Checking In with Eric Wolitzky from Top Chef Just Desserts (Plus: His Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe)

Many of you will remember my friend Eric Wolitzky from Season One of Top Chef Just Desserts. Back then, Eric was the pastry chef at Baked in Brooklyn where Eric and I once did a live video podcast, answering your questions; he also shared his top secret recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Now Eric lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he’s the pastry chef at Cakes & Ale, one of the hippest and most celebrated food joints in town. I thought it’d be fun to check in with Eric, so what follows is a Q&A with a few pictures of the food that he’s been serving; plus, Eric shares his recipe for his favorite Cakes & Ale dessert creation, a pineapple upside-down cake.

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15 Chefs, 15 Roast Chicken Videos

As an experiment, I went on to YouTube late last night and typed in a chef’s name and added “roast chicken.” What you’ll find in this post are the results (though I eventually strayed from YouTube), starting with Thomas Keller’s stellar technique above (one worth studying, even for old hands at roast chicken). What’s so intriguing about seeing all of these videos together is how one basic ingredient–a big dead bird–can be approached in so many unique and inspiring ways. Here, now, are the other 14.

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Q&A, Take 2

Yesterday’s fun Q&A came to a quick halt when the comments stopped working in that post. I’m trying to get them to reappear (with help from Typepad), but in the meantime–if you have any questions you’d like to ask about food, cooking, the blog, or life in general, ask them below, and I’ll be sure to answer them right away!

Your Questions Answered Now!

It’s 1:10 PM here in Los Angeles and instead of writing a 2nd post today, I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer your questions. So go ahead and ask some questions in the comments—food questions, Amateur Gourmet questions, anything you’d like me to answer–and I’ll answer ’em. Here we go!

UPDATE: Comments are working again here, so feel free to ask more questions!

The Winners of the 2012 Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt (Sponsored By The CIA)

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Look at how much fun everyone had!

I have to confess, when I typed up the Scavenger Hunt list last week, I was worried that (a) maybe no one would compete (this was my first year not centering it around a specific city; so the challenges were broader); and (b) that those who DID compete might hate this list and grow to hate me because of how much work was required. But based on the pictures, that’s clearly not the case. I mean, check out these smiling Scavenger Hunters!

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The 2012 Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt (Sponsored By The Culinary Institute of America) Starts Now

On your marks…get set….

Ok, wait! Before you get started scavenger hunting, I need to tell you a few things about the 2012 Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt. First: choose your partner wisely. Not only will you be spending all weekend with them; if you win, you’ll be cooking together for four days at the CIA. This is not a time to collaborate with a frienemy! Second: please read the rules carefully. I’d hate for you to spend all weekend scavenger hunting only to find that because you ignored a potentially crucial rule you’re disqualified. Then I’d be your frienemy and it’ll be so awkward if we run into each other out at dinner. Ok?

So let’s talk about the rules.

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Two Things

1. Check out the new banner by Lindy Groening. If you have bee allergies, my apologies; there’s an epinephrine autoinjector for you on the bottom right of the page. (Hey: I’ve seen “My Girl.”)

2. Tomorrow begins the 2012 Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt (with over $3500 in prizes from the CIA). I’m posting the list at 5 PM E.S.T. and you have until Sunday at midnight to complete it. In the meantime, if you’re on Twitter, check out the hashtag #foodiephotohunt. That’ll be important during the hunt for an opportunity to score some bonus points by finding other teams in your area. And if you have any questions, ask them with that hashtag and I’ll be sure to answer them. Now e-mail your friends and find a partner, quick!

Announcing The 2012 Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt! (Now World-Wide; with over $3500 in prizes from The Culinary Institute of America)

Readers, are you ready for something outrageous? Something unbelievable? Something so over-the-top that you might pinch yourself and wonder if it’s April 1st?

Well have I got news for you! The Culinary Institute of America—the world’s premier culinary college—has agreed to sponsor my first-ever WORLD WIDE Foodie Photo Scavenger Hunt. They’re offering up to the 1st place winning team a FOUR DAY Culinary Boot Camp worth over $3500 (not to mention books and DVDs for the 2nd and 3rd place winners).

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