as_pic_par_jeff_42f_589804thttp://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/french-chef-named-worlds-best-female-chef-2266307.html

A  French chef already festooned with awards and accolades, including three Michelin stars, has been recognized as World's Best Female Chef.

Anne-Sophie Pic, who helms the century-old restaurant Maison Pic in Valence, France, beat out Elena Arzak of Spain and Nadia Santini of Italy to snag the coveted title, a category introduced for the first time this year from the S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards.

Monday's announcement firmly entrenches Pic - only the fourth woman in history to hold a third Michelin star - as a giant in the gastronomic world, still dominated largely by men.

Decorated with gold-gilded mirrors, plush sofas, a chandelier centerpiece and old black-and-white photos of multi-generational Pic family cooks, the restaurant exudes a hushed elegance that's on par with her cooking, described as soft, feminine and respectful. Frank, distinct tastes, new flavor combinations and respect for each ingredient are some of the tenets of her cooking, she says.

As a fourth-generation chef, Pic , 41, grew up in a Michelin-starred kitchen, dipping her fingers into copper pots of simmering crayfish and sampling the pastry chef's choux à la crème as a girl. The restaurant received its third Michelin star under her grandfather in 1934 for the first time. Since then, all three generations, including her father Jacques Pic, have received three Michelin stars for the restaurant.

After studying business management and working in the luxury goods market in the US and Japan, Pic was drawn back to her family's kitchen where she wanted to indulge in her "real passion."

Menu items include old favorites which serve her father's memory, like Jacques Pic's Sea Bass with Caviar, a "mythical" dish invented in 1971 with 30g of Aquitane caviar. Other menu items include pan-roasted Bresse chicken supreme, yellow lemon marmalade, steamed young chards and razor-shells, with simple juice; farm pigeon, poached with slightly smoked broth peas and little beans "embeurrés" with green anise; and hot Grand Marnier soufflé, with orange supremes and light cream rice pudding.  The menu ranges between €90 to €210. The eight-course Collection Pic menu is €330.

Pic was chosen by a panel of 837 voters around the world that included food critics, journalists, chefs and restaurateurs representing 27 different international regions.

She beat Arzak, also a fourth-generation chef, at her San Sebastian restaurant of the same name which specializes in Basque cuisine, and Santini, whose restaurant Dal Pescatore in Italy is also a century old and specializes in seafood.

Pic will be recognized at the S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards gala at London's Guildhall, April 18. The award is sponsored by Veuve Clicquot.

It was April Fools’ Day and the Richter Library at the University of Miami was packed with students, staff, faculty, and a large crowd of curious who had come to have a good laugh at the Edible Book Festival. The only rules were that it must be edible, must look like a book, reference a character or scene, or represent a pun on a book title (War &Pizza, Brothers Karamatzah, etc…) and be funny!

“Come early before they eat them,” warned Barbara Gutierrez of UM.  “Which will happen right after the vote,”  urged Cristina Favretto, head of Scpecial collections at the University of Miami Library.  The public was invited to vote for the Whittiest Pun, Most book-Like and Best in Show categories.

What caught my attention right away was Tequila Mockingbird — an elaborate spoof on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize classic published in 1960. “Authors” Ashley and Linda Ford —mother and daughter team — had literally “translated “ the book into an edible display of a tequila bottle spilling in a pond of caramelized sugar next to a drunken chocolate bird, sprawled belly-up in the center of tequila shots made from caramelized sugar.

Then was an orange cake replicating the cover of the book : The Da Vinci Cod by Dan Prawn, created by a very serious Scott Britton in a suit and tie, a librarian who didn’t want to be photographed, and Kurt Vonnegut, a selected bibliomenu by student Vanessa Rodriguez with pancakes looking like the face of a clock and more odd elements.

While student Erica Moussa’s minimalistic Gone with the Wind consisted of a paper plate sprinkled with crumbs next to a fan and the back of the book; her Let it Rot! The Gardners’ Guide to Composting was an elaborate and creative structure, in the picture.

I didn’t stay to find out who the winner was; the artists had so much fun that I crowned all them all  — after all it is not the goal that counts but the road to reach it that’s the real deal … nor did I attempt to taste the edible books. But I certainly am looking forward to next year’s.

____

 N.B. In a recent e-mail Ms. Favretto writes: " ....Our "Wittiest Pun" prize went to Ashley and Linda Ford, and both "Most Book-Like" and "People's Choice" went to "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by the CookieCanes, three sophomores who share an abode and a love of cake shows on the Food Network."                       
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               dsc09120                                                       

Vanessa Rodriguez: Eat this BookThe Hungry Mouse by the CookieCanes; Vanessa Rodriguez & Eowyn Osorio: The Fran with Four Brains                                                                      

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The DaVinci Cod by Scott Britton;  Kurt Vonnegut, a selected bibliomenu by Vanessa Rodriguez; Tequila Mockingbird by Ashley and Linda Ford

 

dsc09124 dsc09127 dsc09128 Grace Barnes: Tortilla Flat; Gone with The Wind and Let it Rot! The Gardners' Guide to Composting by Erica Moussa 
  

 

Local Caterers Compete for Title of “Best Matzah Ball in South Florida

It starts out like a typical old-time borscht belt joke – A rabbi and priest are seated together at a Matzah Ball contest. The priest turns to the rabbi and says, “I’m really not an expert on matzah balls but count me in when they start judging gefilte fish.”

