Treasure Hunting in The Food Network’s Prop Room

A few month’s ago I started working at The Food Network in the Digital Test Kitchen, testing and developing recipes for their online database. While there is a large culinary team working in The Food Network Kitchen, there are numerous other people doing a wide range of jobs that help make this company as successful as it is. For example, there are many culinary producers who organize and direct video shoots. As well, there are food stylist and designers who photograph food with beautiful plates and table linens to make the perfect shot. Over the years, these props have multiplied and what resulted was an amazing room of props from decades of events, video and photo shoots at The Food Network.

Lately, the prop room has been bursting at the seams, so it was decided to have a sale to hopefully give these beautiful props a good home.  Plus, it will make room for new props that will be used for future shoots. So, as soon as the sale started, I had to go check it out because I wanted a piece (or two) of Food Network history that I could call my own. I also thought some new plates and bowls would be great for styling on Coffee, Cabs and Bar Tabs!
The prop room is located in the basement of our building, and as you can imagine, it’s a typical dusty, NYC basement. But as soon as you walk into the room, the rows and rows of countless props are mesmerizing and quite astounding. The props include everything from placemats to punch bowls to candle holders and baking dishes. It’s really amazing to see so much history from such an influential company in the food industry.
I ended up buying a variety of items. I got a stunning set of glasses and a few colorful plates with pretty details. One of my favorite buys is the small mortar and pestle I found hiding on one of the bottom shelves. It’s the perfect size for making dressings and spice blends, and I cannot wait to put it to good use. I hope when you see these items on Coffee, Cabs and Bar Tabs you not only see their beauty, but also the story behind them and the roll they played in Food Network history.


Dream Big


Over the past few weeks, I’ve been searching around for a new job. I applied to many opportunities within the restaurant industry, including caterers, restaurants, and even corporate offices. I’ve loved working in the New York restaurant scene and wanted to continue on this path, so kitchen trails seemed like the best place to start.

After about 25 applications, a handful of interviews, and many kitchen trails later, I honestly lost count of how many positions I applied for! But after much thought (and a little bit of luck), I landed an amazing opportunity. Last Monday, I started a new job at The Food Network!

At my new job, I’m working in The Food Network’s Digital Test Kitchen, helping develop and cross test recipes for their website. It’s an incredible learning experience because I have very little knowledge of recipe development and food media. While this job is at a major media outlet, the position is still very much behind-the-scenes and very different from New York City restaurants. I cannot wait to learn the entire development process, from a simple idea to a published document. Cheer’s to new beginnings!

My Kitchen Essentials

When it comes to cooking, there are a few essentials that I just cannot cook without. Below is a list of my kitchen essentials, guaranteed to make cooking easier and more fun!

1. Korin Special Inox Orange Handle 7 inch Chef’s Knife ($209) 2. Crocs Bistro Work Shoe ($44.99) 3. Sweaty Bands ($24 for 2 pack) 4. Vita-Mix 1002 Vita-Prep Food Blender, 64 oz ($388.20) 5. Hedley & Bennett Chef’s Apron ($85)

1) Knife

For a chef, your knife is one of the most important tools you’ll ever have. There are hundreds of styles, brands, shapes, and sizes; it can be challenging finding the perfect one. For me personally, I love a Japanese knife because of its lightness and blade quality. I especially fell in love with the Korin Special Inox Orange Handle 7 inch Chef’s Knife I received as a gift a few months back. This Japanese knife has a strong blade that’s great at holding its edge. It’s an all around reliable knife that can be used for a wide range of tasks. Whether you’re a professional chef or home cook, definitely invest in a knife, as it will quickly become one of your own kitchen essentials.

2) Shoes

Working in a kitchen means a lot of standing, and believe me, your dogs are gonna start barking! It’s important to purchase some supportive (and safe) shoes when cooking, for your safety and health. I wear Crocs Bistro Work Shoes in black. They are super light and amazingly comfortable. The best part is that they are entirely waterproof, so at the end of dinner service you can thrown them into the dishwasher and they’re good as new. Definitely get yourself some good kitchen shoes (your back will thank you).

