Eye Candy: Turkish Coffee Sundae

Haim Cohen—Israel's premier celebrity chef and cooking show host—spun a menu of reinvented Israeli cuisine at the Beard House last month. This Turkish coffee sundae, layered with puff rice and feathery halva, was a real crowd pleaser. Click here to see more photos of chef Cohen's dinner. (What's the deal with chefs pairing coffee with puffed rice in their desserts? Cohen's is the second one we've seen recently. Look at David Katz's here.)

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Eat this Word: Stone Crabs

WHAT? Seafood for the softhearted. As only the sweet, white claw meat of this warm water crustacean is eaten, fishermen twist the claws off and throw the crab back in the sea. The claws regenerate after about 18 months, although the new claw--known as a retread--is smaller than the original. Fisherman typically leave each crab with one claw so it can defend itself. James Peterson wrote in Fish & Shellfish that he was "shocked" the first time he saw the claws for sale because he assumed, mistakenly, that the crustacean had been killed for a relatively small amount of meat. The crabs, considered a delicacy today, were popularized 80 years ago at Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant in Miami Beach, now a historical landmark. You eat them, usually cold, by cracking the shell with a mallet and dipping the succulent meat in sauce. WHERE?

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Eye Candy: A Schmaltz to Remember

A bowl of matzoh ball soup from last month's deli-style James Beard dinner, which featured a team of talented chefs who transformed delicatessen staples into creative, contemporary cuisine. Click here to see more photos from the night.

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Eye Candy: Coffee as Dessert

David Katz, chef and owner of the popular Mémé Restaurant in Philadelphia, treated Beard House diners to his beautifully crafted New American cuisine last week. We loved his playful, multitextured dessert: coffee gelée with almond cream, chocolate puffed rice, and orange powder. See more photos of his marvelous menu here.

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Eye Candy: Beet Meringues with Crème Fraîche and Caviar

George Mendes, who has earned raves for his Iberian-inspired cuisine at Aldea, prepared these ethereal beet meringues at his recent Beard House dinner. Click here to see more photos of his gorgeous menu.

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Eye Candy: Bombster Scallop Crudo

Chefs Richard Garcia and Matthew Maue prepared this gorgeous bombster scallop crudo—accompanied by whipped salsify, blood orange, caramelized pears, lime, and marcona almond gremolata—at their Beard House dinner earlier this month. Click here to see more photos of their celebration of Spanish cuisine.

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Eat this Word: Lapsang Souchong

WHAT? Smoky sipper. Enjoyed a cup of lapsang souchong with your afternoon cookie lately? If you’re like most Americans, the chances are slim. Lapsang souchong is a strong black tea with an assertive smoky flavor that has been likened to the taste of single-malt Scotch whiskey and cigars. Real lapsang souchong hails from Mount Wuyi in the Fujian province of China and is quite rare, but the name is often applied to black and oolong tea leaves of indiscriminate origin that have been treated with smoldering pinewood ash. According to legend, the smoking process was discovered by accident in a small village during the Qing dynasty when a group of soldiers took over a tea factory filled with fresh, unprocessed leaves. By the time the townspeople were able to get back into the factory, they didn’t have enough time to dry the leaves before market day, so they used pinewood fires to

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Eat this Word: Cherimoya

WHAT? Apple of their eye. In Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables, Elizabeth Schneider describes this knobby, gray-green fruit as "stunning," and writes that it tastes "heavenly." Mark Twain was also a fan. Upon trying the sweet, delicately flavored fruit, he pronounced it "deliciousness itself." The cherimoya originated in the Caribbean, and was conveyed around the world by Spanish and Portuguese colonists. Its leaves, roots, and seeds have long been used in traditional medicine as a cure-all for any number of ailments from diarrhea and itchy skin to fainting spells and rheumatism; it was also used to repel lice. We prefer to eat it. The flesh is white, pulpy, and slightly granular, and its taste has been likened to pineapple, banana, papaya, vanilla, and custard. In fact, cherimoya also goes by the name custard apple, as do several other closely related tropical

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Eye Candy: Peeping Tom

Tom Colicchio keeps a watchful eye over the Beard House kitchen as chefs from his various restaurants prepare a tasting menu for diners. Click here to see more photos of our celebration of the Colicchio empire.

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Eye Candy: Brotherly Love

The Voltaggio brothers work together to plate a course of shima aji with salsify, quinoa, and morels. You can view more photos of the Top Chef finalists' thrilling dinner by clicking here. (Click here to see our clip of Michael discussing his pigeon pastrami.)

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