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Posts tagged ‘Ariane Daguin’

Duckathlon VIII, Reducks

Last Sunday we hosted the 8th annual Duckathlon in the Meatpacking District of NYC.  In our infamous event, chefs compete in a culinary obstacle course that  takes them through hot eateries, dark bars and the diverse shops at the Chelsea Market.  The competition was stiff, and we had a fantastic turnout of teams, sponsors and judges. Check out a few of our photos below… and check our Facebook page for more pics.  And stay tuned – the video is coming soon!

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Duckathlon VIII

Best dressed:  Felix Restaurant 

3rd place: Le Maitres Cuisiniers “Team Clement” 

2nd place: Le Bernardin “Fish Heads”

1st place: Annisa “The Foie Freedom Fighters”

Participating Teams included:

Annisa, Delicatessen/Macbar, Commerce Restaurant, Daniel,  Le Bernardin,  wichcraft, Archibald’s Kitchen (City of NY), Felix RestaurantNinety Acres, Rob’s Bistro, Le Maitres Cuisiniers, Oceana, Taste of France, Mirabelle at the Three Village Inn, Bistro Vendome and a team from Restaurant Associates.

Judges:  David Burke, Barbara LynchJessica B. Harris, Adam GopnikNicole Peyrafitte

Special thanks to our generous sponsors!

Baron Francois, Biergarten at The StandardBobolink Dairy,  Bowery Kitchen Supplies, Buon ItaliaCanelés de Céline, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Chateau de Laubade, Chelsea Market BasketsChelsea Wine VaultColicchio & Sons, Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, Doughnuttery, Fat Witch Bakery, Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Hogs & HeifersL’Arte Del Gelato, Lucy’s Whey, MacelleriaManhattan Fruit Exchange, RdV LoungeRobert Kacher SelectionsSt. Canut Farms, SixpointVermont Creamery, Volvic

And big thanks to all our volunteers! 

‘wichcraft presents: bacon

Happy 1oth Anniversary, ‘wichcraft! Check out this video series to learn about their carefully-sourced ingredients. We’re  proud to supply them with our heritage breed bacon, which they put to good use in many delicious sandwiches. In this short video, watch for Tom Colicchio and for Ariane’s bacon socks! And learn how we raise pigs to make the best bacon around.

Mmmm. Might be time for a BLT.

All About Venison

For many, venison is associated with a hunter friend who dispenses irregular, butcher-paper-wrapped meat parcels of uneven quality and dubious taste. So it’s not a surprise that venison’s reputation has been less than stellar until recently.

Venison grazing on a Cervena-certified farm in New Zealand.

Venison grazing on a Cervena-certified farm in New Zealand.

Over the last decade or so, venison has become more main stream. The best restaurants in the country include it on their menus, and it can be purchased at neighborhood grocery stores and local butchers as well as online. Not only is venison easier to procure, but it’s more tender and milder in taste than its wild counterpart. Retail availability also means that home cooks can pick and choose the best cuts, not just the frozen stew meat left over from Uncle Bob’s hunting trip last year.

The term venison comes from the Latin verb venari, meaning “to hunt.” It can refer to meat coming from boar, hares, and certain species of goats and antelopes, but is most commonly applied to deer meat. Deer meat is characterized by its fine grain and supple texture resulting from short, thin muscle fibers. Red (the largest type of deer), axis, fallow, and roe are the most common type of deer used for their meat. Because of its large size, red deer are preferred for ranch-raised venison.

Where Does Venison Come From?
In addition to venison hunted largely in the Fall and early Winter season, ranches or farms are now located throughout the world. Most of America’s supply currently comes from New Zealand ranches and is marketed under the appellation Cervena, a name which reaches back to historical origins, combining cervidae, the Latin word for deer, with venison.

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Cervena is a trademarked appellation that certifies that venison has been naturally pasture-raised, grass-fed with only minimal supplemental feed such as hay, and without steroids or growth hormones. Antibiotics are administered only in cases of extreme disease and are then tracked by animal and not allowed to be processed. Cervena also requires that animals be under three years of age at time of processing and that processing take place at accredited facilities. Cervena certified farms are privately-operated New Zealand farms that adhere to the strict standards required by the appellation.

