The NYC trip last week was a huge success. I had so much fun at the #SamsungLivingAtelier event with the Club Des Chefs and walked away truly inspired. The highlights of the trip for me were so many, but I’ll focus on my top 3:
1. Meeting the Samsung family and getting to experience their creativity up close. When I was invited to attend the launch of Samsung’s “Chef Collection” range of kitchen appliances at their NYC showroom (aka, the Samsung Living Atelier), I was a little intimidated. That’s a massive company. I didn’t know what to expect at all. To my pleasant surprise, I arrived at the Atelier last Wednesday and was instantly blown away by how welcome I felt. The space was big and light with kitchen setups everywhere. I wanted to drop everything and start cooking. The people were all smiles and excitement. The room was buzzing with anticipatory chatter. We couldn’t wait for the chefs to appear and for the new collection to be unveiled.
Ovens are ovens and fridges are fridges — but when Samsung has an event like this, there’s a thrill in the air over what insanely cool thing we’re about to find out an oven can do. The collection itself surpassed all expectations. The 4-door refrigerator has a freezer with one side that can be turned into a fridge. It also makes soda water with adjustable bubbly-ness (!!). The dishwasher has a “water wall” that blasts dishes from every angle as they pass through it. The oven can cook at 2 different temperatures simultaneously and has a dual convection system for faster, more even cooking. They even introduced a giant touch screen that lets you preview life-size versions of all of their appliances. You get to see the item specs, colors, and you can even choose different backgrounds to match your home as closely as possible. They seriously thought of everything.
2. Interviewing the Club Des Chefs and being inspired by their infectious passion for food. Having the opportunity to sit down with four chefs (each with a 3-star Michelin ranked restaurant) that helped design the Chef Collection and talk about why they love food so much was surreal. Chef Michel Troisgros and Chef Daniel Boulud were sweet, charming and hilarious. Listening to them talk about life and cooking in France made me lightheaded. I wanted to float away to Paris in that moment and be a fly on the wall in one of their kitchens, witnessing the magic firsthand.
Chef Eric Frechon’s sincerity and devotion to preparing good food, and his love for sharing it with people almost made me cry. He didn’t speak English very well, so a translator relayed his inspiring words. He said that the most important thing is to cook with honesty — to communicate emotion with your food, and to cause others to feel the same when they eat. I loved that. He also brought a basket of groceries so he could explain to us a “new way to make pasta”! The basket contained uncooked elbow macaroni, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and fresh basil. He said that if you prepare pasta like a risotto instead of boiling it, you will have better flavor, better texture, and it will cook faster. I made mental notes along the way and the recipe I’m sharing in this post is my interpretation of his advice. (Note: I don’t think I’ll ever boil pasta again, cause this was DELICIOUS.)
3. Making new friends! I loved meeting fellow bloggers/vloggers/Instagrammers Alice Gao, Jeanine Donofrio and Byron Talbott. I don’t think any of us had met prior to last week, but you wouldn’t have guessed it by how much we laughed! Finding likeminded people and sharing a common thread of creativity and vision with them is a wonderful affirmation to me that we’re all on the right path. Learning about their individual journeys encouraged and challenged me. Between Alice’s stunning, clean and luxurious photography, Jeanine’s delicious food styling and recipes and Byron’s beautiful and entertaining cooking videos, my mind is absolutely popping with inspiration. I feel SO blessed to have met these guys I’m sure we’ll meet again! I couldn’t have asked for a more amazing group.
Visit the Samsung Living Atelier Facebook page for more photos from the event!
Now for the “Risotto Style” Pasta! Warning: you’ll want to make this as soon as humanly possible. Recipe at the bottom.
“Risotto Style” Pasta With Tomato, Basil + Parmigiano-Reggiano
Inspired by Chef Eric Frechon
1 lb. bag of elbow macaroni
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock (or lightly salted water)
6 small red tomatoes, halved
5 large basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
Heat olive oil over low-medium in a large saucepan. Add the macaroni and stir to coat evenly with oil. When the pasta is fully coated and heating up (after about a minute of stirring), add a splash of chicken stock and raise the heat to medium. Continue stirring and when the pasta absorbs the chicken stock, add the tomato halves and another splash of chicken stock. The water from the tomatoes will help hydrate the pasta along with the added stock. The goal is to keep adding enough moisture to soften the macaroni, but not so much that it starts to boil. Be sure to keep stirring, test a piece every few minutes and keep adding liquid a little at a time until you reach the desired texture. I prefer my pasta al dente! When it’s almost done, remove from heat and stir in the chopped basil, salt and parmigiano-reggiano. Serve and eat!
The beautiful thing about cooking pasta this way is that you’re infusing it with flavor instead of draining it out. This finished dish is far better than bland, watery macaroni that needs to be livened up with a ton of sauce. Thank you, Chef Eric!!
/ in collaboration with Samsung /