Gluten-Free EASY EATS Magazine Summer Issue (my feature!)

HOORAY for the launch of Easy Eats Magazine’s current summer issue!!!

I feel so fortunate to be on the editorial staff of this amazing publication, headed up by Edit0r-in-Chief Silvana Nardone, who not only is an amazing chef and sharp editorial eye, but who has also taught me (by example) how to delegate responsibility, trust the talents of others, live creatively and just chill the heck out about the details.

My feature in the summer issue – a profile of Red Bee Honey Farm and 4 original gluten-free, honey-based recipes.

My feature in this issue is on Red Bee Honey Farm in Weston, CT. Between running back and forth to the Hamptons for my chef gig and managing my family’s business in Wilton, CT, I was able to catch a few minutes with owner / beekeeper Marina and steal some fun tidbits on what makes local honey so delicious. I was sold, immediately. I started noticing the different hues and flavors of the delicious honeys of the northeast, and stopped raising an eyebrow at the extensive prices.

More than anything, this new attention has changed the way I cook with honey. From something as simple as whisking a bit of clover or blueberry honey with some fresh lemon, mint leaves and bourbon to choosing which honey I want to focus in my dairy-free Honeybun Ice Cream.. I’ve been converted.

There are many reasons to become a subscriber to this ridiculously affordable, high-quality publication. So if you’ve got an extra dime and like good food… go for it.

Or if you wanna skip to the preview version of my article, head here.

Or for my four super-sweet featured recipes, check out my dairy-free Honeybun ice cream, roasted strawberry salad dressing, Sesame Honey chicken marinade and Lemon Honey Cranberry Granola Bars.

Or, if none of those ideas floats your boat, wrap your arms around yourself, squeeze and smile.

Why not, right?


– Jacqueline

I Chat With: Doug Quint of Big Gay Ice Cream


I’m way super psyched that this morning my first ice cream interview comes out on Serious Eats NY. On a gorgeous day in Union Square I had a fun and absurd talk with Doug Quint of Big Gay Ice Cream. My editor told me it put a smile on his face from start to finish. I like my editor. Hi Max.

As I prepare food for my the family I work for to eat on my days off, seeing another interview go live pumps me up for returning to Manhattan and sitting with a few more awesome people – first Anita Lo, who I am incredibly excited to sit with. And then George Mendes, a fellow Portuguese chef who I can’t wait to brain-pick.

As I type at my iPad in my work kitchen, pondering what food I’m making today, I’m feeling very much at peace. I am exhausted from a long weekend of cooking for many people. But they were all lovely people, and I feel like I’m starting to get good at my job, finally settling into my skin with it. I’m going home to a good man who I really care about who is making ME an insane dinner tonight. And I’m celebrating turning 31 this week with my wonderful family, my dearest friends, and sustainable health. I am much happier right now than at this time last year, when turning 30 felt significant but hard. For the first time in my life I feel – naturally and fully – an adult. It was a weird realization… But a comfortable one.

So, enough reflection…

Go check out my interview with Doug on Serious Eats NY, to start your day off on a happy note.

From the water in Amagansett, happy Monday,

I Chat With Chef Markus Jernmark and a Missed Milk Bar Monday!

Last night at around 9pm I sat down on the floor in my office at my dad’s house – empty and dark and quiet – and cried for about five minutes.

Life is just… full… right now.

I love everything I get to do… almost. But evidently it’s catching up with me. I cried for another 40 or so seconds today.

I need sleep. Everything is more dramatic when you’re sleep deprived.

I have a feeling more than 27 of you out there understand.

I picked 27 because it’s the first number that came to mind. No further reason.

Anyway, two fun things are out in the world today.

The first, my We Chat With… interview with Marcus Jernmark of Aquavit in NYC is out today on Serious Eats NY. I loved sitting down with Chef Marcus, and once again found myself rejuvenated and motivated by someone’s passion, dedication and sense of humor in the chaotic field of food. And his plates are seriously gorgeous and you want to eat them immediately – two things that don’t always go hand in hand in NYC nowadays. And look at that smile! Nice, nice guy. Click on the image to be directed to the interview. They come out Monday mornings, all by yours truly.

Chef Marcus Jermark, photo Brent Herrig Photography

The second, my Milk Bar Mondays ladies! I haven’t had enough days off to make the deliciously lengthy Christina Tosi Milk Bar creation for this week, which makes my heart sad. This week Audra of The Baker Chic and Erin of Big Fat Baker made a Sweet Corn Cereal Milk Ice Cream Pie that is about to set me into a third round of tears, it looks so good and I wish I had a gluten-dairy-free version waiting for me RIGHT NOW! I even bought the ingredients two weeks ago, then didn’t have a day to make the recipe. Sniff. Check out these beauties (and click the images to be directed to their sites). Only 2 of 6 of us posted this week… I have good feelings about the next one.  I hate missing this swap. But what can you do?

