Category Archives: Updates

‘Mad Men’ Dining Week $19.69 for Themed Lunch Sets

Didn’t get enough of great deals during NY Restaurant Week? Here’s another interesting option, especially for the AMC Mad Men fans out there –

In celebration of the final season of AMC show Mad Men, NY Mad Men Dining Week will be between March 23-29 (actually a week in length, unlike NY Restaurant “week”), and reservation starts now.

Basically, the deal is for $19.69 you get a two-course lunch set – appetizer + main OR main + dessert, or two cocktails that are Mad Men themed. The cocktail deal seems more aligned with the theme of Mad Men, since people in the show drink so much more than they eat. However, if you’re looking for a meal, you should be careful when booking as some participating restaurants only do the cocktail deal.

It is a bit disappointing that even though there are quite a few high profile restaurants participating – such as 21 Club and Blue Water Grill, many of them only offer the cocktail deal. The famous French restaurant Le Cirque, however, does offer lunch, so that’s definitely an option worth exploring – but reserving soon is highly recommended.

 

Full list of participating restaurants are below (Restaurants that offer lunch set are bolded)

‘21’ Club
Arlington Club
Barbetta
Benjamin Steakhouse
Blue Water Grill
Brasserie (Seagram Building)
Brasserie 8 1/2
Carnegie Deli & Restaurant
Delmonico’s Restaurant
El Parador Cafe
Empire Steak House (West 54th Street)
Flo Lounge Restaurant
Harding’s
Le Cirque
Le Cirque Cafe
Madison Club Lounge
Maloney & Porcelli
Morton’s Grille
Morton’s The Steakhouse (Manhattan)
Morton’s The Steakhouse (World Trade Center)
Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse
P.J. Clarke’s
Ristorante Morini
Rock Center Cafe
Side Car at P.J. Clarke’s
State Bar & Grill
Strip House Midtown
Tavern on the Green
The Gander
The Regency Bar & Grill
The Sea Fire Grill
Tribeca Grill
URBO
Vander Bar

Check out specific menu for the restaurant’s deal & make reservations here –> http://www.nycgo.com/mad-men-dining-week

Culinary Society Blog is Going on Break + New Writers Position

The series for this semester has ended this week. For more posts, check back next semester in January!

In the mean time – if you are interested in writing for us, you’re in luck! We’re looking for new writers for next semesters, so please don’t hesitate to contact co-editors Lida or Shirley for more information. Our contact information is here.

Wishing everyone the best of luck during finals. Don’t forget to nourish yourself and treat yourself with good food during this time of year!

 

Erotic Cake Competition Tonight!

Our Annual Erotic Cake Competition was held this evening in Lerner West Ramp Lounge from 9pm until 10pm (in fact, votes are still being tallied, and if you rush over now, there may be some leftovers!)

Culinary has held this event for the past several years, and we are happy to share this funny, romantic, and raunchy event with the collegiate community. We hope you enjoy the photos below as well as the event. Some of these are quite inappropro, some are really quite tasty, and some are, let’s say, impressive.

Previously: Come to the Lerner West Ramp Lounge from 9pm until 10pm for free sexy cake!

 

Blog Update!

Hello dear readers!

Just to let everybody know, we students have had a busy six weeks since midterms, spring break, and now, the final stretch (which is filled with papers in addition to final papers, a professor devised concept that I’m still not sure I wholly understand).  Anyway, this is why the blog has been a bit slow in the last few weeks.  That being said, we will have some posts through the summer.  During the year of 2012-2013, we’ll have new series, new writers, and some blog updates.  In the mean time, if you are interested in getting involved with the blog between now and the end of the year, please email culinary@columbia.edu!

Club Re-Cap: Culinary Society’s First-Ever Thanksgiving Pie Competition!

This past Tuesday, in honor of the great food holiday, the Culinary Society hosted its first ever Thanksgiving Pie Competition. Entrants from all over the Columbia and Barnard communities came out to showcase their baking skills, with pies of all different flavors. Of course, there were the classic Thanksgiving favorites, like pumpkin and apple pies, but there were also some incredible variations on the classics, like kabocha pie (a relative of pumpkin), vinegar pie (a variation on the classic Canadian “Butter Tart”) and sour cream apple pie. The complete list of entrants went as follows:

