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2014 Chef’s Table Presented by Jenn-Air

Last month, I had the pleasure to manage the planning of the fourth annual Chef’s Table event at our World of Whirlpool training facility on the Penthouse level of the Reid Murdoch Building in downtown Chicago.  Jenn-Air and CS Magazine partnered to celebrate the release of CS’s July restaurant issue and raise money for the Chicago chapter of Designers Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA).  I’m proud to say the efforts raised over $41,000 for DIFFA!



This is one of the few events where Jenn-Air can bring the culinary and design industry together for an exciting night, all for a great cause.  Chicago weather can often be unpredictable in the summer with hot and humid evenings in the 90’s.  However, on July 17th we could not have asked for better weather!  More than 240 guests joined Jenn-Air on the picturesque summer evening to taste cuisine from ten local chefs and sip Moët Imperial champagne, Dark Horse Wine and a variety of Patrón specialty cocktails on the rooftop patios.


Offering a “who’s who” of the Chicago culinary scene, luminaries including Ashlee Aubin of Wood, Frederico Comaccio of Coco Pazzo, Tim Graham of Travelle, Mindy Segal of Hot Chocolate, and our friends, Jacques & Hasty Torres of Jacques Torres Chocolate, all prepared some of their favorite small plates. 






Guests also took advantage of a special VIP exclusive post-party, mingling with the chefs inside the 11th floor clock tower, which featured post-party Moët Imperial champagne, chocolate cocktails made with Patron XO Café, and special Jacques Torres Chocolates.


In addition to money raised through ticket sales, impressive silent auction packages included a Jenn-Air Dream Kitchen, an exclusive multi-course dinner inside the World of Whirlpool Clock Tower, and an Ultimate Chocolate Experience in New York City led by Chef Jacques Torres were up for grabs.


Over the past 4 years, we are pleased to have raised $140,000 for DIFFA through this event! 

Additional photos from the event are on our Facebook page at

For more information on future DIFFA events, please visit

BY: Jon Barfell

2014 Pebble Beach Food and Wine

Just two weeks after a fabulous showing at the 2014 Architectural Digest Home Design Show in Manhattan, Jenn-Air crossed the country to return as a major sponsor of seventh annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine, April 10-13.

Widely considered to the be the premier West Coast epicurean event, PBFW features renowned culinary and wine experts offering wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and exclusive dining opportunities in an unparalleled setting. Nearly 8,000 culinary enthusiasts return year after year to partake and events often sell out well in advance.

Two Jenn-Air Master Class culinary stages hosted a range of chefs including Tyler Florence, Andrew Zimmern, Carla Hall, Donatella Arpaia and Linton Hopkins. Fans got to watch their favorite chefs make everything from down home favorites like Balsamic Barbecued Ribs and All-American Creamed Spinach to more adventurous fare like Gnocchi with Fonduta di Caciocavallo and Veal Tongue Tonnato using our appliances. 

See an overview of Day 1 here.

Jenn-Air Director of Marketing Brian Maynard served as Emcee and Auctioneer during three live auctions after select cooking demonstrations.  The auctions featured a Jenn-Air wine cellar and one-of-a-kind culinary experiences with chefs Duff Goldman, Robert Irvine and Andrew Zimmern. All proceeds benefited various Monterrey Bay area charities and we’re proud to report more than $45,000 was raised!

We brought our display booth filled with the latest Jenn-Air appliances to showcase in the Grand Tasting tent.

In excess of 5,000 people attend the Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday to sample more than 300 wines from 200 of the world’s more prestigious wineries and meet their favorite chefs serving tasty bites like Jaternice (a Czech sausage) Hash with Hot Sauce and Fried Quail Egg from Andrew Zimmern!

And of course, we were all only too happy to talk with them about our newest products, including new offerings in ventilation, the steam oven, the built-in coffee system, and the Obsidian refrigerator. When your brand is introducing more than 150 products over the next three years…there’s a lot to talk about!

Click here to see a video from this year’s Grand Tasting tent. 

Before the event, we embarked on a scenic journey up California’s historic Highway 1 stopping at acclaimed wineries and restaurants and taking in a few architectural gems along the way. Jenn-Air invites you to join us on this journey and check out the breathtakingly beautiful videos of our trip here:

Part 1

Part 2 

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

BY: Juliet Johnson

2014 Architectural Digest Home Design Show


We were thrilled to return as a major sponsor and exhibitor at the 2014 Architectural Digest Home Design Show in New York City, March 20-23. Every year the show draws such a high-energy group of attendees, both design professionals and consumers who want to see the latest design trends and innovations for the home. This year, Jenn-Air was one of the 500 luxury exhibitors that got to connect with an estimated 45,000 attendees over four days!

