What Andy Ate

Jan 31

LGBT Culinary Discussion

Several weeks ago I attended a panel discussion on LGBT chefs and the challenges they face at Kitchn restaurant at The Out Hotel. There were some great ideas discussed and some visible luminaries such as Zac Young, Pichet Ong and Mitchell Davis participated in the panel sponsored by Distinc.tt, a new mobile social platform for the LGBT and straight allies community. 

Some highlights of the discussion were posted on Youtube:

At the end Dale Schnell unveiled some of his “gay desserts” to inspire those entering the gayest dessert contest.  Also present was Michael Guerrieri from City sandwich who created the first LGBT (Lettuce, Goat Cheese, Bacon and Tomato) sandwich. 

Of the desserts I preferred the Banana Coconut Cream Bombe, which resembled a sea anemone made out of meringue. The tableside presentation of the Coming Out With Passion dessert was very impressive, and reminiscent of Lady Gaga’s egg from the Grammy’s but the rainbow sponge tasted dry. 

Below are some photo highlights:

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May 07

Pichet Ong’s Double Almond & Jam Cookies

Chef Pichet Ong sent me this recipe today.

I think it would be perfect for Mother’s Day. But, if you don’t feel like making them you can try them at Coppelia (http://www.ybandco.com/media/coppelia.html)  one of my favorite 24 hour restaurants in NYC.


3 dozen cookies

Time: 55 minutes, Plus 4 hours for Resting


Cookie Base:

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

2 yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

¾ cup AP flour

1 cup cornstarch

½ cup almond flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

-       In bowl of mixer, paddle together salt, butter, sugar, yolks, vanilla, and almond extract until combined.

-       In the meantime, whisk together all dry ingredients.

-       Add flour mixture to butter mixture on low speed until combined.  Remove dough from bowl onto a clean work surface and form dough into 2 pieces.  Wrap each piece with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.


Almond Ring:

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

2+3/4 cups almond flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 ounces egg whites (from about 4 medium eggs)

-       In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugars, almond flour, salt.

-       Gradually whisk in egg white until smooth paste.

-       Transfer mixture into a piping bag with a medium star tip and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.



1 cup of fruit jam of choice (strawberry, peach, or blueberry are good)

½ cup sliced almonds


-       Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-       On a lightly floured work surface, roll cold pastry pieces out to about 1/8” thick pieces.  Use 2” round cookie cutters to cut cookies.  Arrange pieces on sheet pans, leaving an inch in between pieces.

-       Working quickly, pipe almond ring mixture around each circle going all to the way to the edge, and leaving about ¾” inch of circle middle for the jam filling. Fill each cookie with jam and sprinkle top of each with almond slices, pressing down slightly so they stick to the almond ring.   Keep remaining almond ring mixture for next use, along with the scraps from the cookie cut down.

-       Bake cookies in oven for 14 minutes total, rotating half way through if necessary, until crust is golden brown,.

-       Let cookies cool to room temperature completely before serving.

Jan 27

It’s been below freezing for several days here in NYC so I decided to make some chicken stew to warm up.

It’s been below freezing for several days here in NYC so I decided to make some chicken stew to warm up.