Jennifer Iannolo

Review: The Gilded Fork – Entertaining at Home

For a while now I have admired the remarkable palate of Chef Mark Tafoya. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of my own rustic, bold style to Mark’s artistic and often delicate creations that draws me to his work?  Kind of like how people with curly hair always wish it was straight.  I am forever dazzled by the array of ingredients both familiar and exotic that Chef Tafoya combines in his cosmopolitan menus.

Speaking of exotic, Jennifer Iannolo is famous for her passion, dare I say lust, for fine foods.  As the author of Food Philosophy, Jen has lauded her Sex on a Plate notion which equates the aesthetics of gastronomy to more tantric pursuits.  I have always revered people who  live life rather than endure it.  Curious about her Scottish ancestry Jennifer didn’t go to, she went to Scotland.  It is sad how much my bucket list resembles her been-there-done-thats.

Jennifer and Mark have many successful collaborations to their credit.  Their edible enterprises are the heart and soul of the Culinary Media Network.  Recently, their alliance has again hit gold with the publication of their book The Gilded Fork – Entertaining at Home (The Gilded Fork, LLC, 2009).

This is not another collection of random recipes loosely trust together with a string of commonalities.  To the contrary it is a how-to guide to celebration.  Tafoya and Iannolo have carefully crafted full menus for life’s assorted events.

There are four course dinners for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and birthdays.  Six courses for holiday get-togethers.  They have specialty menus as well, brunch, harvest celebration, vegan and dinner for two.  The list goes on.

Each designer menu is accompanied by chef’s notes and pairings.  The thorough recipes with amazing flavor profiles will make your next party the party of the year.  Entertaining at Home is like having a catering chef and party planner tucked away on your bookshelf ready to spring forth at a moment’s notice to add to your legend as party host.

Valentine’s Day is Sex on a Plate

The following is from my good friend Jennifer Iannolo, co-founder of the Culinary Media Network®.  Jen has planned the ultimate Valentine’s Day Event this year but I’ll let her tell you more about it.  Read on:

What does your inside voice say when you taste something sublime?

Mine says this.

Youve seen me talk a lot about Sex on a Plate on Twitter and Facebook, but I think its high time we got out of the digital realm to bring the experience to life, so if youre going to be in NYC for Valentines Day, I  hope youll join me for a very special evening.

Instead of the rote table-for-two scenario, I’m inviting you to my cocktail party in the Penthouse of the Roger Smith Hotel. We’ve planned a sultry evening of tastes to evoke your senses with the kinds of aromas, textures  and flavors that will make your mouth water  and prime you for what we hope  is a most sensual evening. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single, double or threesome. Or any other combination.

Step inside my head, and see what Sex on a Plate looks like to me.

Pretty please, with a strawberry on top.


DATE:         February 14, 2010

TIME:          6:30-10:00 PM

VENUE:      Roger Smith Hotel, Penthouse: Solarium, Lexington Avenue & 47th

EVENT TYPE: Cocktail & Tasting Party

MENU:        A series of delectable small plates and adult beverages


$100 per person through January 31st

$125 per person after January 31st

Space is limited. 21 and over. Order your tickets here.

Note: Due to the nature of this tasting event, we will unfortunately not be able to accommodate food allergy restrictions. Menu may contain shellfish,
nuts or other allergens.


The Roger Smith Hotel is offering a special Take Monday Off rate on Valentines Day for this event. Please contact Brian Simpson for details on Twitter or via e-mail.

Photos: Kelly Cline

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties

Food and sex have been kindred spirits ever since that first cro magnon man landed a mate because of his ability to hunt.  It was around 300 BC that Epicurus first equated the two in philosophical terms.  The belief that a person’s life ambition should be centered on the pursuit of modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility now bares his name.  Epicureanism is the PG-13 cousin of Hedonism and has at its core the belief that one should never pass up the chance for an extravagant meal or generous lover.

