Although I love old-school pickles, I'm thinking more of the new Greenmarket Guard -- pickled ramps, apples, okra, cauliflower, and the like. Thoughts? I am always in search of inventive pickles.
I'm a sucker for story. This Monday is the Chinese Moon Festival, when one of the chief priorities is eating mooncake -- a very rich pastry typically filled with lotus seed paste and a salted duck egg representing the full moon.
I love this type of lore and am curious about other cultures and traditions, when food is not about taste per se, but edible wishes for luck, riches, long life. Sometimes food is just food. But sometimes it connects with something deeper.
What are your favorite symbolic foods?
At the risk of sounding like an amateur, here goes... the first time I had yuzu, I thought it objectively tasted bad -- rotten and musty, like a moldy lemon.
And the first time I had a great olive oil in Italy, I thought it tasted like soap.
My taste buds were saying, "No, no, no." But my mind was saying, "You know you should like this..." What are the foods you've made yourself like? (I like yuzu and assertively-flavored olive oil now, but for a while, I faked it until I made it.)
I recently went on a cruise on the Celebrity Summit and loved the food. Not because it was super high-quality (though it was better than you'd expect), but because of all the retro foods I've read about but have never been able to order at restaurants because they're so dated.
I'm talking Beef Wellington, Lobsters Thermidor, Baked Alaska, Peaches Melba. So unmodern, but so chic. Here's an overview of the classic-but-passe foods I had on the ship: http://bit.ly/rlQvcj
What are your favorite retro dishes?
Mine is this salad chopper I got from Pampered Chef: http://bit.ly/n4wY15 It's like a double-scissor-spoon. Sometimes I don't like chopping with a knife, so I just cut. So sue me!
I'd never bring it out when I'm having guests over though. I'm curious -- What's the kitchen tool that you can't live without (but would never admit to using)?
I love it when chefs serve trompe l'oeil dishes -- things that look like one thing, but are another. Think Wylie Dufresne's carrot and coconut "sunnyside-up egg." I'd love to bring that sense of play and whimsy into my own kitchen.
I like the idea of mushroom macarons (mushroom caps as the "meringue", cheese as the filling), but am looking for other ideas. I think it'd be a lot of fun to do a trompe l'oeil dinner party. Any ideas for a full menu?
We all love honey mustard, and just because it usually appears on a turkey sandwich or on a hot dog doesn't mean that it won't also make a great dessert. This ice cream is a great combination of sharp and sweet, with the richness of the custard base cut by the honey's depth and the vinegar of the mustard.