We brought our ASID award-winning  20 x 40 foot display booth to feature our latest appliances, including the gorgeous Obsidian refrigerator line, two new cooktops, built-in coffee system, and steam oven. The new cooktops are so flush to the countertop that a stack of just two pennies actually stands taller.


The steam oven drew quite a bit of attention as people have become more aware of the benefits of cooking with steam (not to mention that our oven has convection as well so your food is moist on the inside and nicely browned on the outside.) One of the most popular demonstrations in our booth was the coffee system. We had multiple staffers showing how incredibly easy it is to make a fresh cappuccino, espresso or latte; and of course, attendees gladly sipped on the samples!


But the clear star of the show was the Obsidian refrigerator. You can imagine people’s surprise to open a refrigerator door expecting to find a traditional white interior, but finding a dramatic deep charcoal one instead. Designers and consumers alike agreed the Obsidian interior lends a flattering and sophisticated look while giving everything within the refrigerator more prominence and visual pop. Aside from the beautiful interior, we heard lots of “oohs and aahs” about the refined electronic interface, the multi-point LED lighting, and the soft close doors, much like those found in high-end cabinetry. In fact, at numerous times during the show, there were lines of people actually waiting in line to see the Obsidian refrigerator.  Now, while we get a little passionate about appliances here at Jenn-Air, it’s a real treat to see such enthusiasm for our product on other people’s faces.


For the second year in a row, we sponsored a series of Jenn-Air Master Class Studio seminars presented by The New York Times on a branded stage designed to resemble a high-end kitchen.  Our General Manager Steve Brown participated in a panel discussion on “Designing in the Age of Connectivity.” 


At one point during the panel discussion, Stephen Fanuka of DIY Network & HGTV Million Dollar Contractor hopped up to refill his water glass and upon opening the Obsidian refrigerator did a bit of a double take.


See the video here:

Architectural Digest produced a “Best of Show” video series which is live on Facebook, YouTube as well as this microsite. The video is hosted by renowned designer Campion Platt showcasing his favorite discoveries at the show.  Click here to see the video: 

Jenn-Air garnered some great media coverage throughout the show including HGTV Front Door, Consumer Reports, National Post, Twice and more. And you can see we were featured very prominently on Canada’s The Marilyn Denis Show: 

Want to bring a little bit of the Architectural Digest Home Design Show into your own home? We’ve teamed up with Architectural Design to develop the “Designed to Inspire” sweepstakes offering you the chance to win suite of Jenn-Air appliances and a collection of books from the AD100, Architectural Digest’s annual list of the world’s preeminent architects and designers. The sweepstakes is open for entries until October 31, 2014 and you can enter here: 

Good luck!

BY: Juliet Johnson

Quick Fire Challenge – Jenn-Air Style!

I’ve had the pleasure over the last six months to play host to a select group of culinary professionals at our training center in Chicago. We fly them in from all across the United States, spend the better part of three days with them in our training kitchens and classrooms, and then get them back home where they can share their newfound knowledge of all things Jenn-Air.


The highlight of these trainings is the Jenn-Air Quick Fire Challenge in which the chefs compete as a “grand finale” to their three day training experience. Each chef is assigned a specific cooking appliance and divided into small teams to perform their Quick Fire on that given appliance. Typically the teams choose to prepare an entire entrée, a protein with a side or two, but some teams will opt to prepare just one item – say an appetizer or dessert.


Upon arriving at our training facility on Day # 1, the chefs are seated in their assigned teams and have just 30 minutes to choose the recipe for their team’s Quick Fire. They’ve each been asked in advance to select a recipe based on the appliance they’ve been assigned. So you’ve got teams of 2-3 extremely talented chefs, each with a favorite recipe in hand that they’ve purposefully selected. Now they have half an hour to work as a team and make a final decision about which one to demonstrate. Sometimes it’s a quick choice, while other times it becomes a lively debate.  One of the most memorable teams was one that opted to mash-up three recipes to create an entirely new dish. Teamwork at its best!


The chef teams are rated by the judges, which include Jenn-Air Training Chef Ann Nolan who cooks and demonstrates the products regularly, a product trainer who knows the appliances inside and out (seriously, these guys have model numbers and part numbers memorized!), and one of our meeting planners who typically has minimal product knowledge but a sincere love of good food. The judges grade the teams on several factors including overall presentation of the appliance, were all the key features and benefits of the cooking appliance presented correctly, did the team work together well, was each chef speaking with confidence, did each team member have a role, was the dish completed and plated in the 30 minutes allotted, and how was the dish – delicious, plated beautifully, garnished, etc?


One of the perks of the job is that I get to serve as an unofficial judge, watching each demonstration and tasting each dish that is prepped. I use the term “unofficial” because, as clichéd as it might sound, after spending three days with these talented, energetic chefs, it is almost impossible to select a favorite team or dish. It’s truly amazing how well each team and each individual chef performs.  And there’s always one team that finishes with barely a second or two to spare which causes us all to panic. There has even been some nail biting on the judges’ panel!