Here’s the twist. The dialogue is not a joke but a hypothetical conversation between Rabbi Jonathan Berkun and Father Christopher Marino, a former Miami Herald food critic who claims his mother has the best gefilte fish recipe, two of the eight judges at the Forest Trace Second Annual Golden Matzah Bowl in Lauderhill, Fla. The competition, scheduled for 11:00 am, Thursday, April 7, highlights the best professionally-made matzah balls in South Florida, as well as the best homemade matzah ball recipe.

“Our 2010 Golden Matzah Bowl was the perfect prelude to Passover and a wonderful charitable event,” explained Owner’s Representative, Stanley Rosenthal. “So this year we figured, why not keep the matzah ball rolling?”

In addition to Rabbi Jonathan Berkun of the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and Father Christopher Marino, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church and School in Miami, the panel of judges include TV personality Art Ginsburg, aka “Mr. Food,” freelance writer and former food editor of the Sun Sentinel Deborah Seeley Hartz, chef Michael Blum, Elaine Grossinger Etess, daughter of the famous hotelier and cookbook author Jennie Grossinger, and chair of the panel Jay Tabatchnick, grandson of the famous Louis Tabatchnick, founder of Tabatchnick Fine Foods.

“Our panel of judges is as diversified as our resident population,” explained Mr. Rosenthal

A South Florida call for the best homemade matzah ball recipe was posted on the Forest Trace community’s Facebook page and in local print and online media. The 2011 winner will be announced at the Golden Matzah Bowl, with a $100 donation made to the charity of his/her choice.

Eight chefs are participating in the Golden Matzah Bowl and will compete for the title of “Best All-Around Matzah Ball.”  Two hundred residents and invited guests, as well as selected judges, will rate the matzah balls and vote for “Best Floater,” “Best of Broward,” “Chef’s Choice,” “Father Knows Best,” “People’s Choice,” etc. The “Best All-Around Matzah Ball” chef will receive a $500 check for charity.

Admission for residents and guests is a box of matzah which will be donated to WECARE, the Broward organization that distributes food baskets to needy families for Passover.

Forest Trace is a luxury resort senior community situated on a scenic and tropical 73-acre campus with a 30-acre lake, flora and trees where senior adults can enjoy services, amenities, tennis, golf and dining.

5500 NW 69th Avenue in Lauderhill, just west of Fort Lauderdale, For more information www.foresttrace.com or call 954.572.1800.

 

Miami Barcelona. This is not the newest Woody Allen release, but the Spanish airline  IBERIA’s newest non-stop route launched yesterday at an affair with local dignitaries and members of the Spanish business community held at the Mandarin Oriental Miami.

iberiaTo promote the three direct flights per week from Miami International Airport, the airline brought in chef Carles Gaig one of Spain’s culinary stars, and Michelin Star award-winning founder of Fonda Gaig in Barcelona — who showed off some contemporary Catalán dishes such as calçotada : grilled spring onions with Romesco sauce, and other specialties—, Catalan and Spanish TV3 celebrity Chef Nandu Jubany  and Portugese Master Bartender and Mixologist,Paulo Ramos,
 
The non-stop Miami-Barcelona flight will be the second U.S route inaugurated by Iberia this week as the airline has also started flying this past Monday, March 28, between Los Angeles and Madrid. Iberia also flies daily from Miami to Madrid thus operating 10 weekly flights from Miami to Spain.   

 

In anticipation of the launch of Qatar Airways’ 100th destination, the airline is offering travelers the chance to win free tickets to any of the destinations within its global network as well as other exclusive deals.
The airline will reach this historic milestone on April 6 — only 14 years after it started operations — when it begins scheduled flights to the ancient Syrian city of Aleppo. Here is a link to the promotion: www.qatarairways.com/100
 
  • Flight Giveaway:
  • Between now and April 16th, customers can sign up for the promotion on www.qatarairways.com/100 for a chance to win free airline tickets. The airline has 100 pairs of Qatar Airways Economy Class tickets to give away to lucky passengers.
  • Global Giveaway:
  • On April 6th the Doha-based carrier will also announce a fabulous global offer which will only be accessible through the airline’s website qatarairways.com.
  • Bonus Mile Offers:
  • The airline’s frequent flyer rewards program Privilege Club is offering members bonus Qmiles and a special discount on award tickets redeemed at qmiles.com. For Qatar Airways’ QNB co-branded credit card holders, additional bonusQmiles are also offered. Further details on these offers are available at www.qatarairways.com/100
Qatar Airways’ Economy Class includes 3-3-3 row configuration compared to typical 3-4-3 configuration aircraft. This spacious layout, along with seats that are almost two inches wider than the competition (18.9”) and have a longer pitch (up to 34”),  to provide  Qatar Airways passengers with more room to move within the cabin.

Food & Wine Talk Radio

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Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
 
 
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