SOURCE: Almond Board of California

Almond Board of California

December 08, 2011 07:30 ET

New Almond Innovators Cook, Bake and Shake

Talented Culinary Trio Partner With Almond Board of California; Developing Recipes, Tips and Events Across North America

MODESTO, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 8, 2011) - For the first time ever Almond Board of California is announcing that they have assembled a triumvirate of clever culinary experts to create fresh, exciting recipes using almonds in all their forms. Tapping a popular chef, pastry chef and mixologist from three top food cities, Almond Board will infuse all their programs throughout the year with the fresh thinking and noted palates of the team, while creating inventive recipes showcasing the indulgent, buttery flavor and unmistakable crunch of California Almonds. Chef Anthony Rose of the Drake in Toronto, Pastry Chef Jenny McCoy of Craft in New York City and Mixologist Matthew Biancaniello of Los Angeles' Roosevelt Hotel bring their buzzworthy creations to fruition, all with an almondy accent.

"I use the most flavorful ingredients when creating unique and festive cocktails, and almonds are a great way to bring a little surprise and sophistication to any kind of beverage," says noted mixologist Biancaniello. "Their versatility and indulgent flavor is inspiring when developing recipes from morning smoothies to after dinner drinks -- the possibilities are practically endless."

In addition to recipe creation, these Almond Innovators also will be hosting 'pop-up restaurants' in New York and Toronto in spring 2012 to showcase the versatility and exceptional flavor of almonds, one of their favorite ingredients with a specially crafted menu. A handful of lucky winners from each city will be able to attend these events to meet -- and eat -- with the pros. More information on these events and how to win a seat at the table with these fantastic chefs, will be posted at www.AlmondBoard.com early next year.

About Chef Anthony Rose
Rose, a native Torontonian, awoke his passion for food under mentor David Lee at Centro. After graduating from the California Culinary Academy, he worked alongside legendary chefs Bradley Ogden at the Lark Creek Inn and Mark Franz at Farallon, savoring the cuisine culture of Northern California. A move to the East Coast brought Rose to Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Mercer Kitchen and Jonathan Waxman's Washington Park, lending a New York edge to his California "farmhouse" cooking.

Rose again makes Toronto his home at the hip, stylish Drake Hotel, bringing with him his fresh and flavorful approach to food. Rose's seasonally-inspired menus are often accentuated with the distinctive crunch and flavor of almonds, from appetizers to desserts, adding to the clever sophistication for which The Dining Room menu is known. Now Rose is excited to be a part of the Almond Board team and to showcase almonds in his tantalizing dishes.

About Jenny McCoy
2011 New York Rising Star Pastry Chef Jenny McCoy took a gamble after high school. Not ready to enter college proper, she enrolled in the Baking and Pastry program at Chicago's Kendall College, mostly on a whim. Lucky for McCoy, she was such a natural talent that her first jobs were in some of Chicago's top restaurants, including Charlie Trotter's, Blackbird, Gordon, and Bittersweet Bakery. It was in these kitchens that McCoy refined her palate and honed her talent for seasonal desserts with a nod to traditional favorites.

McCoy's Big Apple arrival was a splash. She worked as opening pastry chef at Marc Forgione and oversaw pastry operations for both locations of A Voce. Now in the kitchen of New York City's respected Craft restaurant, McCoy fuses finesse, seasonality, and whimsy with her own bright personality -- and a healthy appetite for creative risk-taking when creating her delicious desserts. A self-professed fan of using almonds in her baking and on her menus -- currently seen as toasted almond ice cream -- McCoy also teaches at the Institute of Culinary Education, volunteers with Wellness in the Schools, and flexes her writer's muscles with regular contributions to SeriousEats.com and HuffingtonPost.com.

About Matthew Biancaniello
Matthew Biancaniello, Mixologist at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's Library Bar, makes a cocktail like a chef composes a main course. One of the freshest and most unique talents to appear on the bartending scene amidst the cocktail renaissance, Biancaniello has found his niche by crafting cocktails based on farm-fresh foods, such as the Heirloom Tomato Mojito, the Last Tango in Modena, and the Italian Greyhound, voted best cocktail in Los Angeles.

Biancaniello only began bartending three years ago for a catering company and landed with a splash at the Library Bar in 2009. He used his own time and money to revamp the bar from sour mixes to homemade syrups and fresh, local produce inspired by his farmer's market finds, visiting five different markets weekly. He has been featured in Instyle, Imbibe and Bon Appetit magazines, the Los Angeles Times and New York Times and was a guest on the 8th season of Hell's Kitchen. Biancaniello won "Best Bartender in Los Angeles" from both table 20 and Eater LA in 2010.

Working without a set cocktail menu, Biancaniello's creations are created using seasonal ingredients and unlikely pairings. He may not have much history behind the bar, but his use of the freshest ingredients and his hunger for experimentation are what set him apart. For example, his original almond milk-based eggnog is designed to make the holidays truly special:

Almondy Holiday Umami Nog
by Mixologist Matthew Biancaniello, Library Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles
A lighter, nutty take on the traditional holiday favorite, this toast is sure to raise the bar at any soirée. Recipe Yield: 1 serving

2 oz. vanilla-infused amaretto liqueur
1 whole egg
1 oz honey syrup (recipe follows)
2 oz unsweetened almond milk
Sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish
Ground nutmeg, optional

Preparation:
One week before your party, infuse the liqueur by splitting 2 whole vanilla beans lengthwise and placing into a bottle of amaretto.

The day of your party, prepare the honey syrup. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup honey until thoroughly combined. Allow to cool and pour into a decorative bottle.

Per cocktail:
Place all ingredients into a shaker without ice and shake vigorously for one minute until very frothy -- a hand blender would also be acceptable! Add ice to the shaker and shake again to chill. Strain into a tall Collins glass (or favorite stemmed glass) and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg if desired and toasted almonds.

While best made individually, this traditional punch bowl drink can be made en masse, just be sure to invest in some large ice cubes or a decorative ice mold for the bowl, and to keep the handmixer handy for occasional re-frothing.

About Almond Board of California
Consumers all over the world enjoy California Almonds as a natural, wholesome and quality food product, making almonds California's leading agricultural export in terms of value. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 California Almond growers and processors, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit AlmondBoard.com.

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