I knew we were onto something great when the very first team completed their Quick Fire Challenge and a chef in the audience (awaiting his team’s turn to demonstrate) commented that it was helpful to have the product demonstrated one last time. He’d learned about induction technology in our classroom and he’d seen Chef Ann and our trainers demonstrate its capabilities in the Jenn-Air training kitchens. But he said that watching one of his peers use the product and talk to its features and benefits one more time truly drove the information home.


During the most recent Jenn-Air Quick Fire Challenge, one chef was struggling with his spaetzel dough. It has thickened up a bit while resting and it wasn’t easy to push through the spaetzel press. The poor man was standing over a tall stockpot of boiling water sharing key features and benefits of the Jenn-Air Sensor Boil Function and straining to get his dough through the press and into the boiling water….all the while maintaining eye contact and smiling. Eventually he got the dough into the water and the end product was delicious (breaded pork cutlets with spaetzel and a caraway cream sauce!) Best of all, he didn’t lose his cool; he just kept working. This was a valuable lesson for me as someone who loves to cook and entertain at home. Sometimes things do go wrong in the kitchen – even to the pros! (Surely I’m not the only one who’s felt like there was a Quick Fire Challenge going on at my dinner party?) Just keep working and don’t lose your cool.

BY: Juliet Johnson

When The Designer is the Client (Part Three)

So here the story ends, this final blog about my own kitchen renovation during which I was both designer and client.  It was illuminating, having a foot in both realms; this process has deepened my experience in a way that I hope will benefit my clients. 

After all the choices of cabinetry, countertop, sink/faucet, tile, appliances and flooring, I still had to decide paint color and the finishing touch of hardware.  

Hardware is a design element that can really add (or detract) from the look of your kitchen or bathroom. Selection is not for the faint of heart.  There are so many high quality options but for me, the design had to be timeless, clean and simple.  Whittling down to a manageable few, I still struggled with satin versus polished (a designer’s curse, perhaps, to struggle over something like that!) and in the end chose the softer, satin look. 

One of my areas of expertise is color, so you would think this would be the easiest choice for me.  But color is like eternity; the choices are never ending in the limitless spectrum of shades and hues.  As I mentioned in the second blog, I found myself drawn back to grays which influenced the tile I chose and would be a smooth transition from the neutrals in the living spaces adjacent to my kitchen. 

Let me set the record straight: there are many more than 50 shades of gray. There is an expansive palette from stormy slate to ice bay.  I fanned my trusty color books across the table.


I painted on big pieces of cardboard a half dozen colors and placed them around the kitchen watching light change their hue as morning turned to evening.  Over the course of several days the discard pile grew and there remained only two.  My final choice was Lamp Room Gray. It looked great with the backsplash tile and its cool essence is the perfect canvas for my brightly colored vintage Fiesta collection, which I display behind glass doors and accented by a valance I designed to echo the historical architecture of the bungalow. 


So after 10 years of planning, 6 months of decision making and 3 weeks of installation, my kitchen is completed and it has changed the entire ambiance of my home.  Along the way I ‘cleaned house,’ parting with chipped, cracked coffee cups, a strange plate from the Florida Keys, and anything I hadn’t used in over a year.  I moved seldom used items like the turkey roaster onto a shelf in the basement, where I also save memories like my grandmother’s copper jello mold. 

Photos of finished kitchen:

The kitchen is the heart, where friends gather and family celebrates.  I wish you good fortune as you turn your dream kitchen into reality, and hope that the journey I’ve shared has given you some ideas and solutions for your own kitchen story.




BY: Janice Pattee and Mary Lynn Hoffman

Photos By: Melissa Hanley Photography

When The Designer is the Client (Part 2)

In the first blog I shared what happens when years of dreaming about the perfect kitchen meet the harsh reality of 80 square feet of space.  Believe me, there were many days I dreamt of bumping out the room into my large backyard, but that just wasn’t feasible.  Why?  The B-word. 


Creating a budget is challenging, but with planning it can be the key to your “dream come true.”  The budget wheel is a tool I give to clients to help establish priorities and make decisions.

When it comes to the kitchen, priorities are personal and one person’s wheel will look different than the next.  For me, cabinets and appliances took center stage. (You may remember my crumbling cabinets and outdated appliances.)

Let’s start with cabinets.  I needed to fit a lot into a little bit of space. This is where it helps to have a professional designer who has mastered the art and science of finding solutions by choosing cabinets that gain efficiency when space is at a premium.  

