Tag Archives: Teresa Caffe

Gary’s Wine Opens in Hillsborough; Finding Love in Restaurant Kitchens; Baumkuchen

Gary Fisch  on Why & How He’s Added a 4th Gary’s Wine & Marketplace to his Stable

Gary Fisch, Gary's Wine & Marketplace

Gary Fisch, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace

Fisch, who was named 2014 Retailer of the Year by Market Watch, has planted a flag at the Nelson’s Corner shopping center on Route 206 at Amwell Road. For now it’s a pop-up, while a new 9,000-square-foot space is being readied. I met him there to get the scoop on what he has in mind for the Hillsborough store and his $50 million business. Here’s my story in the December 10 issue of US 1. Oh yes: the interview also includes a wine tasting. Garys 001

Couples who Live, Love, & Work Together in the Food Biz

For my final 2014 “In the Kitchen” column, in the December 12 issue of the Princeton Packet I asked 4 couples who toil in Princeton area eateries to open up on what it takes to keep the spark going when you both live together and work side-by-side in the crazy world of food and dining. Their candid responses far exceeded my expectations. A big thank you goes out to the first 2 couples I spotlight:

Rory & Aaron Philipson of Blue Bottle Cafe in Hopewell:

Rory & Aaron Philipson, courtesy Double Brook Farm

Rory & Aaron Philipson, courtesy Double Brook Farm

Lauren Sabogal & Frank Caponi, she the owner/chef of Buttons Creperie and he sous chef at Teresa Caffe in Princeton:

Frank Caponi & Lauren Sabogal, courtesy Great Heights Photography

Frank Caponi & Lauren Sabogal, courtesy Great Heights Photography

Baumkuchen: It’s new to me!

Baumkuchen (dinewithpat.com)


Are you familiar with this German Christmas tradition, which translates as “tree cake”? The cake is made on a spit (!) and takes its name from the appearance of the resulting layers, which do indeed resemble the concentric rings of a tree:

Baumkuchen interior  (dinewithpat.com)

Baumkuchen interior

I was introduced to the baumkuchen pictured above when a friend from Hamburg hand-carried some over direct from her hometown to share at a recent brunch in Princeton. I was smitten by its appearance, taste, unique preparation, and history. (Apparently it was popular at weddings in Frankfurt and Nuremberg as far back as the 15th century.)

In an incredibly labor-intensive process, the layers are built up one by one, as the baker applies a thin coat of batter with a brush, and lets it bake just enough so that the next layer of batter will adhere to it. Historically, baumkuchen was made on a special rotating, wood-fired spit, as some still are today. Each layer is so so thin that by comparison those of a dobos torte seem positively gargantuan.

Dobos cake (Gerbeaud Confectionery, Budapest, Hungary)

Dobos cake (Gerbeaud Confectionery, Budapest, Hungary)

When the baumkuchen is finished baking, it’s removed from the spit (hence it has a hole in the middle) and is often covered with chocolate couverture, as this one was. The cake tasted like it had almond paste or marzipan in the batter, which is also traditional. The resulting layers were rich and dense, yet still so light that I couldn’t stop eating it.

I came up short on finding a bakery in NJ that sells German-style baumkuchen, although, amazingly, there’s a Japanese iteration (“baum roll”) sold at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater. This reflects just another part of the cake’s fascinating history.

Where to Find the Best Breakfasts in NJ; Edible Jersey, Winter 2014 Edition

The cover story of the February 2014 issue of NJ Monthly is all about the best breakfasts to be had around the state.  Read it and see if you agree with my picks for Central NJ, as well as all 57 entries.

NJ Monthly cover feb14

After you read it, check out these links to my selections: Brick Farm Market, Button’s Creperie, Caffe Galleria, Lovin’ Oven, Market Roost, Teresa Caffe, Wildflour Bakery & Cafe, Zoe’s Vintage Kitchen.

The winter 2014 edition of Edible Jersey is out. Gosh, I love this cover photo:

Edible Jersey cover winter 14Be sure to pick up your free copy at any of the usual places around the Garden State. Inside, I am proud to have contributed an entry to the “Edible Life” feature, which “celebrates the little things in life that define many of our best memories of eating and drinking.” I’m a bit embarrassed, though, to report that my memorable little thing involves Jell-O. To be exact, the Joys of Jell-O Cookbook.

Upcoming: Sizzlin’ Chefs, Cheese Curators &…Haute Hair?

Seriously Accomplished Chefs Sizzling at Summer of Chefs Series at elements in Princeton

Scott Anderson has lined up a phalanx of accoladed chefs to create cutting-edge cuisine alongside him and his crew this spring and summer. The third installment in the dinner series is set for this Sunday, June 10, when Michael Cimarusti of the two-Michelin-starred Providence in L.A. comes home, so to speak. Cimarusti, who you may have seen on Top Chef, grew up in Pennington. Before establishing Providence he worked for, among others, Larry Forgione, Paul Bocuse, Roger Verge, and Wolfgang Puck.

Check out my story on The Summer of Chefs in the June 6 issue of US 1 for info on how to score reservations. In it, I interview Anderson about  what he and the each of  the guest chefs have in common, what spawned the idea for the series, what has transpired so far (one example: California abalone with foie gras and seaweeds), and what guests can expect both this Sunday and for the last dinner in the series on Friday, July 13. That final one has two guest chefs, one of whom is Shawn Gawle of Corton in NYC, named Food & Wine‘s Best New Pastry Chef of 2012.

Calling all Cheese Hounds

First Amanti Vino, the wine store in Montclair, announced that they have added a cheese case with a curated selection of 12 artisanal specimen from NYC’s respected Artisanal Premium Cheeses. Now they’ve add this related event:

Cheese School 101

Cheese School 101 (Photo credit: niallkennedy)

“Author and cheese expert Max McCalman (of Artisanal Cheese in NYC) will be at Amanti Vino for a master class on pairing cheese with wine (and maybe some beer, too). In this single session class, Max provides illuminating evidence in support of his claim that cheese is a “near-perfect” food, especially when it is paired appropriately with wine. We’ve all heard about the wonderful aspects of the “Mediterranean Diet” and the “French Paradox.” This class provides point by point explanations of how it all comes together, all while you enjoy a variety of these remarkable cheeses paired with fine wines. Class will run from 4-6pm on Saturday, June 16th.  Seats are $40 each.”  To book a seat, email sharon@amantivino.com.

Calling all Hair Hounds?

Gee…that doesn’t sound right, does it? What I mean to say is, there’s a great event that involves beautiful hair for a beautiful cause coming up this Sunday, June 10.  And there is a restaurant connection, too.

Care Couture is the non-profit behind the 2nd Annual Hair Art Runway Show. Leading salons like Joseph-Jeffreys in Newtown, PA and Godfrey Fitzgerald in Princeton showcase cutting-edge hair designs, with proceeds from the $25 ticket price going to a Capital Health Foundation program that funds free wigs for cancer patients in financial need. This year’s event starts at 6 pm at Rho Ristorante and Discoteca in Trenton. For info and tickets, click here.

The chef at Rho, a new Italian restaurant in the space that had been Katmandu, is Luis Martinez, who gained a lot of fans as the longtime chef at the perennially popular Teresa’s Caffe in Princeton. (He is also a heck of a nice guy.) I haven’t dined at Rho yet so here’s Trenton Times reviewer Susan Yeske’s report.