Author Archives for Ryan Ross

Jun 19

Borgata Celebrates National Martini Day

martini-day-484x252Well folks, its National Martini Day again (June 19).

We know, it sneaks up on you doesn’t it? You probably haven’t even finished your National Martini Day shopping or hung the National Martini Day wreath on the door yet.

Just kidding. The only observance anyone has to make for National Martini Day is perhaps, to enjoy one. We here at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa love martinis and we’re offering up some special blends for National Martini Day.

For National Martini Day, Borgata is offering up these special concoctions

Old Homestead Steak House 

Dragon Ball Martini

Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum
Malibu Rum
Pineapple Juice
Orange Juice
Cranberry Juice

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Jun 2

Savor Borgata Series: Fun With Fondant June 13

Fun with FondantFor a lot of would-be bakers, icing—as in the icing on the cake—is one of the simplest parts of creating a baked dessert.

After all, you just pop open a can of ready-made frosting.

Guess what. That’s not baking. That’s just spreading stuff around.

Nope, bakers make their own frosting and see cake decorating as an art form all its own.

And to be sure, there are plenty of frosting types to choose from. There’s butter cream, royal, cream cheese, ganache, glazes and several others.

But we’re not here today to talk about any of those. Nope, we’re here to talk to you about fondant.

The actual bakers in the house just shivered. Fondant—often used on wedding cakes—has traditionally been seen as one of the hardest types of icing to work with.

Poured fondant is a sweet, creamy paste that can be used as a filling or icing for pastries such as éclairs and Napoleons, but rolled fondant is almost like a very sweet dough that is rolled out flat into sheets which can then be colored and used to decorate cakes. Fondant can be used to both cover cakes, or to make decorations such as flowers.

Fondant can be seen as a true cake decorators master icing. Its satiny finish and its moldability make it the perfect choice for cake decorating, but most home bakers tend to leave its use to the pros (and a lot of them are scared of it too).

Well, fear no more, thanks to Borgata Pastry Chef David Krzewinski who presents Fun with Fondant June 13 in Studio 2 of the Borgata Event Center as part of the Savor Borgata Series.

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May 26

Borgata Baking Company is 1-Year-Old

Where does the time go? It was just last year at this time that Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa announced the opening of the Borgata Baking Company.

And what a time it was, complete with chocolate sculptures and displays, all to mark the $1.5 million venue where Borgata’s award-winning Executive Pastry Chef, Thaddeus DuBois would unveil his best and brightest confections.

A former Executive Pastry Chef at the White House—during George W. Bush’s second term—Dubois’ mastery is seen throughout Borgata as he oversees pastry and bread production for both the AAA Four-Diamond Borgata and The Water Club hotels including its in-room dining programs, banquets, catering and special events, in addition to the award-winning Borgata Buffet, Bread + Butter and Metropolitan Café.

But that wasn’t enough for us. Chef Dubois needed his own signature space at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and Borgata Baking Company was born.

Immediately, Chef Dubois and Borgata Baking Company began serving up favorites such as classic desserts like Napoleons and Eclairs; fun pastries like Cake Pops, Whoopie Pies and French Macarons; Pullman Sandwiches and warm breakfast pastries such as Cheese steak Croissants; fresh-pressed juices and fresh gelato flavors prepared in-house by Chef DuBois’ team of culinary talents.

And by serving up, we mean serving up a lot. Borgata Baking Company has sold hundreds of thousands of items in its first year of existence, quickly becoming one of Borgata’s favorite eateries for our guests.

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Apr 28

Woodford Reserve Barrel-Aged Cocktails Savor Borgata Event May 16

Woodford Reserve Barrel-Aged CocktailsThis is a tale of two amazing things that when put together, result in a Savor Borgata event that’s going to blow your mind.

First up is the barrel. Yes, the simple barrel of the roll out the, over the, and barrel through variety.

Sure it may seem like some simple construction of wood slats and metal bands, but once constructed—and combined with liquor—it’s one of the most important flavoring agents in the distilling and brewing industry.

