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Dale Talde Writing Cookbook For 2015

Dale Talde Writing Cookbook For 2015


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The chef behind Pork Slope and Talde is reportedly writing a 'proudly inauthentic' cookbook

New York favorite Dale Talde is reportedly working on a cookbook.

New York favorite Dale Talde behind Brooklyn's Talde and Pork Slope is reportedly writing a cookbook, Grub Street reports.

Talde, the former Top Chef contestant, will publish a cookbook based on "the bold Asian flavors and trademark American aspin of Talde's 'proudly inauthentic' eponymous Park Slope restaurant," Publishers Marketplace says. Talde, who attended the Culinary Institute of America and worked under Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Masaharu Morimoto, opened Talde in 2012, followed by Pork Slope and a chef-partnership at Thistle Hill Tavern.

The book, slated for 2015, will be published by Grand Central Life & Style, and will be co-written by JJ Goode (the co-writer of April Bloomfield and Andy Ricker's cookbooks). Eater reports that recipes will not be of the often-disdained Asian fusion variety; instead, the publisher notes that "it's Asian-American and it's a reflection of the way people are eating today." Talde fans can only hope for pretzel pork and chive dumplings, beef short rib kare kare, and king crab fried rice (not to mention edamame hummus).


Dale Talde’s Short Rib Kare-Kare Recipe

Don’t call Brooklyn chef Dale Talde’s food “Asian-fusions,” because it’s not. It’s Asian-American, an homage to growing up Filipino (and proud) in a land of nuggets, breakfast sandwiches and diner feasts. In his new cookbook, Talde takes a classic, twists it up and flips it on its ass, frankly, but this short rib recipe’s a family classic.

Welcome to Filipino Christmas. There are screaming babies on your left, cases of Miller High Life on your right and approximately 4,000 people in the living room of whatever aunt, cousin or sort-of cousin was willing to host that year. When I was a kid, I’d wait all year for this. It was my opportunity to eat my aunt Catalina’s kare-kare.

Not that the other food wasn’t dope, too. There was Mom’s wonton soup and her Christmas ham, lacquered with caramelized sugar and pineapple juice. Someone always brought arroz valenciana, a Filipino version of paella, yellow from turmeric rather than saffron and made with sticky rice, Chinese sausage, shrimp and peas. I ate like a beast but always saved room for several servings of kare-kare, a classic Filipino stew rich with peanuts and funky from shrimp paste. Aunt Catalina reserved the stew for Christmastime, because it took a long time to make. She used oxtail and innards. I rock short ribs. The stew’s so rich that you might need some charred cabbage, eggplant and long beans to go with it.

Dale Talde’s Short Rib Kare-Kare Recipe

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 8

Ingredients

Short ribs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon annatto seeds (aka achiote seeds available at Latin markets)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 medium Spanish onion (1/2 pound), very roughly chopped
  • 1 (2-ounce) knob peeled ginger (about 4 by 1 1/2 inches), roughly chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 fresh red Thai chilies, halved lengthwise (including seeds)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Shrimp Paste Soffrito, or well-stirred barrio Fiesta brand spicy ginisang bagoong
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 medium tomato (about 1/2 pound), very roughly chopped
  • 4 cups well-shaken coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 5 pounds boneless beef short ribs (excess fat trimmed) or chuck roast, cut into approximately 3-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
Shrimp paste soffrito
  • 2 1/4 ounces belacan (a quarter of an 8.8-ounce brick), coarsely crumbled with gloved hands
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons annatto seeds
  • 1 pound tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium Spanish onion (about 3/4 pound), roughly chopped
  • 10 medium garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 (1-ounce) knob peeled ginger (about 2 by 1/2 inches), roughly chopped
  • 10 fresh red Thai chilies, stemmed and roughly chopped (including seeds)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
For serving
  • Garlic-chili vinegar
  • Thinly sliced cilantro stems
  • unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

Directions

For the soffrito

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the belacan on two layers of aluminum foil and fold to make a package. Put it on the oven rack and bake, turning it over once, just until it smells really, really nasty but before your neighbors call the police, about 5 minutes. Set the package aside.

Combine the oil and annatto seeds in a large skillet, set it over medium heat, and wait for the seeds to sizzle slightly, about 5 minutes. Strain the bright-red oil, discarding the seeds.

Return the oil to the pan, set it over medium heat, and add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, and turmeric. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the toasted belacan and cook for 5 minutes more to infuse the mixture with its flavor. Let the mixture cool to warm.

Puree the mixture in a blender with the vinegar and sugar until very smooth.

Store the soffrito in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

For the short ribs

Combine the oil, annatto seeds, and turmeric in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof pot, set it over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oil is a reddish color, about 1 minute. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp paste and sugar and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes more. Use your hands to add the tomato, squeezing the pieces to release their juice. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the pot to release stuff that’s stuck to it, until the tomatoes begin to fall apart, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and vinegar, and let it come to a boil. Add the beef in a more or less even layer, tightly cover the pot, and cook in the oven until the beef is very tender but not falling apart (more like pot roast than pulled pork), about 3 hours.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a plate and strain the liquid into a large bowl, discarding the solids. Return the liquid to the pot, set it over very low heat, whisk in the peanut butter until it’s fully combined, and return the beef to the liquid. Season with salt (or even better, more shrimp paste) to taste, turn the heat to medium, bring the liquid to a simmer, stir well, then turn off the heat.

You can eat it right away — topped with the garlic-chili vinegar, cilantro stems, and toasted coconut flakes — but it’s even better a few days after you cook it.

Let the beef cool in the liquid, cover, and store it in the fridge. Gently reheat it when you’re ready to eat.


Dale Talde’s Kimchi Fried Rice Will Blow Your Mind

What's in your refrigerator at any given time says a lot about you. In this series, GQ reached out to famous chefs with a deceptively simple, if revealing, question: What do you cook when you're by yourself and no one's watching?

Chef Dale Talde prides himself on cooking defiantly inauthentic Asian-American cuisine. His recipes haven’t been passed down from generation to generation they’re an amalgamation of who he is, and, crucially, what he likes to put in his belly. “To be honest, it’s just what I like to eat,” he says. “I mean it’s selfish, but I love burgers and nachos and chicken wings, and I also love the comfort of rice with anything.”

That’s why at his restaurant Talde in Brooklyn you’ll see bizarro menu items like pretzel dumplings, breakfast ramen, and his insanely delicious (if unholy) take on pad thai, made with fatty bacon and deep-fried oysters. A few blocks up the road at his after-work bar Pork Slope, he’s serving tater tots, cheeseburgers, and a pork chop banh mi. (Just don’t call what he’s doing “Asian Fusion.”)

Once you know that everything’s mixed and it all tastes good, leave it on the stove and let it burn on the bottom. A pimp move would be to throw a fried egg on top.

This month, he has a new cookbook coming out titled Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn. And though he’d rather not cook for himself when he’s off work, he does have a go-to recipe if hunger strikes and his wife isn’t around: kimchi fried rice, a dish teeming with crispy bits of Spam, mouth-tingling chili flakes, and crunchy fermented chunks of kimchi. It’s not the prettiest dish. But it’ll blow your mind.

