ELIZABETH BIANCHI was born on June 17, 1983 in St.Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, NYC, NY. She attended PS 41, The Village School. where she discovered her love for the performing arts. She continued along this path into The Professional Performing Arts Junior High School in Times Square where she performed as the lead singer in several musicals. Later, she was accepted into the prestigious Fiorello LaGuardia High School (The Fame School) for Music, Art and Performing Arts in Lincoln Center where she graduated in 2001.
During her formative years, she took extracurricular classes in the fine arts of sculpture and painting. Also, she was a member of the NY Young People’s Choir and sung twice at Carnegie Hall and Disneyland, CA., the NBC Today Show, St.Patricks Cathedral Christmas Eve Mass, among other special events.
Her father, Dan, is a visual artist/painter and an award winning theatrical producer/director who currently runs his own theater company. Her mother, Cynthia, is a CIO of a top NYC hospital. They all live in historical Greenwich Village in their 1888 home with their two dogs, Peanut and Nicky.
As a professional actress, Elizabeth quickly moved into the NYC TV scene and was cast in episodes of: LAW AND ORDER: SVU; LAW AND ORDER: Criminal Intent; THE SOPRANOS; SEX IN THE CITY; RESCUE ME.
During this time, she supported herself as a waitress at various fine dining restaurants where she began to become interested in the food world. She had always loved watching the legendary television chefs since she was a child…Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, Jeffery Smith, Martin Yan, Wolfgang Puck, right up to contemporary chefs, Rachel Ray , Eric Ripert, Ming Tsi, Anthony Bourdain, Tom Colicchio and, of course, Gordon Ramsey. She began to collect cookbooks of master chefs in various cuisines from Thomas Keller to David Chang to Heston Blumenthal.
In 2007, she enrolled in NYC’s Institute of Culinary Education. Upon graduation, she began work in Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak where she started at the raw bar shucking oysters and quickly moved on to other stations including sides and meats. A year later, Craftsteak closed down and reopened as Colicchio And Sons. The NY Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton awarded it three stars.
A year later, Liz decided to explore Asian fusion cuisine at Buddakan where she worked on the dim sum station. She was then chosen to compete on Fox TV's hit program Hell's Kitchen with chef Gordon Ramsay.
PAN-ROASTED QUAIL, OYSTER MUSHROOM AND GOAT CHEESE POLENTA WITH BALSAMIC REDUCTION
3 cups chicken stock
½ cup dry quick cooking polenta
3 oz. goat cheese
¼ lb. butter
½ cup vegetable oil
2 quail with backbone, feet and wing tips removed
1 quart oyster mushrooms
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 sprig of thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Boil chicken stock in a pot slowly, whisk in polenta, lower flame and cook for approximately 5 - 7 minutes. Add goat cheese and 3 tbs. of butter. Add additional chicken stock if needed.
Heat a large sauté pan with vegetable oil. Season quail with salt and pepper then place quail breast side down in pan until skin is golden brown. Transfer pan into a 400 degree oven. Cook for desired doneness, medium well approximately 5-10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and flip quail. Add butter to pan and baste quail. Rest on rack. Cut quail in half.
Clean oyster mushrooms and cut off stems. Heat sauté pan with vegetable oil and place mushrooms in pan and season with salt. Spread out and cook until golden. Flip with metal spatula add a teaspoon of butter and thyme. Remove from pan and place on rack.
Reduce balsamic vinegar by half in a small pot.
Plate polenta, mushrooms and Quail and drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar. Serve while hot.