From Audra of The Baker Chic

From host Erin of Big Fat Baker

Now I’m back to balancing books, driving, transcribing, researching, chatting, eating and, always, inevitably, cooking.

Happy Monday folks,

– Jacqueline

Thai Basil Daiquiri from Dave Arnold of Booker and Dax

This is Dave Arnold of NYC’s Booker and Dax, a Momofuku creation on 2nd Ave. I interviewed Dave for my We Chat With… column on Serious Eats, NY. As he whipped this baby up – perfectly chilled and bright with Thai basil – he told me how we could recreate it quite similarly at home. Within a week, my photographer Brent was slugging them down and I was still thirsty for another one. A week later at the mess of the Great Googa Mooga festival, Booker and Dax mixologist Tristan Willey pour liquid nitrogen on the ground and passed a plastic container with the bright green concoction the small crowd in their VIP tent; after fighting for food and finagling profile and plate shots out of busy chefs, it was liquid perfection.

Head to Serious Drinks for Dave and Tristan’s recipe.

And if you’re in NYC, I’ll most likely be stopping in at Booker and Dax tomorrow night.


I Chat With: Chef Alain Ducasse

Chef Alain Ducasse – photo Brent Herrig Photography

Um, there’s something about being in Chef Alain Ducasse’s presence, if only for a few seconds (which is pretty much all I had). It’s like seeing Jacques Pepin or Julia Child – they look pretty much exactly like you expect them to – a perfect cut-out of the icon you’ve seen on TV or book jackets. I don’t have  chef crushes. I don’t get starstruck. I do, however, extremely appreciate what some unique individuals have offered to the world.

I literally spoke to Chef Ducasse for a polite few seconds in a lush back room at Adour after Brent had gotten his shots. Our interview was done remotely, as Chef Ducasse is constantly shuttled from one event, class, restaurant, book tour or shoot to another. But I’m still wowed by the results of the interview, out on Serious Eats New York today.

Bon Appetite.

I Chat With… Some Really Awesome Chefs

In case I haven’t barreled you over the head about it enough, one of my favorite gigs is interviewing NYC-based chefs for Serious Eats NY. From the lauded and prestigious Daniel Humm at Eleven Madison Park to the oh-so-New-York Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shops to the super-sweet pastry chef Stephen Collucci at Colicchio and Sons, I find so much inspiration and fun in these discussions!

So here are the past few weeks of interviews. You can also check out the whole series on my Words… page. If you have a few leisurely minutes of computer reading time ahead, I hope you enjoy seeing how we get food done in good ol’ NYC. Click on the images to be directed to the interviews.

Kenny Callagan of Blue Smoke, and this week’s Big Apple Barbecue Block Party (photo Joshua Bousel)

Alex Stupak, owner of Empellon Cocina and Empellon Taqueria (photo Brent Herrig)

Harold Dieterle, Owner of Perilla and Kin Shop (photo Brent Herrig)

Grasshopper Pie for Milk Bar Mondays!

The Baker Chick’s Grasshopper Pie

It’s a rainy day in NYC, and I’m in a melancholy mood. Last night I helped one of my favorite people in the entire world – the man who lives(d) upstairs from me, who I’ve spent several days a week with making good food and drinking excellent wine until far too late in the morning, whose chef position I’ve now taken over and whose shoes I’m frantically trying to fill – do the final cleaning on his now-empty apartment. I hugged and kissed him goodbye as he got into a truck to drive to Denver. We’ll see each other in August, but the  summer of working 14 hours a day in the Hamptons and then drinking wine on the beach beside his empty chair is going to make it feel like a long one.

I’ve got Nina singing “my man is gone now… ain’t no use in listenin’ for his tired footsteps, comin’ down the stairs”.

Despite housing 8 million people, New York City can be lonely when you’ve got a heavy heart. This man pulled so many good people into his home simply with generosity, a huge heart, and a love of good food and drink. Last night one of our makeshift family said, “it’s the end of an era”. So many of us have gathered at his apartment multiple times a week, and seemingly at random – we’ve woven in and out of each other’s lives, and know that our weekly meetings will now, most likely, be yearly ones. There were four apartments of friends in my building. Now there are three. In such a big city situations like ours, where you have keys to each other’s apartments, walk each other’s dogs, bring someone dinner while they work at their desk, and can paddle from an empty apartment to a full one in bare feet and sweatpants, is rare. Forging those connections without having known each other prior to moving into that building… exceptionally rare.