Nothing has changed in the thousands of years since.  Take blogger extraordinaire Jennifer Iannolo for instance.  In addition to her work with the Gilded Fork, Jennifer has also caused quite a stir with her Sex on a Plate attitude which she exhibits on her blog Food Philosophy that is dedicated to food, sexuality and sass.  Food based television programming  is no stranger to the concept either.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comOddly enough it was the Style Network that introduced American audiences to the concept of “food porn” with the British import, Nigella Bites starring the effervescent Nigella Lawson.  The saucy Brit with the plunging neckline soon had many imitators like Food Network’s Sandra Lee, Giada De Laurentiis and Ingrid Hoffman all of whom have tastefully celebrated their ample curves.  And who can forget Cat Cora AND Rachael Ray tripping saucy in the pages of men’s magazine FHM.

That was the first wave and it was soon followed by Bravo’s Padma Lakshmi and Kelly Choi from the network’s two Top Chef franchises and two more Food Network hosts, Gina Neely and Anne Burrell.  And there has been some eye candy for the ladies like Jamie Oliver and Tyler Florence on Food Network and TLC’s Curtis Stone.  But now there is a new wave of haute cuisine hotties looking to lure more male viewers to networks whose regular viewership is predominately female.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comEarlier this year Food Network kicked it off with the Private chefs of Beverley Hills which chronicles six chefs (three male, three female including Sasha Perl-Raver who has been named one of LA’s hottest chefs) that are all considerably easy on the eyes as they cater, literally, to the BOTOX® crowd.  And of course many of their clients also look as if they just stepped out of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comNow get ready for the full court press.

Travel Channel fired first with Food Wars host Camille Ford.  Each week she takes viewers to cities across America to decide which local eatery makes the best example of their town’s signature dish.  In 2008 Camille founded Sassy Pole Girls a fitness group that uses striptease and pole dancing for exercise.  But Ford is much more than a pretty face and rock hard abs, she is the award-winning producer of the Off Broadway production Jitter.  She is also an avid adventurer often spending her free time rock climbing, kayaking, water skying, snow skying and hiking.  Camille Ford is the consummate modern woman who proves that feminism is wrong, you do not have to choose between intellectual and beautiful.  For more of Camille Ford in action watch full episodes of Food Wars online HERE.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comFood Network, not wanting to be outdone, came back with season six of The Next Food Network Star which featured a cougar (Dzintra Dzenis), a pocket hottie (Doreen Fang), a Giada clone (Serena Palumbo) and a self-proclaimed diva (Brianna Jenkins) plus three hunks – Herb Mesa, Darrell “DAS” Smith and Brad Sorenson.  Sorenson especially seemed to resonate with female viewers who gushed over his dimpled smile via Twitter and the blogsophere throughout the contest.  The young chef even made an impression on guest star Eva Longoria who openly flirted with him during one segment.

Camille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comCamille Ford and the New Culinary Cuties on WannabeTVchef.comThey followed that up with their newest reality show, The Great Food Truck Race which pits seven lunch wagons against each other in a cross country race, ala the Cannonball Run.  Two of the teams feature ladies who are already beginning to rack up Google searches.  They are Nom Nom Truck co-owners Misa Chien (who has also been named one of LA’s hottest chefs) and Jennifer Green and Rajun Cajun’s very own Creole princess Jazmina Banionis.  While Banionis is an aspiring actress and model, Chien and Green all about the food.

Sheetal Bhagat of MasterChefEven Fox’s MasterChef has gotten into the mix.  How lucky are they that two of the fifty finalists to make the final four were the breathtakingly beautiful Sheetal Bhagat and the adorable Southern belle Whitney Miller?  Miller is a student from Poplarville, MS while Bhagat is a cooking instructor from Chicago who apparently has designs on being a star.  On her web site there are MP3’s of her original music, a gallery of photos that look straight from a Cosmo spread, her MasterChef diary and links to her cooking videos.

And “the Online” has its share of haute cuisine hotties as well.  There’s the Bikini Chef Susan Irby who’s known for her figure flattering flavors and the Kitchen Vixen Elizabeth Brown is single-handedly responsible for making “quinoa” a popular Sara O'Donnel is Average Betty and Susan Irby the Bikini Chefsafe word.  And one would be remiss to not mention the super fly red head who has a voice as so hot it could melt an iceberg, Average Betty.

Is this a trend that will continue?  Frankly, I hope so.  I know there will be critics who say that these women are just being exploited for their looks but that is just code wording for all pretty people are stupid.  I say as long as the pretty faces and muscle bound chefs can actually cook no sane person could have a problem with it.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up


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