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Engines Of Gastronomy

  1. Engines of Gastronomy
    Donatella Builds Her OvenThe first oven that Naples legend Stefano Ferrara has built on U.S. soil.
  2. Engines of Gastronomy
    La Lunetta Chef Brings Mobile Brick Oven to Brooklyn FleaDave Sclarow is driving his hand-built brick oven over to Atlantic Antic next month, too!
  3. Engines of Gastronomy
    Philippe Downtown’s Touch-Screen TakeoutPricey uptown Chinese food for cheap in the West Village.
  4. Engines of Gastronomy
    Will Coke’s New 100-Flavor Fountain Dispense Pure Liquid Evil?Finally, banana-strawberry-ginger-açaí Coke at the touch of a button!
  5. Engines of Gastronomy
    Black Iron Burger’s Griddle Isn’t Actually Made of Black IronCheck out all that shiny chrome.
  6. Engines of Gastronomy
    Buddakan’s Pump and Oven Keep the Peking Duck ComingPump it up, until you can feel it…
  7. Engines of Gastronomy
    Matsugen’s Mill Is Constantly GrindingAn ancient technology modernized for today’s soba kitchen.
  8. Engines of Gastronomy
    Under the Ultraviolet Light, the Crab Cartilage Can’t HideBetter crab picking through technology.
  9. Engines of Gastronomy
    Tailor’s Liquid-Nitrogen Dispenser Is Very, Very ColdSo cold that it freezes before the food knows what’s happening.
  10. Engines of Gastronomy
    Fabio Trabocchi Plays a Mean ChitarraFabio Trabocchi has been making handmade pasta on his chitarra for over twenty years.
  11. Engines of Gastronomy
    Commerce’s Athanor Oven Is a Chef MagnetA $100,000 oven does more than just cook chickens at Commerce.
  12. Engines of Gastronomy
    Country’s Infernal Machine Turns and Turns AgainThe $35,000 La Besse Giraudon rotisserie at Country is among the mightiest of the city’s engines of gastronomy.
  13. Engines of Gastronomy
    Savoy’s Branding Iron Is Not Cruel to Crème BrûléeSavoy’s crème brûlée branding iron applies the brown without the butane.
  14. Engines of Gastronomy
    Seymour Burton’s Old Beast of an Ice-Cream Maker Churns Away in theIf the PacoJet is the ice-cream machine of the dessert avant-garde, then the old-fashioned, massive, nearly unbreakable Coldelite ice-cream maker is the 1972 Cadillac to the PacoJet’s 2008 Prius. At the very old-school Seymour Burton, chef Josh Shuffman inherited the machine from the restaurant’s former owner, Sammy Kader. “We could never have bought one like this,” he says. “I don’t even know how they got it into the basement.” The Coldelite produces four ice creams a night: caramel, bourbon chocolate, vanilla, and a changing special — usually blueberry or rum raisin. Like everything else at Seymour Burton, the ice creams couldn’t be any simpler or less challenging, or any better. Not that Shuffman will take credit for it. “It’s all the machine. I’m out of my depth! I’m not a dessert chef. But the best you can do as a chef is to find something that works and stick to it.” Related: If It’s a Frozen Dessert at P*ong, Blame the Pacojet
  15. Engines of Gastronomy
    Joe Ng’s Rice Dough Steamer Takes Chung Fun to the Next Level It’s a tricky business to make chung fun, or rice noodles. They’re sticky and dense, and the dough is typically thicker than most Chinese noodle dough. Steaming it is problematic, but the ever-inventive Joe Ng at Chinatown Brasserie has come up with a streamlined solution: a customized dough cooker that’s a cross between a crêpe pan, a steamer, and a colander. “It works exactly like a steamer, except it’s flat,” says Ng. “We lay some very thin fabric in over the holes, and the dough is cooked very fast, like in 30 seconds. It takes up less space than an ordinary noodle cooker, and we change the fabric constantly.” For a machine that takes up so little space, it’s very efficient, he says. “I designed it myself and gave it to the manufacturer to make. No one else has one like it.” As for how well it works, the only solution is to eat the rice noodles at Chinatown Brasserie and judge for yourself.
