Archive for the ‘Press and Events’ Category
A Night at the Museum
(of Food and Drink)
by Guest Contributor Rick Agresta, President & CEO of iSi North America, Inc.
A Quick Introduction
Our President & CEO, Rick Agresta (shown below) was one of few influential invitees to the MOFAD (Museum of Food & Drink) Spring Dinner Benefit just a few weeks ago in Long Island City, and was kind enough to share his recount of the inspirational evening created by Dave Arnold and Peter Kim of MOFAD — along with top-notch respected chefs including Wylie Dufresne, Michael Anthony, Marcus Samuelsson, plus many more of New York’s “Best of the Best” committed to the advancement, exploration, discovery and documentation of the science of food.
MOFAD was founded years ago by the culinary wizard and long-time iSi friend Dave Arnold, and is working to build a first-of-its-kind food museum in New York City – with exhibits you can actually eat. It reminds us a bit of Jennifer Rubell’s edible exhibits, but on a more permanent scale. Dave’s vision is expansive, long-term, and of course – unique. Dave’s constant dedication and exploration of the “way things work” and how he can make them more useful, productive, or creative continues to set him apart from the “norm” in every way.
We hope you enjoy the descriptive storytelling though the eyes of iSi’s own CEO, who attended the event and clearly enjoyed the entire evening of surprise, delight, and culinary wonder.
A Night at the Museum
(of Food and Drink)
by Guest Contributor Rick Agresta, President & CEO of iSi North America, Inc.
I had the pleasure of attending the Museum of Food and Drink Spring Benefit Dinner at the very cool Foundry event space underneath the 59th Street Bridge. In Long Island City, Queens. As in the Simon and Garfunkel song about the bridge, several hundred guests and I were “feeling groovy” as we were served innovative dishes from the imagination of a star studded group of chefs. This was all in service of a great cause, the creation of the first museum devoted exclusively to food and drink and the culinary arts, science and engineering that help bring these essentials of life to us, ranging from mass production to local supply, from our supermarkets to the finest restaurants.
Each chef was challenged to create an entirely new recipe in response to a theme thought up by Peter Kim, executive Director, and Dave Arnold, founder and lead enthusiast. To give you a taste for the challenge, consider Wylie Dufrense’ (WD-50) chicken liver spaetzle, radish, Cocoa nibs and pine conglomeration. This was in response to the Four Humors – Blood, yellow bile, black bile and Phlegm, an ancient world concept with the humors corresponding to the elements of air, fire, earth and water – all of which must be in balance for a healthy constitution. Wylie served a very balanced and tasty portion.
A challenge from the less distant past was given to Brooks Headley of Del Posto who created a Bomb Shelter Sandwich for the category of Food of Future Past. Franklin Becker (Little Beet) had a yummy take on what the native Americans might have really brought to the first Thanksgiving, a garden, forest and sea to table mix.
My personal favorite was the Rastafarian Ital Diet response from Nils Noren of the Marcus Samuelsson Group and Dave’s partner in culinary crime for years at the FCI. Nils made a Callaloo Soup with Dumplings and Coconut served with Tamarind Ginger Soup. He labored with actual coconuts instead of buying pre-processed ingredients. As he wrote in the program ” Because the body is viewed as sacred, Rastafarians value fresh, unadulterated food.”
My opinion: fresh and delicious! Just the way food should taste as the fresh seasonal foods of Spring transition into early Summer in early May.
Evoking Creativity in Food
The final two dishes brought us closer to the present. Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern made a TV dinner of Salisbury steak, Mac and cheese and a mix of carrots and peas. This was served in the traditional Swanson style TV food tray with a compartmentalized base and a cardboard cover held in place by crimped aluminum. Dominique Ansel, chef of his self named Bakery, was asked to create a dessert for Food on the Battlefield. His “rations” for us culinary soldiers was an Apple pie care package where the ingredients were delivered to our table in specially sealed containers we had to peal back, tear and unscrew. We were amply rewarded for finishing that battle.