Why Eat Venison?
Game of all types, especially venison, is low in fat, cholesterol, and calories and high in the essential nutrients niacin, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and zinc. Tender, light, and with a mild red meat taste, Cervena venison is packed with flavor (plus iron and calcium), but weighs in with only a fifth the amount of fat that beef does – making it both delicious and nutritious.According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, Cervena venison has about a fifth the amount of fat and about 100 fewer calories per 3.5 ounce serving of beef, the traditional choice for red meat.

Chef Chris Cosentino's Veniosn Tartare.

Chef Chris Cosentino’s Venison Tartare with Foie Gras.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:
Venison Daube à l’Armagnac
Venison Tartare with Foie Gras
Bacon-Wrapped Rack of Venison
Venison Medallions with Wild Mushroom Port Sauce

Vive le cassoulet!

It’s that time of year again, our Cassoulet Recipe Kit is on SALE! For a limited time only, save 15% off our signature kit, with or without the authentic French bowl. In honor of this ‘it only happens twice a year’ sale we’d like to share one of our favorite videos. Here’s Ariane making a Gascon-style cassoulet with Chef Pierre Landet of Felix in New York City.

A message from Ariane

Dear customers, chefs and friends,

We are happy to report that D’Artagnan headquarters, in Newark NJ, has now returned to normal activities as power was restored.

While several of our team members have incurred damage to their homes, and are still without electricity, they are all here to resume work.

Our hearts go out to the thousands less fortunate than us.

We would like to thank our Mayor Cory Booker and his crew for a swift clean up. And huge thanks to all of you who called and wrote messages of sympathy and concern.  We are humbled to be a part of such a caring community. And now we know foie gras doesn’t float.

Ariane Daguin, Owner and CEO

And The D’Artagnan Family

Save the Date: Game Dinner at Daniel

For more information, and to buy tickets, email Julia Murphy.

 jmurphy@danielnyc.com

Remembering Julia

Ariane Daguin and Julia Child had many things in common – height, boldness, creativity, humor and a healthy dose of irreverence. But the thing that bonded them was their passion for sharing the pleasures of French food with America. While Julia had TV audiences eating out of her hand, she took time to encourage Ariane in the early years of D’Artagnan to help the fledgling business grow.

August 15, 2012 would have been Julia’s 100th birthday and it’s a time to celebrate her life. Here, Ariane reflects on how much Julia meant to her, sharing memories of the culinary icon that inspired a generation, and who continues to do so.

D’Artagnan exists today in part thanks to Julia Child.

First, because she was the initiator of the good food crusade; in our world of gastronomy, there are definitely two Americas: the one before, and the one after Julia!

Certainly, she was the pioneer who elevated good food to a higher priority in this country. Without her, legions of dedicated artisanal suppliers like us, passionate chefs, and prolific writers would not be here today, arguing about the true meaning of organic, what constitutes local and seasonal boundaries, or the proper age of a Berkshire pig to achieve ideal belly fat.

Second, because not only did she help advance the “good food” cause in general, but she also helped me promote D’Artagnan’s mission, in the early days of the company. 

I met Julia while her influence was at its height. She could not participate in a cooking seminar, enter a restaurant, or even cross the street without creating a mob scene. So I learned quickly that once we entered a public place, whether intimate or not, there would be no more one-on-one conversation.

At the time, 28 years ago (when D’Artagnan started), she was actively working to organize the gastronomes of the country, and constantly invited us to participate in her events and gatherings.

When we were together at those gatherings, she would take me under her wing, like a second mother this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

While giggling in French between us, she would make a point to introduce me to everybody in sight who was “somebody.”

I remember, in particular, one of the first conferences of the A.I.W.F. (American Institute of Wine and Food), that she helped create. We had, after she introduced us to each other, extremely animated discussions: one with Calvin Trillin on cooking spare ribs, and the other with Alice Waters, on which kind of thyme can grow where.

At every food show where she knew we were participating, she would come and get me at D’Artagnan’s booth. We would then walk the aisles together, creating an instant mob scene wherever we decided to stop and taste the goods.

The last time I saw Julia was in Boston, just before she left to retire for good in Santa Barbara, CA. She had invited me to do a talk about foie gras, in the afternoon, then brought me to a Les Dames D’Escoffier cocktail event where, as usual, all the guests flocked around her the minute we entered the room. That evening, for the first time, she had to ask for a chair and continued her greetings while seated.