There are many storage solutions in cabinetry that can help organize your kitchen.  For example, a lazy Susan and roll out drawers make the interior space of a cabinet more accessible storage.  Deep cabinet storage above a refrigerator is a great place for vertical storage items, cookie sheets and serving trays, but not so good for everyday cookware or crockpots, unless you have a pet giraffe or a really tall spouse! Accessories both inside and outside the cabinet can increase your budget so it is wise to figure out what is your priority, the divided utensil tray inside or the glass doors on the outside.






Appliances were the next priority on my budget wheel.  The easiest decision was the sleek and precise induction cooktop, applauded by so many of my clients, set atop a convection oven which really can bake three trays of sugar cookies at the same time and to perfection.  A range hood, creating a clean and open focal point, replaced cabinetry that used to be above my old range.  The decision cost me some storage space, but it was driven by aesthetics.  What can I say?  Given the narrow layout of my kitchen, a counter-depth French door refrigerator/bottom freezer was the solution.  The final touch was my long awaited dishwasher.  


A good designer continues budget discussions throughout the process because often new ideas emerge as it becomes clearer how you want to use this new space and visualize actually living within your new kitchen.  With each idea comes the gremlins of space and budget, but it’s a positive to update your plan if it enhances the space for you in the years to come.  Staying within budget is always possible when you alter the percentages of the budget wheel according to your priorities. 

Next time I’ll talk about the finishing touches … the colors and style that accent the elegance of new cabinetry and appliances, sleek countertops and polished flooring.  Even as a color expert, this was going to be a challenge.  Should I go bold with persimmon or earthy with chestnut brown?  In the end, my fanning through the color book always ended within the spectrum of cool, calm grays.  This could be my most difficult decision so far.

I mean, do you have any idea how many shades of gray there are?

(Next month I’ll answer that question … and it’s not 50!)

BY: Janice Pattee and Mary Lynn Hoffman

Ring in the Year of the Horse

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along? Perhaps you’d like a second chance to restart the year and reinvigorate some of those goals? If that’s the case, here’s your chance! January 31 was the start of the Chinese New Year; the year of the Horse. A lunar calendar determines when the Chinese New Year will fall, much like Easter in the West.

After all the hubbub of the Western holiday season has faded, it’s nice to have one more chance to enjoy wonderful food and company, and to celebrate the start of a bright new year.

Growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution, food was rationed. At New Year’s time, we received extra food and my parents would invite friends over for their annual party. My mother would spend days planning the party. As we had no refrigerator, she had to put all the food outside on the windowsill during the day and then bring it in at night to prevent it from freezing. My brother and I would huddle around our small coal stove, inhaling the delicious smell. Those days were the happiest memories in my childhood.


Today I feel very fortunate and blessed to host a New Year’s party and cook in a kitchen with all modern appliances. The refrigerator that keeps my food fresh for days, a gas stove, a steam oven and a warming drawer all make cooking and hosting an easy task.

Below are a few simple tips that will help to make your Chinese New Year’s party a success:

  • Pick a few of your favorite main dishes (recipe ideas below!)
  • To save time, use pre-cut and pre-washed ingredients
  • Have all the ingredients ready before cooking
  • Make a few main dishes and let your guests bring the side dishes and dessert
  • Enlist the help of your guests, such as having them pitch in to help make dumplings. It’s a fun way for the guests to interact with each other.

As you may have guessed, foods play a significant role in Chinese culture. Each dish served for the New Year’s feast has symbolic meaning: dumplings represent togetherness and heavenly blessings; ribs are symbols of wealth and strength; shrimp stands for prosperity and joy; noodles stand for a long and happy life; a whole fish is a symbol of surplus and prosperity. Additionally, it’s a Chinese tradition to exchange treats and fruit with friends and neighbors. Candies and sweet rice cake are for a sweet New Year. Melon seeds and candied melon represent growth and prosperity; Oranges and tangerines stand for instant wealth and health.

Kung-his fa-ts’ai! Happy New Year!

Here are some Chinese New Year recipes. Recipes are excerpted from COOKING WITH AN ASIAN ACCENT, © 2014 by Ying Compestine. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Recipe photo credit: © Lucy Schaeffer

crispy spring rolls with spicy tofu, vegetables, and toasted nuts


Makes 12 spring rolls

I love visiting Buddhist temples in Asia, not for religious reasons but because I enjoy the food served in their restaurants. This recipe was inspired by the fried vegetarian spring rolls I ate at the Shaolin Temple.

While I enjoy crispy fried spring rolls, I dislike their high calorie count and the mess from deep-frying them. I found that by brushing a little olive oil on these rolls and broiling them in the oven, they came out just as crispy and delicious.