The crowd was a great mix of the many kinds of people and functions in the culinary culture of Greater New York. The media was also there in force and my table alone included a creative bunch from Food & Wine, Popular Science and Grub Street.
As if the meal was not enough, the take home goody bag was full of gourmet treats and topped off by a personal bag of puffed rice from the Puffing Gun demo Dave conducted in front of the building during the cocktail hour. Sign me up for the Fall Benefit Dinner!
So, What’s Next?
Many thanks to Daniel Kreiger for the terrific photos, and the MOFAD Facebook page. And, a huge thanks to Dave Arnold for the invitation to such an inspiring culinary journey- one of many more to come!
iSi Celebrates 50 Years of Inspiration
with New Product Introductions at
The International Housewares Show
by Guest Contributor, Chef Louisa Chu
2014 is an exciting year for iSi as they celebrate “50 Years of Inspiring Food” and the establishment of the iSi brand. The iSi story is an exciting one to tell, which was proudly expressed throughout yet another stunning Booth at the 2014 International Home & Housewares Show (IHHS) in Chicago.
Several “back by popular demand” products were introduced, reinforcing the history of iSi’s inspiration, experience, innovation and creativity in cuisine.
New Products Showcased (Available Fall, 2014)
The iSi Sodamaker Classic was the most awe-inspiring new product on display, captivating visitors at first glance with its Mad Men-esque antique/retro design. Although the iSi Sodamaker Classic looks like a mesh seltzer collectible on the outside, there’s new technology within, most notably a lightweight high-pressure resistant BPA-free PET bottle, and an advanced stainless-steel riser tube which produces a gentle, even flow of fresh soda water, every time.
Also on the new product podium: iSi’s hip & redesigned lever-handled iSi Dessert Whip Plus and iSi Dessert Whip Mini. Both products feature fun & playful “zebra-patterned” black or white die-cut, removable silicone sleeve, providing the user with a more comfortable grip on the Whipper (and, adding a trendy-looking aesthetic!). This classic favorite has also been modified from its original aluminum bottle to a new dishwasher-safe stainless steel bottle. The clever & creative look of this product alone takes iSi to the next level, which I like to call “iSi 2.0”.
And to put iSi’s products to use, the new Culinary Inspirations cookbook provides a wealth of inspiring new recipes for the professional and home chef alike. Each day, I served a variety of food and beverage recipes from the book to let customers taste a bite of iSi inspiration for themselves!
Celebrity Chefs & Industry Leaders who visited our iSi Booth
Over the last few years, our iSi Booth has become exceedingly popular, considered as a “must visit” Booth at the IHHS Show. Our daily menu of innovative iSi food and drink recipes attracted several customers and friends, including Top Chef Masters winner and Celebrity Chef Chris Cosentino, PolyScience President (and inventor) Philip Preston, and Chef José Andrés.
El Bulli’s Ferran Adrià was in town all week, using iSi Whippers at Press events around Chicago, and as homage, our menu was crafted with a variety of simplified modern recipes that home chefs can make, too.
An Homage to iSi’s History
This was my fifth year as iSi’s show chef, and incidentally Adria’s twentieth anniversary in discovering the technique of making iSi espumas, but iSi’s 149th year. That’s right; the company was originally founded by Karl Fischer-Pochtler in 1865, a fact literally engraved at the top of the new iSi Sodamaker Classic – see below.
The Most Popular Recipe of the Show: Flash-Frozen “Espresso” Ice Cream Sandwiches
For my Edible Espresso 2014 Edition, I flash froze espresso cream (Kalona Super Natural whipping cream and Monin Espresso syrup) on a PolyScience Anti-Griddle, and sandwiched the frozen espresso bites between local Bridgeport Bakery doughnut holes. It was coffee and donuts in one bite – an adult afternoon snack!
