Browsing Tag

Top Chef



December 10, 2012

First Phenom at Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival
By Francine Cohen

Of course you wouldn’t be wrong to refer to Chef Stephanie Izard as the fourth winner of Bravo’s Top Chef competition, but really you’d sound like an ignoramous for shirking your restaurant industry history and not fully recounting her provenance; thereby giving her credit where credit is due (while looking really smart yourself for having and sharing this knowledge).

This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Izard in INSIDE F&B and it’s true that this fourth season winner may not have been in front of the camera when this influential television program began, but to her “1st” credit she is the first (and only) woman to have won Top Chef. What else has Izard done first? Well, she helms the restaurant that was the subject of Saveur magazine’s ( first ever restaurant review and her first James Beard Award ( nomination for Best New Restaurant came around the same time she was first nominated for Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs list (

Just being honored by her peers and the media for leading the way isn’t enough for this chef. This year Izard decided to make her first foray to the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival where today, along with Beard Award winning chef Stephen Stryjewski (of New Orleans’ Cochon, Chef Julien Gremaud (Pistache French Bistro, West Palm Beach –, and Jennifer Reed (of The Sugar Monkey, West Palm Beach – she’s cooking the Southern Hospitality: Pig & Goat lunch (

Before having to face all those hungry south Floridians we warmed up Izard with a few questions. See what she has to say about her first Continue Reading…



August 5, 2011

Call it The Clubhouse, call it delicious, it doesn’t matter. Just know you’ll want to call it. All night.

Photo courtesy of Bisnow Media

By Francine Cohen

Common wisdom indicates that if it’s so hot that lightning crackles through the sky and a deluge of water soaks our nation’s capital for at least 45 minutes, it’s probably too hot to be contemplating firing up the pizza oven. Unless of course, you’re a chef with a new restaurant.

So, on July 11th, an intrepid group of food journalists, chefs, friends, family and hospitality industry folks braved the heat, and the storm that followed the Fancy Food Show (, to head over to DC’s Chinatown neighborhood for an oven-warming; a party to celebrate the opening of Chef Mike Isabella’s restaurant, Graffiato ( 707 6th Street, NW).

With the fire blazing and chefs busy in the kitchen Isabella and his team turned out a delicious menu of:
Fried Pork Belly Ravioli
Parmesan Arancini
Assorted pizzas
Olli Speck
Salumeria Bailesse Culatello
La quarcia Procuttio Americano
Ceringolla Olives
House Stretched Mozz
Tuna Crudo with pine nut relish
Scallop Crudo with fennel
Pork Fried almonds
Local assorted cheeses

While GM James Horn oversaw the bar and offered up refreshing glasses of wine, beer and some signature Ilegal ( mezcal cocktails.

Not to be found on the menu that night were Isabella’s signature Chicken Thighs with Pepperoni Sauce, pillowy soft agnolotti, or his hearty bone marrow presentation. But you can try them all when you manage to snag a table, upstairs or down, next time you’re in town.

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July 14, 2010

Roi René Rouge

On a recent episode of Top Chef James Beard Award winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini joined Gail Simmons and Padma Lakshmi as they put the cheftestants to the test of making a pie. Seems reasonable, it’s stone fruit season. Yet, not one of them reached for the cherries.

Had they had a bottle of Combier’s Roi René Rouge Cherry Liqueur ( in their pantry for inspiration this may have been a whole different sort of competition. The exquisite cherry fruit that makes up this liqueur (a blend of Guignes and Morello cherries) is spiked through with a hint of pepper creating an intense, rich flavor that lingers on the palate and warms the lips.

We love the layered depth this liqueur offers, and it works equally well in cocktails or sipped neat. We’re told it’s made with 100% natural ingredient; no artificial essences or dyes. And it seems that the original recipe was created by a nun in 1632 and that the product hasn’t changed since. As their advertising says, “How much more pure can you get?”

Rouge Ryder
Brandon Josie, 15 Romolo

1oz Combier Roi Rene Rouge
.75oz Rittenhouse 100
.5oz Carpano Antica
.5oz Lemon
.5oz Tangerine Rhubarb Gastrique

Gastrique: 5 lbs. tangerine juice, zest of 5 tangerines, 5lbs. chopped rhubarb, dry vermouth, champagne vinegar, cane sugar, Indonesian long pepper, grains of paradise, toasted coriander

Build in Collins. Top with soda water and ice. Garnish with lemon peel.