Chris Cosentino Is More Than Just the Chef Who Cooks the Nasty Bits

Chris Cosentino Is More Than Just the Chef Who Cooks the Nasty Bits

Delicate as lace, chambered as white coral—the cover photograph on Chris Cosentino’s recent cookbook is compellingly beautiful. It is also an ultra-closeup of a piece of tripe, and the book, Offal Good: Cooking from the Heart, with Guts, is the chef’s unflinching opus on the art of preparing off cuts.

Cosentino rose to fame with dishes like spaghetti made with thinly sliced pig’s ears, first cooked at his former restaurant in San Francisco, Incanto. He went on to win a season of Top Chef Masters and influence a generation of cooks to get gutsier with their menus. His book is sure to inspire more: In addition to a staggering range of recipes, it offers detailed instructions on how to prepare everything from duck tongues to cow udders—a compendium that Cosentino says doesn’t exist elsewhere in English.

Over the last three years, he has also opened three new restaurants on the West Coast: Cockscomb in San Francisco, followed last spring by Jackrabbit in Portland and, over the summer, Acacia House at the Las Alcobas resort in Napa Valley. He has won raves for dishes such as the beef heart tartare at Cockscomb and the luxurious schnitzel at Acacia house, ramped up with a thick, juicy slice of Iberico pork, an intense beurre blanc, and a watercress salad with “caviar ranch” dressing. “It’s playful but it’s also delicious,” Cosentino says of his cooking. “If it’s not delicious, playful is just a waste of time.”

Your restaurants are in three of the best food cities in the country. How did you create distinct menus to fit each of them?
At each property, the menu and the style is about time and place. In San Francisco, Cockscomb is 100 percent about the history of San Francisco. When the Gold Rush came, cultures came: Portuguese, French, Spanish, Italian, English, East Coast, Chinese—everybody poured in. Now everyone says they cook Cal-Ital or Cal-French, but that really negates what San Francisco is: We have our own style and that’s what Cockscomb is about. We have dishes that are Portuguese influenced, Spanish influenced, Italian. We have a huge oyster bar. So many dishes were created here that people have forgotten about, like tetrazzini, green goddess, Hangtown Fry, crab Louie, shrimp Louie. We let those things influence us and utilize those flavors.

And at Jackrabbit in Portland, and Acacia House in Napa Valley?
At Jackrabbit, the name is about the indigenous rabbit species in that region of Oregon. These jackrabbits are very unique: they like to come out and eat and play at night and are very convivial, which is what a restaurant is. A lot of the dishes on the menu have a joke, like Around the World in 8 Hams, or the 3 Little Pigs [country ham, “porkcorn” cracklings, and “trottertots” made with rillettes]. One cocktail is called the Coin Toss because that’s how Portland got its name; so we do a coin toss, and it’s either tequila or gin, heads or tails.

At Acacia House, it’s all about wine grapes. If you think about it, there is no California wine grape. All the grapes were brought from Europe: Portugal, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. So all the food is based on those five countries, and it allows us to fluctuate through different regions of the different countries through the year and the dishes also work well with the wine. We do a crudité of the most beautiful vegetables available. Caviar with chips and dip is fun. Unfortunately, the consistent consensus of what Napa should always be is luxury. But the goal there is to create a convivial feeling. That is the most important thing.

You are so identified with offal and how creatively you use it. How central is it to your menus?
You realize that only 3 percent of my menu is offal? At Cockscomb, I’ll have three or four items on a menu of 45 items. You don’t have to yell at anybody to eat a carrot, but you really have to speak up loudly to have people understand that offal cuts are regular cuts of meat everywhere else in the world. Because I’ve spoken up about it, I’m now the person everyone wants to associate with it. And that’s fine. It’s just that everyone pegged me as a one-trick pony and it’s far from the truth.

We won’t do that, but you have led the way on nose-to-tail eating in this country and now you have a new book about it.
I’m proud of the decisions I’ve made to make offal be a part of everyone’s life every day, because it’s a really important part of the world. When I started cooking 15 years ago, no one would eat these cuts. Everyone would call them poor people food, immigrant food, dog food, garbage. But I’d like to be viewed as a chef who knows how to cook with these things, instead of as a chef who just knows how to cook guts. Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud cook with these things and no one views them as that.

But Daniel grew up cooking them; it’s part of French history. We didn’t, and it took years for people here to open their minds and realize the bigger implications. If we started using more of these cuts, there would be less factory farming, less shipping meat overseas, less waste. It’s just the right thing to do. It’s called sustainable eating. And it’s also the way our grandparents ate.

