'Calvin Trillin' on Serious Eats

Calvin Trillin's Walking Tour

The New York Times sent a lucky reporter on Calvin Trillin's eating tour yesterday. My favorite quote from Trillin, who leads the tour as part of the New Yorker Festival: "I'm not interested in finding the best chili restaurant in... More

Calvin Trillin's Thanksgiving Laugh: One Man's Grace

I just decided to read, as we sit down today, this hilarious rendition of the story of Thanksgiving as a sort of grace. Who wrote it? One of our greatest living writers, Calvin Trillin. The entire story can be found in Trillin's The Tummy Trilogy, which is practically required reading (or eating) for Serious Eaters everywhere. In England, a long time ago, there were people called Pilgrims who were very strict about making everyone observe the Sabbath and cooked food without any flavor and that sort of thing, and they decided to go to America, where they could enjoy Freedom to Nag. The other people in England said, "Glad to see the back of them." In America, the Pilgrims tried... More

What Should Replace Roast Turkey as the National Thanksgiving Dish?

In 1981 Calvin Trillin wrote a hilarious piece for the New Yorker openly campaigning for spaghetti carbonara to replace roast turkey as our national Thanksgiving dish. In 1995 he wrote a follow-up to that story suggesting that a case for deep-fried turkey could be made. Neither campaign managed to gain much traction, but I must admit that as I dragged my 16-pound turkey D'Artagnan turkey -->home from my local supermarket last night (the bus never came, so I ended up walking half a mile with that damned bird), I started thinking about alternatives that would be easier on my back and balky hamstring. New Yorkers might make a case for brisket or pot roast with potato latkes, which is what... More

My Friend Johnny Apple Died on Tuesday

"More love and more joy than age or time could ever destroy." Smokey Robinson My friend Johnny Apple died this past Tuesday, and in his honor I went to the Shake Shack and had a triple dip sundae with hot caramel AND hot chocolate sauce. Johnny's great passion for food extended from frozen custard to foie gras. Of course if Johnny had been there with me we would have ordered so much more. Johnny Apple was all about MORE; more deliciously, obscenely rich food, more drink, more knowledge, more stories, and more heart and soul than I'd ever seen in one person before. I first met Johnny five or so years ago when we both served on a committee. I... More

A Love (Letter) Supreme

I can't say I know Calvin Trillin well. But as one of my writing heroes I'm happy to say that we do break bread together a couple of times a year. Yes, he's as funny as you think he would be, and he really loves and knows good food. Trillin, as many people know, lost his beloved wife and muse Alice Trillin on September 11, 2001 (yes, that September 11th). Last week, a little less than five years after her death, Trillin wrote one of the longest, most beautiful love letters ever written, to Alice in the New Yorker. It rang so heartbreakingly true and was so emotionally resonant for so many of us I just can't get it out... More

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