Notes From The Chef

August is my favorite month of the year; it brings a little R&R, great produce and a chance to look ahead. 10 Chairs is growing and will be branching out to other venues. No worries; the original will still maintain its intimacy of bringing new and old As everything must change, so must the growth of 10 Chairs a project that began with my love of food and all things it involves. The intricacies of planning the menu and shopping for the ingredients. Food can be simple or complex but all dishes bring taste, color and texture to the palate of the plate. As I look forward to the fall and its bounty and all things it brings, I invite you once again to be a part of my food and wine friends together with laughter, food and wine journey.

BlogRyan Foy
Fire & Wine

When do you light the fire and when do you drink the wine?Cowboy coffee in the morning? Wait till the perfect dish is cooked to serve and or drink the wonderful bottle or bottles of wine that you have? A Cuban sandwich is a perfect companion to any bottle of wine. It is midsummer and I have not started the grill once this year. There has been much rain but I am waiting for something to drive me to cook. Seeing the embers, smelling the char or waiting for the fire to ignite. I grew up with live fire. At the farm the pot belly stove was feed with wood, the bacon, eggs, meat, fish, and the vegetables came from the land and the river. In the summer we would pick dewberries for pies and though I always felt safe, it could be dangerous. Boots too large, a shirt and pants twice my size my mother and aunt by my side standing ready to hoe the copperheads & rattlesnakes that also love the dewberries. Other than the rushing Brazos, the farm was calm a peaceful place where we laughed, ate and danced. There were places with juke boxes and or live bands where people would go to dance and drink. My aunts, my mother and I would go and dance. Laugh with each other and of course dance. Dancing was a part of our life, my life the life of our family. In the city there was always Saturday night when I would help my mother get dressed before she went out to dance with my aunts, but at the farm I was allowed in that world. I knew the steps to the dances because I danced with my mother daily. As she would dress for work, she would play records and we would dance. It was our time our history and would continue until she was no longer dancing. I continue my dance and she is always by my side. When do you light the fire and when do you drink the wine? The dancing is always there.

BlogRyan Foy
Notes From The Chef

As summer is here now, I start to think about tacos and Texas. At this time of year there was a grill going with sizzling fajitas that had been marinated with coca cola ( the real one). A trip to the tortillaria in the morning for fresh tortillas and some conchas for breakfast. Since I have lived in New York, there has been a shortage of a store selling fresh masa and fresh tortillas. Next week I will make a trip to Queens to visit a store that makes and sells homemade corn tortillas. I plan to purchase some fresh masa and make corn tortillas and flour tortillas also.

A trip to the watermelon stand to plug a watermelon to see if it was sweet and ripe then sitting outside on picnic tables with paper plates, salt and watermelon running down our face and clothes. Since we could not eat all the watermelon there, the remaining went home for pickles, juice and salad with fresh mint picked from my mother’s garden.

At this time, my uncle usually came by with giant oysters from his oyster beds, shrimp from his shrimp boats and pickled eggs with pickled ham hocks. All of this in preparation for a family dinner. Since 10 Chairs has become a place where I can cook and make dishes for my guests. This is in preparation for the next dinner on July 9. Hope to see you there.

BlogRyan Foy
Chef Notes

Spring notes from the chefI do not usually plan menus far in advance. I find I have an idea and see something in the market and the menu begins to take life..not so for April. The ideas just started to flow and well 3 menus took shape. Maybe the long and very cold winter brought my mind to all things green, fresh and youthful. Spring celebrates a new beginning, baby lamb, tiny vegetables so tender that little preparation needed, just show love and the ingredients speak for themselves. The proper heat, seasoning, and technique make the dishes successful. All that is needed for asparagus so fresh and small is care and they can be eaten cooked or raw with salt, pepper,and a beautiful olive oil. However they can be adorned with more complex items but always allowing the asparagus to shine. Spring peas smashed with mint and a great piece of grilled bread possibly some shaved pecorino make an opening splash on the palate. Spring paints a beautiful canvas of color, texture, and flavor. Spring celebrates fresh new produce, cheese and young animals, but wisdom and knowledge allows the chef to coax the flavors without over powering the ingredients. So I give you 3 menus: an ode to spring, the rite of spring.

BlogPatricia Williams
Growing Popularity

8 Fabulous “Secret” Supper Clubs in NYC NYC’s flashy restaurants make for a memorable night out, but for a uniquely intimate experience -- and the chance to chat one-on-one with the chefs -- wine and dine at one of the city’s clandestine supper clubs

March 26, 2015, Kathleen Squires

First world problem: Frequenting New York City’s many wonderful restaurants can become monotonous after a while. First world solution: Shake up the restaurant routine by hitting a private dinner club instead. These are underground dinner gatherings that take the formality out of, and inject more sociability into, the usual dining format. The following are some of the best in town, offering unique, insider experiences with special themes, added entertainment and sometimes even celebrity chefs. Note that for all the supper clubs covered here, you can generally score a seat if you book a couple of months in advance. The locations of each supper club are usually only revealed once you make your reservations.

