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Category ... Demos & Book Touring

Nordic Ware Demo and Visit to Minneapolis

Mar 26, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Demos & Book Touring

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(Hanaa is holding an amazing spiced cake called sellou or sfouff, so fragile it just barely holds together with a fine almost sandy texture. I miss it still!)

We started our Minneapolis visit with a long anticipated and fabulous Moroccan dinner at our Alpha baker Hanaa's home with her husband, T, and Marie and Jim Wolf. Hanaa pulled out all the stops with a vast variety of savories including the best spiced olives and a wide variety of extraordinary baked items. Hanaa is one of the most gifted and imaginative bakers I've ever met and it was a very special treat to taste her baking first hand in addition to meeting her and her lovely husband for the first time.

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We had the pleasure of staying with Marie and Jim, and finally got to meet the infamous JJ and the adorable baby Lilly. While I slept late, recovering from the intense events of the Chicago Housewares Show, Woody did the entire prep for our demo/book signing at the Nordic Ware Factory Outlet store. This included baking a cherry lattice pie, making two extra piecrusts for rolling out, and baking some Rollie Pollies to show how to make good use of the dough scraps.

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Photo credit Linda Stewart

The event turned out to be one of the most enjoyable of my memory because it was comprised of a large group of dedicated bakers. This resulted in a lively Q & A exchange. We were especially delighted to welcome several olds friends including Mike Quinlan, VP Sales and Marketing, and Woody's charming daughter Maran, who is a professor of Philosophy at Minneapolis Downtown Community College.

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Photo credit LoAnn Mockler

My dearest friend, Michelle Gayer, owner of the "Salty Tart" bakery generously provided her deliciously chewy/chocolaty meringue cookies. Michelle and I baked together years ago when she was pastry chef at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago and we have been friends ever since.

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Photo credit LoAnn Mockler

The following evening we returned to one of our favorite restaurants-- 112 Eatery and got to meet Anna, Michelle's valued associate and to congratulate Michelle for her James Beard nomination for Best Pastry Chef--Midwest.

A serendipitous visit to The Kitchen Window kitchen supply store, turned out to be a delightfully dangerous place for an equipment junkie like me. Fortunately, we only take carry-on bags for our flights, which limits my purchasing impulse. This incredible store has a mind-boggling variety of high-quality kitchen equipment and also conducts around 400 classes a year in three classrooms above the store. We talked in length with Ken, one of the salesmen and a fellow x-New Yorker who has lived all over the world. His in depth knowledge of the equipment was so impressive we made a second visit the following day.

Our last meal before our return home was lunch at the award winning 46th Patisserie. Marie and Jim are so lucky it is in walking distance from their home. I was totally blown away by their pastries, bread, and chocolates. It is no wonder it is rated as one of the top bakeries in the nation.

Chef-owner John Kraus sat down with us along with two weekly regulars, Woody's daughter Maran and her friend, Tom, while we enjoyed the amazing Brioche Bostock and coffee.

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Photo Credit Jim Wolf

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Photo Credit Jim Wolf

Chef Kraus was about to fly to San Francisco on a pastry fact-finding mission, so I gave him a few suggestions along with my new mini SynGlas rolling pin to show our SF colleagues and to try out on his return. He gave us a terrific walnut and current bread, half of which we shared with Marie and Jim and the other half with Elliott on our return.

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Highlights from the International Housewares Show

Mar 19, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Demos & Book Touring

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This was our third appearance at the International Housewares Show in Chicago. Dan O'Malley, of the American Products Group, hosted us to promote the new Rose's Signature Line, which includes my SynGlas nonstick rolling pin, dough mat, fast tracks (dough guides), cutting mat, and mini rolling pin. The APG booth was constantly overflowing with prospective buyers, APG staff, and representatives.

Woody and I were delighted to have been invited to present my new line in action at the KitchenAid Cooking Theater. We demoed our favorite flaky piecrust and cherry pie. When we entered the backstage prepping kitchen to go over our lists and to prep for the following day, my dear friend Emeril Lagasse, who was just about to give his presentation, took the time to give me a big hug. He asked if I would like a second set of hands for our demo and tempted as I was, I declined realizing he was needed at his booths to promote the re-launch of his product line.

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The demo turned out to be the perfect testimonial for the truly non-stick rolling pin and dough mat. Although the recipe, like most butter based pie crust recipes, advises to refrigerate the pie crust for 40 minutes to rest and firm after mixing, we had to use the room temperature dough that was just demoed. With just a mere dusting of Wondra flour on the dough mat and dough, the crust rolled out easily, without sticking!

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In addition to meeting many people at the booth, including two women bakers who asked for me to sign their aprons.

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It was great to meet one of APG's top reps, personality plus Jenny Johnson and her talented designer/partner Andrea Daugherty.

