12/22/16 2:36pm

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Seasons Greetings and all that jazz dear reader. As a public service, C+M presents our very first ultra last-minute holiday gift guide where you’re sure to find something perfect for the food lover in your life.

uzbekdimlama1

Uzbek hospitality, League of Kitchens style.

Join The League of Kitchens for a Workshop
There’s a good reason The League of Kitchens sounds like the League of Nations. That’s because it offers a variety of globetrotting cooking workshops—Indian, Lebanese, Japanese, Uzbek to name a few—taught by immigrant home cooks who are eager to share their food, culture, and family recipes with students. A while back I took the Ubzek class and had a blast. League of Kitchens gift certificates may be purchased here. Looking for something to do Christmas Eve? The League still has a few slots open for an immersive vegetarian Indian cooking class.

mwells-steak

Give the Gift of an Avant Garde Steakhouse Experience at M. Wells
My love of Chef Hugue Dufour’s cooking at M. Wells Steakhouse—from an aged porterhouse dinner that comes with escargot bone marrow and pomme aligot to such dishes as a venison T-bone and a lovely steak tartare—is no secret. Why not treat your meat eating loved ones with an M. Wells Steakhouse gift certificate? To purchase one call (718) 786-9060. (more…)

12/21/15 2:36pm
Tourtiiere2-01

Way heartier than a mince meat pie.

As a kid the mince meat pies that sometimes graced our family table come Christmas were always a puzzlement. Delicious to be sure—chock full of apples, cherries, and raisins spiced with nutmeg, ginger, and clove—the question always remained where’s the meat?

I’m not sure if they eat mince meat pie come Christmas in Québéc, but they do eat tourtière—a traditional meat pie—and plenty of it according to Hugue Dufour, the chef of M. Wells Steakhouse in Long Island City, Queens.

“When I was at Au Pied du Cochon we would sell 5,000 a season,” he said noting that delivery in Canada is free for orders of more than 100 pies. (more…)

10/23/15 1:20pm
HugueJoe2

Hugue Dufour and a crack a team of other Queens chefs, and myself take over the Beard House.

Queens has hit the culinary big time! Of course some, myself included, would argue that the borough has always been a big deal when it comes to food whether authentic regional Chinese cuisine, stellar Mexican seafood cocktails, or brunch at an haute bizarre Canadian steakhouse. There is perhaps no greater hallmark of culinary fame though than recognition by the James Beard House, which is presenting the First Annual Queens Cooks this Sunday evening, and has been kind enough to ask me to act as emcee for the evening’s festivities. (The dinner is sold out, but you can put your name a on a cancellation waitlist by phoning 212-627-2308).
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05/18/15 2:13pm
queenstastecrowd

Hungry hobnobbers at the New York Hall of Science for Queens Taste 2015.

Last Tuesday evening in my capacity as the QEDC Foodie I had the good pleasure of attending Queens Taste 2015. More than two dozen restaurants from a broad range of cuisines—Thai, Italian, Mexican, Brazilian and haute Canadian steakhouse to name just a few—packed the New York Hall of Science, a venue better known for school field trips than tasting events. The venue along with people’s choice judging was a first for the annual gala.

The event bore the tag line: “The Best Food on the Planet.” While that statement’s certainly true of the borough itself, it was slightly disappointing, but only because it would take a hall as vast as the Javits Center to contain all the deliciousness that Queens holds. (more…)

03/27/15 9:57am
wellswaffle

M. Wells’ Russian Waffle is delicious and quite photogenic.

“I’ll never use Instagram,” I once said. Famous last words. These days, I use it more than ever. Most of my non food nerd friends know my phone camera eats first. When I’m out with a posse of food nerds, it becomes an Instagram shooting frenzy, and I’ve learned to accept that I just might not get that perfect shot. But what about those other times? I am by no means an expert Instagrammer or food photographer, but I have learned a bit over the few years I have been shooting food. Below are some of my favorite tips. (more…)

11/29/13 1:25pm
mwellschops

Photo: Ernesto Santos

If you’re anything at all like me you overindulged at yesterday’s Thanksgiving festivities and want nothing at all to do with turkey. Which brings me to the subject of this installment of Photo Friday: the stack of pork chops at M. Wells Steakhouse. It should be noted that even though this latest venture from M. Dufour is a grown-up spot where chef sports whites and a kerchief around his neck lending him the air of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, there are wacky touches like a bone-in burger and this stack of blade thin chops. Piled high and oozing anchovy butter it’s a carnivorous homage to that diner favorite, flapjacks. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to the gym work off yesterday’s turkey.