lamb to eat at its two restaurants or for take-out. And Taquitoria, a Lower East Side shop that serves only the deep-fried, cigar-like tortillas called taquitos, offers 40-piece boxes of Buffalo chicken taquitos throughout football season. On game day, says owner and manager Brad Holtzman, they expect to do 99 percent of their business for takeout.
"They're the perfect food to sit on your couch and watch the game," he said.
Across the bridge in Brooklyn, the chicken-and-waffle restaurant Sweet Chick will create special combinations to let diners vote with their mouths. Chicken gumbo might top a rice waffle, says co-owner John Seymour. It's too bad New Orleans won't be in the big game.
But, salmon cakes might perch on a coffee waffle, which would be great if Seattle makes it.
And if Denver makes it, there's something else. Keep in mind, recreational marijuana was recently legalized in Denver, so hemp will definitely be in the waffle. "I wish we could do a pot waffle, but we don't want to get closed down," Seymour said.
Even uber-hip Roberta's, a vanguard of cool in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, is mounting a Tiki bar with football-shaped calzones, cheese pretzels and "cheap pitchers."
"To me that shows just how deep the food scene in this city," Krader said, "is buying into the Super Bowl."
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