Tag Archives: Laurent Chapuis

Peacock Inn’s New Chef is AlreadyGone; Corkscrew Wine Shop Expands; Lillipies on the Move; More

Sam Byrne Summarily Departs Peacock; Lillipies Moving into Princeton Shopping Center; Turning Point Opens 11th Eatery at Mercer Mall

Details here, in my August Food for Thought column in The Princeton Echo

Princeton Corkscrew Wine Shop Expands

Princeton Corkscrew, Courtesy The Princeton Echo

Princeton Corkscrew, Courtesy The Princeton Echo

Owner Laurent Chapuis tells which marketplace demands he responded to by adding more showroom space to his shop, which has been on Hulfish Street since 1997. My interview, here, also from the August issue of The Echo.


The Sorry State of Food TV; 2 NJ Slow Food Events; Craig Shelton’s New Gig; NJ & Beard Awards; Mistral Preview

This essay by Andy Greenwald on the state of Food TV is the best I’ve encountered. I was surprised to find myself agreeing with everything Greenwald writes – I thought I was the only one who felt this way! I was gratified in particular by this sentence about Emeril Lagasse‘s role as a Top Chef judge:

“Stripped of his catchphrases and his band, Emeril has revealed himself to be kind, patient and insightful, able to articulate the nuances of food we’ll never taste with expert, understated flair.”

Not only do I agree with that assessment as a viewer, but it reflects the conclusion I came to when Emeril was a guest on my radio show years ago. We did an entire hour show live from Marketfair mall in Princeton.

Pat & Emeril1

I expected lots of bam! and bluster, and instead I got a thoughtful, soft-spoken, gentle man who answered my questions with insight and modesty. It was only when a young boy in the audience shouted out, “Emeril, say Bam!” that he did – and talked about how great it was to have youngsters interested in cooking.

Slow Food Farmers Market (Central) & Expert Talk on GMOs (North)

Slow Food Central Snail

This Sunday, 2/24/13, will see the final Slow Food Central NJ winter farmers market of the season. This one is being held at Tre Piani restaurant in Forrestal Village along Route 1 in Princeton, from 11 am to 3 pm. There’ll be live music and you can sit down for food and drink at Tre Bar in between stocking up on meats, breads, mushrooms, cheeses, wines, baked goods, and sweets from these vendors:

Beech Tree Farm….Birds and Bees Farm…Bobolink Dairy and Bake House…Cherry Grove Farm…Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms…Donna and Company…Fulper Dairy Farm…Funni Bonz Barbecue Sauce…Happy Wanderer Bakery…Hopewell Valley Vineyards…Judith’s Desserts…Jammin’ Crepes…Pure Indian Foods Ghee…Rocky Brook Farm…Shibumi Exotic Mushrooms…Valley Shepherd Creamery and Woods Edge Wools Farm.

For information, phone 609.577.5113.

Slow Food SnailThen next Sunday, March 3rd, attend an afternoon meeting of Slow Food Northern NJ at the DeHart Community Center in Maplewood that starts at 1 pm with a tasting of local foods and includes talks on school gardens and the impact of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) on our lives. Speaker for that will be Michael Hansen of Consumers Union, who will “describe what genetic engineering is, the lack of required safety testing, and why you should be concerned.” Click here for info and to purchase tickets ($8 for members; $10 for the public).

Craig Shelton, Consultant

Craig SheltonNew Jersey’s most well-known chef (check out the interview with him I posted here last December) is now consulting at Mediterra in Princeton. Laurent Chapuis, the proprietor of the Princeton Corkscrew wine shop just a few doors down, was impressed with a recent  lunch overseen by Shelton. If you know Monsieur Chapuis, you know he is one tough customer, so his praise bodes well for this match.

Mediterra’s general manager, Carmine DePasquale, says that Shelton will be at the restaurant four to five days a week, mainly during lunch service, for at least the next three months. He isn’t so much behind the stove tweaking dishes or changing the menu as he is, DePasquale says, “showing us a different hospitality factor, a new way of managing how guests perceive things.” He’s working hand-in-hand with Mediterra chef Terry Strong and his sous chefs, yes, but also servers and the management team as a whole. Shelton, DePasquale says, has set his task as observing, commenting on what’s being done correctly (or not), and addressing issues around hospitality and even marketing. “The beauty of Craig,” DePasquale says, “is that he holds himself up to the Relais and Chateaux guidelines, and it’s always good to strive for that with every single person who walks through our door.”