2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

One 8-ounce package Thai- or teriyaki-flavored tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 cup (about 3 ounces) finely chopped fresh oyster mushrooms

1/2 cup finely diced carrot

1/2 cup finely diced water chestnuts

2 tablespoons tamari sauce

3/4 cup toasted peanuts or walnuts, coarsely chopped, ¼ cup reserved for garnish

2 green onions, minced

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Twelve 8-inch round dried rice paper wrappers

1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves washed and separated

Lime-Soy-Ginger Sauce, for serving


1. Heat a wok or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tofu and mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and water chestnuts and stir-fry until heated through, about 30 seconds.

2. Add the tamari sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the nuts, green onions, and sesame oil and toss to combine. Remove from the heat.

3. Fill a medium bowl with warm water. Dip one of the wrappers in the water for 15 seconds, or until softened. Carefully transfer to a dry work surface.

4. Arrange 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in an even horizontal mound just below the center of the wrapper. Roll up the rice paper to form a tight cylinder, folding in the sides about halfway. Assemble the remaining spring rolls in the same manner. Cover the finished rolls with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.

5. Preheat the broiler. Lightly coat a large nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the spring rolls in a single layer on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between them. Lightly coat the rolls with cooking spray.

6. Broil the rolls until lightly browned and crisp, 10 to 13 minutes. Using tongs or a spatula, turn the rolls over and continue to broil for another 8 to 10 minutes.

7. Serve each roll wrapped in a lettuce leaf garnished with nuts, and accompanied by the Lime-Soy-Ginger Sauce.

lime-soy-ginger sauce

Makes about 1/2 cup sauce

This simple sauce goes well with spring rolls as a dipping sauce. Also, it makes a good marinade for seafood. I once served grilled trout marinated in this sauce to a friend who disliked fish—it completely changed his mind!


1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon thinly shredded fresh ginger

1 green onion, green part only, minced

2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, toasted (see Note)


1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer to allow the flavors to meld.

2. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed glass container for up to 5 days.

Note: Sesame seeds can be purchased already toasted, but to toast your own, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spread the sesame seeds out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the sesame seeds are crisp and fragrant. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

Lamb, Potato, and Carrot Stew


Makes 8 servings

According to TCM doctors, lamb is warming in nature. This hearty stew, flavored with chile and turmeric, will enhance blood circulation. The goji berries add an exotic, Asian twist. Beef or chicken are delicious alternatives to lamb.


2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

3 whole red chile peppers, fresh or dried

6 cups water or chicken stock

2 tablespoons dried goji berries

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 large red onion, cut into 2-inch wedges

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 2-inch-long pieces

1/2 pound red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks


Freshly ground black pepper

Dill sprigs, for garnish


1. Combine 1 teaspoon of the flour and ½ teaspoon of the salt in a bowl. Add half the lamb cubes and toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining flour, salt, and lamb.

2. In the same pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sauté the garlic and chiles until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the stock, cooked lamb and juices, goji berries, turmeric, and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

3. Add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 1 hour. Add the potatoes and cook for 30 minutes more, uncovered, or until the meat is tender and the liquid has thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with dill sprigs. Serve warm with bread.

spicy sesame ribs


Makes 4 servings

Marinated ribs become tender and juicy, and a Spicy Sesame Sauce gives them a delightful Asian accent. When grilled, the intoxicating aroma of the sauce will arouse every diner’s anticipation. This is my evolved version of traditional American barbecued ribs.


2 pounds baby back ribs

2 cups Spicy Sesame Sauce, or store-bought Asian sauce

Olive oil, as needed for brushing the grill

2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted


1. Rinse the ribs, pat dry with paper towels, and slice them into individual pieces.

2. Combine the ribs and sauce in a large container. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours.

3. Brush the grill rack generously with oil and preheat the grill to medium-low.

Remove the ribs from the marinade. Reserve the marinade.

4. Place the ribs on the rack and grill, basting frequently with the remaining marinade.

Stop basting 5 minutes before the ribs are done. Discard any unused marinade. Grill the ribs until they are golden brown, tender, and no longer pink inside, 12 to 15 minutes per side. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve hot.

spicy sesame sauce

Makes about 3/4 cup sauce

Toasted sesame has a boisterous flavor that balances well with green onions, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Aside from making a wonderful dipping sauce, this also makes an unusual and delicious salad dressing. I often double the recipe for this versatile sauce and store the extra in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. It always speeds up my cooking on a busy night.


2 garlic cloves, minced

1 green onion, green and white parts, finely sliced

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon thinly shredded fresh red chile pepper

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon sesame oil


1. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Cover and store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer to allow the flavors to meld.

2. Use immediately, or store in a tightly sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To purchase Cooking with an Asian Accent:



Independent Bookstores


A recent interview with Ying on NPR:

BY: Ying Chang Compestine

A Southern Tapas Style Weekend Brunch

Let’s face it, by the time New Year’s comes around, millions of home cooks have no desire to do any cooking in their kitchen. Just thinking about preparing any kind of food for another family gathering or party, after cooking and entertaining for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s, might not be the greatest suggestion.

