a trip to new york with samsung

samsung club de chefs

This past week, Samsung flew me out to New York as part of their Club de Chefs collaboration. I had the opportunity to preview some amazing appliances at the Samsung Living Atelier (like a pop up shop), and chat with some pretty major Michelin star chefs.

Along with fellow bloggers, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Éric Fréchon of the restaurant at the Hôtel Le Bristol in Paris, Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, Michel Troisgros of La Maison Troisgros in Roanne, and (surprise chef!), Daniel Boulud of the restaurant Daniel. They were all so kind. Our afternoon session was all smiles and laughs – I found myself forgetting that I was sitting with people who make some of the most incredible food in the world.

One thing that made me feel good about my personal approach to food is that all chefs agreed that cooking at home has to be light, and it has to be simple. “Quick simple beautiful ingredients,” says Chef Michel.

My biggest takeaway was one common element – food is love. When I asked about cooking at home, 3 out of the 4 of the chefs replied with “my wife cooks, or I cook with my wife.” I just love how, even for rockstar Michelin star chefs – cooking is about family. I thought it was especially sweet to listen to Chef Michel talk about his wife:“I’m amazed at what she does with nothing.”

But it was Chef Éric that described cooking in the most heartwarming way. “You must cook the way you love to cook. Take time and be meticulous. But cooking has to come from the heart to make a difference. It’s about sharing what’s in your heart while you prepare the for the person you are cooking for.”

samsung club de chefs

You may be thinking “what does this have to do with Samsung?” Someone really smart at Samsung decided to find out what these amazing chefs would actually WANT in their kitchens at home – and with their help the new Chef Collection line was born. I walked away with some serious appliance-envy (hello, oven that can cook at two different temps at the same time(!)… and fridge with sparkling water dispenser where you can choose your level of fizz).

Later that evening (pictured), they cooked for us (and many others) at the final press event. At the end of the event they gave us each a signed apron. All and all, a super inspiring trip.

This post is in collaboration with Samsung

summer recipes & some link love

summer veggie recipes / loveandlemons.com

Happy Friday! I don’t usually do link-y posts like this, but there’s been a lot going on lately – here are just a few tidbits I wanted to share!

I wrote this fun guest post on A Couple Cooks about food & design. Check it out if you’re in need of some inspiration to get your creative (green) juices flowing.

It’s always a good mail week when, not one, but two cookbooks I’ve been excited about arrive at my door. (Stay tuned next week for some sneak peaks)
The Homemade Flour Cookbook by Erin of Naturally Ella
Vibrant Food by Kimberley of The Year in Food

Apparently it’s national doughnut day and how cute are these, these, and this.

Yes way rosé.

I’m heading to New York next week to meet & interview michelin star chefs as part of Samsung’s Club des Chefs collaboration. (Hoping to learn some good at-home pro tips to share with you all!).

Have you been following Anna (The Yellow Table), and her Cookbook Diaries? She’s currently driving from coast to coast on a road trip dinner party (!), as part of her Cookbook Kickstarter. She’s stopping at Joy the Baker’s place before she comes here to throw a dinner party next weekend in my backyard. Blogger meetups are the best – especially when they come to cook for you!

… and some favorite summer recipes (pictured above): Summer Squash Tian, Mango Lime Pops, Peanut Spring Rolls, Spicy Watermelon Salad

Austin Food & Wine: Jodi Elliott

Austin Food and Wine: pastry chef Jodi Elliott

By the end of this weekend I’ll be craving a big kale salad, but for now – the Austin Food & Wine Festival continues. Here’s a little interview I did with pastry chef Jodi Elliott. Last year, she was named Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Pastry Chef. This year, she’s opening a bakery & dessert bar called Bribery – I can hardly wait! 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Let’s see – I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. I went to the CIA in Hyde Park, NY when I was 19 yrs. old! (15 years ago!) I’ve loved anything and everything sweet from a very young age! I was a picky eater but always adored dessert – I wanted to be a pastry chef before I knew what that was.

I’ve worked in super fancy restaurants and hotels in New York City, London and Portland, Oregon but my favorite dessert is still a brownie sundae! I think dessert brings out the kid in everyone. I feel extremely lucky to bake cookies for a living!

Who inspired you to become a pastry chef and what inspires you now?

My Grandmother. She was a fabulous cook and baker. She taught me everything she knew! I was lucky to find my passion at a very young age.

I’m inspired by so many people and things. I especially love old cookbooks – the spiral bound kind from small Texas towns’ church groups or junior leagues. The recipes are amazing! So creative and fascinating – I love to take old desserts and make them new! I still use many of my Grandmothers recipes today!

Hop over to the Austin Food & Wine Blog for the rest of the interview!

(photos by the talented Aimee Wenske)

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Austin Food & Wine: Sandi Reinlie

Austin Food and Wine: Sandi Reinlie pastry chef at Vespaio

The Austin Food & Wine Festival kicks off today. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing a few super talented pastry chefs. (I know, I have a tough job). First up: Sandi Reinlie. She is the pastry chef at Vespaio on South Congress, which happens to be one of our favorite Austin restaurants. I just loved the chance to hear about what inspires her!

What (or who) inspired you to become a pastry chef?

It came from two places. My family, especially my grandma Beverly. She loved to bake, which inevitably was passed on to mom and on to me. I have fond memories as a child making blueberry muffins with my mom, and also watching my grandma make strawberry jam using strawberries we picked from their farm. My dad opened and managed several restaurants, and I started working in them at the age of 12 years old. I loved it!

I worked in the music business for 10+ years and became burnt out living on a tour bus. I was at a loss as to what to do. My dear friend Yvette and her daughter, Sophia, had just moved to Austin. I offered to host Sophia’s birthday party at my house and make a cake. She was obsessed with monkeys, so I made her a monkey cake. That was it! I realized I needed to go back to my roots.

Hop over to the Austin Food & Wine Blog for the rest of the interview!

(photos by: Claire McCormack Photography)

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dukkah spiced yogurt dip

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

I recently contributed this dukkah recipe to Food 52’s Small Batch series. When they first suggested it, I had to look up how to (authentically) make it. It turns out — there’s no one way. The word dukkah literally means “to pound” and it generally consists of hazelnuts, sesame seeds and a few whole dried spices. To me, this was the perfect opportunity to use up the nuts and spices I had just cleaned out of my pantry shelves. (Specifically, the ones that didn’t fit when I transferred them from little bags to little jars).

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

Along with the hazelnuts I had been hoarding, I toasted and crushed: pistachios, sesame seeds, coriander, dried orange peel and dried cilantro, and dried peppercorns. (Feel free to change up this combination using ingredients you happen to have).

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.comdukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

It’s a great little spice mix to keep on hand (it’ll keep for awhile!). I sprinkled it over greek yogurt and served it with pita chips. It’s a super delicious snack, not to mention a great make-ahead throw-together appetizer.