Chef Marc Forgione, best known for his stellar restaurants and his current status as an Iron Chef on the popular Food Network show of the same name, wasn’t spared by Hurricane Sandy. His restaurants in downtown New York and Atlantic City, N.J., thankfully didn't experience any water damage, but were still closed for eight and 16 days, respectively, after the storm. But he knows that there are a lot of people out there who were far less fortunate, and for that reason he’s launched a line of T-shirts and will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help Long Islanders who are still struggling to get back on their feet.
The chef has partnered with nonprofit food bank Island Harvest, the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island, which collects food and distributes it to hungry people in the area. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, they’ve shifted their efforts to providing food, support, and services to those whose lives have been impacted by the storm, and Forgione considered the partnership "a no-brainer," he said in an interview with The Daily Meal.
"Almost every week I like to give back to the community, usually in the form of donating dinner or something along those lines," he said. "We were already working on designing T-shirts in order to sell them for charity, so when the storm hit it was an easy decision to donate to Sandy relief."
The custom T-shirts were crafted with the help of designers Peter Yip and Alexander Kim, and reference the chef’s signature food items: the tomahawk (for his signature steak cut), chicken (for his chicken under a brick), and a pig. They sell for $35 (or $30 if two or more are purchased), and $10 from every shirt purchased goes to the food bank.
Forgione grew up on Long Island, and his sister, who still lives there, lost her house in the storm. "Remember that as much as everyone thinks that life is back to normal, there are still a lot of people who can use some help," he said. "Just because it’s not on the news every day doesn’t mean that people aren’t struggling."
Society Confidential: Bistro 82 celebrating a birthday
Aaron F. Belen celebrating as Bistro 82 turns 5
Aaron F. Belen celebrating as Bistro 82 turns 5 The very chic Bistro 82 in downtown Royal Oak turns 5 years old this month, and owner Aaron F. Belen is celebrating in a very cool way. On Feb. 27, he offers a $5 menu, including appetizers, entrees and desserts. Diners will experience tasty new dishes that have recently been added such as scallop carpaccio, pasta Bolognese and seafood mélange. “Our success is a direct result of our consistency, our steps of service and our use of quality sourcing,” says Belen, who owns AFB Hospitality Group, which owns Bistro 82 and The Morrie, another cool eatery in Royal Oak. The menu also includes some of the restaurants signature dishes such as French onion soup dumplings, filet mignon and pan-roasted cobia. For information visit bistro82.com. Special jazz concert in Palmer Woods Palmer Woods Music in Homes continues its 12th year of presenting jazz, classical and world music in mansions, historic homes and gardens with a special jazz concert honoring Black History Month at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 with the Marcus Elliot Trio. This homage to African-American music features saxophonist Marcus Elliot, bassist Brian Juarez and drummer Everett Reid. A delicious soul food-inspired dinner is included. The concert is held within a magical Tudor-style home built in 1925 in the historic Palmer Woods neighborhood. Tickets are $50.The series continues each month with a different ensemble in a different historic home in Palmer Woods through the end of June. Visit palmerwoods.org for more info. Chuck Bennett is the creator of TheSocialMetro.com and hosts “Happy Hour” Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. on 910AM Superstation.
Chicken &ldquoDrumstick&rdquo Fritter, Churrasco, Grilling The Brazilian Way by Evandro Caregnato
This is a great savory snack molded to look like a chicken drumstick. Allegedly, this dish was created during the Brazilian monarchy era to satisfy the voracious appetite of a spoiled noble child for chicken drumsticks. When the cook for the royal family realized that she didn&rsquot have chicken legs, she shredded some leftover chicken, formed it into a drumstick-like fritter, and convinced the boy that it was a boneless drumstick. It worked so well that soon everyone in the court was eating them. Eventually, this snack became a favorite among the common folk. In many parts of Brazil, you can still find street boys carrying baskets of these coxinhas and selling them in front of office buildings or construction sites. Kids love them so much that they are always present at birthday parties. It requires a little practice to fold and fill the dough, but once you have done this a few times, it gets easier and quicker. The drumsticks also freeze well, so you can make an extra batch to defrost and serve for last-minute guests or as a weekend snack for the family.
For the dough:
1 chicken bouillon cube, or 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon powder
4 cups (480 g) all-purpose flour
For the filling:
1&frasl2 lb (230 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
1&frasl2 small yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
For the coating:
2 cups breadcrumbs or Panko crumbs
To make the dough, add the milk, butter, and chicken bouillon to a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium heat. It should taste like a creamy chicken broth. If necessary, increase the amount of bouillon and salt for balance and taste. Reduce to a low heat, slowly add the flour, and stir with a wire whisk for about 4 minutes. The dough is ready when it thickens and you can see the bottom of the pot when scraping it with a spatula. Transfer the dough to a pan or bowl, and keep it at room temperature until ready to use.
To make the filling, season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. If the chicken breasts are very thick, cut them in half. Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, and sauté the chicken pieces until golden. Add the onion and garlic, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, and add the chopped tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Remove the chicken pieces and shred the meat finely by hand. Add the chicken back to the sauce along with the parsley and stir, adding salt to taste. o assemble the drumsticks, use your hands to form a golf-ball-sized amount of dough into a small pancake about 1&frasl2 inch (13 mm) thick. Place 1 tablespoon of the chicken filling in the center of the dough and wrap tightly around the filling, forming it into the pear-like shape of a chicken drumstick. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling set aside.
For the fritter coating, beat the eggs and milk in a bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs into a different bowl. Dip a fritter into the egg mixture, letting the excess drain back into the bowl, then roll it in the breadcrumbs, coating evenly. Repeat until all the fritters are coated. Heat 3 inches of oil to 350°F in a pot or electric fryer. Fry a few fritters at a time until the crumb coating turns golden brown. Remove the fritters from the oil and drain on paper towels before serving.
If freezing the fritters for future use, store after coating with breadcrumbs. Let the fritters defrost to room temperature before frying them.
Photographs by Denny Culbert from Churrasco by Evandro Caregnato, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.