Cooking with la Familia Tucci

There is nothing like cooking with the ones you love and sharing one’s joy of food. And if you could imagine yourself magically indoctrinated into the Tucci family, well, all the merrier.

My friend Ann shared this New York Times article with me yesterday and I thought I’d pass it on to you as well as an accompanying video. The fact that I have had a mad crush on Stanley Tucci since I could pronounce the words pasta carbonara doesn’t factor into it one bit ((cough!)). Anyhoo, here’s the video. Really, I’m ready to move in with these people. You’ll see what I mean…

Cooking with the Tucci Family

See??? And the cooking sitch? Well, I want, nay, n e e d. Behold:  “… his arsenal of equipment trumps what many restaurants have on hand. In addition to the six burners and acres of counter space in his kitchen, there’s a mammoth stone pizza oven, made in Italy, on the patio outside, along with a gas grill as large as a Fiat, a free-standing paella pan the size of a wading pool, and a coffinlike wood-and-aluminum roasting box, called a Caja China, that can accommodate up to 100 pounds of meat. He likes his dinner parties populous and his friends carnivorous.” I too need an Italian made stone pizza oven to feed the carnivorous throngs! And a giant wood roasting box! And a paella pan I can swim in!! Oh dear…I feel faint.

For someone like me, who comes from a small – albeit foodloving – family, this is like culinary crack. I’m starting the adoption paperwork today.

“The Tucci Cookbook”, a compilation of the family’s recipes comes out 9 October.

Do yourself a favour. Enjoy the full, mouthwatering article here. Then invite over all your favourite people, get to cooking, and for the love of God, spring for the really good parmigiana!

Bridge Street Is Back Baby!

It’s nearly ten months since Hurricane Irene barreled through Vermont. While there will be a degree of re-building to do for some time, overall the Green Mountain State has bounced back admirably, due in no small part to the amazing sense of community here.

Clean-up the morning after the flood started bright and early with lots of eager volunteers.

For those of you who have followed the fate of the Blue Building, situated on historic Bridge Street in the center of town and the former home of The Green Cup Café where I was pastry chef, she is coming back strong at long last.

Raging water of the Mad River on 28 August 2011

After a long, arduous winter of foundation work on the building, there is now new life buzzing in the spaces. The Green Closet (a chic, resale shop), The Sweet Spot (amazing sweets and house-made ice cream), the new restaurant “Peasant” (rustic Italian fare) coming in August and also, as serendipity would have it, soon to be the new home of Design Bistro!

The Blue Building just a few weeks ago – great volunteers come out to help install new clapboards. Photo from the Mad River-Irene Facebook page.

Along with the sprouting of new life around us in the woods, fields and gardens, it seems our wee treasure of a town is  bursting forth with renewed energy as well! It is very heartening to see, indeed.

Here is a link to a recent article in a local paper with more details on what’s in store:

Bridge to Tomorrow | Seven Days.

Also, one of the new businesses in the building, The Sweet Spot, has a Kickstarter page to help them get out of the gate. Check it out!

Monday Colour + Design Bistro

Okay, keep this to yourself, (I have my reputation to think about for chrissakes) but I’ve been hammering out the plan for my new business and actually enjoying it. I’m having fun. Why do I feel like I should be whispering? The word on the street was this would be horribly gruelling, but instead I am like a six-year-old with a new toy…basically…obsessed. Um, you know, in a good way. But more about that in a moment…

Happy idea from the Little Bit Funky blog!

I know it’s Monday and all, yet I am going to parade on your rain mercilessly by sharing this colourful and cheery little kitchen tip I ran across on the ever-nifty LittleBitFunky blog (via French By Design). You know that drawer in your kitchen with all those random wooden spoons and utensils? Now don’t give me that blank look…you know what I’m talking about. Yes, I thought so. Well open that drawer – be brave – and pull out everything with a plain wooden handle and line them up neatly, like this:

Awaiting cheer and whimsy…

Then paint them all sorts of wonderful colours that you absolutely love. Colours that make you smile all the way from your toes. This is absolutely crucial. No cheating. Because later, when you grab these previously-drab-but-now-cheerful tools to stir your oatmeal or taste your spaghetti sauce, or whack the lid of the applesauce jar so it will open, you’re going to smile. That little knowing smile that only your best friends know…the one where the corners of your mouth turn up and your eyes get that twinkle? Yes, that’s the one.

Once they’re done, keep them out where they can be seen. Where kitchen visitors can marvel at your craftiness. Visible so they can work their cheerful magic.

Even on a Monday.

You’re welcome. :)

Oh, and that business plan? Well, as I mentioned to you a while ago, my creative leanings have led me back into the visual arts –  graphic design to be specific. Of course, I had to weave food into it all somehow, which is why my fledgling business is called Design Bistro. Bistro – as in quality, friendly, well-made, with a classic sensibility. I can hardly believe it, but I am nearly ready to launch this puppy. You will be the first to know, don’t you worry. In the meantime, have a gander at my new logo. I did it myself! And guess what? Every time I look at it? I get that little smile:)…yes, that’s the one!

Now go make it a great week!

Top of My Wishlist: Hand-Forged Knives by NYCutlery

Top of My Wishlist: Hand-Forged Knives by NYCutlery

As an avid cook and kitchen professional, I can be kind of, well, obsessive ((cough, cough)) about my food preparation tools, knives topping the list. To work with a sub-standard knife is not only ineffective and dangerous, it’s just plain … Continue reading

Food + Art

Food + Art

Lately my pastry career has been merging with my rejuvenated graphic design career which I have recently unearthed from the attic, dusted the cobwebs off of and, with some elbow grease, am encouraged in finding a warm, bright lustre being … Continue reading

LOVE LOCKS in Paris – Happy Valentine’s Day from the City of Amour

LOVE LOCKS in Paris – Happy Valentine’s Day from the City of Amour

Today marks the first year anniversary of The Buttery Fig! It is a day to celebrate love, so I thought it apropos to share my introduction to the love padlocks that adorn many of the bridges of Paris. Upon strolling … Continue reading

Are Celebrity Chefs Responsible For Our Health?

Are Celebrity Chefs Responsible For Our Health?

“The people who invite us to wallow in food seldom remind us to beware” is how Frank Bruni begins his recent article on Paula Deen’s recent “coming out” about her diabetes (three years after the fact, but, hey, who’s counting?). … Continue reading

A Pinot for Every Budget!

A Pinot for Every Budget!

What is so special about Pinot? Well, you know you have a Pinot Noir in your glass if it feels smooth and glossy as silk on your palate (due to the lower tannins). It will tend to have a lighter … Continue reading

Congress, Can You Hear Us? End Piracy, Not Liberty.

Congress, Can You Hear Us? End Piracy, Not Liberty.

Do your bit today to help keep the internet free and out of the hands of big money. You can contact your state representatives today and let them know you oppose SOPA and PIPA. You can find more information about … Continue reading