 8 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

 1 poblano chile, finely diced

 1 medium Spanish onion, finely diced

 2 cans pinquito or pinto beans, drained, rinsed and drained again

 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, for garnishing

 Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown

and the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with

paper towels.

 Add the poblano and onions to the bacon fat in the pan and cook until soft, 3 to 4

minutes. Add the beans and bacon and cook until warmed through. Season with kosher

salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put into a serving bowl and top with cilantro or

parsley leaves.


 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

 2 tablespoons canola oil

 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro

 1/4 cup olive oil

 2 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste with some salt

 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles, finely diced

 1/2 small red onion, finely diced

Preheat the grill for high direct heat.

Toss the tomatoes with the canola oil, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a grill basket.

Grill, tossing once or twice, until charred on all sides. Remove the tomatoes to another bowl.

Add the parsley or cilantro, olive oil, garlic paste, chiles and onions. Stir to combine and season

with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Grilled French Bread

 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

 2 cloves garlic, chopped

 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 1 loaf French bread, split lengthwise

 Olive or canola oil, for brushing

 Handful fresh parsley leaves, for garnishing

Preheat the grill for high direct heat.

Toss the tomatoes with the canola oil, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a grill basket.

Grill, tossing once or twice, until charred on all sides. Remove the tomatoes to another bowl.

Add the parsley or cilantro, olive oil, garlic paste, chiles and onions. Stir to combine and season

with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.


 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

 2 cloves garlic, chopped

 Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 1 loaf French bread, split lengthwise

 Olive or canola oil, for brushing

 Handful fresh parsley leaves, for garnishing

 Mash the butter, garlic and some salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle.

 Brush the cut side of the bread lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the

bread, cut-side down, until golden brown. Flip over and continue cooking for 30 seconds

longer. Remove from the grill, slather with the garlic butter and cut each half into 4

pieces. Put the pieces on a platter and scatter parsley leaves over the top.

 Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay


3 cups Baby Greens

3 cups Baby Spinach

2 WALLA WALLA Sweet Onions, sliced

6 – 8 large Artichoke Hearts

½ cup Grape Tomatoes

½ cup Black Olives

Salt and pepper to taste

Basil Vinaigrette dressing:

4 oz. Apple Cider Vinegar

6 oz. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. dried Basil

1 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard

2 Tbsp. sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine in a jar and shake, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Marinate Artichoke hearts in 1/3 cup of dressing for 1 hour.

In a large serving bowl, combine the salad ingredients and toss gently to mix, toss with

vinaigrette add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.


8 cups finely diced cabbage (approx. 1 head)

¼ cup diced carrot

2 Tablespoons minced onion

 1/3 cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup milk

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup buttermilk

1½ tablespoons white vinegar

2½ tablespoons lemon juice


1. Cabbage and carrots must be finely diced. (I use fine shredder disc on food processor) .

2. Pour cabbage and carrot mixture into large bowl and stir in minced onions.

3. Using regular blade on food processor process remaining ingredients until smooth.

4. Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Favorite drinks for you BBQ Party


 1 cup fresh lime juice

 2 cups grenadine syrup

 2 cups Jamaican white rum

 1 cup light rum

 2 cups fresh pineapple juice

 2 cups fresh orange juice

 Pinch freshly grated nutmeg, optional

 Orange slices, for garnish

 Pineapple slices, for garnish

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher or punch bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour

before serving. Garnish with orange or pineapple slices.


 1 bottle white wine (Spanish table wine)

 3 ounces brandy

 2 ounces triple sec

 1 cup orange juice

 1 cup pineapple juice

 2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil for 2 minutes in a

small saucepan) and cooled (leftover syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container in

the refrigerator for 1 month)

 3 ounces white peach puree (peel peaches, remove pit and puree in a blender with a

small amount of water)

 Fresh peaches, oranges, and apples sliced

Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 48

hours. Serve over ice.


 1 cup sugar

 1 cup water

 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, about 4 to 6 limes

 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, firmly packed

 2 limes, zested

 1/2 cup light rum

 8 cups crushed ice

 Mint sprigs and lime wedges, for garnish

 In a saucepan over medium heat, add the sugar and water. Cook for about 5 minutes,

stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear. Set aside to cool.

 Put the sugar syrup, lime juice, mint leaves, lime zest, and rum into a blender and blend

until smooth. Add the ice and blend until slushy. Spoon into glasses; garnish with a sprig

of mint and a lime slice.

 Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Grilled Arnold Palmer Cocktail

 6 large lemons, halved horizontally (not through the stem end)

 4 black tea bags

 1 1/4 cups honey

 2 to 4 ounces of your favorite bourbon

 Prepare a grill or large grill pan for high heat.

 Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn off the

heat, add the tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. Discard the bags, pour the hot tea

into a liquid measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes at room temperature, stirring

occasionally. Let the tea chill in the refrigerator while you grill the lemons.

 Slice one of the lemon halves into 4 thin rounds. Place the remaining halves flesh-side

 Squeeze the cooled lemon halves into a medium bowl or a liquid measuring cup (you

 To serve, fill 4 tall glasses with ice. Divide the lemonade mixture equally among them.

down on the grill pan, and cook until the flesh is deeply charred, about 5 minutes,

rotating the lemons as needed so they char evenly. Place the sliced rounds on the grill,

and char on both sides, about 3 minute’s total. Transfer the lemon halves to a plate, and

let cool for at least 10 minutes. (You will be squeezing them, so they should be cool

enough to handle.) Reserve the charred rounds for garnish.

should have about 1 cup of juice). Whisk in the honey and 1 cup cold water.

Stir 1/2 to 1 ounce bourbon into each glass. Slowly pour 1/4 of the chilled tea into each

glass-it should float on top of the lemonade, making a two-layer drink. Garnish each

glass with a charred lemon slice, and serve immediately

Great Deserts for your BBQ Party


8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate, melted

4 cups crisped rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)

2 pints mint chocolate-chip ice cream, slightly softened

1. In a large bowl, combine the chocolate and cereal until the cereal is completely coated. Transfer

to a 9-inch spring-form pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the

pan. Freeze just until firm, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Spread the ice cream in the prepared crust and freeze, covered, until firm, for at least 2 hours

and up to 3 days.


1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and ½ cup sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring; let cool.

2. In a blender, puree 3 cups raspberries (12 ounces) with the sugar syrup. Strain into a loaf pan

or shallow dish and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

3. Whip ½ cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. Using a fork, scrape the surface of the raspberry

ice to create icy flakes; divide among bowls. Serve with the whipped cream and additional

raspberries, if desired.

Ice Cream Sandwiches You can use any flavor ice cream you desire, so be creative!

1/2 pint ice cream, slightly softened

16 small crisp cookies (such as Pepperidge Farms Bordeaux, gingersnaps, or shortbread)

1. Sandwich the ice cream between the cookies. Serve immediately or freeze, covered, for up to 3



8 peaches (about 2 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

½ cup sugar

1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup heavy cream

Vanilla ice cream, for serving

1. Heat oven to 350° F. In a bowl, toss the peaches with ¼ cup of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of

the flour; transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish.

2. In a food processor, combine the remaining 1¼ cups flour and ¼ cup sugar with the butter,

baking powder, and salt. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Add the cream and pulse just until

moistened (the dough will be slightly shaggy). Drop spoonful of the batter onto the peaches.

3. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 50 to

60 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.




Bryant Park’s Winter Village isn’t waiting for snow to make that Christmas dough 

Sing with me, people!

It’s not looking at all a bit like Christmas

Anywhere we go!

It’s not even Halloween

Yet Bryant Park is smelling green

Build a market, sell some stuff and make some dough!

It’s already Christmas in Bryant Park, where Jamie Shapiro sets up her Monkey Business ornament stall Thursday ahead of the “Winter Village” opening.


That’s not just a song parody — it’s actually happening right now in Bryant Park, where workers are putting the finishing touches on this year’s Bank of America “Winter Village,” where more than 125 vendors will sell Christmas presents from Oct. 29 until Jan. 2.

That’s THIS Saturday, folks! The kids haven’t begged for their Halloween candy, the Cubs haven’t even had a chance to blow the World Series, and my mother (who packs for a weekend getaway two months ahead) hasn’t planned her Thanksgiving dinner yet. But Bryant Park is about to start selling Christmas presents.

The World Series isn’t even halfway over yet.


Even the people selling Christmas presents in Bryant Park think it’s too early!

“Of course it’s too early,” said Jamie Shapiro, whose shop Monkey Business will sell Christmas ornament stands at three markets this season, including Union Square, where the annual retail bacchanal doesn’t start until Nov. 17.

“It should be just before Thanksgiving,” added Shapiro. “People aren’t thinking about Christmas yet. And it’s tough on the vendors because we need to pay staff and pay for parking for so many more days.”

The market opens two days before kids will trick-or-treat Monday on Halloween.