Dale Talde: “I almost never cook for myself at home. I don’t want to wash dishes. It’s more about being lazy than doing the other shit. I love to cook, you know, have a glass a bourbon. But it’s the aftermath, when the house is trashed. Then I’m like, I don’t want to cook anymore. I should’ve just walked to Popeye’s and had a fucking six piece and be done with it.

“I love this recipe because usually I already have all this shit in the fridge. When I’m at home I want something easy and fast and tasty. Spam doesn’t rot, so it’s not going anywhere. Kimchi is already spoiled—it’s already on its way out. Most of this stuff I already have chilling at the crib. There’s always rice chilling somewhere. I always have soy sauce, typically an onion, garlic that’s in various stages of decay. Butter, always. For me one of the reasons I love this recipe is because it’s so damn fast. You mess this up, it still tastes pretty good. If I have turkey or leftover steak from dinner, it’s a good way to burn it out. I don’t want the steak to go to waste, so I’ll just put it in the kimchi fried rice.

“Once you know that everything’s mixed and it all tastes good, leave it on the stove and let it burn on the bottom. A pimp move would be to throw a fried egg on top. This is something you can really stretch out to feed five or six people. How do we make this more? That seems to be a reoccurring theme for a lot of Asian dishes.

“This is best served right out of the pan. When I was a bachelor, I would eat everything straight out of the pan. If I wasn’t married, I’d eat everything out of quart containers. Those would be the only bowls in my house. You can be lazy and cook great food.”


Booked Solid

The kids may dread going back to school, but we're more than a little excited to hit the books—the cookbooks, that is.

Fall brings a wealth of new releases, including the latest from chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Jacques Pépin technique-driven books from Mark Bittman and Alice Waters debut works from Dale Talde, Alex Stupak and The Dead Rabbit team and a slew of titles that makes us want to book a trip to Mexico, stat.

Here are the 18 cookbooks we can't wait to take to the kitchen.

CHEFSPIRATIONS

Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn, by Dale Talde and JJ Goode (Grand Central Life & Style, September 15, $32)
Born out of his Filipino roots and a lifelong obsession with American fast food, Dale Talde's "proudly inauthentic" approach means we get to enjoy creations like Buttered-Toast Ramen and Kung Pao Chicken Wings. In his first book, Talde shares dishes from his mini Brooklyn restaurant empire, including Pretzel Pork-and-Chive Dumplings, as well as his thoughts on MSG, bodegas and, yes, authenticity.

Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes, by John Besh (Andrews McMeel Publishing, September 29, $25)
NOLA icon John Besh's fourth cookbook is more practical than any of his previous volumes. There's plenty of New Orleans flavor, but Besh wrote this book less as a James Beard Award-winning chef with a dozen restaurants to his name and more as a busy dad eager to serve his family the kind of delicious, soulful food he was raised on (think hearty, one-pot dishes like Chicken and Sausage Gumbo). Throughout, Besh shares memories of a lifetime living and eating in New Orleans, plus snapshots of his favorite local spots.

Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, by Jacques Pépin (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 6, $35)
Legendary French chef and cooking teacher Jacques Pépin has devoted his latest cookbook to the everyday food he cooks at home. The emphasis is on good taste with minimal fuss. Most of the food leans French—think Gougères with Cheese and Tomato Tatin, but you'll also find Grilled Chicken Tenders with Chimichurri and Chirashi Sushi. And those gorgeous paintings sprinkled throughout the book? Those are by Pépin, too.

The NoMad Cookbook, by Daniel Humm, Will Guidara and Leo Robitschek (Ten Speed Press, October 13, $100)
When they wrote their first cookbook, Eleven Madison Park, the superstar restaurant trio aimed for accessibility, but this time around, they are more faithful to the professional kitchen. Not every dish is complicated, but you're going to need a scale. Thankfully, the NoMad's beloved Whole Roasted Chicken with Black Truffle Brioche Stuffing is included. In a bonus cocktail book, NoMad mixologist and bar manager Leo Robitschek offers a service manual that touches on everything from bar spoons to flaming citrus twists.

NOPI: The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully (Ten Speed Press, October 20, $40)
Yotam Ottolenghi's latest release features cooking that's more involved than his fans are used to—it's also less veggie centric. The food comes from NOPI, the London fine dining restaurant where coauthor Ramael Scully is head chef. Dishes like Spiced Buttermilk Cod with Urad Dal have been streamlined, but this is definitely a restaurant cookbook. Ottolenghi's signatures—intense flavors, unique combinations, vivid compositions—persist, but thanks to Scully's Malaysian roots, they intersect boldly at the Asian pantry. A thorough glossary will help you navigate all those new ingredients.

The Nordic Cookbook, by Magnus Nilsson (Phaidon Press, October 26, $50)
This massive book aims to capture the essence of Nordic cuisine, using food to explore a shared history and culture. Author Magnus Nilsson, head chef of Sweden's Fäviken Magasinet, is upfront about the impossibility of his task and openly declares the incompleteness of his work. Nonetheless, the deep dive into the food of Denmark, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Faroe Islands delivers more than 700 recipes. The directory should help you find ingredients, though puffin may still be tricky to track down.

Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 6, $35)
For Israeli-born chef Michael Solomonov, opening Zahav in Philadelphia was about bringing the Israeli dining experience to America, and now, with his first cookbook, he aims for an even larger audience. Zahav features an entire chapter devoted to tehina, the sesame seed paste that is the backbone of Solomonov's famous hummus and used to make countless sweet and savory dishes like Fried Potatoes with Harissa Tehina and Tehina Shortbread Cookies.

The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook, by Danny Bowien and Chris Ying (Anthony Bourdain/Ecco, November 10, $35)
Danny Bowien is known for doing the unexpected—the original Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco began as a pop-up inside an existing Chinese restaurant𠅊nd in his new cookbook, he again defies expectation. Sure, there are recipes, including his famous Kung Pao Pastrami. There's also the obligatory chef backstory, but Bowien, naturally, takes a unique approach. In a series of conversations, the chef and his team discuss everything leading up to present day, including Bowien's childhood in Oklahoma, his first job in New York and opening their second MCF location in NYC.

DOWN MEXICO WAY

Hartwood: Bright, Wild Flavors from the Edge of the Yucatán, by Eric Werner and Mya Henry (Artisan, October 20, $40)
With its generous storytelling, lush photography and wood-fired cuisine, Hartwood is nearly as transporting as the open-air restaurant Eric Werner and Mya Henry run in the wilds of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Werner is the chef and does most of his cooking over fire, but, here, he offers guidance on achieving similar effects at home for dishes like Grilled Lobster with Creamed Yuca. Tucked within the dreamy pages you'll find practical information, such as how to clean and season your grill and a step-by-step guide to grilling whole fish.

Mexico from the Inside Out, by Enrique Olvera (Phaidon Press, October 19, $60)
Fifteen years after opening his now-legendary Mexico City restaurant, Pujol, and one year since making his American debut with New York's Cosme, Mexican chef Enrique Olvera has written his first cookbook in English. Most of the multicomponent, professional-level recipes are from Pujol, including its signature play on Mexican street corn (Baby Corn with Chicatana Ant, Coffee and Chile Costeño Mayonnaise). The second half of the book is for the rest of us and features more accessible dishes, including tostadas and chilaquiles. And for anyone who doesn't know what it means to nixtamalize, Olvera includes thorough breakdowns of ingredients, equipment and techniques.

