Tony is all about food. His ongoing projects have been featured in the press. To learn more, you can view his gallery, read his blog, or simply contact him directly.

Archive for the ‘bread’ Tag


Mo’ Butta’ Mo’ Betta’

Today I’m going to blog about brioche. It’s been long overdue, let me explain why.

It all started a few weeks ago when I received an email from the Culinary Institute of America. The Culinary Institute of America. I had to read the message a few times so the words could sink in. Dean Sciacca, a dean at the culinary school and reader of my blog, was inviting me to give a talk on storytelling and culinary tradition at their Hyde Park campus in New York. I had never done any public speaking before; not outside of school at least. I was excited, nervous, curious, honored — all at the same time. I wrote back with the most enthusiastic yes I could possibly muster in an email, all while keeping my cool (I think).

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Molly’s Tomatoes

Yesterday, my Friday started out like a dreadful Monday in disguise. It was pouring, I was running late for work and I had a flat tire. In retrospect, this wasn’t too bad. I called in late, pulled up my sleeves and youtubed: how to change a tire. I was mildly amused by the number of videos there were for this topic. After watching a few I thought I was fully-trained, if not an expert, on how to put on those silly-looking donut wheels. To make a long, miserable story short – my spare also turned out to be flat, the tow truck took 3 hours to pick me up, and it took 2 hours to get my wheel changed  – never in my life had I felt so much relief in returning home and closing the door behind me.

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Healthy, happy cows

Hi. I’ll have 8 oz of the grass-fedno-antibioticsnaturalno-artificial-growth-hormonehappy-cow steak. No, not that one, the one behind it and to the right, please. Sound familiar?

It’s sad that the barriers between industrialization and gastronomy have been breached, but it’s the truth. After reading Michael Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilema, I’m scared, or rather disgusted, to buy any other meat. I’ll usually pass on the massaged cattle lavished with all-they-can-drink sake, unless the parents are paying, and simply go for the healthy, happy cow instead. Slightly more expensive than the hormone-injected alternative, but I make it stretch to fit the occasion. If it’s dinner for two, I’ll break open a bottle of wine and enjoy a nice steak perhaps alongside some pureed parsnips or celery root. If it’s for a party, I’ll serve it as an appetizer and share it with my guests.

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Tastes like way more than a sandwich

Although I’m sure many of us enjoy the rich flavors of a 6-hour Bolognese sauce (the way nonna used to make it) or the flaky homemade texture of Baklava, there are just not enough hours in the day to indulge in these treats on a regular basis. Since I would never advocate resorting to fast food, there are always ways around this pickle. I knew I had to create a variety of dishes that I could rely on when time was breathing down my neck. College was the perfect place to develop this habit because it wipes your bank account clean and works you till the wee hours of the morning.

One of my favorite go-to dishes (and the one I decided to feature in today’s entry) is focaccia sandwiches. I make the focaccia at home using store-bought pizza dough and keep it in the fridge for easy access throughout the week. Also, the topping combinations for focaccia are as endless as the ingredients you can pair with it. A panini press is not required; but if you have been thinking about getting one lately, you definitely should (it’s probably one of my favorite toys in the kitchen!). Before I got mine I used toast the sandwich on a grill pan or in the toaster oven if I was feeling particularly lazy.

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From: Rome, To: You

This entry is dedicated to Raquel, my friend who thinks making focaccia out of a box is OK.

Romans are credited with an array of modern marvels, from the arc to democracy; but how easily do we forget the gastronomic contributions they’ve brought forth to the culinary world. The taste of artisan bread perfumed with sprigs of rosemary and topped with a few crystals of sea salt is considered perfection in the eyes of gourmands around the globe. A predecessor to the pizza, focaccia’s extensive history has turned it into a versatile canvas for all sorts of delicious ingredients. Zesty sun dried tomatoes; briny olives; earthy crimini mushrooms, you name it and focaccia will deliver.

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