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We walked several miles each day, stopping at many of the 2000 plus booths, including visiting Sam Weiner at our favorite knife sharpeners and waffle makers booth: Chef's Choice/Edgecraft

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We also visited my product display at Harold Import Company, home of Rose's Perfect Pie Plate. It was a delight to see my wonderful friends Elizabeth Karmel and Helen Chen, representing their product lines. It was Elizabeth who introduced me to Harold's Kitchen owner Robert Laub. She now also has a beautiful new French porcelain line with Revol--check out the red roosser roaster! And I love Helen's new and very useful rice and quinoa rinsing bowl which I'm holding in the photo.

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And it was heart warming to see the enthusiastic young C-Cap student chefs clamoring for a photo with their hero (could it really be me?!) We gave them 4 signed Baking Bibles.

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Evenings were reserved for enjoying some of Chicago's best restaurants, including The Girl & The Goat and The Purple Pig. Dan hosted a delightful dinner at the appropriately named Rosebud's Steakhouse. Our last morning, before taking off for Minneapolis, was a conversation-filled catch-up breakfast reunion with Janet Besk Zaslow, one of my favorite students from when I had the Cordon Rose Cooking School many years ago. I was very impressed by her album of baking photos including wedding cakes she had been inspired to make over the years.

Tune in next week for the Minneapolis leg of our Midwest Visit.

The Fante Book Signing and Demo

May 21, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Demos & Book Touring

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It had been many years since I last visited my favorite kitchenware shop in Philly and what a joyful homecoming it was! Fante's is located right in the middle of the vast Italian market. Bob Trinque and I drove down together and after finding a rare parking place were tempted by all the produce, sausages, and homemade cheese. But more exciting still was the incredible display of cookware at the store.

It couldn't have been lovelier visiting with old friends, meeting new ones young and older, and showing off the new Rose™ line. And after the demo, Mariella Esposito treated us to the biggest and best Philadelphia cheese steak ever. I can't wait to go back for a longer visit!

Demo at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Part 2

May 07, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Demos & Book Touring

Where We Ate in Cambridge

Every dining experience was stellar. They included East Coast Grill, Rialto's, Flour, and Craigie on Main.

Our first dinner, the night before the class, was a return to one of my favorite Boston Restaurant's: My old friend Chris Schlesinger's East Coast Grill.

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EAST COAST GRILL

We were joined by my editor Pam Chirls and her two girls who had driven in from New Jersey and had gotten slightly delayed by all the traffic coming in from all over the country for the Boston Marathon.

While we were waiting, we enjoyed appetizers of the fresh local oysters and the "hell ribs," tongue-numbingly spicy in a most delightful way and with a most fantastic flavor. Keep in mind that Chris bottles his famous "Inner Beauty" sauce that can knock your socks off. We were warned to approach these ribs cautiously but I remembered that from the last time even though it was several years ago!

When the Chirls girls arrived we all ordered main courses. Woody and I shared a delicious grilled mahi-mahi, accompanied by avocado, plantians, pineapple salsa, and black beans and rice. But our favorite was Isabelle Chirls's sweet potatoes that had crunchy fried exteriors and meltingly perfect moist interiors. We learned the secret was baking them first so the outside did not over-brown the way it usually does from the high amount of sugar contained in the sweet potato. For dessert, we longed for the banana split made with mango ice cream and rum caramel sauce but were far to full so we compromised and had the dessert minus the bananas. The girls had the most creamy and delicious vanilla ice cream ever. Both ice creams were house made.

Continue reading "Demo at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Part 2" »

Demo at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Part 1

Apr 30, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Demos & Book Touring

Sean Leonard, director of recreational programs at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, contacted me back in June of 2010, asking if I'd consider doing a demo. It's rare that Woody and I have time to travel teach these days. We both love doing, but the time it takes to organize a demo is greater than most people could begin to imagine. Something in Sean's manner made me feel reassured that he would be a great host and also I love the Boston area. So over the past year, we have exchanged many thoughts, questions, information, and lists of equipment and ingredients. My instinct turned out to be well-founded. Never have I experienced better prep for a demo. And Sean did a terrific job getting word out: the room was filled to capacity. (Over a third of the attendees were alumni, Joanne Chang brought many of her staff, and my editor, Pam Chirls brought her two daughters, Julia, and Isabelle.) Incidentally, Woody flew in from Minnesota, almost missing his plane, as his wallet slipped onto the seat of the car bringing him to the airport. When he discovered it was missing, he persuaded the officials at baggage check-in to let him load his bags by virtue of his photograph in Rose's Heavenly Cakes! I called this "flying by the book!" His wallet was returned to him just in time to go through security.

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ROSE, SEAN, AND WOODY

A surprise bonus was when school owner Roberta Dowling appeared and I realized she was a fond long-time acquaintance I've seen at many a food conference. I was delighted to get to know her better and to learn that she was a disciple of the great Madeleine Kamman.