Tacos: Recipes and Provocations, by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman (Clarkson Potter, October 20, $32.50)
Alex Stupak's journey from celebrated pastry chef at Alinea and WD-50 to Mexican cooking evangelist is well documented. In his first cookbook, Stupak, the chef/owner of three Mexican restaurants in NYC, focuses on tacos, starting with corn and flour tortillas, followed by salsas and moles, and then a broad range of traditional and innovative fillings.

BREAKING BREAD

Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread, by Zachary Golper with Peter Kaminsky (Regan Arts, November 17, $50)
In five short years, Zachary Golper's Brooklyn bakery, Bien Cuit, has achieved near cult-level popularity. His debut cookbook is a stunner, full of beautiful food porny close-ups of bread. If you have the ambition and patience—most of the recipes require hand mixing and long fermentation—you can make Golper's much-lauded baguettes and sourdough, as well as Olive Bread, Ciabatta and Port and Fig Rolls. Golper also shares his wisdom on local wheat, starters, measuring with a scale and why bread that's almost but not quite burned, or bien cuit, tastes so good.

The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook: Artisanal Baking from Around the World, by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julia Turshen (Clarkson Potter, October 13, $35)
Less than a decade after launching Hot Bread Kitchen, an NYC-based bakery and social enterprise that trains and empowers immigrant women to succeed in the food industry, founder Jessamyn Waldman Rodriquez has collected the recipes and stories behind her mission-driven bakery. Hot Bread Kitchen favorites, including Moroccan M'smen, Persian Nan-e Barbari and Traditional Onion Bialys, are all here, plus dishes from the home kitchens of the Hot Bread Kitchen family.

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, by J. Kenji López-Alt (W. W. Norton & Company, September 21, $50)
Based on his Serious Eats column of the same name, J. Kenji López-Alt's cookbook is a rigorous and scientific approach to home cooking. In other hands, this could have veered into textbook territory, but López-Alt is so full of enthusiasm and curiosity for his subject that he's written a page-turner. Whether it's scrambling eggs or grilling steak, López-Alt delivers the best, most efficient method. Outside of the recipes, you'll find this to be a comprehensive resource on ingredients, equipment and technique.

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix: More than 700 Simple Recipes and Techniques to Mix and Match for Endless Possibilities, by Mark Bittman (Pam Krauss Books, October 27, $35)
New York Times columnist Mark Bittman is the master of uncomplicated cooking, and fans will no doubt be familiar with the concept behind his latest cookbook: Learn a handful of basic recipes and with a little creativity, you can prepare a lifetime of satisfying meals. This is a visually driven book that eschews traditional recipes for charts and brief descriptions. You'll find chickpeas four ways, gazpacho 12 ways and nine quick stocks, as well as Bittman's "recipe generators" for paella, sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs. And for anyone who struggles to create a dinner party menu, Bittman offers a matrix that takes you from cocktails to dessert.

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, by Ruth Reichl (Random House, September 29, $35)
When Gourmet closed in 2009, the food world was devastated and editor-in-chief Ruth Reichl was not just unemployed but lost. Finding sanctuary in the kitchen, Reichl spent the next year rediscovering the healing powers of cooking. In her first cookbook in 43 years, Reichl shares the recipes that helped her find her way. With minimal fuss—no stylists or extra lights the book was photographed at Reichl's Hudson Valley home𠅊nd reflecting her life on Twitter, each recipe includes a tweet Reichl sent the day it was made. Among the treasures, you'll find Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder, Congee and Perfect Pound Cake.

My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients That Make Simple Meals Your Own, by Alice Waters (Pam Krauss Books, September 15, $25)
Alice Waters may be the face of our farm-to-table ethos, but when it comes to turning all those organic veggies and sustainably raised meats into actual meals, the Edible Schoolyard founder says the real secret is a well-stocked pantry. In this slim volume, Waters shares recipes for the various spice mixtures, condiments, cheeses, preserves and stocks that fill her larder. You'll find staples like almond milk, as well as seasonal or special-occasion items like dried fig leaves. In lieu of photos, the book features illustrations by Waters's daughter, Fanny Singer.

The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual: Secret Recipes and Barroom Tales from Two Belfast Boys Who Conquered the Cocktail World, by Sean Muldoon, Jack McGarry and Ben Schaffer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 13, $27)
Like their award-winning cocktail bar in lower Manhattan—The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog was named World's Best Bar at last summer's Tales of the Cocktail—Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry's long-awaited first book is devoted to historically inspired cocktails. Drinks like the Pistache Fizz, Red Cup No. 2 and Mulled Egg-Wine are not classics but rather long-forgotten drinks that have been updated and enhanced. In addition to their thoroughly researched sours, cobblers, juleps, smashes and slings, Muldoon and McGarry tell their origin story, dating back to their days in Belfast. For anyone interested in cocktail culture, it's a fascinating read.


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Top review from Canada

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I was looking for a Filipino cookbook and stumbled upon this and thought, hey why not? I don't know much about chef Talde because I'm fairly new to the cooking game. I am well aware that these recipes are in-authentic and appreciate that he stays true and keeps stuff real simple.

Call me a no-fun-nancy if you must. I am knocking off one star because I'm pretty conservative and didn't really expect any profanity throughout this book (Sorry chef Talde). I enjoyed this cookbook overall and am going to hang onto it and take the time out of my day to blur out the profanity and remix this book into a clean version LOL.


Dale Talde's 'Proudly Inauthentic' Take on McDonald's Chicken Nuggets and Apple Pie

Dale Talde , the New York- and New Jersey-based chef behind Talde , Pork Slope , and Thistle Hill Tavern , and more popularly known as a two-season contestant on Top Chef , will be the first to tell you that he's an early 90s kid who grew up between cultures. The result: Born in the U.S. to Filipino parents and raised in Chicago, Talde has cultivated a cooking style he describes as "stepping out of tradition and authenticity" and "flying by the seat of my pants."

His just-released first cookbook— Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn , written with food writer JJ Goode—puts this quirky signature style on display. Whether it's pairing crispy, Korean-style fried chicken with grapes, resurrecting dishes his mom made at home, or making Chicken McNuggets and fried apple pies inspired by McDonald's, Talde is done grappling with authenticity on anyone's terms but his own.

Between Cultures

Talde titled the book Asian-American for a reason. Says Talde, "I was born in America, but lived in a very Filipino household. I was raised in a house where we took our shoes off and wore slippers around the house, where you start making a pot of rice before your dad gets home." He found it disorienting to go from that home to school, where his Jewish-American friends ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and where waiting in the lunch line yielded a plate piled high with tater tots. "That would never be an acceptable lunch in my house, but it was acceptable when I was outside of my house," he remembers, detailing how much of his childhood he spent trying to reconcile these differences. For the cookbook, "we took this vantage point, and went from there." As in, he challenges, "Can nachos and burgers be in the same book as pad thai?"