Shapiro was feeling a little blue, so I asked her to join me in another of my favorite Christmas songs:

I’ll be home for Christmas

But give me eight more weeks

There’s still no snow or mistletoe

Fall leaves still at their peak

America’s “permanent Christmas” isn’t limited to Bryant Park’s premature yulefication, of course. On Sept. 1 — that’s four days before Labor Day, people — Walmart started the 115 shopping days until Xmas countdown by posting a toy “wish list” on its website Fortune picked up on the story the same day, but revealed the real reason Walmart is hyping Christmas when most Americans haven’t even put away their swimsuits.

“Walmart has always been aggressive about (Christmas) to fight Toys ‘R Us, Target, and for customers in the busiest shopping period of the year,” Fortune reported.

In other words, sell it and they will buy.

Which reminded me of a song:

Well, the weather outside ain’t frightful

Who needs a fire when it’s so delightful

Still it’s no time to take it slow

Make some dough, make some dough, make some dough


Buying Time: Christmas shopping in New York City

Again, that verse is not just some writerly conceit, but fact: the International Council for Shopping Centers, a trade group, revealed on Oct. 4 that there’s a link between green on the trees and green in retailers’ wallets. More and more shops are turning their attention to early Christmas sales this year, and, sure enough, the trade group is “predicting a 3.3% growth in retail sales at physical stores this holiday season,” up from last year’s 2.2% increase in 2015.

Still, can’t we just hold off on thinking about Christmas until — oh, I don’t know — people have gotten a Christmas song stuck in their head? Even Macy’s — which has a vested interest in making sure you shop until you drop — symbolically starts the holiday season by ending its Thanksgiving parade with a hearty “Ho, ho, ho!” from Santa Claus.

Another study, conducted in September, revealed that 73% of Americans hate how early the holiday season starts. The survey, by, added that the majority of Americans (52%) want the Christmas season to start “around Thanksgiving,” while another 12% want it to start about two weeks before Christmas. That’s 64% favoring a traditional holiday tradition.

That said, 14% of Americans admitted they started this year’s Christmas shopping in mid-September — three months before Dec. 25!

That’s not how Susan Cirullo does it. I ran into her in Bryant Park on Thursday and she couldn’t believe all the commotion at the marketplace.

“I only do one holiday at a time, so when I get through Halloween, I’ll think about Thanksgiving, and when I get through Thanksgiving, I’ll think about Christmas,” she said. “But I only think about presents on Dec. 20 — if I’m organized.”

Walmart, of course, is not even the first to ring the Christmas bell (that’s a thing, right, or am I making a portmanteau of “Christmas dinner” and “dinner bell”?). Hobby Lobby, the famously Christian crafts chain, told that it starts looking ahead to Dec. 25 on June 1.

Skaters glide on the ice at Bryant Park’s rink on Dec. 24, the day before Christmas.


The store “has two seasons: spring and Christmas,” said spokesman Bob Miller.

Which made me think about that classic Christmas song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”:

You’re not looking out

You’re still saying why

Your datebook’s in doubt

Bryant Park must be high

Santa Claus ain’t coming to town

Sure he’ll start with his list

The “Naughty” and “Nice”

But he won’t begin now — I’m still eating pumpkin spice!

Santa Claus ain’t coming to town.

CHORUS: He’s doing old bookkeeping

Not baking a fruitcake

He needs a tiny bit more time

So apply those Yuletide brakes!

But maybe I was being a little unfair. After all, as Jamie Shapiro reminded me, small business people need all the help they can get. So why begrudge them a few extra weekends of sales?

The market supports 350 small businesses and craftsmen, so starting early isn’t necessarily the worst thing for them.


“You know, there are Scrooges everywhere, but I think people just complain about the ‘early Christmas’ for the sake of complaining about it,” said Julie Feltman, who runs the Bryant Park, Union Square, Columbus Circle and other markets for Urbanspace NYC. “But there are so many great things about this. The market supports 350 small businesses and craftsmen who are doing great work and hiring staff. And most of the work is local. So if you want to bash anyone, bash the big box retailers.”

Wait a second. Feltman made me consider something I didn’t even realize: Maybe I was the Grinch, the curmudgeon trying to steal Christmas. But talking to her made my heart grow three sizes. I can embrace the Christmas season, I really can!

Which, of course, reminded me of a Christmas song!

Hot dogs roasting on a greasy grill

Autumn still warm and aglow.

It’s never too soon for some Christmas goodwill.

Or to buy that new chapeau.

