About Me

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Chef David Martone is the owner and executive Chef of Classic Thyme Cooking School. Pursuing his interest in food, in the early 1980s, David owned an Italian market specializing in home cooked items and exceptional produce. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute in 1989, under the direction of world renowned Chef Jacques Pepin, David went to work at the Chez Catherine Restaurant in Westfield, NJ. David started teaching in the Westfield area in 1991 and pursued a higher level of culinary education earning the designation of C.C.P. (Certified Culinary Professional). David worked as a board member of The New York Association of Cooking Teachers, (NYACT) for several years. David is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Founder of ‘The Italian Club of Westfield’ he is also the host of the popular cable television cooking show, 'Cooking Thyme," which airs on TV 36. Chef David has been featured in numerous publications such as the Dining In section of The New York Times, Garden Plate Magazine, Savor section of The Star Ledger and New Jersey Monthly.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Does anyone pay attention or do they simply not care?

Make it right by making it yourself
Yesterday I picked up sandwiches for my wife and I for lunch. My wife ordered turkey on a roll with lettuce and tomato. We got them home and after the first bite, no tomato. The day before we picked something up from the diner. I asked for some gravy for the fries on the side. We get home and no gravy for the fries. 2 days before I pick up Chinese food. Get it home, no crispy noodles for the soup. Sunday after church I always get breakfast sandwiches and bagels. Yes, one more foe pa, I take the first bite of my bacon & egg and the salt, pepper and ketchup was missing. What do you have to do to get complete orders and things exactly the way you want them? Read on and find out.

It sounds like I eat out often, and I do. Being so busy cooking for everyone else I only cook when I have a day off or when I am not too busy. After running around crazy yesterday I was simply exhausted and wanted to just pick up some simple macaroni and salad but I knew I would be disappointed. So, after driving my daughter to and from play practice in West Orange and ferrying her to fencing practice in Scotch Plains I ran home whipped up some simple marinara sauce, a simple salad and some tiny little pizzas I actually used heavily toasted English muffins as a base. I ran back to pick up my daughter, quickly cooked the linguine, put the pizzas in the oven and we were eating in 10 minutes. You have no idea how wonderful it was to eat perfectly cooked linguine, so simple yet so many restaurants overcook it. We had the most wonderful dinner. Everyone cleaned their plates. Such a simple meal prepared in no time. Might I also add how inexpensive it was. After a nice dinner and bottle of wine I conclude; don't be lazy like I have been. Make it yourself so you get it right every time! It can be that simple.

Those who can do, those who can't, come see me and I will teach you. I am always glad to share recipes. If you would like to have my simple recipe for marinara sauce send an email to david@classicthyme.com

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Welcome to Chef David Martone's Blog!

After working all week I really look forward to going out and eating with family and friends. Although I cook for a living I still enjoy cooking at home as well but sometimes I just want to put down my tools and let someone else take care of me for a change. I have to say, "I am not always satisfied with the local restaurant scene. Now I'm not the type of critic that picks apart every detail but certainly I expect what I order to be good. When I go out to eat I stick to basics. If it is fish I am craving I don't need fancy preparation or extravagant presentation just fresh fish with minimal but proper preparation. Vince, from Westfield Seafood, says it the best with his tag line on his business card, "Honest Fresh Fish". I have had good experience with Limani in Westfield. The restaurant, which is located on North Avenue, specializes in seafood. I believe the owner is Greek as there are some traditional Greek dishes on the menu. They really do a nice job and they have been very accommodating to us when we are there. All and all we have had good experiences there and it is a BYOB which I like as it allows you to enjoy your own selections of wine while keeping the wine bill within reason. I enjoy oysters so I always order a selection as an appetizer. I really enjoy them with a sauce made with finely minced shallot or red onion, fresh cracked pepper and red wine vinegar. Although I have gotten it there before, on one occasion I asked the waiter for it and he told me the kitchen was too busy that evening to make it. On the way out, that same evening, I noticed sitting on display among the fish on ice, a mountain of shaved red onion which could have easily been turning into my request. Incidentally, I first had this sauce while in Culinary school, it was referred to as 'Mignonette'. Yes, I was upset. Was it enough to prevent me from coming back or criticising the restaurant? The answer is no. I have been back several times and I recommend it frequently. Now when I go, if I am really craving oysters, I simply bring a small container of my own mignonette sauce to enjoy with my oysters. As my dear friend Marcelo puts it, "David, you are simply being difficult!" He's probably right but there is nothing like being completely satisfied. So, in closing; if you like fresh seafood, make a reservation, pack up some of your favorite wine and venture out to Limani restaurant in Westfield and let me know what you think. Of course if you prefer to stay home visit Vince at Westfield Seafood, email me for a recipe, and the rest is easy.

PS If you go to Limani, don't forget to bring your own mignonette, just in case you are craving the oysters. That's, of course, only if you are difficult like me!