The cover of Talde's new cookbook, Asian-American.

'Proudly Inauthentic'

"Growing up, there was something naturally inauthentic about who I was and the circles I ran in," Talde recalls. He remembers overhearing a conversation between his mother and some of her friends on a day she took him to work they were speaking Ilonggo , a dialect of the Philippines, and they stated firmly, "⟚le is not Filipino.'" In that moment, he says, "I started to realize, I feel like I'm Filipino, but I'm not. I'm a stranger everywhere I go. To most of my American friends, I'm from some nondescript Asian culture that they don't even know about. I held onto that for a while and didn't know where I fit in. Until I started to own it."

The idea that authenticity for him could mean a new category (or a combination of things) altogether was freeing, and he wanted that to shine through in the food at his restaurants. "We are a new generation," he explains, and the food he makes is a reflection of that experience. Some disparaged his food, calling it inauthentic fusion, but it didn't bother him: "It's authentic to me, because it's my life. The real question is: Does it taste good?"

Do It for the Memories

Few foods carried as much emotional weight for Talde as fast food. When he was a kid, eating at fast food chains like McDonald's was totally off-limits. At home, "I was eating nose-to-tail before people were talking about things like that." Fast food became a "golden unicorn" that he knew existed but was always just out of reach. Though his father took him to eat fast food sometimes, it wasn’t until he started earning his own money that he ate Wendy’s and McDonald’s by the boatload. He was just so excited about it.

As good as the memories of crazy McDonald's sales where $5 got him 20 nuggets are, he also knows that the actual taste is, in his words, "never really good." What's better? Engineering his own McDonald’s-style nuggets and apple pies that actually taste good—and deliver on the nostalgia front. "It's that chef Peter Pan syndrome," he describes. "We don't want to grow up. If we can recreate those things that make us feel like we can hold onto our youth, we're going to do it."

Talde's take on McDonald's chicken nuggets.

Mickey D’s Chicken Nuggets, Talde-Style

For him, the perfect chicken nugget has to be, first and foremost, moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It's all about the crunch and crackle of the crust. As for the dipping sauces, as long as there are "OPTIONS. PERIOD," he approves. "Honey mustard, barbecue, ranch, hot sauce, buffalo sauce, sweet and sour. Give them all to me."

He and his team at Pork Slope reverse-engineered the McDonald's version "without the weird, crappy, pink chicken slime." Says Talde, "It starts off with really good chicken breast, which people hate on, but the nuggets just don't translate with thigh. We cut it, then marinate it in yogurt and hot sauce. Then we use rice flour in our batter, because it's all about the crunch of the crust." He once tried to take them off the Pork Slope menu and parents almost revolted, "They were like, 'What are you doing? This is the only thing my kid eats,'" he jokes.

Talde's Mickey-D's-style fried apple pie

Apple Pie, But Not at the Golden Arches

“When those things are fresh out of the fryer, they’re, like, the fourth hottest substance on earth: It’s the sun, molten lava, frozen pizza fresh out of the oven, and then this thing,” Talde says.

His take on McDonald's apple pie started when someone on staff (who also runs a bodega) brought in pre-made roti for a family meal at Talde in Brooklyn (the chef's eponymous restaurant, that is). Talde was inspired, remembering, "The dough fried well, it froze well, and was really fantastic when filled. We basically made our own version of a Toaster Strudel."

Better Than the Original

When it comes down to it, Talde just wants to make his present-day versions superior to whatever he ate in hazy, nostalgia-inflected memories. "As good as you think those things were, they were never good. The McRib is terrible it's really just this fond memory I have. The McBao I make now based off of that is so much better than the original bullshit. The idea is always to make it better." French bread pizza and English muffins, watch out—Talde's coming for you next.


Regional Cookbooks 2015: The Northeast

A number of fall cookbooks highlight recipes developed at restaurants and other food purveyors across the Northeast. In September, Philadelphia-based Running Press will release Magpie: Sweets and Savories from Philadelphia&rsquos Favorite Pie Boutique by Holly Ricciardi with Miriam Harris, which showcases sweet and savory pies, quiches, pie shakes, and more&mdashthink ham, leek, and Dijon potpie sour cherry almond strudel and bourbon-infused butterscotch pie.

Kristen Wiewora, senior editor at Running Press, says that copies will be sold not only in bookstores but also &ldquoalongside slices of pie at Magpie&rsquos bricks-and-mortar shop,&rdquo which opened in 2012.

Some 66 years before Magpie opened, Vrest and Ellen Orton started the Vermont Country Store in Weston, Vt. today, millions receive its catalogue, which offers everything from checked blankets and jelly glasses to pantry staples like maple syrup, pancake mix, and preserves. Grand Central Life & Style&rsquos The Vermont Country Store Cookbook: Recipes, History and Lore from the Classic American General Store by Ellen Ecker Ogden and Andrea Diehl, with the Orton Family (Sept.), could benefit from name recognition among a surprising demographic.

&ldquoThe New York Times has written about how the store&rsquos catalogue is the escape catalogue for hipsters in New York and elsewhere,&rdquo says editorial director Karen Murgolo. &ldquoSo the cookbook may appeal to all the Millennials preserving and making candies from scratch.&rdquo

Even if the clichéd New York hipster is canning vegetables and brewing up sourdough starter, restaurant culture remains ingrained in the fabric of New York City life. In September, Rizzoli is releasing City Harvest: 100 Recipes from New York&rsquos Best Restaurants by Florence Fabricant, a cookbook author and food critic for the New York Times. Proceeds benefit the local food distribution charity City Harvest.

Fabricant adapted for the home cook recipes from big names on the N.Y.C. food scene, among them Dominique Ansel, Tom Colicchio, Anita Lo, François Payard, Ivy Stark, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

More Northeast Cookbooks for Fall

50 Great Bed & Breakfasts and Inns: New England by Susan Sulich (Running Press, Aug.). More than 100 recipes&mdashBlock Island baked bluefish and wild Maine blueberry strata, to name two&mdashshowcase the kitchens of B&Bs and inns in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from the Philippines to Brooklyn by Dale Talde, with J.J. Goode (Grand Central Life & Style, Sept.). Talde, a Top Chef alum and owner of the eponymous Park Slope restaurant, puts a signature spin on Asian dishes, whether adding bacon and oysters to pad thai or wrapping pork dumplings in pretzel dough.

The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook: Artisanal Baking from Around the World by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and Julia Turshen (Clarkson Potter, Oct.). Rodriguez founded the N.Y.C. bakery in 2007 with a mission to train foreign-born and low-income women and men for careers in the specialty food industry.

Battersby: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Kitchen by Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern (Grand Central Life & Style, Oct.). From the small (4&rsquo x 6&rsquo) kitchen of this Brooklyn restaurant emerge dishes such as crispy kale salad with Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi, and duck breast with quince and radishes.

Sarabeth&rsquos Good Morning Cookbook: Breakfast, Brunch, and Baking by Sarabeth Levine (Rizzoli, Oct.). Levine, who founded the first Sarabeth&rsquos location on N.Y.C.&rsquos Upper West Side in 1982, offers a collection of more than 130 recipes for dishes that still command lines around the block.

Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman (Clarkson Potter, Oct.). Stupak, owner of New York City&rsquos Empellón Taqueria, showcases traditional and innovative versions of the Mexican staple, from pineapple-topped al pastor to a pastrami with mustard seeds version.


Dale Talde teaches us how to make pretzel dumplings and breakfast ramen

Dale Talde, known for his eponymous Park Slope restaurant Talde (369 7th Ave., Brooklyn), is sharing his culinary secrets.

His new cookbook, “Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from The Philippines to Brooklyn,” contains recipes that established Chef Talde on New York’s vast epicurean map.

From Pad Thai with oysters and bacon to Talde’s iconic Pretzel Pork-and-Chive Dumplings, “Asian-American” may help you skip the notoriously long wait at Talde and recreate your own feast fit for a top chef.

Chef Talde demonstrated two of his most unique, delicious dishes to help guide us with his new cookbook.

Watch him teach us his kitchen tricks and check out the recipes below to re-create Talde deliciousness at home.

“Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from The Philippines to Brooklyn” comes out on September 15 and is available in local bookstores and online.


Dale Talde

Chef Dale Talde has competed twice on Top Chef in season four in Chicago, and season eight, All-Stars in New York City. He also went back to the kitchen to compete on Top Chef Duels. Dale’s passion for cooking began at a young age in his native Chicago where he learned to prepare meals alongside his mother in the kitchen. The proud son of Filipino immigrants, he grew up immersed in his family’s cultural heritage, while also enjoying the life of a typical American kid.

Dale applies this distinct Asian-American experience to his menus and hospitality concepts. His tie to culture and the arts is a strong and subtle thread in all his creations. In September of 2015, Dale’s released his first cookbook, Asian American, to rave reviews. Beyond Asian American food, he has opened and consulted on projects focused on Cantonese cuisine, Japanese cuisine, Italian cuisine, traditional bar and grills, rooftops, and nightclubs. A builder and inventor at heart, he drives the creative process for his company Food Crush Hospitality. In 2019, Dale opened Goosefeather at the Tarrytown House Estate in New York, and in the following year, it was named one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America. One of his upcoming projects includes the opening of Talde Noodle and Dumpling in LaGuardia Airport’s newly renovated Terminal B Headhouse.

He has also competed on Chopped, Iron Chef America, Knife Fight and was also head judge on Knife Fight season 4, as well as guest judge on both Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay. With a strong connection to media, Dale goes beyond creating brick and mortar concepts and writes screenplays, develops show treatments, and builds creative content for social media platforms and more.

Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone (curtisstone.com) is an internationally known chef, TV host, entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author. His philosophy to cook as Mother Nature intended inspires Curtis to keep his recipes simple, using local, seasonal and organic ingredients and allowing the food to speak for itself. Curtis is recognized around the globe for his ability to help home cooks find confidence in the kitchen with delicious, doable recipes and easy cooking techniques.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Curtis first found his passion for food whilst watching his grandmother make her legendary fudge and his mother roast her perfect pork crackling. He quickly learnt to appreciate the beauty of creating -- and eating -- homemade food and cherished the way it brought people together. That early lesson would ultimately become Curtis' ethos and the foundation of his culinary career.

After finishing culinary school, he took a job cooking at the Savoy Hotel in Melbourne before heading to London, where he honed his skills under legendary three-star Michelin genius, Marco Pierre White, at Café Royal, Mirabelle. and the highly revered Quo Vadis.

Curtis opened a multi-functional culinary headquarters in Beverly Hills in January 2014, featuring a test kitchen and his dream, little restaurant, Maude (mauderestaurant.com).

While living in London, Curtis appeared in several UK cooking shows before catching the eye of television producers in Australia. At the age of 27, he became the star of a new cooking series called Surfing the Menu. It was an international hit that led to his first American show, TLC’s Take Home Chef in 2006 -- the same year the blondhaired, blue-eyed young gun was named one of People magazine's Sexiest Men Alive. Curtis broke into US primetime network television with appearances on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, America's Next Great Restaurant and The Biggest Loser. In 2012, Curtis co-hosted Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates and reprised his role as host of the network's popular culinary competition Top Chef Masters, which returned for a fifth season in 2013. In addition to this, Curtis is host of the new edition of the Top Chef franchise, Top Chef Duels, scheduled to air this summer. As a frequent guest since ABC’s The Chew's launch in September 2011, Curtis officially joined the ensemble cast as a regular guest co-host in November 2013.

As the author of five cookbooks, Curtis has shared his culinary know-how with readers around the globe. Surfing the Menu and Surfing the Menu Again (ABC Books 2004, 2005), penned with his friend and fellow Aussie chef Ben O’Donoghue, were followed by Cooking with Curtis (Pavilion 2005), a solo effort that celebrated seasonal fare and brought his chef's expertise down-to-earth for the home cook. Setting out to prove that good food doesn't need to be fussy, Curtis then released Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone: Recipes to Put You in My Favorite Mood (Clarkson Potter 2009).

Curtis launched his fifth cookbook, a New York Times best-seller: What's For Dinner?: Recipes for a Busy Life in April 2013 (Ballantine). His sixth cookbook is set for release in April 2015. Curtis also contributes to a variety of food and lifestyle magazines. He is a food columnist for the wildly popular O Magazine, contributing on a bimonthly basis. His debut column was published in the October 2013 issue.

Curtis developed Kitchen Solutions, a line of sleek and functional cookware, in 2007 after spending thousands of hours with home cooks in their own kitchens. The goal is to bring confidence to the kitchen with tools that help make cooking inspired and effortless. The first chef to debut an eponymous product line at Williams-Sonoma, Curtis has expanded the range to include close to 250 items, which in addition to Williams-Sonoma are available at HSN, Bloomingdales, Dillard's, Chef's Catalog, Belk and fine specialty retailers throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore and Belgium.

Curtis' restaurant Maude (mauderestaurant.com) is the culmination of all his life and career experiences captured into an intimate setting. Curtis always dreamed of opening his own restaurant so when the perfect space in Beverly Hills became available, he jumped at the chance to make it his own. Curtis' passion project Maude, named after his grandmother, offers a market driven, prix-fixe monthly menu designed to create an intimate chef's table experience for the entire dining room, where every seat is within a comfortable distance to the open kitchen. Each month a single ingredient inspires a menu of nine tasting plates, and this celebrated ingredient is creatively woven, to varying degrees, through each course.

Curtis has fostered long-term relationships with charities around the world, including Feeding America in the US and Cottage by the Sea and Make-A-Wish in Australia. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Lindsay Price, two-year-old son, Hudson, and golden retriever Sully. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, gardening, surfing -- and cooking. For Curtis, cooking always brings fun. "There really is no better gift than a home-cooked meal and enjoying a good laugh around the table."

Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as permanent judge on Bravo’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef, currently in its 18th season. She is also the host of the upcoming series Top Chef Amateurs, giving talented home cooks the opportunity of a lifetime to test their skills in the illustrious Top Chef kitchen. A familiar face in the Top Chef franchise, she served as head critic on Top Chef Masters, hosted Top Chef Just Desserts and was a judge on Universal Kids’ Top Chef Jr. Gail hosts Iron Chef Canada and was co-host of The Feed on FYI.

