Preview Recording & Thanksgiving


Drawing Y.K.

Wow! my last post was over a week ago and I didn’t get a chance to write anything since then. So let’s go back in time a little bit:

The gig with Mike Bisio at Justin’s in Albany N.Y was a lot of fun and we couldn’t have had a better audience. If you were there: thank you so much for your undivided attention. Pierre Joris produced a live recording of the concert and and it looks like we might have enough material to cut a live album; Sten Isachen from Bender Studio in Delmar, NY did a great job recording us.

Michael Bisio & Nicole Peyrafitte

If you wish you had been there or want to listen to our very first song of the night, you can! Click to hear arrivé ici (though be aware that this is a very rough and not yet “mastered” mix). Arrivé ici or Come here is a poem by Pierre Joris from “hjr” published by OtherWind Press. Do not hesitate to let me know what you think.

Monday I rushed back from Albany to make sure to get an organic turkey from the Park Slope Food Coop and get all the my Thanksgiving food shopping done as Tuesday and Wednesday were going to be taken up by work. Below you can see the photo reportage —mostly photographed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte— of the preparation, but first let me give you our collaborative family menu:

Pumpkin & Passilla Chili Potage topped w/ crema, cilantro & chopped fresh jalapeño
Served with Marge’s Corn Bread
Stuffed Turkey *My Way*
This stuffing is closer to the one for French Dinde de Noêl or X-mas Turkey. Ingredients are ground pork, shitake mushrooms, onions, celery & carrot (very little), garlic, parsley, brandy, lots of freshly ground pepper, salt — and finish with eggs to bind. The turkey was in a brine for 48 hours.
Mashed Potatoes
Haricots Verts
(Joseph Mastantuono & YK)
Oyster Dressing (Joseph Mastantuono & YK)
Roasted Celeriac, Carrots & Shallots with bits of Bacon
Simple Cranberry Sauce
Orange & Shallot Gravy

Plum Tort (Dawn Clements)
Mousse au Chocolat (Joseph Mastantuono & YK)
Sweet Potato Pie
Cranberry & Orange & Peanut Butter Pie

Also, I wanted to forward an interesting op-ed New York Times ( I swear it was in the *real* New York Times!) article that has us thinking of a totally different menu for next year. Cocorico!
read on:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/opinion/26davis.html?_r=1&em

Short Ribs & 콩나물국 (kong namul guk)

Last night we were invited to dinner at the home of Joseph & Yoori. Joseph Mastantuono is my older son, and two years ago he and Yoori Kang got married. I am so blessed to have such an incredible daughter (don’t like to say in law, daughter in love would be better!). Yoori came from Korea to study art about 10 years ago; she is a very accomplished cook and I must say that she enchants me with the flavors of Korean food. Joseph and I immigrated from France in 1987. He learned how to cook very young from being with me in restaurant kitchens, It feels like Joseph always knew how to cook, and when he went off to college he cooked for himself very competently and economically. When Joseph and Yoori invite us for dinner usually she or he cooks, but last night it was a combination of both their cooking.

Joseph made Hoisin and Honey Pork Riblets (Gourmet, 1992), a recipe handed on by his good friend Pedro. They were excellent, the sweet & sour marinade & the perfect crispy broiling make for almost addictive morsels: you can’t stop eating them! The contrasting texture of Yoori’s rice & beans opened the palate to subtlety of the ribs. I noticed that the black beans where unusual, Yoori told me that they came from a family farm in Korea, and were sent by her mother. Their Korean name is: 서리페 (suh ree pae). I am curious to find out more about these beans that have a black skin, are greenish inside and have a chestnut like taste.

But what upgraded this meal from excellent to brilliant was 콩나물국 (kong namul guk), a fish & vegetable broth with julienned bean sprouts served cold. A little sip of broth between mouthful of the ribs & rice allowed th palate to reset & refresh for the next one, an experience similar to the concept of pickled ginger between sushi or sashimi.

I ate the salad at the very end as I was so enraptured with the ribs, the rice and the broth. But I do like the salad before desert, this is a French way of having it. For dessert Yoori cut up some nice & crunchy watermelon and while the guys had Armagnac I had green tea.

Merci Joseph et 감사합니다 Yoori for a blissful evening.

PS: Joseph is an online editor and a post-production manager also one of the 4 editors of funnybookbabylon an online podcast on comic books.

Sans Quack!


On Sunday May 4th, the d’Artagnan‘s Fourth Annual Duckathlon was sans quack, educational and a lot of fun. The event took place at the Chelsea Market and around the Meatpacking District. The yearly happening is a culinary competition where city top chefs present their best team to compete a series of 20 challenges that goes from crêpes flipping contest to spices, wines, flours testing via saucisson thin slicing with thick mittens and the most educational of all: the testicle identification challenge. The station was hosted by Scott Gold author of the “Shameless Carnivore”. I haven’t read his book yet but I will. Talking to Scott was a lot of fun and he sure knew a lot about testicles, I gathered that he attends yearly testicle festival.

The winner of the overall contest was team Cercle Rouge lead by their executive chef Pierre Landet.
Their performance was strong and their costumes elegant, thought the Cornell Super Duck took the trophy for best costume.

Above is Ariane Daguin, owner of d’Artagnan and as always attentive to every details. Here, she is adjusting the beret of Anne-Marie Lagrave who came all the way from Gascony with her husband Jean-Luc Lagrave. They are the owner of the sportswear brand Adishatz . Do check out their party pants, or as there are called in gascon: festaire pants. What makes the pants so special? Let me just cut & paste the pants features according to the company’s website:

“Condom pocket -and not produced from Condom in Gascony : If you find your love !
Key Holder : better to keep than loosing them !
Anti-burglar pocket to avoid too loss of your ID and Credit Card.You will not be able to say : sorry, he stole me my credit card so i can not offer you a drink.
Money wallet with easy-off system cord. Be carefull, it can be dangerous to use !
Bandana or red stole approved « 100 % Festaire ». You get the gascon Dress code ! ADISHATZ ® created it for you !
Let’s go, it’s time for party !
*Festaire means in the occitan language ( gascon ) a person who loves having fun and practising many traditional parties in Gascony.

Practicality & elegance; a good way of describing the people of Gascony!

Music is another must to accompany Gascon flavored events & on the right we get to see videographer/producer Joseph Mastantuono in shooting action.

Great fun we had and more photo of the event are available here.
Adishatz!