I don’t know if grandma ever made chicories with “brainaise.”
It’s the thought process of using what’s there in front of you. Grandmas cook something that someone told you wasn’t edible and make it something delicious. Brainaise is just mayonnaise, or aioli, where you poach pig’s brain and whip it into the aioli. It’s super creamy and it’s served with a roasted pig’s head and a chicory salad. The chicories cut the richness of the pig head and the brainaise is for dipping the crusty skin.

That sounds delicious. So many of your dishes have a surprising twist, like making a dessert out of cockscombs.
Cockscomb is the rooster’s crest, and when you slow-cook them, they become really gelatinous, like a warm gummy bear in your pocket. So the idea was to cook them in a simple syrup made with pomegranate. The texture becomes really beautiful and it takes on a vibrant color. Then we serve it whole with a beautiful, warm rice pudding scented with bay leaf and vanilla, and tart pomegranate seeds.

In the book, you talk about growing up in an Italian-American household in Rhode Island, and how you couldn’t stand it when your grandmother cooked tripe. Was there a moment when that changed
My grandmother from Naples—who I made pasta with growing up—would make sofrit, which was liver, lung, kidney, and heart, and it was delicious and I didn’t know what it was. But the tripe, I couldn’t stand the smell. The changing moment was the first time I went to France, and ate andouillette in Lyon. I realized somebody else can make this delicious.

So why can’t we? Because it wasn’t an option in culinary school to learn how to work with these things and it wasn’t an option where I was working at the time. All throughout France, I ate tripe everywhere. I went to Italy, and it was even more apparent. That was when I dug deep and really started learning. There were no traditional tools, other than Richard Olney’s Time Life series book on variety meats. I was using cookbooks from Japan, Italy, France. All the Japanese books had pictures, but all the French and Italian books were just text and I would have someone translate. I have a cookbook library of 3,500 books, and I might find two or three [offal] dishes per. I was also reaching out, talking to people in the markets abroad, and learning it that way too. It was self-education.

How do you seduce people into eating these cuts for the first time?
I don’t ever try to seduce, never ever. And I never try to mask what’s on the plate. People have to eat it on their own accord and they have to appreciate it for what it is. If someone tries to force something on you, it’s like sitting at the dinner table with your parents forcing you to eat your Brussels sprouts. You’re instantly going to have an aversion to it.

Are there any foods you won’t eat?
There are three things I won’t eat. Natto—it’s fermented soy beans, look it up and you’ll see why. I won’t eat balut—it’s a preformed duck with feathers on it and you eat it in the shell. Pretty gnarly. And I don’t like stinky tofu after a certain age. It gets really astringent and almost stings your palate. But anything else? Seriously, I’ve eaten seahorses on sticks. Scorpions. Beating cobra hearts. It doesn’t bother me. You have to be willing to open your eyes and try things.

Source: http://robbreport.com/food-drink/dining/chris-cosentino-interview-offal-acacia-eg17-2758256/

Retired MLB Star Roy Halladay Dead at 40 in Plane Crash

Retired MLB Star Roy Halladay Dead at 40 in Plane Crash

Ex-MLB Star Roy Halladay Dead at 40 In Fatal Plane Crash

Breaking News

Retired baseball superstar Roy Halladay died in a fatal plane crash Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Dept. is holding a news conference to reveal details of the crash. They confirm Roy was the only person aboard the ICON A5 light sport aircraft when it went down 10 miles west of St. Petersburg.

The Sheriff’s Dept. says Roy did not make a mayday call before he went down, and they’ve already recovered his body.

40-year-old Halladay proudly purchased his ICON A5 just last month. 

Roy was an 8-time All-Star pitcher for the Phillies and the Blue Jays, and a two-time Cy Young Award winner. He’s one of only 2 players in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs. He also pitched a perfect game for the Phillies in 2010.

The Phillies issued a statement — “We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy’s untimely death. There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game.” 

He’s expected to be a first ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible in 2019.

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2017/11/07/roy-halladay-fatal-plane-crash-baseball-pitcher-mlb/

LiAngelo Ball Arrested In China for Shoplifting, UCLA Cooperating with Officials

LiAngelo Ball Arrested In China for Shoplifting, UCLA Cooperating with Officials

LiAngelo Ball Arrested In China for Shoplifting … UCLA Cooperating with Officials

Breaking News

LiAngelo Ball — along with 2 of his UCLA basketball teammates — were arrested for shoplifting during a team trip to China, according to ESPN. 

The UCLA basketball team was out in Hangzhou before their game with Georgia Tech on Friday. 

The details surrounding the arrests are unclear. According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, players Cody Riley and Jalen Hill have also been arrested. 

UCLA issued a statement to TMZ Sports saying, “We are aware of a situation involving UCLA student-athletes in Hangzhou, China. The University is cooperating fully with local authorities on this matter, and we have no further comment at this time.”

