we learn we eat we cook

Category: Restaurant Experiences

Brunching in Chicago

Brunching in Chicago

I recently enjoyed a quick weekend in Chicago.  The Windy City is one of my favorite places to visit, it is a great walking town, and the restaurants are amazing.  Previously I shared one of my dinner experiences at Table Fifty-Two, take a look. This […]

Rachael Ray Culinary Tuition Competition Winner Update

Rachael Ray Culinary Tuition Competition Winner Update

I got a chance to support the winner of the Rachael Ray Culinary Tuition Competition that I took part in a few months ago, recently.  It was so great to see Rachel Green in her element.  The room was nicely decorated and we all came […]

Culinary Institute of America

Culinary Institute of America

I fulfilled a dream that I didn’t even know I had.  I didn’t know what to expect when I planned a last minute trip to Hyde Park, NY with my foodie bestie.  I just knew it would be a trip that would help define my path.  We planned to visit the restaurant named after one of the most prolific French chefs of all times, Chef Paul Bocuse The Bocuse Restaurant.  Though this was not our first choice, of the Culinary Institute of America’s restaurants, I am so glad we went.IMG_1414The school campus was so gorgeous and inviting.  If that day occurred maybe 5 years ago, I would have scheduled a full tour and enrolled in the degree program that Saturday afternoon.IMG_1417IMG_1419Team greedy was in full form.  We ordered about 3 appetizers, an entree each and a dessert each, and we were not disappointed, in fact we were beside our selves with excitement. 

IMG_1421Seared Pork Belly with Pickled Watermelon, Farro Salad, Corn Purée, and Pork Vinaigrette

IMG_1422Sweetbread Roulade with Morels, Jambon, and Truffle sauce

IMG_1423Roasted Saddle of Lamb with Artichokes, Braised Spring Greens and a Potato Terrine

IMG_1424Modernist Lemon Bar with Crème Fraîche Cake, Lemon Curd, Coconut Ice Cream, and Tamarind SauceIMG_1426 IMG_1427The meal was amazing followed up by a tour of the kitchen by our fabulous server (no photos, chef was not in the mood).  Natalia, our server from Colombia allowed us to ask her all sorts of questions about her educational experience at the CIA. She shared with us how she came to the school planning to cook, and fell in love with the front of the house.    I highly suggest you take a day trip from the tourist trap the New York City can often be, and visit The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  You can learn to cook in one of the bootcamps (I will be doing that soon for sure), or you can also visit one of their several restaurants on campus that are top of the line.  The students are running all parts of the show, from the kitchen to the front of the house.  We had a blast walking the halls and talking to students.  I can’t wait to go back.

Tortilleria Nixtamal

Tortilleria Nixtamal

I found the best Mexican restaurant in Queens and you can go there and catch a soccer game on tv or just catch up with friends and enjoy a feast of tacos.  I saw Tortilleria Nixtamal on the Food Network and I’m sure other channels, but […]

Essence Fest 2015 Eats (Day Three)

Essence Fest 2015 Eats (Day Three)

Ahhh Day Three at Essence Festival 2015… After a really fancy meal at Emeril’s Delmonico, and super casual food from the Essence Festival Food Truck Rally we closed out Essence Festival food fun with a stop at Chef’s John Besh and Aarón Sánchez collaboration restaurant […]

Essence Fest 2015 Eats (Day Two)

Essence Fest 2015 Eats (Day Two)

Day two of the Essence Festival food tour started with my leftover banana bread that I brought for my trip here.  Side note it is the best recipe I have found for moist on the inside crisp on the outside banana bread.  I am sure you can guess whose recipe might be my favorite, and what I think is the best, you guessed it Mr. Cronut™ himself Dominique Ansel, click here to get the recipe.  Ok that was a long side note, but I had to share.

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I was able to grab a plate of red beans and rice with a piece of french bread for a snack.

IMG_1571Later, I found the Essence Festival Food Truck Experience sponsored by Coca-Cola.  One of the trucks, Whoodoo BBQ, introduced me to their “Ghetto Burger”

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I know what you’re thinking, but I went out on a limb and ordered it.  The guy on the truck described it as “A big ole burger on a Po-boy bun with some special sauce”  I was sold.  It really didn’t disappoint.  The burger was formed right in front of us, and the seasoning was awesome, all the way through.  The sauce on the burger, I thought I would need to scrape it off, but I ate it all, without even getting a drop on my clothes.

Day Three’s highlight was a stop at Chef’s John Besh and Aarón Sánchez collaboration restaurant Johnny Sánchez.

Essence Fest 2015 Eats and Treats (Day One)

Essence Fest 2015 Eats and Treats (Day One)

Every year my sister (Renee) and I attend Essence Festival in New Orleans.  The trip started out as an opportunity for us and several girlfriends to hangout and party with a purpose every year, and has morphed into a networking, celebration of our passions.  Every […]

Toast in Asbury Park

Toast in Asbury Park

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a long standing tradition with a few friends, that starts with a 5 mile “trot” not really competitive run (Spring Lake Five) and ends with a visit to Confections of a Rock Star and a visit to […]

Confections of a Rock Star Tradition

Confections of a Rock Star Tradition

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Every year we traditionally start the summer with a 5 mile run at the Jersey Shore.  No, not the Jersey Shore you have seen on MTV, this Jersey Shore is filled with beautiful homes, with opulence and great landscaping.  The Spring Lake 5 is an opportunity for myself and a few friends to “trot” through the neighborhood, and dream of owning vacation homes.  Part of the tradition of course involves food, since I am a participant.

One of the stops that we make is at Confections of a Rock Star.  This brilliantly branded bakery, is amazing, with music themed selections, and selections named after it surrounding community of Asbury Park, NJ.  The bakery has a great location near shopping and great food, and the cupcakes are rock star genius.  I didn’t take a picture of all four cupcakes because as you can see on suffered in transit, but hey the car was toasty and we went for beers after buying them.

The good news is that the cupcakes change frequently, the bad news is the website doesn’t reflect the changes, so call ahead if you want something specific.  But, trust me you will not go wrong, they even have Vegan selections.

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Confection of a Rock StarOne selection that is certainly not Vegan is this colossal treat, again, I didn’t catch the name, but it is sweet and salty and ooey and gooey, and you will want to rock out after a bite of this baconey goodness.

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In an upcoming post I will share an awesome breakfast brunch spot that is also a stop during our Jersey Shore visit.  Until then eat well and be well. – Foodie Engineer

 

Foodie Engineer Visits Rachael Ray (Day 1)

Foodie Engineer Visits Rachael Ray (Day 1)

After my journey of becoming one of the 3 finalists for The Rachael Ray Show’s First Culinary Tuition Competition, I was invited to New York City to compete for the final prize of Culinary School Tuition to International Culinary Center, formerly The French Culinary Institute. […]