News Article

10 Chairs The best way to get into the “mind of a chef?” Have her cook an intimate dinner for you at her home. 10 Chairs was created by Patricia Williams of Harlem’s Smoke Jazz and Supper Club in order to, as Williams explains, “give me an opportunity to create a dialog with the guests about the food and why I created the dishes, which would be impossible in a larger setting.” The limited size makes getting a seat a somewhat competitive affair, as Williams has won loyal regulars for seasonal menus that celebrate the city and its cultural diversity. But, if you check the website a few months out, you can generally get a seat. Recent dinners have focused on the Chinese New Year and Cuban flavors. Next up: With spring approaching, Williams has “visions of ramps, asparagus, morels and lamb” swirling in her head. The events, held every other Thursday evening, include five courses and four paired wines for $80. Manhattan,

BlogPatricia Williams
Chef's Notes

The March 12th dinner a slice of Little Havana (sans cigars) was a wonderfully fun event. In February, 10 Chairs did Presidents past and present. This month, March marks Women's History Month and I would like to pay homage to all women but have chosen a few of my favorites. Janice Joplin a Texas native who I saw live many times. To celebrate her famous quote “ Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got," I'm featuring a mushroom dish. (You figure it out.) Inez Milholland a suffragist in 1909 who said” I am prepared to sacrifice every so called privilege I possess in order to have a few rights.” I'm dreaming up a Victorian dish. My mother Virginia Grace Williams who became a welder during the depression and continued to work for Hughes Tool Company for 45 years always said you can do it even when I did not know I could. Something fried she loved that. Hillary Clinton former secretary of state and who may run for president has said lamb is her favorite. Harriet Tubman an African American abolitionist during the American Civil War , escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist and led hundreds to freedom along the Underground railroad. A fine cake, I think. I have had the great fortune of working closely with women from two careers: one as a dancer and the second as a chef. The strength of mind and body it takes to have a career in ballet is often underrated because ballet dancers look willowy and frail. False. As a woman chef in kitchens; skill, determination, & artistry make this a very demanding career, something of which I am very proud to be a part, along with many of my female colleagues who are at the top of their game. There are thousands of women who I celebrate daily, I chose these for their hard work and diversity.

BlogPatricia Williams
Chef's Notes

Great Little Havana Dinner sans cigars. 10 Chairs did presidents past and present. Now March marks Women's History Month and I would like to pay homage to all women but have chosen a few of my favorites.Janice Joplin a Texas native who I saw live many times and her famous quote “ Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got. Maybe a mushroom dish. Inez Milholland a suffragist in 1909 who said” I am prepared to sacrifice every so called privilege I possess in order to have a few right” Have to think Victorian. My mother Virginia Grace Williams who became a welder during the depression and continued to work for Hughes Tool Company for 45 years. Who always said you can do it even when I did not know I could. Something fried she loved that. Hillary Clinton former secretary of state and who is rumored to be running for president. They say lamb is her favorite. Harriet Tubman an African American abolitionist during the American Civil War. She escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist and led hundreds to freedom along the Underground railroad. I have had the great fortune of working closely with women from 2 careers as a dancer and as a chef. The strength of mind and body it takes to have a career in that art is often underrated because ballet dancer look willowy and frail. False As a women chef in kitchens skill , determination & artistry make this a very demanding career, something I am proud of and have colleagues who are at the top of their game. There are thousands of women who I celebrate daily, I chose these for their hard work and diversity.

BlogPatricia Williams
Chef's Note

After a very successful Chinese New Year 10 Chairs, I look forward to spring. Visions of ramps, asparagus, morels, and spring lamb swirl in my head. But what to cook before the first day of Spring. The weather has been frigid with lots of snow.

All I've wanted to cook are stews, braised meats and other warming dishes.

March 12 is the next dinner and that puts the menu in between winter and spring. So dreams go to a warmer climate and food from those places. Reverie brings me to Florida or California? Maybe a combination. But then I think about the new relations we are developing with Cuba and I've chosen Miami-Cuban. A wealth of culture that has produced dishes I love.

 So for the next dinner we will celebrate Cuba and its rich culture, heritage and food.

 10 Chairs brings on Little Cuba!

BlogPatricia Williams
Chef's Note

After a very successful Chinese New Year 10 Chairs, I look forward to spring. Visions of ramps, asparagus, morels, and spring lamb swirl in my head. But what to cook before the first day of Spring. The weather has been frigid with lots of snow.

All I've wanted to cook are stews, braised meats and other warming dishes.

March 12 is the next dinner and that puts the menu in between winter and spring. So dreams go to a warmer climate and food from those places. Reverie brings me to Florida or California? Maybe a combination. But then I think about the new relations we are developing with Cuba and I've chosen Miami-Cuban. A wealth of culture that has produced dishes I love.

 So for the next dinner we will celebrate Cuba and its rich culture, heritage and food.

 10 Chairs brings on Little Cuba!

BlogRyan Foy
Chef's Notes

Hi 10 Chairs Fans:

This past Thursday evening marked another fun and successful dinner featuring favorite dishes of past and present U.S. Presidents. We chose to celebrate with the favorite foods of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Clinton, and Obama.