Gersh Kuntman, DAILY NEWS


Wolfgang Puck Chef of the month for July, August and September 2018

Wolfgang Puck As PDF

Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian-born American celebrity chef and restaurateur, who is famous all over the world for his high-end gourmet restaurants, catering services and cookbooks. Best known for his signature dish, the House Smoked Salmon Pizza, Puck is also much renowned for whipping up dishes like Classic Chicken Pot Pie and Catalonian Fire Roasted Lamb Rack. His fascination with food began decades ago when as a young kid he used to observe his mother cooking in the kitchen. His mother was a restaurant chef and young Wolfgang soon decided that he too wanted to be one, much to the chagrin of his father. His father did not approve of his career choice and for a while Puck tried his hand at working at a construction site in order to appease his father. But fate had other plans and soon he found himself working for a restaurant. For a few years he worked at various restaurants and honed his culinary skills. He moved to France from Austria and luckily got the opportunity to work in some of the greatest French restaurants. Eventually he moved to the United States where his career saw a phenomenal rise and over the years he became a very successful celebrity chef. He is also actively involved in many philanthropic endeavors and charitable organizations.

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Childhood & Early Life

  • He was born as Wolfgang Johann Topfschnig in Austria on 8 July 1949 to a butcher father and a restaurant chef mother. His biological father left his mother shortly before Wolfgang was born, leaving her alone to raise the child.

  • His mother Maria later married a coal-miner called Josef Puck who adopted Wolfgang and gave him his name. Maria gave birth to two girls and a boy, providing Wolfgang with three younger siblings.

  • He became interested in cooking from a young age, observing his mother at work. He started cooking when he was a child and realized that he wanted to become a professional chef.

  • His father, however, did not approve of his son’s career choice and wanted him to take up some other profession. Thus for a while Wolfgang worked at a construction site but left the job soon to focus on his culinary career.

  • He did not attend any culinary school, but instead opted to train as an apprentice. His first experience as an apprentice at a hotel was anything but positive, but this did not discourage him and he moved to train at another hotel.

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  • He moved to France where he was able to work in some of the finest restaurants including Maxim’s in Paris, the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, and the Michelin 3-starred L’Oustau de Baumanière in Provence. His experiences at these restaurants helped him develop his culinary skills greatly.

  • He decided to move to the US to explore newer avenues. His first job in US was at the restaurant La Tour in Indianapolis, where he worked from 1973 to 1975 before moving to Los Angeles. His career saw an upsurge and soon he found himself the part owner of Ma Maison in West Hollywood.

  • Ma Maison was frequented by the rich and the famous and he made a name for himself as a sophisticated gourmet chef. His deep understanding of the Californian cuisine and his excellent culinary skills made the restaurant very popular.

  • The success he received so far motivated him to start his own restaurant. In 1982, he opened his own restaurant Spago on the West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip. The restaurant was a success from the very first day, and his innovative dishes like haute cuisine pizzas, Sonoma baby lamb, and Roast beef established him as a gourmet chef.

  • Over the next few years he opened other restaurants including Chinois on Main in Santa Monica in 1983 and Postrio, in the Prescott Hotel off San Francisco’s Union Square in 1989.

  • Meanwhile Spago was becoming phenomenally popular and in 1997 he moved the restaurant to an elegant setting on Cañon Drive in Beverly Hills. He formed Wolfgang Puck Catering (WPC) in May 1998 which became the preferred catering service for several high profile events.

  • He eventually founded the Wolfgang Puck Companies which includes the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Wolfgang Puck Catering, and Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc. His company encompasses several fine dining restaurants and premium catering services, and also sells kitchen and food merchandise, including cookbooks and canned foods.

Awards & Achievements

  • In 2002, his Food Network television program ‘Wolfgang Puck’ received Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Service Show. The very next year, the program received Emmy for Best Direction for Service Show

  • His restaurant Spago in Beverly Hills received a James Beard Foundation Outstanding Service Award in 2005. The Los Angeles Michelin Guide awarded the restaurant two Michelin stars in 2008 and 2009.

  • He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by James Beard Foundation in 2012.

  • In 2013, Puck was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.

Personal Life & Legacy

  • He married Marie France Trouillot in 1975, and the couple divorced in 1980.

  • He married interior designer Barbara Lazaroff in 1983 after a much publicized romance. The couple had two children, and Barbara played a tremendous role in shaping his career. The couple collaborated with each other and opened a chain of restaurants which were very successful and established Wolfgang as a very popular chef. The marriage, however, came to an end in 2003 when he became involved in an affair with Gelila Assefa.

  • He married his longtime girlfriend and mother of two of his sons, Gelila Assefa, in 2007