On the other hand, all of those wonderful parties and open house gatherings that provided so much laughter, bonding, and abundance of delicious food, has somehow also become a distant memory for many.

To rekindle some of that fun, here’s a Southern, tapas-style weekend brunch menu comprised of easy-to-prepare, tasty dishes. Tapas are the simplest level of eating small bites (tidbits). The concept comes from Spain, however nowadays it’s practiced worldwide and features a variety of ethnic cuisines. Serving food tapas style allows the cook to use a range of small dishes that might not have been used during the holiday season, while also controlling portion sizes which many individuals in the New Year may appreciate!

Suggested menu


Kale Martinis

Mississippi Caviar


Corn Soup

Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

Bananas, Pecans and Rum Delight

Kale Martini: Kale has become one of America’s most popular super foods. Why not pay homage to it, by enjoying a delightful martini.


3 cups curly kale, washed

1 medium size cucumber, washed, coarsely chopped

1 apple, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon minced/finely chopped fresh ginger (optional)

½ cup orange juice

4 ounces vodka


Place all the ingredients, except the orange juice and vodka in a juicer machine and mix. Pour mixture into martini shaker, along with the orange juice, vodka about 3 ice cubes. Shake and pour equal portions of the drink into martini glasses. Makes 2 to 4 drinks.

Mississippi Caviar:


1 can black eyed peas (15-ounces), rinsed and drained

1 can black beans (15-ounces), rinsed and drained

1 cup of cooked whole kernel corn

1 cup onion, diced

¼ cup black olives, chopped

2 tablespoons minced garlic

¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoon finely chopped dill

1 tablespoon seasoning salt

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar


Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Gently stir with a large wooden spoon until well combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours before use. Serve over hoecakes or crackers. Makes about 5 to 6 cups.

Hoecakes: Hoecakes are small pieces of fried cornbread. Its name came from field hands during the early part of the 19th century, a time when these delicious cakes were cook on the blade of a hoe in the fields, throughout the southern part of the United States.


1 cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

¼ cup melted butter

¼ cup finely chopped green onions

½ cup vegetable oil


Place the cornmeal, flour, sugar, and salt in a medium size bowl and mix the ingredients well with a large wooden spoon. Stir in the milk, egg, butter, and onions. Heat the vegetable oil over a griddle or heavy skillet until the oil turns hot, over medium heat. Drop 1 tablespoon of batter in the skillet and cook hoe cakes about 30 seconds on each side or until they turn golden brown. Makes 16 to 20

Corn Soup:


Courtesy Of: Styled by Charlotte Lyons and Photograph taken by Eric Futran

This soup can be garnished with bits of bacon, small lettuce leaves, chopped olives, or diced sweet peppers.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon freshly chopped garlic

2 cups whole kernel corn, fresh or frozen

2 cups vegetable broth

¼ teaspoon white pepper

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup heavy cream


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat about 2 minutes. Stir in the onions and cook 4 minutes or until they turn soft, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cream. Cook 15 minutes and let cool. Place the mixture a food processor or blender and puree until the texture turns smooth. Pour the soup back in the saucepan, add the cream and warm over a low heat, stirring constantly. Once the soup is heated, remove from stove.  Makes 2 to 3 cups. Corn soup can be served in shot or aperitif glasses.

Herbal Baby Back Ribs: Before cooking, these ribs can be placed in the refrigerator and marinated with the herbs and barbecue sauce on them, up to 24 hours.


2 racks baby back ribs (approx 4 pounds)

1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

1 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme

1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary

1 (18-ounce) bottle barbecue sauce


Wash and pat dry the ribs with paper towels. Combine the chopped herbs in a cup, mix together and rub on both sides of the ribs. Tear off 6 large pieces of aluminum foil, large enough to hold the ribs. Spay the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Place the ribs in the foil and gently pour the barbecue sauce over them. Wrap the foil tightly and bake in oven 2 to 2 ½ hours. Remove the ribs from oven. Open the aluminum foil and let them rest 20 minutes before cutting them into tapas style portions. Serves 8 to 10 

Bananas, Pecans and Rum Delight


Courtesy Of: Styled by Charlotte Lyons and Photograph taken by Eric Futran

This dessert can be served over slices of pound cake or ice cream. Chopped walnuts can be substituted for the pecans.


3 tablespoons butter

2 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut in half, lengthwise

¼ cup dark raisins

¼ cup golden raisins

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ cup chopped pecan pieces

1/3 cup dark rum


Heat butter in a small sauce pan over low heat until melted. Add the bananas and cook 2 minutes. Add the remaining of the ingredients, cover the sauce pan and cook about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Makes 8 to 10 servings in small parfait dishes.

