Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Long Shot Pays Off


Eater SWEET Participant Revealed: Jessica Mogardo
Wednesday, August 12, 2009, by Amanda

2009_08_sweetwinner.jpgLast month we promised to give away a booth at Sweet, the star-studded pastry party at the New York Wine and Food Festival this fall to the Eater reader that brought in the best dessert to Eater HQ. And after trying samples from over a dozen competitors here we have a winner. Jessica Mogardo, a pastry chef at Todd English's Da Campo Osteria won over the judges with her peach and dulce de leche shortbread with fresh peaches and cherries and a creme fraiche espuma. Gal came all the way up from Fort Lauderdale, has some definite skill, and was smart enough to bring back up brownies in case her spuma went awry.

Our second place winner, Amy Ingenhutt, brought chocolate covered prosciutto and melon cigars and wins two tickets to the event. A special thanks to all the runners up, and stay tuned for more giveaways in the coming months. If you want to get tickets of your own, that can be arranged here.
· Eater Contests: Participate in NYWFF's Sweet [~E~]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Work, Past and Present

Here are some links to places that I've worked and a few tidbits:


  • At the iL Lugano Suite Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, everyone who checks in with a pet will receive a welcome package upon arrival. This includes information on nearby areas for exercise and other goodies. In addition, Todd English’s fabulous da Campo Osteria also caters to your pet. Their pastry chef, Jessica Mogardo has created all-natural peanut butter and bacon dog biscuits that will leave your pooch’s tastebuds as happy as can be.

Friday, August 7, 2009

If I was a Gambling Man........

I would say that flying to New York for 24 hours was crazy. Who would do such a thing? What would provoke such a sudden decision?

A slim shot at a spot in the biggest food festival in NYC. To have my name in print with 40 of the best pastry chefs in the city; to pit my own talents against those chefs and live to survive; to tell better stories when I'm older.

You never know until you try. Or as my uncle says, "double down."

Friday, July 31, 2009



The link listed above will take you too a editorial piece authored by a gentleman whose scope of the world I can only describe as "broadly linear." So, he's worked in a few kitchens, under a few chefs under various circumstances, conditions, and latitudes. Even so, his resume is a grim read, places that I would never want to visit, let alone subject myself to their "cuisines."
It appears that his opinion of chefs, and pretty much all kitchen workers for that matter, are all ner' do wells with deep-seated predispositions for revelry and illicit activities. It is for this reason that I must post a rhetorical response to an almost offensive opinion, though one is always entitled to their own; here is mine.
I've worked in a few places too, under a few chefs of notoriety, and in various parts of the country. To date, I have never seen drug use in the kitchen, or knowingly let someone work their station while under the influence, or gone out to a back alley for a "fix." I'm appalled at the flagrant nature of these acts, and perhaps he would say that I was naive for saying so. I believe that in the culinary world, like many other businesses, you are either stagnant or falling behind. Unless you are consistently striving to better yourself and those around you, your career's potential will be that of a half-inflated balloon. How is it that rampant drug use empower you, improve your life or capture your potential? Perhaps the author's parent(s) was(were) not supportive of his career choice, and if that's the case, I'm sorry.
Drugs are a crutch for reality, a way to deal with the fact that maybe he just couldn't cut it. Or maybe he was just bored, or it was Tuesday. Yes, the hours are long and the pay is not always ideal and there are staff call-outs and injuries and VIP tables and 300 cover nights. But you do it because you love it, and have a penchant for self-punishment.
However, I'm not so innocent to think that no chefs are habitual users, or even occasional users, of course there are. But 95%? Not possible. It is possible, however, to rise above the fray, demand more from yourself and succeed without a cocaine accessories.
Or maybe I've just chosen to be innocuous.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Patience, Time ............... and Butter

A combination of a few ingredients, spun together in just the right way can be nothing short of marvelous. Each ingredient holds its own purpose, but in the end they work together to achieve an edible wonder whose sole ambition is the guests' (and sometimes, employees') enjoyment. A sometimes painstaking, but always rewarding, process in all its glory.

There are times when you may see someone close their eyes at first bite, as the individual leaves melt into a devastatingly, buttery mouthful; a sense of accomplishment serves as its own reward in a chef's moment of silent recognition. For those who may not share the opinion that good food takes time, or that truly great food takes time and skill, there is little hope. For those who do not appreciate the process it took to get there, I can offer you no comfort.

However, if you love butter as much as I do, your mouth is already watering.
(See below.)