What's Christmas without cookies and egg nog? So we brought Seth Raphaeli from Studmuffin Desserts and Michael Armstrong from Dream Downtown to show us what they've got. Seth demonstrates Space Cakes. Michael shows you how to make egg nog.
Seth Raphaeli has always had a passion for desserts. While working on Wall Street as a banker for 15 years, Seth wanted to invest in a food business or a restaurant. After performing extensive due diligence on the baked goods market that resulted in not finding confectionery and baked treats that were all-natural, low calorie and tasted great with big flavor, Seth decided to launch Studmuffin Desserts.
Born and raised in Seattle, Michael Armstrong was destined to be a chef – he even fondly recalls flavoring ramen noodles with different blends of seasoning as a young boy. After enrolling in Washington State University’s hotel and restaurant management program, Armstrong quickly realized that his interests lied in the kitchen.
Armstrong continued his education at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon where he graduated with high honors. After graduation, he built his resume through experience at Portland establishments Café Azul and Oliver’s Bar & Grill.
With professional training and years of hands-on experience, Armstrong took his talents to New York City, working as both a line cook at Jean Georges’ Asian restaurant, Spice Market, and as a sauté cook at Morimoto. When Morimoto’s former executive chef was in search of a skilled sous chef for a new restaurant in Las Vegas, Armstrong jumped at the opportunity.
Armstrong started his career with TAO Group at TAO Asian Bistro at The Venetian and TAO Beach in Las Vegas, where he was promoted to Chef de Cuisine then Executive Chef.
Armstrong returned to New York City to helm the kitchen at Dream Downtown, where he oversees all food & beverage operations at the hotel, including The Beach, Lobby Lounge, Bodega Negra (opened February 2014) and Bodega Negra Café (opened May 2014).
EGG NOG RECIPE
4 cups milk
1-1/2 cup sugar
12 egg yolks
1 cinnamon stick, broken in pieces
1 vanilla bean, split
4 cup heavy cream
1 cup dark rum
1 cup bourbon
1 piece whole nutmeg
Heat milk with cloves, cinnamon, vanilla in a medium saucepan until almost to a simmer.
Whisk egg yolks with sugar until thickened, slowly whisk in milk to temper. Return mixture to saucepan and stir over low heat for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Strain mixture into a large mixing bowl, stir in heavy cream.
Using a nutmeg grater or microplane, grate nutmeg into eggnog.
When chilled, stir in rum and bourbon (add more to taste if necessary).
Pour in glasses and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.