Author Archives: jma

Trader Joe’s Red Peppers are a real time saver!

Red Peppers
Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Yellow & Red Peppers in a 12 oz glass jar are a staple in my cabinet because of their versatility and high quality. They’re also a real time saver at any time of the day or night when you want to add a new flavor dimension to whatever dish you are making. And, they’re good for you too as the 355 store chain eliminated trans fats, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and GMO (genetically modified organisms) to their private label products.
I like peppers so many different ways. For example, …


Gail Simmons weighs in on Top Chef Masters.

Bravo’s TV’s “Top Chef Masters” May 11 show had  Gail Simmons, expert judge, food critic, with years of distinguished culinary expertise join expert Chef Curtis Stone, and accomplished food critic James Oseland at the judge’s table.
What excitement to have three culinary powerhouses at the judges table.  I think that all three have masterful communication skills using food language that helps this viewer better understand how each chef’s philosophy and inspiration has been translated to the plate. Not only that, I have an even better perspective of both front and back of the house because of …


James Beard Award winner, Marcella Hazen teaches us about Insaporire

Insaporire: “to make tasty…what you do to draw out and develop the flavor of a single or several ingredients.”
This past week, the James Beard Foundation celebrated the legacy of old and new chef’s alike.  All the celebration, James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award winner Marcella Hazan introduced fresh pure flavors of Italian cooking to Americans. Along with writing six cookbooks with her husband Victor, and teaching numerous cooking classes, she also introduced us to balsamic vinegar along with many others new “tasty” Italian ingredients.
She encouraged me and countless others to re-think how we cooked. What good …


Share a glass of wine with Stanley Tucci

After a hard day’s work, Stanley Tucci’s “Vine Talk,” on PBS was just what I needed. Lots of laughs, and casual, good times conversations. Each week a different celebrity panel and audience get to taste and judge each episode’s six featured wines. Can you imagine six glasses of wine lined up before you? If that isn’t enough to capture your attention, add to the menu appetizers, brought by a celebrity chef who has “paired” exact ingredients to go with the wines.
This show is a winner for me. On Episode 102, the featured wines of the week were New York’s Finger Lake District …


Are American’s Ready for Spice Coast?


Are you ready for Fast Causal Indian Food?
This week on America’s Next Great Restaurant, the question was posed, are American’s ready for fast/casual indian food?    After a presenting a “mushy” indian burger for the kids and families meal concept,Sudhir Kandula of Spice Coast was  at judges table.  Judge Bobby Flay, Chef/Restaurant Owner posed the question, “Are American’s ready for fast/casual Indian Cuisine?”
Interestingly,  Chipotle Owner Steve Ells reminded the judges that American families and children learned to love Mexican food, as it is served at Chipotle. In other words, years ago, when Chipotle first opened, the food was different at the onset, but the …


"Hootie Hoos" chicken pot pie a real winner!

Carla is off Top Chef All Stars, and i miss her unique and fun personality.  And, her “Hootie Hoo” perking greeting. I mean, it’s one of those sayings that sticks, like BAM from Emeril Lagasse.
Lucky for me, Carla’s memory lingers and especially her winning Chicken Pot Pie dish.  Even Tom  Colicchio loved it.
Carla’s remarks at judges table about including both a pre cooked, top and botttom crust, got me thinking.  I mean, i’ve been making the old comfy standby Chicken Pot Pie for ages, without complaint, but i thought, i should try this using her method.
Not for anything, but i …