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Giada de Laurentiis and husband Todd Thompson welcome their first child — daughter Jade Marie! She was born on March 29, and from this family video you can tell they’re ecstatic.

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You’ve seen these celebrity chefs on TV — but true fans should also make a trip to the resaurants.

If you’re in London, visit these restaurants, all owned and run by some of UK’s most popular celebrity chefs. At the very least, you know you’ll be served something more unique than fish and chips.

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Celebrity chefs join together for a good cause: Unicef’s Tap Project which tackles the problem of lack of safe water.

Big names who have rallied for this cause include Emeril Lagasse, Tom Colicchio, Todd English, Bobby Flay, Charlie Palmer, Eric Ripert and Marcus Samuelsson.

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Ted Allen from Top Chef gives a fun, thorough and easy-to-follow video on how to cook a bone-in-shoulder. “The secret,” he says, “is to cook it long and slow.” It’s worth the wait. That roast looks heavenly!
Plus, it takes just minutes to marinate, and you can go on with the rest of your life while the food cooks.

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Wylie Dufresne is known in the culinary world for his unique approach to cooking (“molecular gastronomy”) that combinies the science and art of making a perfect meal. Fascinating factoid: he was actually a philosophy major!

He recently guested on Top Chef, and granted an excellent one on one interview with his comments on each Top Chef contestant.

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Anthony Bourdain shares this recipe for Steak Tartare in Les Halles Cookbook. “Les Halles, the restaurant, was pretty much created to serve this dish,” he says. “The key to a successful steak tartare is fresh beef, freshly hand-chopped at the very last minute and mixed tableside. A home meat grinder with a fairly wide mesh blade is nice to have, but you can and should use a very sharp knife and simply chop and chop and chop until fine. The texture will be superior. And do not dare use a food processor on this dish – you’ll utterly destroy it.”

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (28 g)
4 anchovy filets, finely chopped
2 tsp ketchup (10 g)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (5 g)
Tabasco sauce, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup salad (i.e., corn or soy) oil (56 ml)
1 oz Cognac (28 ml)
1 small onion, freshly and finely chopped
2 oz capers, rinsed (56 g)
2 oz cornichons, finely chopped (56 g)
4 sprigs of flat parsley, finely chopped
1 1/4 lb. fresh sirloin, finely chopped (560 g)
French fries, optional
4 slices fine quality white bread, toasted, quartered, for toast points

Directions:

Place the egg yolks in a large stainless-steel bowl and add the mustard and anchovies. Mix well, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and pepper and mix well again. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the Cognac and mix again. Fold in the onion, capers, cornichons, and parsley.

Add the chopped meat to the bowl and mix well using a spoon or your hands. Divide the meat evenly among the six chilled dinner plates and, using a ring mold or spatula, form it into disks on the plates. Serve immediately with French fries and toasted bread points.

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TV chef Mario Batali shares this excellent bolognese recipe. It originally appeared in the magazine, Bon Appetit.

Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground pork
4 ounces pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans whole tomatoes, in juice
1 (14.5 ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup whole milk
5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or
2 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
12 ounces fettuccine
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery and garlic an saute until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to high; add veal, pork, pancetta or bacon and saute until meat is brown, breaking up meat with the back of a fork, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices, 1 3/4 cups chicken broth, milk and thyme. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour 15 minutes, breaking up tomatoes with the back of a spoon, adding more chicken broth if mixture is too thick and stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook fettuccine in large pot of boiling water just until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Add fettuccine to pot with ragu and toss to blend. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan.

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Today’s celebrity chef’s aren’t just hamming up for the camera. They’re also keeping up blogs, as this article in the Times observes.

The author is pleasantly surprised that some chefs are as adept at writing as they are in the kitchen, though is cynical that anyone who’s running 10 restaurants and a show could possibly be maintaining a regular blog without the help of a spin doctor.

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Cat Cora is releasing a new show — on the Disney channel? Yes, the celebrity chef will be making the rounds of the theme parkselecting a family and then teaching them how to cook in the Disney restaurant.

Cute concept… but how many people really feel like learning how to cook while they’re on vacation?!

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Chefs are a notoriously snooty lot, and when Top Chef first debuted, it sent most of them snickering. Many of them don’ even like TV chefs or celebrity chefs — a chef selected from a reality show was even lower down the totem pole.

Not anymore. Some say that thanks to the success of the first three seasons, and the thumbs up it has received from well respected chefs (who even appeared in the panel of judges) the show has actually legitimized itself.

Too bad Rachael Ray can’t join.