Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My First Celebrity Sighting

I not only saw my first celebrity today, I got to meet him! I saw Tyler Florence today at Rockefeller Center. For those of you haven't heard of him, he is a chef on the Food Network.

I was walking from Chelsea to Union Station today to get to know the city better. While I was at Rockefeller Center, I saw a huge sign for House Beautiful: Kitchen of the Year with Tyler Florence. Basically Tyler Florence teamed up with House Beautiful magazine and designed the kitchen of the year. It was open to the public to view and there were cooking demos taking place outside.

After realizing I was never going to be able to push myself to the front of the cooking demo outside to try the food, I decided to look around the kitchen inside. I noticed a camera crew setting up and two men having their mics set up. No one else was really in the kitchen so I decided to stay and see what they were going to do.

The Inside Kitchen

Setting Up

The two guys turned out to be the "Beekman Boys," Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge. They are organic goat farmers in Sharon Springs, NY and have their own documentary The Fabulous Beekman Boys on Planet Green (

They are releasing "The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook: Heirloom Recipes" October 4th, just in time for the holidays. They were showcasing their eight minute prep Strawberry/Basil Galette recipe from the cookbook. (See links below to purchase DVD set or cookbook.)

The Beekman Boys

Once everything was set up and ready to go the room was packed and I was happy I had my front row spot. Next thing I knew Tyler Florence walks in to introduce the two men. Tyler and his wife are friends with the Beekman Boys and were there to support them and their new cookbook. 

Their cooking philosophy is to take your grandmother and mother's classic recipes and incorporate the new modern cuisine that exists today. Also they believe that cooking should be simple. To prove this they called two people from the audience to help make the Basil/Strawberry Galette.

First they demonstrated how to make a simple crust. Their theory for crust is much simpler than most bakers. They say it's all about "1+1+a little." That means 1 stick of butter + 1 cup of flour + a little more flour. They made it look absolutely effortless and after doing it a time or two, you really could prep the entire dessert in 8 minutes.

Preparing the dessert

After the crust they cut the tops off of the strawberries and split them in haves or fourths (whichever you prefer). Basil was then added. Tyler informed everyone from the side that basil compliments sweet desserts well. 

They explained the amount of sugar you add depends on the natural sweetness of the fruit. Fruits like strawberries are naturally sweet and need less sugar, while blackberries are more tart and need more sugar. Once the fruit and basil are in the center of the dough, you simply fold the dough over towards the center and bake the dessert for about 30 minutes or until fruit is soft on 350 degrees. 

The Baked Gelette

I was amazed how simply they explained everything. They said all the details that bakers normally stress when making desserts don't really apply with this one. A few examples are: it doesn't matter if the butter is cold or not, you don't need to really measure anything, even if the crust looks sloppy it only makes it look more rustic and taste better when it's done. After the Gelette was finished, they passed out samples to everyone and it was absolutely amazing. I would definitely make it at home. 

After the demo, I went over to introduce myself to Tyler Florence. I was so nervous for some reason. I really look up to him as a chef and love his shows. Meeting him made my day! I'm also excited to learn about the Beekman Boys so I can add their cookbook to my collection when it comes out! Let me know what you think of them too. 

To learn more about the Beekman Boys go to

Click here for the Strawberry/Basil Galette recipe:

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