Martha Stewart: I had a big, fun weekend in West Palm Beach

Cafe con leche in hand, Martha Stewart tours West Palm's GreenMarket. (Contributed photo)
Cafe con leche in hand, Martha Stewart tours West Palm’s GreenMarket. (Contributed photo)

Martha Stewart came to West Palm Beach and, in true Martha style, she flew away with something more stylish than a lousy souvenir t-shirt.

The businesswoman and lifestyle guru posted dozens of photos from her antiquing, thrifting and green market-shopping adventures on her “Martha Blog.” She also took the time to answer a few of our questions by email.

Read the full story here.

Stewart heads south this weekend to Miami Beach, where she is headlining the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s sold-out rosé brunch with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. We took the occasion to ask her some brunch-centric questions:

We must ask: Is rosé your go-to brunch drink?

“Ever since my first trip to St. Barths, rosé has been my wine choice for brunch.  Year round, I think it accompanies most food perfectly.”

Martha shares her poached eggs secret below. (Photo: Andrew Purcell)
Martha shares her poached eggs secret. (Photo: Andrew Purcell)

What are the keys to creating and serving the perfect Sunday brunch?

“Do as much prep ahead of time as possible.  I have a secret way to make eggs Benedict. Poach the eggs the day before, then store them overnight in the refrigerator in ice water.  The next day, reheat them for a few seconds in simmering water right before you assemble them.  Perfect eggs Benedict every time.”

 

 

 

Palm Beach’s Buccan celebrates 5 years today with greatest-hits menu

Chef Clay Conley opened The Sandwich Shop at Buccan in Palm Beach in December. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Chef Clay Conley opened The Sandwich Shop at Buccan in Palm Beach in December. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Time flies when you’re winning awards.

The restaurant Buccan, which shot to national prominence thanks to two-time James Beard Award semifinalist chef Clay Conley, is celebrating its five-year anniversary today. The restaurant will offer some of its most memorable dishes since its debut, focusing on the small plates and world-inspired ingredients that have been its hallmark on Palm Beach.

CRITICS CHOICE: See food editor Liz Balmaseda’s best of 2015

Among the many dishes today: Colorado lamb with harissa chili paste; grilled Florida corn with Mexican cotija cheese; short rib empanadas; and squid ink orecchiette pasta with Italian sausage and conch.

Their signature cocktail, the Buccan T (an acronym for its ingredients: basil, unsweetened iced tea, cranberry, citrus, agave nectar) will be served all night for $5.

 

Minestrone for the soul: ‘Empty Bowls’ event hopes to curb local hunger

On February 14 & 15 Empty bowls will host a simple communal meal in which participants will dine on a piece of bread and soup in a beautiful handmade bowl. The event is designed to create greater awareness about hunger in Palm Beach County and to raise money for the Palm Beach County Food Bank. Participants get to keep the bowls. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
Photo: Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post

The handmade bowls are almost too pretty to fill, but they are empty to make a point about local hunger.

The folks at the Palm Beach County Food Bank will tell you one in six local residents do not know where their next meal will come from. This is why the annual Empty Bowls Palm Beach charity event has been planned for a third year.

The fundraiser, for which local potters make bowls to be filled with hearty soups made by local chefs, takes place in Palm Beach Friday, Feb. 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Episcopal Church at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, 141 S. County Rd.

Here’s how it works: You purchase a handmade bowl of your choice for $25, then peruse the fresh-made soup offerings for servings of your favorite. After you sample your choice of soups, you get to keep the bowl. All proceeds go to the Food Bank.

You can also order soup for takeout or delivery, choosing from 10 soup options (including The Colony’s mushroom-tarragon with crab, E.R. Bradley’s lobster bisque, Palm Beach Grill’s Firehouse Chili, and Testa’s minestrone). For $25, to-go orders include soup, bread, bottled water, a cookie and a ceramic bowl (optional). Takeout and delivery orders must be placed by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3. For a takeout form, email EmptyBowlsPB@bbts.org.

Last year, the soup event raised more than $64,000 for the Food Bank, with 49 local restaurants donating soup and 1027 people buying bowls.

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

 

 

 

 

 

Palm Beach panache: Peek Cafe Boulud’s sunny, new look

Relocated and resplendent: Cafe Boulud has a sleek new bar. (Photo: Noah Fecks)
Relocated and resplendent: Cafe Boulud has a sleek new bar. (Photo: Noah Fecks)

Don’t expect uber-chef Daniel Boulud to make too much of the recent revamping of his Café Boulud Palm Beach. He won’t spin it to sound hip or trendy – he has little use for such ephemeral qualities.

