Monthly Archives: September 2012

Chef Race: Meet Cody Utzman, the Restaurateur Bathed in Brooklyn


Here he is folks: the last member of team USA, and perhaps the most controversial. Check out this video to see why.

When I met Cody, the first thing I noticed was that Brooklyn had seemingly thrown up all over him. Skinny jeans, ironic suspenders, arm tattoos galore. As a New Yorker, I say this with love.

I also soon learned that Cody cared more about his hair than any other member of team US. Yes, even more than Don. I mentioned this fun fact last night as I was watching the sneak peek of episode 1 on BBC America.… Continue Reading

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Chef Race: Meet Don PV, the Madonna of the Culinary World


I’m winding down my coverage of Chef Race Team USA‘s “all-American” recipes. To review, click here. Today, I’m very excited to present to you the one and only, fabulous Chef Don Peavy (PV). To try to explain the shenanigans of Team US on the road, I sent my parents this video of Don. My dad just responded: “yikes.”

Chef PV is the Madonna of the food world with a culinary history informed by the various chefs in his family. Growing up among the oil field elites in Texas, Don’s fancy private school friends from abroad gave him some of his early food experiences and helped developed his fearless palate.… Continue Reading

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Chef Race: Meet Chef Robin, She Ain’t No Southern Bell


The Chef Race premiere is three days away!! I’ve got three more chefs from Team USA to introduce you to (if you need to review, check out Ronaldo, Pippa, Stan, and Bianca). Today, we’ve got Chef & Trainer Robin Bodwin.

Despite her tough exterior, I knew Robin and I would get along when I saw how much purple she wore, and when I saw the fear in her eyes when she asked if we could bring snack bars in our backpacks, and was swiftly denied. I packed two industrial-sized boxes of Kind Bars in my suitcase, so it was nice to hear that someone else was not only as prepared as I was, but equally cranky when hungry.… Continue Reading

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Chef Race: Meet Bianca, our Resident Flour Girl


Leading up to the premiere of Chef Race on October 2nd, I’ll be introducing you to all my fellow chefs from Team USA and sharing some of their special “all-American” recipes. So far, we’ve got an Ex-Marine, a NY Times Two-Star Chef, and the Drummer from Sugar Ray. Today, I bring you the “flour” girl who owns more red dresses than anyone I know: Bianca!

The first thing I noticed about Bianca was, wow, that woman really took the personal color scheme memo to heart. But when I found out she owns her own dessert catering company, I deeply respected her marketing savvy and desire to stay on-brand down to the fishnets and character shoes.… Continue Reading

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Chef Race: Meet Stan, Drummer Boy Turned Chef

Stan's Scampi

Leading up to the premiere of Chef Race on October 2nd, I’ll be introducing you to all my fellow chefs from Team USA and sharing some of their special “all-American” recipes. So far, we’ve got Ronaldo and Pippa. Today, it’s time for you to meet Stan, who I’ve been acquainted with for years–within the context of middle school dances and middle school boys who wore cheesy band T-Shirts–without even knowing it.

During the days leading up to the show, when we were holed up in a hotel in Santa Monica, Stan Frazier was by far the quietest character on the scene.… Continue Reading

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The Balanced Diet: Kale Salad with Bagna Cauda Vinaigrette


People often ask me about my recipe development process. Sometimes the inspiration comes from blogs, restaurants, cookbooks, or magazines. But more often than not, I have an idea in my head that I just can’t shake. I don’t know how it got there, or if the end result will taste good – and I don’t know if it already exists out there in the world – but I just have to have at it. That was the case with this bagna cauda vinaigrette.

I pictured a thick, pungent, funky dressing and lots of sturdy rustic vegetables to stand up to it – not unlike a traditional bagna cauda appetizer, but served as a salad instead of with crudites.… Continue Reading

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Chef Race: Meet Chef Pippa, a Cook with a Cause

devilled eggs

Leading up to the premiere of Chef Race on October 2nd, I’ll be introducing you to all my fellow chefs from Team USA and sharing some of their special “all-American” recipes. First up was Ronaldo. Today, we’ve got another one of my besties, chef Pippa!

Pippa Calland and I bonded early on by nerding out to the Sunday Times on one of our down days, and comparing notes on growing up with hippie parents. She’s by far the most experienced and decorated of the US chefs, including two stars from said NY Times for her work at Le Madri.… Continue Reading

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Meatless Monday: Sauteed Squash with Caper-Basil Pangritata


I’m a little late to the party with this recipe. Summer produce is still hanging around the markets, but it seems that everyone is a bit over mother nature’s yield at this point. Regardless, there are still some take-aways to be had from this dish – mainly, what’s sprinkled on top of it, which could, in theory, be sprinkled on top of many other things.

Pangritata is essentially poor man’s Parmesan. Back in the day when money was tight in the old country, Italian peasants would fry up coarsely chopped bread crumbs with other cheap stables – capers, garlic, herbs – and serve it over pasta instead of grated cheese.… Continue Reading

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