The next day for lunch, she asked me to meet her at Biba, Lydia Shire’s restaurant which was then THE place to be in Boston. I arrived slightly late (visiting chef clients and getting lost in Boston in the morning). When I got there, Julia was already at the table, seated in front of a tall drink that appeared to be tomato juice. Going with what I assumed was the flow, I asked the waiter for a Bloody Mary. To which Julia added, in her unmistakable multi-tone voice: “Oh, what a good idea! Could you make mine one, too?”  At which, Lydia arrived on the double, with a bottle of vodka in hand. Glasses were filled (constantly) and I remember nothing but that sentence that I try, very badly, to imitate once in a while.

It’s wonderful to see the world celebrating her life on the 100th anniversary of her birth this month. But I’m not surprised, because there is no other “food celebrity” that inspires more affection and devotion than Julia. Actually, she was the beginning of our modern concept of a food celebrity. Her personality was so huge and so generous that it came through the TV. Whether she was tossing a limp, American-style baguette over her shoulder in disgust or burning her eyebrows off making bananas flambé, Julia embodied the spirit of adventure in cooking. She was always learning, even as she taught. She made cooking entertaining, took it from drudgery to artistry—and beyond, to fun. And she did it in a very approachable way, making mistakes, dropping things on the floor, the way you do in real life. Suddenly, French food wasn’t so fancy; it was food you could make at home.

It seems to me that you can’t overestimate the importance of a cultural phenomenon like Julia. Without her, would we even have multiple TV channels dedicated to cooking shows? Or so many food blogs?  I think that the cult of the kitchen started with Julia. She made people want to cook, talk about food and challenge themselves in the kitchen. 

And even now, years after her death, her fame grows with biographical books and movies. This month, to celebrate the 100th anniversary, there are restaurants around the country offering special menus of her recipes. But most of all, there are people cooking her recipes at home. That’s her true legacy. She got people to embrace French cuisine in their kitchens, with her confident voice ringing in their ears and her inspired (and tested!) recipes as a guide. Her joie de vivre and passion for food were infectious. Sharing that on her TV show made French food accessible to Americans. It made her a star, and she even created a catchphrase–that sing-song trademark sign off, “bon appétit!”  - Ariane

Vive la France!! Celebrate Bastille Day with us!

Ariane, along with Andy – our President, and Pierre – our VP of Sales NYC, are shining up their boules for Cercle Rouge’s annual Bastille Day petanque tournament. If you’re in the NYC area, come on down and join in the fun this Thursday, July 12th. There will be live music, petanque,  plenty of pastis and grilled merguez. Hope to see you there!

Hudson Valley Farm Trip

On Monday, we hosted one of our famous field trips to Hudson Valley Foie Gras farm. Around 200 chefs from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Boston traveled in a tour bus caravan, along with D’Artagnan staffers, a brass band and members of the press.

With the looming California foie gras ban attracting a lot of attention about this misunderstood product in mainstream media, we thought it was the perfect time to let chefs see Hudson Valley’s humane practices first-hand. Once a chef sees the process, it’s pretty hard for animal rights activists to convince them that it’s inhumane.

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And chefs took to Twitter to share their farm experiences:

“Good to see that the animal rights people have it completely wrong!”

 “A great afternoon in the Hudson Valley. Humane practices at a foie gras duck farm.”

 “Thanks for having us up to the farm today, an amazing experience. Proud to support them.”

We excel at turning an educational trip into a party. After touring the barns, meeting the ducks and witnessing the feeding, chefs “gavaged” themselves with a lavish duck-centric picnic, Colombelle wines courtesy of Producers Plaimont and Sixpoint craft ales. There were games, live music, and there were photos… enjoy.

Back of the House/Episode 9: Lamb with Ariane Duarte

Check out the latest episode of Back of the House with ArianeLamb, bam, thank you ma’am! In this quick video, Ariane is cooking our grass-fed lamb and lamb merguez sausage with Chef Ariane Duarte of CulinAriane in Montclair, NJ.

Rack of Lamb with Warm Green Bean Potato Salad

Duckfat Potato Cake with Merguez and Harissa Aioli

Merguez Canapes with Eggplant Caviar

Couscous with Merguez, Fennel and Raisins

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