“We wanted to refresh the place. We wanted to open the place up, to create a more airy, light, sunny feeling,” he says on a recent day as the early afternoon sunlight picks up the sleek lines of the dining room’s new central focus: an under-lit, U-shaped bar.

Yes, this bar just might attract a younger, more hip crowd of Palm Beach diners. But that doesn’t mean Boulud is hoping to trade the island’s iconic blue blazers for hipster beards.

“We have to be consistent in what we do. We don’t try to be a trendy place. We want to be a quality place,” says Boulud.

The glowy new bar is now the dining room's focal point. (Photo: Noah Fecks)
The glowy new bar is now the dining room’s focal point. (Photo: Noah Fecks)

Those who may believe Boulud might gild the menu to match the new, glowing bar may not grasp the chef/restaurateur’s café concept.

“The food is trying to be very tasty, not very refined,” he says.

Read the full story on the iconic Palm Beach eatery here.

Who’s the local street food king? Gardens chef crowned at Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest

Street Food winners, from left: chef Tim Lipman, chef Elizabeth Falkner, and festival director David Sabin. (Photos by Liz Balmaseda)
Street Food winners, from left: chefs Tim Lipman and Elizabeth Falkner, and festival director David Sabin. (Photos by Liz Balmaseda)

Chef Tim Lipman’s hot, crispy croquetas — or as he calls them, “Mista Tim’s Krusty Ballz” — took People’s Choice Award Saturday night at the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival‘s Street Food battle.

The battle, which took over a side lot of the Four Seasons Resort on the festival’s third day, pitted chefs representing New York City against those cooking for Palm Beach.

Lipman, chef/owner of the popular Coolinary Cafe in Palm Beach Gardens, created a trio of croquetas (Miami-inspired street fare), a shrimp and andouille sausage, an edamame falafel ball, and a lamb-accented ball.

Some may call them croquetas, but chef Tim Lipman's got another name for his winning creations.
Some may call them croquetas, but Lipman’s got another name for his winning creations.

The evening’s celebrity chef judges — food TV’s Robert Irvine, Christina Tosi, Hugh Acheson, Jeff Mauro, among others — chose New York chef Elizabeth Falkner as their winner. The pastry-chef-turned-savory-master created a delicately grilled striped bass with a creamy Meyer lemon yogurt sauce, topped with micro greens.

Celebrity chef judges hard at work, among them Hugh Acheson, Robert Irvine, Jeff Mauro and Christina Tosi.
Celebrity chef judges, among them Hugh Acheson, Robert Irvine, Jeff Mauro and Christina Tosi.

Tied for runner-up were West Palm Beach chef Lindsay Autry, who served a flavorful Brunswick stew over rice grits, and New York-Boston chef Ken Oringer, who gave the foodie crowd a giant paella pan filled with Spanish-inspired fideos (noodles), tossed with seafood.

The four-day festival continues today (Sunday) with a Daniel Boulud-hosted brunch at Cafe Boulud, and wraps up tonight with the 9th Annual Grand Tasting at The Gardens Mall. Tickets are still available for tonight’s event ($75) at the festival’s website, PBFoodWineFest.com.

To view a gallery of festival events, visit PalmBeachPost.com.

PBFWF: Five stunning courses celebrate sustainable seafood

Chef Mike Lata's Maine razor clams in a cilantro toss. (LILA PHOTO)
Chef Mike Lata’s Maine razor clams in a cilantro toss. (LILA PHOTO)

You know to expect something special when you have four James Beard Award-winning chefs and one of Palm Beach’s top seafood chefs in the kitchen. But Thursday night’s “Sustain” dinner at PB Catch went well beyond special.

One of the two dinners that kicked off this year’s Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, Sustain brought together chefs from far-flung American cities in a celebration of sustainable fish and seafood. The resulting five courses proved not only harmonious but spectacular.

Sustain feast at Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest, at PB Catch. (LILA PHOTO)
Sustain feast at Palm Beach Food & Wine Fest, at PB Catch. (LILA PHOTO)

A sold-out crowd traveled to Charleston, New Orleans, Cleveland – all without leaving their white linen-draped tables.

First stop: Charleston, SC. Chef Mike Lata (Fig, The Ordinary) presented a vibrant green toss of Maine razor clams in a zippy, bright cilantro sauce.

Chef Mike Lata of Charleston. (LILA PHOTO)
Chef Mike Lata of Charleston. (LILA PHOTO)

Next stop: New Orleans, where chef Stephen Stryjewski (Cochon, Peche) gave us a robust shrimp and potato stew with fermented black beans, olives and chiles, a dish that combined the flavors of his city in one bowl.

