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February 2013

COOK Masters Program: Hooked on Fish with Pierre Calmels of Bibou

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“I don’t serve chicken or salmon at Bibou,” says Chef Pierre Calmels of his tiny jewel of a restaurant on 8th Street. “I want to challenge my guests a bit more, and if I put those on my menu, people will probably order them. Then all the other interesting dishes I’ve prepared will be left over, un-eaten and un-tried. The closest I’ll go is game birds, or maybe a rooster, and possibly some arctic char.”

This very excellent policy leaves room on the menu for plenty of fish dishes: two in the winter, three in the summer. Clearly, Chef Calmels loves fish, his favorites being fresh anchovies and sardines, in that order, and oily, silvery blue beauties like mackerel—sure signs of a fish lover. Every morning he heads down to Samuels & Son to select his catch personally, rather than ordering by phone: “That way, if I don’t like the look of something, I don’t have to take it; I just pick something better. It’s worth 45 minutes of my day to go there personally to get the best product.”

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COOK Masters Program: “Nuts, Beans, Grains, and Seeds” with Katie Cavuto-Boyle

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There are plenty of reasons to eat: hunger, taste, comfort, aesthetic experience, to be social, to celebrate, or maybe even out of anxiety or compulsion, but the one reason we often forget about is the simplest of all — NUTRITION! We eat to give our bodies and minds the energy and nutrients they need to function and renew themselves. That’s what chef, nutritionist, and registered dietician Katie Cavuto Boyle is all about — nutrition, and how to get it into you.

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COOK Masters Program: The Sweet Technique of Christina Diekewicz

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“What do you call a chef who only knows how to cook with four ingredients…?”

“A PASTRY chef!” (Ha ha! Ba dum, ching! Ahem…)

But seriously, it’s amazing how many different directions you can take a few simple ingredients, and nobody knows this better than pastry chefs. How do they get such stunning results, such fineness and variety, with just sugar, eggs, butter, flour and a few other odds and ends? The answer, I’d say, is “technique.” While all cooking requires some kind of technique, pastry is really, truly about technique.

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Keeping It Kosher: A Look Back at Bubby’s Cook Off

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For the past few wintry weeks, I’ve been reminiscing about my mom’s home cooking. Coming from an Israeli/European/Jewish home, I yearn for a rather specific variety of comfort food–one that is hard to find around this area. So when I found out that COOK owner Audrey Claire Taichman was going to be one of the judges at an all-kosher Jewish cooking competition I was very excited. It was as if someone had heard my prayers and decided to create this event with the sole purpose of satisfying my own personal hunger.

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