Think about it. They age whiskey, bourbon, scotch, rum, tequila, beer, wine and sherry in barrels to add to the spirit’s distinctive taste, color and body. Hey, they even age Tabasco sauce and vinegar in barrels (but that’s another story).

Next up is the simple bartender, the mixologist, the cocktail slinger. These humble purveyor of drinks are always looking to find that edge, that extra ingredient or element that puts their cocktails over the top into new territory.

So it’s not surprising that some of those wily bartenders—including ours here at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa—hit on the idea of finding some old whiskey and wine barrels and aging their own cocktails in them.

Thus another trend was born—the barrel-aged cocktail. And on May 16 in Long Bar, the Savor Borgata Series will present a Woodford Reserve Barrel-Aged Cocktails Lunch. Specially made cocktails featuring Woodford Reserve whiskeys will be aged in Woodford Reserve barrels and pared with a menu by Borgata’s Executive Chef Thomas Biglan.

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Apr 21

Margarita Madness at Gypsy Bar May 2

Margarita MadnessHere’s a quick riddle, appropriate for the fast approaching Cinco de Mayo celebration at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

What do former Zeigfield dancer Marjorie King, ambassador’s daughter Margarita Henkel and Dallas socialite Margarita Sames have in common?

Never heard of them you say? Yet, you may regularly imbibe their namesake every time you have a Margarita.

Yep, all three are said to be the inspiration for the tequila cocktail the

Don’t miss our Margarita Madness event at Gypsy Bar this Cinco de Mayo.  Gypsy Bar Tequila bar offers an immense menu of tequilas and Margaritas.

Don’t miss our Margarita Madness event at Gypsy Bar this Cinco de Mayo.  Gypsy Bar Tequila bar offers an immense menu of tequilas and Margaritas.

argarita at various times and at various Mexican bars in the late 30s and early 40s.

Even singer Peggy Lee (Peggy being a nickname for Margaret) can stake her claim to one of the many origin stories—this time in Galveston, Texas—that surround this cocktail consisting of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice.

And who’s to say who’s right or wrong and which Margarita started it all?

What we do know, is that there’s no better celebration of the Margarita than at Borgata’s Gypsy Bar, where the Savor Borgata Series will offer up Margarita Madness at 4pm Saturday, May 2. For $39, the event features Casamigos Tequila at Borgata’s rock n’ roll Tequila bar where you can mix and mingle while sipping on Margaritas and noshing on small bites.

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Apr 6

Old Homestead Smokehouse BBQ April 10 at Borgata

Old Homestead BBQ DinnerThere are few things in this country that can start an argument as quickly as bringing up the simple concept of barbecue.

Sure, we all like barbecue, but just exactly what kind of barbecue are you talking about?

Pork or beef? Sauce or dry rub? If it’s sauce, what goes in it? Vinegar and what?

And what style are we talking about? North Carolina? Kansas City? Memphis? Pretty much any other southern state?

And is it barbecue or BBQ?

Yes, it’s all pretty confusing, but luckily for us at Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa in Atlantic City, we’re pretty much barbecue neutral (Hey, Atlantic City came up with salt water taffy OK?).

So when Old Homestead Steak House presents an Old Homestead Smokehouse BBQ event at 8pm, April 10 as part of the Savor Borgata Series, Chef Romeo DiBona has a lot of leeway in picking the menu.

His choice—Texas style.

For barbecue novices, that largely means beef—and who knows more about beef than Old Homestead?—smoked over some kind of wood such as hickory, pecan or oak … or maybe mesquite. And that’s served with sauce – or a dry rub.

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Mar 31

Recap of Holy Ravioli with Stephen Kalt on March 14

Chef Stephen KaltYou know what’s a great indication that a particular dish is a hit with the masses?

How about if it’s been served for more than 800 years and great chefs such as Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Stephen Kalt are still devising new and innovative ways to serve it up?

That’s staying power friends, and when it comes to Italian cuisine, few things have stood up like the ravioli. Yes the ravioli, that little doughy Italian dumpling that can be stuffed with anything—though ricotta cheese is the traditional starting point—to devise the perfect bite of food.

