Duck yeah! Here’s all the evidence needed to destroy any future political careers.
Our annual Duckathlon was held on June 9 in the Meatpacking District of NYC. This year, our cameras followed the team from Annisa restaurant as they prepared for the event. This profile of elite duckathletes gives a sense of what it takes to compete in our culinary obstacle course. With Chef Anita Lo leading her team “The Foie Freedom Fighters,” expect to see fierce competition along with the zaniness. All for Life, Liverty, and the pursuit of Quackiness!
With many thanks to our partners, sponsors, judges, and all the teams who participated. Looking forward to seeing you all at Duckathlon in 2014!
Today marks the first day of the year of the water dragon, one of the most revered years of the Chinese calendar. It’s sure to bring good fortune and excitement! Food (and food symbolism) will play a big part in the next few weeks of celebrations. Here are some dishes for good luck in the coming year.
Anita Lo's Pekin Duck with Hoisin and Figs
In Chinese culture, duck symbolizes luck and fidelity. Here’s a fantastic recipe from one of our favorite chefs, Anita Lo. Her Breast of Duck with Hoisin and Figs mixes classic, Chinese flavors with a whimsical presentation. Or try this recipe for Roasted Pekin Duck with Shallot Confit, Asparagus, Shitake and Lily Bulb Stir Fry by Mercer Kitchen’s Chris Beischer. Cambridge, Massachusetts chef, Jason Bond puts a smoky twist on a classic roast duck with his Holiday Hu-Kwa Duck which is cured with salt and smoked Hu-Kwa tea before being roasted and basted in it’s own juices.
Blue Ribbon Restaurant's Duck with Orange-Cassis Sauce
Fresh oranges symbolize wealth and unity. This easy recipe for Pekin Duck with Orange Cassis Sauce is warming and rich, perfect for winter. And if you ask us, you can’t go wrong with a classic Duck a l’Orange.
Eat stir-fried greens for wealth since the Cantonese word for lettuce sounds like “growing fortune.” Marcus Samuelsson’s Greens combine winter kale with sweet, baby bok choy and Asian flavors like soy sauce, mirin, ginger and lemongrass. Delicious!
Fried Dumplings also symbolize wealth with their golden color and ingot shape. For a decadent French spin, try these Deep Fried Dumplings with Foie Gras and Chicken Livers.
The golden color of fried spring rolls equals good fortune. Try our recipe for Duck Confit Spring Rolls with Cashews and Sweet Potatoes. (a double whammy of golden deliciousness!)
Red is a lucky color during Chinese New Year and red-cooked chicken is a classic “lucky” dish, symbolizing happiness and good fortune. Mark Bittman’s version of Soy Poached Chicken is delicious and easy to make at home. Or try this sophisticated Twice Cooked Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms, Ginger Garlic Relish and Star Anise Broth from Highlands chef, Chris Rendell.
Whichever dishes you indulge in, we wish you prosperity, good health and lots of luck in the new year! And as our Chinese friends say, 吉慶有餘! (May your happiness be without limit!)
On Monday, we were thrilled to attend a book release for the long-awaited, first cookbook of Michelin-starred chef (and D’Artagnan friend), Anita Lo, Chef/owner of annisa in New York City.
Cooking Without Borders was co-written with Charlotte Druckman and published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Snap impression? This book is really good-looking. You can tell a lot of thought has been put into even the smallest details, from its tactile matte paper stock to its watery blue accent colors and perfectly-lit photos. Even the font seems fresh… but as we all know, beauty is fleeting and after closer examination it’s evident that this book will soon be marred with butter stains, dog-eared pages and a dusting of dried spices. This baby is getting used.
The book is eclectic, fresh, refined and accessible. Each recipe is thoughtfully written, from prep to plating, and many have side notes with tips or helpful suggestions. Anita has said she takes inspiration from everywhere – and the dishes run the gamut from her mother’s homey BBQ spareribs to pan-roasted sea scallops with uni & bacon that she cooked on Top Chef Masters to foie gras soup dumplings, a staple on the annisa menu and chicken paprikash, a comforting favorite from her childhood nanny. We were also taken by the richly textured headnotes that accompany each recipe – memories, inspirations, anecdotes – these little stories are what sets this cookbook apart and makes it a “must-have.”
Anita Lo’s Cooking Without Borders is available now.