Our next 10 Chairs dinner celebrates Chinese New Year, the year of the sheep. Only 2 chairs remain available for that dinner on Thursday February 26. So, don't be "Sheepish" about signing up to taste some beautiful, mouth-watering dishes or you may be left in the barn wondering where'd everybody go.

Okay, to news: I've embarked on an accelerated quest to search out even more new products and wines; experimenting in my constant quest for future dinners. The price will change to $80 per person. I know we are all used to increased prices. Unfortunately, this is necessary to further the development of show casing new and even greater delectable's.

I do hope you are having, or have already had a great Valentine's Day. Oh, and if you need a decadent chocolate cake recipe, email me.

Love to cook

Chef Patricia Williams.

 

BlogPatricia Williams
Unusual Facts about the Presidents

In preparation for our Presidents Day Dinner on February 12, the following are three facts about each President featured in the dinner with which you may be unfamiliar. (Note: one of the three for each President is just not true. Can you guess which?) WashingtonPresident George Washington:

  1. Washington was an ultra-successful liquor distributor.
  2. When inaugurated Washington had only one of his natural teeth that he called "old chomper."
  3. Washington was color blind and was only able to see the color purple.

 

LincolnPresident Abraham Lincoln:

  1. Lincoln was a licensed bartender.
  2. During a visit to a prostitute Lincoln was short by $2. Being an honest man, he got dressed and left before the deed was completed.
  3. He suffered from boils on his backside.

 

JeffersonPresident Thomas Jefferson:

  1. Jefferson chipped off a piece of Shakespeare's chair and stole it.
  2. Wore his pajamas while meeting with Foreign dignitaries.
  3. He was convinced that he would die in the arms of a woman.

 

ClintonPresident William Clinton:

  1. As a child his name was known as "Bubba."
  2. He played in a band called the "Three Blind Mice."
  3. Supported gay rights long before it was fashionable.

 

ObamaPresident Barack Obama:

  1. When Uhura (a character from Star Trek) visited the White House Obama made the Vulcan salute in greeting.
  2. Obama's nickname in high school was "Barry O'Bomber."
  3. Obama's favorite soup is, a mix of clam chowder and beef tongue.
BlogPatricia Williams
Chef's Note

Good Afternoon 10 Chairs Fans

Notes From the Chef

10 Chairs nyc

The January 10 Chairs dinners ended on a very high note. Music , dance, and a bit of gossip were the topics of the evening. We got through the bitter cold of January with cara cara oranges, roasted duck, chestnut bisque, and lots of wine.

(You have to see the photos on our "Menu!" page)

Looking forward to February, we find 2 important days; Presidents Day and Chinese New Year. These days will influence the food on February 12 & February 26.

I have chosen 5 presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, William Clinton, Barack Obama to navigate the 5 course meal to be served on February 12. Chinese New Year, the year of the sheep will influence the 5 course meal on February 26.

Just sold the last 2 chairs for February 12. So please enjoy the  10ChairsNYC website and sign up for future dinners as they sell out quickly. The calendar is also listed on the "upcoming events" page for future dates. Also remember 10 Chairs is available for private events as well: Business meetings, lunches, bridal showers, anything you choose.

Here’s to Good Food, Good Wine, & Great Conversation

Chef Patricia Williams

BlogPatricia Williams
Chef's Notes

Good Afternoon 10 Chairs Fans

Notes From the Chef

10 Chairs nyc

 The January 10 Chairs dinners ended on a very high note. Music , dance, and a bit of gossip were the topics of the evening. We got through the bitter cold of January with cara cara oranges, roasted duck, chestnut bisque, and lots of wine.

(You have to see the photos on 10ChairsNYC website under "Menu!")

Looking forward to February, we find 2 important days; Presidents Day and Chinese New Year. These days will influence the food on February 12 & February 26.

I have chosen 5 presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, William Clinton, Barack Obama to navigate the 5 course meal to be served on February 12. Chinese New Year, the year of the sheep will influence the 5 course meal on February 26.

Just sold the last 2 chairs for February 12. So please go to the website 10ChairsNYC and sign up for future dinners as they sell out quickly. The calendar is also listed on the website for future dates. Also remember 10 Chairs is available for private events as well: Business meetings, lunches, bridal showers, anything you choose.

Here’s to Good Food, Good Wine, & Great Conversation

Chef Patricia Williams

BlogRyan Foy
Chef's Note

Good Afternoon 10 Chairs FansJust an update about our next dinner. I currently have 5 chairs to sell for January 22.. Book now by visiting our website 10Chairsnyc.com, they sell out quickly. I went to the market today and saw beautiful cara cara oranges, meyer lemons and so the TBA salad is now on the menu and fresh dates are in season so they will be a fantastic addition to the next dinner. Also I was sent some tasty honey from a bee keeper in Chicago. This will go into making a honey biscotti as an accompaniment to the butterscotch pudding. Looking forward to seeing you January 22 for great food and company. Here's to Cooking Chef Patricia Williams

BlogPatricia Williams