Category Archives: New Products

Picks For Your (Late) Summer Reading

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“32 Yolks” by Eric Ripert

With his ever calm, cool and collected demeanor, celebrated Chef Eric Ripert is the epitome of poise under pressure.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Ripert, chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, the Michelin three-starred and New York Times four-starred gastronomic landmark in New York, has already written five cookbooks. But in his memoir, In “32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line” (Random House), of which I received a review copy, he bravely reveals his often painful path to becoming one of the greatest chefs in the world.

Born in Andorra, a small country in France just over the Spanish border, he grew up a sullen, angry child, following his parents’ divorce. While his stylish mother expressed her love for him through cooking, his step-father routinely expressed his disdain for him by berating him and slapping him around.

His first mentor was Chef Jacques, who let the unhappy young boy find solace in the kitchen by helping with tasks and by feeding him endless bowls of chocolate mousse. It wasn’t long before Ripert realized it was in the kitchen that he felt most at home.

At 17, he was working at La Tour d’Argent, where he quickly realized his culinary school degree made him no match for the skills needed at one of Paris’ most vaunted establishments. It grew even worse when he landed a job working under the great Joel Robuchon, where the entire kitchen crew quaked in fear of the legendary chef.

Thirty-two yolks refers to the number of yolks needed to make a perfect batch of hollandaise at La Tour d’Argent, a task Ripert failed epically on his first day there. But through the pages, you witness the fortitude and passion that made him what he is today.

The book ends before he gets to Le Bernardin. But for those interested in that part of his life, just pick up his other book, “On The Line” (Artisan), a masteful, detailed behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run a restaurant of that caliber.

“Waste Free Kitchen Handbook”

With food waste such a hot topic these days, Berkeley’s Dana Gunders, a staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, has written a handy-dandy book to teach easy ways to use up more of your provisions so less ends up in the trash.

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Ancient Wheat For Those Who Are Gluten-Sensitive — And A Food Gal Giveaway

Italian cookies made with specialty einkorn flour.

Italian cookies made with specialty einkorn flour.


It’s a flour that has 30 percent more protein than modern wheat, along with ample amounts of B vitamins and iron.

But that’s not the only reason you should get to know einkorn. It’s also reportedly the world’s most ancient wheat and the only type to never have been hybridized.

What’s more, the gluten in einkorn lacks the high molecular weight proteins that many people can’t digest. If you are sensitive to modern wheat, einkorn can provide a delicious alternative.

Carla Bartolucci and her husband started growing it in northern Italy seven years ago, after discovering that their daughter, who has gluten sensitivity, was able to eat pasta, bread, and other baked goods made with einkorn with no adverse effect. Today, the family is the largest grower of einkorn in the world.

They sell the flour, as well as products made from it under the Jovial brand. I had a chance to try samples recently, all of which are made in Italy.

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Vinebox Brings the Tasting Room to You

A novel way to try wines.

A novel way to try wines.


In much the same way that Birchbox sends subscribers samples of new beauty products monthly to try, Vinebox does the same with wine.

But of course, you do need to be 21 to take possession of this box when it’s delivered to your door. And not every state allows shipping of alcohol.

The curated box is pretty nifty, as I found out for myself when I was invited to try a sample. Inside, snuggled tightly inside foam cutouts for protection, are three glass containers of wine that look rather like oversized test tubes with screw-tops.

Each holds a glass of wine that’s been repackaged using a patented technology that presumably doesn’t impact the wine.

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A Tale of Three New Cookies

Cookies at your doorstep in minutes with a touch of an app? It's possible.

Cookies at your doorstep in minutes with a touch of an app? It’s possible.

On-Demand Cookies with Doughbies

In a world where most anything seems capable of materializing with just a click or swipe on an app comes cookies delivered to you in 20 minutes after you’ve placed your order online.

That’s the premise of San Francisco startup Doughbies.

I should qualify that. In order for that to happen, you must live in San Francisco or as far south as San Mateo, as that is the region the company currently services with its drivers who deliver the cookies. You also have to order Monday through Friday, either between noon to 4 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. to get the cookies within 20 minutes. If you live farther south like I do, you get next-day delivery instead.

For orders within the on-demand delivery region, there is a minimum order of six cookies. For overnight orders, the minimum required is 12 cookies. There is no delivery charge.

I had a chance to try out the next-day delivery for free. From the menu online, I chose my cookies: three each of the Double Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip with Sea Salt. The cookies are generally priced at $8 for three palm-sized cookies.

They arrived the next afternoon as promised, each cookie individually wrapped in plastic and neatly stacked inside a brown box.

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Cooking (And Sourcing) Monkfish

A quick way to cook monkfish. Serve with whatever side you like. I did a saute of baby kale and cremini mushrooms.

A quick way to cook monkfish. Serve with whatever side you like. I did a saute of baby kale and cremini mushrooms.


Known as the “poor man’s lobster,” monkfish is a seafood I’ve enjoyed quite a few times in restaurants. But I had never cooked it before.

Until last week.

Part of the problem was that it’s not an easy fish to find at local seafood markets. But thanks to DailyFreshFish, I was able to finally give it a go.

The new online seafood source was launched recently by Hayward’s Pucci Foods, which was established in 1918 by Joe Pucci, an Italian immigrant. Pucci Foods has long supplied restaurants and retail stores. Now, it’s making that same seafood available directly to consumers.

The company, which sources seafood from all over the world, has a sustainable seafood certification from the Marine Stewardship Council. It also follows the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide and the NOAA Fish Watch Program.

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