3) Headband

Since going to a traditional French culinary school, it has become a habit of mine to always have my hair pulled back in a pony tail with a headband. Believe me, when you’re trying to pull a hot pot of braising liquid out of the oven, the last thing you want to worry about is your hair falling in your face (or into the food). I have a lot of headbands, but one of my favorites are Sweaty Bands. It’s durable, slip resistant, and super cute to sport when you’re in your kitchen whites. For all my long-haired CC and BT followers, start your headband collection now!

4) Blender

Once I got my first taste of a Vita-Mix food blender, there was no going back. They are extremely fast and powerful, and helpful in making a variety of sauces and purees. If you don’t already have a blender, go get one now! I would recommend the Vita-Mix 1002 Vita-Prep Food Blender (64 oz). This blender leans on the pricey side, but will last a lifetime and never fail in any task you present it with. Once you start using a blender, it will quickly become one of your essential kitchen tools.

5) Apron

If you want to stay mess free, purchase an apron! There are so many styles and designs, you can really go wild. I love the professional aprons by Hedley & Bennett, especially their  cute patterns and colors. This brand is also worn by some well known chefs like Richard Blaise and David Chang. An apron is always a kitchen essential, for the professional or home cook.

All About the Trail

All About the Trail-2
What is a trail?

In the food industry, there is a hiring process that all line cooks and chef’s will encounter, called a trail. A trail is basically an audition, where the cook is trying out in the hopes of working in that specific restaurant. While the tasks vary from job to job, all restaurants take this opportunity to meet potential employees and see if they have what it takes to work as a chef in their kitchen.

From my personal experience, I have learned a lot about trailing at restaurants. Trails can be both nerve racking and exciting, so here’s a list of tips to help you land your next kitchen job!

Trail Tips:
1) Come Prepared
Do some research on the restaurant you are trailing at. Do not go into any kitchen without knowing what type of food they prepare, who the executive chef is, and so on. Knowledge is always a plus!
2) Bring a Knife
Not only come prepared with knowledge, but also come with basic cooking equipment. Most restaurants will not have knives for you to use on your trail, so coming with one chef’s knife is a good way to be prepared for any tasks you may be asked to complete.
3) Act Professional
Show up on time, don’t leave early, respect the chef and other line cooks, and thank the chef for the opportunity. For any job, always be professional.
4) Don’t Limit Yourself
One of the most important things I’ve learned is to keep your options open! Trail at a lot of different restaurants, and don’t just accept a job at the first place you trail. See what restaurant and kitchen you fit into and enjoy because believe me, you will be spending a lot of time there!
5) Be Yourself
During your trail, remember to be yourself! You want the chef to notice your cooking knowledge and talent, and you won’t be able to show this if your nervous and out of sorts. Take a deep breath and enjoy the trail!

Back and Busier Than Ever

Hello CC & BT followers! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family! I was blessed to experience Christmas in New York City this year, as well as celebrate the holidays when my parents came to visit the week after. All in all, 2014 was an eventful year, and I’m excited to see what 2015 brings!

It was nice having a few days off for the holidays, but January 2nd meant back to work at P&K. The month of January is notorious for being a slow month for restaurants. With the weather getting colder, and the many expenses of December, most people just want to stay in and eat at home. With this in mind, we were expected a slower month at Pig and Khao. Little did we know that a very special guest would come in to eat last Thursday…Bobby Flay! We had no idea he was coming in, but he walked into the restaurant with his wife, and sat at the chef’s counter to enjoy a meal. It was amazing feeding such an influential person in the food industry, and it was a meal I will remember forever.

The next morning I woke up and did my usual social media once-over. When I checked my Twitter account, I quickly came upon a tweet Bobby had posted about his meal at Pig and Khao the previous night! FullSizeRender-2 Since that notorious tweet, the restaurant has been busier than ever. We actually did a record amount of covers on Saturday night, making Pig and Khao history! It’s really amazing what can come from a little free publicity. Feeding any chef like Bobby Flay is a cook’s dream, and I’m so happy to see what other chefs come into the restaurant in the future!