BY: Wilbert Jones

When the Designer is the Client (Part 1)

The Franklin Kitchen as described in a recent blog resembles, in terms of its size (small), my own kitchen tucked neatly into the back of my 1930s bungalow.  It was old and tired and, did I mention, small? The wood of the cabinets was ‘shedding’ so I’d find shavings sprinkled across my silverware.  The parquet wood floor was cracked with age, faded and scratched beyond repair.  Outdated appliances and what felt like just a few inches  of counterpace made cooking and entertaining nearly impossible.  When I moved into my home 11 years ago, one of the first items on my list was renovating that space. After all, designing kitchens is what I do.  No problem, right? 



First, there was the timing, something I think you will relate to since by timing I mean the day I sat down to really get to work on this was the same day my roof leaked buckets full, staining my stucco walls and causing dollars to fly out of my bank account like leaves on a windy autumn day.  Then there was the time the bathtub faucet fell off the wall…well you get the picture.  Weeks turned to years and before I knew it I was celebrating a decade in my home with my sad, small kitchen.  And so I decided the time had come.

I’ll tell you right up front, this is the hardest kitchen design I have ever created.  It’s easy to make decisions among the myriad of wonderful appliances, countertops, faucets, lighting and cabinetry for clients.  But when you have to decide for your own space?  When you have to commit to a plan and choose materials?  When out of the thousands of options we are exposed to as designers we have to zero in and select just one? 


That’s a different story, but it’s one I’d like to share with you. Over the course of three blogs, I’d like to take you along on the journey of transformation from outdated, dull and depressing to fresh, functional and technologically advanced.  


Part One — The Dream Stage Meets Reality

This is the ‘dream’ phase, the time to visualize what I want my kitchen to look and feel like.  I have folders full of sketches, photographs, swatches and materials specs.  But now I must ask myself the same questions I ask my clients.  What are my inspirations? How do I want to use the space? What have I always wanted in terms of ‘tools,’ the appliances, the sink, the faucet?  What’s happening in the space?  Are people gathered together around a spacious seated island watching me whip up crepes Suzette on my induction cooktop?  Ah, the dream. Except the space I have is way too small for an island, or to entertain if I want to be able to open the refrigerator or the oven door. 

Back to the drawing board and the realization that the wish list for my dream kitchen is just that, wishes and dreams.  It’s time to employ the design principles used in the Franklin Kitchen: functionality and efficiency.  That’s the hallmark of kitchen designers.  That’s our magic.  We’re wizards at making the most out of the space we have.  With wish list in hand we evaluate storage, think about how to use walls and conjure the perfect place for all the pieces that make a kitchen work.  Then we prioritize. 

For me, the number one priority was to upgrade my appliances and add a dishwasher to replace my ridiculously outdated kitchen with the latest technology available.  Another priority was a double trash container so I could recycle more easily.  Given the tight confines, it was going to be a challenge. image

My priorities – my ‘non-negotiables’ – were claiming storage space at an alarming rate.  I opened all my cabinets and drawers as though I’d find some that magically were empty.  Just the opposite; they were overflowing. But there’s a good cleanse that goes along with renovation.  We can all become mini-hoarders and this was my time to clear the clutter. Following the advice I give my clients, if I hadn’t placed an item in my hand during the past year, it was a strong candidate for the ‘donation’ pile.  Exceptions are items like a turkey roaster which moves to secondary storage, perhaps a basement shelf. If I hadn’t used an item in the past six months and I didn’t remember even owning it, it went in the donation pile (except for a mandolin slicer which was a pleasant surprise to find).  A quick calculation after this exercise proved storage was still going to be a challenge. 

My design was under attack by allowable space.  With only 80 square feet to work within, I had much, much bigger dreams than I space. 

Next time I’ll share details about my design solution for the small space, and the other dream-buster…the B-word.  (Budget.) 

BY: Janice Pattee and Mary Lynn Hoffman

Swine’s Midnight Chef’s Table

When the topic is Southern food, the question always arises “Is Florida really a part of the South?”.   As the longest serving Board member from Florida on the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, this question is important to me.

It doesn’t really have to do with whether we are Southern enough; we are,after all, the most Southern of US states.  It has to do with whether we are too Southern.  So Southern that our menus are less associated with the rest of the US and more with the cuisines of Latin America.  And it’s a fair comment.  It was 500 years ago this year that Ponce de Leon began the international foothold on this peninsula, and foreign foods have always been a major influence on the Florida foodways. 

Even when US regional cuisine began exploding thanks to people like James Beard and Julia Child, Florida responded with a group of chefs called the Mango Gang* who in the 1990’s were exploring international/caribbean aspects of our food culture in most of their menus. 

