Cooking Channel Talents' Favorite Food Moments of 2013
There were plenty of sweet, bitter, salty and sour (and maybe even umami) moments this year. These are our chefs and hosts' favorite memories of the past year.
©Jessica Leibowitz, Jessica Leibowitz, Jessica Leibowitz
My wife and I went on our honeymoon in Key West, and we caught our own lobsters and came back to the place we were staying and had fresh lobster that night –– and filled our freezer. We still have lobster in our freezer!
I think probably in the last month or so I've had the best food experiences just for the fact that I was traveling for a while … to go forage, to go fishing and kind of live that lifestyle that I think every chef would like to live but many just don't get a chance to.
On the Feasts Over Fire in Hawaii episode of Man Fire Food, there was a Hawaiian spinning rotisserie. It seemed like a very simple process, and I wasn't expecting anything spectacular out of it because they don't do much to it, but it was delicious. Just chickens on skewers rolling down the line –– but it was amazing. And I recently went to this Laotian restaurant in Tribeca called Khe-Yo. It's really good and very, very memorable — just the flavors were unique because that region is very diverse.
Ya know, honestly, I think my favorite food moment was opening (and this certainly isn't meant to be a cheesy plug) my first airport restaurant in July. It's called Low Country Restaurant, and it's in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport — the busiest airport in the world. It was such a long construction –– the day was pushed, like, four times. When we finally opened, it was like, "Wow, we did it!"
Debi + Gabriele
(Debi) My birthday, in August, was one of my favorite food moments. My husband made me tuna tartare with a fish soup, and it was fabulous.
And one of my favorite things he always does on New Year's is make a nice big lentil soup for midnight because it's tradition in Italy –– it brings good luck.
(Gabriele) Usually everyone is already blasted at midnight and eating desserts, but you need to have a spoonful of lentil soup.
One of my favorite food moments was cooking with Doris Spacer, and she was teaching me Azorean (she's from the Azores Islands). I have a very mixed history with pork, because there's nothing worse than pork that's dried out. Obviously war is worse than that and disease is worse than that, but it's a close third — dried-out pork. It's terrible. And she made this really succulent roasted pork; it was pretty amazing. And she taught me how to do it.
I would have to say probably my son's first birthday party, which we did both on Kelsey's Essentials and in my real life –– but it was the same menu. I had so much fun coming up with the menu. Since he's such a little guy, I made everything bite-size for this birthday, so we had bite-size tacos, bite-size birthday cakes and cute mini fruit kebabs. I just took the mini, bite-size thing way over the top. I probably will never do it again, but it was definitely a food memory of 2013 for me.