  16. Engines of Gastronomy
    The Ferrari of Slicers Is Parked at San DomenicoThere’s a lot at San Domenico to attract the eye, like the Italian aristocrats or the celebrities periodically perched at table nine (Johnny Depp and Keith Richards ate there the other night). But the most striking thing in the restaurant remains the immense antique Berkel proscuitto slicer, a gift from Friuli to owner Tony May after September 11. “It’s the Ferrari of slicing machines,” May says. “It’s a simple machine, but it’s a jewel. It was a great gift.” Built in 1941 and powered by hand, it has a razor-sharp slicing edge that turns with the measured pace of a roulette wheel on its final spins.
  17. Engines of Gastronomy
    At Insieme, Marco Canora Makes Pasta Like It’s 1875In the wonderful world of pasta, there is the fresh (usually made with eggs and rolled-out), and there is the dried (usually eggless and extruded). And then there is the unusual hybrid of sorts that Marco Canora has recently introduced on his Insieme menu. While surfing the Web, as all blog-obsessed chefs are wont to do, Canora discovered an old Venetian–style hand-cranked pasta extruder known as the Bigolaro, a.k.a. the Torchio, and if he had his doubts about its decidedly low-tech looks, the price, at $280, was right. The rustic gadget, which was patented in 1875, clamps on to any sturdy tabletop, and although it requires the strength of two Greco–Roman wrestlers to operate, the results are worth the effort.
  18. Engines of Gastronomy
    Jean Georges’ CVap Oven Is ‘Better Than the Bag’ Jean Georges isn’t a restaurant known for its attachment to experimental cuisine; if anything, J-G Vongerichten’s highly formal flagship is considered a bastion of old-school tablecloth dining. But Vongerichten has always been in the gastronomic vanguard, and he and chef de cuisine Mark Lapico are among the city’s most ardent admirers of the CVap oven, a controlled-humidity technology they use so much that there’s three of them in the kitchen.
  19. Engines of Gastronomy
    Mr. Recipe Is the Spice Guru to the ChefsHe’s a one-man spice emporium.
  20. Engines of Gastronomy
    Dévi’s Hemant Mathur Keeps It Real With His TandoorHemant Mathur of Dévi is the Yo-Yo Ma of tandoor cooking, a virtuoso whose instrument is the traditional clay oven. Many menu highlights come from it, from the lamb-stuffed tandoori chicken to the naan and roti breads — all of them delightfully marked by the searing heat of Mathur’s three-year-old modern clay oven.
  21. Engines of Gastronomy
    Tadashi Ono’s Sashimi Knife Isn’t As Big As It Used to Be How does a chef who never cooks ply his craft? One who rarely comes near a pan or a pot? Who neither stirs a stew nor lards a roast? Ask a sushi chef, as proper sashimi preparation is one of the most prized of gastronomical arts. And the sushi chef’s most valued tool is his knife, says chef Tadashi Ono of Matsuri: “Knife skill is very fundamental, the most important skill.” Ono uses a Masamoto yanagi (sashimi knife) that he bought in Tokyo in 1992. It was originally 30 centimeters (nearly a foot) long, but years of daily sharpening along its right side (as Tadashi is right-handed) have reduced its length by a third, but the knife is still razor sharp. “The surface of the knife is extremely important,” Ono says. “Sashimi must have a silky texture. In Japanese cooking we don’t do much to the ingredients, so they have to be presented in the very best way possible. A coarser knife would leave the fish mushy.” Masamoto knives, manufactured in Ono’s hometown of Tokyo (“We love them because they are our native product”) can be purchased at Korin Trading Company for $232, for a very good knife, or $398, for one similar to the grade Ono uses. But there is no acquiring the fifteen years of hard practice; that you have to get yourself.
  22. Engines of Gastronomy
    If It’s a Frozen Dessert at P*ong, Blame the Pacojet It takes more than skilled hands, sharp knives, and a creative mind to power New York’s restaurants. There’s also some heavy equipment that deserves periodic recognition. Today’s dessert alchemists draw from a considerable arsenal in their battle against conventional cake and ice cream. But the real secret weapon for many of these artisans is the Pacojet, a kind of high-tech blender. Pichet Ong was one of the earliest adopters of the Pacojet and uses a customized one at P*ong for all of his ice creams, sorbets, and ices.
  23. Engines of Gastronomy
    Quest For Fire: The Gramercy Tavern Wood Stove The wood-burning stove at Gramercy Tavern is an insatiable beast that requires two chefs to run. It’s effectively an overgrown campfire made from hot white oak logs, and it’s hard to maintain, requiring constant poking, prodding, and feeding.