It’s fall already! I can’t believe it’s time to trade in my swimmers for pumpkins. Seriously, where did summer go?? However, it’s still a great time of year; the autumn colors, cooler nights and dusting off the good ol’ crockpot! Hello yummy slow-braised meats.
I recently got back from a seven week stint in Sydney, where I filled my soul and spirit with quality family time and cooking in the kitchens at Miramar Gardens on the Northern Beaches. I feel so invigorated after spending much needed time on the pans, cooking with beautiful fresh products and amazing people. I have to do this every now and then to "fill my cup," so to speak.
So it’s back to the States and I seem to have hit the ground running, finishing off the final edits on my third book, #GoodFoodFast, due early in December, as well as preparing for a series of live events, annual shows and appearances, where I get to renew friendships and catch up with folks I have known for years. Funny, you blink and before you know it, 7-10 years have gone by and after seeing these same faces year after year, you can’t help but make a connection. It’s the hospitality business and the camaraderie, catching up with kids, family, and careers during these annual gatherings is really something special. The bonds of friendship and connections made make the fact that we don’t see each other often a non-issue.
I had a blast appearing on The Rachel Ray Show, with Chef Spike Mendelsohn, "Naked Cooking." It’s OK, we kept our undies on. I really enjoyed myself and offer my thanks to Rachel and her staff. Rachel has a great initiative that I'm a big supporter of, 9 Million Meals. Many of you know of my affiliation with No Kid Hungry. Well, Rachael is working with audience members and friends nationwide to raise enough money to provide 9 million meals to hungry Americans in her new #9MillionMeals campaign.
Rachael’s Yum-o! organization is teaming up with Feeding America and No Kid Hungry. Every dollar you donate helps provide up to 10 meals for Americans struggling with hunger! This is done through the efforts of Feeding America’s nationwide food bank network and No Kid Hungry’s work to change the way communities feed their children. Visit 9MillionMeals.com to find out how to donate. You can even designate your dollars to make sure they go to where you live! Go #TeamNKH.
I’m also excited to be representing New Zealand Trade and Enterprise at the 9th Annual Star Chefs Chef’s Congress. Experience this one of a kind culinary symposium that gathers more than 100 of the world’s most innovative chefs, pastry chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers to present the latest techniques and culinary concepts to their peers—all under the umbrella of this year’s theme, Cooking Honest: The Power of Authenticity in the Kitchen. For three days, you’ll have the opportunity to attend Main Stage Demonstrations, Hands-on Savory, Pastry, and Mixology workshops, Wine Tasting Seminars, and Business Panels.
The Oyster Cookoff and Craftbeer Weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama, is Saturday November 8th. Sample an incredible selection of oysters prepared by the nation’s hottest culinary professionals. Chefs will compete in three categories for the best oyster, so taste them all. Free admission to the public. Purchase tasting tickets to use in exchange for oysters, craft beer, wine, moonshine and champagne. Cooking begins at 11 AM. Awards at 5 PM.
November 14-16, 2014, is one of my favorite shows of the year in my adopted city of Cleveland, Ohio. This year will be my ninth year hosting The Fabulous Food Show. Chef Michael Symon is back with Carla Hall, my mates from The Chew, along with Tyler Florence, Nadia G and Ingrid Hoffman. This year's show looks to be the best yet. I have so many great memories from this show and the city of Cleveland has welcomed me with open arms from day one. I love my time, my wonderful friends and enjoy the skills of some very talented chefs.
Lastly, what could be better timing for my new cookbook, Good Food-Fast!: Deliciously Healthy, Gluten-Free Meals For People On The Go, in early December. I am more excited about this cookbook coming out than all my others in that, because it’s gluten-free, healthy and delicious, it's not just about the food, but changing lives and making a healthy lifestyle change. You can purchase the book on pre-sale here: Good Food-Fast! It’s full of great recipes and stunning photos and I hope you have as much fun reading and sharing the recipes as I did writing, cooking and shooting it.
I hope to see you at some of my upcoming events…come and say "Hi!"