LiAngelo Ball is the middle son in the ball family. His younger brother LaMelo Ball is expected to play at UCLA when he becomes college eligible. His older brother Lonzo currently plays for the Lakers.  

Story developing …

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2017/11/07/liangelo-ball-arrested-in-china-for-shoplifting/

Rose Namajunes: Joanna Privately Congratulated Me After UFC 217 Beatdown

Rose Namajunes: Joanna Privately Congratulated Me After UFC 217 Beatdown

Rose Namajunes Joanna Privately Congratulated Me … After UFC 217 Beatdown

EXCLUSIVE

For all that trash she talked before the fight, Joanna Jedrzejczyk was humble in defeat … privately congratulating Rose Namajunes after losing at UFC 217

“She came up and congratulated me afterwards and said, ‘All the best,'” Rose tells TMZ Sports

Before the fight, the former undefeated strawweight champ told Namajunas she was gonna snatch her soul from her body. Seriously. It was frightening. 

But Rose says Joanna was a total pro backstage … “just humbled and respectful.”

So, what’s next for “Thug” Rose? Don’t expect an immediate rematch …  Namajunas says Joanna might still need some time to “process” everything after that brutal beatdown. 

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2017/11/07/rose-namajunes-joanna-jedrzejczyk-ufc-217/

Bedazzled Oceanco Lumen

Bedazzled Oceanco Lumen

oceanco superyacht gigayacht monaco lauderdale adriel design

Oceanco’s Lumen superyacht concept gained even more luster at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show when a diamond-coated version was announced. The orange model of the long, lithe 302-foot gigayacht literally sparkled with its Sun King Diamond Coating. Diamond specialist Jean Boulle Luxury worked closely with paint specialist AkzoNobel to create the diamond coating using ethically sourced natural diamonds. The partners have used Sun King diamonds on a Rolls-Royce Ghost Elegance and Bentley Azure as well as a Bombardier Global Express jet. The coating made its debut at the Monaco Yacht Show on a Keizer 42, which was a fashion statement in itself. On Lumen, it would certainly add an extra level of luminescence to an already stunning yacht, with its stairway, multideck profile, large swimming pool, and helipad.

oceanco superyacht gigayacht monaco lauderdale adriel design

Oceanco Lumen concept with Sun King Diamond Coating.  Photo: Courtesy Oceanco

The Lumen concept was developed by California designer Adriel Rollins for Oceanco as a Passenger Yacht Code (PYC) vessel with accommodations for up to 36 guests. As the name suggests, the defining feature is light. Beyond the sweeping exterior, Rollins filled the interior with one-of-a-kind features like an atrium with a tubular glass and a stainless-steel elevator that extends five decks through the yacht’s center, all the way to the sundeck. The elevator will be surrounded by a floating spiral staircase, and at night, its soft lights take over, turning the area into an LED star-scape.

oceanco superyacht gigayacht monaco lauderdale Adriel Design

Oceanco Lumen, by Adriel Design.  Photo: Courtesy Oceanco

On moonlit nights, there will be a similar effect on Lumen’s diamond exterior, with a thousand points of light reflecting off the hull from the water and bright sky. When it is eventually built, Lumen promises to have one of the most dramatic exteriors on the water.

Source: http://robbreport.com/motors/marine/oceanco-lumen-superyacht-concept-2758043/

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Sold Bel-Air Mansion Photos

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Sold Bel-Air Mansion Photos

Kim & Kanye Sold Bel-Air Mansion is Heaven on Earth

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West turned their former Bel-Air home into a pristine palace before they sold it, featuring just the bare necessities … for millionaires.

Photos of the home, obtained by TMZ, reveal an all-white look of the heavenly interior of the mansion. As we reported … they stripped the place down to the studs and rebuilt it as a modern, minimalist home.

We broke the story — the couple made a fortune on the 1-acre property … selling it for $17.8 million last week after buying it for $9 mil in 2013.

The 10,000 square foot home features marble floors, huge vaulted ceilings and a beautiful outdoor pool and gazebo.

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2017/11/07/kim-kardashian-kanye-west-sold-bel-air-mansion-photos/

Jared Fogle’s Case Gets Jailhouse Lawyer’s Attention, Seriously

Jared Fogle’s Case Gets Jailhouse Lawyer’s Attention, Seriously

Jared Fogle Jailhouse Lawyer Wants to Help Him … Seriously

EXCLUSIVE

Jared Fogle‘s clearly made at least one friend in prison … because a jailhouse lawyer wants to get him out. 

Jared’s pal, Frank Edwin Pate, filed legal docs to say there’s no proof Jared traveled to engage in sex with a minor. The docs, obtained by TMZ, say therefore the 15-year prison sentence the judge handed down should be thrown out.