Stephen Kalt, Borgata chef/partner at Fornelletto’s Cucina & Wine Bar, recently highlighted the savory little bites, along with some perfect wine matchings at a another of his Holy Ravioli demonstration and luncheon events on Saturday, March 14 as part of the Savor Borgata Culinary Series.

It’s a formidable task, of course, to come up with a new take on an 800-year-old standby like the ravioli.

Legend has it that though “riavvolgere” means “to wrap,” most believe the dish was actually named after Ravioli, a renowned 13th-century chef in the Repubblica di Genova.

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Mar 26

Five Questions with Michael Schulson

Michael-Schulson-updatedThere are few chefs as talented and diverse as Michael Schulson. Since the 2008 debut of his first restaurant endeavor – Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – Schulson has earned a sterling reputation for his expert hand at modern Asian cooking. In 2009, Schulson opened his second restaurant, Sampan, in Philadelphia’s bustling Midtown Village, which was promptly named one of Bon Appetit’s “Top Six Places to Taste Asian Fusion.” As a strong advocate of healthful, mindful eating who is passionate about remaining fit, Schulson recently got into the best shape of his life by updating his already nutritious make-at-home recipes. We recently caught up with Schulson to chat about everything from his time living in Japan to maintaining a healthy lifestyle – including Izakaya’s recipe for a delicious new cocktail that tastes like a tropical treat without all of the calories!

 

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Mar 25

Old Homestead BBQ Tips

As Executive Chef of Borgata’s award-winning Old Homestead Steak House, Romeo DiBona knows a thing or two around the grill. And now, he’s sharing his 5 best BBQ tips to kick start your grilling season.

bbq

Romeo DiBona’s BBQ Tips:

  1. Invest in a chimney starter (about $14.99). Do not use lighter fluid ever. With the chimney, you fill up with the desired amount of charcoal and use either paraffin cubes ($4.99 for 24) or loosely crumpled up newspaper to light coals.
  2. When I make ribs at home on my Weber Kettle Grill, I use a rub and cook over indirect heat – searing the meat on the hot side then cooking them the rest of the way on the cool side, adjusting vents to slow the fire down and spraying them with a 1-part-vinegar/1-part-water solution every once in a while. This will add a nice zing to the rub!
  3. Coffee gives a rub or BBQ sauce a complex, earthy flavor. Use grinds in a rub or brew a strong cup to add to your BBQ sauce.
  4. The minion method is the most popular method in a kettle grill. For low and slow, arrange charcoal around the bottom of your grill, shingled 3 deep into a horseshoe, then start your chimney. When coals are glowing, place them at the top of the horseshoe so they light in succession.
  5. Make your own BBQ sauce! It’s really easy. Store-bought versions have a ton of sugar and can ruin all of your hard work! Only put BBQ sauce on protein in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.

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Mar 17

Japanese Suntory Whisky Dinner at Izakaya March 20

Japanese Suntory Whisky DinnerWhen Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa holds a Japanese Suntory Whisky Dinner as part of the Savor Borgata Culinary Series at Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub on March 20, it’s going to be the latest chapter in an amazing story.

Just that sentence alone should tip you off to how amazing it all is. After all, Japanese whisky?

Japanese Sake—well, sure. It’s what the country is famous for. Even Japanese beer is pretty well known. But Suntory whisky, a legitimate western style whisky distilled in Japan may come as a bit of surprise.

It did to the Japanese as well, but still came about due to the amazing story of Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii.

Torii’s story starts off with his study of the traditional Sake and sweetened wines as he opened his own shop in 1899—long before Japanese culture began embracing the west. Torii developed a love of western whiskys and soon exhibited a flair for the stuff to the point of being nicknamed “the nose of Osaka” (which is just a great nickname whatever the context).

To make a long story short (you can read more about Torii’s career at www.suntory.com), Torii introduced his first true whisky in 1929, a single malt whisky nicknamed Shirofuda that defied an army of naysayers who felt that true whisky could never be distilled in Japan.

More than 85 years later,  Suntory whisky is still around and thriving and now comes to Borgata to meet up with Izakaya and Borgata Celebrity Chef Michael Schulson, who has prepared an amazing (there’s that word again) menu to highlight four of Suntory’s brand name whiskys.

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