Congrats to 2013 James Beard Awards Semi-finalists Scott Anderson, Joey Baldino, and Thirty Acres

If you call yourself a New Jersey foodie, you’ve likely heard by now that the Garden State receive three nods on the first round of balloting announced this week. Both Scott Anderson of elements in Princeton and Vetri-alumnus Joey Baldino of Zeppoli (his Sicilian restaurant in Collingswood) are among 2o chefs vying to be one of 5 semi-finalists for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. Thirty Acres in Jersey City is one of 29 hopefuls for Best New Restaurant in the USA.

Thirty Acres, Jersey City

Thirty Acres, Jersey City

Five finalists in each category will be announced on March 18, and the ultimate sole winners on May 6.

Sneak Peak of Mistral Menu at elements, Princeton


Speaking of elements, the projected opening of Mistral, the second (and more casual) restaurant by the same team, is now set for April. Those of us who can’t wait for its small plates of interpreted Mediterranean classics can get a smattering at elements between now and then. Prices start at $7 for fennel salad with lemon basil, red onion, and orange and run to $12 for bronzino with potato puree, black olive, and caramelized red onion.

In between are house-cured lomo (Spanish-style dry-cured pork tenderloin) with trumpet royale mushrooms, pimentos, and garlic; pressure-cooked octopus with “papas bravas” (their quotation marks), and caper aioli; and dark meat chicken with yuzu and soy honey glaze.

Thanksgiving: Wine Pairings & Pies for Sandy Relief; Bonus Black Walnut Recipe

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings from an Expert

English: Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine,...

English: Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine, USA 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A while back I asked Laurent Chapuis, proprietor of Princeton Corkscrew wine shop, for his preferred quaffs for that mixed bag of flavors that is the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. If dinner starts with a first course – say, butternut squash soup –  he suggests sparkling wine, either Champagne or prosecco. For the turkey and trimmings he prefers light red wines. Below are his recommendations – and comments – for reasonably priced reds from producers who employ sustainable agriculture methods. btw: I cook up a heritage breed turkey each year, and my favorite wine with that fuller-flavored bird is another equally affordable wine from Chapuis’ shop, Elio Grasso Dolcetto.

Domaine Haut Lambert Beaujolais Vielles Vigne (Beaujolais): “From old vines and harvested by hand”
Corte Gardoni Bardolino (Veneto): “A luxury bardolino blend”
Ca La Bionda Valpolicella Casal Vegri (Veneto): “A surprise for those who only know mainstream valpolicella, like Bolla”
Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara): “Honest and true”

Holiday Pies = Sandy Relief at Maritime Parc Restaurant

English: A slice of homemade Thanksgiving pump...

English: A slice of homemade Thanksgiving pumpkin pie served on a glass plate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Liberty State Park in Jersey City was badly damaged in the storm, and Maritime Parc is helping out. Nestled in the Park’s marina, Maritime Parc may have reopened for events, but à la carte dining is not expected to be up and running until the end of November. So Pastry Chef Elizabeth Katz is selling pies this Thanksgiving — and Maritime Parc will donate half the proceeds to Liberty State Park for restoration after Sandy. Plus, they’ll be selling “Pies for the Park” again in December for the holidays.

Each ten-inch pie is $30, with 50% being donated. Flavors: chocolate pecan, pumpkin spice, and sour cream apple crumb. Orders are being taken through Tuesday, November 20, with pick up at the restaurant on Wednesday, November 21 between 10 am and 8 pm. Orders must be placed by phone: 201.413.0050. For December pie updates, continue to check the restaurant’s website.

Gotta Love Black Walnuts

A while back I posted about my love affair with black walnuts, and it continues to get many hits. So when the Hammons, the black walnut people, recently sent me an email with holiday recipes, I couldn’t wait to share the one below for Virginia Black Walnut Cake. It’s too late to order black walnuts for Thanksgiving, but still plenty of time for the December holidays. Find more tempting recipes – including a great-sounding pie – here.

Virginia Black Walnut Cake
Virginia Black Walnut Cake

2 cups butter, softened
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup Hammons® Black Walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whip butter and cream cheese together in large mixing bowl. Gradually add sugar and beat until thoroughly dissolved. Add eggs one at a time until well mixed. Blend in flour gradually, and then add salt, vanilla, and black walnuts. Grease and flour a Bundt or tube pan; spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; invert ont0 a plate.