1. Dezi’s Pumpkin Pie
2. Kittyball’s Strawberry Rhubarb
3. Erica’s Fresh Pumpkin Pie
4. Procrastibaker’s Cranberry Apple
5. Bakinator’s Pumpkin Pie
6. 3.14159’s Chocolate Cream Pie
7. Suzanna’s Bavarian Cream
8. Suite Kitchen’s Fudge Pie
9. Rebecca’s Chocolate Pecan Pie
10. Nina’s Apple Pie
11. Matt’s Caramel Apple Pie
12. Treat Yo’self 2011 Kabocha Pie
13. Kelcey’s Sour Cream Apple Pie
14. Mad Foodie’s Chocolate Pecan pie
15. Sarah’s Pie Apple Pie

Unlike previous competitions with the Culinary Society, where a panel of judges voted on the best entrants, the Thanksgiving Pie Competition was judged by the general student body. Thanks to an ingenious idea from one of the Culinary Society’s e-boarders, the votes were recorded via text message, giving everyone with a cell phone a quick, efficient, and easy way to voice which pie was their favorite.
With 15 pies in the competition, and 60 eager judges waiting outside to get their tastes, it was a bit of a hectic evening. In all, it only took about 40 minutes for the tasters to completely devour the pies and vote on their favorites. I, for one, thought it was one of the fastest 40 minutes of my life!

Although I only got to taste a couple of the pies, the student body was extremely pleased with all of the pies. There was something for everyone: super-sweet pies, savory/less sweet pies, fruit based pies, custard pies, pies with toppings, pies with double crusts, pies with crumble tops… you get the idea. It was veritable feast of sweets.

The third place pie was the Procrastibaker’s Cranberry Apple pie. The combination of apples, almonds, and cranberries, topped with an apple cider reduction, proved to be a winning variation on an American classic.
The second place pie was Mad Foodie’s Chocolate Pecan pie. Serving this pie warm was a great idea, leaving the chocolate smooth and melted, in combination with the warm, toasted pecans. This pie was one of the firsts to go!
The grand champion of the evening was Rebecca’s Chocolate Pecan Pie. Made with chocolate, pecans and a healthy splash of Grand Marnier, this pie was quite a bit more complex than the classic pecan pie. The addition of the Grand Marnier added a citrusy sweetness that proved to be the winning component.

Although the Culinary Society ran out of funds to provide a prize for the competition, the winners, Rebecca and Emily, took this in stride. All they wanted was a simple “2-4-6-8, who do we appreciate?” cheer from the bakers and tasters, which was given enthusiastically.
This competition was a delicious and memorable success, which we hope to continue next year. However, with Thanksgiving around the corner, there’s no need to wait a year to enjoy these pies again! And even if you didn’t get to come to the competition yourself, we at the Culinary Society hope that you challenge some of your families’ classic pies with your own culinary ideas. Who knows, maybe you’ll stumble upon a fabulous recipe to take grand prize next year!

And if you want to try this year’s first place pie, we have also provided the recipe for Rebecca and Emily’s winning pie. Enjoy! Continue reading Club Re-Cap: Culinary Society’s First-Ever Thanksgiving Pie Competition!

We Came, We Saw, We Ate Chocolate!

It only comes once a year, and no, I’m not talking about Christmas.

A dress made of CHOCOLATE!

It’s a special time of the year. The early fall crispness lingers in the air and 18th Street smells distinctly of chocolate. In the weeks before Thanksgiving, 75 chocolatiers convene in the Metropolitan Pavillion for the annual NYC Chocolate Show. It is an absolute center of chocolate creativity and artistry as elaborate showpieces are constructed and daring flavors are combined in new and unexpected ways. And the best part? The conference of sweet confections is open to the public!

The Culinary Society sent down 25 of our most dedicated chocoholics. Putting aside midterms and finals (yes, they’re here already) preparations, we gladly made the journey. Arriving on the scene, words such as “heaven,” “dream,” and “spactacular” were used to describe the conference center. Imagine a space about the size of Roona auditorium, but it fill it with chocolate and a bunch of people whose only job is to give you free samples. It’s almost mind-boggling how much chocolate is in the pavillion. We were engulfed by the presence of chocolate. You could smell it, see it, taste it. You could even wear it, Continue reading We Came, We Saw, We Ate Chocolate!

The President’s Kitchen: Contemplating Pizza as Art

Formerly known as “Live from the Culinary House,” “The President’s Kitchen” brings you the latest food news and recipes that have been steeping and brewing in Matt’s mind. This week, a philosophical consideration on pizza, with a recipe for pizza dough to finish.

Is this art?

This week, I was invited to a casual Wednesday gathering hosted by the philosophy department. The question of the night: Is food art? With a rising “foodie” awareness and an elite knowledge of food gaining in social capital, this question seemed timely as well as intriguing for anyone interested in food. Plus, it was my opportunity to view food through someone else’s eyes (i.e. a non-food-enthusiast).

