Matthew Amster-Burton

I write for Serious Eats, the Seattle Times, Seattle Magazine,, and probably other places.

  • Website
  • Location: Seattle
  • Favorite foods: phad thai
    dan dan noodles
    brussels sprouts
  • Last bite on earth: The skulls of my enemies.

F-Words of Wisdom from Pizzaiolo Chris Bianco

Couldn't agree more, Ed.

Just to be clear, I don't think there was anything remotely unusual about the interviews I did with Bianco. This is just the way he talks, and I think it's charming and funny, so I wanted to highlight it. And yes, I made it absolutely clear that I was a writer for Gourmet. The thing that struck me when I first met him last year is that aside from being a great pizza maker, this guy is a world-class character, and I'd never seen that highlighted. Which is weird, because most reporters love pizza, love eccentric characters, and curse a lot.

This was not a "David Chang move" for Bianco. It's just Bianco. He's not going to swear at people who come to his restaurant; he's just going to make them life-changing pizza.

Cooking with Kids: Toy Doner Kebab

lagomorph, you raise a good point, and I am not qualified to say whether this is a doner kebab or a gyro, since I have not tasted it.

Cooking With Kids: Food Pyramid for Preschoolers

Yeah, a lot of stuff on the site is reasonable. Not the part about low-fat cheese, though.

Cooking With Kids: Food Pyramid for Preschoolers

"Anyway, Matthew, I do agree with them that it's an important time for establishing food habits--it sounds like you do yourself, because you're reinforcing the habit that food is something to be enjoyed."

That's not what they mean, Wendy. They mean that taste preferences harden during this time like yesterday's Play-Doh. It's absurd.

delilah, I know a lot of adventurous eaters who grew up eating crap. That doesn't make your argument wrong, since you did say "usually," but I'm skeptical.

Cooking with Kids: Bacon Doughnuts

mcmvoices, I use lard for all sorts of things. Pie and Cornish pasty crusts, flour tortillas, refried beans, stir-frying. It really does make the flakiest crusts, although beef suet is also great.

Cooking with Kids: Bacon Doughnuts

Thanks, folks. I buy organic pork leaf fat from Skagit River Ranch at my local farmers market, and I render it at home. If you have an organic pork producer in your area (you probably do), they should be able to supply you with lard. Alternatively, if you don't insist on organic, check at an Asian or Latin American grocery; both should carry fresh lard or pork fat which will be much, much better than shelf-stable lard in a box.

Cooking with Kids: Edible Cats for Halloween

Our friend Chris brings us salted licorice from Denmark. Iris hates it. I love it.

Cooking with Kids: Slimy, Tasty Reporting in the 'Wall Street Journal'

Does anyone else find that natto tastes like coffee to them? I do.

Cooking With Kids: Different Approaches to Baby Food

Cassaendra, most people in the world would be very surprised to hear that there's anything wrong with feeding babies table food. It's a cultural issue, not a health and safety issue.

Cooking With Kids: Different Approaches to Baby Food

Maureen, I'm with CharJTF. There are many good reasons to share your food with a baby, but preventing picky eating isn't one of them. I have the 4-year-old evidence right here.

In Gear: Watch Out Teapot, Behold Adagio Tea's TriniTEA Electric Maker

Ironcheff, it depends. A lot of green teas do just fine at that temperature. It's only the delicate Japanese greens that I like that have a problem with it; they get really astringent.

In Gear: Watch Out Teapot, Behold Adagio Tea's TriniTEA Electric Maker

Yeah, I think it would be perfect for that setting.

Cooking With Kids: Not-So-Spicy Bento

Regrettable, the Oz lunchbox is huge! You win.

Family Meals: Good for Everyone, Not Just Kids

Not only did I once write something on this topic, it had the same stock photo, no less!


It's time to get organized!

Consider using a free online wiki such as PBwiki. The freeform organization, tagging, and searching makes it very easy to add and retrieve recipes (much easier than any desktop software I've tried, and I've tried many), and because it's online, you can pull up your favorite recipe at a friend's house, on vacation, on your phone, etc.

The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants?

annien, I tried not to be too negative about the chains. The original Red Robin is in my neighborhood, and every time I've been to Red Robin I've enjoyed it.

Red Lobster, though, I went a couple years ago and found the menu and atmosphere extremely unappealing.

The Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants?

I haven't actually read the book _Frommer's New York City with Kids_, but I know the author and she's a serious foodie, so I assume the restaurant section goes way beyond Times Square. And it was updated last year. That's probably a good place to start.

On our last trip to New York, my wife and daughter had a fabulous time at Geido sushi in Park Slope. I couldn't make it, because I had an appointment at Ssam Bar. Poor me, I know.

I Want a Bäco. Now!

I read that article and my second thought (after "I want one!") was, "How long until this shows up on Serious Sandwiches?"

'Bangkok Times' Says Wondee Siam Is Better Than Sripraphai

By the way, Ung-aang Talay is a white guy named Bob Halliday. "Ung-aang Talay" is a type of toad.

Cocoa Powder FAQ

I had never done a cocoa powder taste test before writing this column, and I was really surprised how obvious the differences were, not just between Dutched and natural cocoa but between different brands of each.

Cooking With Kids: Eat Your Veggies

LizNYC, it doesn't say in that article specifically what the gene is controlling, but the two theories aren't mutually exclusive: some kids could be averse to bitter flavor because they have more taste buds.

Cooking With Kids: Eat Your Veggies

These comments are so much fun to read, folks--thanks!

My parents had three sons. I have always liked vegetables (I was picky about plenty of other things). My younger brothers are twins and hated vegetables growing up. One now loves vegetables and is engaged to a chef. The other is still pretty lukewarm on them.

@teahlo, it's been way too long since I've made anything in black bean sauce, and I have no good excuse. That's going to show up on the dinner table soon, guaranteed. And hey, I don't know where that broccoli in garlic sauce photo came from, but I want some right now.

Making Okonomiyaki at Home

Yeah, it's definitely more pancake than pizza. Just to clarify two things, Hunt heard of okonomiyaki between the time he was hired and the time the restaurant opened, and it's their #2 hot ap, after the potstickers.

And you should totally make it. I couldn't believe how good my first attempt was.

How to Make a Mini S'mores Grill

I roast marshmallows over Sterno at home, and I'll bet you could hang a Sterno can in there instead of the condiment cup.

Cooking with Kids: Fine Dining Boot Camp

i8alot, my daughter is 4, but I'd totally take her when she's 8. If we were comped.

Matthew Amster-Burton hasn't written a post yet.

Matthew Amster-Burton hasn't favorited a post yet.