Frank, btw, is 2 years into a 210-month prison sentence for fraud. So, not exactly Clarence Thomas here. Besides, there’s no need for the court to prove anything … since, y’know, Jared pled guilty to traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.

Fogle’s lawyer, Ron Elberger, tells TMZ he’s still working with Fogle. As for Frank Pate, Elberger says, “It’s not an uncommon practice for jailhouse lawyers to assist” fellow inmates.

Where’s Steve Nigg when you need him … 

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2017/11/07/jared-fogle-jailhouse-lawyer-help-child-sex-crimes/

WWE’s ‘Brother Love’ Wants to Whoop Diddy Over Nickname Drama

WWE’s ‘Brother Love’ Wants to Whoop Diddy Over Nickname Drama

WWE’s ‘Brother Love’ I Got My Nickname Back … But I’ll Still Whoop Diddy’s Ass!!

EXCLUSIVE

Diddy tapped out on his “Brother Love” shtick QUICK … but the original Brother Love — pro wrestling legend Bruce Prichard — says he still wants to kick his ass!!

Here’s the deal — Puff announced his latest name change over the weekend … not realizing it was already taken by The Undertaker‘s famous ex-manager. 

After wrestling fans DESTROYED the hip-hop mogul on social media — Diddy decided to give it back. 

But Prichard ain’t taking Diddy’s attempted nickname robbery sitting down — issuing a challenge to meet mano-a-mano inside the ring.

“I would do anything to wrestle with Diddy — anytime, any place,” Bruce told TMZ Sports.

“You stay in your world and I’ll stay in mine, because I don’t wanna have to get you inside of a solid steel cage and open up my own can of whoop-ass on you!”

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2017/11/07/bruce-prichard-brother-live-diddy/

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Launches a Tequila Experience of a Lifetime

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Launches a Tequila Experience of a Lifetime

Grand Velas Agave fields

Choosing between a sun-drenched resort getaway and a Mexico vacation seeped in the country’s rich history is no longer a decision that guests at the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit hotel have to make. The all-inclusive resort has just launched a day trip to the state of Jalisco, where guests can opt for a tequila experience of a lifetime.

The day trip ($8,244 for two, or $3,544 if traveling by car) kicks off with a private flight to the tequila appellation, just an hour in the air from Puerto Vallarta. Once on the ground, guests head to Casa San Matías, one of the oldest tequila houses in Mexico, where some tequila is still made the old-fashioned way with the traditional tahona stone to ground the agave. “It is in this area where the finest tequilas are produced,” says the resort’s general manager, Maria Del Pilar Perciavalle. “Minerals in the endemic red soil make agaves grow richer, healthier, and more suitable to make tequila.”

Huichol Tequila Bottle

Huichol Tequila Bottle  Photo: Courtesy Grand Velas

Guests will witness how the spirit is distilled and processed before sitting down to a five-course Mexican lunch alfresco, complete with a mariachi band and some of the finest tequilas of the house. After lunch, guests learn about the mixing and bottling processes. “Guests come up with their own mix, bottled in a specially crafted glass bottle covered with chaquira beads to take home,” says Del Pilar Perciavalle. The mixes are archived in case the guest wants to order another bottle later.

“The property offers views of beautiful agave fields paired with a refined and modern tequila house,” says Del Pilar Perciavalle. “It is truly a spectacular place.”

Source: http://robbreport.com/food-drink/spirits/grand-velas-riviera-nayarit-offers-san-matias-tequila-experience-2758149/

Harvey Weinstein NYC Case Being Presented to Grand Jury Next Week: Report (UPDATE)

Harvey Weinstein NYC Case Being Presented to Grand Jury Next Week: Report (UPDATE)

Harvey Weinstein NYC Case Being Presented to Grand Jury By Next Week: Report

Exclusive Details

11:15 AM PT — A senior member of the D.A.’s office tells TMZ the Grand Jury story is “100% false.”

A criminal case against Harvey Weinstein in New York City is reportedly being presented to a grand jury very soon … this after he was accused of raping an actress.

Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance, is expected to take a criminal case against Weinstein to a grand jury next week in an attempt to indict the fallen movie mogul … this according to WNBC. Vance declined to comment.

The news come about a week after actress Paz de la Huerta accused Weinstein of raping her in NYC in 2010 … and the NYPD launching an investigation. The NYPD’s Chief of Detectives said last week an arrest was imminent, but the D.A. walked that back.

Weinstein is under investigation by a number of other law enforcement agencies, all tied to alleged sexual misconduct.

Source: http://www.tmz.com/2017/11/07/harvey-weinsteins-nyc-indictment-grand-jury-rape-case/

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