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ROBERTA AND ROSE CATCHING UP BEFORE THE DEMO

Chef Elise and her able assistants Nina, and Gina, created several detailed check lists for our demo which featured two favorite cakes from the book: "Golden Lemon Almond" and "Deep Chocolate Passion." Elise and her able assistants, Nina and Gina, baked each cake and prepared frostings, syrups, and the lacquer glaze for us to show the finished cakes. Trays of equipment and measured ingredients set the stage for our lecture and demo.

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CHEF ELISE WITH ONE OF HER DETAILED CHECK LISTS

Continue reading "Demo at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts Part 1" »

The Epicurean Classic Part 1 of 3

Sep 10, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Demos & Book Touring

Kitchen Aid’s 90th Birthday

Although the new book was not yet supposed to be available in late August, I agreed to do the first major event which was the Epicurean Classic held for the first time in St. Joseph, Michigan, home of Kitchen Aid. And by some miracle 40 books arrived early and in time for the event!

We were not so fortunate with the weather which was cold, rainy, and windy, but this did not serve to keep people away. Never have I seen a more attentive and appreciative crowd.

I must begin by saying that I am blessed to have Woody Wolston as my assistant. This was the first demo event we have done together. Not only did he bring backup pans for all four cakes for the demos, he did the majority of the prep, making finished cakes and weighing out all the ingredients for the mis en place AND all the while he managed to take over 200 photos! I’ve managed to edit them down to 44 but will post in three separate segments to make downloading easier for you.

We arrived at the Chicago Airport and were picked up by a van for the two hour ride to St. Joseph. I brought one of the only two advance copies of the book to give to Woody and to show at the event. This was the first time he saw it in its completion.

The event took place in the large parking lot off the Boulevard Inn where we stayed. It was all in tents or open air Kitchen Aid demo kitchens. There were 4 tent-covered demo kitchens each with seating for over 100 people. The prep area was in a nearby tented area with 10 work stations and a full array of kitchen utensils. There were 100s of Artisan Kitchen aid mixers of every imaginable color.

The moment we arrived we went into the prep tent to start doing the prep for the next day’s demo which was the Golden Lemon Almond Cake and the Deep Chocolate Passion Layer Cake—two of my top favorite recipes from the new book.

Bridget Charters, event coordinator, did an amazing job directing the Culinary students and organizing all the presenters equipment and ingredient requirements.

“Student Amabassador” Eunice, newly graduated from Cornell School of Hotel Administration and Hospitality showed us the cart where she had all our things arranged.

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Woody had offered to bring our favorite Myweigh scale and I was glad he brought the 9 inch heart pan as I could not have made the Rose Red Velvet cake in the 12 inch version that had been ordered in error.

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Woody wearing his first chef jacket he had made for the event by ChefWear.

Continue reading "The Epicurean Classic Part 1 of 3" »

Epicurean Classic Part Two of Three

Sep 10, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Demos & Book Touring

Once I had gotten past my panic that we’d never finish our prep I got to enjoy the generosity and comraderie of the other presenters. Talk about a bonding experience!

Last time I had the pleasure of seeing Gale Gand was when we were participants at the CIA Pastry Conference in Nappa. She had just given birth to her twin daughters so that had to be four years ago.

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It was so great to get to show Mary Sue Milliken her contribution to the book: The Torta das las Tres Leches.

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Anna Thomas, a darling person who has just written a darling book Love Soup bought my new book for her son who loves to bake.

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David Leite of Leite's Culinary presented a demo from his new first book The New Portuguese Table It was also his first demo which unfortunately overlapped mine but I could see from a short distance that he had admirable stage presence--no surprise as he has a delightful personality. I was already a fan, but after his eating four pieces of my Red Velvet, saying he never liked this type of cake before, I now totally adore him! By the way, you can see by my hairdo just how windy it was.

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Continue reading "Epicurean Classic Part Two of Three" »

Epicurean Classic Part Three of Three

Sep 10, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose in Demos & Book Touring

Tim Foley was the person who understood best the unique challenges of doing a bakingdemo away from one’s own kitchen. That is because he too is a baker and owner of the best bakery in town: Bit of Swiss. http://www.bitofswiss.com

Tim generously offered to have us do our prep at his bakery but since we had already started in the tent we tucked the offer into our memory bank for next time!

On Sunday, after his demo

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Tim gave Woody and me a tour of his marvelous bakery. Here are a few of the photos Woody took while I was busy oohing and aahing which will give you an idea just how spectacular and delicious his work is.

Tim had this beautiful tile mural made for the bakery in Italy.

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A custom-made Kitchen Aid

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Continue reading "Epicurean Classic Part Three of Three" »

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