Overheard in the TODAY kitchen

Aug. 26, 2011 at 1:55 PM ET


Every week, Bianca, the TODAY Show food stylist, will share the behind-the-scenes action from the TODAY kitchens.

My two fabulous culinary assistants, Lish and Alli, and I have the extreme pleasure of cooking with the best chefs in the industry. While chopping and fueling up on early-morning coffee, (it's different from afternoon coffee, which is more cappuccino-ish; early-morning coffee is a deep, dark, strong brew), we chat about all sorts of stuff that never makes it on-air. Some of it is just fun and interesting, and some of it is downright useful. This blog will report the weekly best of our chatter.

Fair warning: This ain’t gossip. This is bona-fide, cross-my-heart-true stuff. When necessary, names may be changed to protect the innocent.

This week, the food world is a-buzz: About Anthony Bourdain. In case you slept through last week, he’s been saying some stuff about some people. I’m not sure why there's such a shock; he’s known for his outspoken tendencies. But you and I know we’ve said stuff about people, nasty stuff, and we’ve said it out loud; but would you say it on camera? For me, that’d be a pretty bad career move. I will say that I think the grownups can defend themselves, and I hope the fray doesn’t prove too much for that delicate thing called dignity.

In our kitchen recently: I’m always happy to see Gavin Kaysen, of New York's Café Boulud. He came in all a-glow from a recent evening spent dining at Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem loft. Gavin described an incredible mix of eaters, including the rapper Q-tip, various artists, sports-types, and other accredited foodies, saying that the mix made the conversation extraordinarily interesting. Marcus was launching his revised website,, and one of the highlights of the evening was when each person stood up and told a personal food story. Sounds like my kind of night.

Mark Bittman came in and made some great stuff with heirloom tomatoes (the tomato-peach soup was spot-on!). Mark said he’s heading to Berkeley, Calif. for the 40th anniversary of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ original ground-breaking restaurant. Then he’s on to the Hatch Valley Chile Festival in New Mexico. He’s working the whole time (sigh). That's the tough life of a (very busy, very successful) food writer.

I hope you’ll check in weekly! You never know when something strange, wonderful, and delicious will happen. I’ll write as much as comes the way of us happy kitchen wenches, sharing a little of our day with you. Meanwhile, shun all preservatives and feed yourself well!  

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