Tag Archives: kevin cottle

Cottle On New Reality Cooking Show

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chefkcWell-known chef Kevin Cottle got his first taste of national television when he finished runner-up on Season 6 of Chef Gordon Ramsey’s Fox reality show, “Hell’s Kitchen” several years ago.

Cottle, a Connecticut favorite who will soon open his Fire at the Ridge restaurant at Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort, is back on the tube again, Las Vegas-style.

Cottle is a competing chef on a new Food Network show called “Kitchen Casino.”

Hosted by former “Apprentice” winner, tv personality and entrepreneur Bill Rancic, the show pits four chefs against each other in three casino-themed cooking challenges, slots, poker and roulette.

“It’s a little crazy,” said Cottle whose segment airs on May 12. “In the slot machine challenge, youBill Rancic pull a lever and get three ingredients that you have to use to make a dish that is judged,” he explained. “In the roulette wheel challenge, you step back and the kitchen stations spin and you end up having to finish a dish that someone else started.”

Celebrity judges making appearances on the show include Michael Chernow, Madison Cowan, Danyelle Freedman, Gavin Kaysen, Aliya Leekong and Kristin Sollenne.

Billed as a “high stakes game of luck and strategy,” the new show premiered April 7. It airs on the Food Network on Mondays at 9 p.m.

“It felt good to be on television again,” said Cottle, who was approached by the network to be on the show. “I had never really planned to do a show again,” said Cottle, who could not spill any of the details of his segment including whether he won the $30,000 grand prize. “But then I got the competitive itch again and this show just intrigued me.”

New Powder Ridge Resort To Include Skiing, Biking, Restaurant

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pr1 (1)The former ailing wintertime Powder Ridge ski area in Middlefield is getting ready for a new life that will not only include winter snowboarding, racing, skiing and seasonal mountain terrain riding and racing, but also an upscale restaurant, shopping and hotel accommodations.

And it is all scheduled to open by the end of the year.

That was the announcement Wednesday by the five investors who unveiled the finalized plans for the new Powder Ridge Mountain Park Resort.

“We are calling it an urban sports facility and resort,” said CEO Sean Hayes. “We are redefining what a local ski area can be.”

pr1 (2)Renovations have begun for the new adventure park expected to open in December. Investors say it will include a four-lane boarder and ski cross course and slalom runs with multiple gates. Plans call for 20 feature-rich trails for all skill levels, complete with log-style rails, cascading jumps and a full-size half pipe. The park resort also will have a Burton riglet snowboarding program for kids as young as 24 months, according to Hayes. The themed riglet park will feature kid-size interactive stations that teach students how to maneuver over, under and around sculpted terrain and features.

The resort will be designed to operate four seasons with mountain bike trails with lift-service downhill, cyclo cross, free ride and up and down racing trails during fall, spring and summer. Other features of the park will include a 5,700-square-foot rental center with repair services, annual leasing programs, lessons and team building activities.

Hayes, along with his brother Ed Hayes, and Dr. Minh Han and John Gramegna, are the founders of the Portland’s Brownstone Exploration & Discovery Park, a seasonal park open for seven years with zip lines, cliff jumping, scuba diving, rock climbing and wakeboarding in an abandoned quarry owned by the town.

Brownstone Group purchased Powder Ridge from the town of Middlefield less than a year ago for $700,000. The facility had closed in 2006, and the town bought it in 2008 for $2.55 million after it went into foreclosure. The group has since added nationally recognized chef Kevin Cottle as an investor for both facilities.

Cottle, a former “Hell’s Kitchen” reality TV show runner-up, is heading up the restaurant and catering operations. The 19,000-square-foot former ski lodge is being renovated and will feature the “Fire at the Ridge,” an upscale restaurant, with fine food, fireplaces and a view of the slopes via flat-screen monitors.

“It will be a New England farm-to-table menu with a twist,” said Cottle, who has been executive chef at Country Club of Farmington and Jordan Caterers. Noting it is the first restaurant he has owned, Cottle said he is looking forward to having his own kitchen. Cottle said that while the food and experience will be top shelf, it is not meant to be a “fine dining” kind of place.

The restaurant is also scheduled to open in December.

The former ski lodge will also house the “Ridgeside Tavern” and a cafeteria for skiers and bikers.

The resort also will have hotel rooms, bathing and dressing facilities and retail stores. Hayes estimates the cost for the renovation is between $4 and $5 million. A $500,000 state grant is also being used for the project, Hayes said.

Best Food In the State? We’ll Know Monday

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food1food2food4Celebrity foodies including former “Hell’s Kitchen” finalist  and Jordan Caterer exec chef Kevin Cottle and culinary expert Prudence Sloane were among those who traipsed to the Aqua Turf club in Plantsville Thursday to judge the annual Product Awards competition sponsored each year by the CT Specialty Food Association.

More than 180 products produced in Connecticut were vying for awards in categories including cheese, wines, jams, dressings, breads, desserts, vinegars, frozen food, snack food and sweet toppings.