Her first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, was released by Grand Central Publishing in October 2017. Nominated for an IACP award for Best General Cookbook, it features accessible recipes and smart techniques inspired by Gail’s world travels. Gail’s first book, a memoir titled Talking With My Mouth Full, was published by Hyperion in February 2012.

From 2004 to 2019 Gail was Special Projects Director at Food & Wine magazine. During her tenure she wrote a monthly column, helped create the video series #FWCooks and worked closely with the country’s top culinary talent on events and chef-related initiatives, including overseeing the annual F&W Classic in Aspen, America’s premier culinary event. Prior to working at Food & Wine, Gail was the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Gail moved to New York City in 1999 to attend culinary school at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education. She then trained in the kitchens of legendary Le Cirque 2000 and groundbreaking Vong restaurants and worked as the assistant to Vogue's esteemed food critic, Jeffrey Steingarten.

In 2014, Gail and her business partner Samantha Hanks, founded Bumble Pie Productions, an original content company dedicated to discovering and promoting new female voices in the food and lifestyle space. Their first series, Star Plates—a collaboration with Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films and Authentic Entertainment—premiered in Fall 2016 on the Food Network.

In addition, Gail is a weekly contributor to The Dish On Oz and makes frequent appearances on NBC’s TODAY, ABC’s Good Morning America, and the Rachael Ray Show, among others. She has been featured in publications such as People, New York Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by the New York Post.

In February 2013, Gail was appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Babson College, a mentoring role where she works with student entrepreneurs, helping them develop food-related social enterprises. In April 2016, she received the Award of Excellence by Spoons Across America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating children about the benefits of healthy eating. She is an active board member and supporter of City Harvest, Hot Bread Kitchen, Common Threads, and the Institute of Culinary Education.

Gail currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy and their children, Dahlia and Kole.

Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson returns as a judge for for the twelfth season of Top Chef as a series judge. A competitor on Top Chef Duels as a series judge. A competitor on Top Chef Masters Season 3, Hugh is the chef/owner of Five & Ten, The National, Cinco y Diez, Empire State South and The Florence. In addition, Acheson also serves as a series judge on Bravo's newest culinary competition series, Top Chef Duels.

Born and raised in Ottawa, Canada Hugh started cooking at a young age and decided to make it his career. At age 15, he began working in restaurants after school and learning as much as possible. Today, Hugh's experience includes working under Chef Rob MacDonald where he learned stylized French cuisine, wine and etiquette at the renowned Henri Burger restaurant in Ottawa as well as in San Francisco as the chef de cuisine with Chef Mike Fennelly at Mecca, and later as opening sous-chef with famed Chef Gary Danko at his namesake restaurant.

Taking these experiences, Hugh developed a style of his own forging together the beauty of the South with the flavors of Europe and opening the critically acclaimed Athens, GA, restaurant Five & Ten in March of 2000. Hugh went on to open The National, with fellow chef Peter Dale, in 2007. His Atlanta-based restaurant Empire State South opened in 2010 and most recently, in 2014 Hugh opened both Cinco y Diez, in Athens, and The Florence in Savannah.

Hugh's fresh approach to Southern food has earned him a great deal of recognition including Food & Wine's Best New Chef (2002), the AJC Restaurant of the Year (2007), a 2007 Rising Star from StarChefs.com and winner of their Mentor Award in 2012, and a six-time James Beard nominee for Best Chef Southeast (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012) and winner in 2012. Chef Mario Batali chose Hugh as one of the 100 contemporary chefs in Phaidon Press' Coco: 10 World Leading Master Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs.

In addition to running three restaurants, Hugh has published two cookbooks. His first, titled A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for your Kitchen, was published by Clarkson Potter in the fall of 2011 and won the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook in 2012. His second, titled Pick a Pickle: 50 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes and Fermented Snacks came out in the spring of 2014. He is in the process of writing his third, which is due out in 2015.

Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck

The name Wolfgang Puck is synonymous with the best of restaurant hospitality and the ultimate in all aspects of the culinary arts. The famous chef has built an empire that encompasses three separate Wolfgang Puck entities: Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Catering, and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.

Puck began cooking at his mother's side as a child. She was a chef in the Austrian town where he was born, and with her encouragement, Wolfgang began his formal training at 14 years of age. As a young chef he worked in some of France's greatest restaurants, including Maxim's in Paris, the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, and the Michelin 3-starred L'Oustau de Baumanière in Provence. At the age of 24, Wolfgang took the advice of a friend and left Europe for the United States. His first job was at the restaurant La Tour in Indianapolis, where he worked from 1973 to 1975.

Wolfgang came to Los Angeles in 1975 and very quickly garnered the attention of the Hollywood elite as chef and eventually part owner of Ma Maison in West Hollywood. His dynamic personality and culinary brilliance that bridged tradition and invention made Ma Maison a magnet for the rich and famous, with Wolfgang as the star attraction. He had an innate understanding of the potential for California cuisine, and was pivotal in its rise to national attention during the late 1970s.

From Ma Maison, Wolfgang went on to create his first flagship restaurant, Spago, originally located in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip. From its opening day in 1982, Spago was an instant success and culinary phenomenon. His early signature dishes, such as haute cuisine pizzas topped with smoked salmon and caviar, and Sonoma baby lamb with braised greens and rosemary, put him and Spago on the gourmet map, not just in Los Angeles but throughout the world. Wolfgang and Spago earned many accolades during its popular 18 years in West Hollywood, including winning the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Chef of the Year, twice, in 1991 and 1998, and the James Beard Foundation Award for Restaurant of the Year in 1994. Wolfgang is the only chef to have won the Outstanding Chef of the Year Award two times.

In 1983, following the success of Spago, Puck went on to open Chinois on Main in Santa Monica. His early exposure to Southern California's multicultural population intrigued him, inspiring him to fuse the Asian flavors and products of Koreatown, Chinatown, and Thaitown with his French- and California-based cuisine in a fine dining setting. Chinois on Main brought diners a fresh and imaginative Asian-fusion menu that laid the groundwork for fusion cooking in America.

In 1989, Wolfgang opened his third restaurant, Postrio, in the Prescott Hotel off San Francisco's Union Square. Postrio also draws upon the multi-ethnic nature of its surroundings. Its contemporary American cuisine, with its emphasis on local ingredients, continues to draw rave reviews in Northern California's highly competitive culinary market.

In 1997, Wolfgang moved Spago to an elegant setting on Cañon Drive in Beverly Hills. His Beverly Hills menu blazed new ground, with a combination of updated Spago classics and newly conceived items created by the award-winning talents of Managing Partner/Executive Chef Lee Hefter and Executive Pastry Chef Sherry Yard. The seasonal menu also draws from Wolfgang's favorite childhood dishes, offering a selection of Austrian specialties such as Wienerschnitzel and Kaiserschmarren. Spago Beverly Hills recently garnered two coveted Michelin Stars, one of only three Los Angeles restaurants to achieve this accolade.