Although the “Flash-Frozen Espresso Ice-Cream Sandwiches” were the most popular & talked about recipe of the IHA Show, we rotated a different menu of both food & drinks each day.
iSi Beverages: From Carbonation to Foams & Rapid Infusion
Making her debut as an iSi mixologist, award-winning bartender Cristiana DeLucca of Chicago’s famed “Back Bar Project” (above right) served Hot Frozen Ginger Fizz, her take on a signature Ferran Adria/El Bulli cocktail. Cristiana’s interpretation: a warm lemon meringue foam over an iced fizzy ginger lemonade.
See You Next Year!
In what has become an IHA tradition, we take a group shot at the close of each year’s Show. This year, iSi North America’s President & CEO, Rick Agresta, holds up the clear winner of this year’s show: the iSi Sodamaker Classic, available this fall.
Welcome to our home at the International Home + Housewares Show 2011!
The show sold out this year and opened its doors in Chicago on Sunday to 60,000 attendees. We’re one of 2,000 exhibitors from over 35 countries. Fifteen thousand buyers from the U.S. alone are joined by 6,000 international buyers from 100 countries on six continents (maybe next year there’ll be a buyer from Antarctica).
It’s a heart-racing temporary city filled with colorful booths, packed with the newest trend-setting gadgets and iconic products, all in a blur of action.
The show ends tomorrow, on Mardi Gras this year, and in honor of the holiday New Orleans made famous we’ll be serving Bourbon Vanilla French Toast Sticks with Maple Whipped Cream for breakfast, Mini Shrimp Po’ Boys – with wild Gulf shrimp – Creole Dressed Slaw at lunch, and sparkling drinks from our hot new Twist ‘n Sparkle all day.
We’ll demo how to dispense the French toast batter from our Gourmet Whip, the maple whipped cream from the Easy Whip, the shrimp tempura-like batter from a Gourmet Whip again, and the Creole dressing from our Creative Whip.
If you’re at the show please come by and see us at Booth S1224!
(That’s Rick Agresta, our President, CEO, and awesome good guy at iSi North America, modestly modeling in front of our booth!)
Will we see you at the International Home + Housewares Show 2011? We’ll be there and we’re so excited! The industry-only event runs March 6 through 8 in Chicago. We’ll be serving sweet and savory bites, including mini Easy-iSi-Cheese Burgers. Our recipe is made with real, aged cheddar cheese and was inspired by our friend, Top Chef All-Star finalist, Richard Blais and his Cheese Wizard recipe. Richard stopped by our booth last year!
This year we’ll be on the lookout for even more celebrity chefs in the house, including Emeril; Iron Chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora, Michael Symon, and Marc Forgione; Food Network stars Paula Deen and Guy Fieri; Top Chef Master Rick Bayless; beloved PBS chefs Sara Moulton and Ming Tsai; Australian chef (and one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive!) Curtis Stone – and many more.
We’ve been working on the menu throughout the year, perfecting recipes at work and home, with family and friends, for holidays and every day.
Our Home + Housewares Show 2011 menu includes:
Belgian Waffle Bites with Coffee Whipped Cream
Easy Cheese Sliders
Donut Holes with Mocha Mousse
Coconut Milk Pancakes with Banana Cream
Andouille Sausage & Mash
Angelic Devil’s Food Cake with Cinnamon Cream
Raisin French Toast Sticks with Maple Whip
Tiny Tot Shrimp Po’ Boys with Creole Dressed Slaw
We hope to see you at the show, but even if you can’t make it let’s meet back here where we’ll share our insider peek during the event and wrap up with more recipes you can make at home!
Hooray! The iSi Creative Whip Gets Positive Reviews
Thank you to all those in the blog world who have taken the time to review and share your thoughts on iSi’s Creative Whip! We really, really appreciate it.
Lisa is Cooking – http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/2010/08/mocha-sherbet-freeze.html
Simply The Sweet Life – http://www.simplythesweetlife.com/
Habeas Brulee – http://habeasbrulee.com/