Throughout the industry, the definition of food is constantly muddled and questioned. Many consider food to be an art while many others call it a science. Still others go for the more obvious answer of “nourishment” or “fuel,” referencing food’s necessity for our daily existence. The discussion began with definitions, as is usually helpful in philosophy and many other subjects. But this became extremely difficult as we tried to pin down words such as “art” and “aesthetics.”

Art came to be described as novel, complex, with the ability to take the viewer out of his or her habitual way of experiencing the world. Art has the ability to transform a world perspective. The individual is “seized by a distinctive aesthetic ecstasy” as one student pointed out. Art is subject to movements and trends, having creators and imitators. It is a question of craft and intent as well as the experience of the beholder.

As I listened to the definitions given by the people at the table, I found myself nodding my head, thinking “Ah yes, all of these apply to food.” However, once definitions had passed, almost everyone in the room concluded that food, then, is not art! I was floored.

Although food is uniquely temporal in nature, fleeting and perishable, it can still be appreciated as a form of expression. It can be novel, and one only needs to study American food ways to understand that food is, indeed, subject to trends and movements from locavorism, organic food, molecular gastronomy, and the like. Food is extremely complex, requiring knowledge on the part of the creator but also on the part of the consumer in order to fully appreciate it. It is fully subject to experience, and unlike any other form of art, I believe it is more consuming than any other art form. The food is consumed  by the enthusiast and, in turn, the experience of the food momentarily consumes the enthusiast, a sensory overload of sight, smell, touch, taste, and even hearing.

Perhaps the lesson is that a proper education, a handle on the necessary faculties to analyze and appreciate food, is what transforms food to an art. Otherwise, it is simply fuel, something to sustain us. Food cannot be divorced from its function of nourishment, but this function does not debase food. Rather, I believe it makes it all the more astounding and worthy of our consideration.

The greatest irony? This discussion took place over soppy, greasy cheese pizza. An utter injustice.

For worthwhile pizza dough, follow this recipe: Continue reading The President’s Kitchen: Contemplating Pizza as Art

The (green)Market Watch: Potatoes

Bringing the perfect cure for those cold and dreary (and unexpected) October snow days, Merritt teaches us how to make our market potatoes into a traditional and delicious dish.

For a second, imagine that you were me this morning. Watching your hometeam win the World Series on Friday necessitated a “beer-for-dinner” night, and you’ve woken up both cold and hungry. You need food! Preferably the sort of sopping-with-grease mess you’d get at a diner. But a quick look out your window and you realize that the world has turned into a slushball and… there’s just no way you can handle that right now.

And yet eggs and starch and grease continue to call for you. What to do?

Perhaps you have a couple potatoes sitting around. Potatoes are a staple of the winter months because they can linger in a root cellar for weeks at a time (crazily, commercial warehouses can store potatoes for almost a year). Even if you don’t have a root cellar, a brown paper bag is a happy home for potatoes for a couple weeks. So grab some starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds, next time you see them at the Greenmarket. Even if you don’t have a use for them immediately, they might come in handy some dreary October morning.

Sliced thinly and mixed with eggs, onions and garlic, potatoes become a traditional Spanish tapas dish known as tortilla de patatas. It is a simple one-pan masterpiece that covers all your breakfast basics and it doesn’t take very long. Double or triple as needed! This recipe is enough for two or three people, but the tortilla reheats nicely. Enjoy.

Tortilla de Patatas Continue reading The (green)Market Watch: Potatoes

Live from the Culinary House: Cookie Attack!

Each week, we give you an inside look as to what’s cookin’ in the Culinary House. This week brought a veritable plethora of cookies. Matt might have too much free time on his hands.

When you think about it, early fall in New York is a close equivalent to San Diego in the dead of winter–the temperature is around the low-60’s, the sun is still out, and there’s a slight chill in the air. The only difference is that in New York, this weather signals a deep dark plunge into winter and snow.

I’m far away from San Diego, but when the temperature dips below 60, I go into winter mode. Winter mode only means one thing: Christmas. Logically, it only follows that I would want to make cookies, the staple Christmas dessert. Last week, I came home from class and I transformed our kitchen into a bakeshop. I made three types of cookies: White Chocolate-Drizzled Caramel and Shortbread Sandwiches, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, and Chocolate Hazelnut Macarons (note: not the French method). In total, I made about 96 cookies!

My favorite was the chocolate hazelnut macaron. Continue reading Live from the Culinary House: Cookie Attack!