Zac Posen: 2009 Food Network Festival Brings Him On To Cook


When it comes to fashion, normally we wouldn’t add food to the mix (think sample sizes). It’s more like “sans food, how can I eat as little as possible for the rest of my life so I can look fabulous in couture?” (Relax, guys. Kidding.)

Fortunately, eating gourmet dishes is a favorite for most, so it’s not really plausible. So why not love fashion and eat great food too? That’s exactly what Marcus Samuelsson and Zac Posen propose you do.

They find fashion and food to be of a similar discipline. Samuelsson, a chef and co-owner of Aquavit in N.Y., and Posen, a famous designer, feel that it’s all about being top-notch. The way the fabric feels and looks, and how good the ingredients taste is important and is ultimately what is appreciated.

Posen grew up loving cooking programs on TV and incorporating his creativeness into sculpted clay replicas of his mom’s cakes. You would usually think of Posen in his showroom working on sketches for a new collection with needle and thread in hand rather than in a kitchen with cooking utensils, but cooking is a big part of his life. He has made eating at home at least three days a week a household rule. So naturally, you won’t be surprised when finding out that this Saturday the two friends plan to cook dinner with Giada De Laurentiis for a segment of the Food Network‘s New York City Wine & Food Festival. Tickets are $325 and benefit hunger relief organizations, for a night of fashion and food in harmony!

For those of you who won’t be able to make it, here is a recipe by Samuelsson for maple-glazed tuna with couscous!

Maple Glazed Tuna


This dish, from Samuelsson’s new cookbook The New American Table, is a version of the meal he made for Posen.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Juice of 1 lime
¼ cup olive oil?
4 6-ounce tuna fillets?
Salt and freshly ground pepper?
4 cilantro sprigs?
Yellow couscous salad (recipe follows)

Whisk together the mustard, maple syrup, lime juice and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set aside.?? Season the tuna fillet on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the tuna and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from the pan and brush both sides of the tuna with the maple-mustard glaze. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with the cilantro and serve with the couscous.

1 cup uncooked semolina couscous?
3 tablespoons olive oil?
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped?
2 red finger chilies, seeds and ribs removed, chopped?
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
4 saffron threads?
1 teaspoon cumin?
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro?
1 teaspoon salt?
Juice of 1 lemon
½ red onion, thinly sliced?
1 head frisée, leaves separated and roughly chopped

Bring 1 ½ cups of salted water to a boil. Add the couscous and bring back to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. ??Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chilies and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, saffron and cumin and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the couscous, cilantro, salt, and lemon juice and mix to combine.?? Toss together the onion and the frisée in a medium bowl.? To serve place couscous on plate and top with the frisée onion mixture.