And when South Florida did embrace American restaurants, they tended to be outposts of famous NYC chefs such as Daniel Boulud and Andrew Carmellini. 

But over the past decade more restaurants have focused on our own foodstuffs.  Michael Schwartz, Michelle Bernstein and Norman Van Aken certainly were early in on this trend, but in the last couple of years there has been an explosion of new restaurants that have fully merged South Florida foodstuffs with traditional Southern food to create a new, very local, very Southern food.  And maybe most notable among these new restaurants are Yardbird and Swine. (Link to Nitty Grits article)

We won’t know for several years whether this will lead to a new Miami cuisine, but it seems like that is happening.  Norman Van Aken (Tuyo and Normans) is now culinary director at the Miami Culinary Institute, Michelle Bernstein (Michy’s) has a television program promoting local restaurants and a new program about our 500-year old culinary history, but John Kunkle (the CEO of 50 Eggs which owns Yardbird, Khong and Swine) has maybe the most ambitious plan to promote a community that supports its chefs and shares its food ideas.   

50 Eggs is building a Test Kitchen, a location where any chef is invited to experiment with new recipes, ask for advice from the 50Eggs team, and collaborate with each other.  This should be opened within the next year.  But until that is open, they are promoting the restaurant community through the Midnight Table.

Yardbird is one of the most popular Miami Beach restaurants (at two years old having already been a finalist for several James Beard Awards) and has been my favorite restaurant for the two years it has been opened. It started the Midnight Table last year. 

But once Swine Restaurant and Bar opened this January, it quickly moved up to my favorite spot.  Maybe because they focus on pork products (while still serving Yardbird’s fabulous fried chicken), maybe because they are within walking distance of our home, and maybe because they have two of the best bars in the city. 


So when Swine scheduled its first Midnight Table for June 28, I signed up that day, that minute.  Even so, I got the last two seats.  Obviously I am not the only Miamian who is in love with Swine. 


The rules of the Midnight Table are:

  community table and family style service        

  no advanced knowledge of the menu

  one welcoming drink

  starts at Midnight (just in case this needed repeating)

  and the visiting chef is the star: so he or she is assisted by Swine kitchen staff; meaning he or she gets to go out and mingle with the community table during the meal rather than actually working the kitchen.   

I want to repeat that.  Swine actually provides the staff and the backup and the marketing to promote another restaurant’s chef.  Something that would only occur to someone who wanted to create a community of chefs, and could only be done by a group so successful that they can share their popularity.

The rest of this article is NSFV (Not suitable for vegetarians).

Ok, to the dinner.  Our Swine Chef is Phil Bryant; our guest chef is Georgio Rapicavoli of Eating House (and the winner of Miami’s hottest chef—that is most attractive chef—last year). Allegra from 50 Eggs is in charge of our drinks. 

Since it is a community table for the Midnight Table, we make quick friends with our tablemates.  Mostly foodies and culinary students.  Those who have been to Swine or Yardbird before agree that—even without the community table—the atmosphere of these restaurants is such that you usually end up talking to the people sitting next to you.  But the party atmosphere is even more pronounced tonight.  Our conversations revolve around food: favorite restaurants and chefs, favorite culinary television programs, and favorite foods. 

The opening drink is a French 75. This is a great sign since the French 75 is one of my favorite drinks and—except for bars in New Orleans—does not seem to be on anyone’s menu.  Very good sign.

Then on to the food.     

  A little after midnight they bring out cornbread. Like everything tonight, it is served family style with a serving plate placed between every 4 of you.

  Then the first course of swordfish, peaches and pigtails.  Sounds weird but tastes light and balanced. 


  Next was veal sweetbreads over morel mushroom spoonbread with red-eye gravy au jus.  This was my husband’s favorite. 

  Around 1am we had scallops, miso sauce, pulled short rib meat and sweet potato.  Another dish that worked.  According to our guest chef, this was the dish he had most influence on.  It was great.


  1:20 we’re on to crispy porchetta over barley risotto.  So good that despite being full we finish the dish. 

  It’s nearing 2 am when dessert of chocolate peanut butter and cornflakes is served.  We waddle home. 


And, no, I didn’t feel great the next morning.  Or afternoon for that matter. But I’m game for the next one: signing up for the next Midnight Table if I can.


*In the 1980’s several of South Florida’s most prominent chefs starting moving away from the familiar French-American and Mediterranean-California menus of the day and into menus that were more regionally faithful to Florida.  In 1989 this got the moniker “New World Cuisine.”   Two years later, four of these chefs determined to band together and work with each other to promote their style of cooking.  These chefs—Norman Van Aken, Allen Susser, Douglas Rodriguez and Mark Militello—became the famous Mango Gang. 

BY: Julia Johnston