In 2006, Wolfgang opened CUT, a sleek, contemporary steakhouse at the acclaimed Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel. After only one year, CUT earned a prestigious Michelin star. Wolfgang has changed the way Americans cook and eat by mixing formal French techniques and Asian- and California-influenced aesthetics with the highest quality ingredients. He also has changed the face of dining in cities throughout the nation, first in Los Angeles, then in Las Vegas, where he was the first star chef to create a contemporary fine dining restaurant, paving the way for other celebrated chefs and the city's metamorphosis into a dining destination.

After opening Spago in the Forum Shops at Caesars in 1992, Wolfgang went on to open five additional restaurants including Chinois in the Forum Shops at Caesars in 1998, Postrio at The Venetian and Trattoria del Lupo in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in 1999, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at MGM Grand in 2004 and CUT at The Palazzo in 2008.

Since 2001, Wolfgang and his Fine Dining Group have opened restaurants across the United States from Atlantic City (Wolfgang Puck American Grille at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in 2006) to Maui (Spago at the Four Seasons Resort in 2001). These also include The Source in Washington, DC (2007), Wolfgang Puck Grille at MGM Grand Detroit (2007), Spago at The Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Colorado (2007), Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck at Reunion Tower in Dallas (2009) and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill at L.A. Live (2009).

Antonia Lofaso

Antonia Lofaso

Best known for her role on Top Chef Season 4, Antonia Lofaso is one of America's most loved chefs and shows off her culinary skills with her feisty Italian personality on Top Chef: All Stars.

Most recently Lofaso has gone from television personality to business owner and is currently executive chef and owner of Black Market in Studio City, California. Fans of her restaurant on the west side can now experience her creations closer to home as her brand new restaurant Scopa currently opened its doors in Venice, California.

With a lifelong passion for cooking, Lofaso chased her dreams and has managed to balance her busy career with being a single parent. She shares her secrets and tips in her book The Busy Mom's Cookbook re-released in paperback.

Lofaso attended the prestigious French Culinary Institute, and upon graduating was hired at Beverly Hills' best known restaurant, Wolfgang Puck's Spago. Under the mentorship of Executive Chef Lee Hefter, Lofaso refined her skills and technique, and spent six years working at the famed L.A. hotspot. After mastering the cuisine at Spago, Lofaso made the difficult decision to leave and pursue a new adventure. Within weeks, she was hired by SBE to run the kitchen at their new upscale L.A. supper club, Foxtail. Upon starting her new role at Foxtail, Lofaso's career encountered a monumental boom when Bravo came calling and recruited her for Season 4 of its highly acclaimed cooking competition show Top Chef. In addition to her restaurant and television experience, Lofaso can also include private chef to some of Hollywood's biggest stars in her repertoire.

She currently resides in Los Angeles with her daughter Xea.

Art Smith

Art Smith

Returning to Top Chef Masters, Chef Art Smith is the executive chef and co-owner of five restaurants, including Table fifty-two, Art and Soul, LYFE Kitchen, Southern Art, and Joanne Tratorria. Once day-to-day chef to Oprah Winfrey, the two-time James Beard Award recipient has made regular television appearances on programs such as Iron Chef America, The Today Show, Nightline, Fox News, Extra, BBQ Pitmasters, Dr. Oz, Oprah, Top Chef, and Top Chef Masters. A contributing editor to O, the Oprah Magazine, Smith is also the author of three award-winning cookbooks: Back to the Table Kitchen Life: Real Food for Real Families and Back to the Family. In addition to food, philanthropy is one of Art’s passions. In 2007 he received the Humanitarian of the year award from the James Beard Foundation. After watching himself on Top Chef Masters Season 1 and being diagnosed with diabetes, Smith underwent a complete transformation and dropped 100 pounds. Smith now watches what he eats -- six small meals a day -- and has run multiple marathons.

Brooke Williamson

Brooke Williamson

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Brooke Williamson has carved out an impressive résumé of leading roles and achievements, including being the youngest female chef to ever cook at the James Beard House, winning Top Chef Season 14 in Charleston, and most recently, being crowned the first winner of Tournament of Champions in spring 2020. Brooke was the runner up on Top Chef season 10 in Seattle and also competed on Top Chef Duels.

Brooke began her career as a teacher’s assistant at the Epicurean Institute of Los Angeles, followed by her first kitchen position as a pastry assistant at Fenix at the Argyle Hotel, under the tutelage of Michelin-starred Chef Ken Frank. Next, she worked her way up to sous chef at Chef Michael McCarty’s Michael’s of Santa Monica. She later staged at the renowned Daniel restaurant by Daniel Boulud in New York City. Two years later, Williamson was appointed her first executive chef position at the notable Los Angeles restaurant Boxer. Then, she opened the Brentwood eatery Zax as Executive Chef, where she began to develop her signature California-inspired cuisine and met her husband and business partner, Nick Roberts.

In 2014, the couple debuted a unique four-in-one-concept, Playa Provisions, featuring a grab-and-go marketplace, King Beach an artisanal ice cream shop, Small Batch a seafood dining spot, Dockside and an intimate whiskey bar, Grain.

Brooke works alongside Roberts creating new menus and running the front and back of house, takes her chef talents on the road to local and national food events and festivals, and regularly participates in philanthropic efforts with No Kid Hungry.

Chris "CJ" Jacobson

Chris "CJ" Jacobson

Orange County-born C.J. Jacobson grew up relatively indifferent to food but his rich life experiences eventually converged to create an intense dedication to cooking. His craft is best described as "rustic-refined" and revolves around a profound respect for the hyper-seasonal, local ingredients he brings into his kitchen at Girasol in Studio City, CA, which he conceptually collaborated on with Jorge Pultera, former manager at The Ivy, Koi and Red O.

Jacobson has always been one for a good competition, even before starring on Top Chef. He attended Pepperdine University in Malibu on a volleyball scholarship, made the U.S. National Volleyball Team, and just missed an opportunity to compete in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. But a professional volleyball career took him to Belgium, Israel, and the Netherlands, where he discovered food could be exciting and inspiring. Returning to L.A. after his volleyball career, Jacobson did a three-day immersion at Mélisse, the Michelin two-star restaurant in Santa Monica where he realized the kitchen would be the next arena in which he would compete. He enrolled at the Le Cordon Bleu-affiliated College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, graduating in 2004. Jacobson's first professional job was cooking at Axe, a highly regarded restaurant with an ingredient-driven California menu. He went on to work throughout Los Angeles and as a private chef for VIPs such as Arianna Huffington and Guess clothing's Marciano family.

A bout with cancer didn't slow Jacobson down but fueled his intensity for cooking and love of life. After his first appearance on Top Chef in 2007, he assumed the position of executive chef at The Yard, a gastropub in Venice. The following year, Jacobson participated in the renowned James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour. In 2012, he staged at the world-renowned Copenhagen restaurant Noma.

When he's not in the kitchen, Jacobson enjoys music and has recently rediscovered his passion for the game of volleyball. But leisure time is scarce, as the dedicated 37-year-old chef is consumed by the study and preparation of food.