Chef Stephen Stryjewski of New Orleans. (LILA PHOTO)
Chef Stephen Stryjewski of New Orleans. (LILA PHOTO)

Third stop: Palm Beach, where PB Catch’s chef de cuisine, Aaron Black, created a pompano with “BLT” flavors, en croute, with bacon-tomato vinaigrette and romaine fermented with crème fraiche and caraway.

PB Catch chef de cuisine Aaron Black and owner Thierry Beaud. (LILA PHOTO)
PB Catch chef de cuisine Aaron Black and owner Thierry Beaud. (LILA PHOTO)

Next stop: Cleveland, where chef Jonathon Sawyer presented a full clambake in a burlap-lined bowl – clams, cockles, double-smoked kielbasa, guinea hen involtini, marble potatoes, sweet, carved corn and a rich, sippable broth.

Chef Jonathon Sawyer of Cleveland. (LILA PHOTO)
Chef Jonathon Sawyer of Cleveland. (LILA PHOTO)

The final stop was a sweet one: dessert by award-winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini (Cooking Channel “Sugar Showdown”), a beautifully bright duo of Florida citrus, which popped with key lime and caramelized grapefruit flavors.

Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini. (LILA PHOTO)
Pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini. (LILA PHOTO)

The dinner also launched The Palm Beach Post’s new Dinner Series, an occasional series of local, intimate dining events.

The festival continues today with a “Miami Takeover” lunch at Meat Market Palm Beach, a chef welcome party at The Breakers and a late-night karaoke session at the Four Seasons Palm Beach. Most of the weekend events are sold-out, but tickets remain for Sunday’s Grand Tasting ($75) at The Gardens Mall.

WIN ALL-ACCESS PASSES FOR NEXT YEAR’S FEST: ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE.

Thanksgiving dining picks: central Palm Beach County

Thanksgiving may be America’s most anticipated holiday for home cooks, but if you prefer to make a reservation rather than roast a turkey, you’ve got plenty of options. Listed prices do not include tax and tip.

Central county picks:

Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Avocado Grill, West Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Avocado Grill

The downtown West Palm eatery is serving healthy holiday options on Thanksgiving Day. In addition to a small-plates menu, chef Julien Gremaud is offering a three-course holiday dinner for $39 per person. The options:

A lightened-up dinner of turkey, quinoa, braised kale, roasted tomatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes and cranberry. Or a traditional dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberry. Each meal option is served with an appetizer and dessert.

Thanksgiving menu hours: 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursday. Reservations: Strongly recommended via OpenTable.com or at 561-623-0822

Avocado Grill: 125 Datura St., West Palm Beach; AvocadoGrillWPB.com

Pistache

The bustling bistro, which offers a view of the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront commons, will serve a special three-course menu on Thanksgiving Day.

On the menu: eight appetizer options, including roasted pumpkin and goat cheese salad, Burgundy escargots, foie gras and classic French onion soup, and four entrée options: roast turkey with chestnut brioche stuffing, pan-roasted black grouper, beef bourguignon and steak frites. The dessert selection: apple and pumpkin pies, warm molten chocolate cake, pistachio crème brûlée and dark chocolate mousse.

The special menu, served from 3 p.m. on, costs $55 per person. (For kids, there’s a special $25 holiday menu.)

Pistache French Bistro: 101 N. Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-833-5090; PistacheWPB.com

Meat Market

The Palm Beach steakhouse will serve a la carte dinner specials on Thanksgiving night. Chef Sean Brasel has created a holiday menu that includes a fresh turkey leg roulade stuffed with sourdough, house-smoked pork belly and Peruvian corn; a wood-grilled citrus-vanilla turkey breast cooked in the sous vide technique to a tender finish with cauliflower puree and candied bacon-tomato marmalade; and a mixed platter of turkey and American bison short rib crusted with walnut praline demi and bone marrow flan. Reservations: strongly recommended at OpenTable.com.

Meat Market: 191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach; 561-354-9800; MeatMarket.net

Cafe Boulud, inside the Brazilian Court hotel, Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)
Cafe Boulud, at the Brazilian Court hotel, Palm Beach. (Richard Graulich/ The Palm Beach Post)

Café Boulud Palm Beach

Executive chef Rick Mace is preparing a three-course, traditional holiday menu, to be served from 1 to 9 p.m. (A vegetarian option is available.) Dinner costs $89 per person, $45 for kids 10 and younger.

Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court Hotel: 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach; 561-655-6060; CafeBoulud.com/palmbeach

Eau Palm Beach

The Manalapan resort has a few sumptuous options for Thanksgiving dining. The resort is hosting a fancy, “Eau Does Giving” holiday feast in the resort’s ballroom from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ($95 per adult, $40 per child). There’s also a four-course dinner in Eau’s fine-dining restaurant, Angle, starting at 6 p.m. ($85 per person), and a three-course meal (and a la carte dishes) at the more casual Temple Orange ($65 per person).

All dining options promise a portion of the proceeds to the Palm Beach County Food Bank. Reservations are recommended.

Eau Palm Beach Resort: 100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan; 561-533-6000; EauPalmBeach.com

SEE NORTH COUNTY PICKS

SEE SOUTH COUNTY PICKS

This Palm Beach chef is getting into a knife fight — on television

KNIFE FIGHT sEAN BRASELOne of Palm Beach’s biggest names in food is getting into a knife fight — and you can watch.

Sean Brasel, chef-owner of the Meat Market restaurants in Palm Beach and South Beach, is competing on the Esquire Network television cooking show, “Knife Fight.” The episode will air Nov. 17 at 9 p.m., and the Palm Beach restaurant will host a watch party, with free bar bites and happy hour specials.

Brasel’s Meat Market immediately became one of the best restaurants in Palm Beach County when it opened earlier this year, earning food editor Liz Balmaseda’s top marks for food and service.

“The steaks are stellar, the service sensational, the ambiance downright sexy,” she wrote.

This is the second cooking show Brasel has been involved in. He is a past contestant on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” Season 12.

IF YOU GO

What: Meat Market Palm Beach will host a watch party with free bar bites and happy hour specials as chef-owner Sean Brasel competes in the Esquire Network television show “Knife Fight.”

When: The one-hour show airs Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Where: Meat Market Palm Beach, 191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach

More info: MeatMarketPalmBeach.com, 561-354-9800

Restaurant pick of the week: something to purr about in Palm Beach

The club sandwich at The Leopard Lounge features avocado and egg. (Palm Beach Daily News file)
A club sandwich at The Leopard Lounge, Palm Beach. (Palm Beach Daily News file)

Central pick: LEOPARD LOUNGE

Oh, sure, this place is great at night for Palm Beach people-watching amid black lacquered walls, shiny leather banquettes and leopard print carpeting. But there’s more to the Leopard than the lounge and dinner scene. There’s excellent service, the “welcome” of hot rolls tucked into a basket, and delicious lunch.

The chicken schnitzel ($22) is a thing of beauty: Chicken breast that’s tender and juicy chicken beneath a crispy, buttery crust is topped with lemon béchamel sauce and served with haricot vert and French fries. Order the schnitzel as part of the Flavor Palm Beach lunch menu during the month of September and you can get an appetizer (like shrimp cocktail) and dessert (like double chocolate Belgian cake), all for just $20, plus tax and tip. That’s something to purr about.

The Chesterfield Hotel revamped its rooms and famous Leopard Lounge in 2011. (Chris Salata/ Palm Beach Daily News) 120711 PBDN Chris Salata 4 Photos
The Chesterfield Hotel revamped its rooms and Leopard Lounge in 2011. (Palm Beach Daily News)

Leopard Lounge: 363 Cocoanut Row (in the Chesterfield Hotel), Palm Beach; 561-659-5800; ChesterfieldPB.com

Twitter: @LizBalmaseda

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National Watermelon Day: Celebrate with a Watermelon Martini at Buccan

Watermelon Martini
The summery vodka Watermelon Martini, made with chunks of watermelon, at Buccan, a cocktail bar and restaurant in Palm Beach. (Brianna Soukup / Palm Beach Post)

Today is National Watermelon Day. And what better way to celebrate this awesome summer holiday than with a Watermelon Martini from Buccan in Palm Beach.

One of Palm Beach’s (and our) favorite places to see, be seen and look fabulous over a cocktail, Buccan’s just a few blocks from Worth Avenue but the center of its own bustle.

The popular restaurant debuted their Watermelon Martini just in time for summer. It’s not the kind you had in the late ’90s made with sugary artificial flavored Pucker or some such ickery (I feel like the cocktail gods would have me spit and throw salt over my shoulder to ward off the bad Pucker vibes.) This is real, made of fresh watermelon, lime, simple syrup and vodka. Real delicious!

But, if you are going, go soon! Buccan will close Aug. 10 for a massive 11-day makeover. They are expected to reopen Aug. 22.

If you go: Buccan, 350 S. County Road, Palm Beach. 561-833-3450.