“We had a different balance this year,” said organizer Tricia Levesque, association director. “A lot of newer companies entered and some of our veteran companies chose not to compete, but we have almost the same number of entries as last year.”

The annual event is designed to showcase local food producers from around the state and determine who makes the best of the best in Connecticut.

Tabulating scores from judges won’t be done until Friday with winners being announced on Monday.

For the record, Java was a judge for the fourth year in a row, this year judging jams, non-alcoholic beverages, gluten-free snacks and desserts and vinegars.  A perfect workday!

Last year Chaplin Farms LLC of Chaplin  won “product of the year”  with its apple pie jam.

Hell’s Kitchen “Bad Boy” Hurd Moving To Water’s Edge

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hurdandkerrWe loved the him on Season 6 of the Fox reality show “Hell’s Kitchen” with his bold mouth and   redneck charm, and welcomed him as a Connecticut celebrity chef when he relocated to join fellow HK standout Kevin Cottle at the Country Club of Farmington and then Jordan’s Caterers.

But now Van Hurd has decided it’s time for him to be the #1 guy in the kitchen and will do it as the new executive chef at Water’s Edge Resort & Spa  in Westbrook.

“I’m just tired of being the second one in charge and this is a chance to head my own kitchen,” said Hurd who was living in Texas when he was on the popular Fox network show hosted by Gordon Ramsay. “My plan is to review the menus at all the restaurants at Water’s Edge before making any changes but it’s exciting  to take on this new job.”

Hurd, who has worked under Cottle for several years said his decision to move on by himself feels likes a “break-up” with the guy who became his dear friend when they met on the show.

“But we’ll still be friends, probably better ones now that we aren’t working together,” laughed the married father one. “It was time for me to go on my own ,” he said. “I’m excited about it.”


French Food and Art At NBMAA Begin This Month

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French food or French art? What’s your pleasure?

nbmaa1Doesn’t matter thanks to celeb chefs, formers Hell’s Kitchen contestants Van Hurd and Kevin Cottle. The two have arranged for you to have a little of both over at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

The museum hosts a new Henri Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit from January 12 to May 12. Toulouse-Lautrec lived in Paris during the 20th century Belle Époque (Beautiful Era) but was not the only famed celeb creating history at the time. There was also a chef, named Georges Auguste Escoffier.

“We just thought it would be a great idea, to feature the Godfather of French cooking at the same time the famed French artist was being featured at the museum, “ said Cottle. “Toulouse-Lautrec’s was the artist of the Moulin Rouge and Escoffier was the head chef there at the same time. It was a natural.”

nbmaa3Hurd and Cottle, who met during Chef Gordon Ramsey’s reality show a few years ago, and who now work for Jordan Caters, have set up three wine dinners at the museum that will include food demonstrations, authentic Escofier recipes, and tours of the art exhibit. This is the second year the two are presenting a wine dinner series at the museum.

The two-hour wine-paired dinners will be held on Jan. 10, Jan. 31 and Feb. 21. Among the foods that will be served depending on each night’s menu are Coquilles St. Jacques, classic cassoulet with duck and pork, Crepes Suzette, pheasant consomme, Escargot Chablisienne and dark chocolate soufflé. Hartley and Parker will be presenting French paired wines.

“The food was inspired at the same time as the art was inspired,” said Cottle about the series. “We will invite people from the audience to get involved and the plan is to have fun and laugh and drink and talk about wine and food and art.”

The dinners are from 6 to 8 p.m. Cost is $90 per person per class or three classes for $240 a person. Registration is limited to 30 per class. For more information call 203-272-8213.

“Get Well” Shout Outs To Our CT Chefs

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In case you run into either of these celeb chefs,  make sure you offer some “get well soon” wishes.

Acclaimed chef Jacques Pepin is recovering following shoulder surgery. Biggest complaint around his Madison home, the man just won’t slow down despite a sling.

And in the Greater Hartford area, former Hell’s Kitchen finalist Chef Kevin Cottle ( now executive chef at Jordan Caterers) broke his left wrist and may be undergoing some surgery to repair the mulitple fracture.

That however, did not stop him from participating in  a weekend marketing photo shoot promoting tourism in Connecticut.

Speedy recoveries to both.

Cottle Headed Back To Hell’s Kitchen

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We were bummed when our favorite chef, Kevin Cottle, didn’t win Season 6 of Hell’s Kitchen. But as the runner-up, he still fared well and has gone on to a stellar cooking career that landed him the job of  executive chef for Jordan’s Caterer’s here.

For fans of the Fox reality show, be sure to tune in Monday night. Cottle is back on the tube and in the hell heat of Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen.

He and several other second place chefs from past seasons will be taking on the six chefs who are still in it this season.

Cottle, you may remember, ended up drafting fellow contestant Van Hurd to Connecticut as well. The two have stepped up more than once to help a host of Connecticut charities,  making Hell’s Kitchen loss, our state’s gain.