Dale Talde

Dale Talde

Chef Dale Talde has competed twice on Top Chef in season four in Chicago, and season eight, All-Stars in New York City. He also went back to the kitchen to compete on Top Chef Duels. Dale’s passion for cooking began at a young age in his native Chicago where he learned to prepare meals alongside his mother in the kitchen. The proud son of Filipino immigrants, he grew up immersed in his family’s cultural heritage, while also enjoying the life of a typical American kid.

Dale applies this distinct Asian-American experience to his menus and hospitality concepts. His tie to culture and the arts is a strong and subtle thread in all his creations. In September of 2015, Dale’s released his first cookbook, Asian American, to rave reviews. Beyond Asian American food, he has opened and consulted on projects focused on Cantonese cuisine, Japanese cuisine, Italian cuisine, traditional bar and grills, rooftops, and nightclubs. A builder and inventor at heart, he drives the creative process for his company Food Crush Hospitality. In 2019, Dale opened Goosefeather at the Tarrytown House Estate in New York, and in the following year, it was named one of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants in America. One of his upcoming projects includes the opening of Talde Noodle and Dumpling in LaGuardia Airport’s newly renovated Terminal B Headhouse.

He has also competed on Chopped, Iron Chef America, Knife Fight and was also head judge on Knife Fight season 4, as well as guest judge on both Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay. With a strong connection to media, Dale goes beyond creating brick and mortar concepts and writes screenplays, develops show treatments, and builds creative content for social media platforms and more.

David Burke

David Burke

Blurring the lines between chef, artist, entrepreneur and inventor, David Burke is one of the leading pioneers in American cooking today. His fascination with ingredients and the art of the meal has fueled a thirty-year career marked by creativity, critical acclaim and the introduction of revolutionary products and cooking techniques. His passion for food and for the restaurant industry shows no signs of slowing down.

Burke graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and soon thereafter traveled to France where he completed several stages with notable chefs such as Pierre Troisgros, Georges Blanc and Gaston Lenôtre. Burke's mastery of French culinary technique was confirmed when, at age 26, he won France's coveted Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d'Honneur for unparalleled skill and creativity with his native cuisine. Burke returned to the U.S. as a sous chef for Waldy Malouf at La Cremaillere and then for Charlie Palmer at The River Café, where he ascended to executive chef and earned three stars from The New York Times.

In 1992, Burke opened the Park Avenue Café with Smith & Wollensky CEO Alan Stillman, and then, in 1996, he became vice president of culinary development for the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. Burke has been honored with Japan's Nippon Award of Excellence, the Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence and the CIA's August Escoffier Award. Nation's Restaurant News named Burke one of the 50 Top R&D Culinarians and Time Out New York honored him as the "Best Culinary Prankster" in 2003. In May 2009, Burke was inducted into the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation. In that same month, he also won the distinctive Menu Masters award from Nation's Restaurant News, naming him one of the nation"s most celebrated culinary innovators.

In February 2012, Burke was honored by the culinary school at Johnson & Wales University with the Distinguished Visiting Chef Award, which is given to the world's most influential and celebrated chefs. In November 2012, he was named Restaurateur of the Year by the New Jersey Restaurant Association. In the same month, he was honored with a Concierge Choice Award, celebrating the best in New York City hospitality, winning the best chef award. In 2013, Burke was nominated to "Best Chefs America," a new benchmark in American cooking whereby chefs name the peers who are the most inspiring and impressive in the business. In 2013, the David Burke Group was recognized by Restaurant Hospitality magazine as having one of the "Coolest Multiconcept Companies in the Land." The article highlights restaurant corporations with an enviable business concept that others can't wait to replicate. In addition, it cites the numerous incarnations of Chef Burke's creative vision, from David Burke Townhouse to David Burke Fishtail, from Burke in the Box to David Burke's Primehouse.

Chef Burke's vast talents have been showcased recently on television, including season two of Top Chef Masters, a guest spot on the Every Day with Rachael Ray show and as a mentor to Breckenridge Bourbon distiller Bryan Nolt on Bloomberg's small-business television series The Mentor. In 2013, he returned to season five of Top Chef Masters.

Burke's visibility as a celebrity chef has also led to consultant positions with hotels, cruise lines and food experts. Most recently, he was invited to join the Holland America Line Culinary Council alongside renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and Elizabeth Falkner. In this capacity, Burke will consult on the cruise line's culinary initiatives, including the Culinary Arts Center enrichment program, and provide signature recipes which will be featured on all 15 ships. In 2003, Burke teamed up with Donatella Arpaia to open davidburke & donatella (now known as David Burke Townhouse, of which he has sole ownership). In 2005 came David Burke at Bloomingdale's, a dual-concept restaurant offering both a full service Burke Bar Café on one side and a Burke in the Box eat-in concept on the other.

In 2006 Burke opened up David Burke’s Primehouse in The James Hotel Chicago. His restaurant collection continued to grow that same year when he purchased culinary career began under founders Markus and Hubert Peter. His next ventures included David Burke Prime at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and David Burke Fishtail in Manhattan, both of which opened in 2008. In February 2011, he opened David Burke Kitchen at The James Hotel New York in SoHo, bringing his signature whimsical style to downtown Manhattan.

In 2013, Burke made great strides in expanding his restaurant empire and enhancing his partnerships with other reputable companies. In the summer of 2013, he opened Burke's Bacon Bar in the James Hotel Chicago, a high-end sandwich and "to-go" concept featuring artisan and top-notch bacons from around the country. BBB features Burke's signature "Handwiches" -- palm-sized sandwiches packed with creative combinations of fresh ingredients -- as well as salads and sweets, all featuring bacon, in some form, as an ingredient. In 2014, Burke will bring his SoHo concept, David Burke Kitchen, which features modern takes on farmhouse cuisine, to the ski resort town of Aspen, Colorado.

During his tenure at The River Café, Burke began experimenting with interesting ingredients and cooking techniques. His first culinary innovations, including Pastrami Salmon (now available through Acme Smoked Fist), flavored oils and tuna tartare, revolutionized gastronomic technique. During his 12-year period at the Park Avenue Café, Burke created GourmetPops, ready-to-serve cheesecake lollipops. His Can o' Cake concept, where cake is mixed, baked and eaten from a portable tin, is used throughout his restaurants. Most recently, he teamed with 12NtM to create two non-alcoholic sparkling beverages, available in gourmet retailers such as Whole Foods and at his New York locations. Additionally, Burke is actively involved with culinology, an approach to food that blends the culinary arts and food technology. To that end, he is the chief culinary advisor to the Skinny Eats line of flavor-enhancing produtts.

In 2011, Burke received the ultimate honor presented to inventors: a United States patent. It was awarded to him for the unique process by which he uses pink Himalayan salt to dry-age his steaks. Burke lines the walls of his dry-aging room with brickes of the alt, which imparts a subtle flavor to the beef and renders it incredibly tender. Burke's steaks can be dry-aged for anywhere from 28 to 55, 75, or even as long as 100 days using this process.

Burke's first cookbook, Cooking with David Burke, and his second, David Burke's New American Classics launched in April 2006. He is currently working on his third book, due out in 2015.


Watch the video: Chef Dale Taldes Delicious Destination in New Jersey. Open House TV (May 2022).