The Art of Preparation Creates The Experience

Posted by Philabundance Digital Media on August 19th, 2015

A guest blog post from Celebrity Chef, Cooking Up Couture 2015 Host and Hunger Hero Brian Duffy:
Brian Duffy

I am so excited to be a part of the 2015 Cooking Up Couture Food + Fashion Showcase to benefit the Philabundance Community Kitchen! There are few events I get to do throughout the year that I have a true passion for and this is definitely one of them! Every aspect of the event – the venue, the guests, the chefs and the designers – is the best of the best… and they all care about the community!

Imagine walking into a venue where all of the people involved have an ulterior motive – A GOOD Motive: to raise awareness and support for an amazing community program! Imagine being able to cook and design KNOWING your involvement will make a direct impact on those that need it the most. You can do that with this event.

The Philabundance Community Kitchen (PCK) is a teaching facility that provides a top notch culinary education, life coaching and job training for low-income and unemployed adults. So much hard work, passion, and expertise go into this Philabundance program and it shows in their 81% job placement rate in the food service industry.

I am a true believer in hope, education and second chances, which is why I am proud to host this event as the dishes served are not just to feed the guests – each meal will be prepared by a local/celebrity chef and a PCK graduate so they can inspire, educate and collaborate together while providing a sense of pride the recent grad. Hope for the future – a belief that things can get better – is crucial to navigate life’s ups and downs; pride in ourselves and our own stories is everything. In the end, if we’re not proud of what we do, then we lose hope.

One of my favorite quotes is, “the art of the preparation creates the experience.” Just as PCK prepares its students for their careers, the chefs and designers who are part of this event prepare an AMAZING experience for everyone who attend. I can’t wait to see my fellow chefs and sample the amazing food they will be preparing. I’m also a shoe snob so I’m looking forward to the stunning fashion designs featured on the runway!

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet then don’t miss out! It’s time to get all decked out and get yourself to Cooking Up Couture. Plus, want to cook up your own couture meal? Try my “Pappardelle & Bacon & Shrimp, Oh My!” recipe below.

[Feel free to skip or substitute your own ingredients and cooking techniques to match your personal preferences.]

Pappardelle, Bacon and Shrimp, Oh My!

Cacio-e-Pepe by Brian DuffyIngredients

  • 1-1/2 Fresh Cut Pappardelle
  • ½ Cup bacon, ½“ Cut (uncooked)
  • ½ Cup Large Shrimp, Peeled, Deveined & Tail removed, Sliced in ½ (uncooked)
  • 2 Tbsp Red Onion, Julienne
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 Tbsp Chives, Chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Whole Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup Pasta Water (reserved)
  • ½ Cup Grated Pecorino Romano
  • 2 Tbsp Grated Grana Padano Cheese
  • 1 Tsp Crushed Chipotle Peppers – to taste
  • 4 Whole Large Eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Cooked Bacon Minced
  • Fresh Ground Salt and Pepper


  1. In a large pasta pentola (pasta cooker) bring 1/2 gallon of water to a boil; add salt
  2. Add Plastic Wrapped Egg and cook for 2 to 2.5 minutes at a boil; remove and hold (**recipe below)
  3. Preheat a large frying pan
  4. Place whole uncooked bacon in pasta water and cook for 1-2 minutes; remove from water, drain and cut into half-inch pieces
  5. In a sauté pan add bacon and cook for 2 minutes; add butter and black pepper
  6. Add red onion, garlic and shrimp; cook for 2 minutes. While this is happening, add pasta to water and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes)
  7. Remove pasta from water and hold for 1 minute
  8. Add ½ cup of pasta water to pan and bring to the boil; add ¼ cup Romano cheese until incorporated into water. Add remaining water and the other half of cheese to create a creamy sauce
  9. Add pasta to pan and toss with sauce; add chives and mix well
  10. Pour sauce onto a serving plate and spin pasta in the center; top with bacon-dusted poached egg and grate more cheese on top to serve

**Egg Prep Instructions

  1. In a ramekin place plastic wrap and brush with olive oil
  2. Grind salt and pepper onto plastic and add minced bacon
  3. Crack egg in ramekin
  4. Fold up sides of plastic to create a package and tie with butchers twine
  5. Repeat for all eggs
  6. Poach for 2.5 to 3.5 minutes (HINT: Do not let egg touch sides or bottom)


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