Sorry, it’s a rainy day, I’m waxing on and on.

Point being, I’m missing another incredible Milk Bar Mondays swap because a bunch of things got me to the point where I was grocery shopping like mad too last minute, and couldn’t find the gluten and dairy-free ingredients to adapt this week’s recipe. Which stinks, because it looks amazing. I’ve spent the past two weeks trying to fill my buddy’s big chef’s crocs, and spending as much time by his side watching how he cooks, clinking glasses and staying up far too late, not wanting to leave. I haven’t blogged my own recipe on this site in almost a month, and am barely keeping up with Easy Eats and my Serious Eats interviews! Life is insane, and lovely, and full of goodness. I just have to figure out how to juggle it all.

So, until I do please check out Nicole’s recipe and links at Sweet Peony. And revel in the beauteousness of this Milk Bar Monday recipe.

Soon, I’ll be back in dusty baking style. Soon.


I Chat With: Chef Alex Stupak

“So if it takes me ten or fifteen or twenty years or I never get to it, at least I’m trying to do it. I’m trying to reach for something that’s very far away.”

There are many things that make me curious:

People – in general.

Food – in general.

People – hard-working and humble ones, particularly.

Food – that is nourishing, creative, and well-thought out, specifically.

In doing my research about Chef Alex Stupak I read some rather bracing things: some writers and NYC eaters seemed to take his leaving wd-5o – where he was a highly acclaimed pastry chef – far too personally and rather irately. In my opinion Stupak dealt with the drama with much patience and class, putting his head down and working his ass off to build a restaurant in a cuisine (Mexican) that he was still studying. Yes, his opinions may read as ego-driven. But I saw very little ego in this chef.

We live in a world in which accomplishment in one’s field often comes with a level of social responsibility – to comment, to tweet, to sit down with inquisitive people such as myself and answer questions that could easily remain in the kitchen. Our world is smaller than it used to be. It’s harder to hide behind an apron.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, only that I feel fortunate to get to sit with some of the most admirable chefs in the city, to satiate my curiosity on what makes them excited about the food I get to eat.

Go to Serious Eats NY for my interview with Chef Alex Stupak.

Next week: Chef Harold Dieterle

I Chat With: Dave Arnold of Booker and Dax

Dave Arnold, perfectly chilling a coupe with liquid nitrogen, photo Brent Herrig

When I was a sophomore in high school, I foolishly decided to skip biology and go straight into chemistry: why they let me do so is a mystery. All I knew was that, if I worked my ass off and passed, I wouldn’t have to take any more science classes in high school. I’m good with words, not numbers. And so for that long year I scraped my way by and ended up with a C+, an uncommon grade in my book. But I passed.

Fast forward about 14 years and I’m watching Dave Arnold spin molasses in a centrifuge and hold up some sorta refractometer thing to his eye to check the separation level of blah blah blah. I am so curious about the science behind food, but it’s gotta be slowed way down for me to be able to understand it at such a level. Yes Dave insists what he’s doing is not science, “really, it’s just cooking”.

Right, Dave.

What follows the spinning centrifuge is the most fun interview I’ve done to date. And when I sip on one of Booker and Dax’s most simple cocktails – a classic Manhattan served in a perfectly-chilled bottle alongside the coupe – I don’t care about all that science stuff, anyway. Which is partially what Dave intended.

Head to Serious Eats NY for the interview. And then get to Booker and Dax for something scrumptious.

I Chat With: Chef Jehangir Mehta of Graffiti and Mehtaphor

Chef Jehangir Mehta at Mehtaphor, Photo Brent Herrig

Over some red wine and chicken satay, I chatted with Chef Jehangir Mehta about his passions, the state of Indian food and chefs in NYC, and the difference between an allergy and a fad. For a chef with so much on his plate – he’s been on the Food Network for several Iron Chef incarnations, has two restaurants, two kids, a book, a catering company and a smathering of classes – Chef Mehta is extremely focused and enthusiastic during our time together.

As Brent and I leave the restaurant, we turn a corner to be met with Chef coming out a side door – he had offered to let us sample an appetizer we had been talking about, and we had left without trying it. I went back inside to a raw oyster sprinkled with Pop Rocks and grapefruit granita. As this crazy explosion of flavors, sound and sensation took over every crevice of my mouth, I couldn’t help by smile and laugh, while Chef Mehta described how he wanted to bring back that childlike excitement of a day on the beach and the thrill of thunderous, crashing waves.

Well done, Chef, well done.

This meeting was one for my column We Chat With… on Serious Eats NY. The series has sat me down at a table across from some of NYC’s most celebrated chefs and creators.

For the full interview, head over to Serious Eats NY.


%d bloggers like this: